Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Time’s Running Out to Get Recognized for Your Quality Efforts

qualityinitiative@ncal.org



Let’s celebrate the hard work you have done to measurably improve the lives of your residents.

The 2020 AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative Recognition Program honors member centers and communities that have achieved one or more of the AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative goals. The deadline to submit your Quality Initiative data in LTC Trend Tracker is November 21, 2019.

Nursing centers must submit customer satisfaction data, and all other data is automatically uploaded. Assisted living members must submit data for all of the NCAL goals: staff stability, customer satisfaction, hospital readmissions and off-label use of antipsychotics.

Identified achievers will be notified in December, and the recognition will take place at the AHCA/NCAL Quality Summit in March 2020.

If you need assistance with LTC Trend Tracker, please visit the Resource Center or email help@ltctrendtracker.com

For more information on the Quality Initiative Recognition Program, please visit the respective websites for skilled nursing centers and assisted living communities.

Participate in Research on Care and Resident Safety in AL

Lindsay Schwartz

Investigators from the University of Rochester, in partnership with the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living (CEAL) and 9 national organizations representing providers, advocates, and other stakeholders in assisted living (AL) are conducting a national survey focusing on care and resident safety. We ask for your participation in this important survey, which includes over 4,000 AL communities randomly chosen from across the country. If your AL community receives this survey, we strongly encourage the administrators and staff to complete them and mail back to investigators in postage-paid envelopes provided with the survey. All surveys are totally confidential. Findings from this survey, which will be shared in aggregate (no individual data will be shared) with all participating ALs, may help to improve the quality of the work environment for staff as well as care safety for all residents.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

2020 AHCA/NCAL Quality Summit: Registration Open

Jon-Patrick Ewing

No matter what your focus or interest, we’ve got you covered! Join AHCA/NCAL for the 2020 Quality Summit, March 9-11 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas (centrally located near Dallas/Ft. Worth).

With a program inspired by AHCA/NCAL’s Quality Cabinet and members, the 2020 Quality Summit has a sharper focus on key issues facing long term care, including a full track of education sessions on the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM). Come network with your colleagues and receive valuable education while you earn up to 11.5 CEs. At this year’s Summit, national subject matter experts will lead sessions on person-centered care, emergency preparedness, leadership, infection prevention, and more. Attendees will take away strategies to improve clinical, quality, regulatory, and workforce outcomes.

The Summit provides programming for all levels of staff in long term and post-acute care: administrators, DONs/clinical staff, quality managers and directors, assisted living providers and independent owners.

Registration Deadline: February 24, 2020

For more information and to register, visit: QS.AHCANCAL.ORG


Cybersecurity, Ransomware & Planning Resources

Steven Chies 

Last month, there was a data breach reported in the media that detailed a ransomware demand from a hospital system in Alabama that includes a post-acute care facility.  The hospital shut down new admissions and transferred patients due to the inability to access electronic health records.  Unfortunately, this is not a single occurrence – data breaches have been occurring at an increasing rate in the past few years. As the use of electronic health records has become a necessary tool for facility operators to function, the loss of access could create serious operational issues for long term and post-acute providers.

We want to make you aware of this threat and encourage you to access tools and resources to help prevent it from happening.

What can you do?

Facilities should prepare a cybersecurity plan to address these potentially damaging occurrences.  The Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency website here has considerable information on protection, reporting, and other topics to assist your planning. 

The agency and other experts in cybersecurity have recommended several basic actions for all health care providers to consider as part of their risk assessment and management responsibility.  They are:

  1. Evaluate the current infrastructure the organization has for electronic health care records and technology.  Create a plan to mitigate any identified risk. 
  2. Have a detailed backup procedure for data and diligently execute the backup systems, preferably off-sight.
  3. Train and prepare staff on the risks of cybersecurity, including attempts to human engineer individual staff with phishing and other email schemes.
  4. Establish immediate processes with personnel in the event of a ransomware attack and/or contract with a third-party vendor.
  5. Consider the purchase of cyber insurance that could assist in a breach.
  6. Report all breaches or attempts to law enforcement (i.e. FBI and Homeland Security)

Additional resources

Here are some additional resources that may help in the cybersecurity planning process:


Questions?

If there are any questions or concerns regarding this information, please contact research@ahca.org.

Have Questions About Managed Care?

Get them answered at the Population Health Management (PHM) Summit for Long Term and Post-Acute Care Leaders.

December 9-10, 2019
InterContinental Washington, DC – The Wharf

Hotel Deadline: November 20



Managed care continues to grow, and you need to know what you can do to grow with it. Make the commitment to secure quality care for your residents and your organization by actively participating in managed care. The PHM Summit can help you do that.

Excellent education sessions and networking opportunities will help you steer towards a more successful and profitable future in managed care.  All attendees will participate in facilitated sessions to develop nontraditional partnerships between organizations such as:

  • LTC providers and health plans 
  • Legal consultants and provider-owned integrated care networks 
  • Senior housing with services and health plans
Other notable sessions will look at which PHM models are improving quality and outcomes while reducing costs. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of PHM, and learn new strategies to expand and improve your leadership capabilities. Review the full agenda for more details.

CE accreditation has been requested.

The hotel deadline is next week so don’t wait. Register and reserve your room before November 20th to get the AHCA special room rate.

Host Sponsors: MatrixCare, Medline
Contributing Sponsors: CLA, Centene Corporation, Compass Total Benefit Solutions

HICN Claims Reject

There are 50 days until the end of the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) transition period. Use the MBI on Medicare claims and other transactions now. Starting January 1, regardless of the date of service:

  • CMS will reject claims submitted with Health Insurance Claim Numbers (HICNs) with a few exceptions 
  • CMS will reject all eligibility transactions submitted with HICNs

See the MLN Matters Article to learn how to get and use MBIs.

Monday, November 11, 2019

CMS Update to SNF Billing Specific to Veterans Administration (Demo 31) Claims Under PDPM

Dan Ciolek

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published MLN Matters Article MM11513 that impacts SNFs that furnish services ordinarily covered by Medicare but are furnished to veterans eligible for both Veterans Administration (VA) and Medicare benefits and also having Medicare supplemental insurance.  Specifically, as per transmittal CR 11513, MACs will terminate use of code AAA00 as of October 1, 2019 and will update the edit with a workaround that ensures that the default ZZZZZ Health Insurance Prospective Payment System (HIPPS) code is present on VA Demo 31 claims and is properly processed.  The workaround will expire on April 6, 2020.   

