2015 VHCA Awards Recognize Excellence in the Profession and Dedicated Volunteers

Published in October 8, 2015 Issue

This year we again we recognized excellence in the profession at VHCA Awards Banquet.  We celebrated the outstanding achievements of administrators, clinical staff, volunteers, and others who help make Virginia long term care facilities and assisted living facilities centers of quality care for the frail and elderly.  

CMS Revises Quality Indicator Survey

Published in September 17, 2015 Issue

On August 28, 2015 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued revised guidelines for trainers conducting Quality Indicator Surveys (QIS) surveys.  Click here to read the memo, S&C: 15-50-NH.

The Quality Awards – Not Just for SNFs

Published in September 10, 2015 Issue

More National Center for Assisted Living and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (NCAL/VCAL) members are seeing the value in participating in the Quality Award Program. In 2015, a record number of assisted living (AL) communities applied for and were awarded Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award. Silver – Achievement in Quality recipients also doubled among ALs compared to last year.

In the News: Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation - Nansemond Pointe Recognized for Silver Quality Award

Published in August 13, 2015 Issue

On August 6, the Suffolk News Herald recognized Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation-Nansemond Pointe for earning a Silver – Achievement in Quality Award from the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living.  To see the full coverage, click here.

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2015 D.A. “Woody” Brown Award Winners Announced

Published in August 6, 2015 Issue

After hours of reviewing the entries for the D. A. “Woody” Brown Community Involvement Awards, the Virginia Health Care Association’s (VHCA) evaluation team members have selected the 2015 award recipients.  These facility winners will be recognized during the awards banquet on September 30 as part of the VHCA/VCAL Convention scheduled for September 28 – October 1 at The Embassy Suites Hotel at Hampton Roads Convention Center.

VHCA Committees to Review Proposed Rule on Medicare Requirements of Participation

Published in August 6, 2015 Issue

The Virginia Health Care Association’s (VHCA) Regulatory and Quality of Care Committees are holding a joint meeting on August 20 to review the proposed changes to the Medicare and Medicaid participation requirements for nursing facilities. 

CMS to Host Call on Requirements of Participation Regulation Changes

Published in August 6, 2015 Issue

On August 11 from 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is hosting a call for providers and stakeholders during which the agency will briefly walk through the many changes in the proposed rule for Medicare requirements of participation.  The agenda for the call is:

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.

CMS Proposes Mandatory Antibiotic Stewardship Program

Published in July 24, 2015 Issue

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a rule requiring all long term care facilities to establish an antibiotic stewardship program, including antibiotic use protocols and antibiotic monitoring.  This initiative is a reflection of the federal government's escalated response in the battle against superbugs, malicious microbes that are resistant to these drugs.

Five-Star Link Updated on VHCA Website

Published in July 9, 2015 Issue

The link for the Five-Star ratings for Virginia nursing facilities has been updated.  Click here for the 2015 year-to-date ratings.

2015 Silver Quality Award Recipients Announced

Published in July 9, 2015 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) recently announced the recipients of the 2015 Silver – Achievement in Quality Award.  This is the second level in the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award journey and recognizes a significant step toward performance excellence.  This year, 126 facilities across the country achieved the Silver award.

Five-Star Update

Published in June 19, 2015 Issue

The Five-Star ratings for Virginia nursing facilities have now been updated.  Click here for the 2015 year-to-date ratings.

AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program Bronze Recipients Announced

Published in June 4, 2015 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) recently announced that 545 facilities are recipients of the 2015 Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award, the first step in the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award journey which recognizes that a provider has developed a foundation to begin a journey of continuous quality improvement.

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Don’t Forget To Submit Your VHCA/VCAL Awards Nominations & Packets - Deadline Extended to June 15

Published in June 4, 2015 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

VHCA/VCAL Award Nominations Deadline Extended to June 15

Published in May 21, 2015 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

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.

VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in May 14, 2015 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in May 8, 2015 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

American Health Care Association (AHCA) Expands Quality Initiative

Published in May 8, 2015 Issue

AHCA announced this week that it is expanding its nationwide, multi-year initiative to improve quality and enhance patient outcomes in nursing care centers.

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in April 30, 2015 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in April 24, 2015 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in April 16, 2015 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

AHCA 2014 Quality Report Now Available

Published in April 2, 2015 Issue

This month, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) released its 2014 Quality Report.

NEW! QI Resources from the AHCA Clinical Practice Committee

Published in April 2, 2015 Issue

Members can now access two clinical resource guides available on AHCA’s website — Elements for Effective Care Transitions, Ideas and Resources for Post-Acute Care Providers and Considerations for End of Life Care Competency.

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in April 2, 2015 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in March 26, 2015 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in March 20, 2015 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in March 12, 2015 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

The 2014 Quality Report Now Available

Published in March 12, 2015 Issue

This month, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) released its 2014 Quality Report. The report identifies key quality improvement trends in skilled nursing care centers at the national and AHCA membership levels, including: 

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in March 5, 2015 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Five Star Reports Updated in LTC Trend Tracker

Published in March 5, 2015 Issue

The Five Star Reports have been updated in LTC Trend Tracker to reflect the most recent CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) changes. These reports include the Five Star Overall, and the predictor reports, Five Star QM Report and Five Star Staffing Report. The Rating Predictor features of the reports allow users to see how potential changes can impact the center’s Five Star QM Rating and Staffing Rating. 

New Opportunities to Improve Care for Your Residents

Published in February 25, 2015 Issue

VHQC is now recruiting long term care facilities to join the Maryland-Virginia Nursing Home Improvement Network. As a participant, you will get the support and expert guidance you need to:

National Nursing Home Week - May 10 - 16

Published in February 25, 2015 Issue

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) has put together a group of products that reflects this year’s National Nursing Home Week (NNHW) theme, Bring On the Fiesta!  Visit AHCA’s online store today to view products developed for this year’s theme.  Don’t wait until the last minute. NNHW products are very popular and will sell out QUICKLY. Plan ahead and place your order early to ensure product availability, size and color selection and timely delivery. Phone orders: 800.321.0343; online orders.

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in February 25, 2015 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

New Opportunities to Improve Care for Your Residents

Published in February 19, 2015 Issue

VHQC is now recruiting long term care facilities to join the Maryland-Virginia Nursing Home Improvement Network. As a participant, you will get the support and expert guidance you need to:

VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in February 19, 2015 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in January 28, 2015 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Now Available: INTERACT Version 4.0 Tools for Nursing Homes

Published in January 22, 2015 Issue

Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers (INTERACT) is a quality improvement program that focuses on the management of acute change in resident condition. INTERACT is a valuable resource for nursing homes and assisted living communities to utilize in efforts to reduce rehospitalizations. INTERACT Version 4.0 Tools for Nursing Homes are now available. You can access them by clicking on “INTERACT Tools” on the home page, or click here. INTERACT Version 3.0 Tools will remain on the website for a period of time because many centers are currently using them.

Only Days Remain for Bronze Award Submissions

Published in January 22, 2015 Issue

Thursday, January 29, is the final deadline for all Bronze -level National Quality Award applications.  All submissions must be entered using the online application by 8:00 pm EST.

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in January 22, 2015 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Five Reasons to Apply for the National Quality Award Program

Published in January 8, 2014 Issue

The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award program recognizes high-performing long term and post-acute care centers across the nation. The program sets rigorous standards for quality based on the Baldrige Performance Excellence criteria.

