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December 21, 2021

In this Issue:

  1. Future of Build Back Better Act Uncertain
  2. New Guide to Finding an LGBTQ+ Inclusive Long-Term Care Community
  3. Resources for Visiting a Nursing Home
  4. Materials Available from Technical Assistance (TA) Talk for Long-Term Care Ombudsmen on Volunteer Management
  5. Study Shows Residents without Contact with Loved Ones Were More Likely to Die During the Pandemic

Future of Build Back Better Act Uncertain

On Sunday, December 19, 2021, Senator Joe Manchin (WV) announced that he would not support the Build Back Better Act, after weeks of negotiations with the White House and Senate leadership. This announcement imperils several key provisions in the bill that would protect nursing home residents. These provisions would address inadequate staffing in nursing homes, require all facilities to have a Registered Nurse (RN) present 24 hours per day, increase funding for enforcement, and also increase scrutiny of certain data submitted by nursing homes to the federal government.

Additionally, there were significant increases in funding for State Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs and Adult Protective Services. These provisions are now at risk of not being passed.   

Prior in the week, the Senate Finance Committee released its initial version of the Build Back Better Act. The bill’s release came after the House passed its version of the Act on November 19, 2021. While both bills include significant increases in protections for nursing home residents and funding to increase staff and staff training in nursing homes, there are important differences between the bills. Most significantly, unlike the bill passed by the House, the Senate version does not require the federal government to create a minimum staffing standard in nursing homes.

New Guide to Finding an LGBTQ+ Inclusive Long-Term Care Community

The Long-Term Care Equality Index, a joint project of SAGE and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, has created a Guide to Finding an LGBTQ+ Inclusive Long-Term Care Community.  The new resource provides consumers guidance, questions to ask before committing to a facility, and items to consider before choosing a facility.

Get the Guide

Resources for Visiting a Nursing Home

On November 12, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updated their guidance on visitation in nursing homes. Indoor visitation is now allowed at all times for all residents. All visitors must continue to adhere to infection prevention practices.

As you visit your loved ones in nursing homes over the holidays, consult our resources regarding visitation:

Materials Available from Technical Assistance (TA) Talk  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. Last week's TA Talk focused on volunteer management. Speakers included Alianne Sipes, Clearfield, Utah and Kellie Miller, Madison, Wisconsin.

Access the Recording and Slides


Study Shows Residents without Contact with Loved Ones Were More Likely to Die During the Pandemic

A new study from Canada published in the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine found that nursing home residents who had no contact with family or friends during the COVID-19 pandemic were more likely to die than those who had regular contact with loved ones.  Researchers found a 57.8% increase in mortality for residents without contact with friends or family, while those who had contact with their loved ones saw a 17.1% increase in mortality rate.

Read the article in McKnight's to learn more.

 

Happy Holidays

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