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.  

VHCA This Week

Published in October 8, 2015 Issue

The Virginia Health Care Association’s (VHCA) advocacy work on behalf of long term care providers is a year-round job.  While the General Assembly session may get most of the attention, the meetings and outreach we conduct with legislators, agency officials, and other stakeholders beyond session can have lasting impact on our ability to be effective advocates.  Take a look at our activities from last week and this week:

Patient Pay Changes Now in Effect; Provider Resources Available

Published in October 8, 2015 Issue

You may recall that the Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) had planned to implement an automated patient pay reduction against claims utilizing patient pay information already on file in the Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) from the local Departments of Social Services (LDSS).  Originally, this was to be effective April 1, 2015, but was delayed until October 1, 2015.
 

Applications Available for Geriatric Education Program

Published in August 27, 2015 Issue

The Virginia Geriatric Education Center (VGEC), a consortium of Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of Virginia, and the Eastern Virginia Medical School, is accepting applications for its Faculty Development Program (FDP) through September 4. 

 

Congratulations to the 45 Regirer Nursing Scholarship Recipients

Published in August 13, 2015 Issue

The Commonwealth Long Term Care Foundation congratulates the 45 recipients of the 2015 Regirer Nursing Scholarships.  The foundation awarded $67,500 in scholarships this year. Each awardee has received $1,500 toward the cost of his or her nursing education.  To receive the award, each recipient completed an extensive application, was personally interviewed by a member of the Foundation’s Nursing Scholarship Committee, and agreed to work in a member long term care facility after graduation. 

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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.

Matt Mansell Joins VHCA Staff

Published in August 6, 2015 Issue

Matt Mansell joined the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) staff as the new Vice President of Government and Regulatory Affairs on August 3.  Mr. Mansell will serve as VHCA’s primary advocate before the General Assembly and Virginia’s regulatory agencies.  As needed, he will also work on federal legislative and regulatory issues. 

CCR Welcomes Jeannie Adams as Director of Legal Services

Published in August 6, 2015 Issue

Commonwealth Care of Roanoke (CCR) has announced that Jeannie Adams will serve as its new Director of Legal Services. Ms. Adams has represented CCR during her tenure as a Director at Hancock, Daniel, Johnson & Nagle, PC, a Richmond, Virginia law firm specializing in health law and representing health care providers before state and federal agencies.

American HealthCare, LLC’s Brad Dalton Promoted

Published in July 30, 2015 Issue

Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) member Brad Dalton has been promoted to Vice President of Strategic Initiatives for American HealthCare, LLC (AHC), the management company for 17 Heritage Hall Healthcare and Rehabilitation Centers throughout Virginia. Dalton, who has served as the company’s Vice President of Business Development since 2012, has been with AHC since 2008 and supported the organization in a variety of ways, including marketing, communications, political advocacy, employee relations, and support of various organization-wide program rollouts.  

VDH Withdraws Electronic Monitoring Regulation; New Effective Date TBD

Published in July 30, 2015 Issue

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

Gov. McAuliffe Commemorates Virginians with Disabilities Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Published in July 24, 2015 Issue

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe issued a proclamation commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Virginians with Disabilities Act and the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

NEWSLETTER

VHCA This Week

Published in July 24, 2015 Issue

The Virginia Health Care Association’s (VHCA) advocacy work on behalf of long term care providers is a year-round job.  While the General Assembly session may get most of the attention, the meetings and outreach we conduct with legislators, agency officials, and other stakeholders beyond session can have lasting impact on our ability to be effective advocates.

Nominations Accepted for VHCA Board of Directors

Published in July 24, 2015 Issue

The Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) Nominating Committee, chaired by Doug Suddreth, will accept nominations for the VHCA Board of Directors until August 10, 2015. 

Passing of Jake Mast

Published in May 28, 2015 Issue

We are sad to inform our members of the death of Jake Mast.  He retired as CEO of the nonprofit Lucy Corr Village in Chesterfield, Virginia. In his almost three-decade career at Lucy Corr, Mr. Mast inspired development and construction of an expanded nursing home, the first special care unit for dementia residents in the Commonwealth of Virginia, a licensed assisted living adult day care center, a state of the art health care center, and a full service continuing care retirement community. He also served as Vice President on the Virginia Health Care Association’s Board of Directors.

VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in April 9, 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. 

Portrait of a Nurse

Now Accepting Applications for Nursing Scholarships

Published in April 9, 2015 Issue

The 2015 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.

Doc Fix Update - Reminder

Published in April 9, 2015 Issue

As you know, the United States Senate recessed for two weeks without taking up the “Doc Fix” (Sustainable Growth Rate) legislation passed by the House of Representatives late last week.  The “Doc Fix” is a recurring policy issue where the annual formula for updating physician payment under Medicare results in a significant reduction relative to current physician payment.  In order to avoid the formula driven reduction, Congress typically passes legislation “fixing” the payment to maintain current payment levels.  In order to do so, Congress must come up with the required funding, which has often lead to reduction in other provider payment updates, including nursing facility payments under Medicare.

