Thursday, October 16, 2014

Webinar: Communicating with Familes, Addressing & Documenting Outcomes

Holly Harmon

The University of Iowa's School of Social Work is offering a free webinar “Communicating with Families: Addressing and Documenting Outcomes” on Tuesday, October 21st 2PM-3PM ET.

Presenters are Paige Hector, LMSW (Paige Ahead Healthcare Education & Consulting, L.L.C) and Tra Beicher, RNC, ARM, HRM, CWS, Author of the book, “Defensive Documentation for Long-term Care: Strategies for Creating a More Lawsuit-proof Resident Record”.

To register, click here

 To access recordings of past webinars, click here

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DOL Final Rule on $10.10 Hourly Federal Contractor Minimum Wage and Webinar on New Obligations of Government Contractors

Dana Halvorson

As noted in previous editions of Capitol Connection, on February 12, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13658, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors. The Executive Order raises the hourly minimum wage paid by contractors to workers performing on covered Federal contracts to: (i) $10.10 per hour, beginning January 1, 2015; and (ii) beginning January 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, an amount determined by the Secretary of the Department of Labor (DoL) in accordance with the Order. On October 1, 2014, DOL published the final rule implementing the provisions of Executive Order 13658.

Executive Order 13658 applies to new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts with the Federal Government that result from solicitations issued on or after January 1, 2015, or to contracts that are awarded outside the solicitation process on or after January 1, 2015. It is long-standing policy that Medicare (Parts A and B) or Medicaid providers are not considered to be federal contractors. However, if a provider currently has VA patients, they are considered to be a federal contractor. As noted in Capitol Connection last week, if you are considering entering into a VA contract once 2015 begins, Executive Order 13658 will be applicable to you as you will be a federal contractor. The $10.10 wage rate will apply to all new contracts executed on or after that date. AHCA received further clarification recently on the final rule regarding those with existing VA contracts. The $10.10 rate will not apply to existing contracts unless there is a bilateral negotiation that modifies the contract, thus deeming it as “new”. Automatic rate increases issued at the annual renewal of the option years does not deem a contract as “new”. Service Contract Act wage determinations for existing contracts will not reflect the $10.10 rate, but will reflect wage rates prior to the rule. That being said, if you have a VA contract, you will want to visit with your legal counsel or local or regional VA contact on how this minimum wage increase will impact you at the time of the renewal of your contract option year. It is also important to note that under the VA Provider agreement proposed rule AHCA has been working to finalize, providers would not be considered federal contractors, and would therefore not have to follow complex federal contracting and reporting rules. AHCA is currently awaiting the release of the final rule, and will keep its members posted on any updates relating to this matter.  

For more information, including a fact sheet and FAQ on the DOL final rule, please visit the Wage and Hour Division’s Executive Order 13658 web page at

You might also be interested to know about a webinar that the law firm of Jackson Lewis will be offering complimentary on October 29, 2014, on the number of new legal obligations government contractors must follow according to President Obama’s executive orders. In addition to the minimum wage, these obligations include “Pay Transparency” Requirements, Annual “Equal Pay Report” Filing with the OFCCP, LGBT Anti-Discrimination, and Required Reporting of Labor and Employment Law Violations. You can register for the webinar being held from 2-3:30pm EDT here.

If you have any questions, please contact AHCA’s Dana Halvorson or Dianne De La Mare.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

2014 AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo a Great Success

Jon-Patrick Ewing 

Please take a moment to give us your feedback by taking the Post-Convention Survey. When you send back a completed survey, you will automatically be eligible to win a $200 cash card. The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, November 7. 

In addition, we ask that you complete convention education session evaluations by going to the following link:

AHCA/NCAL would like to thank all of this year's attendees for participating in the 65th AHCA/NCAL Annual Convention & Expo! We hope you had an incredible time, made new connections, and took away lots of valuable information.

Electronic Funds Transfer Upgrades to the Internet-based PECOS System

Dan Ciolek

Over the last year, CMS listened to provider feedback about Internet-based Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS) and made improvements to increase access to more information. PECOS is easier to use than ever with Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) upgrades that are now available. If a provider/supplier wishes to submit a change to the EFT information, they should select "Perform a change of Information to Current Enrollment Information.” Note: All EFT changes must be made through the Change of Information scenario.

Providers/suppliers are able to edit all EFT Information, except the Routing Transit Number and/or Depositor Account Number, once entered and saved. Once saved, if a provider/supplier needs to update the Routing Transit Number and/or Depositor Account Number, the providers/supplier must delete all information and reenter new information. PECOS will now collect an EFT Effective Date and Termination Date to capture the time frame when the Financial Information is valid. The Effective Date is the date on which funds will be directed to the account information entered. The Termination Date is the date on which funds will no longer be directed to the account information entered. PECOS has also been updated to display the most current CMS-588 form which now collects the Financial Institution’s Street Address and Financial Institution’s Zip Code under “Financial Institution Information.”

