Friday, September 28, 2012

Are You Tweet Savvy? Come to our Tweet Up!

Join us in Tampa for a Tweet Up on Tuesday at 11:30am

Do you still say the Twitter? Do you think that following means walking behind someone? You’re not alone. Tampa will feature social media in a big way and we’re here to bring you up to speed. Even if you are just getting started or you’ve reached social media veteran status, come to this special “Tweet Up” to share your experiences and hear from others about their companies’ experiences in using social media in long term and post-acute care. Be sure to tweet your thoughts before and during the session using the hashtag #LTCTampa.

Claire Navaro from AHCA/NCAL’s public affairs staff will be on hand to lead the discussion. You’ll learn more about how to use social media to interact with the public. You can walk away with new tips on how to communicate and share events in your facilities and most importantly have fun doing it. If you can’t be there in person then please follow along by using the Convention hashtag: #LTCTampa.

If you are attending Convention, you can participate on Tuesday, October 9, at 11:30am in the Convention Expo Hall in the Meet Up room.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Sense in Sharing

“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.” – Margaret Fuller

As the health care profession changes, businesses and health care providers must learn to adapt and grow. With changing policy, payment models and tight budgets, it can be challenging to find new ways to advance your business.

Luckily, AHCA/NCAL members have the distinct advantage of being part of a community of long term and post-acute care providers – and being part of this community means being able to share. At the upcoming AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo in Tampa, providers will have the opportunity to share best practices.

On Monday, Oct. 8, providers can participate in the State Affiliate Sharing Session. Led by colleagues, attendees can meet one another while discussing trends and changes in the LTC setting. Providers can identify challenges and discuss best methods for dealing with them, deliberate on profession-wide changes and share ideas for implementation, and review best practice approaches to a variety of topics.

Perhaps you successfully integrated a new meal plan to your facility, or struggled with time management of staff during the holidays. Whatever the challenge was, bring your best practices, your best attempts, and your best ideas to the State Affiliate Sharing Session. Let others light their candles in your knowledge!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Health Care: RNC vs. DNC

It’s no secret that President Obama and Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney disagree on most points of public policy, but their perspectives perhaps most contrast in concerns to health care, and the future of Medicare and Medicaid.

As is customary, both parties used their conventions to unveil and explain their platforms. A noteworthy difference in this year’s election and convention trajectories is the emphasis on the future of America’s health care system. As the economic crisis continues to loom over Americans, both parties acknowledge that the current Medicare system is unsustainable. With such particularly high stakes, one would think that Obama and Romney would have used their respective conventions to highlight and promote their starkly different viewpoints on health care.

But that’s not exactly what happened.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Health Care Influences the Masses in Florida

A recent article released by the Associated Press suggests that health care is no longer just your grandmother’s platform of choice.

Mitt Romney's Aug. 12 Vice Presidential nomination of House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R- Wis.) drew national attention to Ryan's authored budget proposal titled, “The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America’s Promise.”

“The Path to Prosperity” largely favors health care vouchers, and would increase the current age eligibility for Medicare, but would not affect seniors currently age 55 and over. Often dubbed “The Ryan Budget,” the proposal was initially approved by the House in April 2011 with overwhelming GOP support, yet was completely shut out by House Democrats in the final vote. In May 2011, the budget was voted down by the Democrat-dominated Senate. Multiple Democrats have chided “The Path to Prosperity,” repeatedly asserting that it will "end Medicare as we know it."

Republicans have spoken out just as aggressively against the Obama Administration’s 2010 “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” Also known as "Obamacare," the bill aims to secure rights for uninsured Americans, including many of those with pre-existing conditions who have been victims of past health care price hikes. Many Democrats hail the bill as revolutionary, while Republicans continue to adamantly rebuke the redirection of “about $700 billion in future Medicare spending” used to fund it.

Florida, a key swing state in this year's Presidential election, is home to scores of retirees, many of whom have particularly strong opinions about this year's candidates and their prospective plans for Medicare and Medicaid.

Despite opposing health care philosophies, both the Romney and Obama camps understand that they need to do more than just attract retirees to clench the coveted ‘Sunshine State’-- they need to appeal to younger voters, too.

A series of interviews conducted by the AP found that Floridians of all age groups distrust both camp’s projected plans for regenerating the health care system. Whether a retiree or a college graduate, it appears that most have little hope that either plan will garner effective, lasting results.

"I just assume Medicare won't be there for me at all," said Christine Pallesen, a 26-year old business consultant in Florida.

This dismal perspective is becoming much more prominent throughout the United States. With the first wave of baby boomers having turned 65 in January 2011, retirees are becoming more concerned about their long term care prospects.

Election 2012 carries extremely high stakes for all age groups in America. In order to clench Florida's 29 Electoral College votes, Romney or Obama need to address both age groups' concerns, and explain how his plan would be more successful in assuaging their pertinent fears.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Nursing Homes Mentioned at the DNC

Did you miss this last night?

Stay tuned for an update later this week on how both parties addressed Medicare and Medicaid at each of the conventions.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Gold for Golden LivingCenter-Continental Manor

AHCA/NCAL was proud to recently announce two prestigious Gold Award recipients for our National Quality Award program this year—one of which is Golden LivingCenter - Continental Manor located in Abbotsford, WI.  At the 78-bed facility, their motto is “dedicated to providing compassionate, individualized care to all of our patients and residents from the moment of admission.”  Skilled services at Golden LivingCenter - Continental Manor include speech therapy and stroke rehabilitation, while other special services include Alzheimer’s and dementia care.  In addition, Continental Manor prides itself on providing great amenities for their patients such as a library, appealing dining experiences, and available private rooms.

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program criteria was used for scoring guidelines which focused on evidence of learning, integration, systematic approaches, and strength of the improvement process.  Continental Manor scored highly in many areas, one of which was leadership.  Examiners found that Continental Manor had a well-deployed, effective system for how senior leaders guide the organization as well as an effective systematic approach to governance and societal responsibilities.  Another area the facility excelled in was Customer Focus—they were found to emphasize feedback from residents as well as having an operative process in place for determining levels of satisfaction among residents and stakeholders. The facility’s main strengths included patient-centered care, operational process effectiveness results, emergency preparedness, and strategy implementation.

High customer satisfaction and staff engagement in addition to strong leadership helped propel Continental Manor to the gold level.  Congratulations, Continental Manor! We’ll look forward to presenting your Gold Award in person at the closing session of the 63rd AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo in Tampa, FL.

Does your facility have a unique commitment to quality? The 2013 application process for our National Quality Awards is now underway! Start the journey here.