Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Ways to Save: Register for the AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo

If you haven’t registered for the 69th Annual AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo, don’t wait any longer. The early bird registration discount ends in just three weeks, July 20. By registering before the early bird deadline, you get the maximum savings possible on your registration package. Online registration is quick, easy, with immediate confirmation. You can also book your housing at the same time. All attendees must be registered for the event before any housing reservations can be made. Additionally, staying within the official AHCA/NCAL housing block will result in $100 discount off your registration fees (exclusions apply, see website). If attendees book housing in the official AHCA/NCAL housing block and later cancel their reservation, the additional $100 registration fee will automatically be charged.

We hope to see you in San Diego, October 7-10.

NCAL Policy Brief: Innovative Regulatory and Quality Programs for Assisted Living Communities

Lilly Hummel

The National Center for Assisted Living has published a policy brief with three case studies of state efforts to embrace quality measurement and improvement through collaboration for assisted living. The brief demonstrates the importance of partnership between states, assisted living providers and quality experts to improve care. It also emphasizes how quality programs can be integral to effectively targeting limited state resources for oversight. The brief outlines programs from the Wisconsin Coalition for Collaborative Excellence in Assisted Living, New Jersey’s Advanced Standing, and the new Oregon initiative to advance quality measures for assisted living, residential care and memory care communities.

Germs Are the “Move-In” You Don’t Want: AHCA/NCAL’s On-Line Infection Prevention and Control Program Works for Assisted Living Settings Too

Dave Kyllo

The methods for preventing and controlling infections are universal and apply regardless of setting. In other words, what works in health care settings will work in the assisted living setting too.

AHCA/NCAL developed a new comprehensive program to help nursing facility members meet the new infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship requirements now being enforced by CMS. While originally designed for nursing facilities, the Infection Preventionist Specialized Training (IPCO) course provides education for all healthcare professionals who want to lead infection prevention efforts and prepares individuals to play an active role in the antibiotic stewardship efforts. Antibiotic stewardship is an overarching goal and priority among all health care professionals and is receiving a lot of attention from state and national health care regulators.

AHCA/NCAL’s course is an online, self-study program with 23 hours of training. It includes online lectures, case studies and interactive components taught by subject matter experts who have real life experience working in long term/post-acute care.

The course addresses both clinical and organizational systems, processes and cultural aspects of infection prevention and control that are fundamental to effectively leading and administering successful infection prevention and control programs and antibiotic stewardship programs. Strong and effective infection prevention programs and antibiotic stewardship efforts can set an assisted living center apart from the competition, especially when working with social workers and discharge planners who help seniors with their post-acute decisions

Upon successful completion of this program, participants will receive certificates including 23 ANCC contact hours. The training course registration fee is $450 for AHCA/NCAL members and $650 for non-members. There are no refunds and no transfers.

Payment and registration must be made online in ahcancalED. The IPCO course can be accessed here or at: https://educate.ahcancal.org/p/ipco.

Discounted group purchase rates are available for groups of 25 or more. Those interested in making a group purchase should email AHCA/NCAL at educate@ahca.org.

To access ahcancalED and the IPCO course, members will need to login with their AHCA/NCAL usernames and passwords. For assistance obtaining AHCA/NCAL usernames and passwords, please e-mail update@ahca.org with your name and facility contact information.

Congress and White House Unveil New Medicare Benefits for Chronically Ill

Drew Thies


Congress and the Trump administration are working together to implement new laws that will extend Medicare coverage to individuals with multiple chronic conditions. The changes seek to deal with long-term illnesses that often can build on one another and that an increasing number of Americans face as they age.

The Chronic Care Act, included in a budget approved by the White House earlier this year, gave the Department of Health and Human Services authority to extend new benefits under Medicare, such as social and medical services, home improvements like wheelchair ramps, transportation to doctor’s offices, and home delivery of hot meals.

“This is a way to update and strengthen Medicare,” said Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who designed and championed the law.

Most of the new benefits will be available for Medicare Advantage plans, with the intention being that these plans will be tailored to a patient’s specific needs based on their conditions.

