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December 14, 2021

In this Issue:

  1. Materials Available from Briefing to Address the Need for Federal Staffing Standards in Nursing Homes
  2. New Podcast Episode on the Updated CMS Nursing Home Visitation Guidance
  3. Data on Boosters Now Posted on CMS COVID-19 Nursing Home Data Website; COVID-19 Booster Promotional Materials Available
  4. Technical Assistance (TA) Talk Tomorrow for Long-Term Care Ombudsmen on Volunteer Management
  5. Poll Shows How Older Adults Feel About Nursing Homes

Materials Available from Briefing to Address the Need for Federal Staffing Standards in Nursing Homes

Chronic understaffing has been a serious problem in nursing homes for decades, and has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The research is clear that inadequate staffing contributes to lower quality of care and poor health outcomes for residents, yet no federal staffing standard exists, and only one state requires a minimum research-backed standard of 4.1 hours per resident day.

The recording and materials are available form our briefing last week in which our panel of experts reviewed the research and data supporting the need for a federal minimum staffing standard.  We also discussed our new report documenting staffing standards in each state.

Get the Materials

New Podcast Episode on the Updated CMS Nursing Home Visitation Guidance

On November 12, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued updated Nursing Home Visitation Guidance. Because of the high rates of vaccination among residents and the new vaccine requirement for staff, as well as the reduced number of new COVID-19 cases each week, visitation is now allowed at all times for all residents, this includes indoor visitation. In the new episode of the Pursuing Quality Care podcast, Consumer Voice's Jocelyn Bogdan reviews the updated guidance and discusses residents' rights.  Listen to the new episode on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, or the Consumer Voice website.

In light of recent investigative reports from the New York Times about increases in schizophrenia diagnoses for residents, with higher rates of diagnoses for Black residents, purportedly to prescribe antipsychotic drugs, Consumer Voice Executive Director, Lori Smetanka, wrote an article for the American Society on Aging's Generations about the spike in antipsychotic drug use in nursing homes. Read this article and more on our new webpage.

Data on Boosters Now Posted on CMS COVID-19 Nursing Home Data Website; COVID-19 Booster Promotional Materials Available

CMS is now posting data on booster shots administered to long-term care residents and staff on its COVID-19 Nursing Home Data website.  Facility level rates of booster doses can be found in the listing of vaccination rates for individual nursing homes. National and state rates of booster doses can be found on the CDC’s website.

The Department of Health & Human Services has created two flyers to encourage individuals to get a COVID-19 booster.  The first flyer can be used by long-term care facilities to encourage their staff and residents to get booster shots.  The second flyer can be used by facilities or others to empahsize how getting a COVID-19 booster protects your loved ones.

Technical Assistance (TA) Talk Tomorrow for Long-Term Care Ombudsmen on Volunteer Management

To increase direct access to technical assistance (TA) and peer support, the National Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) is hosting quarterly live technical assistance dialogues for long-term care ombudsman program representatives. The TA Talks are also live streamed on the NORC Facebook page. Tomorrow, Wednesday, December 15, at 3:00 pm ET, the TA Talk will focus on volunteer management. Speakers include Alianne Sipes, Clearfield, Utah and Kellie Miller, Madison, Wisconsin.

Each TA Talk focuses on one topic. To open the discussion, NORC staff, subject matter experts, or your peers will briefly provide information and/or highlight resources then attendees will have ample time to seek technical assistance and ask questions. Attendees are encouraged to share their expertise and experiences to provide peer-to-peer support and learn from each other. Limited space is available, and you must register and attend LIVE on Zoom for a minimum of 30 minutes to receive a certificate of participation.

Register


Poll Shows How Older Adults Feel About Nursing Homes

The John A. Hartford Foundation and NORC at the University of Chicago conducted a poll to determine how older adults feel about nursing homes.

Key findings from the survey of older adults include:

  • 71% say they are unwilling to live in a nursing home in the future;
  • 57% say COVID-19 influenced that decision;
  • Nearly 90% say changes are needed in nursing homes; and
  • Black and Hispanic older adults are more concerned with nursing home safety.

See the findings.

 

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