Wednesday, April 26, 2017

AHCA/NCAL Observation Stays Hill Issue Brief Available

Dana Halvorson

Last month, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) commended several members of Congress for reintroducing the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2017 (S. 568/H.R. 1421). Introduced on March 8, 2017 by Congressmen Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA), and Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), the legislation ensures that time spent under “observation status” in a hospital counts toward satisfying the three-day inpatient hospital requirement for coverage of skilled nursing care services under Medicare. The Observation Stays Coalition, which consists of over 30 organizations including AHCA/NCAL, fully supports this legislation. The AHCA/NCAL issue brief  is for your use when reaching out to your members of Congress.  

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.

Assisted Living Briefing at Congressional Briefing

If you’re an assisted living provider heading to the Hill this June, make sure to get briefed. On the opening day of Congressional Briefing, NCAL will hold an Assisted Living Briefing. An open forum discussion on issues specifically affecting assisted living and a DC update will be the highlight of this meeting. NCAL’s Executive Director Scott Tittle and other legislative staff will prep assisted living providers for their visits with their member of Congress the following day.

Assisted Living Briefing
Monday, June 5
2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

AHCA/NCAL’s Congressional Briefing will be held June 5-6, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. Registration is open now until May 8. There is no registration fee for member providers and associate business members of AHCA/NCAL.

Members are encouraged to set up their own meetings with their members of Congress on Tuesday, June 6. Once you have scheduled a meeting, please tell AHCA/NCAL about your meeting, so we can have materials ready for your visit and if needed, have a lobbyist attend the meeting with you.

Questions? Please email

2017 AHCA/NCAL Congressional Briefing

Join your colleagues to hear the latest news from Capitol Hill, share ideas, network, and prepare with AHCA/NCAL to carry your message to your Members of Congress and their staff. Then spend several hours meeting with your Members of Congress in-person. It's the most powerful way to be heard and have an impact.

You can now take advantage of an AHCA/NCAL room rate and save at the Washington Court Hotel on New Jersey Avenue, NW. Deadline: May 8, 2017

Visit for updates and to see the complete agenda.

The conference registration fee is complimentary to AHCA/NCAL Members and AHCA/NCAL Associate Business Members, and their spouses, and is accepted on a first-come basis.  This year's keynote is Fox News Channel Anchor Bret Baier. Additional speakers and guests will be announced shortly. Register today.

Check Updated LEIE Database

The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released its updated List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE) database file, which reflects all OIG exclusions and reinstatement actions up to, and including, those taken in March 2017. This new file is meant to replace the updated LEIE database file available for download last month.

Individuals and entities that have been reinstated to the federal health care programs are not included in this file. The updated files are posted on OIG’s website at, and health care providers have an “affirmative duty” to check to ensure that excluded individuals are not working in their facilities or face significant fines. Instructional videos explaining how to use the online database and the downloadable files are available at Given the penalties and recent government warnings, long term care providers should check the LEIE on a regular basis.

New CMS Voluntary Self-Referral Disclosure Form

Dianne De La Mare

The Department of Health of Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a new Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol (SRDP) Form that provides a streamlined and standardized format for disclosing actual or potential violations of the physician self-referral law. The SRDP Form will reduce the burden on providers and suppliers submitting disclosures to the SRDP and facilitate our review of the disclosures. Use of the form is mandatory effective June 1, 2017. Parties submitting self-disclosures to the SRDP are encouraged, but not required, to use the SRDP Form now. Visit the SRDP webpage to learn more.

Measuring Compliance Program Effectiveness Resource Guide

The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released Measuring Compliance Program Effectiveness: A Resource Guide, which is a list of ideas for compliance program implementation, compiled from a day-long discussion with compliance and OIG professionals. The purpose of the list is to give healthcare providers as many ideas as possible, and let the individual provider choose which suggestions fit their individual needs the best.

The ideas fall under the 7 compliance elements
1) standards, policies and procedures
2) compliance program administration
3) screening and evaluation 
4) Communication, education and training on compliance issues
5) monitoring, auditing and internal reporting systems
6) Discipline for non-compliance
7) Investigations and remedial measures.

ahcancalED-Education at Your Fingertips – A Resource for Independent Owners and Not for Profits

Christy Sharp and Dana Halvorson 

With a growing library of webinars, courses, tools and resources, ahcancalED has become a valuable resource to AHCA/NCAL Independent Owners and Not for Profit providers. What makes ahcancalED different from other learning management systems is its customization to the needs of AHCA/NCAL members. From the new Requirements of Participation, to QAPI, to Faith Community Partnerships and QI in Veteran’s Homes, ahcancalED is driven by the information that is of importance to its members. In fact, many use their expertise to create the programs found within it.

