Mon 9/16: Busy day! After you write a comment against religious discrimination, do one on regulation rollbacks for nursing homes.

Your comments on each of these issues don’t need to be long. A couple of heartfelt sentences is good enough. Both of these issues touch just about everyone in this country. What if we all wrote and said, in our own unique voice – “ENOUGH”, you monsters!

Action #1 – Write to protect your LGBTQ family, friends and America from religious persecution, as well as women and religious minorities. Deadline tonight 11:59pm EST.

 

  • Comment here!
  • The proposed regulation is here.
  • Other people’s comments are here. Read for inspiration. Don’t copy. Identical comments and signatures on petitions will only count as (1) total comment.

America has a long history of slip-sliding towards religious intolerance, but common sense, and our Constitution, has kept us away from that abyss, allowing us to become the most powerful country in the world. Now, the Trump Administration, pandering to their far-right supporters, wants to allow a vastly expandable group of government contractors to discriminate for “religious” reasons against our fellow taxpaying citizens, including our LGBTQ community, women and religious minorities, on what are essentially private matters that are NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS.  

Read our posting on this issue here for more information and inspiration.

Action #2 – Write to protect our most fragile citizens from the greed of corporate nursing homes. Deadline tonight 11:59pm EST.

  • Comment here.
    Short comments can be effective. Describe your experience with nursing homes, explain that standards need to be strengthened not cut, and urge CMS to withdraw the proposed regulations because they will harm residents.
  • The deceptively-titled rule is here. – “Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities: Regulatory Provisions to Promote Efficiency, and Transparency.

So, how many of us have never seen a news report about abuse in nursing homes?
Never? Oh, here’s one from this year…

Was this an anomaly? No. In fact, violations against nursing homes are exploding!

  • CA:  45% of assisted living facilities have violated one or more state dementia regulations during the past five years.
  • TX: Nearly a quarter of the facilities that accept residents with Alzheimer’s have violated one or more state rules related to dementia care
  • FL: 1 in 11 assisted living facilities have been cited since 2013 for not meeting state rules designed to prevent residents from wandering away. (One lady got eaten by an alligator, ‘cuz Florida)

So, how many of us, (raise your hands), think that NOW would be a good time to rollback standards for safety, quality care and rights for vulnerable people to ENRICH nursing home operators?

This woman, Seema Verma, the administrator of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), would. Like all the grifters and lobbyists working in the current administration, she is more concerned with easing “industry “burdens” than caring for the people under her care.

Already, over $100 billion of our tax dollars go to pay for nursing home care through Medicare and Medicaid and we expect more than corruption and profiteering.  The  proposed cutbacks are estimated to save operators over $600 million annually, which they will be allowed to pocket because the (CMS) is not requiring operators to reinvest savings into staffing and resident care.

Yeah, these are the changes you want to see for your loved one’s long-term care facility…

  • Reducing Facility assessments: The proposed rule would reduce the frequency of facility-wide assessment staffing requirements, emergency preparedness, and other facility needs from every year to once every two years.
  • Making it harder to access quality: The proposed rule would roll back many of the specific directives under the Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement Program (QAPI) program. It would retain introductory regulatory text that requires a facility’s QAPI program to be ongoing and comprehensive and to address the full range of care and services, but it would remove detailed regulatory requirements that set forth how a program meets those objectives.
  • Makes it easier to use dangerous antipsychotic drugs to sedate residents: CMS proposes to remove the requirement a doctor must personally examine a patient before renewing a PRN’s (Profession Registered Nurse) prescriptions for antipsychotics. The proposal allows doctors to just check off paperwork.
  • Ethics and Compliance: CMS proposes to remove many of the requirements that are not already in place by law, including removing the requirements for a compliance officer and compliance liaison as well as requirements for reviewing the program from annually to every two years.
  • Resident Rights: The proposal would reduce a facility’s responsibilities to make sure residents are informed of the name and specialties of all physicians to just that of their primary care physician.
  • Exemptions from Life Safety Code Requirements: This proposal would allow certain nursing homes to revert to outdated fire safety standards. In the name of protecting an estimated 50 nursing homes nationwide from having to upgrade to the current fire safety standards, CMS would endanger many thousands of nursing home residents by lowering fire safety standards that were intended to keep them safe. This misguided change is completely unacceptable.
  • Undermines Infection Control standards: Nursing homes are required to establish infection prevention and control programs.The proposal would reduce a facility’s responsibilities to designate at least one staff member as an infection preventionist who worked at least part-time at the facility to just an “infection preventionist” would merely need to have “sufficient time at the facility to meet the objectives” of the infection prevention program.
  • Makes it easier to evict residents: CMS proposes to revise the requirement for facilities to send discharge notices to a state LTC ombudsman by applying this requirement to “facility-initiated involuntary transfers and discharges” only.

Deeper dive into each of these point here.

 

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