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March 17, 2020

In this Issue:

  1. CMS Issues More Restrictive Guidance
  2. CMS COVID-19 Virtual Partner Toolkit
  3. New Resource on Legal Assistance for Older Americans & COVID-19
  4. Older Americans Act Reauthorization Passes House
  5. Due Friday: Session Proposals for 2020 Consumer Voice Conference
  6. Materials Available from NORC Webinar on Mentoring and Monitoring Volunteers

Visit the Consumer Voice website for
tips and resources related to COVID-19.


 

CMS Issues More Restrictive Guidance

The most recent guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on nursing home infection control and prevention of COVID-19, released late on March 13, further restricts visitation and entry to facilities, and suspends communal activities.
 
All visitors except those in compassionate care situations, such as end of life care, and non-essential health care personnel are restricted. The decisions about visitation during a compassionate situation are to be made on a case by case basis. Note: visitation may be further limited by state action (e.g. Governor’s Executive Order).

Exceptions are:

  • Health care personnel who meet CDC guidelines for health care workers (facility staff, but also others who provide care, such as hospice workers and dialysis technicians); access guidelines here and here.
  • Surveyors who have no COVID-19 symptoms.

Communal dining and all group activities, both internal and external, must be suspended.

Learn more about restrictions for visitors, residents, ombudsmen, staff, and non-healthcare providers »

CMS COVID-19 Virtual Partner Toolkit

CMS has created a Virtual Partner Toolkit with materials from CMS and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The toolkit provides information for the general public, Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, marketplace consumers, clinicians, individuals in a care setting, and health plans and states.  CMS encourages bookmarking the page and checking back often for the most up-to-date information. View the toolkit »

New Resource on Legal Assistance for Older Americans & COVID-19

The Administration for Community Living (ACL), in partnership with the National Center on Law & Elder Rights, has created a new document, Legal Assistance for Older Americans & COVID-19, for legal assistance programs to use while adjusting their policies and procedures to ensure the safety of their staff and their older adult clients. This document adds to the other FAQs and new resources that ACL has published for the aging and disability networks.

Older Americans Act Reauthorization Passes House

The bipartisan, bicameral bill H.R. 4334, Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020 has passed the House and Senate and will now go to the President to sign.  The Older Americans Act (OAA) authorizes programs and funding to benefit individuals aged 60 years or older in each state, including services such as the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, home and community-based services, legal services, nutrition and transportation services, and more. H.R. 4334 reauthorizes the OAA for five years. It also strengthens the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program by increasing funding authorizations for the program,  updating the maintenance of effort provisions, and ensuring that ombudsman programs are able to use resources to support the work of their volunteer representatives.

Thank you to all those who advocated for this bill!

Due Friday: Session Proposals for 2020 Consumer Voice Conference

Proposals for sessions at Consumer Voice's  44th Annual Conference - October 25-28, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia - are due this Friday.   We are looking for proposals that create an engaging, informative conference agenda that provides resources, tools, opportunities for discussion, and strategies our attendees can incorporate in their life and/or advocacy.  
 
Two easy steps to submit a proposal -
1.    Review the Call for Proposals and Presenter Requirements.
2.    Submit your proposal via Survey Monkey. NOTE: You will not be able to save incomplete submissions in SurveyMonkey, so you may want to review and print or save the PDF version of the proposal questions so you can plan your responses prior to starting the submission.
Proposals are due by March 20, 2020.  
Find more information »

Materials Available from NORC Webinar on Mentoring and Monitoring Volunteers

Materials are available from the second webinar in the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC)'s webinar series, Successful Practices in Volunteer Recruitment, Training and Retention.  Part II of the series addressed Mentoring and Monitoring Volunteers.  Join NORC for the third webinar in the series on Retaining Volunteers April 22nd at 3:00pm ET.  Register here.  (You are not required to register again if you have already registered for the previous webinars in the series.)

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