Updated NCAL Guiding Principles for Dementia Care

Published in December 18, 2014 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) has released an updated version of the Guiding Principles for Dementia Care. The Guiding Principles for Dementia Care includes information on person-centered care, staff education, physical environment, and safety.

LTC Survey Program Scheduled January 14 in Richmond

Published in December 12, 2014 Issue

Start 2015 off right!  A full-day LTC survey program will be held January 14, 2015 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Richmond – Midlothian.  Presenters will analyze trends and patterns of the 2014 survey findings for self-assessment of organizational policies, protocols and practices.  Attendees will explore current standards and practices related to pressure ulcer prevention and treatment and use of available resources and tools for quality improvement. 

Submit Your AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Application Today!

Published in December 12, 2014 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living’s (AHCA/NCAL) Quality Award program recognizes high-performing long term and post-acute care centers across the nation. The program sets rigorous standards for quality based on the Baldrige Performance Excellence criteria.

Training Opportunity for Quality Award Applicants: RESCHEDULED FOR November 20th and December 12th

Published in November 14, 2014 Issue

Again this year, VHCA will be offering a training opportunity at NO CHARGE for members to encourage participation in AHCA’s National Quality Award Program.  Taught by Wendy M. Walter, MA, LNHA and Tammy Kelly, PT, LNHA, RAC-CT, AHCA Quality Award Examiners, the sessions will introduce members to the process for applying for an award and offer guidance on building a successful application for the Silver and Bronze awards. 

Training Opportunity for Quality Award Applicants: RESCHEDULED FOR November 20th and December 12th

Published in November 7, 2014 Issue

Again this year, VHCA will be offering a training opportunity at NO CHARGE for members to encourage participation in AHCA’s National Quality Award Program.  Taught by Wendy M. Walter, MA, LNHA and Tammy Kelly, PT, LNHA, RAC-CT, AHCA Quality Award Examiners, the sessions will introduce members to the process for applying for an award and offer guidance on building a successful application for the Silver and Bronze awards. 

SMART Reminder: Please Submit Your 2567 Reports Today

Published in November 7, 2014 Issue

Members who have not yet sent in their 2567 reports for 2014 to be included in the VHCA SMART program, please forward both the OLC (Office of Licensure and Certification) cover letter and the 2567 to Mary Chiles. Please email them to her or send copies to her at Chiles Healthcare Consulting, 1908 Maple Shade Lane, Richmond, Virginia 23227.   Many of our members find this information helpful in their quality improvement efforts.

AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program: Navigating the Criteria for Success RESCHEDULED FOR November 20th and December 12th

Published in October 30, 2014 Issue

The Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) will host a two-day session for Quality Award applicants to gain a new perspective on long term care as a business and to acquire tools for development of quality systems and sustainability simply by applying.  The sessions will be held on Thursday, November 20, 2014 for the Silver Award & Friday, December 12, 2014 for the Bronze Award in the VHCA office as a service to our members.  Wendy M. Walter, MA, LNHA and Tammy Kelly, PT, LNHA, RAC-CT, AHCA Quality Award Examiners, will introduce applicants to the program, program objectives and criteria, and describe how a commitment to the process can provide a leadership framework for operational success for years to come.  Attendance will be limited to 25 participants.

SMART Reminder

Published in October 30, 2014 Issue

Members who have not yet sent in their 2567 reports for 2014 to be included in the VHCA SMART program, please forward both the OLC (Office of Licensure and Certification) cover letter and the 2567.  Many of our members find this information helpful in their quality improvement efforts.

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SMART Reminder

Published in October 24, 2014 Issue

Members who have not yet sent in their 2567 reports for 2014 to be included in the VHCA SMART program, please forward both the OLC (Office of Licensure and Certification) cover letter and the 2567.  Many of our members find this information helpful in their quality improvement efforts.

AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program

Published in October 16, 2014 Issue

REMINDER TO REGISTER: AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Sessions Scheduled in October

The Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) will host a two-day session for Quality Award applicants to gain them gain a new perspective on long term care as a business and to acquire tools for development of quality systems and sustainability simply by applying.  The sessions will be held on Tuesday, October 28th and Thursday, October 30th in the VHCA office as a service to our members.  Wendy M. Walter, MA, LNHA and Tammy Kelly, PT, LNHA, RAC-CT, AHCA Quality Award Examiners, will introduce applicants to the program, program objectives and criteria, and describe how a commitment to the process can provide a leadership framework for operational success for years to come.  Attendance will be limited to 25 participants.

Quality Initiative Goals Continues to Accelerate

Published in October 10, 2014 Issue

Progress is being made across the nation on the Quality Initiative goals.  The most dramatic change can be seen in the reduction of off-label usage of antipsychotic drugs, where the average rate for American Health Care Association (AHCA) members has decreased by 19.1% as of the first quarter of 2014 (the most recent data available). This outpaces the results nationwide, which show a 17.1% decrease for all nursing centers. As of this reporting period, over half (52.7%) of AHCA member centers had met the quality initiative goal of a 15% reduction by the end of 2013.   

Intent to Apply for 2015 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program

Published in October 10, 2014 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) National Quality Awards program seeks to recognize long term and post-acute care centers across the nation that strive for improved quality care. The program sets high standards for quality based on the Baldrige Performance Excellence criteria and encourages centers to commit, achieve and excel in quality performance. Applicants may apply for three levels of awards: Bronze, Silver, or Gold, each of which requires a more detailed and comprehensive demonstration of systematic quality. Centers must receive an award at each level to progress to the next level.

AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program: Navigating the Criteria for Success

Published in October 10, 2014 Issue

The Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) will host a two-day session for Quality Award applicants to gain a new perspective on long term care as a business and to acquire tools for development of quality systems and sustainability simply by applying.  The sessions will be held on Tuesday, October 28th and Thursday, October 30th in the VHCA office as a service to our members.  Wendy M. Walter, MA, LNHA and Tammy Kelly, PT, LNHA, RAC-CT, AHCA Quality Award Examiners, will introduce applicants to the program, program objectives and criteria, and describe how a commitment to the process can provide a leadership framework for operational success for years to come.  Attendance will be limited to 25 participants.

Intent to Apply for 2015 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program

Published in October 2, 2014 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) National Quality Awards program seeks to recognize long term and post-acute care centers across the nation that strive for improved quality care. The program sets high standards for quality based on the Baldrige Performance Excellence criteria and encourages centers to commit, achieve and excel in quality performance. Applicants may apply for three levels of awards: Bronze, Silver, or Gold, each of which requires a more detailed and comprehensive demonstration of systematic quality. Centers must receive an award at each level to progress to the next level.

AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program: Navigating the Criteria for Success

Published in October 2, 2014 Issue

The Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) will host a two-day session for Quality Award applicants to gain a new perspective on long term care as a business and to acquire tools for development of quality systems and sustainability simply by applying.  The sessions will be held on Tuesday, October 28th and Thursday, October 30th in the VHCA office as a service to our members.  Wendy M. Walter, MA, LNHA and Tammy Kelly, PT, LNHA, RAC-CT, AHCA Quality Award Examiners, will introduce applicants to the program, program objectives and criteria, and describe how a commitment to the process can provide a leadership framework for operational success for years to come.  Attendance will be limited to 25 participants.