Background
Current law permits the VA to collect appropriate Medicare coinsurance and deductible amounts from supplemental insurers for claims for supplies and services ordinarily covered by Medicare but furnished:

  • At VA facilities; and 
  • For veterans eligible to receive both VA health and Medicare benefits and also having Medicare supplemental insurance. 

To facilitate this process, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) entered into an interagency agreement with the VA whereby CMS will help the VA work with the designated CMS MAC to adjudicate claims for these services to produce remittance advices equivalent to those ordinarily produced for Medicare claims. Medicare does not pay these claims, but the remittance advices show how much Medicare would have paid had the claims been payable by Medicare along with the applicable deductibles and coinsurance. In adjudicating a claim and generating these remittance advice notices, the CMS MAC must verify that the services provided are covered benefits, certify admission where appropriate, conduct prepayment utilization screening, and authorize payment. CMS has a single A/B MAC (A) and (B) to process these claims. The remittance advices, sent by the VA to the supplemental insurers, will help the insurers determine payment amounts they owe to the VA.  With the SNF PPS transition from RUG-IV to PDPM, provider VA Demo 31 claim default HIPPS coding must also change from AAA00 to ZZZZZ, effective October 1, 2019.  Details regarding the VA Claims Adjudication Services Project are located in Chapter 37 of the Medicare Claims Processing Manual.

It Pays to Have Cleary Energy Audit Your Utility Bills…and Keeps Paying

Dave Kyllo

Three out of four long term care facilities are being overcharged for one or more of their utilities. Providers don’t receive better service or any other benefit for over paying utility companies. The good news is that putting an end to the overpayments is easy.

Cleary Energy is a AHCA/NCAL preferred provider and has recouped on average 4% to 8% savings on utilities for long term care facility customers. Here are some real life examples of how long term care providers saved:

  • A nursing facility recovered $25,000 in retroactive charges from an electric and gas utility account and the facility will save an additional $7,500 per year going forward.     
  • A nursing facility was overpaying the tariff on their gas account and is now saving $10,000 annually going forward.
  • A Midwest assisted living facility received $5,800 from utility overpayments that Cleary Energy recently found.      

Cleary Energy performs utility bill audits by examining utility, supplier and government charges on utility bills to obtain refunds and/or credits and rate reductions.  Specifically, Cleary Energy audits a facility’s electric, natural gas, propane, heating oil, diesel fuel, water, sewer and telecommunications bills. 

The program is designed to save AHCA/NCAL members significant money on their utility bills without adding new expenses to their budgets.  Cleary Energy guarantees savings or its auditing services are free.  Cleary Energy’s fees are based on facility savings on their utility bills. 

AHCA/NCAL member facilities enter into an audit agreement with Cleary Energy, which is a shared savings agreement that lasts for a period of three years.  If no refund, savings or credits are received, the AHCA/NCAL member facility owes nothing to Cleary Energy for conducting the audit and AHCA/NCAL members will have the peace of mind of knowing that their facilities are not being overcharged for their utilities.   

The process for engaging Cleary Energy to conduct a utility audit is easy.  Most of the information Cleary Energy needs for an audit comes directly from the utilities or suppliers. 

Cleary Energy’s long term care experience sets the company apart with over 40 years of long term care operational experience.  That in-depth knowledge enables Cleary Energy to find the greatest costs savings on utility expenses for AHCA/NCAL members because Cleary Energy knows where to look for savings. 

Take advantage of this unique no-risk opportunity to save on utility costs.  Contact Cleary Energy today in one of the three ways listed below. 

SNFs with Board Certified RNs Have Significantly Higher VBP Scores

Dave Kyllo

Research conducted by AHCA/NCAL earlier this year shows that SNFs that employ at least one American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Board certified RN also, on average, performed higher on SNF VBP performance. The average 2017 SNF VBP performance score across the nation was 34.4.  For SNFs with at least one RN who has been ANCC Board certified in gerontological nursing, the average SNF VBP performance score was 44.2.  The net result is that these SNFs get higher Medicare Part A reimbursements. 
The AHCA/NCAL 2019 research also found that SNFs with at least one ANCC Board certified RN also experienced:

  • Fewer survey deficiencies
  • Fewer IJ citations
  • Lower rehospitalization rates
  • Lower rates of off-label use of antipsychotics
  • Higher CMS 5-Star ratings

The ANCC offers certification in gerontological nursing – the gold standard in demonstrating clinical excellence in geriatric patient care.  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. 

To help RNs prepare for the certification exam, AHCA/NCAL offers an online course called Gero Nurse Prep.  RNs who complete the course earn 30 nursing contact hours and experience a 96% pass rate on the ANCC certification exam on the first try.  Gero Nurse Prep students see a whopping 24 percent average increase between their pre- and post-test scores.

Gero Nurse Prep is flexible.  RNs study online at their own pace and have one year from the time they enroll to complete their Gero Nurse Prep coursework. 

Gero Nurse Prep is on sale through November 30!  Save $100 off the regular registration fee by using promo code RNHERO (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. 

To learn more about Gero Nurse Prep and ANCC Board certification, watch this video. For an even deeper dive into competent geriatric nursing, listen to this free AHCA/NCAL webinar “Competent Geriatric RNs – The New Driver of Financial Performance.” 

When Might Two Infection Preventionists be Better than One? November 28

Dave Kyllo

Phase III Requirements of Participation (ROP) take effect November 28, 2019 and mandate that every nursing facility have a designated and specially trained Infection Preventionist who is running a comprehensive infection prevention and control program.  AHCA’s Infection Preventionist Specialized Training (IPCO) program is specifically designed to prepare individuals to effectively implement and manage an Infection Prevention & Control program in nursing facilities.

