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March 1, 2022

In this Issue:

  1. The Biden Administration Announces Most Significant Reforms in Nursing Homes in Decades
  2. March Forth Together
  3. DOJ Symposium on Elder Justice Decision-Making Capacity
  4. COVID-19 Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawsuit Sent Back to State Court
  5. New Training Materials for Ombudsman Program Emergency Preparedness and Response
  6. Webinar on Identifying and Preventing "Money Mule" Scams

The Biden Administration Announces Most Significant Reforms in Nursing Homes in Decades

On Monday, February 28, 2022, the Biden Administration announced it would be implementing a variety of nursing home reforms, including the creation of a minimum staffing standard in nursing homes, accountability for poor performing nursing homes, increased transparency around ownership and finances, and support for direct care staff. These critical reforms will address many of the long-standing problems that have plagued nursing homes for decades. More than 200,000 residents and staff died from COVID-19, and tens of thousands more suffered from the effects of isolation and neglect.

Advocates, residents, and families have long called for these actions to address the inadequate conditions that many residents experience. Today’s announcement will increase positive health outcomes for current and future nursing home residents. Importantly, it will save lives.

The Biden plan promises additional important reforms such as enhanced enforcement and penalties, new efforts to reduce the misuse of antipsychotic medications, and improved pandemic and emergency preparedness in facilities. The Administration will take steps to implement reforms directly and calls on Congress to enact legislation to support these goals.

The Consumer Voice applauds the Biden Administration for taking this bold step and looks forward to supporting them on implementing these plans.

Read the White House press release.

March Forth Together

As we approach the two-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, join Consumer Voice on Friday, March 4, 2022, for a webinar kicking off a month of action as we March Forth Together in support of better nursing home policies. Two hundred thousand residents and staff of long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19. Countless others have suffered from isolation and neglect.

Join us March 4, 2022, as we discuss a new report on the catastrophic effects of inadequate staffing on nursing home care and the reforms necessary to better protect nursing home residents, including the newly released Biden Administration proposal, Protecting Seniors and People with Disabilities by Improving Safety and Quality of Care in the Nation's Nursing Homes. Additionally, we will detail a month-long series of actions that we all can take to advocate for residents of long-term care facilities.

Register Now

DOJ Symposium on Elder Justice Decision-Making Capacity

Join the Department of Justice for a free Elder Justice Decision-Making Capacity Symposium April 19-21. The Symposium will highlight what is known about the aging brain and its impact on decision-making, and discuss the protocols and tools available to assess decision-making capacity. The Symposium will then focus on the myriad of ways that perceptions of an older adult’s decision-making capacity can have profound implications on their treatment in criminal and civil proceedings. These may include elder abuse or fraud prosecutions not being pursued; unnecessary or inappropriate guardianships being imposed; and civil legal remedies being denied to older victims of elder abuse, neglect and financial exploitation.

See the full agenda. Registration for the symposium closes March 25th.

Register Now

COVID-19 Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawsuit Sent Back to State Court

A COVID-19-related wrongful death lawsuit against a nursing home has been sent back to state court by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the case, the family of a nursing home resident who died from COVID-19 claimed that the facility failed to adequately protect the resident against the virus. The facility, Glenhaven Healthcare in Glendale, CA, argued that the facility's actions were covered under the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, and should be heard in federal court. Across the country nursing homes have sought the protection of immunity from civil liability under the PREP Act.  However, most federal courts have held that the alleged negligent actions of the nursing home were not covered under the Act.  Last year the Third Circuit Court of Appeals rejected similar claims by a nursing home.

Read more in the article from McKnight's.

New Training Materials for Ombudsman Program Emergency Preparedness and Response

The new training materials, Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Role in Emergency Preparedness and Response, were developed by the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) as a basic training regarding the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program (Ombudsman program) role in emergency preparedness and response. The materials may be used in initial certification training or in-service (continuing education) training. The training materials include instructions, a PowerPoint, and a video. Ombudsman programs may customize the PowerPoint with specific state and/or local information. The content is the same in both resources; however, you may use them differently as described in the training instructions.

Download the training materials.

Webinar on Identifying and Preventing "Money Mule" Scams

Join the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) with the other ACL Elder Justice Resource Centers - Adult Protective Services Technical Assistance Resource Center (APS-TARC), National Adult Protective Services Training Center (NATC), National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), National Center on Law & Elder Rights (NCLER),  National Pension Assistance Resource Center (NPARC), National Resource Center on Women & Retirement (NRCWR) for a webinar on Thursday, March 10th at 2:00pm ET entitled "Money Mule Scams: Tips for Prevention, Identification, and Trauma-Informed Assistance." “Money mules” are individuals who receive and move money that came from victims of fraud. Some money mules know they are participating in a crime, but others are not aware that they are assisting in a crime. Attendees will learn the basics about money mule scams, including examples of these scams, tips for prevention and identification, how individuals can seek help, and available consumer education materials.

Register Now

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