Spread the word » Facebook Twitter

The National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care

August 30, 2011

Register for the 2011 Consumer Voice Annual Conference & Meeting

This year's Consumer Voice Annual Conference & Meeting October 25 to 28 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is rapidly approaching. The Consumer Voice recently updated the online Conference program to include many workshop session titles and descriptions. Attend exciting and informative workshops like Using the Law to Advocate for Residents of Long-Term Care, Shutting the Door on Scammers: Promising Practices to Combat Exploitation, Federal Responses to Elder Abuse in Long-Term Care Facilities: What Works, What Doesn't and How can the Federal Government Better Protect Long-Term Care Consumers?, Back into the Closet: An Overview of the LGBT Older Adult Experience in Long-Term Care Today and more.

The Conference also features a social event - an evening of food, entertainment and sharing with fellow conference attendees - and Residents' Rights Month Luncheon as well as numerous networking and training opportunities. Additionally, the Consumer Voice is pleased to have its lowest room rate in two years - rooms are available for $114/night plus taxes. Many major U.S. cities fly direct to Grand Rapids or through a quick connection in two nearby cities. Grand Rapids is just a few hours by car from Chicago, Indianapolis and Cleveland.

Regular Registration ends September 30. For more information on the conference, visit the Consumer Voice website.

Back to top

Study Reveals High Use of Arbitration Agreements in North Carolina Nursing Homes

Forty-three percent of North Carolina nursing homes have pre-dispute, binding arbitration agreements in their admissions contracts, according to a new study, and all the major chains operating in the state use them in at least some of their facilities. The study found in many counties, 50 to 100 percent of facilities were using the agreements, which may force residents to have cases of abuse and neglect heard by a private arbitrator rather than tried in a court. Large chains tend to use model language advocated by the American Health Care Association, including AHCA-recommended provisions giving residents 30 days to rescind the agreement and say that arbitration is not a condition of admission. The study found some North Carolina homes require applicants to sign arbitration agreements even though the language in the agreements says they are voluntary.

The study was conducted by Lisa Tripp, law professor at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta and member of the Consumer Voice Governing Board. See Arbitration in Nursing Home Cases: An Empirical Study and Critique of AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion.

Back to top

Advocacy Group Says Medicare Payments to SNFs Are High in Spite of Cuts

The Center for Medicare Advocacy says that in spite of the government’s recent 11.1 percent overall reduction in Medicare reimbursement rates for skilled nursing facilities, rates are still 3.4 percent higher than they were in 2010 and that “Medicare remains the most highly profitable source of payment for SNF care,” with a top rate of $754 a day in rural facilities. Center attorney Toby Edelman urges advocates to “take steps to assure that facilities do not compromise quality of care for residents by cutting the staff, food, and supplies that are essential for resident care.” The August 25 CMA Alert cites studies showing that Medicare overpays SNFs, making these facilities “extremely profitable” without improving resident care.  The Alert includes suggestions for advocacy on behalf of residents in nursing homes that receive Medicare reimbursement.

See Medicare Reimbursement For Skilled Nursing Facilities Remains High For 2010 Despite Reductions In Overpayments.

Back to top

AoA Announces Awards for National Center on Elder Abuse - Consumer Voice Included as Sub-Grantee

Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee announced two new grants last week totaling $761,000 for the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA).

Under these grants, the University of California, Irvine will receive a $561,000 award for the NCEA Information Clearinghouse, which will serve as a source of information related to the detection and prevention of elder abuse. The NCEA also provide technical assistance on developing prevention, intervention and response methods for addressing elder abuse.

The Consumer Voice is pleased to be a sub-grantee on this project, and our work on this initiative will include information briefs, consumer education materials, conference calls/webinars and other educational materials/opportunities related to abuse, neglect or exploitation.

The grants also include first-time funding specifically dedicated to elder abuse prevention in Indian Country. As part of the grants, the Clearinghouse will also provide information and technical support and disseminate best practices for state, local and Tribal practitioners. The University of North Dakota will receive a $200,000 award for the NCEA Native American Elder Justice Initiative. This initiative will work to address the "lack of culturally appropriate information and community education materials on elder abuse, neglect and exploitation in Indian Country," said a recent Administration on Aging news release. Undertakings of the initiative will include establishing a resource center on elder abuse to assist tribes in addressing elder abuse, neglect and exploitation as well as identifying existing materials, resources and tribal codes that address elder abuse.

Back to top

About The Gazette

The Gazette is a weekly e-newsletter, published by the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care and the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center. If you do not wish to continue receiving this publication, please unsubscribe. Your contributions and comments are welcome and should be sent to rlivesay@theconsumervoice.org. Copyright © 2011.

The 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. The Consumer Voice's mission is to represent consumers at the national level for quality long-term care, services and supports.

You have received this e-mail through your subscription to the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care's e-mail list.

Recipients of this e-mail include all state long-term care ombudsmen, Consumer Voice members and other individuals who have subscribed to our e-mail list.

If you did not subscribe, or would no longer like to receive e-mail updates, unsubscribe here.

National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care - 1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 425 - Washington, DC 20036 - telephone: (202) 332-2275 - fax: (202) 332-2949 - info@theconsumervoice.org