In this webinar session, take a tour of ahcancalED, discover some of the programs and rich educational material and how best to navigate through it.  It will be led by Marguerite McLaughlin, Vice President of the Rhode Island Health Care Association. The ahcancalED tool is a helpful resource for all providers, but this webinar is specifically geared towards Not for Profits or Independent Owners. 

You can register for this webinar event here.  If you have any questions regarding the webinar please contact Christy Sharp or Dana Halvorson

Congressional Leadership Negotiates on Government Funding

Leadership in both parties are trying to reach a bipartisan agreement in order to keep the government funded. Members of Congress will need to send a bill to the President’s desk by Friday to avert a government shutdown.

It looked as if Republicans might have to act against the administration in order to come to an agreement that would pass the Senate. Earlier in the week, President Trump called for funding for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico—a provision that would alienate Democrats—though has since backed off that demand. Any bill would need Democratic help to pass the Senate, as 60 votes are needed to avoid a filibuster.

Democrats have sticking points of their own, with some in Leadership insisting that subsidies relating to the 2010 health care law be included in the agreement. The funding bill could include a provision to provide permanent Obamacare subsidies to help cover costs for low-income Americans and stabilize insurance markets. President Trump has threatened to pull these subsidies to force Democrats to negotiate on health care reform, therefore, some in Leadership want to take Congressional action to prevent such a scenario. If such a provision is not included, Democrats will have to choose to either support a less-than-desirable package or risk a government shutdown.

Congress may pass a short term funding bill, or “continuing resolution,” to keep the government funded at current levels for a few weeks will negotiations on larger sticking points continue.

Nominate Your Champion of Quality By June 9!

Erin Prendergast

Dr. Mor (center) accepts 2016 Champion of Quality Award
Do you know an individual who has made significant national contributions to advancing quality performance in long term and/or post-acute care? Then nominate them today! Nomination forms can be found on Champion of Quality Award page, and must be submitted online by June 9, 2017

Previous recipients, including Dr. Vincent Mor (2016) Dr. Alice Bonner (2015) and Ed McMahon (2014), have demonstrated exemplary achievements in long term and post-acute care, including, but not limited to:

· Leadership in education and advocacy for quality improvements;

· Dedication to performance improvement;

· Significant additions to long term and post-acute care research or interventions, and;

· Initiative in innovation for quality care.

Recipients of the award are not required to be AHCA/NCAL members, but the nomination must be submitted by an individual with an organization that is an AHCA/NCAL member of good standing. In addition, the nomination must demonstrate how the nominee has made a significant impact on a national scale. The recipient will be honored at the 68th AHCA/NCAL Annual Convention ​and Expo​ on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Please contact Erin Prendergast with questions, or visit the Champion of Quality award page for more information.

2017/2018 Future Leaders Training

Christy Sharp

It's time to consider recommending a candidate to your State Executive to participate in the annual “Future Leaders of Long Term Care in America” program. Candidates will be selected for this professional training and mentorship program, which begins at the September 13 - 15 symposium in Washington, D.C. Each state may nominate one person.

The nominees for the 2017/2018 class should be owners and operators who are up and coming leaders in your state. We especially encourage nominees who reflect not only the diversity of AHCA membership in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, and socio-economic backgrounds, but the various constituency groups that comprise AHCA/NCAL – whether that is a rural or urban area, a non-profit or a proprietary facility, or small, independently-owned facilities or regional, multi-facility corporations.

ALL nominations must be submitted by AHCA State Affiliates. Each State Affiliate may submit one nomination. Before contacting your State Association to recommend a candidate for this year’s class of Future Leaders, please discuss the following requirements and responsibilities with your nominee. Future Leaders will be expected to:

  • Attend a three-day training session, which will be held in Washington, DC on September 13 - 15;
  • Complete any assigned reading – typically 4 or 5 books during the year – and be prepared to discuss on conference calls;
  • Participate in a majority of scheduled conference calls and activities, including a graduation event hosted by AHCA/NCAL leadership at the AHCA/NCAL Annual Convention & Expo, which will be held October 7 – 10, 2018 in San Diego, CA; 
  • Demonstrate an interest in working on LTC issues at the national level, which may include participating on AHCA/NCAL workgroups or committees; and
  • Consider active participation in the AHCA PAC and promoting its importance to other members.

Once you have discussed the responsibilities and requirements with your nominee, please contact your State Association with your recommendation. AHCA State Executives will be asked to submit a nomination for one person by June 12, 2017.

Should you have any questions, please contact Christy Sharp at or 202-898-2839.