Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll in Assisted Living

Register Today

Are you ready for the next generation of assisted living residents? NCAL Day offers a unique education session on the new challenges that promise to come with shifting demographics. In "Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll", you'll look at how resident activities have morphed from “the three B’s” (bingo, bus rides, and Bible study) to educational sessions on safe sex, world travel, history, natural health care, cooking classes, and other topics driven by resident interest and recommendations.

The session aims to help you:
  • Identify areas of interest/expectations for the coming AL population
  • Explore topics that "push the envelope" and the possible legalities around these topics
  • Brainstorm what tomorrow's AL communities will look like
It’s just one of many cutting-edge sessions taking pace at this year’s NCAL Day on Sunday, October 13th.

NCAL Day is a separate ticketed event and must be purchased in addition to any convention registration package. Breakfast and lunch are included with your ticket. If you have already registered for convention and would like to add NCAL Day to your registration package, click here to edit your registration.

AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Provides Proven Framework for Quality Improvement

qualityaward@ahca.org

Earlier this month, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) announced that five long term and post-acute care providers earned the 2019 Gold – Excellence in Quality Award. The Gold award is the final of three distinct levels possible, and the most prestigious, through the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program, which recognizes organizations nationally that serve as models of excellence in providing high-quality care. 

The 2019 Gold – Excellence in Quality Award recipients are:
  • Christian Health Care Center, a skilled nursing and assisted living facility in Wyckoff, New Jersey; 
  • George E. Wahlen Ogden Veteran’s Home, a skilled nursing center in Ogden, Utah;
  • Parker at Stonegate, an assisted living community in Highland Park, New Jersey; 
  • The Villages Rehabilitation and Nursing, a skilled nursing center in Lady Lake, Florida; and  
  • Vista Pacifica Convalescent, a skilled nursing center in Riverside, California.
The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program challenges member providers to achieve performance excellence through three progressive levels—Bronze, Silver, and Gold – and the 2020 program cycle has already started!

Why should you apply?
  • The program provides a proven framework that organizations can use to make improvements in clinical, quality or other operational outcome areas;
  • Quality Award recipients perform better than the national average on key quality metrics;
  • The program criteria prepares providers for regulatory demands such as CMS’ Quality Assurance/Performance Improvement (QAPI) requirements and the Medicare and Medicaid Requirements of Participation (RoP);
  • The award journey increases staff morale and engagement; and
  • It provides national, external validation of your high quality care and services – the perfect information to share with your consumers, stakeholders and referral partners.
The benefits are endless! Applications for the 2020 cycle are available on the Quality Award website: www.ahcancal.org/qualityaward
 
Become a Quality Award Examiner
 
If you’re interested in other ways to get involved, consider becoming an Examiner for the 2020 program cycle. Examiners play a significant role in reviewing Quality Award applications and impacting quality improvement in organizations across the country. Visit ahcancal.org/examiners to learn more.

6th Annual Rehabilitation Therapy Program: Imagineering SNF Rehab Under PDPM

Jon-Patrick Ewing

This four-hour program takes place on October 13 during the 70th AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo and will include presentations and panel discussions. The presenters will share their experiences, lessons-learned, and recommendations for best practices.

Session 1: How Much Is the Right Amount of Therapy?
This session will cover how rehabilitation therapy utilization could change under PDPM and how it can be managed to insure we are delivering necessary medical rehabilitation services while being responsible stewards of Medicare resources.
Session 2: Managing Compliance Risk under PDPM
This session will review current and future standards and measures of compliance as stated in CMS’ education on PDPM.

The Rehabilitation Therapy Program is a separate ticketed event. Make sure to select it when you register for convention. If you have already registered for convention and would like to attend the Rehabilitation Therapy program, click here to edit your registration and add it.

Advance registration continues through September 27, after this date on-site rates apply.

This event is hosted by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Association for the Support of Long Term Care (NASL).

Prevention Strategies for Multidrug-Resistant Organisms & C. diff from HealthCap®

Dave Kyllo

Twenty percent of individuals admitted to long term care acquire C. difficile during their stay  according to the Center for Disease Control’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion.  Preventing the spread of multi-drug resistant organisms poses an ongoing challenge for providers. 