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Introduction to Activity Management Scheduled for June 22th – June 26th

Published in March 26, 2015 Issue

Introduction to Activity Management (1st Half of MEPAP Part I) is scheduled for June 16th – 20th at the DoubleTree by Hilton Richmond – Midlothian.  “Introduction to Activity Management” is a five-day, 45-hour course sponsored solely by the Virginia Health Care Association. The course will provide comprehensive training in documentation and programming and is designed to specifically prepare activity personnel to work in settings primarily serving persons 55 years and older. These settings may include nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, sub-acute, specialized care Introduction to Activity Management (1st Half of MEPAP Part I) is scheduled for June 16th – 20th at the DoubleTree by Hilton Richmond – Midlothian.  “Introduction to Activity Management” is a five-day, 45-hour course sponsored solely by the Virginia Health Care Association. The course will provide comprehensive training in documentation and programming and is designed to specifically prepare activity personnel to work in settings primarily serving persons 55 years and older. These settings may include nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, sub-acute, specialized care or adult day services. The course meets all federal OBRA and state regulatory requirements for Virginia nursing facility activity professionals.or adult day services. The course meets all federal OBRA and state regulatory requirements for Virginia nursing facility activity professionals.

Patient Origin Survey

Published in February 5, 2015 Issue

The Virginia Department of Health’s Division of COPN recently advised that many nursing homes have not yet responded to the nursing home patient origin survey that the Department sent to all nursing home providers in November.  Patient origin data is essential to the preparation of accurate projections of nursing home bed need, which the Department is required to make in order to carry out its certificate of public need responsibilities.  If you haven’t yet sent your survey response to the Department (NHPO Survey@Vdh.Virginia.gov), please do so as soon as possible.  If you have questions about the survey, please email Sam Clement, or call or email Sandra Hendrick in the COPN office (804 367-2119, Sandra.Hendrick@vdh.Virginia.gov).

Smiling businesswoman sitting at desk typing on computer.

Deadline for the Virginia Annual Healthcare Broadband Survey Due TODAY

Published in November 26, 2014 Issue

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

VDH/VHHA Central Region Infectious Disease Summit Scheduled for November 19

Published in November 7, 2014 Issue

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA) Central Region are hosting an Infectious Disease Summit on November 19, 2014 from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm at Clarion Hotel Richmond, 3207 N Boulevard, Richmond, VA 23230.
 

Federal and State Leaders Visit Virginia’s Nursing Facilities

Published in November 7, 2014 Issue

VHCA members always welcome the opportunity to host state and federal leaders in their facilities.  Below is a list of recent visits that have taken place.  If your facility has had a member of Congress or the General Assembly visit and would like it highlighted in the CareConnection, please send information to Kathy Robertson.  Also, if you are willing to host state and federal leaders, please contact VHCA and we are happy to help you arrange it.    

Updated VDH Guidance on Ebola for Health Care Providers

Published in October 30, 2014 Issue

In response to the continued concern about travelers bringing Ebola into the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and various states are issuing updated guidance for treating travelers coming into the country who have spent time in West Africa. 

Virginia General Assembly

State Budget Update

Published in October 30, 2014 Issue

Despite a fairly positive fiscal report issued earlier this month indicating revenue above the forecast, the Governor and General Assembly will still have to close a revenue gap currently estimated to be $272 million for State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2016 (begins July 1, 2015).  Therefore, the Governor recently announced budget cuts for the current year, focused primarily on layoffs of state workers in the Department of Corrections.  The Governor did not include any current year reductions in the Medicaid program.  As you recall, last spring we were able to retain most of the new funding for the current fiscal year, but we did our part in closing the revenue gap by absorbing cuts through an accelerated capital cost reimbursement reduction and, unfortunately, a deferral of inflationary adjustments for SFY 2016.

Beverley Soble to Retire

Published in October 30, 2014 Issue

Beverley Soble, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, has announced her plan to retire on December 31, 2014.  Ms. Soble has served as Vice President of Regulatory Affairs for the Virginia Health Care Association (VHCA) since October 1985.  She has led VHCA’s efforts to address state regulations on quality of long term care, federal survey issues and issues originating in the Department of Health, Department of Social Services and Department of Mental Health.  Ms. Soble is well known and respected by state regulators and legislators as well as VHCA members.

Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS)

Published in October 2, 2014 Issue

David H. Trump, MD, MPH, MPA, Chief Deputy Commissioner for Public Health & Preparedness recently announced that a new module has been added for the electronic filing of death records to the Virginia Vital Events and Screening Tracking System. The module will go live November 1, 2014.

RAI Manual Updates and CCC MDS Information

Published in September 25, 2014 Issue

The Virginia Health Care Association has received an update from Cil Bullard, RN, CPC, Virginia RAI/OASIS Coordinator, noting that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the October 2014 RAI manual.  There are some identified issues with missing parts to the manual, as well as textual errors. CMS will be sending out an errata or updated manual which will be at the same site.  Ms. Bullard recommends if you print the manual that you wait until clarifications are released by CMS.  Among issues with the current release are missing item sets, incorrect or unclear text examples, and conflicting instructions. A webinar about the updates will be posted on the Virginia Department of Health website after the manual is finalized.

