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June 9, 2020

In this Issue:

  1. Consumer Voice Webinar for Family Members on Advocating for Residents During COVID-19
  2. Senators Grassley and Wyden Send Letter to HHS OIG Requesting Assistance in Stopping Nursing Homes from Taking Medicaid Recipients' COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments
  3. CMS Information Related to COVID-19, Released June 1, 2020
  4. NORC Webinar on Cultural and Linguistic Competence
  5. Elder Abuse Resources from American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging
  6. Join us for the Webinar Series - COVID-19: Advocating for Nursing Home Residents - Through June; Materials Available from Last Week's Webinar
As protests over racial injustice occur nationwide and we continue to confront the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Consumer Voice is steadfast in utilizing our advocacy, resources, and outreach to achieve quality care and quality of life for individuals receiving long-term care across the country. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, we knew that long-term care facilities with more residents of color scored lower on quality metrics from the federal government than facilities with mostly white residents. As the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the nation’s nursing homes, people of color in nursing homes have been infected and died at a disproportionately higher rate. Consumer Voice stands with the members of our community who are experiencing the devastating effects of racism. During this challenging time, we are committed to using our voice to break down all forms of oppression, including inequities in healthcare, and continuing our work of fighting for quality of life and care for long-term care consumers nationwide.

Consumer Voice Webinar for Family Members on Advocating for Residents During COVID-19
Families are facing many new issues as they support and care for their loved ones in long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Join Consumer Voice for a webinar on Thursday, June 18th at 2:00pm ET to gain information and tips on how to advocate for quality care individually and through family councils.  The webinar will also cover topics of particular concern to family members, including visitation, facility transparency and reporting requirements, transfers and discharges, COVID-19 testing and more.  Register »

Senators Grassley and Wyden Send Letter to HHS OIG Requesting Assistance in Stopping Nursing Homes from Taking Medicaid Recipients' Economic Impact Payments
Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) have sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) to request alerts be sent to providers and the public about the unlawful practice of nursing homes taking Medicaid recipients' economic impact payments recently authorized by Congress in response to COVID-19.  The issue was recently publicized by the Federal Trade Commission's Elder Justice Coordinator, and the commission is accepting complaints on individual cases, as are some state Attorneys General.  Read the letter from the Senators »

CMS Information Related to COVID-19, Released June 1, 2020
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued three documents pertaining to COVID activities: CMS Memo to State Survey Agency Directors, QSO-20-31-All; CMS Letter to Governors; and Nursing Home Covid-19 Data.  Consumer Voice has provided a summary of this information.

The CMS Memo to State Survey Agency Directors, QSO-20-31-All, includes information about focused infection control surveys and CARES Act supplemental funding; enhanced enforcement for infection control deficiencies; and Quality Improvement Organization support.

CMS sent a letter to governors dated May 31, 2020, summarizing the data received through their new COVID-19 surveillance system, as well as the actions they are taking in their new memo, QSO-20-31.  CMS also directs governors to focus testing on nursing homes and other vulnerable communities – calling on each state to develop a comprehensive testing plan and submit that plan to the Department of Health and Human Services.

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: total nursing home (NH) resident cases, NH resident COVID-19 cases per 1,000 NH residents, total NH resident COVID-19 deaths, NH  resident COVID-19 deaths per 1,000 NH residents, total NH staff cases, total NH staff cases per 1,000 NH residents, total NH staff deaths, and total NH staff deaths per 1,000 NH residents.  It also includes State Survey Data.  It reflects data entered into the system as of May 24, 2020.  Read Consumer Voice's summary »

NORC Webinar on Cultural and Linguistic Competence
Join the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) for a webinar on Wednesday, June 10th at 3:00pm ET entitled "Cultural and Linguistic Competence: What It Means for Ombudsman Programs." This webinar will offer definitions and conceptual frameworks for cultural competence and linguistic competence and examine what they mean for Ombudsman Programs, their staff, and volunteers. It will also offer examples of two programs that provide professional development and training on implicit and explicit biases and the unique cultural issues related to underserved lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community within long-term care.  Register »

Elder Abuse Resources from the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging
June 15 is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). Elder abuse is defined in state law, and the definitions vary from state to state. The American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging (ABA COLA) has updated its resource of state elder abuse definitions to help lawyers understand elder abuse in their state. In addition, ABA COLA has updated their mandatory and permissive reporting chart, as well as the power of attorney chart. The statutory charts look at selected issues in the law and the citations chart helps you find the complete text of elder abuse and long-term care ombudsmen laws in every state:     

More information on ABA's website »

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 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 »

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