Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Webinar: The Home- and Community- Based Services (HCBS) Quality Framework Development

Lindsay Schwartz

June 28th, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM ET
Register online to Join ACL to learn about the progress made in quality framework development. The HCBS Quality Framework Development webinar is the second event in ACL's HCBS quality webinar series. A goal of the series is to provide a platform among internal and external stakeholders to share developments and collaborate on efforts concerning HCBS quality. The lack of an organizing framework used to analyze measurement gaps has caused difficulties in determining where resources should be allocated for future measurement development.

Webinar agenda:
  • Discuss findings expected impact of two projects: The 2016 National Quality Forum report, Quality in Home and Community Based Services to Support Community Living: Addressing Gaps in Performance, and The SCAN Foundation publication, What Matters Most: Essential Attributes of a High-Quality System of Care for Adults with Complex Care Needs. 
  • Question and answer session. 
  • Kim Ibarra, MSc, Senior Program Manager, National Quality Forum
  • Bruce Chernof, MD, FACP, President and Chief Executive Officer, The SCAN Foundation

CMS Policy Memorandum Provides Awareness about Legionella Risks

Lilly Hummel

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has revised its Survey and Certification memo on Legionella Risk Management, clarifying that the memo only applies to hospitals, critical access hospitals, and nursing homes, while noting it is useful guidance for all other healthcare providers, which would include assisted living. CMS expects Medicare certified healthcare facilities to have water management policies and procedures to reduce the risk of growth and spread of Legionella and other opportunistic pathogens in building water systems. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and its partners developed a toolkit to facilitate implementation of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers Standard.

Webinar: The Language of Long Term Services and Supports and Managed Care

Lilly Hummel
The National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities is hosting a webinar on June 28th, 2017 from 12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. ET to support organizations in understand different terminologies used in managed long-term services and supports (MLTSS). Click here to register.
If your state has recently changed or is considering changing its Medicaid program (including services provided in assisted living) to be offered through managed care, this webinar will help you learn more about how the use of a common language can further your efforts to develop collaborative relationships with health plans and other integrated care or service systems while continuing to further your mission.

Learning Objectives:
  • Recognize the business terminology used in managed care
  • Understand how the terminology used in integrated care/service systems relate to long term services and supports
  • Gain an understanding of common business terminology

The NALW 2017 Planning Guide is Here

Rachel Reeves

Start preparing for the biggest week of the year with the National Assisted Living Week® (NALW) Planning Guide and Product Catalog. This year’s planning guide contains creative activity ideas and spirited products to highlight this year’s theme, “Family is Forever,” which celebrates the unique bonds formed between staff and residents in America’s assisted living communities.

Some of the suggested activities include:
  • A family fun picnic for loved ones of residents with good food and lively games
  • Community “family trees” decorations with the residents as the “parents” and the staff who consistently care for them as their “children”
  • A family game night, like a community version of Family Feud
  • A family council meeting to get input from residents’ loved ones
  • “Like Family” awards to recognize staff members for their dedication

Share your own activity ideas on the NALW Facebook page.

The guide also links providers to this year’s NALW products, which can also be found in AHCA/NCAL’s online bookstore. Get in the spirit with t-shirts, balloons, posters and more.

Beginning on Grandparents Day, Sept. 10 and running through Sept. 16, NALW will be celebrated in assisted living communities across the country. It’s an opportunity to thank staff members for their hard work and volunteers for their service. NALW is also a time to help the public better understand how assisted living communities play a crucial role in the larger long term care spectrum as well as the unique experiences and needs of residents.

Stay tuned for a forthcoming media toolkit to help assisted living providers promote NALW in their community.

For more information, please visit

25 National Organizations Sign Letter to CMS on the Observation Stays Matter

Dana Halvorson and James Michel

On June 20, 2017, 25 organizations, including AHCA/NCAL, submitted a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services outlining a regulatory fix relating to the observation stays matter.  The organizations that signed the letter are members of a broad coalition of beneficiary and provider advocacy groups who are dedicated to preserving Medicare beneficiaries’ access to necessary skilled nursing care following a hospital stay, regardless of whether that stay was classified as inpatient or outpatient observation.  Under current law, a Medicare beneficiary must spend at least three days as a hospital inpatient for Medicare to cover a subsequent stay in a skilled nursing center (known as the “SNF 3-day rule”).

AHCA/NCAL continues to keep the observation stays issue one of its top advocacy and outreach priorities.  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.  For more information about the observation stays issue, please visit the AHCA/NCAL website.

