Thursday, November 29, 2018

CMS launches Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program

Urvi Patel

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program (CMPRP) as a three year effort to help providers reduce adverse events, improve staffing quality, and improve dementia care. Under this program, CMS provides a variety of resources to providers on the aforementioned topics, and last week announced the availability of the first of three toolkits – Nursing Home Staff Competency Assessment. This toolkit contains competency assessments for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA)/Certified Medication Technicians (CMT), Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurses (LVN/LPN) and Registered Nurses (RN), and assistant directors of nursing (ADON), directors of nursing (DON) and administrators. Each competency assessment incorporates in questions on behavioral, technical and resident based competencies.

The second toolkit, Nursing Home Employee Satisfaction Survey, and third toolkit, Guide to Improving Nursing Home Employee Satisfaction will be available on the CMPRP website by next summer.

Questions on CMPRP can be directed to CMP-info@cms.hhs.gov.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

AHCA/NCAL and AALNA Caring Together Quarterly Webinar

Lindsay Schwartz

Please join AHCA/NCAL and AALNA for the last Caring Together webinar of 2018, Assisted Living Nurse Competencies – What are they, how are they used”. Have you ever had difficulty explaining what exactly assisted living nurses do? This webinar will describe the assisted living nurses’ scope of practice and identify the competencies that make up their practice. Information will be shared about the structure and process used to develop the competencies, practical aspects of how to use them to support personal growth and application of the competencies to help with nurse recruitment and retention. Review of competencies and opportunities to provide feedback on this work also will be presented. The webinar will be held on Tuesday, December 11th from 3:00pm – 4:00pm Eastern. Attendees must register prior to the webinar.

Resources to Meet ROP Compliance and Ethics Program Requirement

Lilly Hummel

Nursing center providers are encouraged to start creating or updating their Compliance and Ethics Program that is required for Phase 3 of the Requirements of Participation (ROP). AHCA has published a members-only toolkit to help meet the requirement. It's free for provider members after logging in to ahcancalED. An effective Compliance and Ethics Program takes time to implement because of the need to create policies and procedures, ensure proper staffing and training, and have monitoring and auditing systems in place.

AHCA also updated the AHCA compliance webpage to summarize key resources nursing centers can access to help create or update their program. Members will be notified when there are interpretive guidelines or other new information to support the creation of an effective Compliance and Ethics Program.

AHCA/NCAL Announces Quality Summit Keynote: Register Today!

Jon-Patrick Ewing

The AHCA/NCAL Quality Summit is scheduled for March 18-20 in Tampa, Florida. This year’s keynote speaker is Chris Field. Field is the author of Disrupting for Good: Using Passion and Persistence to Create Lasting Change. Check out Field’s unique story online and get inspired for what’s to come at this year’s Quality Summit. The Quality Summit is an excellent networking forum. This is the perfect time to share your successes and your challenges with like-minded colleagues from across the country. Three days of timely education sessions will give you the knowledge to excel in your quality journey. Plus, earn valuable CEs to start the year.

Don’t miss these important dates. The registration deadline is March 5, 2019.  To take advantage of our discounted housing block you must make your hotel reservation before the February 25th deadline. You must be registered for the summit before a housing reservation can be made. You may do both when registering online.

Become a Quality Award Examiner: Applications Due Tomorrow

Meghan Karstetter

Time is running out to apply to serve as a Quality Award Examiner for the 2019 program by completing the Examiner Application form, available on our brand-new Quality Award Portal. The portal can be accessed via our website.

Serving as an Examiner is an incredible opportunity for professionals currently applying for a Quality Award and interested in continuous quality improvement. Examiners review Quality Award applications and are offered the following benefits:
  • Education in Baldrige criteria from content experts
  • Positively impacting long term care performance nationally
  • Earning Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • Networking in the long-term care profession 
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • Discounted attendance to the AHCA/NCAL Convention or Quality Summit

Sunrise Senior Living National Director of Performance Excellence, Alana Wolfe, explained why she continues to serve as a Quality Award Examiner:

“Serving as an Examiner in the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program has been of immeasurable benefit to me, both personally and professionally. Not only have I been able to develop a more marketable skillset, but it has created a knowledge base, a peer network, and a best practice resource that has been of great value to me as an individual and to what I am able to contribute to my own organization. I encourage everyone to consider becoming an Examiner for the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program!”

The deadline to apply is this Thursday, November 29, 2018. For more information on the Examiner role, and timeline, visit the 2019 National Quality Award Examiner website: https://www.ahcancal.org/quality_improvement/quality_award/Pages/Examiners.aspx.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at qualityaward@ahca.org with questions.

Members of Congress Elect Leadership

Drew Thies

Both Chambers of Congress are holding leadership elections that will determine who decides the priorities for the next two years of legislative activity.

Senate leadership is already largely set, as both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) won the votes earlier this month to keep their posts next year.

Leadership elections for the new Democratic majority in the House will happen later this week. The Democratic party will vote to nominate a speaker candidate for the January 3 floor vote and to elect its other leaders for the 116th Congress.

The races for the top three posts are uncontested, making it likely that Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) will be nominated for speaker, Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) will be elected majority leader, and James Clyburn (D-S.C.) will be elected majority whip.

House Republicans picked Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as their leader. He will take over as head of the party following Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) when Republicans become the minority next year. McCarthy fended off a conservative challenge from Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

Filling out the rest of Republican House leadership is Steve Scalise (R-La.), who will return as party whip and Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) will serve in the number three spot, House Republican conference chair. Coincidentally, Cheney’s father, former-Vice President Dick Cheney, served in the same role from 1987 to 1989 when he was a member of the House.

Planning and Response for Active Shooter Incidents

Dana Halvorson and Erin Prendergast

According to a November 27, 2018, McKnight's article entitled, "Feds encourage healthcare facilities to brush up on active shooter training following deadly incident," the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response is encouraging all providers to review its planning and response guide for active shooter incidents and other resources issued by the agency.  This comes post the deadly shooting at the Mercy Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago last week.  The full McKnight's article can be found here.  More emergency preparedness resources can also be found on AHCA’s website.     

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Special November Discount on CARES Online Dementia Training Programs Ends November 30

Dave Kyllo

Only two days remain on a November sale where AHCA/NCAL members can purchase any version of CARES Dementia Basics & Dementia-Related Behavior online training program and receive 15% off with promo code AHCA15. 

Healthcare Interactive® CARES online training is recommended by AHCA/NCAL to help reduce the off-label use of antipsychotics.  The training specifically teaches staff members about the important topics of:
  • Person-centered care
  • Facts about dementia
  • Description of dementia-related behavior
More importantly, it teaches staff members what they are supposed to do when caring for someone with a behavioral issue. 

CARES training is different because it includes direct video “before and after” training on an easy-to-use, easy-to-apply approach to dementia care called the CARES® Approach®. The CARES Approach can be used in any situation, with any person with dementia, at any stage of the disease.  The training topics include:
  • What is the CARES Approach?
  • Using the CARES® Approach with Dementia-Related Behavior
  • Breaking down the CARES® Approach for Dementia-Related Behavior
  • Key Responses to Dementia-Related Behavior
All modules include extensive video interviews and vignettes of experts in dementia care, actual dementia caregivers and family members, and, most importantly, real footage of people living with dementia (not actors). Staff members will learn person-centered techniques to address issues, which often leads to behavior such as biting, kicking, punching, screaming, public urination and sexual behaviors.

CARES programs are easy to use, can be used from any computer, tablet, or mobile device and can be started and stopped as often as users wish. To experience the CARES online training difference, test drive the first module at no cost

Take advantage of this sale on CARES Dementia Basics & Dementia-Related Behavior online training programs.  Don’t forget to use promo code AHCA15 to receive 15% off your order.    Feel free to call HealthCare Interactive at (952) 928-7722 with any questions.  

Lower The 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 96 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. 

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 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!

Loss Protection from Cyber Criminals is Key to Avoiding Devastating Financial Consequences

Dave Kyllo

Headlines about data breaches and cyber extortion are commonplace.  Those same cyber threats are real for long term care communities of all sizes.  Protecting your long term care community against these threats is essential. 

Before purchasing cyber liability insurance, it’s important to understand critical cyber risks facing businesses today and what risks long term care providers should insure against.  Below are examples of key components of a comprehensive cyber liability insurance policy: 
  • Security & Privacy Liability – A cyber thief hacks your facility’s computer system and steals the personal data of past and current residents/patients.  Your facility gets sued for $1 million on behalf of several resident families for the negligent unauthorized release of personal information.   
  • Breach Event Costs – The cost of notifying all the victims of the data breach and their families can be staggering as can the public relations expense of explaining what went wrong.
  • Regulatory Fines and Proceeding Coverage – Regulators will likely be interested in the cause of your data breach and whether your response followed state and federal laws.   Coverage includes paying for your legal counsel, hearing expenses and any fines where insurable under the law. 
  • Multimedia Liability – This includes protection should your facility’s logo be similar to another company’s logo or should your website contain content that is copyrighted or trade-marked by others. 
  • Network Asset Protection – Hackers may destroy software and the information/data stored in your computers.  This coverage pays for the expenses to replace or restore software and data.
  • Business Interruption Income Loss – Facility revenue may be impacted through a tainted reputation following a data breach.  Insuring against this risk pays for the reduction in profit and extra costs such as renting a replacement computer system.
  • Cyber Extortion – Possibly one of the most talked about cyber security risks is “ransomware” – a computer virus that freezes your computer system until the demanded ransom is paid.  The insurance pays for expert advice on how to retrieve your system, negotiate with the hackers and pay any ransom if necessary.
HealthCap is the AHCA/NCAL endorsed carrier for liability insurance and cyber liability coverage.  The company’s sole focus is serving the needs of long term care providers, including assisted living.  HealthCap® carrier partners offer cyber liability insurance and it is not necessary for a long term care provider to have General or Professional liability insurance through HealthCap to purchase cyber liability insurance through HealthCap’s carrier partners.

For more information about HealthCap’s comprehensive suite of data security and privacy insurance solutions and to find a local agent, contact Stephanie Hale at Stephanie.Hale@chelsearhone.com
 

Sale Ends Friday on the Tool That Better Prepares RNs for PDPM Challenges

Dave Kyllo

The new CMS patient driven payment model (PDPM) takes effect October 1, 2019 for skilled nursing facilities and will dramatically change how Medicare Part A payments are determined.  That change moves away from the current system that focuses heavily on therapy minutes to a system that will focus on a wide range of clinical characteristics.  This transformation in payment methodology will make having competent, proactive RNs and other clinical staff even more vital to a SNF’s financial success. 

