VDH Withdraws Electronic Monitoring Regulation; New Effective Date TBD

Published in July 30, 2015 Issue

Amid questions by the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and others regarding some of the regulatory language for electronic monitoring of nursing facility residents, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has withdrawn the regulation citing the need to be “more consistent with the provisions of the 2007 guideline.”  VHCA reported on July 16 that the electronic monitoring guidelines in effect since 2007 were being codified into regulations to take effect on August 29 (see article).

Regulations on Electronic Monitoring Take Effect August 29

Published in July 16, 2015 Issue

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has published a fast-track regulation for electronic monitoring in resident rooms in nursing facilities.  The proposed regulation is required by legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2013 and closely tracks guidelines governing electronic monitoring in Virginia nursing facilities that have been in effect since 2007. 

Notice of Extended ICD-10 Implementation Date

Published in April 3, 2014 Issue

On Monday the U.S. Senate voted on a bill (HR 4302) that would implement a temporary fix for Medicare's sustainable growth rate formula but at the same time delayed the ICD-10 compliance deadline until 2015.  Because of the extended implementation for a year, VHCA has determined that it is in the best interest of our members to delay training on the ICD-10 as well.  Therefore, the April 9th and 10th training program, ICD-10-CM Coding: Countdown to October 1st will be rescheduled for a date closer to the new deadline.

Impact of Federal Shutdown on OLC Survey Activities

Published in October 3, 2013 Issue

On October 1st a Memorandum from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to State Agency Directors (S&C 4-02-ALL) outlines contingency plans for State Survey & Certification activities in the event of a Federal Government Shutdown.  The Memo identifies functions that (a) are not affected by a shutdown, (b) essential functions that are to be continued in the event of a shutdown, and (c) other functions that are directly affected and should not be operational during a shutdown. 

Clarification on OLC Reporting Guidelines

Published in July 24, 2013 Issue

Carrie Eddy, Senior Policy Analyst with the Office of Licensure and Certification (OLC), has responded to a concern raised at the June NFAC (Nursing Facility Advisory Committee) meeting over the two OLC guidelines offering assistance to facilities for investigating and reporting misconduct towards individual residents.  The two Guidelines, “Facility Internal Investigations of Abuse, Neglect, and Misappropriation of Resident Personal Property,” Revised October 2006, and the Revised June 2008 guidance on “Reporting Abuse, Neglect or Misappropriation of Resident Personnel Property or Facility Reported Incidents (FRI)” do not currently appear on the OLC website.  According to OLC, the Guidelines are NOT a replacement for following state or federal law or regulations; they are supportive materials to assist facilities comply with laws and regulations.
 

Regulations Governing the Registration of Medication Aides Updated

Published in July 19, 2013 Issue

The Board of Nursing has amended their regulations for registration of Medication Aides to update language and eliminate unnecessary or outdated provisions.  The Board’s changes include language consistent with current practices to facilitate administration of medications and submit documentation for registration.  The amendments (i) facilitate electronic submission of documents and forms, (ii) allow the board to accept a certificate of naturalization as evidence of a name change, (iii) clarify the process for application approval and requesting of an informal conference if an application is denied, (iv) allow up to 20% of the skills practice to be done by simulation, (v) allow completion of a nursing education to count for training in client care, and (vi) allow an exception to the prohibition for intramuscular administration of medication for glucagon.  The changes become effective August 15, 2013.

MANDATORY TRAINING NOW NEEDED for Residents’ Voting Registration

Published in July 11, 2013 Issue

Long term care facilities which assist residents in registering to vote must assign staff to take election training offered by the State Board of Elections (SBE).  The SBE began offering the training on July 1st when the law went into effect.   Both local voter registration offices, and the SBE office in Richmond offer this training, and the training will be online beginning later this month.  Please call your local Registrar’s Office for details about this mandatory training in your area.

CMS Issues Memo on Access & Visitation Rights

Published in July 11, 2013 Issue

A Memorandum issued on June 28, 2013 by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to State Agency Directors (S&C: 13-42 NH) in the aftermath of the Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act serves as a reminder about “Access and Visitation Rights in Long Term Care (LTC) Facilities”.  The memo reviews current interpretive guidelines for F-Tag 172, reiterating resident rights surrounding access and visitation as well as facility obligations to ensure that all individuals seeking to visit a resident be given full and equal visitation privileges, consistent with resident preference and within reasonable restrictions on certain visitors based on resident safety and other policy reasons that safeguard residents.

