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  1. Average Nursing Home Fine Drops Significantly After Administration Rolls Back Civil Money Penalties
  2. Nursing Home Resident Advocates, Not Invited to Testify, Submit Statement for the Record
  3. LTCCC Publishes Report on Nursing Home Resident Abuse, Neglect, and Crime
  4. Oral Health Highlight

Join Us!

6th Annual National Voices of Medicare Summit &
Sen. Jay Rockefeller Lecture

Rep. John Lewis will deliver this year’s Sen. Jay Rockefeller Lecture

Also joining us: Sen. Jay Rockefeller; Rep. Rosa DeLauro; Judy Feder of Georgetown University; Tricia Neuman, Senior VP, Kaiser Family Foundation; Henry Claypool, Technology Policy Consultant at AAPD and Former Director of the HHS Office on Disability; Cathy Hurwit, Former Chief of Staff for Rep. Jan Schakowsky; film writer Anna Reid-JhiradBen Belton, AARP Global Partner Engagement Director; and a direct-care worker from SEIU._______________

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May 9, 2019
8:30 AM – 3:30 PM

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Kaiser Family Foundation
1330 G. Street, NW
Washington, DC

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Average Nursing Home Fine Drops Significantly After Administration Rolls Back Civil Money Penalties

Nursing homes can be penalized through the imposition of a civil money penalty (CMP) for either the number of days that the facility has not been in compliance with a federal requirement (per-day) or for each instance of noncompliance (per-instance). Responding to requests from the nursing home industry, the Trump Administration rolled back previous guidelines to set per-instance CMPs, rather than per-day, as the default penalty. In 2017, The New York Times reported that the roll back means “some nursing homes could be sheltered from fines above the maximum per-instance fine of $20,965 even for egregious mistakes.” A follow-up article published by NPR now shows that the roll back has resulted in the average fine dropping from $41,260 in 2016 to $28,405.

According to NPR, the reduction in the average fine comes despite a 28% increase in the total number of financial penalties. This discrepancy can be explained by the fact that the maximum dollar amount for a per-instance penalty is capped (around $21,000 in 2018), whereas per-day CMPs can accrue for days, weeks, and even months. The article adds that the average per-instance CMP under the Trump Administration is below $9,000. As Toby Edelman, Senior Policy Attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy (the Center), told NPR, “[t]hese are multimillion-dollar businesses — $9,000 is nothing.”

The Center and other consumer advocacy groups have been working to oppose the Trump Administration’s efforts to roll back nursing home resident rights and protections, including opposing the switch to per-instance CMPs. NPR notes that critics of the policy change argue that reducing the impact of nursing home penalties gives “nursing homes less incentive to fix faulty and dangerous practices before someone gets hurt.”

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Nursing Home Resident Advocates, Not Invited to Testify, Submit Statement for the Record

The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance held a hearing on nursing home resident abuse and neglect on March 6, 2019. The Senate Finance Committee did not invite a single consumer advocate to testify before the Committee, although a nursing home industry representative did participate in the hearing. As a result, the Center for Medicare Advocacy (Center) joined other consumer advocacy organizations to submit a statement for the record. Our statement begins with an overview of recommendations for improving nursing home quality of care, including reversing the roll back of resident rights and protections, as well as implementing higher staffing standards. The statement concludes by responding to false or misleading points made some of the witnesses, including countering the notion that a higher Medicaid reimbursement is necessary for improving resident care.

 

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LTCCC Publishes Report on Nursing Home Resident Abuse, Neglect, and Crime

The Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC), a non-profit consumer advocacy organization headquartered in New York, has published a report examining the federal requirements and key practices for addressing nursing home resident abuse, neglect, and crime. The report, Addressing Abuse, Neglect, and Suspicion of a Crime Against Nursing Home Residents, is free and available on LTCCC’s new Abuse, Neglect, and Crime Reporting Center. In addition to the report, the Reporting Center contains facts sheets and downloadable forms that residents, families, ombudsmen, law enforcement, and others can use to address abuse, neglect, and crime in nursing homes across the country.

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Oral Health Highlight

This week Center for Medicare Advocacy Policy Attorney Kata Kertesz presented a webinar together with Justice in Aging regarding Medicare Basics for OPEN, the Oral Health Progress and Equity Network.

OPEN is a national network of individuals and organizations that believe oral health is essential to overall health and wellbeing. OPEN is organizing across the country to ensure this fact is widely understood and embraced. The Center for Medicare Advocacy has been committed to improving oral health for older people and people with disabilities for many years. With support from the DentaQuest Foundation, the Center has been a leader in policy work and in providing technical Medicare assistance to the national efforts to develop a robust oral health benefit in Medicare.

Join Center for Medicare Advocacy Senior Attorney Wey-Wey Kwok on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 for the second part of this oral health webinar series – a presentation about adding an oral health benefit to Medicare.

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