How do you bring your RNs up to this level of competency?  AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep can help.  This on-line education program does much more than just prepare RNs to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) board certification exam in gerontological nursing. It increases RNs’ knowledge of gerontological nursing practice.  Gero Nurse Prep students see a dramatic 24 percent average increase between their pre- and post-course test scores.  That’s a remarkable improvement considering that many Gero Nurse Prep students are RNs who have several years of long term care experience. 

Taking the AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep course does not 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, receive 30 nursing contact hours, and increase their skills and knowledge of geriatric nursing.  While there are requirements for RNs taking the ANCC exam, any RN who wants to strengthen his/her geriatric nursing skill set may take the Gero Nurse Prep course.  

For those RNs who want ANCC Board certification, AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep also thoroughly prepares interested RNs to take the ANCC Board certification exam in gerontological nursing. 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. 

The sale on Gero Nurse Prep ends Friday.  Save $100 off the regular registration fee now through November 30 by using promo code REALRN18 (all caps).  AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep provides tremendous value at this AHCA/NCAL member $590 sale price.   That’s less than $20 per contact hour for outstanding nursing education that makes a measurable difference on so many fronts.  Nurses have up to one year to complete the course.  For RNs interested in pursuing Board certification through ANCC, there is an additional and separate cost of $395. 

Watch this video to learn more about AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep and take advantage of the sale by Friday. 

Independent Owner Leadership Conference Features Exciting Keynote Speakers

Find Inspiration and Earn CEs
 
Plan to attend this year’s IO Leadership Conference in Tampa, FL. It's a one-of-a-kind gathering that will leave you full of fresh perspectives and insights to help you make an immediate and long-lasting impact back home at your centers.

You'll also have numerous opportunities to network, share ideas, and learn. Education sessions focus on your critical needs and questions.

Earn up to 12.75 CEs.


Opening Keynote
David DeLong, MIT AgeLab Research Fellow, is the author of Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce and an expert on workforce management. His talk will help you understand the importance of closing skills gaps, learn solutions for evaluating talent-related risks, identify talent problems that kill profits, and accelerate knowledge transfer in the multigenerational workplace.





Closing Keynote
Green Beret Commander Captain Mark Nutsch led the first 12-man Special Forces A-team on horseback as they infiltrated the mountains of Northern Afghanistan immediately following the September 11th attacks. His team’s courageous and relentless spirit served as a catalyst in overthrowing the Taliban Regime. His story of unyielding dedication to one’s country demonstrates the importance of loyalty and dependability in achieving success.

 
 
Get all the details and register today!
 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Business Acumen Webinar 11/28: Improve Quality, Improve Relationships

Lindsay Schwartz

Join the HCBS Business Acumen Center, Wednesday, November 28, 12:30 – 1:30 PM Eastern as Debra Scheidt, Executive Director of United Disabilities Services (UDS) describes how they incorporated the use of clinical tools and language to improve outcomes for their clients and relationships with payers and providers of health services.

Learning objectives:
  • Understand how a specific quality management program can improve outcomes for individuals; 
  • Understand how to incorporate clinical tools, resources and language in your community-based organization; and 
  • Understand how to use this program and tools in your relationships with payers of health care services. 
This one hour webinar is available as part of the Business Acumen for Disabilities Grant provided by the Administration for Community Living to the National Association of States United for Aging and Disabilities in collaboration with national partners. The HCBS Business Acumen Center is dedicated to providing resources to sustain disability organizations.

*** 

Learn more about the HCBS Business Acumen Center. This effort is led by NASUAD in partnership with national organizations and funded through a grant from the Administration for Community Living.

Learn more about ACL's Business Acumen Initiative to help states and community-based organizations build networks and respond to delivery system changes, including technical assistance, building business capacity for successful contracting with integrated care entities, and developing pathways to sustainability.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Calling for Presentations

Teresa Eyet

The AHCA/NCAL 70th Convention & Expo is set for Oct. 13-16, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. AHCA/NCAL is already seeking presentation proposals for that program. Now is your chance to share ideas that reflect your success stories and professional insights, as well as information and programs that enhance the long term and post-acute care service delivery. Program organizers are particularly interested in proposals that reflect and help support providers in achieving AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative goals. Visit
www.ahcancal.org/quality_improvement/qualityinitiative/Pages/default.aspx for Quality Initiative goals.

Submit your proposal here by the Nov. 30 deadline.

Guidance on Fires from Past, Help for Future

Back in 2008, a post on AHCA/NCAL’s Disaster Planning blog talked about California wildfires, and the article could have been written this month. The column said, “The threat of a wildfire is a reality for facilities. Smoke can cause very low air quality, which is dangerous for elderly individuals.” The piece went on to offer some suggestions to keep residents and staff alike safe during such a disaster:
  • Avoid outdoor activities, especially for those with respiratory problems.
  • Keep windows and doors closed as much as possible, and use the recycle or recirculate mode on your facility air conditioner.
  • Avoid the use of non-HEPA paper face mask filters, which are not capable of filtering extra-fine particles.
  • If you must evacuate, ensure that your residents drink lots of water and breathe through a warm, wet washcloth if needed.
Members can access the Disaster Planning blog at https://www.ahcancal.org/facility_operations/disaster_planning/blog.