Department of Social Services Guidance on Independent Living Status in ALFs

Published in June 28, 2013 Issue

Lynne A. Williams, Director, Division of Licensing Programs with the Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS) distributed the following guidance to all assisted living licensees and assisted living associations today, June 27, 2013.  Following is her message that concerns ALFs (Assisted Living Facilities) that are classified as independent living status (ILS).

Portrait of Asian Chinese mid-adult female doctor smiling and looking at viewer.

VHCA to Offer Continuing Education for Nurses

Published in June 19, 2013 Issue

Final regulations were published on Monday, June 17th requiring continuing competency courses or activities in order to renew an active license as a registered nurse or a practical nurse each biennium.  The requirement for licensed nurses to participate in continuing education becomes effective on August 1, 2013.

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SMART Presentation Available on the VHCA Website

Published in January 20,2012 Issue

The presentation from the January education program, LTC Survey in Virginia: Looking Back, Looking Ahead is now available on the VHCA website.  The PowerPoint (PPT) slides contain highlights, trends and patterns based on an analysis from the 2011 VHCA SMART (Survey Management and Resource Tool) database.  A total of 1,588 surveys have now been entered in the SMART data base representing participation of 66% of VHCA members.   A list of the top 10 deficiencies in 2011 and reasons for citations are included in the PPT.  Members who participate in the SMART program have found that access to the database provides information to prepare them for the long term care survey as well as a valuable tool for quality improvement and staff training.  

OLC Distributes Generator Guideline

Published in December 18, 2012 Issue

The Office of Licensure & Certification (OLC) and the State Fire Marshal’s Office has prepared a best practice guideline related to generator testing.  The guideline has been posted on OLC’s website. The purpose of the guideline is to assure that generators function correctly during extreme events, such as power failures and weather-related disasters.  According to the message accompanying the best practice guideline, generators and the periodic testing is a state requirement; the guideline provides additional suggestions related to recommended testing and maintenance standards for generators.  The guideline notes that nursing facilities are encouraged to have a policy in place that makes provisions for a portable generator or other alternate power source for situations in which the emergency generator malfunctions, or is out of service.  OLC asks the assistance of providers by ensuring this guideline reaches appropriate operational and maintenance personnel in your facility.  

Updated Survey Forms Effective December 1st

Published in December 12, 2012 Issue

Cil Bullard RN, CPC, Virginia RAI/OASIS Coordinator with the Office of Licensure and Certification, has asked that we remind nursing center providers that the new 802 and 672 forms are to be used as of December 1, 2012.  It is important that providers are ready and using the new forms when survey teams arrive.  The revised survey forms 672, 802, 802S and 802P are included in the S&C 12-45-NH Memo to State Agencies which relates to revisions to the State Operations Manual (SOM) Appendix P.  

Updated Resident Rights Posters & Medicare & Medicaid Information Notices Available

Published in November 20, 2012 Issue

In recent months we have become aware of several facilities that were surveyed and cited because they did not have information related to Medicare and Medicaid benefits and coverage for nursing facility services prominently displayed to comply with guidance on F-156:

§483.10(b)(10) -- The facility must prominently display in the facility written information, and provide to residents and applicants for admission oral and written information about how to apply for and use Medicare and Medicaid benefits, and how to receive refunds for previous payments covered by such benefits.

Updated Resident Rights Posters & Medicare & Medicaid Information Notices Available

Published in November 7, 2012 Issue

In recent months we have become aware of several facilities that were surveyed and cited because they did not have information related to Medicare and Medicaid benefits and coverage for nursing facility services prominently displayed to comply with guidance on F-156:

§483.10(b)(10) -- The facility must prominently display in the facility written information, and provide to residents and applicants for admission oral and written information about how to apply for and use Medicare and Medicaid benefits, and how to receive refunds for previous payments covered by such benefits.

Final Regulations Published on Alzheimer’s Assisted Living Waiver

Published in June 15, 2012 Issue

The Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) published a set of final regulations for the Alzheimer’s Assisted Living (AL) Waiver in the Virginia Register that will become effective on July 5, 2012.  The regulatory action updates the Alzheimer’s AL Waiver requirements to bring them into alignment with the current Department of Social Services licensing standards.  The changes are expected to increase the available provider pool and encourage participation in the waivered program. 

MDS 3.0 Program Scheduled May 1st

Published in March 30, 2012 Issue

The Virginia Health Care Association has scheduled a program, MDS 3.0: April 2012 Changes & Challenges, for May 1st at the Holiday Inn Koger Conference Center in Richmond.

VASHRM Offering Risk Management Program in April

Published in March 30, 2012 Issue

The Virginia Chapter of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management (VASHRM) has scheduled an education program, Long Shot and Risk Management, for Thursday & Friday, April 26 - 27 at the Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront.