View this message on our website.
The Voice
SHARE: Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

June 2, 2020

In this Issue:

  1. CMS Releases Nursing Home COVID-19 Data
  2. State COVID-19 Nursing Home Policies
  3. Tell Us Your Story of Your Experience During COVID-19
  4. Consumer Voice and Other Organizations Send Letter to Senate Leaders Opposing Immunity for Nursing Homes
  5. Join us for the Webinar Series - COVID-19: Advocating for Nursing Home Residents - Through June; Materials Available from Last Week's Webinar
  6. Elder Abuse Resource List from NCEA
  7. New Practice Tip from NCLER - Stimulus Payments and Representative Payees: What You Need to Know
  8. WEAAD Tools and Tips for Physical Distancing

CMS Releases Nursing Home COVID-19 Data
Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new memo, QSO-20-31, that addresses a range of issues. The memo discusses: focused infection control nursing home surveys and CARES Act supplemental funding; COVID-19 Survey Activities; expanded survey activities; enhanced enforcement for infection control deficiencies, and Quality Improvement Organization support. Additionally, CMS released Nursing Home COVID-19 Data, a chart that provides facility-reported information for each State under CMS’s new reporting requirements.  The chart includes (among other categories) total nursing home resident cases, total nursing home resident COVID-deaths, total nursing home staff cases, total nursing home staff deaths, as well as state survey data. The agency also sent a letter to every state Governor summarizing the information in the memo, describing the data chart, and calling on Governors to submit a comprehensive plan for testing and submit it to HHS.  
 
Consumer Voice will be providing a more detailed summary in the next few days.

State COVID-19 Nursing Home Policies
Consumer Voice has introduced a new tool on its website that tracks each state’s policies and practices regarding the COVID-19 crisis in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  The new interactive map allows users to select a state and learn detailed information on that state’s policies regarding the public release of COVID-19 cases and deaths in long-term care facilities; the state’s policy on testing residents and staff for COVID-19; and whether the state has taken action to grant civil and/or criminal immunity to long-term care facilities for substandard care that resulted in the harm or death of a resident. In addition to this information, users will be able to find important resources, such as the contact information for the state and local ombudsmen, the state licensing agency, and other resident advocacy groups.
 
Because each state is adopting its own policies, the information is changing frequently.  The Consumer Voice will keep the information as up to date as possible.  Find information from your state »

Tell Us Your Story of Your Experience During COVID-19
Consumer Voice is collecting stories - Tell us about your, or your loved one's, experiences with your long-term care facility during this pandemic.
For example: Did they help you and your loved one communicate through phone or video chat? Did you do any window or outside visits? How was the communication by the administration? What is life like in the facility during the crises? Are you offered activities? Do you have to stay in your room? Where do you eat your meals? Are there enough staff to help you? Are you, or your loved one, getting the care you need?

Use our website form to share your story.  Share Your Story »

Consumer Voice and Other Organizations Send Letter to Senate Leaders Opposing Immunity for Nursing Homes
On May 28, 2020, The Consumer Voice, along with over 250 organizations, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer opposing any plan to grant nursing homes immunity from civil or criminal liability for harm or substandard care a resident may have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter stated:

  1. Judicial recourse discourages current and future bad practices by nursing homes and helps bring about positive outcomes for nursing home residents;
  2. Currently, there is little oversight in nursing homes, as families, ombudsmen, and other agencies are prohibited from entering facilities.  Judicial recourse is the last remaining tool for residents to hold nursing homes accountable for substandard care;
  3. The magnitude of the crisis in nursing homes is directly related to years of cost cutting and understaffing, in an effort to maximize profits for nursing home owners and operators.  To allow facilities to face no repercussions for these actions, while asking nursing home residents to pay with their lives, is a perverse outcome that cannot be tolerated.  

To date, over 35,000 residents of long-term care facilities have died in the United States.  That number will continue to grow.  Recourse to civil justice is one of the last remaining protections for residents. Removing this necessary protection will result in increased harm to residents and further deaths.  We want to send a message to Congress that we want more protections for nursing home residents and not less.  We must protect residents, as they are loved ones, neighbors, and fellow citizens.
The Consumer Voice wants to thank all of the organizations that signed on to the letter.  Read the letter »

Join us for the Webinar Series - COVID-19: Advocating for Nursing Home Residents - Through June; Materials Available from Last Week's Webinar
The landscape of COVID-19 response in nursing homes continues to evolve rapidly at the federal and state levels. Join the Consumer Voice, Center for Medicare Advocacy, Long Term Care Community Coalition and Justice in Aging for additional webinars in our series focused on the impact of COVID-19 on long-term care facilities and its residents.  Join us at 2:00pm ET each Friday in June - June 5, June 12, June 19, and June 26 - as we 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 »

Elder Abuse Resource List from NCEA
The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) has compiled a list of elder abuse resources to share with family, friends and your local community.  Resources include elder abuse response resources; COVID-19 specific resources; and other relevant resources. See the resource list »

New Practice Tip from NCLER - Stimulus Payments and Representative Payees: What You Need to Know

Under recent COVID-19 legislation, most people receiving Supplemental Security Income and Social Security are receiving stimulus payments of up to $1,200. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will begin issuing these payments to those who have a representative payee and did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 in late May. This money belongs to the beneficiary, not the payee! The National Center on Law & Elder Rights (NCLER) has created a Practice Tip "Stimulus Payments and Representative Payees: What You Need to Know" which provides information on how the IRS will send payments to those who have a representative payee, what the representative payee should do with the payment, and what to do if the the representative payee does not release the payment to individuals. See the Practice Tip »

WEAAD Tools and Tips for Physical Distancing
World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) is June 15th and the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) has shared updated tools and tips to observe WEAAD while practicing physical distancing. Now that many events are held virtually, accessibility looks different but is no less vital.

Updated materials include:

  • New Tips & Tools on how to create accessible virtual WEAAD events
  • WEAAD window posters to spread awareness from home
  • #WEAAD sample posts and graphics for social media
Access new WEAAD materials »
45th Anniversary LogoFOLLOW US
Facebook Icon 32px x 32px Twitter Icon 32px x 32px Amazon Smile Icon 32px x 32px 
10‌01 Conn‌ecticut Av‌enue, N‌W, Su‌ite 6‌32, Was‌hington, D‌C 20‌036
National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care
© 2020 All rights reserved.
National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care is a US registered charity EIN #5‌2-119‌8450
Powered By Blackbaud