For those who want to help those in the long term care community affected by the recent California fires, fundraising campaigns have been established to help victims. The California Association of Health Facilities has posted links to these at www.cahf.org/Resources/Help-the-Long-Term-Care-Fire-Victims.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Consider This Affordable Insurance Solution for Frontline Staff

Dave Kyllo

AHCA/NCAL Insurance Solutions now offers a minimum essential coverage health plan to members.  The new plan was developed by Compass Total Benefit Solutions and offers two new affordable options for providing many of the health insurance benefits that are important to long term care employees.  The plan was built to help AHCA/NCAL members recruit and retain frontline staff who cannot afford major medical health plans. 

The new plans feature affordable premiums and co-pays for valued and commonly used services, including prescriptions, physician visits and free unlimited 24/7 access to TELADOC.  The Compass 1 plan costs about $1 per hour for a full-time employee or $161 per month.  The Compass 2 plan costs $182 per month.  The Compass 2 plan costs a little more because it includes higher indemnity payments for hospitalizations. Here’s the rate schedule:

  Monthly Premiums
Compass 1
Compass 2
EE
$161.29
$181.75
EE & Spouse
$264.70
$306.39
EE & Children
$244.19
$279.94
Family
$356.70
$417.20

The plan was designed with long term care staff members in mind to help those employees who cannot afford Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliant plan premiums or the high deductibles associated with many ACA plans.  Even though traditional ACA compliant plans are classified as “affordable,” they are not an option that many long term care employees can afford.  

Employers decide the level of contribution for plan expenses for coverage for employees, their spouses, their children or family coverage.  Employers can pay all the costs, share the costs with employees, or have employees pay for coverage completely as a voluntary option.  Or LTC employers can increase their employer contribution over time based on an employee’s length of service.  Both plans are flexible. In addition, employers have options such as covering all the costs for employee coverage but having the employee pay the premiums for their spouse and/or children. 

While this new AHCA/NCAL Insurance Solutions plan satisfies all 71 benefits required under the Affordable Care Act, it is not a fully compliant ACA plan.  It is considered a minimum essential coverage (MEC) plan and should be offered alongside a traditional ACA compliant plan to avoid any ACA employer penalties. 

There is no additional underwriting for the Compass plan and no mandatory wait periods for new employees to join the Compass MEC plans.  Any wait periods are determined by the employer.  There is a minimum of five employees that must be enrolled to offer the plan to employees.

The ability to offer a health insurance plan at little to no cost to employees allows AHCA/NCAL members to market their facilities as superior employers in comparison to competing employers.   This plan is much less expensive to an employer compared to a traditional employee health benefit plan and costs less than the expense of an employee who turns over.

Read this Q&A document for more information about Compass plans for AHCA/NCAL members. Versions of the Compass Plan are available in all 50 states. Changes to the Hospital Indemnity benefit vary based on state approvals. To see what's available in your state, please
contact Nick Cianci at 202-898-2841 or Dave Kyllo at 202-898-6312 or email ahcainsurancesolutions@ahca.org.

Want to Lower Your Rehospitalization Rate? Start with Smarter RNs!

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 dramatic 24 percent average increase on their pre- and post-test scores. 

Those specially trained RNs can net tangible results.  Research conducted by AHCA/NCAL in 2016 found that the rehospitalization rates in nursing facilities with at least one RN certified in gerontological nursing by the ANCC consistently have run at least two percentage points lower than the national average since 2011.   AHCA/NCAL believes that assisted living settings may experience similar results by increasing their RNs’ gerontological expertise.
 
Lower rehospitalization rates are key to success under the new CMS Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) program.  CMS is tracking skilled nursing rehospitalization rates for the SNF VBP program and is using those rates to determine Medicare Part A payment levels as of October 1, 2018.

AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep also thoroughly prepares interested RNs to take the ANCC Board certification exam in gerontological nursing.  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. 

Taking the AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep course does not 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 receive 30 nursing contact hours, and increase their skills and knowledge of geriatric nursing.

Gero Nurse Prep is on sale!  Save $100 off the regular registration fee now through November 30 by using promo code REALRN18 (all caps).  AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep provides tremendous value at this AHCA/NCAL member $590 sale price.   That’s less than $20 per contact hour for outstanding nursing education that makes a measurable difference on so many fronts.  For RNs interested in pursuing Board certification through ANCC, there is an additional and separate cost of $395.

Watch this video to learn more about AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep.  

Take the Online AHCA/NCAL Course Designed to Help Avoid Payment Penalties under the CMS Value Based Purchasing Program for SNF Medicare Part A Payments

Dave Kyllo

AHCA has launched a new education program designed to help skilled nursing facilities succeed under the new CMS value based purchasing payment program (SNF VBP) that took effect on Monday, October 1, 2018.  The course (Understanding SNF VBP in Detail) contains six modules that provide an in-depth description of each feature of the CMS SNF VBP program along with helpful tools, documents, and primary source references to the program. 

