DSS Accepting Comments on New Assisted Living Regulations

Published in September 24, 2015 Issue

The Virginia Department of Social Services (DSS) is accepting comments on proposed new regulations for assisted living facilities through November 6. 

Survey: Help Shape the Future of NCAL

Published in August 27, 2015 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) has launched a membership survey in an ongoing effort to improve lives by delivering solutions for quality care. Share your thoughts on the perceptions, challenges, and needs of our key constituencies. The short survey should take you less than 15 minutes.

 

Tools for National Assisted Living Week, September 13-19

Published in August 6, 2015 Issue

As National Assisted Living Week® (NALW) approaches, now is the time to begin planning outreach to your local press and sharing the great events you have planned for your community. Take advantage of the National Center for Assisted Living’s (NCAL) NALW Media Toolkit.

Time Is Running Out - Register Today for July 23 VCAL Symposium

Published in July 16, 2015 Issue

Register online today for the July 23 Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) Symposium.  The event is being held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Midlothian – Richmond and runs from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

Time Running Out - Register Today for July 23 VCAL Symposium

Published in July 9, 2015 Issue

Register online today for the July 23 Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) Symposium.  The event is being held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Midlothian – Richmond and runs from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Education Seminar

Register Now for July 23 VCAL Symposium

Published in July 2, 2015 Issue

Register online today for the July 23 Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) Symposium.  The event is being held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Midlothian – Richmond and runs from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

Register Now for July 23 VCAL Symposium

Published in June 25, 2015 Issue

Register online today for the July 23 Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) Symposium.  The event is being held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Midlothian – Richmond and runs from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

National Assisted Living Week® Products Are Now Available to Order

Published in June 4, 2015 Issue

Nourishing Life: Mind, Body, Spirit!  All of this year's National Assisted Living Week products (except for t-shirts) are now in stock and available for shipment. The National Center for Assisted Living is taking backorders for t-shirts and they are expected to ship in the next couple of weeks. Order early to make sure all items are in stock.

Education Seminar

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: VCAL Symposium Scheduled for July 23 in Richmond

Published in June 4, 2015 Issue

The early bird registration for the 2015 VCAL Symposium scheduled for Thursday, July 23 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Midlothian - Richmond is now available for online registration.

NCAL Names Scott Tittle as New Executive Director

Published in May 21, 2015 Issue

On Monday, the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) named Scott Tittle as the new Executive Director of NCAL. Tittle joins the Center from the Indiana Health Care Association – a state affiliate of AHCA – where he served as president for both the skilled nursing profession in the state as well as assisted living since 2010.

Take the Next Step of the Initiative!

Published in May 14, 2015 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) has announced the next phase of the Quality Initiative for Assisted Living and renewed the four goals for three more years. The Quality Initiative for Assisted Living aims to enhance communities’ organizational success and resident outcomes.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS: VCAL Symposium Scheduled for July 23 in Richmond

Published in May 8, 2015 Issue

The early bird registration for the 2015 VCAL Symposium scheduled for Thursday, July 23 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Midlothian - Richmond is now available for online registration.

OIG Releases Report on Hospice Care in Assisted Living

Published in January 22, 2015 Issue

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report on hospice care in assisted living. Titled “Medicare Hospices Have Financial Incentives To Provide Care In Assisted Living Facilities,” the report found, among other things, that Medicare payments for hospice care in assisted living more than doubled between 2007 and 2012, totaling $2.1 billion in 2012.

NCAL Releases Refreshed Guiding Principles for Leadership

Published in October 16, 2014 Issue

Recently, the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) revealed an updated version of its Guiding Principles for Leadership.  Approved by the NCAL Board of Directors earlier this summer, the document is intended to identify the core traits an individual should possess to be successful as a leader within their specific assisted living community.  NCAL believes strong leadership is needed to successfully achieve the mission and vision of the organization.

NCAL Releases Refreshed "Guiding Principles for Assisted Living"

Published in September 11, 2014 Issue

This week, the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) revealed an updated version of its Guiding Principles for Assisted Living.  Approved by the NCAL Board of Directors earlier this summer, the document is intended to provide an aspirational framework to help promote a general understanding of quality principles in assisted living. 

DSS Updates Technical Assistance for ALF Standards

Published in July 31, 2014 Issue

On July 25th providers of assisted living facilities received notice from the Virginia Department of Social Services that the Technical Assistance for Standards for Licensed Assisted Living Facilities has been updated as of 07/2014.  The document is available on the Virginia Department of Social Services website.  If you would like to order a hard copy, please see the Publication Order Form on the public website.  Following are changes in the technical assistance (TA) document:

STILL TIME TO REGISTER - 2014 Assisted Living Symposium Scheduled for July 31st

Published in July 24, 2014 Issue

The 2014 Assisted Living Symposium – Insights into a Changing Environment, scheduled for July 31st at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Richmond – Midlothian, is specifically designed for assisted living providers to focus on critical issues and best practices.  Attendees will learn more about the Virginia regulatory scene and emerging national assisted living issues.  Also, practical approaches for reducing antipsychotic drugs in assisted living facilities will be explored that will include strategies for implementing non-pharmacy approaches to personalized care. 

Assisted Living Grows in Second Quarter 2014

Published in July 24, 2014 Issue

New data released by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care Industry (NIC) reveals that assisted living inventory growth reached a historic high in the second quarter of 2014. According to NIC’s managing director and director of research and analytics, Chuck Harry, “… assisted living’s inventory grew by 3.1% and marks its fastest rate of growth ever within the NIC MAP® time series which dates back to 2007.”

