Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Provider Mag: Getting the End Game Right

Meg LaPorte, Managing Editor of Provider Magazine

Aging sucks, and there’s not much we can do about it, according to nearly anyone who thinks about it. But as Senior Editor Bill Myers finds in this month’s cover story, this prevailing attitude can be changed for the better. In his examination of how pop culture and, yes, baby boomers, have advanced the youth-obsessed media that we have today, Myers finds that although we have a long way to go in facing aging gracefully here in the United States, we may be ahead of the game in terms of policies that help elders, not hurt them.

North American Health Care, a long term and post-acute care provider, has achieved something for its client nursing centers that most providers only dream about—extremely high quality ratings from CMS. In this month’s feature, Contributing Editor Kathleen Lourde breaks down the science and the culture behind this company’s phenomenon.

This month’s Focus on Caregiving, looks at the Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) initiative and the important role that teamwork and Performance Improvement Projects play in successful caregiving.

Home care staffing agencies must prepare for changes to the longstanding “companionship exemption” rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act. As of January 2015, a strict new definition of “companionship services” will in all likelihood bar most employees from being exempted from minimum wage and overtime requirements, according to this month’s Legal Advisor.

Volunteers are valuable to any enterprise, and in long term and post-acute care these “free” workers are more valuable than ever. In Management, we find out how several communities in Colorado have created value with the establishment of a permanent volunteer program that benefits residents, the volunteers themselves, and the bottom line.

The technology field is bursting with tempting new “toys” that promise fast, amazing results. This is not necessarily a case of buyer beware, says Jim Rubadue, but it is a case of buyers making sure that they have a system in place to manage all the new devices and the people who use them. See Technology in Health Care.

Provider Mag: Top 50 & Top 40 Surveys Are Out

Meg LaPorte, Managing Editor of Provider Magazine

It’s that time of year again—for Provider’s annual rankings of the nation’s largest nursing facility and assisted living companies. To ensure your company’s inclusion in this year’s lists of the Top 50 Nursing Facility Companies and/or the Top 40 Assisted Living Companies, please complete our survey as soon as possible.

If you prefer to complete a Word version of the survey, please email Meg LaPorte at

Nursing facilities are ranked by the number of beds owned, operated, and/or managed. Assisted living residences are ranked by occupant capacity. Survey results will appear in the June 2013 issue of Provider magazine.

Please respond by Wednesday, April 23, 2014.

If you have any questions, feel free to call Meg (202) 898-2845.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ensuring Your Staff Are Equipped with Critical Knowledge & Skills

Ruta Kadonoff

The CARES® Online training program and EssentiALZTM certification are a great place to begin if you are looking for a pathway to improve staff skills and competencies in person-centered caring for persons with dementia. Your AHCA membership provides you with discounted access to these resources – a valuable member benefit!

The CARES program is an engaging, interactive set of online training modules including both basic and advanced care strategies as well as two targeted programs, covering dementia-related behavior and support for activities of daily living. After completing the course material, caregivers have the option of accessing the EssentiALZ certification program, sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association and providing an avenue for staff to demonstrate their new competencies.

Ensuring that staff are capable, comfortable and confident in providing excellent care for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias is a critical step in continuing to improve the quality of care and quality of life for these individuals and to reduce the off-label use of antipsychotic medications in our centers.

Univ of Iowa Webinar: Participating in Independent or Collaborative Research Projects

Holly Harmon

From the University of Iowa’s School of Social Work...

Participating in Independent or Collaborative Research Projects
Tuesday, April 22nd
2:00-3:15 PM (EST)
Click HERE to register (no cost)

The best clinical practice is grounded in evidence – evidence that is informed by the reality of practice and the organizational setting in which it is provided. Nursing home social workers who work with researchers to better understand the needs of their clients and organization, evaluate their current practices, and implement and evaluate new practices, are positioned to provide the best care.

This session will empower frontline social workers to implement best practices by learning how and why to be active participants in research that can benefit their clients and organization. Attendees will learn about:
  1. different types of research projects most relevant to their practice and the related research considerations; 
  2. the administrative issues involved when deciding whether to conduct a research project; and 
  3. “rubber-meets-the-road” realities related to engaging with residents, families, staff, and researchers when working to develop, implement, and evaluate best practices.
  • Sheryl Zimmerman, PhD, MSW, School of Social Work, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Elsie Norton, MBA,Vice President & Chief Operating Officer ,Carolina Meadows CCRC
  • Kim Broucksou, MSW, MPA, Cognitive Care Director, Carolina Meadows CCRC, Chapel Hill, NC

Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health and Human Services

Drew Thies

Kathleen Sebelius announced late last Thursday she will be stepping down from her post as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). Sebelius was originally tapped for the position nearly five years ago.

Current head of the Office of Budget and Management (OMB) Sylvia Matthews Burwell has already been announced as the nominee for replacement and is widely expected to be confirmed in the Senate by a large margin. She was confirmed to the OMB by a 93-0 vote.