This training program is intended for nursing home administrators, directors of nursing and any other staff including corporate staff who are responsible for payment models and rehospitalization reduction efforts.   No specific license is required take the course and no contact hours or CEUs are awarded for completing the curriculum.
The training program is specifically designed to help long term care professionals:
  • Understand how CMS calculates the measures, risk adjustment, the facility score and payment adjustment.
  • Use and access the CMS SNF VBP feedback reports and the SNF Performance Score Report.
  • Apply the incentive payment multiplier.
  • Use the SNF VBP prediction calculator to estimate the financial impact different SNFRM rates have on your Part A revenue.
  • Adopt best practices to help either avoid a payment penalty or receive an increase in your Medicare Part A payments.

Possessing a detailed understanding of SNF VBP is critical to operational success.  Starting October 1, 2018, all SNFs will receive a payment adjustment to their SNF Medicare Part A claims ranging from a 2 percent cut to potentially a 1.5 percent increase based on rehospitalization rates in prior years. CMS will recalculate the payment adjustment annually every fiscal year (FY) thereafter for the next ten years.

The registration fee for AHCA’s SNF VBP online course is $25 for AHCA/NCAL members and $65 for nonmembers.

The individual who wants to take the SNF VBP course must login to ahcancalED and register for the course under their individual login.  To access ahcancalED, members will need to login with their AHCA/NCAL usernames and passwords.  For assistance obtaining AHCA/NCAL usernames and passwords, please e-mail educate@ahca.org with your name and facility contact information. 

Payment is made in ahcancalED upon registration via credit card or check. If paying by check, an order is not complete until the check is received and approved by AHCA staff. You will not have access to the training until approval.  Registrations for SNF VBP cannot be done by another person or under another person’s ahcancalED login.

Know how to succeed under SNF VBP.  Follow this link to register today for Understanding SNF VBP in Detail or go to https://educate.ahcancal.org/p/snfvbp

Mood Media Delivers the Music of the Holidays

Dave Kyllo

Whether it’s Briana’s “Thanksgiving Song” or Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “Thanksgiving Song,” members can keep music at the core of their holiday celebrations 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).

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Become a Quality Award Examiner

qualityawards@ahca.org

We need your Assisted Living expertise! The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) are looking for individuals interested in becoming Examiners for the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program. Examiners review Quality Award applications and are offered the following benefits: 

  • Education in Baldrige criteria from content experts
  • Positively impacting long term care performance nationally
  • Earning Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • Networking in the long-term care profession 
  • Opportunities for professional development
  • Discounted attendance to the AHCA/NCAL Convention or Quality Summit


Sunrise Senior Living National Director of Performance Excellence, Alana Wolfe, explained why she continues to serve as a Quality Award Examiner:

“Serving as an Examiner in the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program has been of immeasurable benefit to me, both personally and professionally. Not only have I been able to develop a more marketable skillset, but it has created a knowledge base, a peer network, and a best practice resource that has been of great value to me as an individual and to what I am able to contribute to my own organization. I encourage everyone to consider becoming an Examiner for the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program!”

If you are interested in learning more about this important opportunity, visit our website here to view a webinar on the 2019 Program, or email qualityaward@ahca.org. 2019 Examiner applications are due November 29, 2018, so apply today!

As a reminder to those submitting Quality Award applications, the intent to apply payment deadline is November 8th at 8pm ET and the application deadline is January 31, 2019 at 8pm ET. Interested in learning more about the Quality Award Program? View our AL-specific webinar here

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

SNFs Evacuated Ahead of Devastating California Wildfire

Drew Thies

Three skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in Paradise, California were evacuated ahead of the Camp Fire. About 175 residents were completely evacuated Friday as the fire spread. All three facilities were destroyed by the fire over the weekend.

Residents were evacuated to other providers in the area but safely away from the fire. The Camp Fire is both the most destructive and most deadly wildfire in California history.

Caregivers and staff acted bravely to help evacuate the residents in the limited time available, according to an article from McKnight’s.

“I don’t think they slept for 40 to 50 hours,” said Aaron Edmonds, area president of Plum Healthcare, the parent company of one of the three Paradise SNFs. “They couldn’t sleep until they were sure that all of our patients were safe and the work was done.”

“They’re the heroes in this,” Edmonds continued. “They put themselves in danger and put their lives on the line to help people who couldn’t help themselves.

“Ninety-five percent of the town is gone,” Paradise council member Michael Zuccolillo told the San Francisco Chronicle. “The remaining 5 percent of buildings are barely standing.”

Plum is actively working to ensure both residents and workers are being attended to, cared for, and are able to find new, permanent housing and employment whether at another of the company’s SNFs, or at a different provider.

The California Association of Health Facilities posted fundraising campaigns for the long term care fire victims. These individuals lost nearly everything and help is still much needed.

AHCA/NCAL Quality Summit: Registration Now Open

Jon-Patrick Ewing

https://www.ahcancal.org/events/qualitysummit/Pages/default.aspx


AHCA/NCAL 2019 Quality Summit – Disrupt to Lead. Innovate to Succeed. Calling all out-of-the box, visionary, and why not thinkers.  Join other long term and post-acute quality practitioners in Tampa, FL, March 18-20, for the AHCA/NCAL Quality Summit. You can lend your voice to the conversation around what it takes to disrupt the status-quo in order to move forward with new ideas in patient-centered care and operational excellence (OR delivering solutions for quality care). 

