LTSS Newsletter – September 2019

Long-Term Services and Supports

Technical assistance for culturally competent care

September 2019

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LTSS Technical Assistance Center

Visit the online LTSS TA Center for videos, best practices, toolkits, a resource library, and a step-by-step planning roadmap.

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Cultural health is part of behavioral health

Providing LTSS that supports all aspects of wellbeing often involves a team of care providers, including behavioral health professionals and spiritual leaders.

By providing culturally sensitive care, behavioral health professionals in LTSS settings promote overall health and help those they care for continue their lifeways.

The CMS Office of Minority Health recently developed a free online training for behavioral health professionals to promote cultural health through culturally sensitive care.

Improving Cultural Competency for Behavioral Health Professionals takes about 5 hours to complete.

Cultural health in long-term care facilities

Tribal long-term care facilities provide culturally sensitive care by honoring traditions and individual preferences, coordinating cultural activities, supporting elders’ spiritual wellbeing, and more.

Read a CMS report on cultural sensitivity in LTSS settings to learn how tribal nursing homes support the cultural health of their residents.

Improving access to care for people with disabilities

Two patients and a caregiver in front of a health care facility

A graphic from the fact sheet, Getting the Care
You Need: A Guide for People with Disabilities

The CMS Office of Minority Health has several resources to help people with disabilities access quality health care. The tools include videos, a fact sheet, a resource inventory, and data highlights.

The video series, “Navigating Health Care with a Disability: Our Stories,” features people with disabilities describing their experiences accessing health care. The series also explains how health care organizations and providers can improve accessibility and care for people with disabilities.

New Medicare Beneficiary Identifier: Get it, use it

An example of a new Medicare card

To help protect patients’ identities, CMS has issued and mailed new Medicare cards that use a Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) instead of a Social Security Number. Care providers should start using MBIs as soon as possible. After January 1, 2020, claims submitted without MBIs will be rejected. Learn more about what these changes mean for providers.

Preparing for flu season

As fall arrives, so does cold and flu season. Elders are more likely than other adults to experience flu complications and flu-related deaths, which is why vaccinating elders and their caregivers against the flu is so critical.

To help reinforce that message, the Association of American Indian Physicians website features a brochure (PDF, 1.2 MB, 2 pp), fact sheet (PDF, 1.2 MB, 1 p), and several short videos promoting annual flu vaccination.

Treating either the flu or a cold with antibiotics is not effective and can actually have negative side effects. To help ensure elders receive the care they need and take antibiotics only when necessary, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released an informational brochure (PDF, 453 KB, 2 pp) on antibiotic use in long-term care facilities.

Yoga is one age fits all

Elders seated on yoga mats

A recent University of Edinburgh study found that yoga practice enhances elders’ mental and physical health.

According to that study, yoga simply needs to be consistent, not necessarily intense or advanced, to provide health benefits.

Research suggests regular yoga practice can help provide relief from rheumatoid arthritis and depression while improving overall strength.

Caregivers can help elders get started by checking out 7 Yoga Poses for Seniors.

Caregiver corner: Dementia resources
A webinar PowerPoint slide that reads: Touching the Spirit Through Music - Wisconsin Music & Memory Program

Dementia is becoming more common among elders, which translates into an increased need for caregivers who can provide culturally appropriate LTSS for people with dementia. This newsletter will regularly feature dementia resources, which we encourage you to share with caregivers.

Learn how music can rekindle the spirits of elders who have dementia. In this webinar recording, the Wisconsin Music & Memory Program explains the connection between music and memory and shares what has worked for patients in their program.

Funding opportunities

Grant for pragmatic trials for dementia care in LTSS

Application deadline: February 20, 2020

View the trials for dementia care funding opportunity.

This grant from National Institutes of Health will fund pilot research on dementia care in LTSS settings. The research will develop approaches LTSS providers can use to improve quality of care for people with dementia and enhance quality of life for them and their caregivers.

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Want to learn more about or discuss LTSS in Indian Country? Looking to connect with others working in the same field? Join the Tribal Affairs Group on LinkedIn and join the conversation.
Upcoming webinar

No September LTSS webinar

There will not be an LTSS webinar in September, but please check back in October. LTSS webinars share information and tools for tribal LTSS programs. Webinar topics range from financing to elder abuse prevention to culturally appropriate dementia care.

Send Us Your News

Do you have news to share about LTSS in Indian Country? Send it to, and we’ll include it in a newsletter. Contact us with other comments or feedback, too.
About the Newsletter

Long-Term Services and Supports Solutions is published monthly by the CMS Division of Tribal Affairs to share information, funding opportunities, and resources with LTSS planners, tribal leaders, and supporters.

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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Indian Health Service Administration for Community Living