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July 10, 2018

New York Times Article Confirms Consumer Voice Concerns about Nursing Home Staffing Levels and Data

The New York Times article, 'It’s Almost Like a Ghost Town.’ Most Nursing Homes Overstated Staffing for Years, substantiates Consumer Voice’s long-standing concern about the inaccuracy of previous staffing information based on self-reporting and what we have heard from residents, families, ombudsmen and other advocates for years – staffing is inadequate, particularly on the weekends.

The Consumer Voice advocated for a payroll-based staffing data collection system to increase the accuracy and reliability of staffing information and is pleased that it is now operational.  However, the fluctuations in staffing levels discussed in the article prevent consumers from getting a true picture of a nursing home’s available staff. While progress has been made in the government’s website, Nursing Home Compare, and five-star rating system, further refinements of the data must be made.

The article underscores the relationship between staffing levels and quality.  It demonstrates yet again the critical importance of adequate numbers of staff and speaks to the need for a staffing standard to ensure that residents in all facilities receive at least a minimum level of nursing care.

Consumers and the public must send a strong message to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Congress, and state legislatures that stronger, not weaker standards are needed, and rolling back nursing home regulations to reduce the burden on nursing home providers is not acceptable.  

Read Consumer Voice's full statement here.

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Join our Leadership Council and Make a Difference!

Consumer Voice is accepting applications for our Leadership Council! The Leadership Council is Consumer Voice's governing body that focuses on public policy and program agenda development and implementation.  The Consumer Voice also has a Governing Board, which focuses on organizational oversight, fiscal management, and fund development.

For the Leadership Council, we are looking for thoughtful leaders who can help us expand our influence and achieve goals such as raising the voice of long-term care consumers in national policy discussions, advancing quality in nursing homes and other long-term care settings, and expanding our expertise in home and community-based care settings.

To be eligible for the Leadership Council, an individual must fall into at least one of three categories:

  • Consumer Representative - including current and former residents of long-term care facilities, recipient of home care services, family members of individuals receiving services, or consumer advocacy organization representative
  • Long-Term Care Ombudsman
  • Issue/Policy Expert

Leadership Council Member terms are for 3 years.  Meetings are held every other month by conference call, with one in-person meeting a year at the Consumer Voice Annual Conference.  Leadership Council members are also expected to be members of the Consumer Voice.  Information about membership can be found on our website.  More information about Consumer Voice and its Leadership Council can be found here.

Applications are due no later than July 31, 2018.  Click here for the application.  

*Please be sure to include a current biography and resume in your application.  If you have trouble including it in the online application, please email your bio and resume to info@theconsumervoice.org.

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Webinar on Building Relationships Between Managed Care Organizations and Beneficiary Ombudsman Programs

Join the Integrated Care Resource Center for a webinar on Thursday, July 12th 2:00pm-3:00pm ET on "Building Relationships between Managed Care Organizations and Beneficiary Ombudsman Programs."  This Study Hall Call will highlight the importance of beneficiary ombudsman programs and provide an overview of available supports, including Medicare resources and state programs that provide assistance to dually eligible beneficiaries. Representatives from Ohio’s Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman and CareSource, a MyCare Ohio health plan, will share promising practices and lessons learned from their efforts supporting beneficiaries enrolled in MyCare Ohio, a capitated financial alignment demonstration.  Register here.

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Deadline Extended for Leadership Awards Nominations

The deadline to submit nominations for the Consumer Voice Leadership Awards has been extended until this Friday, July 13.  You now have more time to nominate your leaders!  We encourage you to nominate individuals you know that are dedicated to “quality now” and have made significant contributions to improving the lives of long-term care consumers.

Visit our website for additional information about the awards and nomination process.

There are 3 easy steps to submit a nomination!

  1. Review the award categories and criteria.
  2. Complete the nomination form via SurveyMonkey.
  3. Submit a letter of recommendation to info@theconsumervoice.org.

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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:

Infographic: Detecting and Preventing Bullying Among Older Adults

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In this Issue

New York Times Article Confirms Consumer Voice Concerns about Nursing Home Staffing Levels and Data

Join our Leadership Council and Make a Difference!

Webinar on Building Relationships Between Managed Care Organizations and Beneficiary Ombudsman Programs

Deadline Extended for Leadership Award Nominations

Spotlight on Resources

Calendar of Events

Thursday, July 12: Building Relationships Between Managed Care Organizations and Ombudsman Programs, 2:00pm ET, Webinar from Integrated Care Resource Center

Thursday, July 12: Annual Open House and Jackie Koenig Memorial Internship Program Fundraiser, 4:00pm-6:00pm, Consumer Voice's Washington, DC office, RSVP to info@theconsumervoice.org

September 5-7: National Center for Victims of Crime 2018 National Training Institute

October: Residents' Rights Month, Speak Up: Know Your Rights and How to Use Them

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

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Monday, July 2:
Check out our new Residents' Rights bookmarks!

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Thursday, July 5:

"When drag comes to a retirement community, that's progress"

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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