New Outreach & Education Page at

CMS recently redesigned the Outreach & Education page to make it faster and easier for providers to find information. These changes allow providers to find:   
  • Program updates, educational materials, and outreach events without needing to understand how CMS is structured
  • All of the CMS training and events in one place 
  • Outreach and education materials organized by topic or provider type 
Providers are encouraged to check out the changes and let CMS know what you think by contacting them at

CMS Dual Eligibles Fact Sheet Revised

Dan Ciolek
The CMS “Dual Eligible Beneficiaries Under the Medicare and Medicaid Programs” Fact Sheet (previously titled “Medicaid Coverage of Medicare Beneficiaries (Dual Eligibles) At a Glance”) (ICN 006977) was revised in September 2014. This fact sheet is designed to provide education on dual eligible beneficiaries under the Medicare and Medicaid Programs.

It includes the following information: 
  • the Medicare and Medicaid Programs;
  • dual eligible beneficiaries;
  • assignment;
  • and prohibited billing.

2015 Health Insurance Marketplace Coverage

Dana Halvorson

Starting on November 15, individuals will be able to apply and enroll in 2015 Health Insurance Marketplace coverage. According to an email alert from the team, if you already have 2014 Marketplace coverage, you’ll be receiving important information about how to keep your coverage for 2015. In addition, the email noted that there are some things you can do now to get ready for November 15th:

 Learn about important dates and deadlines for Marketplace coverage
Download this Marketplace checklist to gather the documents you’ll need to apply
Find someone in your community to help you apply and answer your questions
Sign up for timely text message updates and connect on social media

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.

SHOP Marketplace Enrollment Online

Dana Halvorson

 According to an email alert from the team, for the first time starting on November 15, you will be able to enroll your Small Business through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace entirely online. SHOP was created in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and is a new way for small businesses to buy health insurance for their employees. You can complete an application, choose coverage, and enroll yourself or you can work with an agent or broker. There are a few things you can do now to get ready to enroll for health coverage in the SHOP Marketplace:

Learn more about SHOP coverage and talk to your employees to find out their health coverage needs.
Use the SHOP Full-time Equivalent Employee Calculator to see if you qualify based on your employee count.
Use the SHOP Tax Credit Estimator Tool to find out if you may be eligible for a tax credit and how much the credit could be worth to your Small Business.
See 2014 plans and get premium estimates now.

If you have any questions relating to the ACA, please submit them to, and be sure to check out AHCA/NCAL’s ACA website.

Webinar: How Can I get Beyond the Basics of Hospital Readmission and Become a Preferred Provider?"

Adrienne Riaz-Khan

How Can I get Beyond the Basics of Hospital Readmission and Become a Preferred Provider?
Presenter: Kim Barrows, Director of Clinical Services at Health Care Management Group


The program briefly explains the impact that Healthcare Reform is having on the healthcare industry on both the acute and post-acute care side. There is a strong emphasis on the importance of accurate data analysis and on implementing potential solutions for facilities. The clinical programs along with the use of cutting edge technology have shown to improve clinical outcomes, allowed centers to become preferred providers for local hospitals and have significantly reduced unnecessary hospital readmissions.

Learning Objectives:

1. Discuss the history of hospital readmission and its impact on the industry.

2. Discuss and analyze the types of data necessary to appropriately measure hospital readmission rates.

3. Describe potential solutions within your center that will positively affect clinical outcomes.

4. Describe how progress is measured after implementation.

5. Discuss measures to ensure continuous quality improvement.

This webinar will be offered on-demand, the pre-record date is October 27th, and will be available for viewing on October 29th. If you have any questions Adrienne Riaz-Khan can be reached via email or at 202-898-6332.

Mark Parkinson Joins President Obama at White House Signing Ceremony for IMPACT Act

Abigail Horn

Last week, AHCA/NCAL President & CEO Mark Parkinson joined President Obama at the White House for the signing of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014 into law. 

This important legislation builds an important framework for future debates and discussions regarding the payment models for post-acute care providers and supports AHCA’s Quality Initiative.

IMPACT will: 

· Incorporate standardized assessment into existing assessment tools (like the CARE tool) across PAC providers and acute care hospitals for pressure ulcers, functional status, cognitive status and special services; 

· Develop public reporting of common quality measures, such as rehospitalizations and pressure ulcers, across settings;

· Provide quality measures to consumers when transitioning to a PAC provider; and 

· Require HHS and MedPAC to conduct several studies on alternative PAC payment models.

“The signing of the IMPACT bill by President Obama closes one process and opens new opportunities to enhance the quality care we deliver every day,” said Parkinson. “I applaud him and the Administration in this critical step forward in improving lives for millions of Americans.”