2014 ASSISTED LIVING SYMPOSIUM – Scheduled for July 31st

Published in July 17, 2014 Issue

The 2014 Assisted Living Symposium – Insights into a Changing Environment, scheduled for July 31st at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Richmond – Midlothian, is specifically designed for assisted living providers to focus on critical issues and best practices.  Attendees will learn more about the Virginia regulatory scene and emerging national assisted living issues.  Also, practical approaches for reducing antipsychotic drugs in assisted living facilities will be explored that will include strategies for implementing non-pharmacy approaches to personalized care. 

Track Your NCAL Quality Initiative Progress

Published in July 10, 2014 Issue

Looking for a way to track your facility’s progress on the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) Quality Initiative goals?  The National Patient Safety Organization (PSO) for Assisted Living can help.  The PSO is a tool where providers can track all four goals and many other quality measures associated with the goals. Learn more about the PSO and how it can help long term care facilities improve quality.

Free Questionnaires Available to Measure Person-Centered Care Practices

Published in July 10, 2014 Issue

Questionnaires were released this week for assisted living communities to measure their person-centered practices. The Toolkit for Person-Centeredness in Assisted Living includes questionnaires, called PC-PAL, for both assisted living residents and staff. Also included in the toolkit are instructions for scoring the questionnaires and interpreting the results. The toolkit was developed by researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Chapel Hill through a partnership with the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living (CEAL).  The project was a community-based project that included a wide array of stakeholders, including assisted living providers, residents, and family members.  The toolkit is free and is available for download on CEAL’s website and the UNC Sheps Center.

2014 Assisted Living Symposium – Scheduled for July 31st

Published in July 10, 2014 Issue

The 2014 Assisted Living Symposium – Insights into a Changing Environment, scheduled for July 31st at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Richmond – Midlothian, is specifically designed for assisted living providers to focus on critical issues and best practices.  Attendees will learn more about the Virginia regulatory scene and emerging national assisted living issues.  Also, practical approaches for reducing antipsychotic drugs in assisted living facilities will be explored that will include strategies for implementing non-pharmacy approaches to personalized care.

2014 ASSISTED LIVING SYMPOSIUM – Scheduled for July 31st

Published in July 2, 2014 Issue

The 2014 Assisted Living Symposium – Insights into a Changing Environment, scheduled for July 31st at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Richmond – Midlothian, is specifically designed for assisted living providers to focus on critical issues and best practices.  Attendees will learn more about the Virginia regulatory scene and emerging national assisted living issues.  Also, practical approaches for reducing antipsychotic drugs in assisted living facilities will be explored that will include strategies for implementing non-pharmacy approaches to personalized care.

2014 ASSISTED LIVING SYMPOSIUM – Scheduled for July 31

Published in June 26, 2014 Issue

The 2014 Assisted Living Symposium – Insights into a Changing Environment, scheduled for July 31st at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Richmond – Midlothian, is specifically designed for assisted living providers to focus on critical issues and best practices.  Attendees will learn more about the Virginia regulatory scene and emerging national assisted living issues.  Also, practical approaches for reducing antipsychotic drugs in assisted living facilities will be explored that will include strategies for implementing non-pharmacy approaches to personalized care.

ISP Training Available for ALF Staff

Published in May 30, 2014 Issue

The Department of Social Services (DSS) recently distributed a training announcement for the June 2014 offering of the ISP (Individual Service Plan) training offered by DSS and the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Gerontology. This training is only being offered in two locations in June.  According to the announcement, the program is for professional caregivers working in Assisted Living and Adult Day Care settings and is designed for individuals who are new to the facility or newly responsible for creating ISPs. The course is not designed to be a refresher course. Registration and payment for the class are required 10 business days before the training date and may be paid with a credit card.  If payment is not received 10 business days before the class, the registration will be canceled.  Additionally, if an adequate number of class registrations are not received DSS reserves the right to cancel the class. Registration should be made early since space is limited.

DSS Issues Notice to ALFs on New Background Check Requirements

Published in May 15, 2014 Issue

Lynne A. Williams, Director of the Department of Social Services’ (DSS) Division of Licensing Programs, distributed a Legislative Update on May 12th to facilities regulated by DSS notifying them of their responsibilities to comply with House Bill 450 passed in the 2014 General Assembly.

Deadline Extended for ALFs to Meet Quality Initiative Goals

Published in May 8, 2014 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) has notified us that members still have time to be recognized for meeting NCAL's Quality Initiative goals! The submission deadline for the NCAL Quality Initiative Recognition Program has been extended to Thursday, May 15, 2014.  (This extension does not apply to skilled nursing members of AHCA.  Only assisted living members of NCAL will be allowed to submit Quality Initiative success until May 15th.)  This gives you more time to join the National Patient Safety Organization for Assisted Living and securely submit your 30-day hospital readmission and antipsychotic use data. You can then confirm with NCAL that you met either of these two goals.

Person's Hands Pricking Their Finger with a Glaucometer --- Image by � Royalty-Free/Corbis

Information for ALFs on Coverage Criteria for Auto-Retractable Safety Lancets

Published in May 8, 2014 Issue

In consultation with Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) staff, the Department of Social Services (DSS) provided the following guidance to assisted living facilities related to Medicaid coverage criteria for the auto-retractable safety lancets.