Intent to Apply for a 2015 Quality Award

Published in September 25, 2014 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) National Quality Awards program seeks to recognize long term and post-acute care centers across the nation that strive for improved quality care. The program sets high standards for quality based on the Baldrige Performance Excellence criteria and encourages centers to commit, achieve, and excel in quality performance.  The program provides AHCA/NCAL members with powerful tools for quality management that have proven results in organizations across the country.

Award Winners Announced at the Annual Awards Banquet in Richmond

Published in September 25, 2014 Issue

Every year we recognize the shining stars within our membership at the VHCA Annual Awards Banquet held during the VHCA/VCAL Convention.  We celebrate the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make Virginia long term care facilities places of quality care for the frail and elderly.  

VHQC Nursing Home Initiative

Published in September 11, 2014 Issue

VHQC is recruiting long term care facilities in Virginia and Maryland to improve nursing home quality and performance. Join VHQC on Tuesday, September 23, at noon for a webinar, which is offered at no cost, to learn more about the Nursing Home Improvement Network. During this webinar VHQC will discuss how the initiative will help facilities:

Medicare Appeals Backlog Cleared, According to KEPRO

Published in September 11, 2014 Issue

As previously reported in this publication, the transition to KEPRO under the Beneficiary and Family-Centered Care Quality Improvement Organization (BFCC-QIO) contract had led to multiple concerns from the field primarily around the timeliness of Notice of Medicare Non-Coverage (NOMNC) appeals and the obvious implications for both facilities and patients in terms of potential financial liability for services.  KEPRO reported significant backlogs in appeals processing, and VHCA, through the the AHCA (American Health Care Association), was working with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and KEPRO to rectify the situation.

Message from KEPRO

Published in September 5, 2014 Issue

KEPRO has requested the following information to be sent to Virginia Health Care Association members:

INTERACT Now Available for ALFs

Published in August 21, 2014 Issue

INTERACT (Interventions to Reduce Acute Care Transfers for Assisted Living), a quality improvement program designed to reduce hospital readmissions among assisted living residents, is now publicly available online.   INTERACT was originally designed to improve the early identification, management, documentation and communication about acute changes in condition of skilled nursing center residents. The program has now expanded to include tools specifically targeted for use by assisted living providers.

Path to Excellence: Person-Centered Care

Published in August 21, 2014 Issue

Person-centered care promotes choice, purpose and meaning in daily life. Person-centered care means that nursing facility residents are supported in achieving the level of physical, mental and psychosocial well-being that is individually practicable. The Advancing Excellence (AE) person-centered goal honors the importance of keeping the person at the center of the care planning and decision-making process. Care plans are living documents that are revised to reflect a person’s changing needs. Through person-centered care, staff places a premium on active listening and observing, so staff can adapt to each resident’s changing needs regardless of cognitive abilities.

Beneficiary and Family-Centered Care Vendor for Virginia, KEPRO, Seeks Contact Information for Expedited Discharge Appeals

Published in August 21, 2014 Issue

he new Beneficiary and Family-Centered Care Quality Improvement Organization (BFCC-QIO) contract between CMS and KEPRO (for Virginia) remains a focus for VHCA and our members as implementation issues continue to be worked through (see last week’s CareConnection for additional background).  We have been made aware that residents/facilities have been:

Rollout Issues with New Beneficiary and Family-Centered Care Vendors

Published in August 14, 2014 Issue

Starting August 1, two Beneficiary and Family-Centered Care Quality Improvement Organizations’ (BFCC-QIO) contractors, Livanta and KEPRO come responsible for providing the program’s case review and monitoring activities.  This separates the function from the traditional quality improvement activities of the QIOs.  This important function ensures the safety of beneficiaries, provides an appeal process regarding one’s care, and is a key element in our national dialogue around transitions of care.

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VHQC Quality Innovation Network (QIN) QIO Kick-Off Call

Published in August 14, 2014 Issue

Join healthcare providers and stakeholders in Virginia and Maryland on Wednesday, August 20 at noon as we explore solutions to our most pressing regional healthcare challenges. During this call, VHQC will announce new opportunities to partner with the QIN-QIO to improve care at the local, state and regional levels.

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2014 D. A. Woody Brown Community Involvement Awards Announced

Published in August 14, 2014 Issue

After hours of reviewing the entries for the D. A. Woody Brown Community Involvement Awards, evaluation team members have selected the following recipients for 2014.  Congratulations to this year’s winners.  These facility winners will be recognized during the awards banquet Wednesday evening at the VHCA/VCAL Convention scheduled for September 15 - 18 at The Richmond Marriott and The Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Five-Star Update

Published in August 7, 2014 Issue

The Five-Star ratings for Virginia nursing facilities have now been updated.  Click here for the 2014 year-to-date ratings.

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SMART Update

Published in August 7, 2014 Issue

F-Tag 309, Quality of Care, continues to be a frequently cited F Tag in Virginia with an underlying trend of "not following physician orders” as the leading reason for the deficiencies.  The trend stretches across multiple areas of care, including medication administration, monitoring vital signs, administration of treatments, restorative nursing, nutrition, etc.

CMS Launches Next Phase of New Quality Improvement Program

Published in July 24, 2014 Issue

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week awarded contracts as part of a restructuring of the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) Program to create a new approach to improve care for beneficiaries, families and caregivers. The new contracts being awarded to 14 organizations represent the second phase of QIO restructuring.  Awardees will work with providers and communities across the country on data-driven quality initiatives. These QIOs will be known as Quality Innovation Network (QIN)-QIOs.
 

Changes to Case Review Services

Published in July 24, 2014 Issue

In further QIO news, beneficiary protection has also changed. Two companies were awarded contracts to manage beneficiary protection.  As part of its changes to the QIO Program, CMS is separating case review activities from quality improvement efforts. To avoid potential conflicts of interest and achieve cost efficiencies, CMS has awarded two companies, Livanta, LLC and KePRO, with contracts to support case review for the entire country.  Beginning August 1, 2014, KePRO will be the Beneficiary and Family Centered Care Quality Improvement Organization (BFCC-QIO) authorized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to review medical services provided to Medicare beneficiaries in Areas 2, 3 and 4, which includes Virginia. Therefore, as of August 1, VHQC will no longer manage case review or beneficiary complaints.

CMS Five-Star Rating System Five Year Report Available

Published in July 17, 2014 Issue

A report of the Five-Star Rating System , Nursing Home Compare Five-Star Quality Rating System: Year Five Report [Public Version],  was issued on June 16, 2014 summarizing the quality of nearly 16,000 nursing home nationwide since the rating system began in 2008. The report presents a brief overview on the construction of the Five-Star Ratings presented on Nursing Home Compare as well as corresponding descriptive information on the rating and their components.  The Rating System has brought increased attention to the data that are publicly reported on the Nursing Home Compare website.  The study, completed by Abt Associates Inc. for CMS, offers conclusions based on an analysis of data of the three domains of nursing home quality:  health inspections results, staffing, and quality measures (QMs).  Because of the design of the Five-Star Rating System, there is essentially no change in the distribution of Health Inspection ratings.  (By design, the distribution of Health Inspection Star ratings is fixed within each state so that 10 percent of nursing centers receive 5 stars, 20 percent receive 1 star, and 70 percent receive 2, 3, or 4 stars.)  Over the five years from 2009 through December 2013, the proportion of nursing homes receiving a one-star Quality Measure (QM) rating decreased from 20.0 percent to 3.2 percent.  The proportion receiving a four-or five-star rating increased from 34.1 percent to 71 percent. There have been large improvements in the reported QMs since July 2012 when the QM rating was substantially reviewed to incorporate the new MDS 3.0 QMs.  CMS is analyzing this in greater detail.  From January 2009 to December 2013, the proportion of nursing homes with a one-star Staffing rating decreased from 22.9 percent to 12.1 percent.  Although there was a modest increase in the proportion of nursing homes with a Five-Star Staffing Rating (7.2 percent to 10.5 percent), the proportion with a four-star Staffing Rating increased from 30.6 percent to 42.5 percent.