Online registration is now open. The registration deadline is March 5, 2019.

Special November Sale on CARES Online Dementia Training Programs

Dave Kyllo

Now through November, 30, AHCA/NCAL members can purchase any version of CARES Dementia Basics & Dementia-Related Behavior online training program and receive 15% off with promo code AHCA15

Healthcare Interactive® CARES online training is recommended by AHCA/NCAL to help reduce the off-label use of antipsychotics.  The training specifically teaches staff members about the important topics of:
  • Person-centered care
  • Facts about dementia
  • Description of dementia-related behavior
More importantly, it teaches staff members what they are supposed to do when caring for someone with a behavioral issue. 

CARES training is different because it includes direct video “before and after” training on an easy-to-use, easy-to-apply approach to dementia care called the CARES® Approach®. The CARES Approach can be used in any situation, with any person with dementia, at any stage of the disease. 

The training topics include:
  • What is the CARES Approach?
  • Using the CARES® Approach with Dementia-Related Behavior
  • Breaking down the CARES® Approach for Dementia-Related Behavior
  • Key Responses to Dementia-Related Behavior
All modules include extensive video interviews and vignettes of experts in dementia care, actual dementia caregivers and family members, and, most importantly, real footage of people living with dementia (not actors). Staff members will learn person-centered techniques to address issues, which often leads to behavior such as biting, kicking, punching, screaming, public urination and sexual behaviors.

CARES programs are easy to use, can be used from any computer, tablet, or mobile device and can be started and stopped as often as users wish. To experience the CARES online training difference, test drive the first module at no cost

Take advantage of this sale on CARES Dementia Basics & Dementia-Related Behavior online training programs.  Don’t forget to use promo code AHCA15 to receive 15% off your order. Feel free to call HealthCare Interactive at (952) 928-7722 with any questions. 

November 12-18 is National Antibiotic Awareness Week and a Great Time to Learn about Antibiotic Stewardship

Dave Kyllo

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. The science behind and methods for good antibiotic stewardship are universal and apply regardless of setting. 

AHCA/NCAL developed a 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, including those working in assisted living settings, who want to lead infection prevention efforts and play an active role in the antibiotic stewardship efforts. 

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 nursing facilities and assisted living centers apart from the competition. 

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. 

Take Advantage of Your “AHCA/NCAL Member Only” Discounts on FedEx Express® Services through PartnerShip®

Dave Kyllo

AHCA/NCAL members can lower their costs on FedEx Express services. Through the AHCA/NCAL Shipping Program, managed by PartnerShip, members receive exclusive discounts with FedEx, including up to 29%* on select FedEx Express services. There are no fees or minimum shipping requirements, simply great savings and great efficiency.

Participation in this exclusive program helps AHCA/NCAL members ship smarter with more convenience.  To participate in the AHCA/NCAL Shipping Program and receive these discounts of up to 29%*, simply enroll now or email sales@PartnerShip.com to start saving today. Enrollment is free. 

Whether sending important documents on tight deadlines or shipping small packages, FedEx Express gets shipments where they need to go, when they need to get there. Your AHCA/NCAL membership gets you the most out of shipping options, and PartnerShip can help lead the way. Here are a few things to know in order to take full advantage of FedEx Express services.

Order free shipping supplies - Cut your shipping costs by ordering supplies for your FedEx Express shipments for free through fedex.com. You can order envelopes, boxes, tubes, shipping label pouches—everything you need to make sure your shipment is packaged properly.

Take advantage of FedEx One Rate® options - Select FedEx Express services are available with FedEx One Rate. These flat rate options can be very cost-effective for envelopes up to 10 lbs. and boxes or packs up to 50 lbs. FedEx makes it easy to compare pricing and determine whether FedEx One Rate is right for you. Simply enter your shipment information to find out your rate. It’s fast, easy, and convenient.

Solutions to ship on your terms - When you need to ship urgent small packages on a tight schedule, FedEx gives you greater control and flexibility. Each location offers different levels of service for what you need to take care of business. Easily search online by zip code to find the service type and location that works best for you. Whether you need a simple self-serve pick up and drop off, or a one-stop shop for printing and packaging assistance, FedEx has you covered.

Enroll and start saving - It’s easy to start saving with your AHCA/NCAL “member only” discounts. If you already have a FedEx account, PartnerShip will ensure you’re receiving the best possible pricing and link your discounts to your existing account. All you need to do is enroll.  The savings can be substantial with discounts up to 29%*. Start saving today!  

*Includes a bonus 5% online processing discount. Full details available at  PartnerShip.com/85AHCA/FedExdiscounts.

NCAL’s 2018 Nurse of the Year Credits Gero Nurse Prep for Helping Her Pass the ANCC Board Certification Exam

Dave Kyllo

Amanda Garcia’s eight-year career as an assisted living RN at The Kensington in Fort Madison, Iowa is filled with accomplishments.  She was the first in her county to become a facilitator and instructor for end-of-life care.  She has trained staff at the local hospital and Iowa State Penitentiary in dementia care.  She also received the Distinguished Director of Nursing in Leadership Award from the Iowa Center for Assisted Living, and, The Kensington received the Silver – Achievement in Quality Award through the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Program. 