Train the Trainer for Instructors of ALF Registered Medication Aides Program Scheduled for May 20th

Published in May 2, 2014 Issue

A one-day Medication Aide training workshop has been scheduled for May 20th.  The program is designed to provide instructors of Registered Medication Aide Programs with program planning skills and an understanding of the regulatory requirements for Medication Aides in assisted living facilities. Writing measurable learning objectives, organizing mandated curriculum, developing lesson plans and evaluating learning of students are among the objectives covered in the training.  Participants will have an opportunity to observe, practice and critique a variety of instructional strategies.

ALF Vacancy, Retention, and Turnover Survey Deadline May 1st

Published in April 25, 2014 Issue

Attention Assisted Living members! The May 1 deadline for completing the Vacancy, Retention, and Turnover (VRT) Survey for the Quality Initiative Recognition Program is approaching quickly.  If you are not sure how to fill out the survey, NCAL has developed a step-by-step guide to assist you in completing it. The help guide can be found here on the NCAL Quality Initiative Staff Stability webpage under "Resources."

Genworth Report Finds Assisted Living Rates Rise Slightly

Published in April 11, 2014 Issue

The Genworth 2014 Cost of Care Survey reports that assisted living’s national monthly median rate is $3,500 or $42,000 annually for a private one-bedroom.  Survey responses were collected from more than 14,800 long term care providers nationwide.  The report includes rates, reported by state, for home care, adult day health care, nursing centers and assisted living communities.  Assisted living rates increased 1.45 percent compared to 2013 rates, and grew 4.29 percent in five years. According to the survey, the District of Columbia is the most expensive at $82,674 annually. Georgia and Missouri have the lowest annual rates at $30,000. Click here for the entire report.

National Assisted Living Week (NALW) Scheduled for September 7 – 13

Published in April 3, 2014 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) is proud to announce that a logo for the 2014 National Assisted Living Week® theme, The Magic of Music is now available for download here.  

NCAL Webinar on Improving Quality through the Patient Safety Organization

Published in April 3, 2014 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) is offering a presentation via webinar, Improving Quality in Assisted Living: An Introduction to the National Patient Safety Organization for Assisted Living on April 16.  This popular presentation will be a 90-minute webinar that will help members understand what a Patient Safety Organization (PSO) is, why NCAL is collaborating with the New Jersey Hospital Association PSO to collect clinical data, what data will be collected and a member’s perspective on the opportunities this collaboration presents.  Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the webinar.  If you are unable to attend, the webinar will be archived for future viewing. The webinar will be held April 16 at 2:00 pm Eastern.

ALF Training Regulations Chart Updated

Published in March 21, 2014 Issue

Judith McGreal, Program Development Consultant at the Virginia Department of Social Services Division of Licensing Programs has notified providers that the ALF Training Regulations Chart on the Virginia Department of Social Services’ (DSS) public website has been updated with a version that provides links between the DSS Standard references in the chart and the actual Standards.   The purpose of the links is to allow easy access to the actual standard for any of the references in the chart.  There are no changes other than the provision of links.  


Train the Trainer for Instructors of ALF Registered Medication Aides Program Scheduled for March 4th

Published in February 6, 2014 Issue

Train the Trainer for ALF Instructors of Registered Medication Aides is scheduled for March 4th in the VHCA/VCAL office.  The program is a one-day, six-hour workshop designed for instructors of registered medication aides in assisted living facilities (ALF).  Participants will observe, practice, and critique a variety of instructional strategies.

DSS Prepares Tool Identifying Training Regulations for ALFs

Published in January 9, 2014 Issue

At the request of provider associations, Judy McGreal at the Department of Social Services (DSS) has prepared a chart of ALF training regulations to assist assisted living providers identify the various requirements related to staff training.  We believe this will be a valuable tool for VCAL members to help them assure that the requirements for training are met.  The “ALAt the request of provider associations, Judy McGreal at the Department of Social Services (DSS) has prepared a chart of ALF training regulations to assist assisted living providers to identify the various requirements related to staff training.  We believe this will be a valuable tool for VCAL members to help them assure that the requirements for training are met.  The “ALF Training Regulations Chart” is available on the DSS public website under “Current ALF Providers."  F Training Regulations Chart” is available on the DSS public website under “Current ALF Providers” which includes forms. 

DSS Documents on ALFs Now Available

Published in December 19, 2013 Issue

The Department of Social Services (DSS) has provided us with several documents for VCAL members that will serve as resource tools for their operations. The first, the Division of Licensing Programs (DOLP) Directory, contains contact information for the DSS regional licensing offices, listing locations for each office and the areas served for information and assistance with licensing related inquiries. In addition, the DOLP Directory lists contact information for key personnel in the Division of Licensing Home Office. 

Auxiliary Grant to Increase January 1st

Published in December 12, 2013 Issue

On December 6, 2013 the Department for Aging & Rehabilitative Services (DARS) notified Eligibility Supervisors and Long Term Care eligibility workers that effective January 1, 2014 there will be an Auxiliary Grant (AG) Rate Increase of 1.5 percent statewide.   The grant amount will increase from $1,196 to $1,207.  Rates in Planning District 8 (Northern Virginia) will increase from $1,375 to $1,388 based on the 15 percent differential. The personal needs allowance will remain at $82.

