Sunday, March 17, 2019

CMS Training on HCBS Provider Risk Assessments and Mitigation Strategies

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced a webinar on April 3, 2019, from 2:30-4:00ET to provide the comprehensive elements of a risk assessment and mitigation strategies.  You can register for the training here.  According to CMS, the elements that will be covered include

·         an assessment process to identify risks;
·         development of individualized plans to address risks;
·         monitoring activities to modify plans as needed;
·         a process to train and educate staff; and
·         ongoing system wide quality improvement in home and community-based programs.

The session will also include a review of federal regulations that support the health and welfare of HCBS waiver participants and an overview of the 2018 Interagency Report entitled Ensuring Beneficiary Health and Safety in Group Homes Through State Implementation of Comprehensive Compliance Oversight.  AHCA/NCAL encourages all Medicaid HCBS providers to attend to learn more about what CMS considers to be best practices.

Friday, March 15, 2019

AHCA’s David Gifford Testifies in Front of Senate Finance Committee

On March 6, David Gifford, MD, MPH, Senior Vice President of Quality at the American Health Care Association testified before the Senate Finance Committee to address concerns and instances of abuse and neglect in nursing centers.  The hearing, titled “Not Forgotten: Protecting Americans From Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Homes,” was called in response to two instances of abuse and neglect that happened to individuals in Iowa and Minnesota. The daughters of those individuals, Patricia Blank and Maya Fischer, also testified before the committee to tell their stories.

Gifford denounced abuse and neglect in nursing centers, saying they should never occur. “Families and residents like you and your mothers, who are often at their most vulnerable and in the most need of care and support, should never have to worry about their physical safety” he said during his opening remarks.

“AHCA remains committed to reducing any future cases of abuse and neglect.” Gifford said in a statement. “Since we voluntarily launched our Quality Initiative in 2012, we have seen tremendous improvements in the quality of care provided to nursing home residents. Care at our members’ nursing homes continues to improve and remain high for 18 of the 24 quality outcomes measured by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), including fewer residents receiving antipsychotic medications and more people returning home after rehabilitation care.

Gifford said that AHCA is offering solutions to help reduce instances of neglect and abuse. He said the main driver of quality is staffing and said incentives like a federal loan forgiveness program for nursing center staff. He also said that nursing centers should have access to a national background check registry and that resident and family satisfaction ratings of nursing homes should be publicly available.

“AHCA stands ready to work with Congress, members of the Senate Finance Committee, CMS, and other providers to keep residents safe and continue improving the quality of care provided,” he said in a statement.

AHCA/NCAL ID/DD Fly-In Participants Storm the Hill

On March 6, 2019, AHCA/NCAL’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD) Residential Services Provider participants heard from Congressional speakers and others, including Congressman Steven Horsford of Nevada (pictured).  Afterward, ID/DD providers headed to Capitol Hill and met with their members of Congress to discuss critical issues, such as Medicaid and workforce.  If you have any questions about this annual event, please don’t hesitate to contact Dana Halvorson.

Congressional Briefing Registration is Now Open!

Congressional Briefing registration is now open!  Join us in Washington, D.C. on June 3-4, 2019, for an invaluable opportunity to speak your mind.  You can see the complete agenda, get hotel information, and register here.  The advanced registration deadline is May 6, 2019, and the conference registration fee is complimentary to AHCA/NCAL Members and AHCA/NCAL Associate Business Members, and their spouses, and is accepted on a first-come basis.  Registration for this event is exclusively for long term and post-acute care provider members of AHCA/NCAL and AHCA/NCAL Associate Business Members only.

We Need You for Our New Social Media Initiative

AHCA/NCAL is beginning a new social media advocacy initiative this year and is encouraging all members to get involved.  The effort focuses on improving the overall image of the post-acute and long term care profession by sharing positive stories and pushing back on pieces that attempt to tie all providers to isolated negative events.

AHCA/NCAL will be sending interested members tips for getting more involved on social media, best practices for posting content, sample posts, and a roundup of positive stories about the profession on a regular basis. Individuals who want to get involved should email socialmedia@ahca.org to get on the mailing list. AHCA/NCAL is encouraging all members to get involved.

The campaign also will include a rapid response to stories that are unfairly negative about the profession or do not accurately portray the reality of post-acute and long term care.  AHCA/NCAL hopes to build on these successes as the year continues. With thousands of buildings nationwide who touch the lives of millions of people, there is the chance to seriously affect the way the profession is viewed and treated by lawmakers and the media.

‘Live Soulfully’ Announced as 2019 Theme for National Skilled Nursing Care Week

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) recently announced “Live Soulfully” as the 2019 theme for National Skilled Nursing Care Week (NSNCW), which will be held May 12-18.  The theme “Live Soulfully” will celebrate skilled nursing centers, and their residents and staff, by showcasing how they achieve happy minds and healthy souls.  Whether it’s planting, cooking, reading or listening to music, these centers pay it forward by helping individuals find happiness to improve quality of life.  Centers will be encouraged to participate by hosting activities that display how they “Live Soulfully” and share their stories and experiences on social media. 

“Each and every person in our profession makes an impact on the lives of our residents,” said AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson. “National Skilled Nursing Care Week celebrates our centers and caregivers for their tireless everyday work caring for others.”

Established by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) in 1967, NSNCW, formerly known as National Nursing Home Week, recognizes the essential role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for America’s frail, elderly, and disabled.  Skilled nursing care centers and members of the public can download NSNCW promotional materials at www.ahcancal.org/NSNCW and are encouraged to share activities, ideas, and experiences for the observance on social media using the hashtag, #NSNCW.  AHCA will issue a planning guide and product catalog in late February.  For more information on National Skilled Nursing Care Week, visit www.ahcancal.org/NSNCW​.

ICF/IID Reports

AHCA's Research Department has released the following June 2018 updates for use by AHCA/NCAL members (Login Required):

The standard health survey report includes Emergency Preparedness (E-tags) this year for the first time.  If you have any questions relating to these reports, which include important ICF/IID state and national data, please contact AHCA’s Research Director, Kiran Sreenivas.