Sebelius’s resignation came as a surprise to many. She abruptly made the announcement mere hours before appearing at a hearing before the powerful Senate Finance Committee to discuss the President’s budget for fiscal year 2015.

The decision, which Sebelius said Sunday was her own, comes on the heels of the May 31st sign-up deadline to the Affordable Care Act—the policy which has largely defined the Secretary’s tenure at the helm of HHS.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney predicted a “May transition” for Burwell. Sebelius said she’d be making the final move “in the coming months.” Much of the timing will depend on when the Senate agrees to take up the nomination and the degree of resistance Burwell meets in the initial proceedings.

Registration is OPEN for AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo

Jon-Patrick Ewing

Registration for this year’s 65th Annual AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo is now open! Occurring October 5-8, 2014, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center (which is located on the banks of the Potomac River near Washington, D.C.), this is a must-attend event for all long term and post-acute care professionals.

General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.)
Opening Keynote Sponsored by McKesson

 Our keynote speakers include General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) and Captain Richard Phillips.

Captain Richard Phillips
Closing Keynote Speaker
When you register, make plans to attend the Gala Dinner & Show with headliner Pat Benatar and Neil "Spyder" Giraldo.

With plenty of professional networking opportunities, education sessions, new Constituency Education Programs and an Expo Hall full of cost-saving products/services you don’t want to miss a thing.

Register today! More information can be found on the official Convention & Expo website.

Note: All attendees must register for convention before housing reservations can be made. If you register online, you can make a housing reservation at the same time.

Pat Benetar and Neil "Spyder" Giraldo

ACA Resource: From Coverage to Care Resources

Dana Halvorson
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has developed From Coverage to Care Resources to help newly enrolled individuals better understand how to use their insurance most effectively.

A Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You (also available in Spanish) walks individuals through a step-by-step guide on what having health insurance means, how to use an insurance card, and how to set up a first visit with a health care provider such as a doctor or a nurse practitioner.

It also provides information on what to expect during that first visit, what to look for in a provider that meets their needs, and how to keep up regular health care visits. This guide includes a glossary to help explain insurance terms. There’s also a checklist at the end of the Roadmap that helps individuals track their health screens and visits.

Your Roadmap to Health posters are available in both English and Spanish.

If you have any questions relating to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), please submit them to, and be sure to check out AHCA/NCAL's ACA website.

Call for Submissions - 2015 NCAL Spring Conference

Teresa Eyet

The call for presentations for the 2015 NCAL Spring Conference is now live. We are looking for topics to be considered for concurrent sessions that address the conference theme - Thriving in a New Healthcare Environment.

To review the complete submission guidelines and to submit your ideas, please visit

Submissions will be accepted through May 9, 2014.

The 2015 NCAL Spring Conference will be held in March at the Westin Beach Resort in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Antipsychotic Webinar Series Available On-Demand

Lyn Bentley

Still facing challenges in safely reducing the off-label use of antipsychotic medications? AHCA has just what the doctor ordered: free webinars for members that address various topics to help your nursing center reach your antipsychotic reduction goal!

All are available on-demand. Watch one or watch them all.
“What’s Up Doc?!” let’s you know how to best communicate with your Medical Director – from the perspective of a former Medical Director.  There is one specifically for CNA’s - "The Keys to Success!” And how about your frontline workers – your “Special Ops." How can “Mining for Family Gold” provide the information and family engagement that can be so instrumental in providing individualized care? “Quality is Our Business Model” links the Quality Efforts from the past (TQM, CQI, QI, QA&A) to QAPI, specifically in the area of dementia care.

Each webinar is 30 minutes... perfect for busy long term and post-acute providers. Find details and links to all 6 webinars here (member login required).
  • Part 1: The Good, the Bad and the QAPI
  • Part 2: What's Up Doc?!
  • Part 3: Mining for Family Gold
  • Part 4: Frontline Workers or "Special Ops"?
  • Part 5: CNAs - the Keys to Success!
  • Part 6: "Quality is Our Business Model" - M.K. Ousley

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

NNHW T-Shirts: Buy 25+ and SAVE!

Karah DeMarco

Show your “Aloha Spirit” throughout National Nursing Home Week® and the rest of the year by wearing these vivid and colorful shirts. They feature the “Living the Aloha Spirit logo” on the back and front right pocket.

Purchase 25 or more t-shirts of any size and color combination on any single order and get a 10% savings!

Purple and Light Blue t-shirts are available in sizes M-XXXL and can be found on our online store.

**Discount applies to t-shirts only and no other NNHW merchandise. Multiple purchases of 25 or more t-shirts are eligible for the discount. Combining orders to total 25 or more are not eligible. Past orders are excluded from this discount.**

Orders may be placed at or by phone at 800-321-0343.

Don’t wait until the last minute. Our National Assisted Living Week® products are very popular and will sell out. Plan ahead and place your order early to ensure product availability, size, and color selection and timely delivery.