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September 20, 2016

Check Out Consumer Voice's New Policy Break

Check out the Consumer Voice's new resource - Policy BreakPolicy Break is an email update on the latest developments in long-term care.  Take a break from what you're doing and learn more on specific long-term care issues.  Read an excerpt from the first Policy Break below, and sign up to receive Policy Break here.

On August 5, 2016, CMS's Center for Clinical Standards and Quality/Survey & Certification Group released a memo addressing the recent media reports about nursing home staff taking unauthorized photographs and video recordings of nursing home residents.  Some of these photographs showed the resident in compromising positions.  The photographs were subsequently posted on social media networks, including Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram.  Other photos were sent through text messaging multimedia services.


It is important that all residents feel comfortable in their environments, especially when it concerns their privacy.  Advocates can use this memo:  

  • as an opportunity to talk with their licensing and certification agency about the need to ensure that residents are protected from mental abuse and feel comfortable in their environments, especially when it concerns their privacy;
  • in educating residents and family members about privacy rights;
  • for in-service training with facility staff or with ombudsman volunteers
Read the full Policy Break here.

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September is World Alzheimer's Month

World Alzheimer's Month is an international campaign to raise awareness and call for global action on Alzheimer's Disease.  This year's theme is Remember Me.  Submit photos of loved ones or of your message on a sticky note and submit it at worldalzmonth.org.  Use hashtags #WAM2016 and #RememberMe to join the global discussion.

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Updated Consumer Voice Conference Agenda Available

A newly updated preliminary conference agenda is now available on our website.  The new agenda provides more detail on plenaries and sessions.  Agenda highlights include:

  • The Wave of the Future for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
  • Raise the Floor: Quality Nursing Home Care Depends on Quality Jobs
  • Welcome Home: Supporting LGBT Older Adults in Residential Communities
  • Fighting for Dignity: Prevention of Distressing and Harmful Resident-to-Resident Interactions in Long-Term Care Homes
  • ...and much much more!

Remember, regular registration ends October 1st - Register Now!

Already registerd? We can't wait to see you there! Be sure you have reserved your hotel room by October 4th to take advantage of the Consumer Voice Conference rate.

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Consumer Voice Submits Comments to CMS on Special Focus Facility Program

On September 15th, Consumer Voice sent a leter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in support of the Special Focus Facility (SFF) program as a way to bring nursing facilities with a history of persistently poor care into compliance.  The letter provided comments on the proposed SFF memo on the following issues:

  • Consumer Voice agrees with with the Long-Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC) that the number of SFF slots per state should be increased to the pre-sequestration level and that CMS should establish a plan to ultimately include all the nursing homes on the candidate list.   If a nursing home’s performance is bad enough to qualify the facility for the candidate list, it should be designated a SFF.
  • We encourage CMS to require that the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman (SLTCO) have input into the selection of the SFF.
  • We recommend the following agencies/entities/programs also receive written notification of the SFF selection:  Adult Protective Services, guardianship programs, the QIO-QIN, the state Medicaid agency, the state nursing home administrator licensing board (a board might consider review of an administrator’s license based on the facility’s poor performance), and hospitals in the areas surrounding the SFF. 
  • We are concerned that although a facility may show improvement between two consecutive surveys, i.e. no deficiencies at a scope and severity of “F” or greater (or “G” or greater for LSC deficiencies) and no complaints substantiated with deficiencies at “F” or greater (or “G” or greater for LSC deficiencies), this time period is too short to indicate that sustainable improvement has been made.
  • We recommend that at least 25% of the surveys be conducted on a weekend and/or after business hours.
  • We are pleased to see that remedies must be imposed with increasing severity, but are concerned that there is not sufficient guidance on what increasing severity means.
Read the full letter here.

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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:

Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation in Long-Term Care Facilities - This NORC Issue page provides resources, reports, ombudsman best practices and information to share with consumers on elder abuse and elder justice.

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In this Issue

Check Out Consumer Voice's New Policy Break

September is World Alzheimer's Month

Updated Consumer Voice Conference Agenda Available

Consumer Voice Submits Comments to CMS on Special Focus Facilities Program

Spotlight on Educational Resources

Combined Federal Campaign


Thank you for your support!

Get Your Resident's Voice Entries in By This Friday!

As we approach the presidential election in November, Americans are talking about the candidates and issues.  Are residents engaged?
Get them started discussing politics and voting by participating in the Resident's Voice Challenge!  

Residents are encouraged to imagine they are running for "Resident President" and to discuss what types of changes they would make or issues that are important to them.   Submissions are due September 23rd! Thank you to all those who have already submitted entries!

We've made it easy to participate with the My Vote Matters Toolkit which includes instructions and everything you need to get your residents engaged in the discussion! You can also check out some of the other voting/election-related products in our online store.

Calendar of Events

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

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Thursday, September 15:
The United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce held a hearing to examine H.R. 3119, The Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act.

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Friday, September 16
Check out @NCEAatUSC's new website: ncea.acl.gov

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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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