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July 27,2016

New York Times Editorial Supports Ban of Arbitration Clauses in Nursing Home Contracts

On Monday, in response to proposed rules by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the New York Times published an editorial supporting the ban of forced arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts.  The Times called forced arbitration "especially problematic in nursing home disputes" because they deal with claims of neglect, abuse or other harms, and they deny justice to consumers who have no legal recourse when they've been wronged.

Consumer Voice wrote a letter-to-the-editor responding to the editorial:
As an advocacy organization for nursing home residents, the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care was glad to see the New York Times’ editorial, “Nursing Home Residents Still Vulnerable to Abuse,” which opposes nursing home arbitration clauses. Such clauses are fundamentally unfair to residents and their families, who should not be expected to sign away their rights to justice in cases of poor care, abuse and neglect. The ability to take a claim to court is an important option for holding nursing homes accountable. Since arbitrators are generally picked by the nursing home, they have a financial incentive to side with the facility which sends them cases.  And too often regulatory agencies are not holding facilities accountable: studies have shown they frequently fail to cite or penalize facilities for harming residents. When residents and families cannot pursue a claim in court, we all lose a critical means of safeguarding quality nursing home care. We urge CMS to do the right thing for residents and ban pre-dispute arbitration clauses in the revised rules.

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Share Information with Providers About Webinar on Preventing Avoidable Hospitalizations

Consumer Voice is hosting an exciting three-part webinar series featuring expert speakers, and important skills, strategies, and advocacy tips on important issues facing long-term care consumers! This need-to-know material is essential for providers to emphasize quality of care with their residents.  Send the registration link to providers in your network: www.theconsumervoice.org/events/2016-webinar-series

Join us Tuesday, August 9th at 2:00pm ET for the first webinar in the series - Preventing Avoidable Hospitalizations

Preventing avoidable hospitalizations starts with early recognition of a slowly developing medical condition, and then escalation of care whereby nursing home staff practice at the top of their license. Through this webinar you will learn about the early indicators of preventable conditions and effective interventions, and the management systems and practices needed to implement them.
Presenters: Barbara Frank, B&F Consulting and Marcia K. Flesner, PhD, RN, Sinclair School of Nursing, University of Missouri

Registration is also open for webinars this Fall -

Webinar #2 – Obtaining Quality Care for Residents with Dementia
Tuesday, September 13, 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET; Presenter: Jonathan Evans, MD

Webinar #3 – Piecing Together Quality Long-Term Care
Tuesday, October 11, 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET; Presenter: Robyn Grant, MSW

Each webinar is $65 and includes the live webinar and webinar recording that can be watched/shown as many times as you'd like.  Register for all three webinars in the series for the discounted price of $175. Consumer Voice members receive a 10% discount. Email info@theconsumervoice.org for the discount code.

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Justice in Aging Webinar on Improving SSA's Representative Payee Program

Justice in Aging is holding a webinar entitled "Improving SSA's Representative Payee Program" on Tuesday, August 2nd at 2:00pm ET. The webinar will explore the Social Security Administration's (SSA) Representative Payee program in depth and will provide educational materials for advocates who are interested in learning more.  The webinar will dive into four major issues in the Representative Payee Program: 1) problems with how SSA decides that a beneficiary cannot manage their benefits; 2) the need for SSA to recruit more payees; 3) SSA's responsibility to provide more training and education for payees; and 4) the lack of adequate monitoring and oversight of payees. 

Advocates can access the materials now via the Representative Payee Toolkit. Organizations, attorneys in private practice, and caregivers can utilize the materials from this toolkit to bolster local, state, and federal advocacy efforts.  Register for the webinar here.

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New Conference Agenda Details Available; Early Bird Rate Ends July 31st

Register now for the Consumer Voice Annual Conference.  The early bird registration rate - a $50 discount - ends July 31st.

Attended by ombudsmen and consumer advocates, residents, family members, attorneys, policy experts, and more - don't miss this important event!

Lively and engaging sessions will include the following newly announced topics:

  • A plenary session devoted to the newly revised nursing home regulations
  • Our special guest speaker will be Eddie Gonzalez from StoryCorp, an organization which "preserves and shares humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world."  StoryCorp believes that everyone's stories matter and that to increase cultural understanding and build bonds between people, we need to remind one another of our shared humanity and teach the value of listening.

Plus, don't miss sessions on these issues:

  • Supported Decision-Making in life care and advanced care planning
  • New standards of care for people with dementia at home and in assisted living
  • Culture Change: Progress, Pitfalls, and Possibilities
  • Developing and Managing a LTC Ombudsman Volunteer Program
  • Transitioning from  Institutional Care to HCBS
  • Supporting LGBT Older Adults in Residential Communities
  • Best practices for protecting residents and reducing transfer trauma due to nursing home closures

Find more information about the conference here.

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Join CMS Today for a State Operations Technical Assistance Call

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is holding a State Operations Technical Assistance call on Wednesday, July 27th from 1:30-3:00pm ET.  The webinar is entitled "Implementing the HCBS Rules in Settings Serving Individuals with Wandering or Exit Seeking Behaviors" and is the first in a two-part series.  The second webinar will highlight a number of promising practices in assisted living, ADHCs, and aging-in-place settings, and is tentatively scheduled for 8/24 at 1:30 p.m. ET (stay tuned for more details).  Use this link to log into the call or call 1-844-396-8222; Participant Code: 993 915 269.

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Spotlight on Educational Resources

The Consumer Voice and the National Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) 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:

Forced Arbitration Agreements in Long-Term Care Facility Admission Contracts - This Consumer Voice issue page contains information on forced pre-dispute arbitration agreements and the dangers they pose to long-term care consumers.

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In this Issue

New York Times Editorial Supports Ban of Arbitration Clauses in Nursing Home Contracts

Share Information with Providers About Webinar on Preventing Avoidable Hospitalizations

Justice in Aging Webinar on Improving SSA's Representative Payee Program

New Conference Agenda Details Available; Early Bird Rate Ends July 31st

Join CMS Today for a State Operations Technical Assistance Call

Spotlight on Educational Resources

Combined Federal Campaign


Thank you for your support!

Residents' Rights Month 2016

Find more information on our website.

Join the Resident's Voice Challenge!

Calendar of Events

Sunday, July 31: Last day to register for Consumer Voice Annual Conference at early discounted rate

Tuesday, August 2: Improving SSA's Representative Payee Program, 2:00pm ET, Webinar from Justice in Aging

Tuesday, August 9: Preventing Avoidable Hospitalizations: A Primer for Consumer Advocates, 2:00pm ET, Webinar from Consumer Voice

Tuesday, September 13: Obtaining Quality Care for Residents with Dementia, 2:00pm ET, Webinar from Consumer Voice

October: My Vote Matters, Residents' Rights Month 2016

Tuesday, October 11: Piecing Together Quality Long-Term Care, 2:00pm ET, Webinar from Consumer Voice

November 2-5, 2016: Consumer Voice 40th Annual Conference, Arlington, VA

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Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Wednesday, July 20:
Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act.

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Tuesday, July 19
Learn early indicators of preventable conditions & effective interventions at "Preventing Avoidable Hospitalizations"

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About The Voice

The Voice is a weekly e-newsletter, published by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. 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 © 2016.

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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. Consumer Voice's mission is to represent consumers at the national level for quality long-term care, services and supports.

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