NCAL Launches National Patient Safety Organization for Assisted Living

Published in November 26, 2013 Issue

On November 21st, the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) announced forces with the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) to form the National Patient Safety Organization (PSO) for Assisted Living.  The PSO will electronically collect data from NCAL’s participating assisted living members on a range of clinical performance outcomes and processes.  The effort is the first of the profession’s kind to be carried out at a national level and will develop insightful reports highlighting the causes of patient safety events in assisted living settings.

Person's Hands Pricking Their Finger with a Glaucometer --- Image by � Royalty-Free/Corbis

Medicare Begins National Mail Order for Diabetic Testing Supplies for ALFs

Published in August 9, 2013 Issue

We are repeating this article because of questions asked at the recent VCAL Symposium about obtaining diabetic supplies for residents in assisted living facilities.

On July 1, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is implementing a new National Mail-Order Program for assisted living facilities (ALFs) for Medicare diabetic supplies such as blood glucose testing strips, lancets, and replacements batteries for blood glucose monitors. Under the new nationwide system, rather than having an approved amount of $78 for 100 test strips and lancets, Medicare’s approved amount will be about $22 – and beneficiary co-pays will drop from approximately $15 to under $5.  To save money under the new system, beneficiaries need to use a Medicare national mail-order contract supplier. The national suppliers can be found here, and then enter the relevant zip code. This mail order program only applies to residents of ALFs.  The statute prohibits separate payment for DME furnished in nursing homes.

NCAL Launches ALF Quality Initiative Recognition Program

Published in August 1, 2013 Issue

This week the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) officially launched the assisted living portion of the Quality Initiative Recognition Program to recognize NCAL members that demonstrate the attainment and commitment to one or more of the four NCAL Quality Initiative goals:

TV Broadcast on Life and Death in Assisted Living Set for July 30th

Published in July 24, 2013 Issue

A PBS’ Frontline investigation of assisted living is set to air Tuesday evening, July 30th at 10:00 p.m.  (For the exact time the program will air in your market check local PBS listings). Recently, PBS began promoting the Frontline/ProPublicaLife and Death in Assisted Living” on its local stations.   Frontline and ProPublica are investigative journalism organizations.  Beyond the broadcasts, Frontline will post this program on its website and through its Facebook and Twitter accounts.  In addition, ProPublica will publish a “text investigation about the assisted living business” on July 30th. 

Revisions to Standards for Licensed Assisted Living Facilities and General Procedures and Information for Licensure

Published in July 19, 2013 Issue

The Department of Social Services (DSS) Division of Licensing Programs’ circulated a notice to assisted living providers on July 12th regarding revisions to the “Standards for Licensed Assisted Living Facilities” and “General Procedures and Information for Licensure” which became effective July 17, 2013.  The revision was needed due to changes made to the Code of Virginia in the 2013 Session of the General Assembly.  Actions on the regulations were exempt from the full Administrative Process Act regulatory process since the purpose of the revisions was strictly to conform to changes in state law and no agency discretion was involved. 

Upcoming Webinar FOR ALF Providers Scheduled for July 17th

Published in July 11, 2013 Issue

A Model for Collaboration between Hospitals and Assisted Living Communities webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, July 17, 2013 from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm to examine emerging models in which hospitals and assisted living facilities collaborate to manage the continuum of care for assisted living facility (ALF) residents more effectively.  The objective of the program is to reduce unnecessary emergency room visits and hospital admissions. Erik Johnson, Senior Vice President, Avalere Health, will review the populations that represent the most risk for health systems attempting to develop effective population health strategies for the Medicare population. The webinar will cover the following areas:

INTERACT Program Seeks Assisted Living Communities to Test Tools

Published in July 3, 2013 Issue

The Florida Atlantic University (FAU) is seeking assisted living communities to pilot test the INTERACT (Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers) Quality Improvement program. The application deadline is Friday, July 12.

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).

Person's Hands Pricking Their Finger with a Glaucometer --- Image by � Royalty-Free/Corbis

Medicare Begins National Mail Order for Diabetic Testing Supplies for ALFs

Published in June 28, 2013 Issue

On July 1, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is implementing a new National Mail-Order Program for assisted living facilities (ALFs) for Medicare diabetic supplies such as blood glucose testing strips, lancets, and replacements batteries for blood glucose monitors. Under the new nationwide system, rather than having an approved amount of $78 for 100 test strips and lancets, Medicare’s approved amount will be about $22 – and beneficiary co-pays will drop from approximately $15 to under $5.  To save money under the new system, beneficiaries need to use a Medicare national mail-order contract supplier. The national suppliers can be found here, and then entering the relevant zip code. This mail order program only applies to residents of ALFs.  The statute prohibits separate payment for DME furnished in nursing homes.

National Assisted Living Week Planning Guide/Product Catalog Available Online

Published in June 19, 2013 Issue

The National Assisted Living Week® (NALW) Planning Guide and Product Catalog is available to download at NALW.org.  Beginning on Grandparents Day, September 8 - September 14, the 2013 NALW theme focuses on Homemade Happiness, which encourages participants to create homemade cheer and happiness to all in the community – residents, staff, family, and visitors.

REGISTRATION AVAILABLE - 2013 Assisted Living Symposium Scheduled for July 16th in Richmond

Published in June 19, 2013 Issue

VCAL’s Annual Assisted Living Symposium is a one-day annual event designed to bring Virginia’s assisted living providers together to focus on issues, challenges and best practices.  This year’s Symposium will help facilities achieve excellence with updates on the Virginia and Washington regulatory scenes and a discussion of emerging quality initiatives.  Presentations will focus on legal and regulatory implications for ALFs, including identification of risk factors in the development of pressure ulcers in ALF residents and effective medication management protocols in assisted living facilities to avoid common errors in administering mediations.  The importance of documentation as a quality tool for an effective medication management program will be highlighted along with an understanding of the litigation process following an incident in a facility.

Mark Your Calendars for the 2013 Assisted Living Symposium Scheduled for July 16th in Richmond

Published in June 5, 2013 Issue

The Virginia Center for Assisted Living’s annual Symposium is a one-day annual event designed to bring Virginia’s assisted living providers together to focus on issues, challenges and best practices.  This year’s Symposium will help facilities achieve excellence with updates on the Virginia and Washington regulatory scenes and a discussion of emerging quality initiatives.  Presentations will focus on legal and regulatory implications for ALFs, including identification of risk factors in the development of pressure ulcers in ALF residents and effective medication management protocols in assisted living facilities to avoid common errors in administering medications.  The importance of documentation as a quality tool for an effective medication management program will be highlighted along with an understanding of the litigation process following an incident in a facility.

DSS Announces July 1st Auxiliary Grant Increase

Published in June 22, 2012 Issue

The Department of Social Services (DSS) sent a letter to assisted living facilities announcing the increase in the Auxiliary Grant (AG) rate effective July 1, 2012.   

The AG rate will increase by $14 per month statewide from $1,136 to $1,150.  Rates in Planning District 8 (Northern VA) will increase from $1,303 to $1,317 due to the 15 percent differential. There will be no increase in the personal needs allowance. The personal needs allowance will remain $81 for 2012.

Please call Tishaun Harris at 804.726.7560 or email at Tishaun.harrisugworji@dss.virginia.gov with any questions regarding the increase.

NCAL's Quality Director to Lead New York Center for Assisted Living

Published in January 6,2012 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living’s (NCAL) Director of Workforce and Quality Improvement, Shelley Wagar Sabo, will become the executive director of the New York State Center for Assisted Living, an affiliate of the New York State Health Facilities Association. She arrived at NCAL 12 years ago shortly after NCAL was established and helped build NCAL into what it is today - an organization dedicated to quality and advocacy. Her most notable achievement at NCAL is implementing the only quality improvement program that exists for the assisted living profession. 

NCAL Launches Surveys on Performance Measures and Vacancy, Retention & Turnover

Published in January 6,2012 Issue

For the third year the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) is launching two surveys under its Advocating Care Excellence program.  The 2012 NCAL Performance Measures Survey is available only to NCAL members while the 2011 Assisted Living Employee Vacancy, Retention and Turnover (VRT) Survey is open to assisted living providers nationwide.   NCAL has enlisted the support of three other assisted living provider associations, Leading Age, American Seniors Housing Association, and the Assisted Living Federation of America, for the VRT survey.  Both surveys are prominently featured on the homepage of NCAL’s website. The deadline for completion and submission of both surveys is May 4, 2012.


Help Your Profession Set National Benchmark on ALF Staffing: Complete Survey

Published in March 14, 2013 Issue

Tracking a department’s staff vacancy and retention levels is a vital quality improvement tool for assisted living communities.  Now assisted living communities can help the profession by contributing to the development of a similar tool on a national level.

Department Of Social Services Reports ALF Survey Data

Published in March 7, 2013 Issue

The Division of Licensing at the Department of Social Services (DSS) has forwarded the following information on assisted living facility inspections conducted since 2009.  The report includes the number of facilities, number of violations, average violations per facility, number of inspections and the average number of violations for each inspection.

Media Guide For Assisted Living Available On-Line

Published in March 7, 2013 Issue

Assisted living has been in the news this year with features on the local, state, and national levels.  The National Center for Assisted Living’s (NCAL) Media Guide for Assisted Living has “how-to” information that covers a variety of aspects for interacting with the media. Chapters in the guide review the fundamentals, earning publicity in the local media, all about interviews, crisis communications, and social media.

Quality Initiative Tools for ALFS Available

Published in February 28, 2013 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) is committed to delivering resources to members to help them provide the highest levels of quality.  The “Assisted Living Quality Initiative” is an effort that builds on the existing work that the long term and post-acute care field is doing by setting specific, measurable targets to further improve quality of care in America’s assisted living communities.  NCAL members are encouraged to reach defined, concrete goals over the next three years in four core areas.

Image 150

Staffing Survey for Assisted Living Providers

Published in February 28, 2013 Issue

Tracking department staff vacancy and retention levels is a vital quality improvement tool for assisted living centers.  For members who have not yet completed the 2012 Assisted Living Staff Vacancy, Retention, and Turnover Survey (VRT), it is available online through Survey Monkey or you can download the form here. The NCAL (National Center for Assisted Living) is conducting this survey to better describe the vacancy, retention and turnover of assisted living staff. Results of this survey will be reported in aggregate form only.  The staffing data in order will help build a nationally representative database. 

Auxiliary Grant Rate Increase Set for January 1st

Published in January 4, 2013 Issue

The Department of Social Services has notified us that effective January 1, 2013 there was an $11 increase in the Auxiliary Grant (AG) rate statewide.  The statewide AG rate increased from $1,150 to $1,161.  Rates in Planning District 8 increased from $1,317 to $1,328 with the 15 percent differential.  The personal needs allowance increased by one dollar to $82. 

REMINDER: OSHA Injury & Illness Forms Must be Posted by February 1st

Published in January 4, 2013 Issue

Long term care providers, including assisted living facilities, are required to post the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) - OSHA Form 300A by February 1st.  The form should be posted in a public area where employees can view it. The report must remain posted through April 30, 2013.  To obtain instructions and forms, click here.

Help Needed From Assisted Living Providers

Published in December 18, 2012 Issue

The National Center for Health Statistics is currently conducting the 2012 National Study of Long Term Care Providers (NSLTCP).  Of the 11,700 assisted living and similar residential care communities invited to participate, only 38% have responded.   We have learned that assisted living communities in the following states have lower than average response:  AZ, CA, FL, GA, IL, MD, MI, NC, OR, PA, SC, TX, VA, and WA.  Since VA is among those states with a low response rate, if your facility is contacted we encourage you to participate in the national study to ensure that NSLTCP is as accurate as possible.  

By law, all data collected and released will be kept in strict confidence and used only for statistical purposes and no individual provider, staff or resident can be identified.   Results from this study are expected to be released late 2013.  To learn more about NSLTCP, please click here.

Assisted Living Nurse Teleconference Scheduled for December 4th

Published in November 20, 2012 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living and the American Assisted Living Nurses Association will hold a national networking conference call for licensed nurses working in assisted living communities.  The call is scheduled for Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 2:00 p.m.  Topics for the teleconference will be the SBAR (Situation Background Assessment Recommendation) and Stop & Watch tools from the INTERACT (Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers) program.  Members can access the conference call by dialing 888-394-8197 and using access code: 247577. 

March 1 Deadline for Switching Benefit Payments to Electronic Payments

Published in November 20, 2012 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living has asked that we remind our assisted living members that residents who receive a paper check for Social Security or other federal benefit payments must switch to electronic payments by March 1, 2013.  These changes apply to federal benefit payments from the following federal benefit agencies:

  • Social Security Administration, including Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments
  • Veterans Affairs (VA)
  • Railroad Retirement Board
  • Office of Personnel Management
  • Department of Labor (Black Lung)

VCAL (Virginia Center for Assisted Living) encourages members to make it a priority to inform residents that they are required by law to make the switch before time runs out.  Federal benefit check recipients can sign up for direct deposit or the Direct Express® Debit MasterCard® card by calling the U.S. Treasury Electronic Payment Solution Center at 800.333.1795, Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST.  Wait times are usually minimal, but could increase closer to the deadline.  For direct deposit, they can also sign up online at www.GoDirect.org which has all the resources necessary for helping and encouraging residents to make the switch.  Residents can also visit their local bank or credit union.  Urge your residents and other federal benefit check recipients to call now to avoid long waits.

Assisted Living Staffing Report Available

Published in October 11, 2012 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) has released results from two surveys indicating that 91 percent of assisted living providers responding to the survey measuring resident and family satisfaction levels report that 71 percent of staff remained working at the same community in 2011.  The statistics are from the NCAL 2012 Assisted Living Performance Measures Survey, which was limited to NCAL members.  The second survey was the NCAL 2011 Assisted Living Staff Vacancy, Retention, and Turnover Survey (VRT) which fielded responses from NCAL, Leading Age, American Seniors Housing Association, and Assisted Living Federation of America members.  This is the third consecutive year NCAL has issued these reports which together cover 10 performance measure areas that are key to delivering high quality care.

NCAL’s 2011 "Forever Proud" NALW Guide Wins National Recognition

Published in September 20, 2012 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) 2011 National Assisted Living Week: Forever Proud planning guide/product catalog was a winner in the 21st annual National Mature Media Awards Program. The program, presented by the Mature Market Resource Center, a national clearinghouse for the senior market, recognizes the nation’s finest marketing, communications, educational materials, and programs designed and produced for older adults.

NCAL Announces New Bronze Award Criteria for Assisted Living Members

Published in August 8, 2012 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) is proud to announce a new component to the AHCA/NCAL Quality Awards program with the newly established Bronze Quality Award criteria specifically designed for NCAL members.  This nationally recognized program has three award levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold with the Bronze Award as the first step in the Quality Award journey.  The benefits of participating go beyond receiving a quality award. Applicants to the Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award undertake an assessment of the community’s mission, vision, and key elements of its performance improvement process. Participation can improve operations and demonstrate your community’s commitment to delivering quality care and services. AHCA and NCAL have observed that quality award recipients have clearer priorities, better quality measures, improved staff retention, and reduced staff turnover. Resources are available that make it easy for providers to complete the application process on the quality website.

Train the Trainer for Instructors of ALF Registered Medication Aides Program Scheduled for August 23rd

Published in July 31, 2012 Issue

Train the Trainer for Instructors of Registered Medication Aides is scheduled August 23rd in the VHCA/VCAL office. 

The program is a one-day, six-hour workshop designed for instructors of registered medication aides in assisted living facilities. Participants will observe, practice, and critique a variety of instructional strategies. More information and online registration can be found on the VHCA website.

Technical Assistance Document Updated for ALF Regulations

Published in July 25, 2012 Issue

The Department of Social Services (DSS) notified assisted living facility providers this week that the Technical Assistance (TA) for Standards for Licensed Assisted Living Facilities has been updated as of July 2012.  The document is now available on the DSS public website.

