Empowering Health Care Consumers

Grantee Name

Long Term Care Community Coalition

Funding Area

Empowering Health Care Consumers

Publication Date

January 2019

Grant Amount

$84,979

Grant Date:

January 2017 – April 2018

Despite the critical services nursing homes provide for people with both long-term and short-term needs, widespread problems persist.

Safe, high-quality, person-centered care that maintains the physical, emotional, and social wellbeing of the frailest New Yorkers has become the exception, rather than the rule. To address these problems, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an overhaul of federal nursing home standards and updated Nursing Home Compare, the government-operated nursing home comparison website, to help the public gain better insight into the quality of care provided by facilities in their communities. In 2017, NYSHealth awarded Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC) a grant to ensure that the new standards and information sources are understood and used by New York’s nursing home residents and their families.

Outcomes and Lessons Learned

  • Organized an outreach campaign to alert nursing home residents and their families, family councils, long-term care ombudsmen, legislative offices, consumer assistance organizations, and other stakeholders about the regulatory changes taking place and updates to Nursing Home Compare, as well as other available free programs and resources.
  • Held monthly webinar trainings on nursing home regulation changes related to quality of care, quality of life, and dignity, including topics on nursing home discharge and transfer protections; dementia care and antipsychotic drugging standards; and care planning and resident choice standards.
  • Conducted monthly outreach about the webinars and other trainings to New York State’s Long Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) and local LTCOPs across the State, consumer organizations, and county long-term care navigator organizations.
  • Hosted a half-day training conference to further discuss the meaning of the new regulations. Conference materials were distributed to additional stakeholders, such as nursing home staff and staff members from the government agencies that monitor and oversee care.
  • Developed updated fact sheets, a consumer guide, and other tools and materials on nursing home quality and dignity standards to reflect the new regulations, which were posted on LTCCC’s website, redesigned specifically for showcasing these materials, and disseminated widely through regular mail, e-mail alerts, and social media.

LTCCC worked across sectors to educate and inform stakeholders on key changes to the standards and the usefulness of Nursing Home Compare as a tool to access good care. It presented its work at the 2017 National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care annual conference, which in turn led to LTCCC’s executive director being interviewed on a podcast on the topic. At the State level, LTCCC has met and shared its work with the New York State Department of Health, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Office of Medicaid Inspector General, and with legislative aides in Albany. Nationally, it has discussed the project and its outcomes with legislative officials in Washington D.C., and with senior staff at CMS’s Nursing Home Division. CMS staff were particularly interested in learning about LTCCC’s consumer education/engagement efforts.

Through this project, nursing home residents and their families across the State have strengthened their abilities to apply these new mechanisms and protections to their own health and wellbeing.

 Co-Funding and Additional Funds Leveraged: N/A