Every year the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, known as Consumer Voice, releases an annual report for the previous year. The report covers the previous year’s developments in policy, reforms, Consumer Voice trainings, and more. The 2022 report, released earlier this week, included a lot of information, especially since there were a lot of good developments this past year. We’d like to focus on three main takeaways from the Consumer Voice 2022 report.
Focus on Ombudsmen
Ombudsmen are incredibly important players in the nursing home industry. They are well educated on policy and act as a voice for the voiceless on a higher level than family or friends might be able to. Part of Consumer Voice’s efforts are highly focused on educating ombudsmen so they can operate at their highest level of effectiveness. Under the Consumer Voice umbrella is the National LTC Ombudsman Resource Center (NORC) which hosts educational opportunities, community calls, office hours, and more.
Some of what they provide for State Ombudsmen includes:
- Quarterly Technical Assistance (TA) Talks, which allow Ombudsman programs to hear from NORC staff, subject matter experts, and peers on frequently discussed topics
- Revised Initial Certification Training Curriculum materials created for both the trainer and the trainee, with the most up-to-date training on ACL’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program Training Standards
- Webinars and training material development, including a State Ombudsman Training Conference
Abuse Prevention Education
It’s no secret that Consumer Voice’s main objective and mission is to raise awareness of abuse and offer resources to help prevent, or even eradicate, nursing home abuse altogether. Working with the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), Consumer Voice is always compiling fact sheets and other valuable information on, as well as advocating for, measures to prevent abuse. Some of their best resources are:
- Prevention of Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation
- Adult Protective Services, What You Must Know
- Which Chronic Diseases in Older Adults Increase the Risk of Elder Mistreatment and Why
Nursing Home Transparency
One of the key issues that leads to poor care in nursing homes is ownership that puts profits over people, or fiscal irresponsibility. The Consumer Voice has advocated for more transparency for these organizations so that residents and families know exactly how money is being spent and make informed choices.
Over the past year Consumer Voice has:
- A letter to HHS Secretary Bacerra requesting that he implement provisions from the Affordable Care Act that would increase transparency in nursing home ownership and spending.
- Several meetings with CMS regarding how they provide nursing home ownership information on Care Compare. CV pushed for more information on measures of quality across nursing home chains. CMS has agreed providing this information is important and is reportedly taking steps to implement CV’s recommendations.
- Information and support provided to Congressional staff and state efforts to improve transparency and accountability.
All of this information can be found in the official Consumer Voice 2022 Annual Report.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, call Gharibian Law (877-875-1119) today for a free consultation and the best legal representation.