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October 30, 2018

Comments Needed by Nov 19 on Proposed Rollback of Emergency Prep Rules

On September 20, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule impacting a wide range of Medicare providers that includes revisions to the new emergency preparedness regulations. The proposed rule is part of the agency’s efforts to “relieve burden on healthcare providers by removing unnecessary, obsolete or excessively burdensome Medicare compliance requirements for healthcare facilities.” The emergency preparedness requirements are targeted for rollback even though they were implemented less than a year ago.

The proposed rule changes a number of key provisions in the current rule.  Under the proposed rule, facilities would only be required to review and update their emergency plan, policies and procedures, communication plan, and training and testing program every two years rather than annually.  Also, staff training on emergency preparedness would no longer be required annually, but instead only every other year.  To read more about the proposed changes, click here.

Both Consumer Voice and Justice in Aging are extremely concerned that the proposed revisions would make nursing homes less ready when disaster strikes and subject residents to greater danger, even death.

CMS needs to hear from all of us that this proposed regulation is not acceptable!  Follow the 3 easy steps below to submit comments opposing this proposed rule by 11:59 PM ET on November 19, 2018.

  1. You can choose from two sample comment templates, developed by Consumer Voice and Justice in Aging:
    • Click here to download shorter comments.
    • Click here to download more in-depth comments addressing specific provisions in the rule.
  2. Personalize your comments with your name, your organization's name (if applicable), and your own experiences, observations, or concerns about the impact of these proposed changes.
  3. Click here to submit your comments.  For step-by-step instructions that navigates you through the comment portal, click here.
Additional Information Questions?  Contact us at info@theconsumervoice.org.

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Celebrating a Successful Residents' Rights Month

This has been a very exciting month celebrating Residents' Rights.  This year's theme “Speak Up: Know Your Rights and How to Use Them" emphasized the importance of residents being informed about their rights; being engaged partners in achieving quality care and quality of life; and feeling confident in speaking up about what is important to them. We have heard of celebrations from across the country of residents, facilities, ombudsmen, and other advocates honoring residents' rights and focusing on the respect and dignity of all residents.  Plus, we have heard many residents "Speak Up!" as a part of this year's Resident's Voice Challenge.

Be sure to check out the many wonderful entries to the Resident's Voice Challenge on our website.  Thank you to all who participated! Plus, check out events and media coverage of Residents' Rights Month nationwide.

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New LTCCC Report on Promising Practices in Assisted Living

Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC) has published a new report "Assisted Living: Promising Policies and Practices."  The report comes in response to a 2018 Government Accountability Office report, Medicaid Assisted Living Services: Improved Federal Oversight of Beneficiary Health and Welfare is Needed, which found that all too often states fail to protect ALF residents or even keep track of when they are harmed. 

LTCCC's new report provides information and insights into best practices and policies for assisted living. The report focuses on four areas of concern which were identified as particularly important to ensuring resident safety and a resident-centered and directed environment.  The areas include staff training requirements; dementia care; whether a registered nurse is employed; and state oversight and quality assurance.  Read the full report from LTCCC here.

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Brief on Understanding and Working with APS

The National Center on Elder Abuse, in collaboration with the National Adult Protective Services Association, has developed a three-part brief, Understanding and Working with Adult Protective Services.  The goal of these resource is to provide information for understanding and collaborating with Adult Protective Services (APS) in order to benefit older adults and adults with disabilities who are subjected to abuse, neglect, or exploitation (ANE), including sexual violence.  The three-part brief includes:

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ACL Webinar Series on State Strategies to Implement Federal HCBS Settings Criteria

The Administration for Community Living (ACL), in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) and other partners, is hosting a three-part technical assistance webinar series on innovative strategies states are taking to implement the federal settings criteria for home and community-based services (HCBS). You must register for each webinar in the series.

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Spotlight on Resources

Consumer Voice and the National Ombudsman Resource Center have a multitude of resources available online covering a wide range of long-term care topics. Visit the Consumer Voice and NORC websites to explore all the available resources.  Check out this week's highlighted resource:

Residents' Rights in Other Languages

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In this Issue

Comments Needed by Nov 19 on Proposed Rollback of Emergency Prep Rules

Celebrating a Successful Residents' Rights Month

New LTCCC Report on Promising Practices in Assisted Living

Brief on Understanding and Working with APS

ACL Webinar Series on State Strategies to Implement Federal HCBS Criteria

Spotlight on Resources

Thank You for a Successful Annual Conference!

Thank you to all who attended the 2018 Consumer Voice Conference last week in Alexandria, VA.  It was great to reconnect with old friends and see so many new faces!

Stay tuned - conference materials will be available shortly.

Plus, attendees, look out for the general conference evaluation which will be arriving in your inbox soon. We appreciate your feedback!

Calendar of Events

October: Residents' Rights Month

Thursday, November 8: Innovative State Approaches to Promoting Compliance with Federal HCBS Settings Criteria, 2:00pm ET, Part I of ACL Webinar Series

Tuesday, November 27: Giving Tuesday

Thursday, November 29: Promising State Strategies for Working with Providers to Meet with HCBS Settings Criteria & Promote Optimial Community Integration, 2:00pm ET, Part II of ACL Webinar Series

Thursday, December 13: After Receiving Final Statewide Transition Plan Approval: Tackling the Ongoing Systems-Change Work that Remains, 2:00pm ET, Part III of ACL Webinar Series

Join the conversation and follow us on social media!

Last Week's Most Popular Post:

Thursday, October 18:
NORC Director Amity Overall-Laib recently visited with nursing home resident Nancy Bradley.

Last Week's Most Popular Tweet:

Monday, October 22:

Sara Hunt wins the Elma Holder Founder's Award

Long-Term Care Resources & News

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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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