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Current Newsletter - Friends of Long-Term Care

Providing Consumer-Focused Advocacy and Education

Summer Concert, Wine Tasting & Fund Raiser

Consumer Voices

ENCORE! The warm, casual elegance of wine and classical music swirled around the sell-out crowd at Friend’s Summer Concert and Wine Tasting Fundraiser on June 14. John Q. Walker, Founder and CEO of Muses Labs, generously offered his private home and concert hall for the event. Pianist Emi Nakajima and clarinetist Marianne Breneman enchanted the gathering with Brandon, Chopin and Mozart, including the sublimely beautiful Mozart Concerto for Clarinet.

After the concert Margaret Toman introduced community leaders who have built legacies of service and commitment to issues effecting older adults. They included John Thoma, CEO of Transitions Lifecare; Les Geller, Founder of the Raleigh LGBTQ Center and currently President of SAGE Raleigh; Alice Watkins, retired President of Alzheimer’s North Carolina; Lou Paules, retired Caregiver Support Coordinator for the Center for Volunteer Caregiving; Doris Jacobs, former Chair of FORLTC; Bill Lamb, currently Chair of FORLTC and his wife Marty, currently secretary for the Coalition on Aging, both with long histories of service and advocacy for older adults. Among others in the audience were Albert Ervin, Director of Special Exhibits at the NC Museum of Natural History; Leon Parker, Prison Chaplain at Butner Correctional Facility; Jeff Leiter, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at NCSU and his wife Carrie Knowles, author and Piedmont Laureate. Charmaine Fuller-Cooper was present representing AARP, which provided a generous donation to help stage this event.

Jane Cones of Wines for Humanity kept glasses filled and Mary Morris presented generous platters of fine cheeses, fruit and canape’s. Raffle ticket winners went home with prizes that included a wine carafe and glasses and gift cards to be used at the The Angus Barn, The Umstead Hotel & Spa, and the Outback Steakhouse/Bonefish Grill. The event raised over $1,000. Many guests called it a “once in a lifetime” evening and are calling for a repeat performance!

What Happened in the General Assembly

  • HB 248 An Act To Make Changes To The Adult Care Home And Nursing Home Advisory Committees To Conform To The Administration For Community Living Rules And Recent Changes To The State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program - This bill was one of the main priorities in Friends 2017 Legislative Agenda. It clarifies the authority of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman and brings our system of Community Advisory Committees into compliance with Federal Rules associated with the administration of the Ombudsman Program. Many thanks are due to Representative Donna White for her dogged determination and work to ensure this bill passed.
  • HB 399 Stop Images Taken Without Consent from Dissemination An Act to protect persons who are photographed, videotaped, or recorded without their consent from having his or her image disclosed. - There has been a rash of stories published recently where compromising pictures of residents in long term care facilities have been posted on social media. This bill, while not directly focused on ltc residents, will make it a criminal offense to post some of the most objectionable kinds of pictures involved.
  • HB 657 Improve Adult Care Home Regulation - An Act modifying the laws prohibiting issuance of adult care home licenses due to prior violations; exempting from CON review new institutional health services involving the acquisition of an unlicensed adult care home that was previously licensed; establishing a process for adult care home to request informal dispute resolution of certain adverse inspection findings by county DSSs prior to imposition of a penalty or issuance of a star rating certificate based on the adverse inspection findings; amending the rules pertaining to minimum training for personal care aides; eliminating the 12-24 month penalty on adult care home star ratings; and directing DHHS to study the effectiveness of the NC star-rated certificate program for adult care homes.

    Friends of Residents participated in an extensive review of adult care home regulations led by the Adult Care Licensure Section which involved industry representatives, advocates, the ombudsman program, and county social services representatives. Through this work, agreement was reached to make modifications in existing laws. H657was featured in a recent publication of North Carolina Health News in an article, Adult Care Home Bill is Unique in its Consensus. This law does direct the Department of Health and Human Services to study the star rating certificate program, and Friends will need to continue active involvement in that review.