HealthCap has created a one-page resource containing easy-to-understand prevention strategies for multidrug-resistant organisms and C difficile.  The infographic provides useful reminders for the common preventative measures known to reduce the spread of these infections.
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.

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

Four Weeks to PDPM! Take the Online Courses Built for SNF PDPM Success.

Dave Kyllo
 
A new payment system known as the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) takes effect in two months that will transform the way skilled nursing facilities are reimbursed for Medicare Part A stays.  Some of the changes coming October 1, 2019 include: 
  • The PDPM system will rely on more than 180 MDS item fields and completely transforms the existing system Medicare Part A payment system for skilled nursing facilities. Staff roles and facility processes must be substantially modified to operate effectively under PDPM, including ICD-10 coding which will directly tie to reimbursement. 
  • Simply accepting the hospital’s ICD-10 code or using the ICD-10 code that seem most appropriate won’t work under PDPM.  Assuming the admitting physician has the correct diagnosis and code won’t work either. MDS Coordinators and billing staff must be masters at ICD-10 coding and how it maps to PDPM and play an active role in admission process.
  • As a condition of coverage, physicians must certify on admission and then recertify by day 14 and every 30 days thereafter that skilled care is needed.  Physicians and MDS Coordinators must be able to understand and effectively communicate about arriving at the reason for SNF care and defining the clinical basis for admission using appropriate ICD-10 codes that map to PDPM.
  • Primary diagnosis tied to accurate ICD-10 coding will matter more than ever under PDPM.  CMS will have a much clearer way to monitor whether SNF care is really needed.  Accurate ICD-10 coding will minimize the risk of payment delays and denials. 
  • SNFs that are not well versed in PDPM and ICD-10 coding are at a much higher risk of seeing their revenue negatively impacted and are at a substantial increased risk for potential audit and recovery. 
AHCA SNF members that did not attend an in-person PDPM Academy training hosted by an AHCA state affiliate earlier this year, should register now for 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. 

Time is running out.  Prepare for PDPM today by registering for AHCA’s online courses built for PDPM success. 

NHSN LTC Webinar Series - Identifying Barriers in Infection Prevention in LTC

A presentation by
Morgan Katz, MD, MHS
Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases at John Hopkins Hospital
September 17, 2019
1:00 pm EST


Morgan Katz, MD, MHS, is an assistant professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She specializes in infections diseases with a research focus on infection control and antibiotic stewardship in long term care. She has research support from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to implement antibiotic stewardship in nursing homes using a comprehensive safety-based approach that includes front-line staff. She has a particular interest in using human factors engineering approaches to guide policy and infection prevention training in the long term care setting.

CMS Posts Updated Final List of Acceptable ICD-10 Codes for PDPM Primary Reason for SNF Stay MDS Item I0020B

Dan Ciolek

The new Medicare Part A Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System (SNF PPS) called the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) will cover all resident days starting on October 1, 2019.  PDPM requires an acceptable ICD-10 diagnosis code to be entered into MDS item field I0020B to represent the primary reason for the SNF stay.  ICD-10 codes not on the list of allowable codes, often referred to as “return-to-provider” codes, will not classify into a PDPM clinical category.  CMS publishes a list ICD-10 codes that are approved for use in MDS Item field I0020B for PDPM classification purposes.  The file includes the following information: 1) Alphanumeric ICD-10 code; 2) Code Description; 3) Default Clinical Category; 4) Whether a MDS Section J Surgery Code Indicating That the Resident Had a Prior Major Surgical Procedure is Needed to Refine the Default Clinical Category; 5) PT and OT Component Clinical Category; and 6) SLP Component Clinical Category.  If a code is not listed in this file, it cannot be used in the MDS I0020B item field.  CMS published an updated list on August 20, 2019.  CMS provides this file in a Microsoft Access Format.  AHCA converted the CMS file into Microsoft Excel for providers that are not familiar with Microsoft Access.  Both files can be accessed from ahcancalED HERE.   The CMS webpage file, can be found HERE.  The CMS webpage also includes the final version of the October 1 implementation MDS 3.0 Data Specifications (V3.00.1) for software developer use.   