Lawmakers hope that Medicare coverage of comparatively small and inexpensive items such as infrastructure improvements can save Medicare money in the long term by reducing costly rehospitalizations.

Decrease Your Odds of Getting the #1 Cited F Tag with AHCA/NCAL’s Highly Rated Infection Prevention and Control Training

Dave Kyllo


The most frequently cited F-Tag in standard nursing facility health inspection surveys under the new survey process is F880 – Infection Prevention & Control. Since November 2017 when the new survey process began, more than one-third of surveys conducted across the nation have included a F880 Infection Prevention & Control citation.

AHCA’s Infection Preventionist Specialized Training (IPCO) program is specially designed to prepare individuals to effectively implement and manage an Infection Prevention & Control program in skilled nursing centers. It addresses both clinical and organizational systems, processes and cultural aspects of infection prevention and control which are fundamental to effectively leading and administering a center’s Infection Prevention & Control program.

AHCA’s course is an online, self-study program with 23 hours of training that meets the educational requirements outlined by CMS. It includes online lectures, case studies and interactive components taught by subject matter experts who have real life experience working in long term/post-acute care. The AHCA program gets rave reviews with 97 percent of health care professionals who have completed the course recommending IPCO to their colleagues.

The course addresses both clinical and organizational systems, processes and cultural aspects of infection prevention and control that are fundamental to effectively leading and administering successful infection prevention and control programs and antibiotic stewardship programs.  Upon successful completion of this program, participants will receive certificates including 23 ANCC contact hours.

Discounted group purchase rates are available for groups of 25 or more. Those interested in making a group purchase should email AHCA at educate@ahca.org.  

While CMS has announced plans to offer a free infection prevention training course some time in Spring 2019, AHCA/NCAL recommends investing in staff training now rather than waiting at least another year to train staff on the requirements that already are in effect. Despite the recent CMS training announcement, facilities will continue to be surveyed on all the new infection prevention and control requirements and the antibiotic stewardship requirements – the same requirements leading to the most commonly cited F-Tag since November 2017 under Phase I and Phase II of the CMS Requirements of Participation and the implementation of the new survey process.

To access ahcancalED and the IPCO course, members will need to login with their AHCA/NCAL usernames and passwords. For assistance obtaining AHCA/NCAL usernames and passwords, please e-mail update@ahca.org with your name and facility contact information.

Avoid the F880 tag.  Prepare your center and staff now for success in infection prevention and control under the new survey process: Register for IPCO!

$263 Gets Your Job Posting Connected to Nearly 300 Health Care Associations and Professional Societies

Dave Kyllo 


An abundance of qualified health care candidates are looking for jobs on the national job board network built for health care professionals. Lead them to your job vacancy through the AHCA/NCAL Long Term Care Career Center. The LTC Career Center is designed to help members be competitive in attracting qualified candidates to fill their health care positions.

Rates for posting job vacancies have never been more affordable. Now through July 31, open positions can be posted on the AHCA/NCAL Long Term Care Career Center for $263 per 30-day posting when employers use promo code SUMMER25. That’s 25% off the normal low AHCA/NCAL rate of $350.

The LTC Career Center gives unprecedented targeted exposure because it connects with the Health Care Career Network by providing visibility on the network’s nearly 300 national and state health care organizations and societies. The Center is also fully integrated with Google’s job search feature “Google for Jobs” creating greater exposure for job postings.

The $263 for a 30-day posting gives even more value because employers who utilize the AHCA/NCAL Long Term Care Career Center receive free bonus 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 AHCA/NCAL LTC Career Center get extra value through free rotating listings on the Long Term Care Career Center home page.

Of course, the LTC Career Center is always free for job seekers and the LTC Career Center features many of the best positions the long term care profession has to offer.

Make the smart, low cost employee recruitment choice. Check out the LTC Career Center today and don’t forget to use promo code SUMMER25 to save 25% on your job postings. Employers may use the code up to three times between now and July 31 on any number of postings.     

