Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Experience Innovation & Discover Cost Saving Solutions at the AHCA/NCAL Expo

Jon-Patrick Ewing

 The AHCA/ NCAL Expo is a great opportunity for you to explore those new innovative ideas and resources to take home to your organizations. More than 350 industry experts gather in the hall to showcase the latest innovations and ideas, all designed for the long term and post-acute care professional. One of the most popular venues at the convention, the Expo Hall is where you just might discover the money-saving and money-making idea that could transform your organization. 

Be sure to register now for the 66th Annual AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo, held October 4-7, in San Antonio, Texas. Early bird registration ends July 17. For Expo Hall hours, a list of exhibitors, and complete information on the event visit our website.

National Center for Assisted Living Names Scott Tittle as New Executive Director

Indiana native and senior advocate pledges stability and growth in exciting era for assisted living

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) named Scott Tittle as the new Executive Director of NCAL. Tittle joins the Center from the Indiana Health Care Association – a state affiliate of AHCA – where he served as president for both the skilled nursing profession in the state as well as assisted living.    

Tittle served as President of the Indiana Health Care Association and Indiana Center for Assisted Living since 2010. The former Health Care Policy Director to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, Tittle dealt closely with the issues surrounding assisted living, long-term care services, as well as other policies pertaining to caring for older Americans.  

An attorney by background, Tittle is a former member of the Indianapolis law firm of Krieg DeVault, where he practiced in the firm’s Health Care, Governmental Affairs, and Business Practices groups.  

As health policy director in the Indiana governor’s office, Tittle was responsible for executing Gov. Daniels’ health care initiatives through the legislative process as well as the state’s health-related agencies, including the Family and Social Services Administration, the State Department of Health, the Department of Child Services, and the Department of Insurance.  

Mr. Tittle received his law degree from Indiana University – Bloomington in 2001, and his undergraduate degrees from Vanderbilt University in 1995. He was awarded a Distinguished Hoosier Award by Gov. Daniels in 2007, has been listed as an Indiana Super Lawyers Rising Star by The Indiana Lawyer from 2010-2012, and was named a Forty Under 40 honoree by the Indianapolis Business Journal in 2010.  

Tittle is expected to assume the role this summer. He succeeds David Kyllo, who will become vice president of AHCA/NCAL insurance and member programs.  

A veteran of the Association for over 21 years, Kyllo will lead outreach to state affiliates on a broad array of services, including a new insurance instrument for member companies.

We’ve Got You Covered!

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) and National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) now offers a variety of comprehensive insurance programs to meet your business needs. Backed by the strength of our membership, AHCA/NCAL Insurance Solutions programs are designed with exclusive member savings and discounts for both the fully-insured or self-insured members. The program offers health insurance options, group and voluntary benefit packages, an aggressive Stop-Loss insurance program as well as cloud based HR platforms that will help members achieve savings and greater efficiencies on HR services within your company, while also tracking and reporting on key Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements. For more information, please visit the new AHCA/NCAL Insurance Solutions website, email ​or call 860-416-5333.   

AHCA/NCAL’s Newly Revamped ACA Website!

Dana Halvorson and Dianne De La Mare

AHCA/NCAL is pleased to unveil its newly revamped Affordable Care Act (ACA) website. On this site, AHCA/NCAL members will find helpful Agency resources pertaining to the health reform law, and information on key areas of the law to be aware of. In addition, resourceful webinars AHCA/NCAL has held on the topic can be found on the site, along with important news updates. If you have any questions about this site or the content on it, please don’t hesitate to contact AHCA’s Dianne De La Mare or Dana Halvorson.

The Online Registration Deadline for AHCA/NCAL's Congressional Briefing Has Been Extended!

Matt Smyth

If you have not yet had a chance to register for Congressional Briefing and you are still planning to attend, it’s not too late. The online registration deadline has been extended until Friday, May 22nd. Register now.

You’ll hear from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), journalist Chris Wallace, and many more. See the complete agenda and register.

The conference registration fee is complimentary to AHCA/NCAL Members and AHCA/NCAL Associate Business Members only. All registrations include continental breakfast, networking lunch, and cocktail reception.

Meet with Your Members of Congress

We highly encourage you to set up your own meetings with your Members of Congress for Tuesday, June 16, 2015. Bring your voice to the Hill and make your advocacy efforts count. The most effective way to communicate with your Members of Congress is to personally meet with them or their staff. If you would like some assistance scheduling a meeting, e-mail us at We can also arrange to have an AHCA lobbyist attend with you if needed.

Reserve Your Hotel and Enjoy Special Savings Through Friday

The AHCA/NCAL group rate at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill is available until May 22nd. Please reserve your hotel room as soon as possible so that you can enjoy the amenities and the savings. Please note that you must register for Congressional Briefing before making your hotel reservation.