AHCA recommends that each nursing facility train at least two Infection Preventionists through AHCA’s Infection Preventionist Specialized Training (IPCO) program.   It is important to have at least two people trained so that if one specially trained individual leaves, the facility won’t be found to be out of compliance with the requirement to have at least one designated Infection Preventionist who is specially trained and that meets the other requirements set forth by the CMS Requirements of Participation for this mandatory role

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.  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 nursing center’s Infection Prevention & Control program. 

Another reason for nursing facility staff to take the course now is to reduce the risk of receiving 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 infection prevention and control mandates began, more than one-third of surveys conducted across the nation have included a F880 Infection Prevention & Control citation.  The primary change coming this November under Phase III ROP is the designation of a specially trained Infection Preventionist who must work at least part-time at the facility.  Facilities will continue to be surveyed on all the new infection prevention and control requirements and the antibiotic stewardship requirements. 

While CDC/CMS released a free infection prevention training course in March that members can access, AHCA’s training provides more in-depth learning.  AHCA’s course is the only specialized training for the long term and post-acute care setting that provides in-depth learning about the leadership and culture change elements necessary to create a comprehensive and sustainable infection prevention and control program that covers all operational components of a nursing facility. 

The AHCA training program gets rave reviews with nearly 97 percent of health care professionals who have completed the course recommending IPCO to their colleagues. 
The registration fee is $450 for AHCA/NCAL members and $650 for non-members.  There are no refunds and no transfers. 

Payment and registration are made online at 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

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.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Deadline EXTENDED for the Quality Award Intent to Apply

qualityaward@ahca.org

Due to technical difficulties with the Quality Award Portal, we are extending the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Intent to Apply (ITA) deadline to Thursday, November 21st. Submissions must be received before 8 pm ET on November 21st.

For those members who were impacted by the payment error, Quality Award staff will contact you with instructions on submitting the payment.

As a reminder, the ITA payment is not mandatory, however applicants who submit an ITA payment will save money on their overall application. No paperwork is needed to submit the ITA.

You can access help documents for the Quality Award Portal here, or if you need additional assistance please email qualityaward@ahca.org.

The National Quality Award Program is excited for the 2020 program cycle and looks forward to your applications. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we work through this technical issue.

Registration Is Now Open for the 2020 Quality Summit and Independent Owner Conference

Join your colleagues at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas for an unforgettable week of learning new strategies and sharing best practices.

The Quality Summit features a full track of education sessions on the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM), as well as sessions on person-centered care, emergency preparedness, leadership, infection prevention, and more. It all takes place from March 9-11, 2020.

The Independent Owner (IO) Leadership Conference immediately follows and runs March 11-13. This year’s focus is on Solutions to Differentiate Your Business. Sessions will include topics such as innovative building design, workforce issues, leadership challenges and solutions, value-based care, growth in IO facilities.

Enjoy extra savings when you register for both. Find out the details and register today.

QS.ahcancal.org

IO.ahcancal.org

Population Health Management Summit – New Speaker Announced


If you haven’t yet registered for the Population Health Management Summit for Long Term and Post-Acute Care Leaders, now is the time. The two-day gathering features exciting speakers who can give you insight and perspective you won’t get anywhere else.


Just announced:
David C. Grabowski, PhD, Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School, will join AHCA’s Dr. David Gifford, Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, to discuss the link between quality and outcomes in population health models. They’ll ask and answer key questions about successful population health model implementation.

Get the details on this session, and learn more about all of the education sessions and speakers at PHM.ahcancal.org.

Register and reserve your hotel now.

To ensure that you have time to make your plans, the hotel deadline has been extended until November 20th.

Host Sponsors: MatrixCare, Medline
Contributing Sponsors: CLA, Centene Corporation, Compass Total Benefit Solutions

Updated List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE) Database File

Lilly Hummel

The US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released its updated List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE) database file, which reflects all OIG exclusions and reinstatement actions up to, and including, those taken in October 2019. This new file replaces the updated LEIE database file available for download last month. Individuals and entities that have been reinstated to the federal health care programs are not included in this file.

The updated files are posted on OIG’s website at http://www.oig.hhs.gov/exclusions/exclusions_list.asp, and healthcare providers have an “affirmative duty” to check to ensure that excluded individuals are not working in their facilities or face significant fines.

Instructional videos explaining how to use the online database and the downloadable files are available at http://oig.hhs.gov/exclusions/download.asp.

As a best practice, long term care providers should check the LEIE on a regular basis.

#WhyICare: Lexi Rehkemper, Assistant Executive Director

Rachel Reeves and Cristina Crawford

AHCA/NCAL’s #WhyICare workforce campaign broadcasts the stories of individuals who work in long term care, sharing what inspires them about their careers and how they got to where they are today.

This week, we’re pleased to introduce Lexi Rehkemper, Assistant Executive Director. Lexi was inspired at a young age – as a sophomore in high school – to one day run her own nursing home. She discovered this passion by working in a variety of roles, from a dietary aid to now an assistant executive director, seeing all sides of long term care and the many benefits it brings. Click here to watch and share her story.



Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear more stories as we continue to release #WhyICare videos.  Click here to see more #WhyICare videos on YouTube.

71st AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo Call for Presentations 2020

AHCA/NCAL will hold its 71st Convention and Expo at the Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX. As a long term care professional, you understand the trends, issues, and challenges facing our profession. Now is your chance to share ideas that reflect your success stories and professional insight, as well as ideas and programs that enhance the long term and post-acute care service delivery. We are particularly interested in proposals that reflect and will help support providers in achieving the AHCA Quality Initiative goals the Quality Initiative for Assisted Living, and Advancing the Core Values of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Criteria.

DEADLINE: All proposals must be received by November 30, 2019. 

Click here to submit your proposal. To review the submission guidelines prior to submitting, please click here.

Veteran’s Health Administration MISSION Act Training Curriculum Site

Dana Ritchie 

The VA MISSION Act was signed into law last year (and implemented this past June) and is intended to streamline VA’s community care programs.  To make identifying what courses each provider must take and whether they have been completed easier, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently established a new Veterans Health Administration TRAIN MISSION Act curriculum training site (VHA TRAIN MA).  This site hosts accredited online courses to meet the mandatory MISSION Act training  and non-mandatory online, no-cost, continuing medical education curriculum for community providers. 

