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March 29, 2022

In this Issue:

  1. Consumer Voice Report: Using the Five-Star Quality Measure to Mask Bad Care
  2. March Forth Together: Tell Congress to Protect Nursing Home Residents
  3. Nursing Home Residents Discuss Staffing in New Podcast Episode
  4. Upcoming TA Talk and Volunteer Webinar from NORC
  5. Webinar from Justice in Aging and The Arc on How to Talk About HCBS
  6. Webinar on New Report on National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality

Consumer Voice Report: Using the Five-Star Quality Measure to Mask Bad Care

On February 28, 2022, the Biden Administration announced the most significant reforms to nursing home care in decades. Enhancing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Care Compare website is part of the proposed reforms. This website is the primary tool for consumers to investigate nursing homes and the quality of care they provide. One of the administration’s stated goals was to rely more heavily on verifiable data, rather than self-reported data provided by nursing homes.

Consumer Voice strongly supports this reform and has released a report detailing how necessary these changes are to ensure consumers are receiving accurate and reliable information. The report, Using the Five-Star Quality Measure to Mask Bad Care, looks at how largely self-reported data of the Quality Measures can obscure poor ratings in the other categories of staffing and health inspections. A frequent refrain from nursing homes with overall poor ratings is that their Quality Measure (QM) rating is very high. Consumer Voice’s report reveals how nursing homes with 5-star QM ratings can have the lowest ratings in staff or health inspections.

Read the report.

March Forth Together: Tell Congress to Protect Nursing Home Residents

March Forth TogetherWe need your help!  The Biden Administration recently announced significant reforms to nursing homes.  Some of these reforms will have to be implemented by Congress.  Additionally, advocates for nursing home residents have been fighting tirelessly to include important protections for nursing home residents in the Build Back Better Act.  Although the Act has stalled, Congress is considering taking legislative action soon on another economic bill.

We need you to contact your Congress members and tell them to take action to support the Biden Administration reforms and also to ensure the important nursing home provisions in the Build Back Better Act are included in any upcoming economic legislation.

Use our online tool to send messages to your members of Congress.

If you have not yet done so, there's still time to participate in our other March Forth actions:

Share Your Story on Social Media - Share a video of a nursing home resident, or yourself, answering the question "What does it mean when there aren't enough staff?" Tag us on Twitter @consumervoices and on Facebook @theconsumervoice and use #UnderstaffingisNeglect and #MarchForthwithResidents. 

Write a Letter to the Editor - Use our Letter to the Editor Guide which provides information on how to craft a strong letter to the editor and our online tool which lets you target your letter to multiple media outlets with one click.

Send a Thank You to President Biden - Send a message thanking President Biden for standing with nursing home residents and introducing these monumental nursing home reforms.

Thank you to all those who have already taken these actions!

Nursing Home Residents Discuss Staffing in New Podcast Episode

In a new episode of the Pursuing Quality Long-Term Care podcast, we speak directly with two long-term care residents, in Texas and Ohio, about the importance of the recently announced nursing home reforms, the problems they face in their day-to-day lives from inadequate and untrained staff, and what other changes they would like to see to help improve their lives in long-term care.

Subscribe to the Pursuing Quality Long-Term Care podcast on Apple Podcasts.  Don't have an iPhone? Listen on SoundCloud, Facebook, or our website.

Upcoming TA Talk and Volunteer Webinar from NORC

Long-term care ombudsman representatives are invited to join the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) for two upcoming events:

Quarterly Technical Assistance (TA) Talk: Resident Councils
Wednesday, March 30, 2022 3:00pm ET

NORC provides daily in-depth technical assistance, consultation, information, and referral, for Ombudsman programs. To increase direct access to technical assistance (TA) and peer support, NORC is hosting quarterly live technical assistance dialogues. This quarter's TA Talk will focus on resident councils. To help shape our discussion about resident councils, NORC encourages attendees to send questions to ombudcenter@theconsumervoice.org.

Register to attend via Zoom or watch live on NORC's Facebook page.

Recognizing the Importance of Volunteers
Thursday, April 21, 2022 3:00pm ET

Join NORC for a webinar to learn about volunteer representative recruitment and retention. Volunteer representatives will discuss why they stay with the Ombudsman program and programs will share state and local level examples of successful recruitment and retention activities. This information may assist programs in shaping their recruitment messages.

This webinar occurs during the 2022 National Volunteer Week; the theme is "Shining a Light on the People and Causes That Inspire Us to Serve." Thank your volunteers and recognize their work publicly by sending NORC brief messages of appreciation for their dedicated advocacy (e.g., examples of their advocacy, years of service, photos). NORC will post your message on its website and highlight the submissions on social media. Email your submissions to ombudcenter@theconsumervoice.org.

Register to Attend the Webinar

Certificates of Participation are available to those who register for these webinars and attend live on Zoom for for at least 30 minutes. Visit the NORC website for more information about these certificates.

Webinar from Justice in Aging and The Arc on How to Talk About HCBS

Join Justice in Aging and The Arc for a webinar on Tuesday, April 19th at 2:00pm ET entitled "How to Advocate for and Talk About Home and Community-Based Services." Most people who receive Medicaid can’t access the support they need because Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) are underfunded across the country.  Recent messaging research has revealed best practices for how to talk about HCBS persuasively, and can be used to advocate for increased funding. This webinar will provide an overview of HCBS and the state of legislation in Congress, present the results of messaging research, and provide participants with best practices for advocating and sharing stories.

Register Now

Webinar on New Report on the National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality

Join the Committee on the Quality of Care in Nursing Homes for a webinar Wednesday, April 6th at 11:00am ET discussing the findings and recommendations from their new report "The National Imperative to Improve Nursing Home Quality."  The report examines how our nation delivers, regulates, finances and measures quality of nursing home care, including the long-standing challenges brought to light by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Register Now

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