2014 Convention & Trade Show a Great Success

Published in September 25, 2014 Issue

Over 500 long term care professionals gathered in Richmond last week to recognize the best and brightest that enable Virginia’s nursing and assisted living facilities to deliver truly outstanding post-acute and long term care services. Members attended dynamic and informative education sessions while 122 exhibitors showcased the latest and best products and services to trade show visitors.  Community involvement award winners, volunteers, departing Board members and the top five statewide award recipients were honored at the Annual Banquet.  Additionally, 72 golfers and tournament sponsors supported the Regirer Nurse Scholarship Fundraiser Tournament to raise funds for future scholarship awards. The Virginia Health Care Association and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living would like to thank the many organizations and individuals who contributed to the success of the 2014 Convention and Trade Show.  Thanks to our attendees, exhibitors, sponsors, and golfers who made the 2014 Convention & Trade Show such an outstanding event!

Emerging Infections Update from the State Health Commissioner & the State Epidemiologist on Enterovirus D68

Published in September 11, 2014 Issue

A letter from Dr. Marissa J. Levine, State Health Commissioner and Dr. Laurie Forlano, Director of Epidemiology and State Epidemiologist, has been scheduled to be distributed to practitioners across the commonwealth as well as to several state medical associations and organizations in regards to the Enterovirus D68.  Please review and share the letter widely with other colleagues who may benefit from this information.  

Completion of Death Certificates

Published in September 5, 2014 Issue

Recently, a number of stakeholders have been working with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) to ensure that death certificates are signed in a timely manner.  One outcome of the meetings was a joint letter from Virginia Department of Health’s Commissioner, Marissa Levine, MD and the Virginia Board of Medicine’s Executive Director, William Harp, MD.  The letter is aimed at clearing up the main areas of confusion surrounding who is authorized to sign the death certificates.  In addition, the OCME has provided a list of frequently asked questions (FAQS) regarding the signing of death certificates.  VHCA requests that you provide the letter and FAQS to appropriate staff.  If you have any questions, please contact Keith Hare, Vice President of Government Relations at khare@vhca.org.

Dementia Care Best Practices Study

Published in July 17, 2014 Issue

The Virginia Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) is currently conducting a Dementia Care Best Practices Study.  Charlotte Arbogast, the Dementia Services Coordinator, has been tasked with compiling a report detailing best practices for dementia being implemented in Virginia as requested by Delegate Orrock in a letter to Commissioner James A. Rothrock. In response to this request, a submission form was developed to obtain input from stakeholders and dementia service providers throughout the state. The report is devoted to highlighting evidence-based and evidence-informed best practices, however programs that do not fit in either category will be considered for inclusion in the study.

Northern Virginia Training Center to Remain Open

Published in July 2, 2014 Issue

The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) has been implementing a plan to move the Commonwealth toward its long-standing goal of a more fully-integrated community-based system of services and supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  This plan currently requires transitioning residents of the Northern Virginia Training Center (NVTC) to the community and closing the training center in March of 2015.  The State has determined that additional time is necessary to develop a more comprehensive array of community options and to strengthen the Developmental Disability Health Support Network in the northern Virginia region in order to ensure successful transitions for NVTC's residents.  Therefore, the DBHDS has revised the closure date to March of 2016 said Debra Ferguson, PhD, Commissioner for Virginia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Services.

REMINDER: JLARC to Evaluate the Success of the State’s Workforce Development Programs

Published in July 2, 2014 Issue

The Virginia General Assembly has directed staff of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to evaluate the success of the state’s workforce development programs in equipping Virginia workers with the skills and credentials that employers need.  To incorporate the perspective of the business community, JLARC researchers are conducting an online survey of Virginia employers.  VHCA members are an important part of the business community, so we encourage you to take the time to complete the survey via the link below by Friday, July 11th, 2014.  The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.  Questions about this survey can be directed to JLARC staff Chris Duncombe at 804.371.4578 or via email.  Alternatively, you may also contact the project leader Tracey Smith at 804.371.4567.

JLARC to Evaluate the Success of the State’s Workforce Development Programs

Published in June 26, 2014 Issue

The Virginia General Assembly has directed staff of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) to evaluate the success of the state’s workforce development programs in equipping Virginia workers with the skills and credentials that employers need.  To incorporate the perspective of the business community, JLARC researchers are conducting an online survey of Virginia employers.  VHCA members are an important part of the business community, so we encourage you to take the time to complete the survey via the link below by Friday, July 11th, 2014.  The survey should take approximately 20 minutes to complete.  Questions about this survey can be directed to JLARC staff Chris Duncombe at 804.371.4578 or jlarcworkforcestudy@jlarc.virginia.gov.  Alternatively, you may also contact the project leader Tracey Smith at 804.371.4567.