CMS Introduces a New MyHealthEData Pilot

Dan Ciolek

On July 30, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a new pilot program for clinicians called “Data at the Point of Care” (DPC). DPC is based on an industry-standard application programming interface (API), and is part of the MyHealthEData Administration-wide initiative led by the White House Office of American Innovation.

The DPC pilot program is designed to leverage Medicare’s Blue Button data to provide clinicians with access to claims data. If successful, the claims data will fill in information gaps for providers, giving them a more structured and complete patient history with information like previous diagnoses, past procedures, and medication lists. Blue Button 2.0 has provided better access to this data for patients but now CMS is seeking to help connect providers to their patients’ information. Providers will be able to access the DPC pilot data directly within their workflow, without needing to log into another application. This in turn will reduce burden in the exam room and give providers more time to deliver high quality care for their patients.

Providers participating in the DPC pilot program will be allowed to request a Medicare beneficiary’s claims data from CMS to get a full snapshot of their care including from other healthcare providers the beneficiary has seen for care. This will be done through a developer-friendly, industry-standard API using Health Level 7’s Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR®) standard, one of the most popular protocols for joining disparate systems together to promote interoperability and seamlessly share health information.

Providers who are interested in participating in the DPC pilot program can sign up by visiting: https://dpc.cms.gov. Beneficiaries who wish to opt out of data sharing can do so by calling 1-800-Medicare.

For more information on Blue Button, please visit: https://bluebutton.cms.gov.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Discover the AHCA/NCAL Expo Hall

Jon-Patrick Ewing

 
The AHCA/NCAL Expo Hall gives you access to trusted industry specific experts from across the country who will be showcasing their innovative solutions.  
  • See demonstrations
  • Connect with representatives face-to-face
  • Find cost-saving strategies
  • Win prizes and get free samples
You'll also enjoy a buffet lunch and network with colleagues in a relaxed setting while you browse loads of long term and post-acute care products.  Find out who is attending or browse by category.

The advance registration deadline for the 70th AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo continues through September 27th. See you in Orlando, October 13-16!

Forbes Article on Three-Day Stay Rule

Dana Halvorson

Forbes Senior Contributor, Howard Gleckman, released an article entitled, “Are We Nearing The End Of Medicare’s Three-Day Rule That Makes Patients Pay For Skilled Nursing Care?” Gleckman focused on the August 4th tweet from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, Seema Verma, in which she noted, “#Medicare beneficiary who requires skilled care in a nursing home?  Better be admitted for at least three days in the hospital first if you want the nursing home paid for.  Gov’t doesn’t always make sense.  We’re listening to feedback.” For more information about observation stays and the three-day stay requirement, please visit the AHCA/NCAL website.

The Number of Open LTC Jobs Nationwide Creeps Up in August

Dave Kyllo

There are 38,938 open jobs posted by direct employers in the nursing care facility (including SNFs), assisted living, and continuing care retirement community (CCRC) sectors this month according to the latest Gartner TalentNeuron statistics.  That represents an increase of more than 1,600 open jobs over July and following declines in June and July.        

The Gartner TalentNeuron statistics also show an estimated 2,101,000 potential candidates in the nation’s workforce whose skills likely match the qualifications being sought by long term care employers. Figures show that 2,234 direct employers are competing for candidates this month which is a modest increase 81 employers over last month.  The average number of days a job was posted was 30 days in August – three days shorter than July. 
       
Finding qualified employees is one of the greatest challenges facing long term care providers and labor statistics prove that the challenge continues in a strong economy with a low unemployment rate.  Lead them to your job vacancy through the AHCA/NCAL Long Term Care Career Center.

The LTC Career Center is designed to help AHCA/NCAL members be competitive in attracting qualified candidates to fill their health care positions.  Job postings receive far greater exposure than local ads and job boards because the LTC Career Center connects to a national network of nearly 300 national and state health care organizations and societies where serious candidates look for health care jobs. Employers are also able to post vacancies as they occur and search resumes on the network.