In between all that, Garcia studied for and passed the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) board certification exam in gerontological nursing – the gold standard in demonstrating knowledge and expertise in gerontological nursing.  She credits the AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep on-line training course in preparing her to pass the exam.

“The course is amazing and prepares you very well to take the exam,” Garcia said.  “It was a real confidence booster that I do know what I’m talking about.”  She said that the Gero Nurse Prep course was more intensive than she expected.  “There is so much that is different and more to learn with the geriatric population.”  The Gero Nurse Prep case studies pushed the envelope in using her critical thinking skills, she explained.  Ninety-six percent of Gero Nurse Prep students who take the ANCC Board certification exam in gerontological nursing pass on their first try. 

Statistics also back up Garcia’s Gero Nurse Prep learning experience.  Gero Nurse Prep students see a dramatic 24 percent average increase between their pre- and post- course test scores.  Registered nurses who are interested in increasing their knowledge of gerontological nursing practice can  complete the AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep course receive 30 nursing contact hours, and increase their skills and knowledge of geriatric nursing.  RNs are also well prepared to sit for the ANCC Board certification test should they choose to pursue the “RN-BC” credential. 

Garcia said Gero Nurse Prep and becoming an ANCC Board certified RN made her a better assisted living nurse.  “I have shared my knowledge with other nurses on staff and developed new practices and procedures for the facility,” she said.  She explained that there is not a lot of resources for assisted living RNs but that she believes ANCC Board certification and Gero Nurse Prep are great avenues to help RNs become better gerontological nurses.  
 
Gero Nurse Prep is on sale!  Save $100 off the regular registration fee now through November 30 by using promo code REALRN18 (all caps).  AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep provides tremendous value at this AHCA/NCAL member $590 sale price.   That’s less than $20 per contact hour for outstanding nursing education that makes a measurable difference on so many fronts.  For RNs interested in pursuing Board certification through ANCC, there is an additional and separate cost of $395. 

Watch this video to learn more about AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep.  Follow this link to the October issue of Provider magazine to read more about the many accomplishments of Amanda Garcia, RN-BC, NCAL’s 2018 Nurse of the Year.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Registration Open for the 2019 Independent Owner (IO) Leadership Conference

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN
for the 2019 Independent Owner (IO) Leadership Conference

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to discuss today's industry trends and challenges, and learn from your peers.

March 20-22
Marriott Tampa Waterside
Tampa, FL
 
Highlights include:
  • Pre-conference session of LED Talks curated by Provider Magazine ¾ These short, targeted impactful presentations focus on topics designed to Lead, Engage, and Discover.
  • Owner-to-Owner Town Hall ¾ The discussion will tackle emerging trends as well as litigation, records requests, and risk management.
  • Washington Update ¾  Hear about legislative activity and look ahead to what’s happening in Congress.
  • Priceless Networking Events ¾  We have several social activities and networking opportunities built into the schedule.

Get all the details at
IO.AHCANCAL.org
 


The IO Conference immediately follows the 2019 Quality Summit and takes place at the same location. Register for both and save $50!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

CFPB Blog on Helping to Prevent Scams Targeted at Veterans

Dana Halvorson

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) November 8 blog written by Anthony Camilli and Erin Scheithe includes information on helping to prevent scams targeted at veterans.  In particular, it notes that CFPB is “offering a new placemat on scams targeting the Aid and Attendance benefit, part of a series of fraud and scam prevention placemats. Veterans, or surviving spouses who are eligible for a veteran’s pension, may be eligible for the Aid and Attendance benefit.  This benefit may be granted if the individual needs help with activities of daily living, is bedridden, is a patient in a nursing home, or has certain vision limitations.  For those who qualify, the Aid and Attendance benefit is added to his or her VA pension.”  If you would like to learn more about how to apply for the Aid and Attendance benefit, you can use this fact sheet

CMS Updates Medicare Deductible, Coinsurance and Premium Rates for 2019

Dan Ciolek

On November 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted a MLN Matters article discussing the annual update to beneficiary Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, and premium rates for calendar year 2019. 

2019 PART A - HOSPITAL INSURANCE (HI)
  • Part A Deductible: $1,364.00
  • Part A Coinsurance
    • $341.00 a day for 61st-90th day
    • $682.00 a day for 91st-150th day (lifetime reserve days)
    • $170.50 a day for 21st-100th day (SNF) coinsurance
  • Base Premium (BP): $437.00 a month
  • BP with 10% surcharge: $480.70 a month
  • BP with 45% reduction: $240.00 a month (for those who have 30-39 quarters of coverage)
  • BP with 45% reduction and 10% surcharge: $264.00 a month

2019 PART B - SUPPLEMENTARY MEDICAL INSURANCE (SMI)
  • Standard Premium: $135.50 a month
  • Deductible: $185.00 a year
  • Pro Rata Data Amount:
    • $133.57 1st month
    • $51.43 2nd month
  • Coinsurance: 20 percent

Note that the Part B premium may vary based on beneficiary income above certain levels. CMs transmittal CR11025 has additional information showing Part B premium rates as adjusted for income.
 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Democrats Take Control of House, Republicans Expand Senate Majority

Drew Thies

After a day of monumental election turnout, the Democrats gained a majority in the House while Republicans are set to expand their slim margin of control in the Senate.

