August 31, 2021
In this Issue:
- CMS Releases Latest List of Special Focus Facilities and Candidates
- New Podcast Episode on Advocating for Essential Caregivers
- Resident's Voice Challenge Deadline Extended to September 10
- NORC End of Grant Year Wrap-Up
- Emergency Preparedness Resources for Ombudsmen, Residents, and Families
CMS Releases Latest List of Special Focus Facilities and Candidates
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the latest list of Special Focus Facilities (SFF) and candidates (August 25, 2021). CMS oversees the SFF program, which places special scrutiny on select nursing homes with a documented pattern of providing poor care. CMS publicly discloses the names of the facilities chosen to participate in this program and candidate nursing homes. To be considered for the SFF program, a facility must have a history (at least 3 years) of serious quality issues. These nursing facilities generally have more deficiencies than the average facility, and more serious problems such as harm or injury to residents. Special Focus Facilities have more frequent surveys and are subject to progressive enforcement until it either graduates from the program or is terminated from Medicare and/or Medicaid.
The recent release from CMS is broken into several lists: Facilities Newly Added to the SFF Program (14 facilities); Facilities that Have Not Improved (35 facilities); Facilities that Have Shown Improvement (39 Facilities); Facilities that Have Recently Graduated from the SFF Program (16 facilities); Facilities No Longer Participating in the Medicare and Medicaid Program (2 facilities); and the SFF Candidate List (491 facilities).
What can advocates do with this information?
- Include the list of facilities in your area/state when providing information to consumers who are looking for a nursing home. Include an explanation of the SFF program and the candidate list.
- Post the list on your program’s/organization’s website (along with the explanation noted above).
- Encourage current residents and families to check the list to see if their facility is included.
- Urge residents and families in a candidate facility to ask the administrator what is being done to improve care.
- Suggest that resident and family councils invite the administrator to a council meeting to talk about what the facility is doing to improve care, ask for ongoing updates, and share any council concerns.
- For ombudsmen: Meet with the administrator to discuss what the facility is doing to address problems and share any resources that might be helpful.
New Podcast Episode on Advocating for Essential Caregivers
A new episode of the Pursuing Quality Long-Term Care podcast is now available. Before COVID-19, Mary Daniel would head to the long-term care facility where her husband resided every day after work and spend the evening with him. When facilities were locked down in March, family members were not allowed in, and residents were left without many of the essential supports that family members provided. In this episode we will hear Mary’s story about how she advocated to be reunited with her husband, the national movement she founded, and we'll talk about what we all can do to make a difference today.
Listen on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Facebook, or our website.
Resident's Voice Challenge Deadline Extended to September 10
The deadline for submissions for the Resident's Voice Challenge has been extended to September 10, 2021.
Thank you to those who have already submitted entries!
Residents are invited to get creative by participating in this year’s 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 theme - Reclaiming My Rights, My Home, My Life.
This year’s theme emphasizes that the long-term care facility is the residents’ home. As part of the Resident’s Voice Challenge, we will be selecting original resident artwork to be featured on a door hanger. Submissions are due September 10, 2021.
We will select one or more pieces of resident artwork to be featured on the Consumer Voice website and on a door hanger available in the Consumer Voice online store. Residents will be notified if their artwork has been selected. Residents whose artwork is selected will receive complimentary door hangers.
Visit our website to review full criteria for participating in the Resident's Voice Challenge.
NORC End of Grant Year Wrap-Up
As the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) finishes this year, we would like to thank State Ombudsmen and representatives of the Office for sharing your experiences, resources, expertise, and ideas with NORC. NORC was able to support Ombudsman programs thanks to funding from the Administration for Community Living/Administration on Aging (ACL/AoA) for the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care to operate NORC.
NORC Highlights by the Numbers:
Learn more about NORC's accomplishments here.
- Responded to 1,731 requests for technical assistance. An increase of 15% from the previous grant year. 742 were related to COVID-19.
- Provided 25 training opportunities, including 2 State Ombudsman Conferences, 7 webinars for new State Ombudsmen, 4 webinars for State Ombudsmen, and 7 webinars for program representatives.
- Managed the Volunteer Management Listserv with 166 members.
- Wrote 63 email newsletters.
- Managed an online presence of 1,441 likes on Facebook, 397 follows on Twitter, and 110,915 visits to the website.
- Created and shared COVID-19 resources:
- Created 7 new COVID-19 web pages.
- Developed a toolkit and hosted a three-part webinar series on COVID-19 recovery and reentry resources.
- Hosted a webinar on resuming in-person visits during COVID-19.
- Hosted 90-minute COVID-19 calls with State Ombudsmen.
- Published a weekly email newsletter to State Ombudsmen with COVID-19 updates.
- Created an on-demand training series for administrators, direct care staff, and family members on understanding trauma and person-centered care during COVID-19.
Emergency Preparedness Resources for Ombudsmen, Residents and Families
In light of the recent hurricane in Louisiana, please share Consumer Voice and the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) resources related to emergency preparedness:
Find more emergency preparedness resources on NORC's website.
- Emergency Preparedness: Questions Consumers Should Ask - A nursing home, assisted living, or other long-term care facility should have a comprehensive emergency plan in place just like a family should, so that people can be protected and supported in times of crisis. This Consumer Voice fact sheet provides questions to be discussed at future resident and family council meetings to ensure that facilities are prepared and residents are protected in case of emergencies.
- Being Prepared! Things Ombudsmen Should Do Before, During, and After an Emergency - NORC's fact sheet provides tips for Ombudsmen and examples of LTCO work during and after emergencies.
- Are You Ready? - This Powerpoint presentation provides practical emergency preparedness tips for families, cargivers, and Ombudsmen as well as ideas for helping after an emergency.