Each provider needs to create a new user account making sure to include their unique National Provider Identifier (NPI) in their profile in VHA TRAIN MA.  Once completed, sign into the VHA TRAIN MISSION Act curriculum training site, click on Required Courses at the bottom left of the home page, and a listing of the courses the provider must take will appear.  VHA TRAIN MA identifies personalized-required courses for each provider based on their specific profession.  After the provider has completed each course certificates of completion will be listed under Your Certificates.   VA also receives a reporting of completed training by course, provider name and NPI each week.  To remain up-to-date on any changes that may take place, you may wish to subscribe to the VA Office of Community Care Provider Updates Newsletter and to check the VA Community Care Provider Website often as updates are also posted there.

To learn more about available accredited training, visit VHA TRAIN MA at train.missionact.org/main/welcome.  For other assistance, or help with  VHA TRAIN – MISSION Act Curriculum Account Creation, please contact the MISSION Act help desk at support@missionact.org.

SNF QRP Submission Deadline Extended

The submission deadline for the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) has been extended to November 18, 2019. Assessment data for IRFs, LTCHs, and SNFs, and CDC data for IRFs and LTCHs submitted April 1 – June 30 (Q2) of calendar year (CY) 2019 are due with this deadline.

All data must be submitted no later than 11:59 p.m. on November 18, 2019. 

 The lists of measures required for this deadline are found on the CMS QRP website:


As a reminder, it is recommended that providers run applicable CASPER/iQIES/NHSN analysis reports prior to each quarterly reporting deadline, in order to ensure that all required data has been submitted.

Swingtech sends informational messages to SNFs that are not meeting APU thresholds on a quarterly basis ahead of each submission deadlines. If you need to add or change the email addresses to which these messages are sent, please email QRPHelp@swingtech.com and be sure to include your facility name and CMS Certification Number (CCN) along with any requested email updates.

AHCA Releases New Action Brief Tools to Help with Phase III Requirements of Participation

Pamela Truscott

November 28, 2019 is just around the corner and to help centers ensure compliance, AHCA has released five new Action Brief tools to get you up and running.  A variety of useful tools and resources can be found on the ahcancalED website that can assist your facility. 

The following Action Briefs have been added to the ahcancalED platform and we encourage you to check them out:



Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Get National Job Vacancy Exposure for Less on the LTC Career Center

Dave Kyllo

Now through November 30, open positions can be posted on the AHCA/NCAL Long Term Care Career Center for $250 per 30-day posting when employers use promo code LTCHERO.  That’s $100 off the regular low AHCA/NCAL rate of $350. Rates for posting job vacancies are also reduced for 60- and 90-day postings through November 30.   

The LTC Career Center gives affordable targeted national 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.  Serious health care candidates look for jobs on this national network built for health care employers to reach health care professionals.  This short video shows how easy it is to create an account and post a job vacancy. 

The $250 sale price for a 30-day posting gives even more value because employers who utilize the LTC 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 that 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.  Graduates and experienced health care professionals utilize the Health Care Career Network to find the best health care openings. 

Make the smart, low-cost employee recruitment choice.  Check out the LTC Career Center today and don’t forget to use promo code LTCHERO to save $100 on your job postings.  Employers may use the code an unlimited number of times between now and November 30.           

Visit the LTC Career Center Employer Page or 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.   

Check Out This Free HealthCap® Incident Reduction Resource

Dave Kyllo

Incident reduction is the ultimate goal of a risk management  program and HealthCap® has a great resource in an easy-to-understand format that provides important reminders for assisted living and nursing facility staff members.  Titled “Interventions for Incident Reduction,” the one-page features 12 important areas of care and offers practical advice designed to help staff reduce the likelihood of adverse incidents.

Numerous useful resources can be found on the Resource and Education Center on the HealthCap® website.  Providers will find education opportunities (including ANCC-approved sessions), manuals, best practices and model policies.  Many of these resources are free to use with attribution to HealthCap®.

HealthCap® is endorsed by AHCA/NCAL and is the premier program solely dedicated to providing liability insurance to senior care communities.  One of the reasons HealthCap® gets such great results is its focus on quality care as the foundation of good risk management practices.  HealthCap® clients have the fewest liability claims in the industry and HealthCap® settles claims for approximately one-half the industry average. 

HealthCap® is owned and governed by the senior care providers insured by HealthCap®.  AHCA/NCAL members get a bonus advantage by always receiving a 10% discount on their HealthCap® premiums.

HealthCap® clients also receive:

  • Risk management services that make a financial difference
  • An annual on-site risk consult
  • Unlimited telephone support
  • Accredited in-service education
For more information about HealthCap®, contact Peter Feeney at Peter.Feeney@chelsearhone.com

Keep Your PDPM Momentum Going Next Year with AHCA’s 2020 PDPM Academy

Dave Kyllo

Now that the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) system is in effect for skilled nursing facilities, AHCA is looking to 2020 and how the association can help members thrive during the first full year PDPM is in effect.  AHCA soon will launch its new 2020 PDPM Academy and the existing PDPM Academy resources will be archived and no longer updated at the end of 2019.
   
2020 PDPM Academy will provide tools and resources to help AHCA members navigate challenges, incorporate changes and successfully operate under PDPM.  Resources available through PDPM 2020 Academy will include:

  • Virtual in-depth training modules on PDPM best practices (including role-specific modules);  
  • Monthly webinars; 
  • Additional tools and resources
  • AHCA’s analyses of CMS’s technical changes and updates to PDPM; and,
  • Discounted pricing to in-person 2020 PDPM Academy workshops. 

To receive an email notification when enrollment for 2020 PDPM Academy opens, follow this link and enter your name, company name and email address.  Signing up for the early notification is fast and easy.
 
AHCA members who have questions now about PDPM can send an email to pdpm@ahca.org or  call 202-842-4444 and ask to speak to a PDPM Resource Navigator. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

#WhyICare: Aaron Rebuck, Marketing Liaison

Rachel Reeves and Cristina Crawford

AHCA/NCAL’s #WhyICare workforce campaign broadcasts the stories of individuals who work in long term care, sharing what inspires them about their careers and how they got to where they are today.