QAPI Self-Assessment Tool

Published in July 2, 2014 Issue

The Affordable Care Act includes a statute that requires that all skilled nursing care centers develop Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) programs. QAPI is a hot topic right now in the post-acute care profession. The anticipated release date for the regulations is this year. One year after a final rule for QAPI is issued, all nursing facilities must have in place and implement an acceptable QAPI plan.

Heritage Hall - Nassawadox Receives AHCA/NCAL Silver Award

Published in July 2, 2014 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) recently announced the recipients of the 2014 Silver – Achievement in Quality Award.  This is the second level in the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award journey and recognizes a significant step toward performance excellence.  This year, 77 facilities across the country achieved the Silver award.

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VHCA/VCAL Award Nominations Submission Deadline EXTENDED TO JUNE 23RD

Published in June 13, 2014 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

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AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program Bronze Recipients Announced

Published in June 5, 2014 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) recently announced that 390 facilities are recipients of the 2014 Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award, the first step in the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award journey which recognizes that a provider has developed a foundation to begin a journey of continuous quality improvement. 

CMS Announces Changes for the QIO Program

Published in June 5, 2014 Issue

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is implementing changes to the Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) program beginning in August. Recently, CMS announced that Livanta, LLC, and KePRO have been awarded the contracts for the Beneficiary and Family Centered Care QIOs and will have primary responsibility for conducting case review functions, such as complaint reviews, quality of care reviews, discharge appeals, higher weighted diagnostic related groups (DRG) requests and Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) reviews.

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VHCA/VCAL Award Nominations

Published in May 15, 2014 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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.

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in May 2, 2014 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in April 25, 2014 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in March 28, 2014 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in March 21, 2014 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA/VCAL celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Announcing the 2014 Quality Initiative Recognition Program

Published in March 6, 2014 Issue

Last year, the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) launched the Quality Initiative Recognition Program to honor skilled nursing and assisted living members for their individual work in achieving the goals of the AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative.  In 2013, nearly 6,500 members were recognized.

Apply for the Silver Quality Award – Deadline is February 27th

Published in February 6, 2014 Issue

Get in the spirit of the Olympic Games by beginning your own award-winning journey: apply for a Silver Quality Award by February 27, 2014!  All facilities who have previously earned a Bronze AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award are encouraged to apply.  Information regarding specific criteria and application requirements is available on the Quality Award website.

Five-Star Update

Published in January 30, 2014 Issue

The Five-Star ratings for Virginia nursing facilities have now been updated.  Click here for the 2014 year-to-date ratings.

2014 Quality Award Deadlines Quickly Approaching

Published in January 15, 2014 Issue

Each new year is a fresh start to begin a quality journey, and there's no better way to mark success along that path than the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) National Quality Awards program.  Each year, hundreds of facilities seek to improve their performance by following the Baldrige criteria as set forth in the quality awards program.

Quality Awards Applications for 2014 is Now Available

Published in January 9, 2014 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) National Quality Award Program is now accepting applications for the 2014 award cycle.  Facilities that are interested in participating can download an application packet online.

Quality Awards Applications for 2014 Are Now Available

Published in January 3, 2014 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) National Quality Award Program are now accepting applications for the 2014 award cycle.  Facilities which are interested in participating can download an application packet online.

2014 Quality Awards Applications Now Available

Published in December 19, 2013 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) National Quality Award Program is now accepting applications for the 2014 award cycle.  Facilities who are interested in participating can download an application packet online.

Training Opportunity for AHCA Quality Award Applicants

Published in November 26, 2013 Issue

Time and space are running out to register for the December 4th and 5th training on AHCA’s National Quality Award Program.  VHCA is pleased to offer a training opportunity at NO CHARGE to members to encourage participation in AHCA’s National Quality Award Program.  The sessions, taught by Wendy M. Walter, MA, LNHA and Tammy Kelly, PT, LNHA, RAC-CT, AHCA Quality Award Examiners, will introduce participants to the process of applying for an award and offer guidance on building successful applications for the Bronze and Silver awards.

Training Opportunity for AHCA Quality Award Applicants

Published in November 21, 2013 Issue

Time and space are running out to register for the December 4th and 5th training on AHCA’s National Quality Award Program.  VHCA is pleased to offer a training opportunity at NO CHARGE to members to encourage participation in AHCA’s National Quality Award Program.   The sessions, taught by Wendy M. Walter, MA, LNHA and Tammy Kelly, PT, LNHA, RAC-CT, AHCA Quality Award Examiners, will introduce participants to the process of applying for an award and offer guidance on building successful applications for the Bronze and Silver awards.

Training Opportunity for Quality Award Applicants

Published in November 14, 2013 Issue

VHCA is pleased to offer a training opportunity at NO CHARGE to members to encourage participation in AHCA’s National Quality Award Program.  Taught by Wendy M. Walter, MA, LNHA and Tammy Kelly, PT, LNHA, RAC-CT, AHCA Quality Award Examiners, the sessions will introduce members to the process for applying for an award and offer guidance on building a successful application for both the Bronze and Silver awards. 

Training Opportunity for Quality Award Applicants Scheduled for December 4th & 5th

Published in November 6, 2013 Issue

VHCA is pleased to offer a training opportunity at NO CHARGE to members to encourage participation in AHCA’s National Quality Award Program.  Taught by Wendy M. Walter, MA, LNHA and Tammy Kelly, PT, LNHA, RAC-CT, AHCA Quality Award Examiners, the sessions will introduce members to the process for applying for an award and offer guidance on building a successful application for both the Bronze and Silver awards. 

Five-Star Update

Published in November 1, 2013 Issue

The Five-Star ratings for Virginia nursing facilities have now been updated.  Click here for the 2013 year-to-date ratings.

Training Opportunity for Quality Award Applicants

Published in November 1, 2013 Issue

VHCA is pleased to offer a training opportunity of NO CHARGE to members to encourage participation in AHCA’s National Quality Award Program.  Taught by Wendy M. Walter, MA, LNHA and Tammy Kelly, PT, LNHA, RAC-CT, AHCA Quality Award Examiners, the sessions will introduce members to the process for applying for an award and offer guidance on building a successful application for the Bronze and Silver awards.  The sessions will be limited to 25 participants so register early to guarantee your place at the training. 

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Reminder: Intent to Apply to 2014 Quality Awards is Open!

Published in October 17, 2013 Issue

The "Intent to Apply" period of the 2014 National Quality Awards is now open.  Program application packets are available online. Submit your Intent to Apply for a 2014 Quality Award and reap the benefits.  Centers that submit an Intent to Apply save $200 off the final Quality Award application fee and are signed up to receive exclusive tips from the Quality Award team to help with the application process.

