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March 30, 2021

In this Issue:

  1. Consumer Voice Submits Statement for Record for Senate Committee on Finance Hearing on COVID-19 and Nursing Homes
  2. Call for Session Proposals at the 2021 Consumer Voice Virtual Conference
  3. Human Rights Watch Report on Neglect in Nursing Homes
  4. FEMA Offering Financial Assistance for COVID-19-Related Funeral Expenses
  5. Consumer Voice & NORC Offices are Moving

Consumer Voice Submits Statement for Record for Senate Committee on Finance Hearing on COVID-19 in Nursing Homes

Consumer Voice submitted a statement for the record for the March 17, 2021 Senate Committee on Finance hearing "A National Tragedy: COVID-19 in the Nations' Nursing Homes."  The statement emphasized the over 130,000 nursing home residents who died from COVID-19 and the countless others who suffered from isolation and neglect.

In the statement, Consumer Voice urged Congress to:

  • Initiate an investigation into the devastating impact of COVID-19 on nursing home residents.  
  • Support nursing home staff by requiring minimum staffing standards, training, and increased wages and benefits.
  • Require the rescission of all waivers of nursing home regulations established during the Public Health Emergency.
  • Ensure access to COVID-19 vaccines for all residents and staff who choose to be vaccinated.
  • Ensure protection from COVID-19 for residents and staff by ensuring ongoing access to PPE and testing.
  • Fully restore visitation in nursing homes.
  • Reinstate standard and complaint surveys and strengthen regulations and enforcement.
  • Require transparency and accountability around nursing home ownership and finances.
  • Address disparities in care for racial and ethnic minorities.
  • Expand choice through the expansion of Medicaid Home and Community Based Services.
Many of these recommendations have been made by advocates for years.  Congress must act immediately not only to prevent the next crisis but to increase the quality of care in nursing homes for current and future generations.

Read the full letter.

Call for Session Proposals for the 2021 Consumer Voice Virtual Conference

Consumer Voice is now accepting proposals for sessions at the 2021 Consumer Voice Virtual Conference, November 3-5, 2021. This year's conference theme is Moving Forward Together.

Each year, the Consumer Voice hosts a conference to educate and empower consumers and consumer advocates.  The conference covers long-term care issues, including current trends, best practices, advocacy opportunities, and new research. Last year's virtual conference allowed more advocates than ever before to learn, network, and exchange ideas with others from all over the country.

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

Learn how to submit a proposal. Proposals are due May 1, 2021.

Human Rights Watch Report on Neglect in Nursing Homes

Human Rights Watch has published a report, "Concerns of Neglect in Nursing Homes," highlighting the need for improvements in staffing, oversight and accountability.  In its investigation, Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 60 people and reviewed reports from independent monitors detailing concerns of weight loss, dehydration, untreated bedsores, inadequate hygiene, mental and physical decline, and inappropriate use of psychotropic medications among nursing home residents.  The report found that staffing shortages and the absence of family visitors may have contributed to the neglect and decline of residents.  The report concludes with recommendations the the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Congress, the Department of Justice, and state agencies.

Read Human Rights Watch's Report

FEMA Offering Financial Assistance for COVID-19-Related Funeral Expenses

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is offering financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses.  To be eligible for funeral assistance, the death must have occurred in the United States, and the death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.  FEMA will begin accepting applications in April and is encouraging applicants to keep and gather documentation of funeral expenses.

Find More Information About FEMA Funeral Assistance

Consumer Voice & NORC Offices Are Moving

Consumer Voice and NORC's offices are moving. Please update your records with our new address as of April 1, 2021:

1025 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036

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