Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Top Priority of Millennials-- Jobs!

David Kyllo 

A new study from Albia found that the top priority of Millennials is job opportunities, which is the primary reason they join professional associations. The study found that priorities evolve depending on life stage, but that younger people focus mostly on jobs.

A great resource for Millennials and others interested in careers in the long term care and other health care professions is the AHCA/NCAL Long Term Care Career Center. Job seekers can post their resume for free and get visibility through the Long Term Care Career Center’s network of more than 330 health care organizations and societies. The site also contains resources about resume writing and interviewing.

Employers who utilize the site also receive exposure through rotating job listings on AHCA’s home page – the web site where long term care professionals go for news and information. In addition to being connected to a national network, employers who post vacancies through the Center receive bonus rotating listings on the Long Term Care Career Center home page.

Rates for posting job vacancies are affordable and new users receive 25% off their first job posting simply by entering promo code New25off. Visit the LTC Career Center today and be seen across the nation.

IHI Announces SNF Trigger Tool Training

Institution for Health improvement 

Institution for Health Improvement (IHI) is offering a Virtual Expedition on Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Trigger Tool- Measuring Patient Harm in SNFs. In this virtual training, participants will learn how to efficiently use the IHI SNF Trigger Tool which can be used to identify patient harm and use their results to measure the effectiveness of safety improvements to reduce patient harm.

The first session of the Expedition is August 10. To learn more, visit the IHI website.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

NCAL Releases New Resource for Recruiting Staff

Lindsay B. Schwartz, Ph.D.

NCAL is pleased to announce a new resource to help members achieve the Quality Initiative staff stability goal, How to Recruit Assisted Living Staff. Staff stability starts with good recruiting practices. Members who have had success at recruiting and retaining excellent staff are sharing their secrets to success!

Ideas include: 
  •  thinking outside of the box when it comes to recruiting, 
  • offering incentives, 
  • career growth, 
  • on-the-job training, and 
  • building a presence in the larger community.
This resource could also be utilized in skilled nursing centers. 

COREQ and LTC Trend Tracker

Vendors can now upload their CoreQ data in LTC Trend Tracker! CoreQ is our new customer satisfaction measure that allows consistent measurement of satisfaction across all long term care settings and allows members to track their progress on our Quality Initiative customer satisfaction goal. CoreQ has been independently tested as a valid and reliable measure.

Ask your customer satisfaction vendor to add CoreQ to your resident and family satisfaction surveys. Once your vendor has uploaded your CoreQ data you can login to LTC Trend Tracker to benchmark your community to your peers.
If you have any questions, please email for assistance.

New 8-Part Quality Initiative Webcast Series: Succeeding in the Midst of Change

Marguerite McLaughlin

In July, ahcancalED will kick-off its new 8-part webcast series designed to assist members with using the Quality Initiative to achieve quality success in these changing times.

On July 27, Dr. David Gifford, AHCA Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs and a board-certified geriatrician, will host the first in the series, Reducing Rehospitalizations: Practical Strategies for Success. Today, hospital readmissions impact payment, Five-Star ratings, your access to participation in preferred networks and your quality measures. In these changing times, you must have a low readmission rate to be competitive. The webcast will provide centers with strategies and tactics to reduce rehospitalizations.

For more information about the webcast and to register, click here.

Upcoming Dates:
  • July 27, 2016 - 1- Reducing Rehospitalization: Practical Strategies for Success
  • September 28, 2016 - 2 - Discharge to Community
  • November 16, 2016 - 3 - Unintended Healthcare Outcomes
  • January 25, 2017 - 4 - Staff Stability
  • April 26, 2017 - 5 - Antipsychotic Drug Reduction 
  • June 21, 2017 - 6 - Functional Outcomes
  • September 20, 2017 - 7 - Customer Satisfaction/Experience 
  • November 15, 2017 - 8 - Hospital Admissions in Long Stay Settings

2017 Independent Owner Leadership Conference- Call for Presentations

Christy Sharp 

The AHCA/NCAL2017 Independent Owner Leadership Conference is for independent owners (IOs) and not for profit operators of 10 or fewer long term care facilities. The conference can also serve as a national forum to share professional knowledge, insights, programs and ideas that enhance the long term care provider model.

AHCA/NCAL invites you to submit a conference proposal for consideration. Proposals should be geared toward individuals who own or operate 10 or fewer for profit or not for profit long term care facilities.
Proposals should be submitted by Wednesday, August 17 to

More information on the proposals can be found here.

DOL Updates Regulations Under FLSA

Lindsay B Schwartz 

Recently, the Department of Labor (DOL) published updated regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The new regulations revise the overtime exemptions for executive, administrative and professional employees, commonly known as the “white collar” exemptions.