2013 AHCA Quality Report Now Available

Published in October 17, 2013 Issue

This month, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) released its 2013 Quality Report. The annual report found that many measurable aspects of quality care, such as direct care hours and national quality ratings, are improving over time, and providers continue to care for more individuals with high levels of dependence. The 2013 AHCA Quality Report identifies important quality trends in long term and post-acute care, including:

Award Winners Announced at the Annual Awards Banquet in Roanoke

Published in September 26, 2013 Issue

Every year we recognize the shining stars within our membership at the VHCA Annual Awards Banquet held during the VHCA/VCAL Convention.  We celebrate the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make Virginia long term care facilities places of quality care for the frail and elderly. 

Anti-Psychotic Consumer Fact Sheet Available Online

Published in September 26, 2013 Issue

As part of its Quality Initiative, the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) recently released a new, antipsychotic consumer fact sheet that provides information to family members and others involved in a resident's care on the off-label use of antipsychotics as well as frequently asked questions regarding loved ones living with dementia. It also gives family members suggestions on how they can partner with providers to get the best possible care for residents. Centers and communities are encouraged to use this fact sheet whenever they deem it to be suitable in interactions with residents and families including:

2014 National Quality Awards - Intent to Apply Opens September 16th

Published in September 12, 2013 Issue

The 2014 National Quality Award program is gearing up for another exciting and competitive year.  Applications are available online, and the Intent to Apply period is set to open on Monday, September 16th.  Submit your Intent to Apply for a 2014 Quality Award and reap the benefits.  Centers that submit an Intent to Apply save $200 off the final Quality Award application fee and are signed up to receive exclusive tips from the Quality Award team to help with the application process.  Intent to Apply forms will be available on the Quality Award website when the process begins in mid-September.

Make Your Intentions Known - Intent to Apply Opens September 16th

Published in September 6, 2013 Issue

The 2014 National Quality Award program is gearing up for another exciting and competitive year. Applications are available online, and the Intent to Apply period is set to open on Monday, September 16th.  Submit your Intent to Apply for a 2014 Quality Award and reap the benefits.  Centers that submit an Intent to Apply save $200 off the final Quality Award application fee and are signed up to receive exclusive tips from the Quality Award team to help with the application process.  Intent to Apply forms will be available on the Quality Award website when the process begins in mid-September.

SMART Reminder

Published in September 6, 2013 Issue

Members who have not yet sent in their 2567 reports for 2013 to be included in the VHCA SMART program, please forward both the OLC (Office of Licensure and Certification) cover letter and the 2567.  Many of our members find this information helpful in their quality improvement efforts.

Get Started Today on the 2014 Quality Award Applications

Published in August 29, 2013 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) is excited to announce that the 2014 National Quality Award program applications are now available on the Quality Award website.  Member facilities can login and download the application packets. Please be sure to select the appropriate packet, as the Quality Award program has been expanded to include specific criteria for assisted living providers. Take the next step in your quality award journey today!

Get Started Today on 2014 Quality Award Applications

Published in August 22, 2013 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) is excited to announce that the 2014 National Quality Award program applications are now available on the Quality Award website.  Member facilities can login and download the application packets. Please be sure to select the appropriate packet, as the Quality Award program has been expanded to include specific criteria for assisted living providers. Take the next step in your quality award journey today!

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2013 D. A. Woody Brown Community Involvement Awards Announced

Published in August 15, 2013 Issue

After hours of reviewing the entries for the D. A. Woody Brown Community Involvement Awards, evaluation team members have selected the following recipients for 2013.  Congratulations to this year’s winners.  These facility winners will be recognized at the VHCA Convention scheduled for September 16 - 19 at The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center during the awards banquet Wednesday evening, September 18.

Important Information about the National Quality Award Program

Published in August 15, 2013 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) National Quality Award program is introducing a new recertification policy effective for the 2014 award cycle that impacts all current and previous AHCA/NCAL National Quality award recipients. Under this policy, Bronze and Silver Quality Award recipients will have a limited amount of time to apply for the next award level (Silver or Gold) before being designated as a “past recipient” of the award, a status that requires the facility to reapply at the Bronze level if it decides to participate in the program again.

Five-Star Update

Published in August 9, 2013 Issue

The Five-Star ratings for Virginia nursing facilities have now been updated.  Click here for the 2013 year-to-date ratings.

SMART Reminder

Published in August 9, 2013 Issue

Help us keep members updated with timely information on survey outcomes, customized reports of survey trends across the state and VHCA districts, as well as benchmarking opportunities within your organization for quality enhancement.   We need your 2567s to include in VHCA’s SMART database to assist members with a resource to prepare for and improve outcomes in the long term care survey.  We encourage members to take advantage of SMART to view and analyze current trends and patterns of citations in Virginia’s nursing facility survey process.  If you have not yet forwarded your survey reports to Mary Chiles, please email them to her or send copies to her at Chiles Healthcare Consulting, 1908 Maple Shade Lane, Richmond, Virginia 23227. 

CMS Memo on Five Star Quality Rating System

Published in July 24, 2013 Issue

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has distributed a memo to State Survey Agency Directors (S&C: 13-44-N) announcing the Public Release of the Five-Star Quality Rating System Three-Year Report.   The report contains results of an analysis that examined trends in the first three years of the Five-Star Quality Rating System. (2009-2011). According to the analysis, “Since implementation of the Five-Star Quality Rating System, there have been improvements in nursing facility performance in all three domains of quality that the system utilizes: health inspection surveys, quality measures (QMs) and staffing levels.”  Also discussed in the report is the distribution of star ratings in each domain (health inspections, staffing, and quality measures) and in the overall domain of the Five Star Quality Rating System during the first three years (2009 -2011) of the system, overall and stratified by facility characteristics. Variation in ratings across time is additionally reviewed. 

Nursing Home Compare Website Compares Scores to State and National Averages

Published in July 19, 2013 Issue

It is now possible to compare a nursing center’s staffing and quality measures to state and national averages using the Nursing Home Compare website.  On the main page, type in the center’s name and you will land on the “Nursing Home Profile” page.  Choosing the tab “Staffing” or “Quality Measures” provides a comparison of the center to both state and national averages.  According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, these reports are generated early in the week of the Nursing Home Compare “refresh”, which is typically on the third Thursday of each month.  It is important to keep in mind that quality measures are updated quarterly, in January, April, July, and October.

Quality Initiative Recognition Program

Published in July 11, 2013 Issue

It’s time to celebrate your success in meeting the goals of the American Health Care Association (AHCA) Quality Initiative Program.    AHCA’s Quality Initiative Recognition Program will honor those skilled nursing centers that achieved one, two, three, or all four goals over the past year.  Facilities achieving all four goals will receive special recognition at the 2014 AHCA/NCAL Quality Symposium with a feature in providermagazine.com and inclusion in a national release from AHCA.

Heritage Hall - Dillwyn Receives AHCA/NCAL Silver Award through AHCA/NCAL’s National Quality Award Program

Published in June 28, 2013 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Centers for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) is excited to announce the recipients of the 2013 Silver – Achievement in Quality Award.  This is the second level in the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award journey and recognizes a significant step toward performance excellence.  This year, 59 facilities across the country achieved the Silver award. This represents 20% of applicants, an increase over our 17% recognition rate in 2012.