New Advancing Excellence Website & Logo

Published in May 30, 2014 Issue

Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes announces the launch of their new logo and website.  The website boasts a fresh, new look thanks to a clean, uncluttered design.  Functionality has been improved by streamlining the site navigation and featuring easily accessible, enhanced content focused on the Campaign’s goals and resources.  Existing   log-in information still works on the new site. Visit the new website at www.nhqualitycampaign.org.   For questions or assistance in navigating the website please contact the following at VHQC: Sheila McLean, Area Manager or Amy Lenz, Learning and Action Network Manager.

DSS Issues Notice to ALFs on New Background Check Requirements

Published in May 15, 2014 Issue

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

Governor McAuliffe Announces the Appointment of Tommy East to the Board of Health

Published in May 15, 2014 Issue

Tommy East, the President and Chief Executive Officer for American HealthCare, LLC in Roanoke has been appointed by Governor McAuliffe to the Board of Health.  American HealthCare is the management company for 17 Heritage Hall Healthcare and Rehabilitation Centers throughout the Commonwealth.

David Tucker Chosen as a Future Long Term and Post-Acute Care Leader

Published in May 15, 2014 Issue

VHCA is pleased to announce today that David Tucker, CEO of Commonwealth Care of Roanoke has been selected by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) as a future leader in long term and post-acute care. Tucker will join the Association’s Future Leaders program, a year-long program that offers training and guidance for long term and post-acute care professionals.

The 2014 VHCA/VCAL Convention & Trade Show, September 15th – 18th

Published in May 8, 2014 Issue

Maximize your membership investment and experience by joining your colleagues at the 2014 VHCA/VCAL Convention and Trade Show at The Richmond Marriott and the Greater Richmond Convention Center located in downtown Richmond. Plan to join in the festivities including the Regirer Nurse Scholarship Fundraiser Golf Tournament, Annual Awards Banquet, and Virginia’s largest long term care trade show.

Gold Cup Trophy

VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in May 8, 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.

Emergency Preparedness June Workshop for LTC Facilities

Published in May 8, 2014 Issue

Emergency Preparedness training, sponsored by the Virginia Department of Health & the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association will be offered  in three different locations for facilities in the Richmond District area in June.  The FREE one-day course is tailored specifically to the unique needs of a long term care facility in the event of an emergency.  All long term care facility employees will benefit from this valuable training.

VHCA President to Retire

Published in May 8, 2014 Issue

Steve Morrisette, VHCA President and CEO, has announced his plan to retire by the end of 2014.  Morrisette has served as VHCA President since October 1, 1995.  During his tenure he established The Commonwealth Long Term Care Foundation. The Foundation has provided almost $500,000 in nursing scholarships since 1997 to deserving nurses in VHCA member facilities.  He also led the Virginia Health Care Services Corporation to partner in the establishment of National Healthcare Services Inc., a group purchasing organization specializing in products and services for long term care facilities.  VHCA has enjoyed strong membership growth and success in legislative advocacy during Morrisette’s almost 19 years with VHCA.

The 2014 VHCA/VCAL Convention & Trade Show, September 15th – 18th

Published in April 17, 2014 Issue

Maximize your membership investment and experience by joining your colleagues at the 2014 VHCA/VCAL Convention and Trade Show at The Richmond Marriott and the Greater Richmond Convention Center located in downtown Richmond. Plan to join in the festivities including the Regirer Nurse Scholarship Fundraiser Golf Tournament, Annual Awards Banquet, and Virginia’s largest long term care trade show.

Gold Cup Trophy

VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in April 17, 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. 

The Commonwealth LTC Foundation Receives Gift

Published in April 17, 2014 Issue

The Commonwealth Long Term Care Foundation, an affiliate of VHCA, has received a gift of $50,000 from the estate of Maria Teresa Regirer.  The gift will be used to fund Regirer Nursing Scholarships presented annually to deserving CNAs, LPNs and RNs working in VHCA member facilities.  Walter and Maria Teresa Regirer funded these nursing scholarships with an initial contribution of $250,000 and now Maria Teresa Regirer’s estate has added $50,000.

VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in April 11, 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. 

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

Nursing Scholarships Available

Published in April 11, 2014 Issue

The 2014 Regirer Nurse Scholarship application and brochure is 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.

Geriatric Mental Health Partnership Announces Third Series of Mental Health Webinars

Published in April 3, 2014 Issue

The Geriatric Mental Health Partnership recently announced the third series of mental health webinars made possible through a grant from the Virginia Center on Aging's Geriatric Training Education Initiative.  Registrations are now open for the three webinar sessions available at no charge to participants. The announcement describes the three training events designed for staff from multiple disciplines and settings (both facility and home-based), as well as behavioral health staff, staff from Adult Protective Services, home health, adult day care, respite care, Area Agency on Aging, Ombudsmen, Emergency Department staff of acute care hospitals, hospital discharge planners, and others serving older adults.

OLC Update

Published in April 3, 2014 Issue

We have just learned that Kathaleen Creegan-Tedeschi, Director of the Office of Licensure and Certification (OLC), will be out of the office for the next five weeks.  During her absence Rodney Miller will serve as Acting Director of the Long Term Care Division.  He can be reached at the following:

Smiling Nurse January 30, 2004

Nursing Scholarships Available

Published in April 3, 2014 Issue

The 2014 Regirer Nurse Scholarship application and brochure is 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.

Gold Cup Trophy

VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations

Published in April 3, 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. 

VHQC Self-Assessment Tool for Reducing Atypical Antipsychotic Medications

Published in March 21, 2014 Issue

VHQC, as part of the Virginia Nursing Home Quality Care Learning Network, has put together a self-assessment tool to help ensure facilities are taking a systematic approach to reducing antipsychotic medications. The implementation of systems will support and sustain the facilities' efforts to provide person-centered care.

Updated LEIE Database Available

Published in March 13, 2014 Issue

The U.S. Department of Health, Office of Inspector General (OIG) has just released its updated List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE) database file, which reflects all OIG exclusions and reinstatement actions up to, and including, those taken in February 2014.  This new file is meant to replace the updated LEIE database file available for download last month.  Individuals and entities that have been reinstated to the federal health care programs are not included in this file.  The updated files are posted on OIG's website, and health care providers have an "affirmative duty" to check to ensure that excluded individuals are not working in their facilities or face significant fines.  Instructional videos explaining how to use the online database and the downloadable files are available online. Given the penalties and recent government warnings, long term care providers should check the LEIE on a regular basis.

Edwin Khonyongwa (on right), from Birmingham Green, is a 2013 Regirer Nursing Scholarship Recipient.

Now Accepting Applications for Nursing Scholarships

Published in February 27, 2014 Issue

The 2014 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.

Exhibit at the VHCA/VCAL 2014 Trade Show Coming in September

Published in February 20, 2014 Issue

SAVE THE DATE – The VHCA/VCAL Trade Show is scheduled for September 16 at The Greater Richmond Convention Center.  The Trade Show is held in conjunction with VHCA/VCAL’s Annual Convention scheduled for September 15 – 18 at the Richmond Marriott.

WINTER STORM

DMAS Issues Emergency Procedures in Anticipation of Winter Storm

Published in February 12, 2014 Issue

The Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) has asked that we notify members with information on emergency actions in anticipation of a severe “Winter Storm” that is expected to affect the Commonwealth of Virginia over the next few days. The Hospital Association, Department of Social Services and Department of Health (for pre-admission screeners) have received the identical information.   Due to the potential for inclement weather, DMAS has instituted the following emergency procedures.

Updated Address for State LTC Ombudsman

Published in February 6, 2014 Issue

Nursing facilities accepting Medicare or Medicaid payments are required under federal regulations to provide certain written notices prior to the involuntary transfer or discharge of a resident, including specifically the name, address, and telephone number of the state long term care ombudsman.  We have been asked to remind members that the Virginia Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman was recently relocated into the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services as part of its reorganization.  Following is the new address for the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman to be included on transfer and discharge notices. 

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State Health Commissioner Distributes Letter Regarding Widespread Influenza

Published in January 15, 2014 Issue

A letter regarding influenza was recently distributed from Cynthia C. Romero, MD, FAAFP, State Health Commissioner, to practitioners as well as to several state medical associations and organizations across the Commonwealth. 

William A. Hazel, Jr., M.D. Reappointed as Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources

Published in December 19, 2013 Issue

Secretary William A. Hazel, Jr., M.D. was reappointed on Wednesday by Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe to continue his service as Virginia’s Secretary of Health and Human Resources.   Secretary Hazel was appointed in 2010 by Governor Robert F. McDonnell and has served in this role during his entire term.  Secretary Hazel is a retired orthopedic surgeon from Northern Virginia.  He has spearheaded many important projects during his time as Secretary, with his primary focus on Medicaid reforms and an overhaul of the Commonwealth’s eligibility system for the Medicaid, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs.  In addition, Secretary Hazel has played a major role in working to increase foster care adoption and reducing homelessness.  The Virginia Health Care Association has had a good relationship with Secretary Hazel.  We congratulate him on his reappointment and look forward to working with him over the next four years. 

Delegate Chris Jones Named Chair of House Appropriations

Published in December 6, 2013 Issue

Delegate S. Chris Jones, Republican of Suffolk, was named Chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee this week by House Speaker William Howell.  Delegate Jones is a Pharmacist and has great experience in and knowledge of Medicaid funding and other health-related issues.  Delegate Jones has been a Budget Conferee for several years and has led the discussions on health and human resource budgetary negotiations for the House Conferees.

Who’s Who in Virginia’s LTC Facilities

Published in October 17, 2013 Issue

The Virginia Health Care Association and the Virginia Center for Assisted Living (VHCA/VCAL) will again recognize and honor residents currently residing in member facilities.  We are asking providers to nominate a resident from their facility who would be willing to share something significant about themselves that would be compelling in our advocacy efforts with state policymakers.  If selected for publication, your resident’s story and picture would be featured on the VHCA website, as well as in other publications.