Hit the Networking Jackpot

At AHCA/ NCAL Annual Convention & Expo, your success is our business. We have dedicated Expo Hall hours to build your professional network. Come show your innovative technology that will help provide the best quality care in the industry.

"AHCA Convention allows me the opportunity to seek innovative products, programs and vendor sourcing for our chain efficiently. While allowing for valuable learning sessions from leaders and experts in our field." – 2016 Convention Attendee

AHCA/NCAL Advocates Encouraged to Contact Senators

Drew Thies

Advocates are encouraged to contact their Senators and emphasize the importance of Medicaid funding for services to care for elderly and disabled Americans. AHCA/NCAL has an advocacy portal as well as online materials that make contacting Senators easy.

The Senate is nearing the completion of drafting a health care reform bill that is expected to repeal large parts of the Affordable Care Act and cut Medicaid funding. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier this week that he expects the text of the bill to be released Thursday June 22nd and would like the Senate to vote on the bill before the week of July 4th.

American Health Care Act passed the House of Representatives in early May. The legislation contained provisions limiting how much money the federal government can spend on Medicaid for certain determined population groups.

Individuals that receive Medicaid funding for long term care services typically need assistance with a majority of activities of daily living. Long stay patients are also more likely to have Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia. These individuals are extremely vulnerable and cannot afford to have their funding cut off.

AHCA/NCAL Closing Keynote: Las Vegas Style

Jon-Patrick Ewing

Mike Rayburn is a captivating artist with a presentation completely unlike any you’ve ever seen! Having been called “the World’s Funniest Guitar Virtuoso,” Rayburn uses his guitar creations, songs, and veteran presentation skills to encourage, challenge and inspire his audiences to leap beyond their perceived limitations. Rayburn draws from a wealth of life experience as an adventurer, business owner, comedian, world-class guitarist, author, philanthropist, husband, and father, to deliver a presentation that is motivational, hilarious, and musically amazing!

Check out all of our event keynote speakers online. The early bird registration deadline of July 21 is approaching fast, so be sure to register now and SAVE!

Demand for LTC Workers Holds Steady in June

Dave Kyllo

There are 20,010 open jobs posted by direct employers this month in the nursing care facility (including SNFs), assisted living, and continuing care retirement community (CCRC) sectors this month according to the latest CEB TalentNeuron statistics. The number of open jobs posted nationwide by direct employers held relatively steady over the last three months.

The CEB TalentNeuron statistics also show an estimated 2,101,000 potential candidates in the nation’s workforce whose skills likely match the qualifications being sought by long term care employers Figures show that 1,952 direct employers are competing for candidates in June – a slight decrease over May figures. The average number of days a job was posted this month is 37 – up three days over May.

Finding qualified employees is one of the greatest challenges facing long term care providers.  The AHCA/NCAL Long Term Care Career Center is designed to help members be competitive in attracting qualified candidates to fill their health care job vacancies.

Rates for posting job vacancies are affordable and give prospective employers far greater exposure than local ads and job boards by connecting to a network of more than 330 national and state health care organizations and societies. Employers are also able to post vacancies as they occur and search resumes on the network.

There are two great ways for skilled nursing center and assisted living employers to save on their job postings on the Long Term Care Career Center. First-time job posters can receive 25% off their first posting by entering promo code New25off when they check out. Employers with multiple positions to fill can purchase three job postings at one time and receive a 20% discount on the three postings by entering promo code Bundle20 at check out.

Of course, the Long Term Care Career Center is always free for job seekers. And, job seekers are using the site with more than 88,000 searchable resumes on the National Healthcare Career Network this month.   Job postings on the AHCA/NCAL Long Term Care Career Center network are averaging nearly 1,700 views in June.

Employers who utilize the site also receive outstanding 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, employers who post vacancies through the center receive bonus rotating listings on the Long Term Care Career Center home page.

Be seen nationwide. Check out the Long Term Care Career Center today and remember to use one of the two promo codes to save on your job postings.    

One in five Medicare patients returns to the hospital after ‘observation stays’

Dana Halvorson

According to a June 20, 2017, YaleNews article, “as many as one in five older Medicare patients returns to the hospital after an observation stay, or short-term outpatient stay,” a Yale-led study found.  The article goes on to note that “this high rate of revisit to the hospital points to a hidden vulnerability among these patients, and suggests changes in care might be needed, the researchers said.” The study was published online June 20 in The BMJ.