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April 14, 2015

CMS Developing National System to Collect Nursing Home Staffing Information Based on Payroll Data

As required under the Affordable Care Act, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is currently developing a national system to collect nursing home staffing information  based on payroll data.   The Act states that the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services establish specifications that require a facility to indicate the category of work an employee performs (such as whether the employee is a registered nurse, certified nursing assistant, etc.), include resident census data, and report this information on a regular schedule. CMS has developed a system for facilities to submit staffing and census information.  This system, the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ), will allow staffing information to be collected on a regular and more frequent basis than currently collected. It will also be auditable to ensure accuracy.  Nursing homes will have access to this system.  Information about this system is posted here.

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San Francisco Passes Ordinance Prohibiting Discrimination of LGBT Seniors in Facilities

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a city ordiance that prohibits discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors by long-term care facilities and nursing homes.  The LGBT Senior Long Term Care Facilities Bill of Rights Ordinance will require facilities to fulfill certain requirements when caring for LGBT or HIV-positive residents, including designating an LGBT liaison.  For more information, read the article.

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Group Discount Opportunity at the Consumer Voice Annual Conference

The Consumer Voice Annual Conference is back in Washington, DC November 4-7, 2015, and we can't wait to see you there!

Interested in bringing a group of people to the annual conference? Take advantage of our group discounts, which have lower thresholds for 2015. Contact us (info@theconsumervoice.org) and we will help you register your group. Your application for discounts must be made prior to registration, so start forming your group today!

Here are the discounts that apply to group registrations:

    Group of 4 - 8 individuals - 5% discount
    Group of 9 - 16 individuals - 10 % discount
    Group of 17 or more individuals - 15% discount

Please note the following:

1.   You must apply to receive a group discount prior to registering anyone in your group.

Send the list of individuals you would like to include in your group as well as the name of your group to info@theconsumervoice.org, and we will send you the applicable group rate code to use during registration.  Please also let us know whether you would like the entire group to be included on a single invoice or billed separately.  Any additional individuals added to your group after you receive your group rate code can register using the same discount.  We will not issue a new discount code after your initial group rate approval even if your group ends up exceeding your discount bracket.

2.    The discount code will apply to the current registration rate at the time individuals in your group complete the registration form.

For example, if an individual in your group registers after the early bird registration date and therefore is charged the regular registration rate, the group discount will apply to the regular registration rate.

3.    Group discounts apply to full conference attendees only.

Group discounts cannot be applied to one-day registrations.

Registration will open in May, so stay tuned! We look forward to seeing your group in Washington, DC! Meanwhile, get started forming your group.

Questions? Contact us at info@theconsumervoice.org.

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Free Webinar for LTC Ombudsmen

Supporting Volunteer LTCO and Minimizing Risk
 Thursday, April 30, 2015
3:00- 4:30 EST

Join us to discuss how risk management applies to every aspect of managing and supporting volunteer long-term care ombudsmen. Attendees will receive tips for screening volunteers, identifying and removing risk, and responding to situations when the actions, or inaction, of a volunteer LTCO negatively impacts your program.

Presenters: Sarah Hinzman, Volunteer Ombudsman Program & Americorps VISTA Project Coordinator, IA LTCOP; Darlene Cray, Volunteer Program Coordinator, NH LTCOP; and Amity Overall-Laib, Manager, LTCO Program & Policy, NORC.

This webinar is free and open to State and Local Long-Term Care Ombudsmen. Registration is limited.  To maximize participation, we ask that individuals from the same organization only register one person.

Register Now!

Can’t make this webinar? The webinar recording, slides, and resources will be posted on the NORC website.

Questions? Contact Amity Overall-Laib at aoveralllaib@theconsumervoice.org.

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Toolkit on Meaningful Consumer Engagement Available

Community Catalyst and the Voices for Better Health project recently released Series 3 of Meaningful Consumer Engagement: A Toolkit for Health Plans, Provider Groups and Communities, an instructive and comprehensive resource of best practices for institutionalizing the consumer voice within the health care delivery system. For more information about this new series and the previous series - and how the Voices for Better Health team is working with health plans and providers to engage consumers - please contact William Dean at WDean@communitycatalyst.org.

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WHCOA Releases Healthy Aging Policy Brief

The White House Conference on Aging released a policy brief on Healthy Aging, a key focus area for the 2015 Conference.  The Healthy Aging policy brief examines how Americans can enjoy long and healthy lives by maximizing their physical, mental, and social well-being. Additional briefs will be released in the coming weeks on other key topics for the Conference, including long-term services and supports, elder justice, and retirement security.  Each brief concludes with a series of discussion questions. The public is invited to comment on WHCOA's website or email comments to policy@whaging.gov.  For more information, click here.

