Author: Julia Evans Starr

CMS adds new alert for nursing homes accused of abuse, neglect


October 8, 2019

CMS adds new alert for nursing homes accused of abuse, neglect. Starting Oct. 23, the online tool consumers use to compare nursing homes will include a “consumer alert icon” next to nursing homes cited for incidents of abuse, neglect or exploitation, POLITICO’s Rachel Roubein reports. The agency says it’s aiming to increase transparency, make it easier for consumers to find this information and give it to them faster than waiting for CMS’ quarterly updates. (The icon will be updated monthly).

But some advocates said they want more. Bob Blancato, the Elder Justice Coalition’s national coordinator, wrote in an email that the policy change “still leaves the glass more than half empty” and that “transparency would be better achieved if it included a process by which data submitted to get a rating was subject to periodic audit to ensure its accuracy.”

The nursing home lobby, American Health Care Association, said it supports transparency but thinks CMS should create a “standard and rational definition” of abuse and neglect. It also wants CMS to add customer satisfaction capabilities to the Nursing Home Compare tool, so consumers can see reviews.



Oct 07, 2019

Trump Administration Empowers Nursing Home Patients, Residents, Families, and Caregivers by Enhancing Transparency about Abuse and Neglect Administration delivers on “Transparency” pillar of a five-part approach to ensuring nursing home safety and quality, giving patients unprecedented information about nursing home quality

Today, the Trump Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a major enhancement of the information available to nursing home residents, families, and caregivers on the Agency’s Nursing Home Compare website. Later this month, CMS will – for the first time – display a consumer alert icon next to nursing homes that have been cited for incidents of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. By making this information accessible and understandable, CMS is empowering consumers to make the right decisions for themselves and their loved ones. This critical move toward improved transparency is yet another way CMS is delivering on the Agency’s five-part approach to ensuring safety and quality in nursing homes, which Administrator Seema Verma announced in April 2019.

“The Trump Administration and CMS are committed to ensuring that nursing home residents are safe from abuse and neglect. Through the “transparency” pillar of our five-part strategy to ensure safety and quality in nursing homes, we are giving residents and families the ability to make informed choices,” said Administrator Seema Verma. “With today’s action, the Trump Administration is putting critical information at consumers’ fingertips, empowering them and incentivizing nursing homes to compete on cost and quality.”

The already robust Nursing Home Compare tool displays an array of information about nursing homes – including whether a facility meets federal standards with respect to health and safety compliance inspections, staffing levels, and quality measure performance. Previously, consumers could learn about past instances of abuse citations at a nursing home, but finding this information from its health inspection reports available on Nursing Home Compare required multiple steps. Through today’s action, CMS is minimizing the steps, making it easier than ever for patients, residents, and their families and caregivers to quickly identify nursing homes with past citations for abuse.

Patients and families will see CMS’ new alert icon for Nursing Home Compare, shown above.

Beginning October 23, 2019, the new alert icon will be added to the Nursing Home Compare website for facilities cited on inspection reports for one or both of the following: 1) abuse that led to harm of a resident within the past year; and 2) abuse that could have potentially led to harm of a resident in each of the last two years. To ensure CMS is providing the latest information, the icon will be updated monthly, at the same time CMS inspection results are updated. This means consumers will not be forced to wait for CMS’s quarterly updates to see the latest -related information – and nursing homes will not be flagged for longer than necessary if their most recent inspections indicate they have remedied the issues that caused the citations for abuse or potential for abuse and no longer meet the criteria for the icon. This icon will supplement existing information, including the Nursing Home Five-Star Ratings, helping consumers develop a more complete understanding of a facility’s quality.

There are many factors that indicate a nursing home’s quality, and the Star Ratings may not capture some nuances. For example, a nursing home cited for an incident of abuse may have adequate staffing numbers and provide excellent dementia or rehabilitative care. Previously, consumers would clearly see this facility’s performance in these areas through the Star Ratings, but abuse complaint allegation information may not have been as clear. Under the CMS action announced today, this facility would have an alert icon displayed, allowing consumers to see both its Star Ratings and the icon, helping them easily weigh the facility’s quality. In addition, we are continuing our work to improve the usefulness of the Star Ratings.

Today’s announcement is part of CMS’ larger push initiative to keep nursing home residents safe – Administrator Verma’s five-part approach to ensuring safety and quality in America’s nursing homes. The approach includes the following pillars: Strengthening Oversight, Enhancing Enforcement, Increasing Transparency, Improving Quality, and Putting Patients over Paperwork. This framework is informing all CMS work related to nursing home safety.

Read the October ’19 CAPE Newsletter Here

Read the CAPE Newsletter here.

CAPE:  The Coalition for Abuse Prevention of the Elderly (CAPE) is a collaborative effort of citizens, agencies, and businesses in Fairfield County, who champion the safety and well-being of older adults. The group aims to prevent abuse and help victims through advocacy, awareness, and professional training and support. The group was started with an initial grant from the National Center for the Prevention of Elder Abuse in 2008, and jointly pursued by the Center for Elder Abuse Prevention, a program of The Jewish Senior Services, and The Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging.

For assistance, please call: The Center for Elder Abuse Prevention helpline 203-396-1097.

