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August15, 2017

ACL's Independent Living Final Rule

Late last year, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) released the final rule for Independent Living (IL).  The final rule includes several changes in the core services provided by IL programs, the processes of developing and adopting state plans, and the functions of the State Independent Living Councils. As part of the new core services, all Centers for Independent Living must:

  • facilitate the transition of consumers with significant disabilities from an institutional setting to a home and community-based setting;
  • provide assistance, services, and supports to individuals with significant disabilities who self-identify as being at risk of entering institutions so that the consumers may remain in the community
  • facilitate the transition of youth with significant disabilities who are no longer in school and no longer receiving services under section 614 (d) of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

These requirements will help the federal IL program to continue to empower and enable consumers with disabilities to exercise full choice and control over their lives and to live independently in their communities.  Find more information here.

This information is provided as part of our Policy Break series.  Read past Policy Breaks on our website.

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Class Certified in "Observation Status" Lawsuit

In a federal court decision, a class has been certified for Medicare patients in the outpatient "observation status" case.  Justice in Aging, along with the Center for Medicare Advocacy, filed the original lawsuit in 2011.  After initially being dismissed, the case is now going forward.  Hospitals frequently categorize patients as an outpatient receiving "observation services" during their hospital stay, but Medicare only covers hospital care when a person is classified as inpatient.  This classification can leave patients owing thousands of dollars for their hospital stay and for medicine and other services received while under observation.  Medicaid does not permit beneficiaries to appeal the classification when they are in the hospital. 

The lawsuit alleges that Medicare must allow beneficiaries to challenge the decision that they are only receiving observation services.  The recent court decision certifies those who have had a stay in a hospital treated as observation status as a class.  Read the class certification order here.   If you or someone you know has been impacted by the use of "outpatient" observation status, submit your story to Justice in Aging here.

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CARE Documentary Broadcast Premiere on WORLD Channel on September 5

CARE, by Deirdre Fishel and Tony Heriza, shines a light on the relationships at the heart of the most supportive and sustainable long-term care option that we have: paid in-home caregiving. 90% of Americans wish to age at home, but many cannot depend exclusively on their family and friends for their needs and so they rely on the critical, compassionate and skilled services of paid care workers. The film urges viewers to consider the many barriers that keep people from doing this admirable work and others from receiving the care they need and deserve.
CARE has been on a nationwide community and campus screenings tour and now, you have a chance to catch it when it has its broadcast premiere on September 5th.

WORLD Channels “America ReFramed”
September 5, 2017
8 pm ET (East) and 9 pm PT (West)
Be sure to check your local listings here.

Want to learn more about the film, where to watch and how you can get involved? Visit http://caredocumentary.com/broadcast or contact Denae Peters at denae@filmsprout.org to learn more.

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Spotlight on 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:

Family Involvement in Nursing Home Care - This fact sheet from Consumer Voice provides information how family involvement can affect quality of care in a nursing home.

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In this Issue

ACL's Independent Living Final Rule

Class Certified in "Observation Status" Lawsuit

CARE Documentary Broadcast Premiere on WORLD Channel on September 5

Spotlight on Resources

Combined Federal Campaign


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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 © 2017.

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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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