Key Provisions of Budget Bill - S257/S.L. 2017-57

  • SECTION 11. C. 13 (P. 175) – TEMPORARY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE FOR FACILITIES LICENSED TO ACCEPT STATE-COUNTY SPECIAL ASSISTANCE - Authorizes $5 million non-recurring funding in each year of the biennium to continue the provision of temporary assistance to facilities that serve State-County Special Assistance recipients. Counties and the State will each provide 50% of the funding. Facilities will receive $34 per month for each resident who receives Special Assistance.
  • SECTION 11.D.1 (p. 176) – STATE-COUNTY SPECIAL ASSISTANCE - Specifies that for each year of the 2017-2019 fiscal biennium, the maximum monthly rate for residents in adult care home facilities shall be $1,182 per month per resident and for residents in Alzheimer's/Dementia special care units the maximum monthly rate shall be $1,515 per month per resident.
  • SECTION 11D.1A (p. 177) – AUTHORIZATION FOR SECRETARY OF DHHS TO RAISE THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF STATE-COUNTY SPECIAL ASSISTANCE IN-HOME PAYMENTS - Allows the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to waive the 15% percent cap on the number of Special Assistance in-home payments, as the Secretary deems necessary.
  • SECTION 11G.3 (p. 206) – MORATORIUM ON SPECIAL CARE UNIT LICENSES - Specifies that for the period beginning July 1, 2017, and ending June 30, 14 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Health Service Regulation, shall not issue any licenses for special care units as defined in G.S. 131D-4.6 and 16 G.S. 131E-114 except in situations noted in the provision. The Department is to submit a report to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services and the Fiscal Research Division by March 1, 2019.
  • SECTION 11H.12 (p. 210) – INCREASE PERSONAL CARE SERVICES RATE - TDirects that beginning January 1, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance, shall increase to $3.90 the rate paid per 15-minute billing unit for personal care services provided pursuant to Clinical Coverage Policy 3L and for in-home aide, respite care in-home aide, and personal care assistance services provided under the Community Alternatives Program for Children (CAP-C) waiver pursuant to Clinical Coverage Policy 3K-1. This equates to an hourly rate of $15.60.

    (note: The legislature decreased the reimbursement rate several years ago, which put North Carolina among the states with the lowest reimbursements rates in the country. The impacts of the decrease: a decline in interest among private care agencies to accept Medicaid patients, a stagnation of worker pay, increased staff turnover, and in some cases, the closing down of private in-home and adult care agencies. All of these trends have meant lower quality, less consistent and less available care for seniors, as well as adults and children with disabilities needing care and support. With the rate increase, agencies that have been losing staff to other low-wage industries may be more able to pass on more of the reimbursement to their employees in the form of better wages, allowing them to recruit staff more competitively and retain their best employees.)
  • SECTION 11H.12A (p. 211) – RETROACTIVE PERSONAL CARE SERVICES PAYMENT - Directs the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance, to amend Section 5.5, Retroactive Prior Approval for PCS, of Clinical Coverage Policy 3L, State Plan Personal Care Services (PCS), to extend the allowable retroactive period for prior approvals for personal care services from 10 days to 30 days upon the same conditions that are currently required for retroactive prior approval of personal care services. This section is not to be construed to require Medicaid reimbursement for personal care services provided within the retroactive period in excess of the number of hours approved through the prior approval process. This becomes effective August 1, 2017, and applies to Requests for Independent Assessment for Personal Care Services Attestation for Medical Need forms received on or after that date.
  • SECTION 11H.25 (p. 225) – STUDY PROGRAM OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY - Directs the Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Medical Assistance, to conduct a study of the efficacy of the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). In conducting the study, the Department shall engage a variety of stakeholders, including existing PACE organizations, PACE consumers, and the general public. No later than March 1, 2018, the Department is to submit to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Medicaid and NC Health Choice a report containing the information specified by this provision, as well as any recommendations and proposed legislative changes that further the goal of providing the highest quality programs at a low cost to keep aging individuals in their homes.
  • HOME AND COMMUNITY CARE BLOCK GRANT APPROPRIATION - Assembly appropriated $967,549 in non-recurring funding for each year of the biennium for the Home and Community Care Block Grant (HCCBG).This is important in support of home and community based services supported through the aging network.

Long Term Services and Supports Scorecard

AARP, with support of the nation’s leading organizations behind quality long-term care – The Commonwealth Fund and the SCAN Foundation – has released a state-by-state Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard (2017 Edition) that takes a multi-dimensional approach to measure state level performance of long-term services and supports systems that assist older people, people with disabilities, and family caregivers. The Scorecard examines each state’s performance using 25 data indicators and measures changes in performance since the second Scorecard which was released in 2014. The full report is available at and the report for North Carolina is available here.

Friends Establishes Lawyer Referral Advisory Board

At the beginning of 2017 Friends of Residents in Long Term Care initiated our Lawyer Referral Service. This service links residents and families with an experienced attorney in North Carolina who practices in the areas of elder abuse, neglect, nursing home litigation, or medical malpractice. The advisory board is intended to help Friends manage and market this important service. Roger Manus, Director, Senior Law Clinic at the Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law, will join Friend's Board Members Brian Liebman and Sheila Lewis on the LRS Advisory Board. An initial meeting was held last month with Sheyna Alterovitz, former executive director and contractor, who briefed the advisory board on her work setting up the lawyer referral service and what is involved in its administration.

Please consider donating to help improve long-term care

Your tax-deductible donation supports our mission to improve long-term care in residential and community settings throughout the state. Your support allows us to answer questions on our Consumer Warm-Line, develop workshops for long-term care residents and their family members, and raise public awareness about long-term care issues. Click here to support Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care. Thank you so much for your help!

Copyright © 2017 Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care, All rights reserved.


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Claudia Davis,
Jul 7, 2017, 9:53 AM