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October 29, 2019

In this Issue:

  1. Older Americans Act Reauthorization Passes House
  2. CMS Begins Using Icon to Identify Abuse in Nursing Homes
  3. Research Shows Having a Certified Infection Preventionist on Staff Means Stronger Antibiotic Stewardship
  4. Reminder: First NORS Technical Assistance Open Dialogue Webinar is Tomorrow
  5. CMS Webinar on the Opioid Epidemic and Considerations for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities  
  6. Interactive Map Displays Nursing Home Complaint Trends 2016-2018

Older Americans Act Reauthorization Passes House

The House has passed H.R. 4334, the Dignity in Aging Act of 2019, which reauthorizes the Older Americans Act.  The bill maintains funding for the work of the long-term care ombudsman program and continued authority for the National Center on Elder Abuse and National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC).  Other provisions in the bill update elder justice activities to include community outreach and education and further coordination of services to address social isolation.

For long-term care ombudsman programs, changes ensure that new funding is not supplanted by reducing local, state, or other funding sources; update references to fiscal years from 2000 to 2019; and codify that ombudsman programs may expend funds on the costs of using volunteers.  Learn more about the bill »

CMS Begins Using Icon to Identify Abuse in Nursing Homes
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has begun using a red icon to identify nursing homes with certain abuse violations on Nursing Home Compare. It will also lower the health inspection star ratings for these facilities.  The icon will be removed after the facility has corrected the deficiency and has gone a full cycle (about 1 year) with no abuse citations on any survey (standard or complaint).

Thanks to those of you who sent a thank-you email to CMS Administrator Seema Verma.  Learn more about Consumer Voice's response to this icon »

PillsResearch Shows Having a Certified Infection Preventionist on Staff Means Stronger Antibiotic Stewardship
Research from Columbia University has found that nursing homes with a certified infection preventionist on staff are more likely to have effective antibiotic stewardship programs.  The study published in the American Journal of Infection Control found that nursing homes with a certified infection preventionist (IP) were nearly five times more likely to have comprehensive antibiotic stewardship programs when compared to IPs with no specific training.  The study also found that nursing homes with staff that participated in Quality Innovation Network - Quality Improvement Organization activities were nearly twice as likely to have comprehensive antibiotic stewardship programs.Learn more in the article from McKnight's »

NORC logoReminder: First NORS Technical Assistance Open Dialogue Webinar is Tomorrow

Join the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) for the first in a series of NORS technical assistance open dialogue webinars now that the revised NORS data collection has been effective for a few weeks (as of October 1, 2019).

Do you have any questions as you enter your work under the revised NORS data collection? If so, join this webinar series to have an informal question and answer session. During each webinar presenters will provide a brief overview of key points for the relevant NORS topics and then attendees are free to ask questions regarding that topic.

Join tomorrow, Wednesday, October 30th at 3:00pm ET for the first webinar, focused on Case, Complaint, Complainant, and Information and Assistance (Part I).

You only need to register once to attend all webinars. Register now »

CMS Webinar on the Opioid Epidemic and Treatment Considerations for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities

Join the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) tomorrow, Wednesday, October 30th, for a webinar on Aging, the Opioid Epidemic, and Treatment Considerations for American Indian and Alaska Native Communities.  The LTSS webinar will introduce participants to the Opioid Response Network STR-TA and provide an overview of the intersection of aging and the opioid epidemic. Presenters will discuss examples and implications for treatment and care in American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities. Register Now »

Nursing Home Complaint MapInteractive Map Displays Nursing Home Complaint Trends 2016-2018

The HHS Office of Inspector General has updated their interactive map displaying details on nursing home complaint trends between 2016 and 2018. Specifically, it displays details on nursing home complaint trends between 2016 and 2018 for each State, including the number of complaints received and the number of the most serious complaints that a State investigated late. See the map »

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