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February 11, 2020

In this Issue:

  1. Consumer Voice Founder Honored in McKnight's 40 for 40
  2. The Effect of Medicare's New Payment Model on Therapy: A First Hand Experience
  3. President's 2021 Budget Would Cut Funding for Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs
  4. HHS OIG Finds Life Safety and Emergency Preparedness Deficiencies at 18 of 20 Texas Nursing Homes
  5. Managing Someone Else's Money Guides Available as Ebooks

Consumer Voice Founder Honored in McKnight's 40 for 40

Consumer Voice's Founder Elma Holder has been honored as one of McKnight's Long-Term Care News 40 for 40.  As part of its 40th anniversary, McKnight’s is recognizing 40 notable newsmakers.  The article highlights Elma's many accomplishments and states "Elma Holder...arguably has done more than any other person in the past four decades to change the way nursing homes function....her legacy is one of truly improving care for residents." Read the article »

The Effect of Medicare's New Payment Model on Therapy: A First Hand Experience

A recent article by NextAvenue highlights one family's experience with Medicare's new Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) and provides tips on advocating for yourself or your loved one.  As of October 1, 2019, Medicare changed its payment policy for physical, occupational and speech therapy in skilled nursing facilities.  The new model bases reimbursement on a patient's diagnosis and medical needs, rather than the number of minutes a therapist treated the patient.  This change has resulted in companies pressuring therapists to do more group sessions than one-one-one sessions and laying off many therapists.  If you or your loved ones' therapy has changed since the introduction of the new reimbursement model, the article provides several suggestions for getting the services you need including:

  • Asking direct questions about the therapy
  • Getting to know case workers assigned to you or your loved ones and know your rights regarding therapy
  • Taking notes during each therapy session and letting the staff see you taking notes

 Read the article »

For more information about PDPM, read Consumer Voice's Policy Break on the issue.

President's 2021 Budget Would Cut Funding for Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs

President Trump unveiled his budget proposal for fiscal year 2021 on Monday.  The proposed budget includes cuts to Medicaid, Medicare and the Long Term Care Ombudsman Program.  The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program would be cut by $2 million. Other Administration for Community Living (ACL) programs that protect vulnerable adults like the Prevention of Elder Abuse and Neglect would incur no change in funding, and Elder Rights Support Activities would receive an increase of $2 million in funding.  See the Budget in Brief here (ACL begins on page 159).

HHS OIG Report Finds Life Safety and Emergency Preparedness Deficiencies at 18 of 20 Texas Nursing Homes

The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) has released a report in which it found life safety and emergency preparedness deficiencies at 18 of 20 Texas nursing homes.  In 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its life safety and emergency preparedness regulations to improve protections for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, including those residing in long-term care facilities.  HHS OIG's audit sought to determine if selected Texas nursing homes were compling with these Federal requirements.  Of the 1,229 nursing homes in Texas that participated in Medicare or Medicaid, HHS OIG selected a non-statistical sample of 20 of these nursing homes based on proximity to the Gulf of Mexicao and the highest number of deficiencies previously identified.  HHS OIG's inspections found 235 deficiencies with life safety requirements and 55 deficiencies with emergency preparedness requirements, putting residents at the 18 nursing homes at increased risk of injury or death during a fire or other emergency.  HHS OIG recommended that Texas follow up with these nursing homes to verify that corrective actions have been taken regarding these deficiencies. Read the report »
Managing Someone Else's Money Guides Available as Ebooks
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Managing Someone Else's Money guides are now available as ebooks.  These guides help financial caregivers understand their role as a fiduciary, spot financial exploitation and avoid scams. Get the guides as ebooks »
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