Call Robin at 866-964-2765 x2736 for more information about posting job vacancies on the LTC Career Center and other discounted job listing packages. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Customize Your Convention Experience

Danielle Levitan



You have specific challenges that you need to address on a daily basis. The AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo has targeted education sessions on the issues that matter to you. Choose from more than 70 education sessions that are designed to help you find strategies for tackling even your toughest challenges.

Rehab therapy
Dementia Care
Post-Acute Care
Quality Improvement
Risk Management
Survey and Regulatory
Workforce

Browse the education tracks, and make plans to attend.

We also have several different registration packages for you. Pick the one that’s right for you. But don’t wait.

Early bird registration ends July 20. When you register now and then reserve your room in an AHCA/NCAL room block, you could save up to $200!



CMS Continues Mailing New Medicare Beneficiary Cards

Lilly Hummel


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to mail new Medicare cards to all beneficiaries. The change is intended to prevent fraud and identity theft. CMS has created an informational page for providers explaining what they need to do to get ready, and released a timeline of its mailing strategy. CMS has not yet mailed cards for about half of the states, which will be ongoing throughout the summer. New Medicare cards are starting to be mailed to people with Medicare who live in the following states: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin. 

CMS is in the process of mailing new cards to people who are new to Medicare and to those who live in the following states and territories: Alaska, American Samoa, California, Guam, Hawaii, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon.

CMS has finished mailing most cards to people with Medicare who live in: Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.  If resident with Medicare in these states did not get a card, they can be directed here or to call 1-800-Medicare (1-800-633-4227). There might be something that needs to be corrected, such as updating their mailing address.  

The Next Best Thing to a Crystal Ball

Stop shaking those Magic 8-balls hoping for an “outlook good” response. You deserve something more reliable.

NCAL Day at the AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo offers an insightful closing panel, “Trends in Senior Housing: How Do We Thrive from Now until 2025?” Join us Sunday, October 7 at the San Diego Convention Center for this unique opportunity.

Hear from senior living experts, Dr. David Grabowski from the Harvard School of Medicine and Robert Kramer from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC), as AHCA/NCAL President & CEO Mark Parkinson moderates for a direct, focused discussion on how to build a thriving business now and in the future.


Current projections show that the baby boomer generation won’t actually begin needing assisted living and senior care services for another 7 years. "Trends in Senior Housing" will discuss the latest economic trends, payment delivery models, and consumer demands. These expert panelists will enable you with the tools and resources you need to weather the market’s current oversaturation, while still preparing for the silver tsunami that is to come.

Put differently – you cannot afford to miss this session.

NCAL Day is a separate-ticketed event and must be purchased in addition to any convention registration package. Learn more about what NCAL Day at Convention has to offer.

Register by July 20 to save $100 off any Convention package.

And discover what the rest of the 69th Annual AHCA/NCAL Annual Convention has in store for all long term and post-acute care providers at www.NCALConvention.org.

NCAL Day is sponsored by:

    
   


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

New MACPAC Report on Medicaid

The Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC) released its June 2018 Report to the Congress. Click here to access a copy of the report, which focuses on the following topic areas:

the high cost of prescription drugs;
the opioid epidemic; and
the growing trend of delivering long term services and supports (LTSS) through managed care.

MACPAC issues these reports to inform policymakers, and their topic selection indicates opioid epidemic and Medicaid managed LTSS are hot topics for Medicaid right now.

The first chapter on barriers to substance use disorder (SUD) treatment makes two recommendations to support information exchange among health care providers under the federal SUD confidentiality regulations known as Part 2. Part 2 has been criticized as confusing, restrictive, and challenging to implement; according to the Commission, additional guidance, education, and technical assistance to clarify these regulations would be a meaningful step to help providers, payers, and patients understand their legal rights and obligations and opportunities for information sharing that would facilitate integration of care.

