New Turnover and Retention Upload Now Available in LTC Trend Tracker

Published in May 8, 2015 Issue

Members of the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) can now easily upload turnover and retention data in LTC Trend Tracker

Electronic Plan of Correction Program (ePOC) for Virginia

Published in April 16, 2015 Issue

The Virginia Health Care Association recently received a communication from Cil Bullard, RN, CPC, Virginia RAI/OASIS Coordinator with the Office of Licensure and Certification in regard to ePOC:

Virginia Annual Healthcare Broadband Survey

Published in November 20, 2014 Issue

Virginia's Secretaries of Health and Human Resources and Technology and the Center for Innovative Technology have asked that we remind members to participate in the fifth annual online Broadband and Health Information Technology (IT) Usage Survey

Get Ready For the New LTC Trend Tracker

Published in October 10, 2014 Issue

Skilled nursing care centers have a lot to keep track of: Five-Star ratings, quality measures, staffing, cost reports, resident characteristics… the list goes on. It’s challenging enough to keep a center going, nonetheless keep track of all these various aspects. However, properly keeping track of this information could set your center apart from those that just stay afloat, to those that thrive.

Navigating the 2014 Advancing Excellence Website - Webinar Scheduled for July 9th

Published in June 13, 2014 Issue

Advancing Excellence (AE) has a new website. While the new site contains all the information from the old site, items have been rearranged.  Join VHQC for a cruise around the website, including:

HIPAA Impact on Windows XP Users

Published in May 15, 2014 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) has notified VHCA/VCAL that Microsoft’s decision to end technical support for Windows XP effective last month on April 8, 2014, could expose healthcare providers whose computers continue to use Windows XP to potential liability under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), according to some computer consultants and experts throughout the country.

VHCA/VCAL - Now on Facebook

Published in February 12, 2014 Issue

Today we launched the Virginia Health Care Association and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living’s (VHCA/VCAL) Facebook page. We encourage you to visit the page and “like” it.  The page will be updated frequently with important member news and stories about residents and those who care for them.  Please help us spread the news of the new Facebook page by inviting others to like VHCA/VCAL.  If you have a suggestion for a story or information that you would like to see on the page, please contact Kathy Robertson or via phone at 804.212.1700.

CDC Launches New Website for Preventing Infections in Long Term Care

Published in January 30, 2014 Issue

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a new website last Thursday focused on providing infection prevention resources for long term care settings such as skilled nursing care centers and assisted living communities. This site organizes existing infection prevention guidance and resources into sections for clinical staff, infection prevention coordinators and residents.

New Website Offers Training Videos on Oral Care for Residents with Dementia

Published in October 10, 2013 Issue

A new website launched by the non-profit organization Oral Health America is now available as an oral care resource for long term care staff.  Tools include video training programs on providing daily oral care for nursing home residents with dementia.  The website, Tooth Wisdom: Health Resources for Older Adults, went live this week and includes sections addressed specifically to older adults, caregivers and health professionals.  The site offers two video training programs on oral care for those with dementia, one geared to registered nurses/licensed practical nurses and the other for CNAs. The website features state-by-state information on available dental care resources. 

Brief Available on Use of Electronic Health Records on Residential Care Communities

Published in September 26, 2013 Issue

The Center for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics recently released Data Brief  No. 128, titled “Use of Electronic Health Records in Residential Care Communities”.  The report provides baseline findings on residential care communities’ (assisted living communities) use of electronic health records from the 2010 National Survey of Residential Care Facilities (NSRCF).

Health IT information from HHS

Published in March 28, 2013 Issue

Last week, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released an issue brief detailing opportunities for long term and post-acute care providers to adopt and use health IT in the context of delivery reform.  The issue brief provides information on how providers can improve care delivery and health outcomes while reducing total cost of care. 

Virginia EHR and Health Information Technology Survey

Published in March 7, 2013 Issue

A team of students from Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) Executive MBA program is conducting research related to the present state of electronic health records (EHR) and other health information technology (HIT) within the long term care sector.  The VCU students are seeking to understand the financial priorities, rate of implementation and functional needs required by post-acute and long term care providers.

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LTC Trend Tracker: Webinars Scheduled for New Readmission Feature

Published in March 7, 2013 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Centers for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) recently announced that LTC Trend TrackerSM now has the MDS 3.0 rehospitalization measure - OnPoint-30® - available for skilled nursing facilities.