Get Recognized! Quality Initiative Recognition Program Submissions Accepted through July 15

Published in June 13, 2013 Issue

Meeting the goals of the American Health Care’s (AHCA) Quality Initiative? There’s still time to let us know! In May, AHCA announced the Quality Initiative Recognition Program to honor those nursing facilities which achieved one, two, three or all four goals over the past year.  There is still time for AHCA members to participate in this program.

VHCA/VCAL Award Nominations Deadline Extended to June 17th

Published in June 5, 2013 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize our leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities.  The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

AHCA/NCAL‘s Quality Initiative Website has Been Redesigned

Published in May 22, 2013 Issue

The American Health Care Association & the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) has launched a redesigned website for the Quality Initiative.

VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations until June 1st

Published in May 15, 2013 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize our leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities.  The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations until June 1st

Published in May 9, 2013 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize our leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities.  The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations until June 1

Published in May 1, 2013 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize our leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities.  The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations until June 1

Published in April 25, 2013 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize our leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities.  The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations until June 1

Published in April 17, 2013 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize our leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities.  The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

Advancing Excellence Update

Published in April 17, 2013 Issue

The Advancing Excellence Campaign is a nationwide quality improvement initiative that works in tandem with the many quality improvement projects that health care facilities carry out. By joining the Advancing Excellence Campaign, facilities have access to free and valuable resources.  If you are not already involved in the Campaign, become a registered participant by visiting the Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes websiteThe preview period is open until May 1, 2013. After that, goals will be locked until the next open enrollment period. If you need assistance with enrollment, please email Amy Lenz or Sheila McLean or call 804.289.5320 and ask for Advancing Excellence assistance.

VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations until June 1

Published in April 10, 2013 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize our leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities.  The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

New from the AHCA Bookstore - The Staff Stability Toolkit with CD-ROM

Published in April 4, 2013 Issue

High turnover of staff is a persistent problem in health care and has been shown to undermine quality. It also consumes financial resources that could otherwise be allocated to improving care and services. Staff stability has been identified as one of AHCA’s top four priorities and is foundational to being able to achieve all of the goals.

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations until June 1

Published in April 4, 2013 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize our leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities.  The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

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VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations until June 1

Published in March 28, 2013 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize our leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities.  The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

AHCA National Nursing Facility Staffing Survey

Published in May 3, 2012 Issue

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) is conducting its annual nationwide nursing facility survey to examine retention and turnover rates for nursing facility employees.  Results from the 2011 survey will establish benchmarks on nursing facility staffing for use by stakeholders and policymakers at the national and state level.  Information from the survey will also be used by AHCA to develop policy, to create quality improvement tools, and in performance improvement tools such as LTC Trend TrackerCheck out last year’s report.

Nursing Home Quality Improvement Questionnaire Announced

Published in June 22, 2012 Issue

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) has asked affiliates to assist the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in announcing a Nursing Home Quality Improvement Questionnaire that will be administered this summer by a CMS contractor.   The collection of this information is part of the CMS advancement of Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) in nursing homes.   The contractor will identify a representative sample of 4,200 nursing homes that will receive an invitation to complete the questionnaire.  The goal of the questionnaire is to identify the quality systems and processes nursing homes currently have in place, as well as assess the extent to which these systems and processes function to help nursing homes recognize and address quality issues. This information will help CMS and the contractors refine the QAPI components. Members are encouraged to participate if selected.  An Information Sheet describes the questionnaire as well as some of the other initiatives under way.

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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.  

Now Accepting Applications for Nursing Scholarships

Published in April 4, 2013 Issue

The 2013 Regirer Nurse Scholarship applications and brochures are now available online.  Administrators and DONs should encourage their staff members who are interested in furthering their nursing education to submit a scholarship application.  The deadline for submitting applications is May 1st.

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.

AHCA/NCAL Year End Shipping Dates and New Website Launch

Published in December 18, 2012 Issue

The anticipated update of the November 2012 edition of the Long Term Care Survey Manual has been completed.  It is now available for pre-order by phone only.  The phone number to place your order is 800.321.0343. Orders placed on or before December 20 will ship this month.  AHCA/NCAL orders placed after this date will NOT ship until early 2013.

AHCA/NCAL is excited to announce its launching of a new and updated version of the online store in January 2013. As of December 12, the current online bookstore will be coming down and all orders for the remaining part of December should be placed by phone, 800.321.0343.  Additionally, because of the annual physical inventory, they cannot ship orders received after December 20. However, the customer service staff will be available to take your order during this period. Shipping will resume as early as possible in 2013.

Updated Resident Rights Posters & Medicare & Medicaid Information Notices Available

Published in November 13, 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.

AHCA Extends Deadline to Submit Intent for 2013 Quality Award Program

Published in November 7, 2012 Issue

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy many facilities are still struggling with clean-up and restorative efforts.  As a result, AHCA is extending the Intent to Apply deadline for the 2013 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award program by two weeks.  The new deadline will be November 15, 2012. The extension applies to all facilities nationwide, not only those in the areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.

The Intent to Apply deadline is not mandatory, but applicants who submit the Intent to Apply will receive a number of benefits which include:

  • Reduction of $200 in the overall application fee at each award level.
  • Regular communications from Quality Award staff with deadline reminders and tips on applying for the award.
Questions regarding the Quality Award program, including technical support on the Intent to Apply process, can be directed to quality-award@ahca.org.   More information is available on the Quality Award website.

AHCA/NCAL Quality Award Deadlines

Published in October 31, 2012 Issue

Intent to Apply  (Deadline November 1, 2012)

The deadline for Bronze, Silver and Gold applicants to submit the $75 Intent to Apply payment is November 1, 2012. This is not mandatory, but there are a number of benefits associated.

  • Applicants who submit the Intent to Apply will pay $200 less at each award level. The complete fee schedule is available on the Quality Award website.
  • Quality Award staff provide support to applicants who submit the Intent to Apply.  Applicants will receive regular communications from Quality Award staff with deadline reminders and tips on applying for the award.

To submit an Intent to Apply, facilities can simply visit the Quality Award website or email program staff for instructions.

Why get involved?  The program criteria is a powerful resource for quality improvement activities. Silver and Gold Quality Award recipients are more likely to have fewer survey deficiencies, better quality measures (such as lower use of off-label antipsychotics) and higher satisfaction scores than the national average. The Quality Award program can also help facilities meet the four AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative goals.  Lastly, Quality Award recipients receive national recognition that can assist in marketing efforts.

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

Behavioral Issues Survey Distributed

Published in October 24, 2012 Issue

Last Thursday, October 18th, all VHCA nursing facility administrators received an email invitation to complete a critically important survey addressing behavioral issues in Virginia’s nursing facilities.    This survey is intended to gather information about the prevalence of behavior and mental health issues in Virginia's nursing facility resident populations along with the treatments and services provided by facilities and other professionals.  Although we asked facility Administrators to take overall responsibility for completion of the survey, we suggested that responses be completed in collaboration with the interdisciplinary team. 

Call for Resident Nominations Deadline is One Week Away

Published in October 24, 2012 Issue

The VHCA/VCAL will again, this year, recognize and honor Who's Who in Virginia's LTC Facilities.  We are asking providers to nominate a resident from their facility who would be willing to share something significant about their life that would be compelling in our advocacy efforts with state policymakers.  If selected for publication, your resident's story and picture will be featured on the VHCA website as well as in other publications. 