This week, we’re pleased to introduce Aaron Rebuck, Marketing Liaison. As a marketing liaison, Aaron tells stories to help prospective residents and family members better understand long term care services. Aaron has the opportunity to get to know the residents within his facility intimately, sharing their adventures and accomplishments with the world. Click here to watch and share his story.



Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to hear more stories as we continue to release new #WhyICare videos in the coming weeks.  Click here to see more #WhyICare videos on YouTube.

Nursing Facilities Should Have Two Infection Preventionists Trained by November 28 to be ROP III Ready

Dave Kyllo

Phase III Requirements of Participation (ROP) take effect November 28, 2019 and mandate that every nursing facility have a designated and specially trained Infection Preventionist who is running a comprehensive infection prevention and control program.  AHCA’s Infection Preventionist Specialized Training (IPCO) program is specifically designed to prepare individuals to effectively implement and manage an Infection Prevention & Control program in nursing facilities.

AHCA recommends that each nursing facility train at least two Infection Preventionists through AHCA’s Infection Preventionist Specialized Training (IPCO) program. It is important to have at least two people trained so that if one specially trained individual leaves, the facility won’t be found to be out of compliance with the requirement to have at least one designated Infection Preventionist who is specially trained and that meets the other requirements set forth by the CMS Requirements of Participation for this mandatory role

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.  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 nursing center’s Infection Prevention & Control program. 

Another reason for nursing facility staff to take the course now is to reduce the risk of receiving 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 infection prevention and control mandates began, more than one-third of surveys conducted across the nation have included a F880 Infection Prevention & Control citation.  The primary change coming this November under Phase III ROP is the designation of a specially trained Infection Preventionist who must work at least part-time at the facility.  Facilities will continue to be surveyed on all the new infection prevention and control requirements and the antibiotic stewardship requirements. 

While CDC/CMS released a free infection prevention training course in March that members can access, AHCA’s training provides more in-depth learning.  AHCA’s course is the only specialized training for the long term and post-acute care setting that provides in-depth learning about the leadership and culture change elements necessary to create a comprehensive and sustainable infection prevention and control program that covers all operational components of a nursing facility. 

The AHCA training program gets rave reviews with nearly 97 percent of health care professionals who have completed the course recommending IPCO to their colleagues. 
The registration fee is $450 for AHCA/NCAL members and $650 for non-members.  There are no refunds and no transfers. 

Payment and registration are made online at 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. 

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. 

Connections October 30, 2019

SNFs with Board Certified RNs Achieve Better Outcomes and Receive Fewer Deficiencies

Dave Kyllo

Research conducted by AHCA/NCAL earlier this year shows that SNFs that employ at least one American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Board certified RN also, on average, performed higher on SNF VBP performance. The average 2017 SNF VBP performance score across the nation was 34.4.  For SNFs with at least one RN who has been ANCC Board certified in gerontological nursing, the average SNF VBP performance score was 44.2.  The net result is that these SNFs get higher Medicare Part A reimbursements. 

The AHCA/NCAL 2019 research also found that SNFs with at least one ANCC Board certified RN also experienced:

  • Fewer survey deficiencies
  • Fewer IJ citations
  • Lower rehospitalization rates
  • Lower rates of off-label use of antipsychotics
  • Higher CMS 5-Star ratings

The ANCC offers certification in gerontological nursing – the gold standard in demonstrating clinical excellence in geriatric patient care.  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. 

To help RNs prepare for the certification exam, AHCA/NCAL offers an online course called Gero Nurse Prep.  RNs who complete the course earn 30 nursing contact hours and experience a 96% pass rate on the ANCC certification exam on the first try.  Gero Nurse Prep students see a whopping 24 percent average increase between their pre- and post-test scores.

Gero Nurse Prep is flexible.  RNs study online at their own pace and have one year from the time they enroll to complete their Gero Nurse Prep coursework. 

Gero Nurse Prep is on sale through November 30!  Save $100 off the regular registration fee by using promo code RNHERO (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. 

To learn more about Gero Nurse Prep and ANCC Board certification, watch this video. For an even deeper dive into competent geriatric nursing, listen to this free AHCA/NCAL webinar “Competent Geriatric RNs – The New Driver of Financial Performance.” 

Gero Nurse Prep & ANCC Board Certification Boost Assisted Living RN Skills!



Gero Nurse Prep is on sale through November 30! Save $100 off the regular registration fee by using promo code RNHERO (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 many clinical fronts and can give assisted living communities a competitive advantage. For RNs interested in pursuing Board certification through ANCC, there is an additional and separate cost of $395.

Board certification makes a difference. NCAL’s 2018 Nurse of the Year Amanda Garcia’s nursing 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 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.

AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep provides tremendous value at the $590 AHCA/NCAL member 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 pursuing Board certification through ANCC, there is an additional and separate cost of $395.


To learn more about Gero Nurse Prep and ANCC Board certification, watch this video and check out AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep today.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Take a Free Test Drive of the CARES® Online Dementia Training Program & Members Save 15% on all Purchases

Dave Kyllo

AHCA/NCAL members receive 15% off the purchase of any Healthcare Interactive® CARES online training program by using promo code AHCA15 at checkout.  CARES is the only online dementia training to be recognized by CMS.  In addition, CARES online training is recommended by AHCA/NCAL to help reduce the off-label use of antipsychotics. 

To experience the CARES online training difference, test drive the first CARES Dementia Basics module at no cost.  The training programs are easy to use, can be accessed from any computer, tablet, or mobile device and can be started and stopped as often as users wish.
HealthCare Interactive’s CARES® Dementia Basics™ module is recognized by the Alzheimer’s Association® for successfully incorporating the evidence-based Dementia Care Practice Recommendations in the following topic areas: Alzheimer’s and dementia, person-centered care, assessment and care planning, activities of daily living, and behaviors and communication. Providers who train their staff with HealthCare Interactive’s CARES® Dementia Basics™ online training program are eligible to purchase Alzheimer’s Association essentiALZ® certification exams.

CARES training is unique because it includes direct video “before and after” training with 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.  CARES has six training modules including:


CARES is affordable.  When AHCA/NCAL members purchase CARES® Dementia Basics™ 25-user package using the AHCA15 promo code, the final cost is less than $21 per staff person for four hours of highly quality dementia care training.  Bundle the BASICS training with another training module and the cost is only $34 per staff member. 