Another chapter on barriers to SUD treatment builds on MACPAC’s June 2017 analysis, Medicaid and the Opioid Epidemic. The new analysis finds that although states already can cover many clinical SUD services, only 12 states pay for the full continuum. And while the institutions for mental diseases (IMD) exclusion often is cited as a barrier to paying for residential services, states can cover residential services under some conditions now through Section 1115 demonstrations and managed care. Eliminating the IMD exclusion would not address other coverage gaps or low participation of SUD treatment providers in Medicaid.

MACPAC also reflects on Medicaid’s role as the nation’s largest payer for LTSS and the growing trend to deliver these services through managed care. While states typically adopt managed LTSS (MLTSS) after gaining experience with managed care for acute care, the complex needs of people who receive LTSS and the wide range of services they use make implementation of MLTSS more complex. The Commission observes that adoption of new quality measures and efforts to improve encounter data have potential to improve evaluation and oversight activities.

Register for AcademyHealth's Annual Research Meeting - June 24-26!


AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting (ARM), the premier forum for health services research (HSR), convenes the foremost experts at the intersection of health, health care, and policy to share important findings and showcase the latest research on how the health system works, what it costs, and how to improve it.

The largest meeting of its kind, the ARM is packed with new research, cutting-edge methods, and robust discussions of HSR’s impact on health policy and practice.

Join more than 2,500 attendees June 24-26 in Seattle, Washington, to share and strengthen the evidence needed to inform the decisions that affect the health of individuals and communities.

Learn more and register today here!

Questions? Contact registrations@academyhealth.org.

What: 2018 Annual Research Meeting (ARM)
Where: Seattle, Washington (Washington State Convention Center)
When: June 24-26, 2018
Event Website: www.academyhealth.org/ARM


Snap to It! Your Guide to Planning NALW 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, “Capture the Moment.” The theme reminds assisted living residents to seize the day while celebrating the past. And reminds staff to focus on the little, everyday interactions that deliver high quality care in America’s assisted living communities.

Some of the suggested activities include:
  • Creating a yearbook of the assisted living community’s residents and staff before NALW and then hold a signing party during 
  • Having a photo booth or backdrop available to take selfies 
  • Fulfilling a lifelong dream for a resident, perhaps by partnering with an organization like Second Wind Dreams (International Second Wind Dreams Day is September 13) 
  • Setting up an art activity to have residents draw or paint a key moment in their lives or a self-portrait and then have an art gallery event at the end of NALW 
  • “Captured in the Moment” awards for staff members who are caught by other staff going above and beyond the call of duty 
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. New to our NALW products this year – women’s t-shirts!

Beginning on Grandparents Day, Sept. 9 and running through Sept. 15, 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 www.nalw.org.

Looking for Solutions to Your Toughest Workforce Challenges?







A stable workforce directly impacts the quality of care you provide at your centers. That’s why this year’s convention includes an entire track of programming devoted to workforce issues. You’ll find sessions on recruitment, retention, Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ), and more. You’ll also share ideas and concerns with other long term and post-acute care professionals who understand exactly what you’re facing on a day-to-day basis. You are sure to walk away with specific strategies and plans to help you create the strong workforce culture you need to succeed.

Just listen to what some of your peers said after attending last year…

The AHCA/NCAL convention…went above and beyond my expectations. The speakers were terrific and provided me with new ideas for improving employee satisfaction and quality care.
Diana Roberts, Administrator, Evans Memorial Home

There is no better conference or opportunity to learn about our profession or to network with peers.
Fred Benjamin, President, SNF Division, Lexington Health Network

So don’t delay. Get all the details and select the registration package that meets your needs.

Early bird savings ends July 20.


Ways to Save: Register for the AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo

Jon-Patrick Ewing


If you haven’t registered for the 69th Annual AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo, don’t wait any longer. The early bird registration discount ends in just four weeks, July 20. By registering before the early bird deadline, you get the maximum savings possible on your registration package. Online registration is quick, easy, with immediate confirmation. You can also book your housing at the same time. All attendees must be registered for the event before any housing reservations can be made. Additionally, staying within the official AHCA/NCAL housing block will result in $100 discount off your registration fees (exclusions apply, see website).  If attendees book housing in the official AHCA/NCAL housing block and later cancel their reservation, the additional $100 registration fee will automatically be charged. 