NCLER Training for the Month of October

The National Center on Law and Elder Rights (NCLER) is presenting two free webcasts in the month of October:

On October 8th, a webcast on “Issues at the Intersection of Social Security and Medicare,” presented by Georgia Burke and Trinh Phan of Justice in Aging. You can find more information and register here.

On October 16th, a webcast on “Eviction Defense 2.0: Challenging Issues Facing Older Tenants At Risk of Eviction,” presented Kara Brodfuehrer, Staff Attorney at the National Housing Law Project. You can find more information and register here.

Please feel free to share this announcement with anyone that may be interested. All trainings are free! To stay updated on upcoming trainings, please join email list here.

2019 Coalition for Elder Justice in CT Symposium: VOICES United

This year’s Symposium is being held in conjunction with the VOICES Forum, for the first time together providing Connecticut’s nursing home residents and leading Elder Justice partners with the opportunity to meet and discuss issues affecting older adults.

When: Thursday, October 10, 2019 from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm

Where:  Aqua Turf Club, 556 Mulberry Street, Plantsville, CT 06479

Registration is now closed.  


Elder Abuse Case Conference: September 12th in Bridgeport

CAPE is excited to announce a new bi-annual forum for professionals to address elder abuse by case review. Join your colleagues as we share challenging cases and work through resources and interventions together.  Professional privacy will be strictly enforced.  RSVP by September 9th.  CEUs are available for Social Workers.

Thursday, September 12th from 8:30am – 11:30am

Bennett Hall, Jewish Senior Services, 4200 Park Ave., Bridgeport, CT

For more information, to submit a case for review, or to attend, contact Anne Hughes, LMSW, at or call (203) 364-8251. 

Free Webcast: Representing a Client in a Defense of Guardianship Case

When: Tuesday, September 10, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET.

Lawyers serve an essential role in protecting the due process rights of every defendant or respondent in an adult guardianship case. This can include presenting evidence that no guardian is needed or that a limited guardianship is sufficient to provide the protections that are needed. This webcast will focus on the role of an attorney representing the interests and wishes of a client who is the subject of a guardianship action.

Presenters will share:

  • How to protect the client’s due process rights;
  • Options for when a guardian/conservator is not needed;
  • How to respond when the filing asks for more protection than is needed; and
  • Actions to take when a guardianship order is no longer needed or a less restrictive order is needed.

This training will explore common due process concerns and substantive defenses in adult guardianship cases. Presenters will discuss how to develop and present evidence advocating for the least restrictive alternatives in an adult guardianship case.

Previous NCLER trainings on this topic include:


  • David Godfrey, Senior Attorney, ABA Commission on Law and Aging
  • Catherine Seal, Senior Partner, Kirtland & Seal, L.L.C.

Closed captioning will be available on this webcast. A link with access to the captions will be shared through GoToWebinar’s chat box shortly before the webcast start time.

To register click here.

TEARS Annual Elder Abuse Conference – October 8, 2019

The Intersection Between Mental Health and Aging.

The conference provides education from renowned experts, time to network with other professionals in the aging network and interaction with service providers from a wide-range of for-profit and non-profit organizations.  There is no registration fee  •  CEU credits are offered  •  Light breakfast & lunch included.  Go here for more information.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019
8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Toyota Oakdale Theater, Wallingford, CT

Register here

NCLC’s statement regarding CMS’ proposed rule

Federal Government Strips Legal Rights of Older Consumers in Nursing Homes



National Consumer Law Center contact: Jan Kruse ( or (617) 542-8010

Washington – Late yesterday, the U.S. Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its final nursing home arbitration rule, allowing nursing homes to force residents into arbitration and depriving them of access to the courts in case of a dispute. In 2017, National Consumer Law Center and dozens of other advocates filed comments with CMS condemning the proposed move to strip legal rights from residents in long-term care facilities.

The following statement is provided by National Consumer Law Center Associate Director Lauren Saunders.

“It is outrageous that the federal government has rolled back this key protection that gave nursing home residents and their families the right to hold nursing homes accountable for abuse, neglect, and failure to safeguard loved ones.

“Forcing disputes into a secretive system before a private arbitrator, often chosen by the nursing home, with no appeal if the arbitrator ignores the facts or gets the law wrong, is deplorable. The previous rule prohibiting forced arbitration in contracts was adopted in 2016 after CMS examined years of data showing abuse and neglect in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. CMS also concluded that forced arbitration clauses contribute to a lack of accountability and shield wrongdoing from the public spotlight. CMS conducted a literature review and also reviewed court opinions involving arbitration in long-term care facilities. Many of the articles reviewed provided evidence that pre-dispute arbitration agreements were detrimental to the health and safety of LTC facility residents.

“Everyone should be outraged at this injustice which gives a “get out of jail” card to nursing homes that neglect or cause the death of some of our nation’s most vulnerable and fragile people.”

TEARS Annual Elder Abuse Conference Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Agency on Aging of South Central CT is looking for partners for the annual TEARS Conference.  Go here for more information.

 Sponsorship, exhibitor tables and resource guide ads are available.

Your Organization Benefits

  • You will have direct contact with the over 600 professionals attending.
  • These professionals have direct contact with thousands of consumers.

Older Adults Benefit

  • Your support allows this conference to provide invaluable training and support for aging industry professionals (and free continuing education credits).

Reserve your table by July 15 & receive a $100 discount.

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