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March 19, 2024

In this Issue:

  1. President Biden's Proposed 2025 Budget
  2. New Video Ombudsman Programs Can Use for Volunteer Promotion and Recruitment
  3. Nursing Home Staffing Webinar This Thursday

President Biden's Proposed 2025 Budget

On March 11, 2024, President Biden revealed his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2025. While short on details, the budget laid out various proposals that would affect both nursing home care and Home and Community Based Services (HCBS).  President Biden continues his previous efforts to improve and expand HCBS, while requiring increased quality measure reporting. Like previous budgets, President Biden proposes increasing scrutiny on nursing home ownership, particularly private equity, increasing per-instance civil monetary penalties, and holding facilities accountable for “noncompliant closure and substandard care.”  Consumer Voice strongly supports these proposals and is eager to work with the Biden Administration on their implementation.

Consumer Voice is concerned, however, about a new proposal that would “reduce survey frequency for high-performing (LTC) facilities.” An idea long supported by the nursing home industry, Consumer Voice has opposed the reduction of survey frequency for nursing homes, regardless of their past performance. Nursing homes must undergo a re-certification survey at least every fifteen months.  Reducing that frequency would place many nursing home residents at risk of harm.

This proposal is particularly troubling in light of last year’s Senate Aging report, “Uninspected and Neglected,” documenting the failures of the current nursing home survey and inspection system. Years of flat funding for nursing home surveys and enforcement have resulted in significant delays and unreliable survey results. However, the solution is not to reduce the amount of oversight and protection for nursing home residents. Instead, the administration should explore other alternatives, including using data to focus surveys, supporting efforts by state agencies to hire and train more survey staff, and making clear to Congress that flat funding for nursing home surveys is not acceptable.

Read President Biden’s complete proposed budget. The proposals discussed above occur on page 146.

New Video Ombudsman Programs Can Use for Volunteer Promotion and Recruitment

Play Button.pngThe National Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) modified a volunteer recruitment video, created by the Maine Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, to make it available for all states to use. This new video can be used for volunteer recruitment and promotion. The video can also be shared in your state to showcase the impact and importance of volunteers within the Ombudsman program, and encourage others to get involved.

Volunteer Appreciation Week is April 21-27, 2024 and is an opportunity to recognize the effect of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to build stronger communities and be a force that transforms the world. Use this video during the month of April to promote the volunteer program. 

Nursing Home Staffing Webinar This Thursday

Staffing webinarNursing home workers, residents, and families celebrated when the Biden Administration announced a proposed rule to set federal minimum staffing standards for nursing homes across the country. This historic first step to bring necessary change in our long-term care system was championed by those who have long pushed for reform to improve jobs and improve care to an industry in crisis. Yet despite the demand, the nursing home industry continues to make excuses. They, along with GOP Members of Congress, are looking for ways to try to stop this life-saving reform.

Join nursing home workers, residents and family members for a webinar with Consumer Voice and SEIU this Thursday, March 21st, at 2pm ET as we continue our demand for minimum federal staffing standards. Importantly, this webinar will focus on how safe staffing is possible. National expert on nursing home finances, Ernest Tosh, will join the webinar to break down the financials and rebut the narrative that the industry does not have enough money.

Register Now

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