We hope to see you in San Diego, October 7-10.

It’s Summertime and the Living is Easy with Mood Media

Dave Kyllo

Whether you want to sing Sweet Home Alabama all summer long or the Summer Breeze makes you feel fine, AHCA/NCAL members can create a festive summer atmosphere in their communities through music offered by Mood Media at AHCA/NCAL “Member Only” discounted rates.

Mood Media offers great musical variety for events or casual common area listening via the internet or streaming, and offers customized commercial free music options that allow facilities to tailor musical selections to meet changing resident preferences. Mood customers enjoy freedom from music licensing worries on Mood Media’s huge collection of music selections played on Mood Media‘s portable devices.

Use Mood Media’s music to: 

  • Improve the dining experience and set the mood in dining areas as residents gather for meals;
  • Provide a variety of background music in common areas;
  • Create a positive environment for activities; and 
  • Provide musical entertainment for social gatherings and happy hours.

AHCA/NCAL members receive exclusive discounted rates on Mood services and equipment with three-year agreements. The core music package starts at $29.99 per month or about $1 per day with a three-year agreement. 

For more information about Mood Media’s services, call 800-345-5000 or go to  http://partner.moodmedia.com/ahcancal/ (password: moodpartner).

Advance Your Long Term Care Career with ACHCA Administrator Credentialing

Dave Kyllo

Administrators are key players in the long term care team and are entrusted with the responsibility of caring for our loved ones. They touch the lives of residents and families, and most importantly, ensure that their staff provides the highest level of quality care to a vulnerable population.

AHCA/NCAL partners with the American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) for its administrator certification programs. The goals of the partnership are to increase awareness of advanced certification and professional growth opportunities and to encourage independent professional certification for nursing facility and assisted living administrators/directors.

ACHCA has established eligibility criteria prior to taking the exam, including two years of licensure (other options exist for assisted living administrators in states without administrator licensure) and continuing education requirements. Both must be established before an individual is authorized to sit for the credentialing exam. While ACHCA membership has many benefits for administrators/directors, ACHCA membership is not a requirement for ACHCA certification.

The application fee for either the nursing facility or assisted living certification exam is $150.  AHCA/NCAL members should use AHCA/NCAL members should use code AHCANCAL when they complete their initial ACHCA applications. The single credential fee (the fee paid after an individual passes the exam) is only $300 for AHCA/NCAL members, a $50 discount off the regular non-ACHCA member price when AHCA/NCAL members use promo code AHCANCAL at checkout.

Credentialing through ACHCA lasts five years. Recertification involves obtaining 150 hours of continuing education in five areas during the five-year certification period and paying a recertification fee.

ACHCA certification can provide State licensure reciprocity with certain states. Licensing rules and requirements vary by state. Check with your state licensing board for your state’s reciprocity requirements. A list of state licensure boards and contact information is maintained on the NAB website at www.nabweb.org.


For more information about ACHCA certification, go to www.achca.org/certification or call 1-800-561-3148.  

Get Nationwide Exposure for Your Open Job Vacancies on the National Health Care Career Network for $263 Per Job Posting through July 31

Dave Kyllo


Finding qualified employees is one of the greatest challenges facing long term care providers and June’s open job statistics prove that the challenge is only growing in the strong economy with a decreasing unemployment rate. 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 have never been more affordable. Now through July 31, open positions can be posted on the AHCA/NCAL Long Term Care Career Center for $263 per posting when employers use promo code SUMMER25. That’s 25% off the normal low AHCA/NCAL rate of $350.

The LTC Career Center connects with the Health Care Career Network and gives prospective employers far greater exposure than local ads and job boards by providing visibility on a network of nearly 300 national and state health care organizations and societies. The Center is also fully integrated with Google’s job search feature “Google for Jobs” creating greater exposure for job postings.

There are 34,282 open jobs posted by direct employers 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. That represents an increase of nearly 1,000 open positions in the last month that are posted by long term care employers.  