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AHCA Releases Hospital Readmission Measure for Skilled Nursing on LTC Trend Tracker

Published in February 14, 2013 Issue

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) recently announced that a new measurement tool for 30-day hospital readmissions among skilled nursing providers is now available to its members.  Developed by PointRight, Inc., AHCA incorporated the risk-adjusted rehospitalization metric, OnPoint-30™, into the Association’s data tracking software, Long Term Care (LTC) Trend Tracker.

HHS Provides Tools to Protect Patient Data in Mobile Devices

Published in January 4, 2013 Issue

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) has launched a new education initiative, Mobile Devices:  Know the RISKS.  Take the STEPS.  PROTECT and SECURE Health Information, that includes a set of online tools (e.g., videos, fact sheets, posters, etc.) to help furnish health care providers and organizations practical tips on ways to protect their patients’ protected health information (PHI) when using mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones.  To view the new set of online tools, visit the website.

LAST CHANCE: Virginia Annual Healthcare Broadband Survey Deadline November 16th

Published in November 13, 2012 Issue

Virginia's Secretaries of Health and Human Resources and Technology and the Center for Innovative Technology have asked that we remind members to participate in the third annual online Broadband and Health Information Technology (IT) Usage Survey.   Again this year VHCA is working with the survey administrators, Broad Axe Technology Partners, to support the effort to identify gaps in broadband access. 

LTC Trend Tracker Updates

Published in October 31, 2012 Issue

LTC Trend Tracker (LTCTT), a software tool enabling providers to access countless reports to track, organize, identify, benchmark, examine and compare online all business needs, recently released new upgrades, including support for the new 2012 quality measures (QMs,) a Five Star QM Report, and enhanced printing of the dashboard.  The Five Star Rating QM report is unique in that it will allow users to model various QM scores based on actual or desired facility data to see the overall effect on their QM rating, and what total score it will take to get to the next desired star rating.  For details on this and other features of LTCTT, click here

Virginia Annual Healthcare Broadband Survey

Published in October 17, 2012 Issue

Virginia's Secretaries of Health and Human Resources and Technology and the Center for Innovative Technology are requesting that all health care organizations, including nursing and assisted living facilities, participate in the third annual online Broadband and Health Information Technology (IT) Usage Survey.   Again this year VHCA is working with the survey administrators, Broad Axe Technology Partners, to support the effort to identify gaps in broadband access. 

Off Label Antipsychotic and Rehospitalization Data in LTC Trend Tracker

Published in June 15, 2012 Issue

LTC Trend Tracker (LTCTT) software tool has announced the release of Off Label Antipsychotics for short and long stay residents. This data is collected from the MDS 3.0.  This information can be used to compare rates to your peers. In addition, LTCTT has released the 30 day rehospitalization and long stay hospitalization rates.  This data is for years 2000-2009.

All of this new data can be found in the dashboard. Current users log on today.  If your facility is not one of the 4,000 registered facilities click here to learn more about LTCTT and how members can track reports, benchmark organize, etc. online.

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Meet Our Newest Market Partner: COMS Interactive

Published in April 26, 2012 Issue

The Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) has signed a preferred partner agreement with COMS Interactive, LLC (COMS). With a key goal of helping our members improve resident clinical results, the three-year partnership is focused specifically on improving clinical and financial outcomes within VHCA member facilities.

OIG Advisory Opinion on e-Referral Vendor Contracts

Published in February 17, 2012 Issue

On July 7 and September 29, 2011, AHCA’s Legal Committee provided guidance for providers who had e-referral vendor contracts with companies that provide electronic discharge referral services.  The guidance was believed necessary in light of the 2011 OIG Advisory Opinion (No. 11-06) indicating that certain types of contracts for hospital patient referrals through soft-ware internet access arrangements to post-acute care providers’ data bases may violate the Federal Anti-Kickback law.  In July, AHCA encouraged providers to review their current contracts and ask for an affirmative representation or warranty in the contract from the e-referral companies that their arrangement did not violate the Anti-Kickback law and an indemnification (e.g., protection) for damages in the event the provider suffered some loss as a result.  AHCA also provided a form letter (from MO Health Care Association) to help members articulate their concerns and begin a discussion with the vendors regarding some assurances to this effect.  Some vendor companies have issued explanations about their business models, and why their model is different from the model addressed in OIG’s advisory opinion.  Unfortunately, the legal opinions and assurances from the vendors have not been forthcoming.