Are You Ready to Assist Residents with Registering to Vote?

Published in October 3, 2013 Issue

If your staff will be assisting 25 or more residents with registering to vote, be sure the staff members assisting residents have completed the training required by legislation this year.  Contact your local registrar or the State Board of Elections (SBE) if this new law will affect your facility’s voting activities.  This new law impacts only registration to vote, but not other voting activities.

Guidance on Tuberculin Skin Test Shortage

Published in September 26, 2013 Issue

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has recently received questions about the recurrent nationwide shortage of Tuberculin Skin Test Antigen Solutions.  A letter from Virginia Health Commissioner, Cynthia C. Romero, MD, FAFP describes the shortage and outlines guidance on how to deal with the shortage in the event our member facilities have questions or need information.  In its September 4, 2013 Health Advisory, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) addresses the nationwide shortages of tuberculin skin test (TST) antigen solutions. Two brands of TST solution are distributed in the United States: Tubersol and Aplisol. Tubersol is in short supply for the second time this year creating an increased demand for Aplisol and, in some areas, resulting in difficulty obtaining either product.  Dr. Romero’s letter identifies CDC’s key recommendations during this TST antigen shortage and the VDH recommendations for health care-related settings, clinicians and local health departments.

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Important Phone Number Changes for Palmetto GBA

Published in September 26, 2013 Issue

Palmetto GBA has announced that beginning on October 1, 2013, all J11 Part A, Part B, Home Health and Hospice providers, including nursing facilities, will have one telephone number to call for all inquiries. Palmetto indicates that the goal of this change is to increase first call resolutions for providers.

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. 

New Virginia Director of Long Term Care Announced

Published in August 15, 2013 Issue

Erik Bodine, Director of the Office of Licensure and Certification, informed VHCA yesterday that a new Director of Long Term Care has been named. His message stated, “I am very pleased to announce that Kathy Creegan-Tedeschi has accepted the position of Director of Long Term Care.  Kathy currently serves as a supervisor in the Acute Care Division.  The promotion is effective 25 August.  I know that, with your support, she and the Division will continue to serve the long term care community well in these ever more exciting times.  I also want to thank Rodney Miller for his hard work as the Acting Director on top of his normal supervisor role.”  Ms. Creegan-Tedeschi replaces Connie Kane who retired in the spring.

Congratulations to the 2013 Regirer Nurse Scholarship Recipients

Published in July 19, 2013 Issue

The Commonwealth Long Term Care Foundation has awarded $35,800 in Regirer Nursing Scholarships to date in 2013 to 23 recipients employed in Virginia long term care facilities.  There are five additional applicants pending acceptance into a nursing program or Board of Nursing approval of the nursing program.  Each awardee will receive $1,500 toward the cost of their nursing education.  To receive the award each recipient completed an extensive application, was personally interviewed by a member of the Foundation’s Nurse Scholarship Committee, and agreed to work in a member long term care facility after graduation.  One of the recipients will receive $2,800 to be used towards the Nurse Leadership Institute (NLI).  The mission of the NLI is to inspire, teach and empower nurse managers seeking to grow as leaders and become catalysts for change.

MANDATORY TRAINING NOW NEEDED for Residents’ Voting Registration

Published in July 11, 2013 Issue

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

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Continued Competency Requirements for Nurses

Published in July 11, 2013 Issue

The Board of Nursing website has been updated to include a notice to all Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses on continued competency requirements for nurses.

CMS Issues Memo on Access & Visitation Rights

Published in July 11, 2013 Issue

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

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Richfield Retirement Community Wins Award for New Rehab Center

Published in June 5, 2013 Issue

Richfield Retirement Community in Salem has been recognized with a national innovation award for its new rehabilitation center. 

Rehospitalization Information in Seconds

Published in May 30, 2013 Issue

Now you can use LTC Trend Trackersm to download detailed facility level (name of facility) information for rehospitalization, antipsychotics and turn over. With a few clicks of the mouse you can have this data delivered in an excel format for every facility in your organization. The user can use this feature to benchmark certain facility’s performance at the state and national level. In addition, the tool provides the user with their baseline rate, which allows for a quick assessment on progress towards goals. Users of LTC Trend Tracker can use this report for QA/PI goal setting, marketing with hospitals, conversations with ACOs and for corporate reporting.

VHCA/VCAL Award Nominations Deadline Extended to June 17th

Published in May 30, 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. 

Exhibit at the VHCA/VCAL 2013 Trade Show Coming in September

Published in May 15, 2013 Issue

Mark your calendars for the VHCA/VCAL Trade Show to be held on September 17th at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center.  The Trade Show is held in conjunction with VHCA/VCAL’s Annual Convention scheduled September 16th – 19th.  More information regarding the Trade Show can be found here.

Exhibit at the VHCA/VCAL 2013 Trade Show Coming in September

Published in May 1, 2013 Issue

Mark your calendars for the VHCA/VCAL Trade Show to be held on September 17 at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center.  The Trade Show is held in conjunction with VHCA/VCAL’s Annual Convention scheduled September 16 – 19.  More information regarding the Trade Show can be found here.

Exhibit at the VHCA/VCAL 2013 Trade Show Coming in September

Published in April 10, 2013 Issue

Save the date – mark your calendars for the VHCA/VCAL Trade Show to be held on September 17 at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center.  The Trade Show is held in conjunction with VHCA/VCAL’s Annual Convention scheduled September 16 – 19.

Members who wish to contract their booth space can do so by clicking here.  If you have any questions, please contact Doran Hutchinson or by phone at 804.212.1692.

Now Accepting Applications for Nursing Scholarships

Published in March 25, 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.

Gold Cup Trophy

VHCA/VCAL Accepting Award Nominations until June 1

Published in March 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. 

Exhibit at the VHCA/VCAL 2013 Trade Show Coming in September

Published in March 25, 2013 Issue

Save the date – mark your calendars for the VHCA/VCAL Trade Show to be held on September 17 at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center.  The Trade Show is held in conjunction with VHCA/VCAL’s Annual Convention scheduled September 16 – 19.

LTC Division Director, Connie Kane, to Retire

Published in March 7, 2013 Issue

Erik Bodin, Director of the Office of Licensure and Certification (OLC), has announced the retirement of Connie Kane, Director of the VDH Office of Licensure and Certification’s Long Term Care Division. She will retire at the end of the month with her last day in the office on March 21.  Bodin notes that, “After so many years of stellar service to the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Connie will be taking the opportunity to travel, read and spend even more time with her dogs (if that’s possible).”  Efforts to post her position for recruitment are already underway.

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VHCA/VCAL 2013 Trade Show Coming in September

Published in February 28, 2013 Issue

Save the date - mark your calendars for the VHCA/VCAL Trade Show to be held on September 17 at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center.  The Trade Show is held in conjunction with the VHCA/VCAL Annual Convention scheduled September 16 – 19.

Members who wish to contract their booth space can do so by clicking here.  If you should have any questions,  please contact Doran Hutchinson or by phone at 804.212.1692. 

Reminder from OLC about Outbreaks

Published in January 16, 2013 Issue

This is a reminder from the Office of Licensure and Certification (OLC) to please continue to send notifications of infectious outbreaks such as influenza, norovirus, upper respiratory infections and similar situations to the OLC as soon as an outbreak is recognized.   This is particularly important if a facility is in its survey window.   The notifications can be sent by fax to 804.527.4502.

Myers and Stauffer Acquiring PHBV Partners Medicaid Contract with DMAS

Published in December 12, 2012 Issue

CBIZ, Inc. recently announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the non-attest assets of PHBV Partners, L.L.P., (PHBV), the government health care practice and separate legal entity of CliftonLarsonAllen, effective December 31, 2012.  Concurrent with this transaction, Myers and Stauffer L.C. announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Medicaid contract compliance business of PHBV.  CBIZ, Inc. maintains an administrative service agreement with Myers and Stauffer L.C. The two companies are separate and independent legal entities that work together to serve the needs of their government clients.

Boswell Named COPN Director

Published in November 20, 2012 Issue

Peter Boswell has been named Director of the Division of Certificate of Public Need (DCOPN) at the Virginia Department of Health.  Mr. Boswell has served as supervisor in the DCOPN for the last 10 years.  Before that he was with Loudoun Healthcare where he experienced COPN from the provider viewpoint.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Boswell served as a clinician and researcher at MCV for 11 years.  

VHCA looks forward to working with Mr. Boswell in the coming years in his new role as DCOPN Director.

Mr. Boswell can be reached at 804.367.2102 or by email.

2012 VHI Industry Report Data Available for Review

Published in October 24, 2012 Issue

Virginia Health Information (VHI) notified all nursing facility administrators and EPICS contacts via broadcast email on October 23rd concerning the availability of quartile ranking information.  The final EPICS efficiency report containing quartile rankings which will be published in the 2012 Industry Report is now available at www.vhi.org/login.  Facilities will need their assigned facility number and password to access the data.  After login, please click the “Update EPICS Information” tab then the “Quartile Report” link to access your facility’s report.  Beginning in 2010, VHI began distributing this report electronically; hard copies are no longer being mailed.  Nursing Facility rankings include the five health planning regions as well as the Richmond Metropolitan area.

OIG Focuses on the Next Generation of CIAs

Published in October 24, 2012 Issue

HHS, Office of Inspector General (OIG) held a roundtable meeting with company representatives in August 2012, and recently published a paper, Focus on Compliance: The Next Generation of Corporate Integrity Agreements, summarizing that discussion. The paper highlights the roundtable discussions and provides guidance to companies that are currently negotiating corporate integrity agreements (CIAs). 