Webinar: The Quality Initiative 2015-2018: What’s New & What it Means for You

Adrienne Riaz-Khan
Building on the success demonstrated by AHCA members in improving quality in four priority target areas since the announcement of the Quality Initiative in 2012, AHCA has expanded this effort to further improve the quality of care in America’s skilled nursing care centers over the next three years. The expansion of the Initiative challenges members to apply a systematic approach to meet measurable targets in eight critical areas by March 2018. These areas are aligned with national mandates by the federal government, such as the Five-Star Quality Rating System and the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act. The next three years of the Quality Initiative will help members continue to make these target areas their focus and to achieve sustained improvements. This webinar will provide an overview of progress to date, outline the new goal areas for the next three years and review strategies and resources to help members on their journey to continued improvement in performance on the Quality Initiative goals. 

 The Quality Initiative 2015-2018: What’s New & What it Means for You
Thursday, May 28, 2015
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM Eastern Time 

Learning Objectives: 
· Review progress to date on AHCA’s Quality Initiative.
· Discuss the new goal areas and the rationale for their selection.
· Review systematic quality improvement strategies and AHCA resources to support member success in meeting the identified goals.

Mary Ousley, AHCA/NCAL Quality Cabinet Co-Chair & President, Ousley and Associates 
Howie Groff, AHCA/NCAL Quality Cabinet Co-Chair & President, Tealwood Senior Living
David Gifford, AHCA Senior Vice President, Quality & Regulatory Affairs

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

CMS Updates Webpage With Details of Extension of Therapy Caps Exceptions Process through CY 2017

Dan Ciolek

Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updated their Therapy Services web page regarding continuation of the Part B therapy cap exceptions process through December 31, 2017. When the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act was signed into law on April 16, 2015, the therapy caps exceptions process for Physical Therapy (PT), Occupational Therapy (OT), and Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) services was extended through CY 2017. This updated page also contains links to information related to medical review and the Manual Medical Review (MMR) process for Part B therapy claims over the $3700 annual per-beneficiary threshold.

National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel Hosts Webinar on June 11th

Holly Harmon

Join the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) for this free webinar on Reducing Pressure Ulcers.  In this one hour webinar you will learn about the reasons for the increasing incidence of medical device pressure ulcers and then identify methods to reduce the most common medical device pressure ulcers.

Peggy Kalowes, RN PhD CNS FAHA – Director, Nursing Research and Innovation –received her Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing at University of San Diego in 2007.

Joyce M. Black, PhD RN is an Associate Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, Nebraska. She teaches junior and senior level nursing students in medical-surgical and intensive care nursing.

Register FREE!

Reducing Pressure Ulcers from Medical Devices
1:00 PM–2:00 PM Eastern Time (includes a Q&A period)


Nurse Practitioners
Physician Assistants
Physical Therapists
Physical Therapist Assistants
Occupational Therapists
Government Employees
Policy Makers

NATIONAL PRESSURE ULCER ADVISORY PANEL (NPUAP) serves as the authoritative voice for improved patient outcomes in pressure ulcer prevention and treatment through public policy, education and research. ��

U.S. Senate Aging Committee Holds Observation Stays Hearing Today

Dana Halvorson

The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging is holding an observation stays focused hearing this afternoon at 2:15pm ET entitled, “Challenging the Status Quo: Solutions to the Hospital Observation Stay Crisis.” Often, patients remain under ‘‘observation status’’ in the hospital for several days. These days are not counted toward the three-day inpatient hospital requirement for coverage of skilled nursing care services under Medicare because they are considered outpatient. Increasingly, patients have no idea what their status is in a hospital, or the importance of it, which can lead to thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket medical expenses should they need skilled nursing center care following their hospital stay. In addition to placing a financial burden on seniors and their families, this anomaly in Medicare rules can cause unnecessary spend-down, accelerating the time frame in which seniors will have to turn to programs such as Medicaid to pay for their care.

More details about the hearing, including the witness list, can be found on the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging website. For more information about observation stays and the three-day stay requirement, visit the AHCA/NCAL website.

NOTICE Act Introduced in the U.S. Senate

Dana Halvorson

On May 14, Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Michael Enzi (R-WY) introduced the Notice of Observation Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act (S.1349), which will require hospitals to notify Medicare beneficiaries of their outpatient status within 36 hours after the time of their classification or, if sooner, upon discharge. Outpatient status affects a patient’s ability to receive Medicare coverage for post-acute care in a skilled nursing center.

Earlier this year, the House unanimously passed the NOTICE Act (H.R.876), which was sponsored by Congressmen Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35) and Todd Young (R-IN-9). AHCA/NCAL believes the NOTICE Act is an important first step in removing roadblocks that limit access to post-acute care. The AHCA/NCAL press statement applauding the Senate introduction of the NOTICE Act can be found here.