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Updated Resident Rights Posters Available

Published in October 24, 2012 Issue

Updated Resident Rights posters are now available. According to the Office of Licensure and Certification, until the Nursing Home regulations are revised, the poster in its current form (which is considered the “universal poster”) meets the intent of the regulation.  However, if for some reason the facility chooses to craft its own poster and not use the universal poster, then the name of the complaint coordinator of the OLC and telephone number must be included.  VHCA has provided copies to the State Ombudsman who will distribute the posters to facilities through local Ombudsmen.  If you have not yet received a copy, contact your local Ombudsman or Kathy Robertson in the VHCA office at kathy.robertson@vhca.org.

 

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Nursing Home Residents: A Population in Need of Dental Care

Published in October 17, 2012 Issue

The issue of providing oral and dental care to nursing home residents is a challenging one.  Residents of nursing facilities typically have complex medical histories and a compromised health status. The prevalence of dental pain in nursing facility residents, especially those with dementia, is high.

Show your Stuff - Apply for the 2013 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program

Published in October 17, 2012 Issue

The 2013 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award program is now in full swing. The program criteria is a powerful resource for quality improvement activities. By moving through three levels of the program, organizations can improve their organizational effectiveness and efficiency to create maximum results. Quality Award recipients also receive national recognition that can assist in marketing efforts.

AHCA Announces National Nursing Home Week Theme & Dates

Published in October 17, 2012 Issue

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) has announced its theme for the 2013 National Nursing Home Week (NNHW) observance: Team Care. NNHW will be observed in skilled nursing facilities throughout America, beginning Mother’s Day, May 12 and continuing through May 18, 2013.

SMART Reminder

Published in October 11, 2012 Issue

VHCA’s Survey Management and Analysis Resource Tool (SMART) remains a vital resource to members for reviewing trends and patterns specific to surveys conducted in Virginia.  Through expansion of the SMART program, we now have an increased ability to identify specific reasons for deficiency citations of specific F tags.  In order to maintain a viable database it is important for members to submit their deficiency reports (2567s) to be included in SMART.  Since creation in 2005, VHCA has entered more than 1700 surveys in the database which currently includes 100 surveys conducted in 2012.  

Help us keep members updated with timely information on survey outcomes, customized reports of survey trends across the state and VHCA districts, and benchmarking opportunities within your organization for quality enhancement.  If you have not yet sent your survey reports to Mary Chiles, please email them to her or send copies to her at Chiles Healthcare Consulting, 1908 Maple Shade Lane, Richmond, Virginia 23227.

2013 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program in Full Swing

Published in September 20, 2012 Issue

The 2013 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award program is in full swing.  AHCA/NCAL encourages all member facilities to get involved in the program. Why get involved? The program criteria is a powerful resource for quality improvement activities. Silver and Gold Quality Award recipients are more likely to have fewer survey deficiencies, better quality measures (such as lower use of off-label antipsychotics) and higher satisfaction scores than the national average.  The Quality Award program can also help facilities meet the four AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative goals!  Lastly, Quality Award recipients receive national recognition that can assist in marketing efforts.

Behavior Management Survey Being Developed

Published in September 5, 2012 Issue

Over the past year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) has seen an increase in survey deficiencies related to resident behaviors, including abuse and safety. Addressing the difficulties associated with resident behavior is a daily part of the staff’s work with many team members describing that dealing with the problem behaviors of residents as the most difficult part of their jobs. While these challenging behaviors are sometimes aimed at other residents, they are also aimed regularly at staff.  Additionally, there has been an increase in concerns about the limited availability of mental health services available to residents with behaviors and the costs associated with providing care to respond to the behaviors.  In response, a Behavior Management Workgroup comprised of members of the Regulatory and Quality of Care Committees was created to address ongoing challenges in managing behaviors of both psychiatric and dementia related conditions and a facility’s ability to manage resident care and minimize survey risks.

Bronze Assisted Living Criteria – Quality Awards Webinar Scheduled for September 26th

Published in August 29, 2012 Issue

The National Center for Assisted Living has scheduled a webinar for the Bronze Assisted Living Criteria – Quality Awards for September 26th from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM.

The Quality Award program criteria based on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program is a powerful framework for all organizations. Historically, assisted living providers have been underrepresented in the Quality Award program. During the past year, a group of assisted living experts, with leadership from the Quality Award Board of Overseers, developed a new Bronze Criteria specifically for Assisted Living providers. This new criteria speaks directly to the unique assisted living environment.  Included in the webinar will be a discussion of the Quality Award Program, development of the Bronze AL criteria, explanation of the available resources, instructions on how to apply, and benefits of the application process.

Quality Initiative Resources

Published in August 29, 2012 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Centers for Assisted Living has a wide range of resources and tools available online as part of The Quality Initiative.  The online resources helping facilities strive towards the four main quality goals are constantly being updated and enhanced, so it is  recommended that providers check back to the resources page regularly for updates.  Users can search for resources through three different ways: by Cross-Cutting Strategies, by Goal, and by State.  Cross-cutting strategies include quality improvement methods, consistent assignment, leadership development, and person-centered care.  Or, providers can choose to search the resources by the four main quality goals they help to serve: safely reduce hospital readmissions, increase staff stability, increase customer satisfaction, and reduce the use of antipsychotics.

Report on Future Needs for Health IT Adoption in LTPAC

Published in August 22, 2012 Issue

Earlier this week, the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) posted the Long-Term and Post-Acute Care (LTPAC) Roundtable Summary Report of Findings which reflects LTPAC stakeholder comments and recommendations from a day-long meeting held in May 2012. The roundtable was held to provide an opportunity for stakeholders to discuss the information needs of LTPAC providers and how these needs could be supported through electronic health record (EHR) adoption and health information exchange.

Database Targets Survey Reports

Published in August 22, 2012 Issue

ProPublica, a web-based news organization, has developed a searchable database the federal site NH Compare.  The government site was recently reintroduced and it now includes the “narrative” portion of survey reports (2567s) which are the surveyor’s comments about the deficiencies; this is what fuels ProPublica’s database and makes it keyword searchable. A fuller explanation of the database’s capabilities is on ProPublica’s website.  AHCA encourages facility operators to check what is reported about their facility(ies) on both NH Compare and ProPublica and advise CMS or ProPublica if information regarding your facility is outdated or incorrect. In the next few weeks, members can expect to see newspaper articles about the new search tool and how reporters are using it. We ask members to report any media contacts to the Virginia Health Care Association.

OLC Clarifies Surveyor Access to Electronic Health Records

Published in August 15, 2012 Issue

In response to questions related to surveyor access to Electronic Health Records (EHRs) posed during the Nursing Facility Advisory Committee meeting held at the Office of Licensure and Certification (OLC), providers were reminded of things to consider and their responsibilities during the survey process.  As increased numbers of providers embrace the efficiencies of an EHR, OLC has requested that the following information be shared with providers.

The AHCA Publications Summer Sale Continues

Published in August 15, 2012 Issue

Now through the end of August, members can save 10 percent on the 2012 Edition of the RAI MDS 3.0.

The 2012 edition reflects changes in content released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) which went into effect April 1st. These include changes to Chapters 1 through 6 and Appendix A, C, D, E, and G.   

The binder version of the RAI MDS 3.0 manual has 48 color-coded tabs for easy reference. The three-ring binder allows quick access to forms and other content. It also includes a CD-ROM for quick searches.