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 2,271 direct employers are competing for candidates this month – about the same number as April and May. The average number of days a job was posted was 34 days in June.    

Employers who utilize the AHCA/NCAL Long Term Care Career Center receive free bonus 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 AHCA/NCAL LTC Career Center get extra value through free rotating listings on the Long Term Care Career Center home page.

Of course, the LTC Career Center is always free for job seekers and the LTC Career Center features many of the best positions the long term care profession has to offer.

Make the smart, low cost employee recruitment choice. Check out the LTC Career Center today and don’t forget to use promo code SUMMER25 to save 25% on your job postings. Employers may use the code up to three times between now and July 31 on any number of postings.     

Call Robin at 866-964-2765 x2736 for more information about posting job vacancies on the LTC Career Center and other discounted job listing packages. 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Stop the stigma with mental health

Person-centered care is holistic health care - focusing on mind and body.

With mental and behavioral health diagnoses increasing in assisted living, it is imperative that providers understand these diagnoses, how to screen for them, and how to best support residents with these diagnoses.

NCAL Day at the AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo offers an important education session for any assisted living provider, “Providing Mental Health Care in Assisted Living.” Join us Sunday, October 7 at the San Diego Convention Center for this critical discussion.

The recent, tragic passings of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain remind us that no one is immune from mental health issues. And studies show that depression in older adults tends to be more severe than in other age groups.

Join mental health and quality of life expert, Barbara Speedling to better understand how mental health impacts assisted living residents' physical health and overall well-being.

Barbara Speedling, BS
President/Quality of Life Specialist
Innovations for Quality Living

Barbara is a New York-based quality management consultant who provides education, training and support to community, residential and long-term care providers in the development of programs and services to meet a broad range of behavioral health needs.

Author of “Why is Grandma Screaming?” (2014) and “Toward Better Behavior” (2017).


"Providing Mental Health Care in Assisted Living" will also help assisted living providers determine how to screen for mental health diagnoses and develop care plans to provide person-centered, holistic care to residents.

NCAL Day is a separate ticketed event and must be purchased in addition to any convention registration package. Learn more about what NCAL Day at Convention has to offer.

Register by July 20 to save $100 off any Convention package.

And discover what the rest of the 69th Annual AHCA/NCAL Annual Convention has in store for all long term and post-acute care providers at www.NCALConvention.org.


NCAL Day is sponsored by:


    
   



Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Webinar: Finding the Balance--Enhancing Self-Efficacy in Persons Living with Dementia

June 26, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT

Register for the event

Few attributes of personhood are more zealously protected than self-determination, and few fears more troubling than losing one's independence. For people with dementia this can be particularly intense. Using stories taken from more than 30 years of experience, geriatric psychiatrist Dr. Susan Wehr will illustrate why preserving autonomy and enhancing self-efficacy in people with dementia are important. She will discuss ways professionals can support individuals living with dementia—and their families—in making decisions, even in the context of diminished decision-making capacity.

Registration and Details

Registration is required to receive the webinar information. Visit the webinar information webpage to sign up and learn more. If you are interested but unable to attend, the webinar recording will be available at nadrc.acl.gov.

AALNA/NCAL Caring Together Webinar: Talking the Talk: Having Difficult Conversation on LGBT-Related Topics

Lindsay Schwartz

Please join us for our quarterly AALNA/NCAL Caring Together Webinar, Talking the Talk: Having Difficult Conversation on LGBT-Related Topics, on June 19th 3:00 – 4:00pm Eastern. Caring for older adults often involves having difficult conversations, and these talks can be even more stressful when they touch on issues related to a person’s sexual activity, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity. Many care providers are hesitant to raise issues related to same-sex sexual contact, gender expression, and LGBT relationships. Interacting with family members can add an additional layer of stress, especially if they are not comfortable with the older adult’s LGBT identity, sexual behavior, gender identity, or gender expression. This session is a safe and supportive space for participants to work through our tips for discussing LGBT identity in a respectful manner. We will work through conversations like: how to conduct LGBT affirming intake, how to apologize if you inadvertently use a disrespectful term, how to discuss a resident’s sexual behavior with their family members, how to advocate for a resident’s right to express their gender in the manner of their choosing, how to advocate for a resident’s right to control who can visit them, and how to address instances of bias between community members.