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Consumer Dick Weinman Reports on the WHCOA Forum in Seattle

Dick Weinman - assisted living facility consumer, blog writer for AARP Oregon, and subject of The Thin Edge of Dignity documentary - attended the White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) regional forum in Seattle.  He provides the following report on his experience:

These have been a grinding two days - but adrenaline rousing and energizing. I had the opportunity - along with hundreds of elder care professionals and volunteers - to hear the rousing calls of the Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, Senator Patty Murray, Rep. Jim McDermott, and other leaders in government, federal and state, for attending to action for seniors and the disabled.

I was the only voice from the real world of long term care. The experts were devoted to helping the aged and disabled: I told them that I was one of the aged and disabled calling for their help. I carried that message into the breakout group that formulated the priorities, challenges, and solutions that were collated to be sent to DC (and the coordinator of that conference, Nora Super, was there, listening).

More importantly, I had a chance after the collection of the session's input, to talk with the man who facilitated the breakout sessions, an advisor to Obama on issues of aging; he said my perspective, emphasizing consumers in long term support facilities, would be taken back when he meets with the President.

Prior to that, following the formal addresses - filled with personal stories of parents and siblings - by these leaders in agencies and government, there was a panel of experts, in each of the areas addressed by the WHCOA, with questions from the audience, including Twitter (it was web cast and could be followed on Twitter). Out of the four questions selected to be read, mine was the first, addressed to Mike McCormick’s Washington counterpart, Bill Moss. The question was misspoken by the moderator, and the answer, therefore, was not what I sought.  So, I stood, helped by my caregiver to stand, and confronted the panel (in that big crowd of "suits") and restated my question.  Following the meeting, Bill Moss came up to me, and we talked about my issue of the caregiving situation in LTC. I told him about my video and DHS support, and gave him my blog link. A good contact, I think.

All in all, amid this glittering assemblage of speakers and conferees, I, as the lone non-professional, the consumer, got the message across "from the other side."

My only disappointment is that while many specifics about priorities, challenges, solutions were discussed and ranked, only the first two were considered to be compared to the other fifty six (7 tables/8 persons), and only two of those were considered, the ones that overlapped. That makes the report too general and less nuanced.

Thank you to all who contributed to the group effort to send me to listen and speak. As Jerry Cohen, Oregon AARP, wrote I was an effective “consumer voice.”

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Briefly Noted...

  • Save the Date! May 12, 2015, 2:00pm - 3:30pm EST, Round-the-Clock Registered Nurse Coverage in Nursing Homes - Free national webinar from Consumer Voice, details coming soon.

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Spotlight on Giving: A Gift of Stock

It is great when the value of an asset increases, but when such assets are owned outside of a retirement plan people are subject to capital gains tax on the asset’s appreciation or increase in value.  Making a gift of the asset – often a stock or other security – to Consumer Voice eliminates the capital gains tax on the holding.  Additionally, the gift may be recognized as a charitable donation and may result in a tax deduction for the full appreciated value of the asset.  

So, the donor wins in two ways – by avoiding capital gains tax and receiving a charitable gift deduction.  And Consumer Voice wins by obtaining your contribution and using it to support our programs of long-term care advocacy and education. If you would like to make a gift of stock or other security, contact rgelula@theconsumervoice.org.

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Spotlight on Educational Resources

The Consumer Voice and the National Ombudsman Resource Center have a multitude of resources available online covering a wide range of long-term care topics.  Visit the Consumer Voice website and the NORC website to explore all the available resources.  Take a look at this week's highlighted resource:

Family Council Center  - The Family Council Center on the Consumer Voice website contains fact sheets and other materials related to family council creation, maintenance, rights under federal law and advocacy. It also has information about family council grants, networking opportunities, other ways to get involved in long-term care advocacy and additional resources.

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In this Issue

CMS Developing National System to Collect Nursing Home Staffing Information Based on Payroll Data

San Francisco Passes Ordinance Prohibiting Discrimination of LGBT Seniors in Facilities

Group Discount Opportunity at Consumer Voice Annual Conference

Free Webinar for LTC Ombudsmen

Toolkit on Meaningful Consumer Engagement Available

WHCOA Releases Healthy Aging Policy Brief

Consumer Dick Weinman Reports on the WHCOA Forum in Seattle

Briefly Noted...

