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June 8, 2021

In this Issue:

  1. Consumer Voice and Other Advocates Send Letter In Support of Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act; New Issue Brief Available
  2. June is LGBT Pride Month
  3. Webinar with Dr. Laura Mosqueda on Resuming In-Person Visits and Identifying Trauma and Abuse
  4. CMS Data on Antipsychotic Drug Rates in Nursing Homes is  Lacking, HHS OIG Reports

Consumer Voice and Other Advocates Send Letter in Support of Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act; New Issue Brief Available

On June 3, the Consumer Voice along with other advocates sent a letter to members of the House of Representatives asking them to co-sponsor the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act (H.R. 2812).  The bill, introduced by Reps. Sanchez and Schakowsky, would ban the use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements in nursing homes.

It is common practice for nursing homes to attempt to have residents or their representatives sign these agreements, which state that if the facility harms the resident, the resident will not be able to bring suit in local courts, but instead use an arbitrator chosen by the facility. The use of predispute arbitration agreements should be prohibited because these agreements take advantage of residents and families when they are most vulnerable, hide poor care, and prevent informed decision making.

Read Consumer Voice's issue brief "Ban Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements in Long-Term Care."

June is LGBT Pride Month

Individuals living in nursing homes have the same rights to be free from discrimination and harassment as individuals living in the larger community. In addition, they have rights and protections provided by federal nursing home regulations and state and federal anti discrimination provisions. The rights of all residents should be honored and respected, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Learn more in the fact sheet from The National LTC Ombudsman Resource Center - Residents’ Rights and the LGBT Community: Know YOUR Rights as a Nursing Home Resident.

Consumer Voice, with updates from SAGE, created a tool for individuals to share personal preferences and information in order to help achieve person-centered care. Record information about yourself that may be helpful to others in understanding you and providing you care in case you need long-term care services in the future. Current individuals receiving long-term care can also fill out the document to express their wishes.

See an example of a completed form and complete a fillable form.

Webinar with Dr. Laura Mosqueda on Resuming In-Person Visits and Identifying Trauma and Abuse

In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD), join the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) on Friday, June 18th at 3:00pm ET for a webinar - Resuming In-Person Visits During COVID-19: Tips for Identifying Trauma, Potential Abuse, and Supporting Residents. Learn how to identify and respond to signs of trauma and potential abuse or neglect and support residents as Ombudsman programs resume in-person visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Laura Mosqueda, a national and international expert on elder abuse and neglect, will provide tips for Ombudsman programs conducting in-person visits, such as signs of trauma in response to isolation and loss during the pandemic and potential signs of abuse and neglect. She will also share recommendations for supporting residents and available resources.

Register Now

CMS Data on Antipsychotic Drug Rates in Nursing Homes is Lacking, HHS OIG Reports

The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General has released a new report, Medicare Atypical Antipsychotic Drug Claims for Elderly Nursing Home Residents.  The report found that the resident assessment (MDS) data that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) uses as the exclusive source of information to report antipsychotic drug rates in nursing homes is incomplete and understates antipsychotic drug rates.  The OIG report found that in 2018, 23% of long-stay residents in nursing homes had a Part D claim for an antipsychotic drug, but that 5% of the residents were not reported in their MDS assessments as receiving antipsychotic drugs.

CMS does not include any residents with one of three diagnoses, including schizophrenia, in the reporting of antipsychotic drug use in the quality measure on the federal website Care Compare. The OIG report found that 30% of residents that nursing facilities reported as having schizophrenia did not have any evidence of a diagnosis of schizophrenia in their Medicare claims (and 71% of them had at least one Part D claim for an atipsychotic drug).  These residents are not included in the quality measure for antipsychotic drug use.

The OIG recommended that CMS validate the information reported in MDS assessments and supplement the data it uses to monitor the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes. CMS concurred with these recommendations.

For more information, read the summary of the report from the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

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