Webinar Speaker: Tim R. Johnston, Ph.D., is the Director of National Projects at Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE). He is responsible for directing SAGE’s national training initiatives, developing training curricula and providing consulting services to both aging and LGBT service providers. In addition to training, Tim oversees key national grants and projects, such as SAGE’s National Resource Center on LGBT Aging, the US Administration for Community Living’s Senior Medicare Patrol Integration project, and elements of SAGE’s National LGBT Elder Housing Initiative.

Please register for the webinar here.

Wonder How Alzheimer’s Disease Affects the Brain?

The National Institute on Aging at NIH has released a video that shows how Alzheimer’s affects the brain. This short video is a great resource to share with staff and family to better understand the impact of Alzheimer’s on residents.

AHCA/NCAL Convention Offers More Than 20 Tracks of Learning

Jon-Patrick Ewing


The AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo is designed to help you tackle the specific challenges you are facing today. Improving lives by delivering solutions for quality care is the main goal. With over 20 different tracks of learning, you are sure to get exactly what you need and walk away with specific strategies you can implement back home immediately. Browse all the sessions available to you over the four days of convention. From workforce issues to the Requirements of Participation, you'll find the solutions and ideas you seek.




Don’t miss the Sunday, October 7, intensive session on the new Patient-Driven Payment Model (PMPD).  AHCA will present a 4-hour intensive session (repeated on Wednesday, October 10) at this year's Convention & Expo that will help you understand what this means for you and how to best prepare. The PDPM intensive will include an in-depth training on the PDPM payment system. Especially important is that a member tool kit will be introduced that will contain the core competencies framework as well as a readiness review tool that will help you track your operational readiness for PDPM. The intensive will also cover data gathered from 12 companies testing impacts of PDPM and provide hospital and discharge pattern data that could be helpful in member markets. This session is reserved for long term and post-acute care providers only.

Register today and save! The early bird registration deadline in July 20.

Provider Reporting of Adverse Legal Actions

Lilly Hummel


As part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) ongoing focus to reduce provider burden, the agency announced it no longer requires Medicare payment suspensions and CMS-imposed Medicare revocations to be reported. The announcement specifies which Final Adverse Actions must continue to be reported and how to do so. Final Adverse Actions should be reported by Medicare providers and suppliers with new or unreported actions and those individuals listed on an application as having managing control or an ownership interest. The official instructions to Medicare Administrative Contractors are also available.

AHCA Responds to Regulatory Concerns from State AGs

Drew Thies


The American Health Care Association (AHCA) sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma last week responding to concerns the there has been a “rollback” of regulations on skilled nursing facilities.

The letter is in response to a May 30 letter sent by 17 state attorneys general (AG) to CMS saying that federal oversight over SNFs has weakened during the Trump administration. AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson said in the association’s letter that the AG complaints are based on outdated facts and ignore the purpose of the regulatory changes, which is to improve the lives of SNF residents.

David Gifford, MD, senior vice president of quality and regulatory affairs for AHCA, says, “We were surprised and disappointed” by the way the AGs contextualized the changes CMS made. Dr. Gifford also spoke to the increasing quality in SNFs, particularly in relation to the AHCA Quality Initiative, which started in 2012.

“[T]he data from CMS do not support their claim that these changes have made care worse or that stronger penalties will help improve care,” he said.

AHCA will continue to educate lawmakers about the quality improvements made in the SNF profession and the regulations providers must abide by.

Demonstrate Your Geriatric Nurse Competency with Gero Nurse Prep

Dave Kyllo


AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep does much more than just prepare RNs to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) board certification exam in gerontological nursing.
It increases experienced RNs’ knowledge of gerontological nursing practice. Gero Nurse Prep students see a whopping 24 percent average increase on their pre- and post-test scores.