CARES is also the only dementia care training to make extensive use of actual footage of real residents and real staff members (no actors) for truly authentic virtual training environment. 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.

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 about the training programs. 

Get 20/20 PDPM Vision with AHCA’s 2020 PDPM Academy

Dave Kyllo
 
Now that the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) system is in effect for skilled nursing facilities, AHCA is looking to 2020 and how the association can help members thrive during the first full year PDPM is in effect.  AHCA soon will launch its new 2020 PDPM Academy and the existing PDPM Academy resources will be archived and no longer updated at the end of 2019.   

2020 PDPM Academy will provide tools and resources to help AHCA members navigate challenges, incorporate changes and successfully operate under PDPM.  Resources available through PDPM 2020 Academy will include:

  • Virtual in-depth training modules on PDPM best practices (including role-specific modules);  
  • Monthly webinars; 
  • Additional tools and resources
  • AHCA’s analyses of CMS’s technical changes and updates to PDPM; and,
  • Discounted pricing to in-person 2020 PDPM Academy workshops. 

To receive an email notification when enrollment for 2020 PDPM Academy opens, follow this link and enter your name, company name and email address.  Signing up for the early notification is fast and easy. 

AHCA members who have questions now about PDPM can send an email to pdpm@ahca.org or call 202-842-4444 and ask to speak to a PDPM Resource Navigator. 

For Continued Success, Get Involved in Managed Care


The Population Health Management Summit is a great place to start.


Managed care is going to continue to grow, and you need to know what you can do to grow with it. Visit PHM.ahcancal.org to learn more, and make the commitment to secure quality care for your residents and your organization.

Housing Reservation Deadline Is Only Two Weeks Away!
Deadline: November 8

The Unique Networking Opportunities Are Priceless

Forming new partnerships will put you in the driver's seat as you steer towards a more successful and profitable future in managed care. One priceless aspect of the PHM Summit is the unique networking opportunities available. All attendees will participate in facilitated sessions that will help to develop nontraditional partnerships between organizations such as:

  • LTC providers and health plans 
  • Legal consultants and provider-owned integrated care networks 
  • Senior housing with services and health plans

Additional networking opportunities will also take place throughout the summit. Review the full agenda for more details.

CE accreditation has been requested.

Host Sponsors: MatrixCare, Medline
Contributing Sponsors: CLA, Centene Corporation, Compass Total Benefit Solutions

Antibiotics Awareness Week is November 18-24 – Are You Ready?

Pamela Truscott, MSN, RN, DNS-CT, QCP

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have announced that November 18-24, 2019 is U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week (USAAW).  You are encouraged to help spread the word about the appropriate use of antibiotics to effectively treat infections, combat antibiotic resistance, and protect patients. 

The CDC has also prepared the USAAW Be Antibiotics Aware Partner toolkit! The toolkit contains a variety of social media content, key messages, graphics, and much more to help you and your center prepare for USAAW. 

In addition, are you prepared for the Requirements of Participation Phase III component that requires an Infection Preventionist in your center?  To ensure proper compliance, check out the American Health Care Association’s (AHCA) Infection Prevention and Control Officer (IPCO) Training.  You can find all the information about this course here.  As a reminder, the RoP Phase III goes into effect November 28, 2019.  Don’t delay, get your facility ready for Phase III by enrolling in the IPCO Training today.

AHCA/NCAL Convention Videos Showcase Members Delivering Quality Care

Earlier this month, AHCA/NCAL hosted its 70th Annual Convention & Expo in Orlando, Florida.

At this year’s Convention, AHCA/NCAL premiered a variety of new videos to attendees that showcased how centers and communities, and their staff, provide the best possible care for their residents. We encourage you to take a moment and watch these videos to hear the incredible stories of our profession’s staff and residents:

Taking Flight – Every day assisted living and senior living communities are helping residents connect with the past and look toward the future. Check out how Covenant Living and the Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation helped retired Navy pilot Jim take flight in a World War II-era biplane.

Food by Norma Gay  - "Food is What Brings us together." Take a look at how Gay Pearson brings all of long term care together with her compassionate cooking for residents.

2019 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program - Learn about the Quality Award Program and how it generates quality excellence among our members.

2019 Gold Quality Award Recipients – Learn about this year’s 5 outstanding Gold Quality Award recipients.

#WhyICare – Hear a compilation of stories collected this year from caregivers across the country on why they love their career in long term and post-acute care.

Mark Parkinson Opening General Session Speech – AHCA/NCAL President and CEO Mark Parkinson speaks to the importance of sharing all the acts of kindness and positive stories taking place in our facilities each and every day.

Michael Wylie Opening General Session Speech – Past AHCA Chair Michael Wylie shares his personal story on why he cares.

Quality Award Examiner Deadline Nov 7

Meghan Karstetter

It’s your last chance to join an elite group of professionals making a national impact on long term care performance by serving as a National Quality Award Examiner! AHCA/NCAL is seeking Senior and Master Examiners to evaluate 2020 Silver and Gold National Quality Award applications.

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:

  • Opportunities for networking and professional development 
  • Develop a marketable skillset and invaluable knowledge
  • In person and virtual education in Baldrige Excellence Framework from content experts
  • Learn best practices to bring back to your own organization
  • Earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs)
  • Attend AHCA/NCAL’s Quality Summit or Convention at a discounted rate 

The deadline to apply is next Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 8 pm ET. Please share this opportunity with anyone who may be interested! Learn more about the role, the timeline and responsibilities here: www.ahcancal.org/examiners

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

Quality Award Intent to Apply Deadline Next Week

Don’t miss the opportunity to save on your Quality Award application fee for 2020! The Intent to Apply (ITA) deadline is coming up next week on Thursday, November 7. While not mandatory, applicants who submit an ITA payment will save money on their overall application, and no paperwork is needed to submit the ITA.

Submit your ITA payment by logging in to the Quality Award Portal. We encourage members to log in to the Portal before the deadline to avoid any technical log in issues. Before submitting an ITA payment, please review the application packets in full which are available at ahcancal.org/qualityaward. In addition, Quality Award survey eligibility is now updated with Nursing Home Compare data from October here.