DSS Survey on Oxygen Supplies in ALFS

Published in July 13, 2012 Issue

The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), Division of Licensing Programs (DOLP), is considering a proposed change to the assisted living facility standards related to the amount of oxygen supply that must be on site at any given time. The agency, as part of its comprehensive revision of regulations, is reaching out to providers requesting that all assisted living facilities complete a short survey no later than July 25, 2012, in order to provide the necessary data to assist in drafting a proposed change to requirements related to the amount of oxygen each facility must maintain.

2012 Assisted Living Symposium Scheduled for July 17th in Richmond

Published in July 6, 2012 Issue

Register today for the VCAL Assisted Living Symposium scheduled for July 17th at the Holiday Inn Koger Conference Center in Richmond.

DSS Issues Updated Barrier Crimes Forms to ALF Licensees and Applicants

Published in July 6, 2012 Issue

On June 28th the Virginia Department of Social Services distributed copies of updated Revised Sworn Disclosure Forms to all ALF Licensees and Applicants.  The “Sworn Statement for Affirmation, Applicants for Assisted Living Facility Licensure”: (form # 032-05-800) and the “Sworn Disclosure Statement for Adult Facilities” (form # 032-05-163)  were revised to be effective July 1, 2012 and include the additional barrier crimes approved by the 2012 session of the General Assembly.  The revised forms are also available on the Department of Social Services’ public website.  Providers are encouraged to contact their licensing inspectors with any questions about the forms

CDC Study of LTC to be Conducted

Published in July 6, 2012 Issue

Beginning in September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) will be sending questionnaires to a national sample of assisted living and residential care communities for the National Study of Long Term Care Providers (NSLTCP) report.  Assisted living/residential care is the first category of providers to be surveyed. (NCHS indicates that assisted living/residential care providers will spend an average of 30 minutes to complete the questionnaire.)  The NSLTCP is a new government initiative that will combine data from the entire spectrum of long term care providers, from assisted living providers to hospices. It replaces the previously conducted National Nursing Home Survey, National Home and Hospice Care Survey, and most recently, the National Survey of Residential Care Facilities.  NSLTCP will provide nationally representative statistical information about the supply and use of paid, regulated long-term care (LTC) providers in the United States. This study, which will be conducted every other year, will help address the nation's information needs to inform future LTC policy.

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. 

2012 Assisted Living Symposium Scheduled for July 17th in Richmond

Published in June 15, 2012 Issue

Make plans now to attend the VCAL Assisted Living Symposium on July 17th at the Holiday Inn Koger Conference Center in Richmond.

VCAL’s annual Assisted Living Symposium is designed to provide tools and resources for Virginia’s assisted living providers to focus on issues and trends affecting their profession.  This year’s program will engage attendees with a motivational experience to learn about “Emotional Intelligence” (EI). In a highly interactive and entertaining presentation, Doug and Polly White, with over 50 years of combined experience in corporate management, will introduce you to the basics of emotional intelligence and help you to assess your EI strengths. 

DSS Issues Revised Initial and Renewal ALF Licensure Applications

Published in June 15, 2012 Issue

A memorandum from Lynne Williams, Department of Social Services (DSS) Director of the Division of Licensure, was issued to licensed assisted living facilities and adult day care centers on June 6th regarding revised initial and renewal applications for licensure.  Effective July 1, 2012, the Division of Licensing Programs will begin using revised Initial and Renewal Applications for Licensure.  Providers will be receiving information about training on the new applications that will be provided by the licensing offices prior to the July 1 implementation date.

Top Deficiencies Cited in Virginia ALFs

Published in May 17, 2012 Issue

At the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) Committee meeting on May 3rd, Deborah Lloyd, Operations Consultant in the Virginia Department of Social Services’ (DSS) Division of Licensing Programs, presented an update on the top deficiencies cited for the period from January 2011 to January 2012 based on a total of 1327 inspections conducted by DSS inspectors.

AL Members Eligible for $100 Gift Card

Published in May 17, 2012 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) has mailed two surveys: the Performance Measures Survey and the Employee Vacancy, Retention, and Turnover (VRT) Survey (Download the excel file or pdf file to members for completion.  The Performance Measures Survey includes questions about how providers evaluate their quality of care and services in nine areas of operation. This year, NCAL’s Quality Committee added nine questions about workforce. Most of the questions require “yes” or “no” responses and the survey should take just a few minutes to complete.  The VRT Survey focuses on one performance, measure staff retention, and requires providers to insert numbers related to staff vacancies, retention, and turnover.  All completed Performance Measure Surveys received by Friday, May 25, 2012 will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 American Express gift card.  This includes any completed Performance Measure surveys that have been received thus far.

Data collection for these two surveys will close on Friday, May 25, 2012.  Individual provider data submitted are confidential and will be used in aggregate form only, without any identifying information. Surveys are located on NCAL’s website, NCAL.org and only take a few minutes to complete.  The goal of these surveys is to produce reports that convey to consumers and policymakers the assisted living profession’s commitment to delivering quality care to residents.

AL Employee Orientation Book

Published in May 17, 2012 Issue

How do you provide orientation to assisted living for new employees? Assisted Living: What You Need to Know is designed for all levels of employees, from the boiler room to the board room. It gives a brief overview of assisted living (AL): how it fits into the long term care continuum, state and federal regulations, customer service, resident and family councils, confidentiality, dementia, nutrition, disclosure, abuse and neglect, risk management, standard precautions, and emergency situations.