Democrats claimed at least 219 House seats—one more than needed to claim a majority in the chamber, ending eight years of Republican control over the chamber. 23 House races were not called on election night. Democrats will at least have a narrow margin in the House, but it is unlikely the remaining uncalled election will give Democrats a portion of control comparable to the 246-187 margin Republicans had coming out of the 2016 election.

Favorable electoral math gave Republicans in an edge in the Senate, where they picked up seats in states where President Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Missouri, North Dakota, and Indiana all ousted a Democratic incumbent, while Nevada flipped from red to blue. Republicans will at least have a narrow majority, with results still pending in battleground states Florida and Arizona.

Divided government will necessitate more compromises on must-pass legislation like government. Meanwhile, signature Republican efforts like tax cuts and repealing the Affordable Care Act will likely grind to a halt. House Democrats will gain chairmanships of committees, and with them, oversight and investigation power.

In the states, Democrats made considerable gains in governors’ races, where they picked up seven seats, including in states Trump won in 2016 like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Kansas.

Lawmakers will return to Washington, D.C. November 13 to begin the “lame duck” congressional session. Both parties in both chambers will hold leadership elections in the ensuing weeks. In the House, party leadership and committee chairs will be decided this year, but the official Speaker of the House election will happen in early January 2019.

During the lame duck, Congress will need to address the seven remaining spending bills that were included in a continuing resolution to keep government funding steady through December 7. The Senate filibuster will prevent Republicans from unilaterally passing large, last-ditch policy without Democratic support before they lose control of the House.


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Last Chance! Submit Your Intent to Apply

Erin Prendergast

The Intent to Apply (ITA) for the 2019 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award application cycle is closing! The deadline to submit an ITA is November 8, 2018 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. AHCA/NCAL encourages you to submit an ITA through the Quality Award Portal here before the deadline.
Why should I submit an Intent to Apply?
 
While not mandatory, applicants who submit an ITA will save money on their overall application fee and receive extra educational resources. No paperwork or application is needed to submit an ITA through the Quality Award Portal here. Please note:
  • We encourage all applicants to review the application packet in full before submitting an ITA payment. Applications are available at ahcancal.org/qualityaward.
  • The 2019 Quality Award Survey Eligibility, as of the September Nursing Home Compare release, for all award levels is now available on the Quality Award website.
How do I get Started?
  1. Download and review the application packet for your respective award level
    • Check out our self-assessments at the Silver and Gold level to see if you’re ready to apply! 
  2. Log into the Quality Award Portal
  3. Submit a payment for you center in the Quality Award Portal
Key Upcoming 2019 Quality Award Program Dates
  • November 8, 2018: Intent to Apply deadline
  • November 29, 2018: Examiner application deadline
  • January 31, 2019: Bronze, Silver and Gold final application deadline

All deadlines are at 8 p.m. Eastern Time and late submissions are not accepted for any reason.
We hope you will take the next step to continue your quality journey this coming year by submitting an Intent to Apply. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the AHCA/NCAL Quality Award team at qualityaward@ahca.org.

Reduce the Risk or Receiving 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 96 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. 

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 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!

Prepare Your RNs for PDPM With Gero Nurse Prep

Dave Kyllo

The new CMS patient driven payment model (PDPM) takes effect October 1, 2019 for skilled nursing facilities and will dramatically change how Medicare Part A payments are determined.  That change moves away from the current system that focuses heavily on therapy minutes to a system that will focus on a wide range of clinical characteristics.  This transformation in payment methodology will make having competent, proactive RNs and other clinical staff even more vital to a SNF’s financial success. 

How do you bring your RNs up to this level of competency?  AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep can help.  This on-line education program does much more than just prepare RNs to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) board certification exam in gerontological nursing. It increases RNs’ knowledge of gerontological nursing practice.  Gero Nurse Prep students see a dramatic 24 percent average increase between their pre- and post-course test scores.  That’s a remarkable improvement considering that many Gero Nurse Prep students are RNs who have several years of long term care experience. 

Taking the AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep course does not 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, receive 30 nursing contact hours, and increase their skills and knowledge of geriatric nursing.  While there are requirements for RNs taking the ANCC exam, any RN who wants to strengthen his/her geriatric nursing skill set may take the Gero Nurse Prep course.  

For those RNs who want ANCC Board certification, AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep also thoroughly prepares interested RNs to take the ANCC Board certification exam in gerontological nursing. 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. 
 
Gero Nurse Prep is on sale!  Save $100 off the regular registration fee now through November 30 by using promo code REALRN18 (all caps).  AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep provides tremendous value at this AHCA/NCAL member $590 sale price.   That’s less than $20 per contact hour for outstanding nursing education that makes a measurable difference on so many fronts.  For RNs interested in pursuing Board certification through ANCC, there is an additional and separate cost of $395. 

Watch this video to learn more about AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep.   AHCA/NCAL is also hosting a free webinar on November 8 at 2 p.m. EST that will provide a more in depth look at how experienced assisted living and nursing facility RNs can improve outcomes with focused additional gerontological nurse training.  Follow this link to register for the Improving Clinical Outcomes Through Competent Gerontological Nurses. If you need assistance accessing the webinar, please contact educate@ahca.org.