You can access help documents for the Quality Award Portal here, or if you need additional assistance email qualityaward@ahca.org.

Submit Your Data for the Quality Initiative Recognition Program!

The 2020 AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative Recognition Program will honor member centers and communities that have achieved one or more of the AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative goals. The recognition will take place at the AHCA/NCAL Quality Summit in Grapevine, Texas, March 9-11, 2020.

The deadline to submit your Quality Initiative data in LTC Trend Tracker is November 21, 2019. Nursing centers must submit customer satisfaction data, and all other data is automatically uploaded. Assisted living members must submit data for all of the NCAL goals.

Let’s celebrate the hard work you have done to measurably improve the lives of your residents and patients.

If you need assistance with LTC Trend Tracker, please visit the Resource Center or email help@ltctrendtracker.com.

For more information on the Quality Initiative Recognition Program, please visit the respective websites for skilled nursing centers and assisted living communities.

Trauma-Informed Person-Centered Thinking and Support

Register Now

November 18, 2019 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM EST

The National Center on Advancing Person-Centered Practices and Systems will be hosting a webinar to engage in person-centered practices, including person-centered planning, it is essential to see the whole person. This whole person view must include acknowledgment and consideration of a person’s life experiences, which may – and often do – include experiences of trauma. Person-centered practices and trauma-informed approaches share key values, including collaboration, mutual trust, informed choice, and empowerment. However, we lack the tools to apply trauma-informed principles to the person-centered planning process, and to intentionally engage in trauma-informed person-centered practices. This webinar will explore the intersection of trauma and person-centered thinking, planning, and practice. It will emphasize actionable steps people can take to ensure that we consider trauma when we engage in person-centered thinking, planning, and practices.

Speakers for this Event:

· Karyn Harvey

· Cath Cave

· Tanya M. Richmond

· Aimee Ortiz-Day

· Michael Smull

NCAPPS is an initiative from the Administration for Community Living and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to help States, Tribes, and Territories to implement person-centered practices. NCAPPS webinars are open to the public, and are geared toward human services administrators, providers, and people who use long-term services and supports. All NCAPPS webinars will be recorded and archived at https://ncapps.acl.gov.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

CMS Confirms Exploring the Possibility of Eliminating MDS Section G Items from SNF 5-Day and OBRA Assessments beginning FY 2021

Dan Ciolek

Recently AHCA has been receiving reports from members and state affiliate staff that they are hearing from state Medicaid officials and other sources that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)  officials are stating that it is possible that the Minimum Data Set (MDS) Section G Activities of Daily Living (ADL) items may be eliminated from the Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System (SNF PPS) 5-Day and OBRA Comprehensive and OBRA Quarterly assessment types. 

AHCA was aware that CMS was exploring the possibility of this occurring as the concept has been discussed in recent rulemaking and technical expert panel (TEP) discussions to reduce the confusion and burden associated with two different sections of the MDS (Sections G and GG) being used to report a resident’s function, but with vastly different scoring methodologies.  No formal timelines had been discussed to date.  We were also aware that CMS had contracted with RTI to conduct a study to determine if section GG would be reliable and valid to use with long-stay residents. 

In response to an AHCA request for clarification of the status of Section GG on the MDS, CMS stated that it is true that the Agency is considering retiring Section G items from the PPS 5-Day, and OBRA assessments effective October 1, 2020 if current analysis indicates it would be appropriate to use Section GG exclusively for short and long-stay residents.  CMS sees this as reducing reporting burden.  Regardless of the decision, the MDS Optional State Assessment (OSA) would continue to include Section G items beyond October 1, 2021 for a period yet to be determined to permit other payers (some Medicaid, some VA, TRICARE, and some Medicare Advantage) to continue with RUGs or other methodologies that rely on Section G item data.

In other words, providers should be prepared that further changes to the SNF PPS and OBRA MDS assessment types related to Section G items may be implemented as early as October 1, 2020, and that at that time, the OSA will be the only MDS assessment type that will be able to generate a RUGs-based payment classification.  Typically, the first indicator of formal proposed changes to the MDS are revealed with the CMS release of draft MDS technical specifications and draft MDS Manual guidance that are posted after the new year.  AHCA will provide updates on this topic as more information becomes available.   

CMS Confirms Error in PDPM SNF PPS Interrupted Stay MDS Coding Edit – Provides Work-Around Instructions Until a Software Fix is Released

Dan Ciolek

Recently AHCA has been receiving questions from members that have been receiving Minimum Data Set (MDS) “error” messages when attempting to code the MDS for an Interrupted Stay in MDS Item fields A0310G1 and A2400 per instructions provided the MDS-RAI Manual v1.17.1 (October 2019).  The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has acknowledged that there is a consistency edit error in the data submission specifications provided to software vendors.  Until CMS can fix the coding, they are instructing providers to complete Interrupted Stay MDS assessments using the following “work-around”.

Work-Around Instructions:  When a provider determines that MDS Item A0310G1 = 1, then providers should code MDS Item A2400 = 0 until further instructions are provided when the fix is implemented.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

CMS Releases August 2019 SNF PDPM/MDS/QRP Provider Training YouTube Videos

Dan Ciolek

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released 13 YouTube videos recorded during a 'Train-the-Trainer' event which occurred in Baltimore, Maryland on August 13 and 14, 2019.  This event was to provide those responsible for training Skilled Nursing Facility staff with information to understand and adopt new data standards associated with the implementation of the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 Version 1.17.1, which became effective on October 1, 2019. During this event, presenters incorporated additional information into their presentations based on questions received from participants during the May 2019 SNF QRP Provider Training. Topics included:
  • The Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) which became effective on October 1, 2019.
  • Detailed guidance for completing MDS Sections GG, as well as to updated items in MDS Sections A, I, J, and O, including PDPM coding case examples.
  • An overview of the eleven SNF QRP Quality Measures. 
  • An interactive session on the use of reports to identify opportunities for process improvement and utilize information contained in reports available via the Certification And Survey Provider Enhanced Reports (CASPER) system to develop quality improvement plans.
Complete instructions for coding the MDS items are located in Chapter 3 of the MDS-RAI manual v1.17.1 (October 2019) that can be accessed here.
 