Rates for posting job vacancies are affordable at $350 for a 30-day job posting.  Employers who utilize the site also receive complimentary additional exposure through rotating new job listings on AHCA’s home page – the web site where long term care professionals go for news and information.  In addition, employers who post vacancies through the center receive free bonus 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.  Job seekers are using the site with more than 58,000 searchable resumes on the National Healthcare Career Network this month.
 
Join the high profile employers that use AHCA/NCAL’s premier member resource to find top talent.  Check out the LTC Career Center 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.   

Be ROP III Ready: Train Your Back-up Infection Preventionist

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/NCAL 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. 

Five Weeks to PDPM! Take the Online Courses Built for SNF PDPM Success

Dave Kyllo
 
A new payment system known as the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) takes effect in two months that will transform the way skilled nursing facilities are reimbursed for Medicare Part A stays.  Some of the changes coming October 1, 2019 include: 
  • The PDPM system will rely on more than 180 MDS item fields and completely transforms the existing system Medicare Part A payment system for skilled nursing facilities. Staff roles and facility processes must be substantially modified to operate effectively under PDPM, including ICD-10 coding which will directly tie to reimbursement. 
  • Simply accepting the hospital’s ICD-10 code or using the ICD-10 code that seem most appropriate won’t work under PDPM.  Assuming the admitting physician has the correct diagnosis and code won’t work either. MDS Coordinators and billing staff must be masters at ICD-10 coding and how it maps to PDPM and play an active role in admission process.
  • As a condition of coverage, physicians must certify on admission and then recertify by day 14 and every 30 days thereafter that skilled care is needed.  Physicians and MDS Coordinators must be able to understand and effectively communicate about arriving at the reason for SNF care and defining the clinical basis for admission using appropriate ICD-10 codes that map to PDPM.
  • Primary diagnosis tied to accurate ICD-10 coding will matter more than ever under PDPM.  CMS will have a much clearer way to monitor whether SNF care is really needed.  Accurate ICD-10 coding will minimize the risk of payment delays and denials. 
  • SNFs that are not well versed in PDPM and ICD-10 coding are at a much higher risk of seeing their revenue negatively impacted and are at a substantial increased risk for potential audit and recovery. 
AHCA SNF members that did not attend an in-person PDPM Academy training hosted by an AHCA state affiliate earlier this year, should register now for 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. 

Time is running out.  Prepare for PDPM today by registering for AHCA’s on-line courses built for PDPM success. 

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

Dave Kyllo

Most long term care facilities (about 75%) 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. 

New LTC Trend Tracker Publication: Your Resident Profile

Lonnita Myles

Have you received the recent “Your Resident Profile” publication in LTC Trend Tracker? This publication is a summary of your resident population based on diagnoses and special care needs. Data are provided for 2017 and 2018, so trends can be compared across years. This information will help determine what resources and direct care staff are needed to take care of your residents in both day-to-day operations and emergencies.

We are providing this information to help you begin the resident profile portion of the annual Facility Assessment required under CMS’s Requirements of Participation (§483.70(e)). You can find a template of a facility assessment from CMS’s Quality Improvement Organizations here: https://qioprogram.org/facility-assessment-tool/

Have questions? Feel free to reach out to our Research team at research@ahca.org or our LTC Trend Tracker team at help@ltctrendtracker.com.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Webinar: 11th Hour PDPM Transition Guide

11th Hour PDPM Transition Guide Webinar
 August 27
 3:00-4:30 PM Eastern Time
Presenters:  Mike Cheek, Senior Vice President, Reimbursement Policy, AHCA and Robin Hillier, Welcome Nursing Home
Register here

During this 90- minute live webinar, the presenters will discuss how providers can use a concise and downloadable 11th hour PDPM Transition Guide tool we developed to help providers answer these questions over the remaining days leading up to October 1.  In addition, the presenters will share important recent PDPM implementation updates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) including: 1) Policy changes and clarifications discussed in the recently published SNF PPS FY 2020 Final Rule, 2) FAQs from the CMS August 8 SNF Open Door Forum call, and 3) Key PDPM-related MDS updates/clarifications discussed in the CMS August 13-14 SNF QRP/MDS/PDPM two-day provider training, and  any other billing guidance issued by CMS prior to the webinar.  There will be a Q&A period of approximately 30 minutes following the presentation.  In addition to the downloadable 11th hour PDPM Transition Guide tool and webinar slides, AHCA will also post an on-demand recording of the live webinar as well as written Q&A responses to all questions submitted shortly after the live webinar.

Class-Action Lawsuit and Observation Stays Issue

Dana Halvorson

Earlier this week, Kaiser Health News published an article entitled, Class-Action Lawsuit Seeks To Let Medicare Patients Appeal Gap in Nursing Home Coverage, by Susan Jaffe.  In the article, Susan noted, “Monday [August 12], a trial begins in federal court in Hartford, Conn., where patients who were denied Medicare’s nursing home benefit are hoping to force the government to eliminate that exception.  A victory would clear the way for appeals from hundreds of thousands of people.  The class-action lawsuit was filed in 2011 by seven Medicare observation patients and their families against the Department of Health and Human Services.  Seven more plaintiffs later joined the case.”  Susan goes on to include that, “If they win, people with traditional Medicare who received observation care services for three days or longer since Jan. 1, 2009, could file appeals seeking reimbursement for bills Medicare would have paid had they been admitted to the hospital.  More than 1.3 million observation claims meet these criteria for the 10-year period through 2017, according to the most recently available government data.”  More on AHCA/NCAL’s work around the observation stays issue in general can be found here.

Tuesday, August 13, 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.

Six Weeks to PDPM! Take the Online Courses Built for SNF PDPM Success

Dave Kyllo
 
A new payment system known as the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) takes effect in two months that will transform the way skilled nursing facilities are reimbursed for Medicare Part A stays.  Some of the changes coming October 1, 2019 include: 
  • The PDPM system will rely on more than 180 MDS item fields and completely transforms the existing system Medicare Part A payment system for skilled nursing facilities. Staff roles and facility processes must be substantially modified to operate effectively under PDPM, including ICD-10 coding which will directly tie to reimbursement. 
  • Simply accepting the hospital’s ICD-10 code or using the ICD-10 code that seem most appropriate won’t work under PDPM.  Assuming the admitting physician has the correct diagnosis and code won’t work either. MDS Coordinators and billing staff must be masters at ICD-10 coding and how it maps to PDPM and play an active role in admission process.
  • As a condition of coverage, physicians must certify on admission and then recertify by day 14 and every 30 days thereafter that skilled care is needed.  Physicians and MDS Coordinators must be able to understand and effectively communicate about arriving at the reason for SNF care and defining the clinical basis for admission using appropriate ICD-10 codes that map to PDPM.
  • Primary diagnosis tied to accurate ICD-10 coding will matter more than ever under PDPM.  CMS will have a much clearer way to monitor whether SNF care is really needed.  Accurate ICD-10 coding will minimize the risk of payment delays and denials. 
  • SNFs that are not well versed in PDPM and ICD-10 coding are at a much higher risk of seeing their revenue negatively impacted and are at a substantial increased risk for potential audit and recovery. 
AHCA SNF members that did not attend an in-person PDPM Academy training hosted by an AHCA state affiliate earlier this year, should register now for 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. 

Time is running out.  Prepare for PDPM today by registering for AHCA’s on-line courses built for PDPM success. 
 

Don’t Miss This August 20 Webinar: Competent Geriatric RNs – The New Driver of Financial Performance

Dave Kyllo

AHCA/NCAL will host a free webinar on Tuesday, August 20 at 3 p.m. EDT titled "Competent Geriatric RNs – The New Driver of Financial Performance." This webinar discusses how the Gero Nurse Prep program increases geriatric care knowledge and prepares RNs to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Board certification exam in gerontological nursing.

The webinar will include findings from research conducted by AHCA/NCAL this year showing that SNFs that employ at least one ANCC Board certified RN performed higher on average on SNF VBP performance scores. 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
To help RNs prepare for the ANCC Board 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 also see a whopping 24 percent average increase between their pre- and post- Gero Nurse Prep test scores. ANCC Board certification in gerontological nursing is the gold standard in demonstrating clinical excellence in geriatric patient care for RNs.
 
Follow this link to register for the free August 20 webinar.  To learn more about Gero Nurse Prep and ANCC Board certification, watch this video and check out AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep today.

AHCA/NCAL Convention Keynote Speakers

Jon-Patrick Ewing

 
This year’s keynotes are a squadron of super speakers. They’re all set to inform, inspire, and invigorate you! From beginning to end, you’ll gain fresh insights and perspectives on leadership, innovation, problem-solving, and managing difficult challenges. Make plans to attend the AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo now and don’t miss this unique opportunity hear from the best. Learn more about our keynotes here.

Advance Registration ends September 27, after this date on-site rates apply. We hope to see you in Orlando!

Have Your Heard About AHCA’s Nurse Assistant Training Solution?

CNAonline Is a Flexible and Affordable Solution to Your Workforce Challenges

https://cnaonline.com/
If you’re looking for a solution to help manage your frontline staff shortages, consider CNAonline.com.  This unique hybrid nurse assistant training program blends online coursework and in-person clinical and skills training, making it easier for students to learn what they need to know for certification. The program produces highly trained CNAs who elevate the quality of care available in the centers where they work.
 
CNAonline.com uses AHCA’s renowned How To Be a Nurse Assistant curriculum which has been successfully training students for certification for 30 years. Other features of the program include:
  • Practice tests, study guides, and quizzes to ensure student success
  • Competency-based skills checklists, videos, and visual aids
  • Professional instructors for online and in-person clinical training
  • Offers real time data analytics, including class activity reports and individual student competencies
  • Allows for customization of content for both state affiliates and providers
  • Students and instructors have access to the online content 24 hours a day, and you can start classes anytime.
For more information on how to get started, please visit CNAonline.com or call 502-221-7765.
 

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 July 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.

Trauma-Informed Care – Action Brief

Pamela Truscott

Trauma-informed care will be implemented as part of the Requirements of Participation Phase 3, which goes into effect on November 28, 2019.  AHCA has developed an Action Brief highlighting §483.25(m) trauma-informed care to assist facilities in implementation strategies, preparation, and additional resources.  You can find more information about trauma-informed care and §483.25(m) here.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Aplisol and Tubersol Shortage. Now What?

Pamela Truscott

Some states are experiencing a shortage in Tubersol and Aplisol, tuberculin purified protein derivatives for intradermal tuberculin testing, and are wondering what to do.  The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is aware of this widespread issue and has issued recommendations on how to deal with the shortage. 

According to the CDC, there is a 3- to 10- month nationwide shortage on tuberculin skin test (TST) antigens (Aplisol and Tubersol).  The recommendations to maintain compliance until the tuberculin supplies can be replenished include:
  • Substitute IGRA blood tests for TSTs. Clinicians who use the IGRA blood tests should be aware that the criteria for test interpretation are different from the criteria for interpreting TSTs.
  • Prioritize allocation of TSTs, in consultation with state and local public health authorities.  Prioritization might require the deferment of testing some persons.  CDC recommends testing only for persons who are at risk for TB.  Groups at high risk for TB infection include:
    • Persons who are recent contacts exposed to person with TB disease
    • Those born in or who frequently travel to countries where TB disease is common
    • Those who currently or previously lived in large group settings (i.e. homeless shelters or correctional facilities)
    • Persons with compromised immune systems, including those with health conditions or taking medications that might alter immunity
    • Children, especially those aged <5 years, if they are in one of the risk groups noted above.
Facilities are encouraged to work with your local health department to confirm recommendations on testing during the shortage.  In addition, facility policies and procedures may need to be reviewed and updated.  Finally, facilities should educate team members on the TST shortage and the changes to the processes during the shortage. 
 
You can learn more about the CDC recommendations here.

The Learning Never Ends at the Convention & Expo

Jon-Patrick Ewing


One of the greatest benefits of attending the 70th AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo is the opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding from the best in their professions.  From over 165 presenters bringing you 70+ education sessions to over 350 exhibitors in the Expo Hall bringing you new products and solutions, there is something useful for every attendee.

Get ready to suit up and add new tools to your collection. Knowledge is “POWER,” so don’t miss out!

Advanced Registration ends September 27th.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

A Post-Fall Event Roadmap from HealthCap®

Dave Kyllo

Falls continue to be the number reason for long term care provider liability claims according to HealthCap.  Despite all that providers do to reduce falls in their facilities, falls are inevitable in senior care.  Responding appropriately and following a specific protocol when falls occur is critical to mitigating liability risks.
 
HealthCap has developed a Post-Fall Event Roadmap setting out seven easy-to-follow steps to be taken when a fall occurs.  This practical roadmap will help prevent staff members from inadvertently skipping an important action to be taken when a fall occurs.
 
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.
 
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

Seven Weeks to PDPM! Take the Online Courses Built for SNF PDPM Success

 
A new payment system known as the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) takes effect in two months that will transform the way skilled nursing facilities are reimbursed for Medicare Part A stays.  Some of the changes coming October 1, 2019 include: 
  • The PDPM system will rely on more than 180 MDS item fields and completely transforms the existing system Medicare Part A payment system for skilled nursing facilities. Staff roles and facility processes must be substantially modified to operate effectively under PDPM, including ICD-10 coding which will directly tie to reimbursement. 
  • Simply accepting the hospital’s ICD-10 code or using the ICD-10 code that seem most appropriate won’t work under PDPM.  Assuming the admitting physician has the correct diagnosis and code won’t work either. MDS Coordinators and billing staff must be masters at ICD-10 coding and how it maps to PDPM and play an active role in admission process.
  • As a condition of coverage, physicians must certify on admission and then recertify by day 14 and every 30 days thereafter that skilled care is needed.  Physicians and MDS Coordinators must be able to understand and effectively communicate about arriving at the reason for SNF care and defining the clinical basis for admission using appropriate ICD-10 codes that map to PDPM.
  • Primary diagnosis tied to accurate ICD-10 coding will matter more than ever under PDPM.  CMS will have a much clearer way to monitor whether SNF care is really needed.  Accurate ICD-10 coding will minimize the risk of payment delays and denials. 
  • SNFs that are not well versed in PDPM and ICD-10 coding are at a much higher risk of seeing their revenue negatively impacted and are at a substantial increased risk for potential audit and recovery. 
AHCA SNF members that did not attend an in-person PDPM Academy training hosted by an AHCA state affiliate earlier this year, should register now for 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. 

Time is running out.  Prepare for PDPM today by registering for AHCA’s online courses built for PDPM success.
 

Free August 20 Webinar: Competent Geriatric RNs – The New Driver of Financial Performance

Dave Kyllo

AHCA/NCAL will host a free webinar on Tuesday, August 20 at 3 p.m. EDT titled Competent Geriatric RNs – The New Driver of Financial Performance. This webinar discusses how the Gero Nurse Prep program increases geriatric care knowledge and prepares RNs to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Board certification exam in gerontological nursing.

The webinar will include findings from research conducted by AHCA/NCAL this year showing that SNFs that employ at least one ANCC Board certified RN performed higher on average on SNF VBP performance scores. 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
To help RNs prepare for the ANCC Board 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 also see a whopping 24 percent average increase between their pre- and post- Gero Nurse Prep test scores. ANCC Board certification in gerontological nursing is the gold standard in demonstrating clinical excellence in geriatric patient care for RNs. 

Follow this link to register for the free August 20 webinar.  To learn more about Gero Nurse Prep and ANCC Board certification, watch this video and check out AHCA/NCAL Gero Nurse Prep today.        

National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes

In 2012, CMS launched a National Partnership with the mission to improve quality of care for nursing home residents living with dementia. This Partnership, that includes federal and state agencies, nursing homes, other providers, advocacy groups and caregivers, continues to focus on the delivery of health care that is person-centered, comprehensive and interdisciplinary, in addition to protecting residents from being prescribed antipsychotic medications unless there is a valid, clinical indication and a systematic process to evaluate each individual. Utilizing a multidimensional strategy, the Partnership promotes rethinking approaches that are utilized in dementia care, reconnecting with people using person-centered care approaches and restoring good health and quality of life in nursing homes.

