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March 2023 | Volume 9, Issue 3

In this issue:

Federal Updates

Last month marked the one-year anniversary of President Biden's announcement of historic nursing home reforms. Creating a minimum staffing standard, which would be the most significant increase in protections for nursing home residents in decades, was central to his plan. Since his announcement, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has embarked on a study to determine the minimum level of direct nursing care all residents need and has promised to propose a standard this spring.

Read more federal updates related and the Consumer Voice's work.

Learn more »

New and Updated Resources

NEW! Ombudsman Program Resources Now Available in the Consumer Voice Store

Consumer Voice's Online Store has resources for Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs that will help programs advocate for residents of long-term care facilities and support resident self-advocacy. Shop a multitude of publications and products that provide information and raise awareness. Below are featured resources specifically for Ombudsman programs. Many of these materials could be used for volunteer appreciation and program promotion.

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NEW! Technical Assistance (TA) Talk Materials on Communication Tools

To increase direct access to technical assistance (TA) and peer support, NORC hosts quarterly live technical assistance dialogues. The March TA Talk discussed Communication Tools for Volunteer Recruitment, view the recording and materials here. Mark your calendar for the next TA Talk on June 21, 2023. Have questions, an idea for a future topic, or examples of training, consumer education, or successful advocacy? Email NORC at

NEW! FAQ on If Surveyors Have to Witness a Violation

It is not uncommon for a state surveyor to say they are unable to cite for non-compliance if they do not witness the violation themselves. However, that is not true. View a new FAQ that answers the question, "Do surveyors have to witness a violation themselves to issue a citation for non-compliance?"

NEW! Webinar Recording and Materials Available on Communications and Media Relations to Raise Awareness of the Ombudsman Program

During this webinar, we were joined by media experts, Kristin Hyde and Katie Hewitt, who provided an overview of media relations, offered tips on how to respond to media inquiries to elevate the awareness of the Ombudsman program, and discussed how to successfully use social media and digital communication tools to engage targeted audiences to attract more volunteers and gain support for the system.

NEW! Virtual Office Hour Resources

NORC hosts a virtual office hour the last Wednesday of each month at 2:00 pm ET. This is an opportunity to ask questions, share information, and have open conversations with your peers and NORC staff. These Zoom calls do not include a structured presentation and are open to all State Ombudsmen and their program representatives. Although these calls are not recorded and there is no formal presentation, a list of resources mentioned in each call is available on the NORC website. If your program has a resource related to the topic, please email

TA Hot Topic: Social Media Technical Assistance (TA) Tips

Do you have a question you want answered by NORC? On Tuesdays, the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) will share weekly Technical Assistance (TA) Tips on social media. The tips will be shared on NORC's Facebook and Twitter pages. The purpose of the TA Tips is to provide quick and engaging information on social media for the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program (LTCOP) network. If you have a question or a topic you would like addressed, email

TA Tips will provide:

  • Promotion of new NORC resources
  • Highlight previous NORC resources
  • Share best practice examples from LTCOPs
  • General information about the LTCOP
  • General TA answers to FAQs

If you are not on Facebook or Twitter, catch up on each month's TA Tips in the monthly email sent to our network. If you do not receive emails from NORC, sign-up here.

Learn more »

National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS) Corner: Documenting Information Shared

Question: My program frequently posts information on our website and social media platforms. We also email a monthly e-newsletter to our listserv which includes residents, family members, and our volunteers. Do these activities count as community education or information and assistance?

Answer: None of these activities count as community education or information and assistance. There is not a way to verify that recipients received and reviewed the information, so newsletters, blogs, and other forms of media do not count as community education. NORS defines information and assistance as providing individual instances of information to individuals or facility staff, so emailing an e-newsletter and posting information would not be documented as information and assistance. Review NORS Training Parts I and IV and NORS Tables 1 and 3 for additional information about information and assistance and community education.

For more information review our NORS FAQs.

Do you have a question about NORS? Email us at

Learn more »

News from the Network

Connecticut State Ombudsman, Mairead Painter, Interviewed on Several Long-Term Care Issues

Regional California Ombudsman Program Mentioned in an Article About Resident Phone Lines Being Down in a Sacramento Facility

Ohio Ombudsman Program Representative, Linda Kerdolff, Quoted Discussing Staffing

Ohio State Ombudsman, Jacqueline DeGenova, Quoted on New Ohio Nursing Home Task Force

Rhode Island State Ombudsman, Kathleen Heren, Interviewed on the Inappropriate Use of Antipsychotic Medications in Nursing Homes

Hawaii State Ombudsman, John McDermott, Interviewed on the Expansion of the Ombudsman Program

Volunteer Management: Volunteer Appreciation Week

POL - 2023 NVW Logo - Horizontal_No POL.jpgDuring the week of April 16th, organizations and companies across the country will be celebrating the impact of volunteers as part of National Volunteer Week (NVW). This year's theme is Shining a Light on the People and Causes That Inspire Us to Serve. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman program (LTCOP) could not be its best without the volunteers who help carry out the mission of advocating for long-term care residents.

We encourage Ombudsman programs to thank your volunteers and recognize their work publicly by sending NORC brief messages of appreciation for their dedicated advocacy (e.g., examples of their advocacy, years of service, photos). We will post your message on our website and highlight the submissions on social media. Email your submissions to

Watch a video from Beverley Laubert, Administration for Community Living, thanking volunteers for their dedicated service.

Learn more »

Quick Tips: Risk Management

NORC developed the Volunteer Risk Management Considerations for Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs (LTCOP) Worksheet. This worksheet provides key points to consider regarding risk management for LTCOPs. The chart highlights areas of risk and tips to reducing risk to help LTCOPs evaluate their programs to identify potential risk, review current program practices, and develop recommendations for improvements.

Learn more »



April 16-22, 2023: Volunteer Appreciation Week Learn more »

May 2023: Older Americans Month Learn more »

June 21, 2023: Quarterly Technical Assistance (TA) Talk – Topic TBD | 3:00 - 4:00 pm ET

June 15, 2023: World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) - Learn more »
Email NORC about your WEAAD Events »

October 2023: Save the Date - Residents' Rights Month

Last Wednesday of Each Month: Virtual Office Hour. Upcoming Topics: April - Facility Closures; May - Sexuality and Intimacy; June - Enhancing Access to LTCOP Services for residential care community (RCC) residents. Learn more »

Featured Consumer Voice Resource

Report - Where Do the Billions of Dollars Go? A Look at Nursing Home Related Party Transactions

Consumer Voice released its new report which documents how nursing homes funnel money through related party companies (companies they own). The report provides a detailed look at related parties and how nursing homes potentially use them to hide how much money they are making and to give the illusion that their facilities are not profitable. The report uses cost data submitted to the federal government by nursing homes to illustrate the industry-wide practice of related party transactions and how at the same time, residents face inadequate staffing and poor care. Read the report.

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Read past issues of the Ombudsman Outlook on the NORC website. If you did not receive this email directly and would like to sign-up to receive NORC emails please fill out the form on our website. If you would like to receive The Voice (the Consumer Voice weekly e-newsletter) automatically sign-up on the Consumer Voice website. If you have any questions, challenges, or article suggestions related to long-term care Ombudsman advocacy and program management, please let us know.

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