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May 12, 2020

In this Issue:

  1. Consumer Voice and Other Advocates Send Letter to Senate Opposing Immunity for Nursing Homes
  2. Register for the Joint Webinar Series: Advocating for Nursing Home Residents; Materials Available from Last Week's Webinar
  3. New Fact Sheet from NCLER on Nursing Home Residents, Medicaid and Stimulus Checks
  4. Members of Congress Send Letter to Assisted Living Operators Inquiring About COVID-19 Response
  5. Updated Consumer Voice Summary of Waivers for Nursing Homes
  6. Consumer Voice and NASW Webinar on Supporting Residents, Caregivers, and Social Workers During COVID-19

Consumer Voice and Other Advocates Send Letter to Senate Opposing Immunity for Nursing Homes
Consumer Voice has sent a letter, along with other advocacy organizations, to leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee opposing granting immunity to nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. AARP also sent a letter on the same topic.  Giving immunity to nursing homes strips residents of their right to hold nursing homes accountable for substandard care. Legal liability has always functioned as a safeguard for nursing home residents by incentivizing nursing homes to provide quality care and comply with laws and regulations. By providing immunity, Congress would be placing nursing home residents in jeopardy at a time when they are the Americans suffering most from the COVID-19 outbreaks. Read the full letter »

Register for the Joint Webinar Series: Advocating for Nursing Home Residents; Materials Available from Last Week's Webinar
Join Consumer Voice, Center for Medicare Advocacy, Long Term Care Community Coalition, and Justice in Aging the next three Fridays - May 15, May 22, and May 29 - at 2pm ET for additional webinars in the series "COVID-19: Advocating for Nursing Home Residents."  The landscape of COVID-19 response in nursing homes continues to evolve rapidly at the federal and state levels. These webinars review the latest updates, issuances from CMS, legislation, and strategies for advocates and families. Register for one or more webinars »

Materials are available from last week's webinar. Watch the recording and see the slides »

New Fact Sheet from NCLER on Nursing Home Residents, Medicaid and Stimulus Checks
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the National Center on Law and Elder Rights (NCLER) released the fact sheet, Nursing Home Residents, Medicaid, and Stimulus Checks: What You Need to Know. Under recent COVID-19 legislation, most nursing facility residents are receiving stimulus payments of up to $1,200.  The Internal Revenue Service will issue these payments in the same way that you receive your Social Security benefit (direct deposit or a paper check by mail). This money belongs to you, not the nursing facility! This is true even if Medicaid pays for your
care and services at the facility.
Learn more in the fact sheet »

Members of Congress Send Letter to Assisted Living Operators Inquiring About COVID-19 Response

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) have sent a letter to the largest assisted living operators asking a series of questions about COVID-19 outbreaks at their facilities and the actions they are taking to prevent and mitigate outbreaks when they occur.  The letter was sent to Brookdale Senior Living Sunrise Senior Living, Five Star Senior Living, Atria Senior Living, Life Care Services, Senior Lifestyle Corporations, Capital Senior Living, Affinity Living Group, Enlivant, Eclipse Senior Living, and Gardant Management Solutions, each of which owns or operates more than 5,000 assisted living units nationwide. The letter highlighted that assisted living facilities share many of the same risk factors as nursing homes but are largely unregulated by the federal government and have no national reporting requirements.  The letter poses concern about "a parallel crisis (which) has been playing out with far less scrutiny in another setting housing vulnerable seniors: assisted living" (as reported by the Boston Globe).  Read the letter »

Updated Consumer Voice Summary of Waivers for Nursing Homes
On March 28, 2020, CMS announced that numerous waivers of federal regulations are now in effect, retroactive to March 1, 2020, and lasting through the end of the emergency declaration. These are “blanket” waivers, which means that no request or notification of CMS is required. The waivers apply to many different provider types. The purpose of this summary is to identify key nursing home-related waivers. Additional waivers of federal regulations went into effect after April 21, 2020, lasting through the end of the emergency declaration. Consumer Voice has updated our chart providing a summary of the CMS waivers for nursing homes. See the summary »

Consumer Voice and NASW Webinar on Supporting Residents, Caregivers and Social Workers During COVID-19
Join Consumer Voice and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for a webinar on Tuesday, May 26th at 2:00pm ET - Supporting and Advocating for Nursing Home Residents, Family Caregivers, and Social Workers During COVID-19.  COVID-19 has exacerbated challenges faced by nursing home residents, social work staff, and family caregivers. Learn about those challenges and discover strategies and resources to enhance resilience, as well as information about national-level advocacy to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on nursing home residents, social work staff, and family caregivers. The Consumer Voice network can use discount code: AGINGSPKR1 to attend the webinar for free. Register »

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