Public Policy Committee, Helping Improve Our Care Capacity

Those of us who care for vulnerable older adults who live in congregate settings are all 

too aware of the many challenges that we are faced with.  There are aspects of the healthcare system that many of us would like to change.  For example, the survey process can demoralize the front-line staff who compassionately care for very complex residents.  That same staff often work for relatively low wages in an industry that arguably needs greater resources.  The number of staff that care for the residents is often inadequate. Many of us feel relatively helpless in relation to the forces that are responsible for these challenges.  Over the past two years CALTCM has worked assiduously to advocate for residents and their caregivers.  We’ve demonstrated that our voices can be heard and that we can have an impact.  In the process, we’ve reconstituted our Public Policy Committee.  We are always looking for new members to join our Committee and new ideas to focus on.  Consider joining us!

As CALTCM’s Public Policy Committee looks at 2022, we can all agree that we’ve had a steep learning curve over the past two years.  We’ve not only written letters in support of various bills, but we conceptualized two bills that both were signed into law by Governor Newsom this past fall.  California is now the only state in the country that requires, by law, that nursing home medical directors be certified.  California will also keep a registry of nursing home medical directors and their certification status.  This is an excellent beginning, but the coming years will require ongoing efforts to build on it.  We’ve accomplished a lot, but there’s still a lot of work to do. CALTCM takes its vision of being the medical voice of long term care in California seriously.  We urge you to be part of this vision by joining one of our committees.

The Public Policy Committee is not just about legislation.  CALTCM members continue to meet every two weeks with the leadership of the California Department of Public Health.  We regularly are given the opportunity to review All-Facility Letters and provide comments and edits.  We’ve worked hard to develop ongoing relationships with legislators and staff so that we can be in a position to influence future policy efforts. Similarly, we’ve also developed relationships at the Federal level with congresspersons and their staff.  With congressional support for our efforts, we will be presenting a project proposal at the CMS Annual Quality Conference related to reducing disparities in nursing homes.  Our Nursing Home and Assisted Living Delphi Steering Committees continue to meet regularly, with the goal of providing evidence based, expert driven policy recommendations.

Do you want to make a difference?  Consider volunteering to become part of CALTCM’s Public Policy Committee or one of our other committees.  One of my favorite movie quotes is “Do…or do not. There is no try.” CALTCM continues to try to live by this concept. We can make a difference. Join us in doing so.
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