Spotlight on Giving: A Gift of Stock

Spotlight on Educational Resources

Resident's Voice Challenge Entries Due in One Month!

In celebration of Residents' Rights Month 2015, residents are encouraged to participate in the Resident's Voice Challenge by submitting essays, poems, artwork, drawings, or videos related to the theme for Residents' Rights Month 2015 "CARE Matters".  Click here for Resident's Voice submission guidelines.

  • Residents and consumers are asked to submit 40 words of wisdom to coincide with the celebration of Consumer Voice’s 40th anniversary.  Some entries may appear in our “40 Words of Wisdom” book (on sale this summer). (Have more - or less - to say? No problem! We will accept submissions of any length.)

  • Possible types of entries include: essays; poems or songs; artwork, drawings or photos; word collage; or video/audio recordings. Need some inspiration? Click here for examples of past entries.
  • Submissions are due by May 15, 2015.
  • Use this flyer to spread the word!

4.1 It CAN Be Done!

As part of our nursing home staffing campaign, Better Staffing: The Key to Better Care, Consumer Voice is advocating for a minimum of 4.1 hours of nursing care per resident per day.  To show your support of this campaign, individuals can send us a photo with the slogan "4.1 - It CAN Be Done" by tweeting us pictures @ConsumerVoices, posting on our Facebook or emailing your photos to info@theconsumervoice.org.  Get the word out and encourage consumers to participate by sending in their photos too!

Calendar of Events

April 20-22: HealthCare Chaplaincy Network's Caring for the Human Spirit Conference, Orlando, FL

Wednesday, April 22: Supervising Social Work Field Students in Nursing Homes, 3:30pm ET, Nursing Home Social Work Webinar Series

Wednesday April 29: Delivering Your Message in Person: The Nuts and Bolts of Meeting with a Key Decision Maker, Advocacy skills training webinar from the Consumer Voice

Thursday, April 30: Risk Management and the LTCOP, 3:00pm ET, Free webinar from NORC

Tuesday, May 5: Achieving Cultural Competence for the Younger Adult in the Long-Term Care Setting - Part One, 2:00pm ET, Nusing Home Social Work Webinar Series

Tuesday, May 12: Round-the-Clock Registered Nurse Coverage in Nursing Homes, 2:00pm EST, Free national webinar from Consumer Voice

Wednesday, June 10: Achieving Cultural Competence for the Younger Adult in the Long Term Care Setting - Part Two, 3:00pm ET, Nursing Home Social Work Webinar Series

Tuesday, June 30: Delivering Your Message: Utilizing Both Traditional Approaches and Social Media, Advocacy skills training webinar from the Consumer Voice

Thursday, August 27: How to Grow, Support, and Activate Your Network, Advocacy skills training webinar from the Consumer Voice

October: Residents' Rights Month, CARE Matters

November 4-7, 2015: Consumer Voice 39th Annual Conference, Crystal City, Virginia

Your Car Can Help Promote Quality Care

Do you, a loved one or friend have a car that you or they would like to dispose of?  Now, Consumer Voice can help – and your used car can help Consumer Voice!  By working with our car disposal agency, Vehicle Donation to Any Charity (V-DAC), the proceeds from the sale of your car become a contribution to Consumer Voice.  

Note: We are actually registered with the service as “NCCNHR” so when asked which charity you would like to benefit, just say or type in “NCCNHR.”

Here is a link to our page on the V-DAC site http://v-dac.com/org?id=52-1122531 and you can get started there – or just call 877-999-8322 toll free.   And to discuss your donation with Consumer Voice, just write to us at info@theconsumervoice.org or call (202) 332-2275 x209

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Tuesday, April 7:
Who will U.S. courts work for, nursing home providers or residents who seek redress when negligence occurs? Contact your U.S. Senator

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Tuesday, April 7
Texas Senate approved SB304: permits nursing home license revocation for 3 neglect citations in 2 years. Tell TX House to pass same law.

Long-Term Care Resources & News

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About The Gazette

The Gazette is a weekly e-newsletter, published by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care and the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center. If you do not wish to continue receiving this publication, please unsubscribe below. Your contributions and comments are welcome and should be sent to info@theconsumervoice.org. Copyright © 2015.

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The Consumer Voice is the leading national voice representing consumers in issues related to long-term care, helping to ensure that consumers are empowered to advocate for themselves. We are a primary source of information and tools for consumers, families, caregivers, advocates and ombudsmen to help ensure quality care for the individual. The Consumer Voice's mission is to represent consumers at the national level for quality long-term care, services and supports.

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