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March 6, 2018

Act Now: Contact Congress Again to Fund MFP

Your actions in early February to ask the Senate to fund the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program (#FundMFP) made a big impact.  Now it is time to go all out and make a big push to pass the EMPOWER Care Act!

The MFP program is a Medicaid program that has helped more than 75,000 long-term care consumers move from nursing homes and other institutions to the community.  But the MFP program has expired, and without additional funding, every state will stop transitioning new individuals THIS YEAR.  The March omnibus spending bill may be our last chance to pass the EMPOWER Care Act to extend this important program before funding runs out entirely.

Help long-term care consumers continue to transition into the community by taking the following action steps below.

  1. Wednesday, March 7: Join in the national call-in day.  RSVP to this Facebook event.
  2. Thursday, March 8: Participate in the social media day to #FundMFP.  RSVP to this Facebook event.  Use the sample tweets and posts in this Social Media Toolkit when posting to Facebook and Twitter.
  3. Before Friday, March 9: Contact your members in Congress by sending a pre-crafted message.  Click here to send your message.
By passing the EMPOWER Care Act and funding the Money Follows the Person program, Congress can help more long-term care consumers transition out of nursing homes and into the homes and communities of their choice.   For more information, click here.

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Residents' Rights Fact Sheet Now Available in Russian

Newly updated Residents' Rights fact sheets are now available in Russian.  These newly updated fact sheets provide essential information on the residents' rights guaranteed by the 1987 Reform Law.  The fact sheet is available for free download from our website or purchase in bulk from our online store.  Other languages available include English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean and Tagalog.  The fact sheet is also available for purchase in braille.

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Congress Repeals Medicare Outpatient Therapy Caps

Congress repealed the Medicare outpatient therapy caps which served as a barrier to care for anyone receiving outpatient therapy services.  The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 Section 50202 included "Repeal of Medicare Payment Cap for Therapy Services; Limitation to Ensure Appropriate Therapy." The repeal of the caps is retroactive to all physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology services provided after December 31, 2017.  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Serivces (CMS) has not yet updated CMS.gov or Medicare.gov to reflect the repeal, but CMS issued a special edition of the Medicare Learning Network Connects newsletter focusing on the repeal. 

The Center for Medicare Advocacy's alert on the issue stated "Together with the Settlement Agreement in Jimmo v. Sebelius, No. 11-cv-17 (D. VT), Medicare beneficiaries should now be able to continue receiving outpatient therapy to improve or maintain their current conditions, or to slow or prevent the further deterioration of their conditions, without having to overcome arbitrary payment caps as barriers to care." 

For more information, read the entirety of their alert here.

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Resources Available for National Crime Victims' Rights Week in April

National Crime Victims' Rights Week is April 8-14.  This year's theme is Expand the Circle: Reach All Victims, which emphasizes the importance of inclusion in victim services.  The Office for Victims of Crime has released a 2018 National Crime Victims' Rights Week Resource Guide with outreach tools, information and practical ideas to reach all victims.  Find the materials here.

Consumer Voice has several new resources regarding victims of abuse, neglect, exploitation and misappropriation of property.  Visit our website for training materials including a Prezi with voiceover, Powerpoint slides and a new fact sheet.

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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:

NORC Notes - A new issue of NORC Notes is available for long-term care ombudsman regarding systems advocacy.  Long-Term Care Ombudsman can subscribe to NORC Notes by emailing info@theconsumervoice.org.

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In this Issue

Act Now: Contact Congress Again to Fund MFP

Residents' Rights Fact Sheets Now Available in Russian

Congress Repeals Medicare Outpatient Therapy Caps

Resources Available for National Crime Victims' Rights Week in April

Spotlight on Resources

Call for 2018 Annual Conference Session Proposals

Proposals are due March 16th. 
More info here.

Calendar of Events

Tuesday, March 20: Dementia Care: Person-Centered Care Planning and Practice Recommendations Call, 1:30pm ET, Medicare Learning Network Call

April 8-14: National Crime Victims' Rights Week

May: Older Americans Month

October 22-24: Consumer Voice Annual Conference, Alexandria, Virginia

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Friday, March 2:
The Alzheimer's Association has released new Dementia Care Practice Recommendations

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Wednesday, February 28:

The Administration for Community Living has released a new issue brief entitled "The Opioid Public Health Emergency and Older Adults"

Long-Term Care Resources & News

Read past issues of The Voice here.

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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 © 2018.

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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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