New Population Health Management Summit for Long Term and Post-Acute Care Leaders

December 9-10, 2019
InterContinental Washington, DC – The Wharf
 
 
Hotel Reservation Deadline: November 8

Join AHCA/NCAL and LTC/PAC providers, health plans, regulators, and investors for a two-day intensive on all the latest in population health management.
  • Discuss the ways in which PHM models are improving quality and outcomes while reducing costs
  • Learn new strategies to expand and improve your leadership capabilities in PHM
  • Network with peers and nontraditional partners
  • Gain a deeper understanding of CMS’ view of provider-led PHM efforts
You’ll learn from expert speakers and each other at this unique event. With a focus on leadership, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of PHM strategies that can take your organization to the next level.

The Keynote Speaker is Dan Mendelson, Founder of Avalere Health.


Find out more about the summit and register today.

Visit phm.ahcancal.org for more details.

Host Sponsors: MatrixCare, Medline
Contributing Sponsor: CLA, Compass Total Benefit Solutions

CMS Releases New Training Video Resources for Coding MDS Item GG0130A. Eating

Dan Ciolek

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a short video tutorial on October 17, 2019 to assist providers with coding the Minimum Data Set (MDS) GG0130A. Eating item. This item impacts the Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System (SNF PPS) Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) resident classification per-diem rates as well as the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP) self-care outcomes measures.  This 6-minute video is designed to provided targeted guidance using simulated patient scenarios.  It could be useful for nursing, nursing assistant, and therapy staff training purposes.  Complete instructions for coding the MDS GG0130A item are located in Chapter 3 of the MDS-RAI manual v1.17.1 (October 2019) that can be accessed here.

AHCA Has Your PDPM Education Solutions

Dave Kyllo

The new payment system known as the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) took effect October 1 transforming the way skilled nursing facilities are reimbursed for Medicare Part A stays.  AHCA offers virtual training on PDPM and ICD-10 coding. 

AHCA SNF members who did not attend an in-person PDPM Academy training hosted by an AHCA state affiliate earlier this year are encouraged to take AHCA’s Virtual PDPM Training.  Included with the virtual training is access to all materials on AHCA’s PDPM Academy. The PDPM Academy is where updates, tools, webinars and other supporting materials are housed. AHCA SNF members who attend the Virtual PDPM Training will also be able to join in free monthly PDPM Academy webinars hosted by AHCA. 

This training is available to AHCA SNF provider members only. The cost for the training – whether first time or repeated - is $350. The training has been approved for 8 NAB CE credits. 
Virtual ICD-10 Coding training is also available through AHCA and is equally important to PDPM success and bulk purchases are available.  There are two online trainings offered, including: 
  • AHCA/AHIMA ICD-10 Training for PDPM – Coder is an in-depth course designed for SNF billing staff, MDS staff, Nursing and Therapy staff, and Admissions and Discharge staff.  The course contains seven modules and comes with 16 CNEs for nurses and 16 AHIMA CEs upon successful completion.  The cost is $499 for AHCA members and $599 for non-members. AHCA/AHIMA ICD-10 Training for PDPM – Coder:    ahcancal.org/icd10pdpmcoder
  • AHCA/AHIMA ICD-10 Training for PDPM – Non-Coder is a four-hour course developed for individuals who need to lead a successful PDPM transition and is intended for Administrators, DONs, and other management staff.  The course for non-coders comes with 4 CNEs for nurses, 4 AHHIMA CEs or 4.5 NAB approved CEs upon successful completion.  The cost is $199 for AHCA members and $249 for non-members. AHCA/AHIMA ICD-10 Training for PDPM – Non-Coder: ahcancal.org/icd10pdpmnoncoder
Members will need to login with their AHCA/NCAL usernames and passwords to register for any of these courses.  For assistance obtaining AHCA/NCAL usernames and passwords, please e-mail educate@ahca.org with your name and facility contact information. 

AHCA members can also access their facility's personal Top-Line PDPM report here. This report is a snapshot of previous coding practices for ICD-Coding on MDS assessments. Use this step-by-step guide to access your reports.

Providers Share #WhyICare at Convention

Rachel Reeves

"Sharing our stories" was a common theme throughout the 70th AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo, and attendees got personal at the #WhyICare selfie station in the Expo Hall last week. Visitors wrote down their own personal reason for why they love working in long term and post-acute care and then took a selfie. 

Check out some of the signs and selfies...






AHCA/NCAL’s #WhyICare workforce campaign broadcasts the stories of individuals who work in long term care, sharing what inspires them about their careers and how they got to where they are today. Join the conversation by downloading and printing a copy of the selfie sign, write down your story, take a selfie, and post it online with #WhyICare.

For workforce resources to help LTC organizations and individual professionals, visit www.ahcancal.org/workforce

The Compass MEC Health Plan Delivers the Benefits Employees Want with No Deductibles, Low Copays and Unlimited Free 24/7 access to TELADOC®

Dave Kyllo

AHCA/NCAL Insurance Solutions offers a minimum essential coverage (MEC) health plan to members.  The plan was developed by Compass Total Benefit Solutions and offers two affordable options for providing many of the health insurance benefits that are important to long term care employees.  This short video explains the MEC plan for AHCA/NCAL members in less than two minutes and highlights the features that make the MEC plan so popular with LTC employers and employees.

Both Compass 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®.  Benefits are instantaneous with no deductibles.  The difference in the two plans is based on the level of hospital indemnity benefits.  Here’s the exclusive AHCA/NCAL “Member Only” 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 is designed to help AHCA/NCAL members recruit and retain frontline staff who cannot afford major medical health plan premiums or high deductibles.  Employers determine their level of contribution for plan expenses for coverage for employees, their spouses, their children or family coverage. 

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.
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. Hospital indemnity benefits vary based on state approvals, which is why some states have different hospital indemnity benefit levels.

For more information, please contact Nick Cianci at 202-898-2841 or Dave Kyllo at 202-898-6312, visit www.ahcabenefits.org or www.ncalbenefits.org or email ahcainsurancesolutions@ahca.org.