The National Nursing Home Quality Improvement Campaign has offered to make available a variety of resources and clinical tools to assist nursing homes achieve the goals of this partnership:
 

Sexuality and the Resident With Dementia

"Sexuality and the Resident with Dementia" Webinar
September 10 at 2 pm ET
Register here

This session provides a shared human and clinical perspective on how to approach matters of sexuality for all residents, but with focused considerations for those with dementia or other special needs. The matters of consent, capacity and resident education will be addressed. Suggested approaches will be offered for care planning for issues involving suspected sexual abuse, cases of unwanted sexual contact or contact in circumstances where one or both parties lack capacity to consent.

Amid OIG Report Release, CMS Unveils New Fact Sheet on 3-Day Rule Billing

Dana Halvorson

A section of the recently released Office of Inspector General (OIG) report on suggested changes to Department of Health and Human Services programs, among other items, said of 25 “significant” unimplemented recommendations is one that calls for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to analyze the potential impact of counting time spent as an outpatient toward the 3-night requirement for skilled nursing facility (SNF) services so that beneficiaries receiving similar hospital care have similar access to these services.  In relation to this issue, CMS has also issued a new fact sheet on the SNF 3-Day Rule Billing process and how it is currently intended to work.
 
AHCA/NCAL supports efforts and legislation that ensures that time spent under “observation status” in a hospital counts toward satisfying the three-day inpatient hospital requirement for coverage of skilled nursing care services under Medicare.  The observation stays issue is an outdated policy that continues to leave countless Medicare beneficiaries surprised by thousands of dollars in medical bills and hanging with uncertainty regarding their access to the Medicare coverage they deserve.  For more information about the observation stays issue, please visit the AHCA/NCAL website.         

Monday, August 5, 2019

NALW 2019 Media Toolkit Now Available

ncal@ncal.org 

You’re ready to ignite "A Spark of Creativity" this National Assisted Living Week, but how do you share that with others? Check out the NALW Media Toolkit for ideas on how to spread the word about your unique residents, your dedicated staff, and your contributions to the larger community. Download sample materials and find tips at www.nalw.org.

This September 8-14, invite a local reporter to your big event, send out a press release highlighting your community’s unique programs, or send a letter to the editor sharing your AL community’s holistic approach to person-centered care.

You can also encourage local government officials to officially declare NALW in your city, county or state. Offer them the sample proclamation and invite them to hold an official signing event at your assisted living community (and invite local media to attend!).

The media toolkit also includes sample social media posts, so you can engage with the public directly. Share pictures or videos of your activities, powerful resident stories (with their permission), or amazing staff.

Use the hashtag #NALW to contribute to the national conversation. You don’t even have to wait until NALW. Share activity ideas and connect with your fellow assisted living caregivers on the NALW Facebook page.

Still figuring out how to commemorate NALW? Consult the NALW Planning Guide and Product Catalog for activity ideas and official NALW products to help you celebrate in style.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

NCAL Day Keynotes Will Inspire You

Register Now

Grab your ticket for the 13th Annual NCAL Day in Orlando, Florida as part of the AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo. NCAL Day will be held on Sunday, October 13, 2019, offering a full day of learning and networking with your assisted living peers.

NCAL Day will teach you how to tell your assisted living story with our two inspiring keynote speakers. 

Opening Keynote Brett Culp is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and founder of the not for profit, The Rising Heroes Project. His films explore the power of heroic stories and the individuals who inspire us to believe in a better tomorrow. He encourages audiences to find the superhero within and to forge their own path to everyday leadership.

Mitch Hagins with the Studer Group will give the closing keynote on leadership. The Studer Group partners with organizations to build a sustainable culture that promotes accountability, fosters innovation, and consistently delivers a great patient experience and the best quality outcomes over time. Learn how to improve your recruitment and retention efforts as Mitch delineates between Leadership and Management through the use of stories and personal examples.




You can earn continuing education credits while focusing on key assisted living topics, such as:
  • Preparing for the next generation of residents
  • Collecting and using date effectively
  • Managing residents' health with third parties
  • Improving transparency with customers
NCAL Day is a separate ticketed event and must be purchased in addition to any convention registration package. Breakfast and lunch is included with your ticket.