Continuing Education Proposed By Board of Nursing

Published in October 17, 2012 Issue

The Virginia Board of Nursing is proposing a requirement for nurses to attend continuing education as a condition of renewal of their nursing licenses.  For those nurses currently working, the requirement would be 15 contact hours of workshops, seminars, conferences or courses relevant to the practice of nursing in addition to 640 hours of active practice as a nurse.  For nurses not actively practicing, the requirement would be 30 contact hours for licensure renewal.  The proposed regulations include a list of providers who would be approved to offer educational opportunities. 

Resident Rights Posters

Published in October 11, 2012 Issue

We have received requests from several facilities seeking clarification related to the regulatory requirement (12 VAC 5-371-150-C) which asks for posting of the name and telephone number of the complaint coordinator of the OLC.  After contacting OLC to seek guidance on the requirement to list the complaint coordinator, we were reminded that when the “universal poster” was developed jointly with the Ombudsman, OLC, Nursing Facility Advisory Committee (NFAC), etc. it was suggested that OLC use their toll free number rather than having a specific person’s name on the notice since the person is not always available to receive a complaint.  This is in accord with having the toll free number of others to whom facilities must report, including APS and Ombudsman, as stated in the nursing home regulation. 

OLC Distributes “LTC Update”

Published in September 11, 2012 Issue

The Office of Licensure and Certification mailed nursing home license renewal reminder letters to providers last Friday and included a “LTC Update” with each letter.  The “Update” includes important information on license renewal, renovation or construction, as well as news and notes added to the current website.  Included in the newsletter is an announcement about a new guideline that will be distributed on resident transfer/discharge that serves as a guide through the maze of state and federal law and regulation and lays out the process for a successful transfer/discharge of a resident.  VHCA encourages members to take a few minutes to read the update for news from OLC.

MDS Website

Published in August 15, 2012 Issue

Cil Bullard, State RAI Manager, has requested that we remind MDS staff about taking advantage of Virginia’s MDS website which recently celebrated its first anniversary with 3255 visits, 13,697 total pages viewed and 106 total informational posts.  In order for the website to continue to be successful, she is encouraging MDS staff to routinely access the information available.  For questions, contact her directly or by phone at 804.367.2141.

Stanfield Appointed to the Board of Long Term Care Administrators

Published in August 8, 2012 Issue

Congratulations to Karen Stanfield, a Proprietary Director on the VHCA Board of Directors and Senior Vice President of Operations with Saber Healthcare Group, LLC.  Ms. Stanfield was recently appointed by Governor McDonnell to the Board of Long Term Care Administrators.

 

Members in the News

Published in August 8, 2012 Issue

Atlantic Shores is hosting a free premier of the popular documentary, Age of Champions on September 13.

Members in the News

Published in July 31, 2012 Issue

Commonwealth Care of Roanoke (CCR) opened its 12th nursing center, Abingdon Health and Rehab Center on July 19th.  The Abingdon center is a 120-bed health and rehab facility offering a 62-bed short term skilled nursing and rehab neighborhood, a 30-bed long term living neighborhood and a 28-bed secured memory care neighborhood.  Richie Alba, Administrator for the new center, said he and his staff have been busy applying the final touches and completing requirements for regulatory agencies on-site visita.  Though the center is brand new and state of the art in its design and equipment, Richie’s team has over 100 years of combined experience in post-acute rehabilitation and long term care services.  Melissa Armstrong, RN, BSN is the center’s Director of Nursing and has worked in long term care for 19 years.  The center welcomes the Abingdon community with an Open House Gala on August 2 from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m.

Lucy Corr Village in Chesterfield has announced the opening of its new assisted living memory support wing.  "Our community has repeatedly asked us for support for their loved ones who are experiencing dementia," said CEO Jim Musgrave. The wing will provide secure private rooms, private dining and courtyard, activities, and around the clock health care support.  The public is invited to an open house for the new memory support wing at Lucy Corr Village from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on August 9th.

Virginia’s Ted LeNeave among 2012 Joe Warner Patient Advocacy Award Winners

Published in June 1, 2012 Issue

Earlier this week, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) announced that Ted LeNeave, President and Chief Executive Officer of American HealthCare LLC, is a recipient of the 2012 Joe Warner Patient Advocacy Award.  Ted served as Chairman of VHCA/VCAL in 2006-2007.

Getting Ready for Hurricane Season

Published in June 1, 2012 Issue

Hurricane season begins today.  Even if your facility is not in a hurricane area, now is still a good time to update your emergency preparedness plan. Please take time to review your facility’s Emergency Preparedness Plan and update it as necessary.  A series of documents and resources are available on VHCA’s website to assist you.  In addition, AHCA has suggested the following questions to consider when updating your plan:

OLC Director Named

Published in May 3, 2012 Issue

Erik Bodin has been named as the Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) Director of the Office of Licensure and Certification (OLC).  He has served as the Acting Director since the end of 2011.   Mr. Bodin has been the Director of the Division of COPN since 2000 and has been with VDH since 1999.  He held administrative positions with MCV Hospitals in the 90s and prior to that was a respiratory therapist at MCV and other institutions.  He brings a clinical background and a wealth of experience to this position including his service to the nation as a helicopter pilot in the Army.