To order, click here. The cost for members is $19.95 and nonmembers $23.95.   

ALF Employee Orientation Book Available

Published in May 3, 2012 Issue

How do you provide orientation to assisted living for new employees? Assisted Living: What You Need to Know is designed for all levels of employees, from the boiler room to the board room. It gives a brief overview of assisted living: how it fits into the long term care continuum, state and federal regulations, customer service, resident and family councils, confidentiality, dementia, nutrition, disclosure, abuse and neglect, risk management, standard precautions and emergency situations. To order your copy, click here. The cost for VHCA/VCAL members is $19.95 and non-members $23.95.  

Federal Researchers Release Findings Describing AL Residents

Published in April 20, 2012 Issue

The federal government has released the second installment of findings from the “2010 National Survey of Residential Care Facilities”. The new data brief, “Residents Living in Residential Care Facilities in the United States: 2010,”  follows a brief published in December describing facility characteristics.  In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) conducted a new study of residential care communities. The national study included residential care facilities; assisted living residences; board and care homes; congregate care; enriched housing programs; homes for the aged; personal care homes; and shared housing establishments that are licensed, registered, listed, certified, or otherwise regulated by a state.

Seeking Great Photos of Assisted Living Residents

Published in March 30, 2012 Issue

Have you taken photos of your residents enjoying activities, socializing or participating in an event at your community? Do you have any photos from National Assisted Living Week 2011, Veterans Day, any religious holiday, or celebrations? If you have and belong to NCAL, consider submitting photos for NCAL’s upcoming 2012 “photo album” called Faces of Assisted Living. 

ALFs: Tell Us About Your Quality Efforts - Take Two Short Surveys

Published in March 30, 2012 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) is asking members to complete two online surveys: the Performance Measures Survey and the Employee Vacancy, Retention, and Turnover (VRT) Survey by downloading the excel file or pdf file. 

2012 Edition of Assisted Living State Regulatory Review Available

Published in March 9, 2012 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) has just released the 2012 edition of “Assisted Living State Regulatory Review  revealing that 16 states made changes to assisted living regulations, statutes, and policies during 2011. According to Karl Polzer, NCAL’s senior policy director and the report’s author, four states—Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, and South Dakota—made major changes last year. A number of states are considering major changes for 2012 while 30% of states actively changed Assisted Living Regulations in 2011.

Train the Trainer for Instructors of ALF Registered Medication Aides Program Scheduled for March 6th

Published in February 24, 2012 Issue

Train the Trainer for Instructors of Registered Medication Aides is scheduled March 6th in the VHCA/VCAL office. The program is a one-day, six-hour workshop designed for instructors of registered medication aides in assisted living facilities. Participants will observe, practice, and critique a variety of instructional strategies.

AHCA/NCAL’s New Quality Initiative

Published in February 24, 2012 Issue

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) is introducing a new Quality Initiative (QI) with four goals.  Each goal is measurable and each has a timeline for completion. Two of the goals have an immediate impact on residents; two of the goals are related to satisfaction. One has the potential for significant cost savings

Education

Train the Trainer for Instructors of ALF Registered Medication Aides Program Scheduled for March 6th

Published in February 17, 2012 Issue

Train the Trainer for Instructors of Registered Medication Aides is scheduled March 6th in the VHCA/VCAL office. The program is a one-day, six-hour workshop designed for instructors of registered medication aides in assisted living facilities. Participants will observe, practice, and critique a variety of instructional strategies.

More information and online registration can be found on the VHCA website.



Demonstrate Quality: Participate in Two NCAL Online Surveys

Published in February 17, 2012 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) encourages members to spend a few minutes to complete two online surveys as part of its third annual Performance Measurement Initiative.

Education

Train the Trainer for Instructors of ALF Registered Medication Aides Program Scheduled for March 6th

Published in February 10, 2012 Issue

Train the Trainer for Instructors of Registered Medication Aides is scheduled March 6th in the VHCA/VCAL office. The program is a one-day, six-hour workshop designed for instructors of registered medication aides in assisted living facilities. Participants will observe, practice, and critique a variety of instructional strategies.

More information and online registration can be found on the VHCA website.



2012 State of Seniors Housing Survey

Published in February 10, 2012 Issue

Each year the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA) conducts an annual study of the senior housing industry titled “The State of Seniors Housing.”  This annual study is supported by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), the National Investment Center and other assisted living trade associations.  When published, the report will contain property, financial performance and cost data about the independent living, assisted living, dementia care and CCRC sectors not collected by any other source.  The memo from ASHA and survey include more details about the survey used to collect the data.  Members who own/operate for profit or not-for-profit independent living, assisted living, dementia care, SNFs or CCRCs are being encouraged by NCAL to participate in the study.   Please submit your data by March 15.  All organizations that complete surveys will receive a complimentary copy of The State of Seniors Housing 2012, which compiles the survey results for comparisons to your own operations.   The State of Seniors Housing data will be handled with complete confidentiality and the results presented only in the aggregate.

Education Seminar

Department of Social Services Trainings Announced

Published in January 27, 2012 Issue

The Department of Gerontology & Department of Social Services (DSS) has provided a listing of the Spring 2012 DSS Trainings geared toward direct service providers working in assisted living or adult day facilities.