Be sure and look at the entire list of sale items.

Order online at AHCAPublications.org or call 800.321.0343.

Nursing Compare Updates Now Online

Published in July 25, 2012 Issue

On Thursday, July 19th, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a redesigned Nursing Home Compare website with significant changes designed to increase transparency and make more information available to the public.

The AHCA/NCAL Quality Initiative on Reducing Off-Label Use of Anti-Psychotic Medications

Published in July 25, 2012 Issue

The American Health Care's (AHCA) quality initiative has set a goal to safely reduce the off-label use of these medications by 15% by the end of this year. AHCA suggests that facility staff ask the following critical questions when considering whether to initiate an antipsychotic drug or in re-evaluating the decision to initiate drug therapy:

Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) Program Activities

Published in July 13, 2012 Issue

On June 29, the Centers for Medicine and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Survey & Certification memorandum outlining current activities related to the implementation of the Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) program.  The memorandum includes the QAPI questionnaire disseminated to a representative sample of 4,200 randomly selected nursing homes.   As noted in the materials with the memorandum, the purpose of the questionnaire is to identify the quality systems and processes nursing homes currently have in place, as well as assess the extent to which these systems and processes function to help nursing homes recognize and address quality issues.   The questionnaires, when completed by the 4,200 nursing homes, will be submitted to a CMS contractor (Abt, Inc.).  All responses are confidential.

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.

AHCA Joins CMS Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Skilled Nursing Facilities

Published in June 1, 2012 Issue

On Wednesday, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) helped launch the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) new initiative called the Partnership to Improve Dementia Care. Dr. Gifford represented AHCA, LeadingAge and all care providers on a national press call with CMS officials, the advocacy group Legal Aid Society, and a family member of an individual who had a better quality of life after a nursing home took him off antipsychotics.  CMS’ Partnership to Improve Dementia Care sets a national goal of reducing the use of antipsychotics drugs in nursing center residents by 15 percent by the end of 2012, coordinating with AHCA’s Quality Initiative antipsychotic goal announced in February. Through the partnership, providers will have access to enhanced training, publicly-reported data and information on alternatives to antipsychotic medications. AHCA will be sending state affiliates a more comprehensive update on how things are progressing with the Quality Initiative early next week.  Read AHCA’s press release.

 

Expect Updates to Nursing Home Compare & Five Star This Summer

Published in May 24, 2012 Issue

On May 16, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and other stakeholders received a briefing from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and agency contractors, Abt Associates, regarding the upcoming changes to Nursing Home Compare and the Five Star Rating System.  AHCA Quality Cabinet Chair Mary Ousley, Survey/Regulatory Committee Chair Steve Biondi, and AHCA staff Dr. David Gifford, Peter Gruhn and Ruta Kadonoff participated in the meeting with CMS.

AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program Bronze Recipients Announced

Published in May 24, 2012 Issue

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) is pleased to announce that 402 facilities are recipients of the 2012 Bronze – Commitment to Quality Award. This is the first step in the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award journey and recognizes that a provider has developed a foundation to begin a journey of continuous quality improvement.

Award Nomination Deadline is June 1st

Published in May 24, 2012 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize our leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities.  Members can nominate those worthy individuals of this recognition online. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  

In addition, the D. A. "Woody" Brown Community Involvement Awards Program recognizes VHCA/VCAL facilities that demonstrate a high degree of professionalism and creativity in a program that encourages and supports strong community relations. Facilities are encouraged to submit scrapbooks of text and illustrations which exhibit successful facility-based programs.  The deadline for submitting nominations is June 1st.

Award Applications Deadline is June 1st

Published in May 11, 2012 Issue

Each year the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VCAL) recognize our leaders in post-acute and long term care facilities at the Awards Banquet held during the Annual Convention.  VHCA celebrates the outstanding achievements of administrators, nurses, volunteers and others who help make possible the delivery of high-quality long term care services within Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities.  Members can now nominate those worthy individuals of this recognition online. The Recognition Awards are the highest honor that can be received by long term care professionals and volunteers in the Commonwealth of Virginia.  

In addition, the D. A. "Woody" Brown Community Involvement Awards Program recognizes VHCA/VCAL facilities that demonstrate a high degree of professionalism and creativity in a program that encourages and supports strong community relations. Facilities are encouraged to submit scrapbooks of text and illustrations which exhibit successful facility-based programs.  The deadline for submitting nominations is June 1st.

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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.

Deadline Extended: Complete the Nursing Facility Staffing Survey Today!

Published in April 13, 2012 Issue

The American Health Care Association is conducting its annual nationwide nursing facility survey to examine retention and turnover rates for nursing facility employees. Results from the 2011 survey will establish benchmarks on nursing facility staffing for use by stakeholders and policymakers at the national and state level. Information from the survey will also be used by AHCA to develop policy, to create quality improvement tools, and in performance improvement tools such as LTC Trend Tracker. Check out last year’s report.

CMS National MDS Conference Highlights

Published in March 23, 2012 Issue

Last week the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) held two back-to-back conferences for providers on MDS 30.  The two-day agenda focused on MDS item set changes scheduled for April 1, 2012, RUG IV updates and clarification, MDS 3.0 error reports, quality measures used in the survey process, Section Q changes, and care planning.

MDS Section Q Update

Published in March 23, 2012 Issue

April 2012 marks changes to the MDS which include revisions to Section Q.  A statewide Section Q stakeholder group recently reconvened to work on anticipated changes that may impact the process in Virginia.  The statewide stakeholder group will continue to work on Virginia's protocol to ensure it is reflective of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ changes to Section Q and will provide information about the revised protocol in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, the current protocol developed by the collaborative State Work Group will remain in place. For further guidance, Cil Bullard, RAI State Manager, has developed a webinar that provides an overview of the changes to Section Q. Access the MDS Section Q Webinar.

The MDS 3.0 April 1st updates and webinars are now posted on the Office of Licensure and Certification (OLC) website.  The OLC strongly recommends that all staff involved with discharge planning view this webinar.

View the Current Virginia Section Q Protocol and Updates

VHCA will be offering a one-day intensive program on changes to the MDS 3.0 on May 1st in Richmond.  Mark your calendars for the program.  A program brochure and registration will be available soon.



Pre-Order Your RAI/MDS 3.0 Update Today

Published in March 23, 2012 Issue

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) is taking pre-orders for the April 2012 edition of the RAI/MDS 3.0 Manual.  This edition is the latest since October 2011 and includes the most recent updates released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in January and February 2012 with changes to Chapters 1 through 6 and Appendix A, C, D, E, and G.  These changes go into effect April 1st.  

Stay compliant and up-to-date with all the RAI/MDS information you need.  Place your order today! 



GAO Issues Study on Implementation of the Quality Indicator Survey (QIS)

Published in March 9, 2012 Issue

This week the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a study: Nursing Home Quality: CMS Should Improve Efforts to Monitor Implementation of the Quality Indicator Survey.  The study asserts that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has not done an adequate job of monitoring the implementation of the QIS.   While CMS has taken some steps to monitor implementation progress of the QIS, the monitoring has not been systematic nor is it consistent with federal internal control standards.  (Virginia’s State Survey Agency (OLC) has not yet implemented the QIS survey process and has not indicated at what point Virginia will implement the QIS.)



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