AHCA/NCAL's legal consultant at Jackson Lewis has provided a memo outlining the changes. The memo includes information on changes to the "White Collar" exemptions, compliance with the Final Rule, DOL's non-enforcement policy, and CMS compliance with the payroll based journal.

The memo can be found on both AHCA's and NCAL's websites. Members will need their login information to access the memo. AHCA/NCAL has also posted a Jackson Lewis webinar and slides with an overview of the rule.

The full text of the final rule can be found here. The new regulations take effect on Dec. 1, 2016.

CMS Adopts 2012 Edition of NFPA, LSC and HCFC

On June 20, 2016, CMS issued S&C: 16-29-LSC. The memorandum notifies State Agencies and Regional Offices that CMS has adopted the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 2012 Life Safety Code (LSC) and 2012 Health Care Facilities Code (HCFC), effective July 5, 2016.

Buildings constructed before July 5, 2016 can meet existing occupancy requirements, as can buildings that receive design approval or building permits for construction before July 5. All other building construction must meet new occupancy requirements.

The final rule continues to allow CMS to waive specific provisions of the LSC, which would result in an unreasonable hardship upon a facility, providing that the waiver would not adversely affect the health and safety of the patients.

Additionally, the final rule continues to allow a state to request that its fire safety requirements be used in lieu of the 2012 edition of the LSC and HCFC with CMS.

Survey Process
The memorandum explains that CMS will begin surveying for compliance with 2012 LSC and 2012 HCFC on Nov. 1, 2016, allowing CMS to train surveyors, revise fire safety survey forms and update the ASPEN program. Surveyors will continue to use the current process, tags, and forms until then. In instances where the survey process identifies deficiencies that would be compliant under the 2012 LSC, a facility may verify compliance with the 2012 LSC as an acceptable plan of correction and the deficiency will not be cited.

CMS also notes that the LSC shortened survey process outlined in S&C Letter 13-22 will no longer be able to be used after Oct. 31, 2016, until CMS is able to analyze new data to determine which facilities will be able to be surveyed using the shortened survey process. According to the letter, any state that believes losing the shortened survey process for a period of time will cause it staffing and/or scheduling difficulty should contact their Regional Office. CMS will notify state Survey Agencies if the determination is made to use the LSC shortened survey process again.

You may send questions concerning the memorandum to

To view the 05042016 Fire Safety Requirements Final Rule, see Federal Register.

Monday, June 27, 2016

MedPAC Issues June Report

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has released its June 2016 Medicare and the Health Delivery System report to Congress. Included in the report is a chapter describing a unified cross-setting post-acute care (U-PAC) payment system.

The MedPAC report is the first of three PAC payment reform reports statutorily-mandated by the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014. The initial MedPAC report is intended to lay the foundation for more detailed work by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on the development of a unified PAC, cross-setting payment system.

In follow-up to the report, the DHHS is required respond to the June 2016 MedPAC document by 2020. A final proposal for a U-PAC payment system is due to Congress no later than 2023. MedPAC believes U-PAC could be implemented by 2025.

In its comments to the Commissioners, MedPAC staff laid out the topics of the report, including:
  • Feasibility of a PAC PPS 
  • Impacts on payments 
  • Implementation issues 
  • Possible changes to regulatory requirements 
  • Companion policies to implement with PAC PPS 
  • Importance of monitoring provider responses 
  • Need to move toward episode-based payments 
Of note to Skilled Nursing Center (SNF) providers, the Commission research indicates an 8 percent shift in payments to SNFs from other PAC provider types. It also notes the three-day stay required for SNF service eligibility is an important protection to prevent inappropriate admissions. However, the Commission notes that in 2015, it recommended that up to two observation days might be counted towards the three-day stay. We are equally concerned about the notion of a third-party benefit manager.

A summary of the session is available here.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

National Assisted Living Week Planning Guide and Product Catalog Now Available!

Katherine Preede

The National Assisted Living Week ® (NALW) Planning Guide and Product Catalog is now available to download at This year’s Planning Guide and Product catalog contains innovative activity ideas and exciting products to highlight this year’s theme, “Keep Connected” recognizing the increasing opportunity technology can offer to enhance the care and overall experience in assisted living communities.

Beginning on Grandparents Day, September 11, and extending throughout that week until the 17, National Assisted Living Week® will be celebrated in assisted living communities across the country. The 2016 theme, “Keep Connected,” encourages assisted living communities to support opportunities for residents to use the latest communication tools to engage with the world around them. The theme aims to help overcome the myth that seniors are not interested in using or do not have the ability to learn new technologies.

Download the NALW Planning Guide and Product Catalog and begin planning ways to nourish the minds, bodies and spirits of residents, staff and volunteers. As you plan your events for the week, don’t forget to share your plans with your local media and “like” the National Assisted Living Week® Facebook page!