September 19, 2023
In this Issue:
- Step-by-Step Instructions for Commenting on the Proposed Minimum Staffing Standard in Nursing Homes
- GAO Report Finds Transparency Gaps in Private Equity Nursing Home Ownership
- Materials Available from TA Talk on the National Paralysis Resource Center
- Supreme Court to Hear CFPB Case October 3rd
- Consumer Voice Conference Hotel Block Ending October 2nd; Sessions for Attorneys and Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Representatives
- CMS Announces Revisions to Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program
- October Trainings from the Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health in Nursing Facilities
Step-by-Step Instructions for Commenting on the Proposed Minimum Staffing Standard in Nursing Homes
On September 6, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the long-awaited Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing a minimum staffing standard in nursing homes. Consumer Voice believes the proposed staffing standard does not go far enough to protect residents of nursing homes. Read Consumer Voice's statement on the proposed rule.
More information on how to submit detailed comments is forthcoming. If you would like to comment now, visit our new webpage with step-by-step instructions on how to comment and suggestions for talking points to include.
All comments are due by November 6, 2023.
We strongly urge you to encourage others to comment. It is vital that CMS hears from as many people as possible that this rule needs to be strengthened!
Thank you for making your voice heard!
GAO Report Finds Transparency Gaps in Private Equity Nursing Home Ownership
House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard E. Neal (D-MA) released a report titled “Limitations of Using CMS Data to Identify Private Equity and Other Ownership” from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) that shows transparency gaps in the data collected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to identify private equity and other owners in nursing homes. GAO was asked to review CMS’s nursing home ownership data for information about private equity owners. Their report 1) estimates the percentage of Medicare-enrolled nursing homes in 2022 that were private equity-owned and 2) describes the limitations of using CMS’s data to identify private equity and other owners of nursing homes. The report found significant limitations in CMS' ability to identify a nursing homes' ownership, including those that are private equity-owned.
Transparency in nursing home ownership is critical - different types of nursing home ownership result in different care quality for residents. For instance, a recent study documented that Medicare residents in nursing homes, owned by private equity investment firms, had an increased mortality rate of 10%. Nursing home residents and their families must have access to reliable and thorough ownership information when making decisions about their care. Consumer Voice has been continually advocating for increased transparency of nursing home ownership. Visit our website to learn more about the issue.
Materials Available from TA Talk on the National Paralysis Resource Center
Materials are available from the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC)'s TA Talk on the National Paralysis Resource Center. The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation National Paralysis Resource Center (NPRC) has provided free, comprehensive information and support to the paralysis community for over twenty years. This TA Talk explored the many resources offered by the NPRC to empower people living with paralysis, their families, and caregivers to live independent, healthy, and fulfilling lives. The TA Talk is relevant to long-term care Ombudsman program representatives and other advocates.
Get the materials.
Supreme Court to Hear CFPB Case October 3rd
On October 3rd, the US Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Community Financial Services Association v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The court will be reviewing the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit which threatens the viability of the CFPB and could destabilize a wide range of agencies, from the Federal Reserve Board to the Social Security Administration. Over its 12-year history, the CFPB has worked to protect consumers and enforce regulations against unfair and deceptive practices, returning nearly $20 billion in restitution and canceled debts to tens of mllions of consumers.
What You Can Do
- Join the Center for American Progress and Senator Elizabeth Warren for a panel discussion on How the Supreme Court's Decision in CFPB v CFSA Could Harm Consumers, in-person in Washington, DC and online Thursday, September 28th at 1:00pm ET
- Participate in a social media storm on September 28th and October 3rd using #DefendCFPB and #ProtectConsumers
- Send a letter to your Senators and Representatives to urge them to support the CFPB; follow the steps from the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC)
- Submit a letter to the editor of your local paper, using NCLC's tips and talking points
Consumer Voice Conference Hotel Block Ending October 2nd; Sessions for Attorneys and Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Representatives
Rooms are still available at the overflow hotel, the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel, just a 5 minute walk from the conference hotel. Rooms are available for $189/night (plus taxes and fees) from Monday, October 30 - Thursday, November 1, 2023. Rooms are available at this rate until Monday, October 2, 2023 or until the block is full, whichever happens first. Reserve your room ASAP.
The Consumer Voice Conference will feature multiple can't-miss sessions, discussions with experts, and opportunities to network with advocates from across the country. See a list of sessions of particular interest to attorneys and long-term care Ombudsman program representatives, and see the full conference agenda. We're looking forward to seeing you in Baltimore - or online - in just about a month!
CMS Announces Revisions to Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a memo regarding civil money penalty (CMP) funds. CMS is revising the structure of the CMP Reinvestment Program, including:
- Allowable Uses of CMP projects – CMS is updating the criteria for categories of allowable uses by adding maximum funding limits (i.e., caps) for projects. The new criteria is effective immediately and applies to all new and pending applications.
- Non-Allowable Uses of CMP Funds – CMS is providing an updated comprehensive list of non-allowable uses of CMP funds.
- Ensuring Internet Access for Residents – CMS is soliciting information from facilities that do not have facility-wide wireless internet access for residents, to explore the reasons and possible solutions
Read the full memo.
October Trainings from the Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health in Nursing Facilities
The Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health in Nursing Facilities (COE-NF) is offering six training opportunities in October. The trainings are targeted to nursing facility staff and are available free of charge.
- Tools for Creating Calm in Times of Distress - Part 1, Thursday, Oct. 5 at 2:00pm ET and Part 2, Thursday, Oct. 19 at 2pm ET
- Addressing Co-occurring Disorders in Nursing Facilities - Wednesday, October 11 at 2:00pm ET
- An Overview of Bipolar Disorder for Nursing Facility Staff - Thursday, October 17, 2:00pm ET
- Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) Suicide Prevention Training - Wednesday, October 18 2:00pm ET
- Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) - Friday, October 20 11:00am ET - To register for this training, send your name, agency and training date to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, October 13.
- Person-Centered Care in Nursing Facilities: How to Make it Work: Part 2 - Tuesday, October 24 2:00pm ET