The statistics prove it. Gero Nurse Prep grads know more about gerontological nursing.  Taking the AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep course does obligate a RN to sit for the ANCC Board certification exam. Registered nurses who are interested in increasing their knowledge of gerontological nursing practice can simply complete the AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep course earn 30 CEUs, and increase their skills and knowledge of geriatric nursing.

AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep is also designed to thoroughly prepare RNs to take the ANCC board certification exam in gerontological nursing. It does that. RNs who complete the Gero Nurse Prep program have a passing rate of 96 percent on the ANCC exam on their first try.

ANCC is the world’s largest and most prestigious nurse credentialing organization and a subsidiary of the American Nurses Association. Less than one percent of America’s RNs are board certified in gerontological nursing. That means having an ANCC Board certified RN can easily give providers an edge in the marketplace.

AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep is affordable at $690 for 30 CEUs worth of high quality training that gets results. For RNs interested in pursuing Board certification through ANCC, that cost is an additional and separate cost of $395.

Watch this video to learn more about AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep and build a strong geriatric nursing team with AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep.   

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

From Chaos to Focus: The Quality Initiative is Your Answer

Lyn Bentley, MSW

What was your first reaction when you heard about the AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative? Did you wonder if the Washington, D.C., atmosphere (however you might choose to define that) had gotten into the heads of association leadership? No, it’s not about D.C. It is all about the survey, regulatory and payment changes that have been impacting long-term care at the state and federal level. We have heard from many members that “there is just too much going on – where do I start? How do I do it all? And, oh, by the way, the residents need my focus!”

We agree that times are challenging and we believe that focusing on the Quality Initiative goals will help you to have a plan for meeting many of the challenges.

Nursing Centers
The goals of reducing hospitalizations, increasing customer satisfaction, improving functional outcomes, and reducing antipsychotics are strongly related to your success with the following national priorities:
Instead of worrying about each program, network, requirement, and rating focus on the four goals to achieve success in all areas mentioned.

Assisted Living Communities
The goals of improving staff stability, improving customer satisfaction, reducing hospital readmissions, and reducing antipsychotics all play an important role by:
  • Preparing providers for possible reimbursement changes based on quality outcomes;
  • Focusing on current national priorities and key indicators of quality care;
  • Encouraging efficiency with health care dollars;
  • Promoting consistent data measurement with continuing tracking;
  • Highlighting the importance of goal setting with sustainable improvement; and
  • Fostering person-centered care
The bottom line is this: the Quality Initiative is definitely not “just another thing to do” and it isn’t “yet one more program.” It is a focal point that can keep you on track and help you to be successful in this changing world.

Last Chance to Nominate for AHCA & NCAL Awards - Deadline Extended to June 15!


Time is running out to nominate a long term or post-acute care colleague or volunteer for our national recognition programs. The application deadline for all awards has been extended to Friday, June 15th.

  • Volunteer of Year - 3 categories: Group, Adult and Young Adult
  • ID/DD Hero of the Year
  • Not for Profit Program of the Year
  • Not for Profit Trustee Award
  • Adminstratrator of the Year
  • Nurse of the Year
  • Caregiver of the Year
  • National Assisted Living Week Programming Award
This award recognizes an individual that has made significant national contributions to advancing quality performance in long term and/or post-acute care, including either skilled nursing or assisted living settings. 

Jan Thayer Pioneer Award
This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated dedication and leadership and made considerable contributions to the senior care profession. 

Recipients receive a free trip to San Diego!


The selected recipients of the awards listed above will be recognized in front of thousands of their peers at the 69th AHCA/NCAL Annual Convention and Expo held in San Diego, October 7-10, 2018. Recipients receive complimentary registration to the convention, round-trip airfare, and hotel accommodations. Additional programming and networking events will be available to the honorees.  

Give them the national spotlight! This is the ultimate way to thank and honor a valuable team member for quality caregiving.  

We look forward to reviewing your nomination! The deadline for all awards program nominations is Friday, June 15, 2018.