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October 4, 2022

In this Issue:

  1. It's Residents' Rights Month
  2. Consumer Voice Submits Comments on Rule Prohibiting Discrimination in Health Care
  3. Next EJCC Meeting November 15th
  4. New Consumer Brochure for Older Adults on Supporting Social Connections and Emotional Wellness

It's Residents' Rights Month

RRM 2022 LogoOctober 1st marked the beginning of a month-long celebration of residents' rights. Spend time this month honoring residents living in all long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, sub-acute units, assisted living, board and care, and retirement communities. Plus, take time to focus on individuals receiving care in their homes or communities.

Being a part of a community is essential to our well-being. Throughout the pandemic, residents of long-term care facilities were disconnected from the resident and staff communities within their facilities when activities and group dining were limited. Residents were disconnected from the broader local community when visitation was restricted, and many residents were unable to leave their facilities to participate in outside activities.

This year's Residents’ Rights Month theme - Inspiring Unity within Our Community - emphasizes the importance of fostering meaningful community within the facility and encouraging residents’ connection to their local community.

  • Share how you plan to celebrate Residents' Rights Month by emailing photos and details to info@theconsumervoice.org. Participate on social media by using
    #InspiringUnitywithinOurCommunity  and #ResidentsRightsMonth throughout the month of October.
  • Thank you to all of the long-term care consumers who submitted entries for this year's Resident's Voice Challenge. View all submissions on our website.

Congratulations to the pieces selected for the poster contest:

Robertson artwork Carrington Place art
Left: Artwork by residents at Robertson County Healthcare Facility in Mount Olivet, KY. Right: Artwork by residents at Carrington Place Nursing Center in Matthews, NC.

Consumer Voice Submits Comments on Rule Prohibiting Discrimination in Healthcare

Yesterday, Consumer Voice sent a letter to the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services commenting on the notice of proposed rulemaking on Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The Health Care Rights Law (Section 1557 of the ACA) prohibits discrimination in health care on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability.  These prohibitions on discrimination are essential for residents of long-term care to receive high quality care in an environment free from discriminatory practices.

Consumer Voice supports:

  • Section 1557 applying broadly to health programs and activities.
  • Medicare Part B treated as federal financial assistance (FFA), and Part B providers as recipients under Section 1557.
  • Ensuring that the more than 6.5 million seniors over age 60 and four million people with Medicare who are limited English proficient (LEP) can access care and services, receive important healthcare information in a language they understand, and be informed of their rights and how to enforce them.
  • Requiring that individuals be notified of their rights of nondiscrimination and of availability of language assistance services and auxiliary aids and services.
  • Designating a Section 1557 Coordinator, establishing policies and procedures, and training employees.
  • Clear, accessible procedures for filing, investigating, and remediating discrimination complaints, including intersectional claims.
  • Strong prohibitions on sex discrimination in order to address health disparities for LGBTQ+ older adults.
  • Preserving prior existing requirements for structural accessibility and the reasonable modifications and incorporating the U.S. Access Board’s accessible medical and diagnostic equipment standards in the final rule.
  • Prohibiting discriminatory plan benefit design and marketing practices.
  • Prohibiting discrimination through the use of clinical algorithms in decision-making and broadening the prohibition to include any form of automated decision-making system.
  • Prohibiting discrimination in telehealth services.
  • Adopting a demographic data collection requirement and establishing demographic data collection as a function of civil rights monitoring.

For more information, read the full letter.

Next EJCC Meeting November 15th

The Elder Justice Coordinating Council (EJCC) is holding its next meeting Tuesday, November 15, 2022 from 10am-12pm ET.  The EJCC, established by the Elder Justice Act, coordinates activities related to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation across the federal government.

The meeting will feature two panels that will explore the reauthorization of the Elder Justice Act and how legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic has strengthened adult protective services programs around the country. The meeting will be livestreamed and open to the public.

Register for the meeting.

New Consumer Brochure for Older Adults on Supporting Social Connections and Emotional Wellness

The Eldercare Locator and engAGED: The National Resource Center for Engaging Older Adults have created a new consumer-friendly brochure, Staying OK: Tips for Supporting Your Social Connections and Emotional Wellness.  The brochure provides older adults with social engagement tips and tools to stay connected to their communities as well as suggestions for ways older adults can connect to mental health services and supports if needed. It is available in English and Spanish and is customizable so organizations can add their own logo and contact information before sharing.

Get the Brochure.

Thank You to Consumer Voice Fall Intern Faith O'Malley

faith-omalley.pngThank you to Consumer Voice's Fall intern, Faith O'Malley! Her skills and knowledge have helped us enormously as we build our organization and address the serious and complex issues facing long-term care residents. Faith O’Malley is a 2L at Willamette University College of Law. As a Public Policy Intern at Consumer Voice, Faith has been researching arbitration and related party transactions. Faith has also been updating and creating documents about staffing issues and community building.

The internship program is funded, in part, by the Jackie Koenig Memorial Fund. Jackie Koenig was the Consumer Voice's first Communications Director who later became director of the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center. One of Jackie's passions was mentoring new people in gerontology.  The Jackie Koenig Memorial Fund was created in her memory. Thank you to all who have contributed to the Jackie Koenig Memorial Fund, if you would like to support our internship program, make a donation.

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