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September 1, 2020

In this Issue:

  1. CMS Issues Interim Final Rule on COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Nursing Home Residents and Staff
  2. New Resources Available on Arbitration Agreements
  3. Understanding Trauma and Ensuring Person-Centered Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic Training Series
  4. Resident's Voice Challenge Deadline Extended to September 11
  5. New COVID-19 Recovery and Reentry Resources for Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs
  6. End of NORC Grant Year Wrap Up
  7. Materials Available from Webinar - COVID-19: Advocating for Nursing Home Residents

CMS Issues Interim Final Rule on COVID-19 Testing Requirements for Nursing Home Residents and Staff
On August 25, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule that includes new COVID-19 testing requirements for nursing home residents and staff.  The rule will go into effect when it is published in the Federal Register, on September 2, 2020.  There will be a 60-day comment period after the date of publication.  On August 26, 2020, CMS published accompanying guidance, which prescribes how nursing homes must implement the new rule.

All nursing homes will now be required to test all residents when there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in a facility.  Facilities will be required to test staff members and residents who display symptoms of COVID-19, and facilities will now be required to routinely test all staff members. Read a summary of the rule and guidance »

New Resources Available on Arbitration Agreements
New consumer resources are available on pre-dispute arbitration agreements in long term care contracts.  Consumer Voice's new fact sheet, “Don’t Sign:  Say No to Arbitration” explains what pre-dispute arbitration agreements are and why long term care consumers should not sign them – as well as what rights consumers have. 

You can also find a new podcast from The Voice for Seniors: “Don’t Be Tricked Into Signing A Nursing Home Arbitration Agreement” where lawyer David Terry talks to Consumer Voice's Jocelyn Bogdan about why consumers should not sign these agreements.

Understanding Trauma and Ensuring Person-Centered Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic Training Series
During the month of September, the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) will be releasing four training topics for three audiences. The topics are person-centered care; trauma-informed care; compassion fatigue; and anxiety and grief in a time of COVID-19. Each topic will include one webinar recording for facility administrators, direct care staff, and family members of individuals living in long-term care facilities.

Take the On-Demand Training Course with Quiz Questions and Answers.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been millions of positive COVID-19 cases and hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 related deaths in our country. Although we are all impacted by the pandemic, individuals living in long-term care facilities are particularly vulnerable to the disease and their daily lives and access to loved ones has been impacted significantly reinforcing the need for person-centered care. 

This training will emphasize the importance of providing person-centered care as a vital component to ensuring care recipients are involved in and respected for their individual differences. Placing people at the center of their care has multiple benefits including improving the quality of services provided, helping people obtain the care they need when they need it, empowering people to be more active in their care, and reducing some of the pressures experienced by those working in long term care communities as well as families supporting their loved ones residing in long term care. Access the training »

Resident's Voice Challenge Deadline Extended to September 11

Thank you to all those who have already submitted entries.  All entries will be posted on our website.

What is the Resident's Voice Challenge?
The Resident’s Voice Challenge is an opportunity for long-term care consumers to respond to and reflect on this year’s Residents' Rights Month theme, Connection Matters. Use the discussion questions on our website to help reflect on the theme.

How can I participate in the Postcard Artwork Contest?
This year, as a part of the Resident's Voice Challenge, we'll be selecting some original resident artwork to be featured on a series of postcards.

Who can enter?
Residents of long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, assisted living, and independent living, and individuals receiving long-term services in their home or community are invited to participate.

What types of submissions do you accept?
Entries into the postcard artwork contest can include original paintings, sketches, drawings, or original photography. Artwork must be original (no copied or reproduced pieces) and created by a long-term care consumer or group of consumers.

Other types of entries - like essays, poems, word collages, videos, and songs - can be entered into the Resident's Voice Challenge. Learn more.

When are submissions due?
The submission deadline has been extended.  All submissions to the Resident's Voice Challenge and Postcard Artwork Contest are due September 11, 2020.

How do I submit?
Review the full submission guidelines.

  • Email: Take a high-resolution photo of your artwork and send it as a JPG or PNG attachment to your email to info@theconsumervoice.org. Is your file too large to email? Send us a note at info@theconsumervoice.org and we can arrange the transfer of large files.

OR

  • Mail: Send the original version of your artwork to our office (use large, sturdy envelopes or mailing tubes if needed).  Address as:

Consumer Voice
Attn: Resident’s Voice Challenge
1001 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 632
Washington, DC 20036

If any resident/consumer or other person appear in a submitted photo or video, the person(s) must complete a release form.

Learn More »

New COVID-19 Recovery and Reentry Resources for Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs

In anticipation of resuming in-person visits, the National Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) convened a workgroup to discuss issues regarding Ombudsman program services during the pandemic and to provide input on COVID-19 Recovery and Reentry Resources. Workgroup members included representatives of the National Association of State Ombudsman Programs (NASOP) and the National Association of Local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs (NALLTCO).

The resources are divided into two primary groups. One set of resources provide program management considerations and templates for State Ombudsmen to assist with developing program policies and procedures and practices during the pandemic. The other resources are intended to support representatives in performing duties during COVID-19 such as conducting visits safely, responding to and documenting complaints, and communicating with residents while wearing a face covering. The resources are available as PDFs and Word documents so programs can add state specific information. This information is current as of August 2020 and will be updated as we learn more about COVID-19 and practices may need to adapt accordingly. Access the Resources »

End of NORC Grant Year Wrap Up

July 2019 – June 2020 was the third year of a three-year grant funded by the Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging (ACL/AoA) for the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care to operate the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC). As NORC finishes the third year, we would like to thank all the State Ombudsmen and representatives of the Office that shared your experiences, resources, and input with NORC. Find highlights here of resources and activities completed by NORC over the past year.

Materials Available from Webinar - 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. The webinar series from Consumer Voice, Center for Medicare Advocacy, Long Term Care Community Coalition and Justice in Aging reviews the latest updates, issuances from CMS, legislation, and strategies for advocates and families. Last Friday's webinar covered revised guidance on survey and enforcement; CMS interim rules on COVID-19 testing; and an update on visitation. Access the Materials »

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