The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is continuing to offer monthly "Bug of the Month" webinars featuring HAI/AR pathogens of concern as well as infection control and response recommendations. In this webinar, DPH expand this scope to include antibiotic stewardship strategies. The next webinar is scheduled for Thursday, December 6th from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Please click here to register.
Mass Senior Care Association has partnered with the American Health Care Association (AHCA) to offer PDPM Academy, a 10-month training effort offering both in-person training and continuing updates and support.
CMS last week launched an effort to improve patient safety and quality of nursing home care under the Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program (CMPRP). This three-year initiative aims to improve residents' quality of life by equipping nursing home staff, administrators and stakeholders with technical tools and assistance to enhance resident care. As part of the CMPRP, CMS will develop a variety of work products for nursing home professionals, such as staff competency assessment tools, instructional guides, training webinars and technical
With the flu season now upon us, a recent report by The Gerontology Society of America (GSA) National Adult Vaccination Program gives long term care providers recommendations on how to advance immunization efforts in their facilities. While acknowledging that even "the most motivated facility leaders" face obstacles at times to get staff and residents immunized, the report includes five priority actions. These areas are: increase use of mandatory staff vaccination policies, make vaccination a condition of hire, implement mandatory resident
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched its Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) education website . The website includes a variety of educational and training resources to assist with PDPM implementation: FAQs; Fact sheets; PDPM Training Presentation; and Implementation tools (including PDPM GROUPER logic in SAS). CMS will also host a Medicare Learning Network Provider SNF PPS Provider call on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 1:30 ET on the new PDPM. A question and answer session follows the
The SPOT Initiative launched in 2016 as a collaborative effort to support nursing home teams to develop effective quality assurance and performance improvement (QAPI) programs. Effective QAPI programs can prevent adverse events, promote safety and quality, and reduce risks to residents and caregivers. With funding from Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) Funds, the SPOT team engaged 60 nursing homes in quality improvement work over the course of the program. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is hosting two town hall presentations
Beginning in January of 2021 most workers in Massachusetts will be eligible to obtain up to 12 weeks of paid family leave and up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave. The program will be funded by premiums paid by employees, employers, and the self-employed. Contributions to the program will begin on July 1, 2019, and will be managed through the Department of Family and Medical Leave. The Commonwealth has introduced its website for the Department of Family and Medical
On November 19th, Mass Senior Care, MA DPH and the Office of the State LTC Ombudsman hosted a webinar to discuss the federal and state regulations related to a resident’s right to smoke in long-term care facilities.
DPH’s Division of Sexual and Domestic Violence Prevention and Services has developed a training that meets the requirements for licensure. This e-Learning tool can be accessed from DPH’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Integration Initiatives web page. ( https://www.mass.gov/service-details/domestic-and-sexual-violence-integration-initiatives ). The Board will not hold a nurse responsible for the required training until it is available. Nurses who renew after October 30, 2018 will have an additional six months from the date of license renewal to complete the training. Nurses who
Following election night with the Democrats regaining control of the US House of Representatives just two days prior to Mass Senior Care’s 2018 Annual Meeting & Trade Show, Congressman Richard Neal delivered a powerful message to more than 700 attendees.
The US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released its updated list which reflects all OIG exclusions and reinstatement actions up to, and including, those taken in October 2018. This new file is meant to replace the updated List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (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 November 5 th , EOHHS jointly issued (1) the first of 3 lump sum payments and (2) an Advisory Bulletin 18-24 specifying the compliance criteria and reporting requirements for the 2019 Nursing Facility Direct Care Staff Payment Program. The SFY 2019 budget act authorizes the Direct Care Staff Payment at $38.5 million, a $2.8 million increase from the prior fiscal year. Facilities must prioritize spending of any direct care staff payment revenue received in SFY 2019 that exceeds the
MassHealth has issued a Nursing Facility Provider Bulletin 141 (November 2018) outlining the updated Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) process and new PASRR Level I Form . MassHealth has also provided a "Notification of Referral" template that referring entities can use to inform members who screened positive for ID/DD or SMI that they have been referred to DMH and/or DDS. The updated PASRR process and use of new Level 1 Form are effective November 13th. Over the last year,
Over the last year, Mass Senior Care members have actively participated in on-going discussions with MassHealth regarding the new PASRR 1 form, which will go into effect on November 13, 2018. While many of Mass Senior Care's recommendations were included in the revised form, we continue to work with MassHealth and other stakeholders to ensure a smooth implementation and that, importantly, facilities have adequate information from acute care hospitals to properly complete PASRR 1 Form. In its October 19th webinar,
In accordance with Section 12 of Chapter 110 of the Acts of 2017, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DoR) has issued a new Health Insurance Reporting Disclosure (HIRD) form that is due by November 30, 2018. The HIRD annual reporting requirement is administered by MassHealth and DoR through the employer’s DoR’s MassTaxConnect (MTC) account. Employers may complete the HIRD form by logging into their MTC Withholding Tax account and selecting the “File health insurance responsibility disclosure” hyperlink under the account
MassHealth has developed a checklist as a helpful tool for applicants, and individuals who are assisting applicants, to correctly and successfully complete a MassHealth Long-Term-Care Application. Please click here to access the checklist.
The Massachusetts Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has scheduled a public hearing on the EMAC Supplement Hardship Waiver, for November 19 th at 10 am at the Charles F. Hurley Building, 19 Staniford Street in Boston. The hearing will provide an opportunity for interested parties to present comments on the DUA Hardship Waiver regulation. As you know, the SFY 2019 budget act required DUA to develop a hardship waiver process for an employer experiencing a financial hardship due to its
Annual flu vaccination is the most important measure we can take to prevent seasonal influenza infection. In an effort to increase the overall flu vaccination rate of employees in nursing homes, currently at 78%, Mass Senior Care is hosting a flu clinic at its Annual Meeting & Trade Show next Thursday, November 8 th . The clinic will be open from 7:30 am – 11:30 am in Meeting Room XX on the 3 rd floor of the DCU Center. All
The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology ( APIC ) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announce the availability of free, downloadable Quick Observation Tools (QUOTs) for infection control. These tools are designed to help healthcare facilities quickly identify infection prevention deficiencies and take corrective action in real time to protect patients from healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). QUOTs are a set of ready-to-use, quick assessment forms or “cards” that enable frontline healthcare personnel to do infection prevention
CMS has provided updated rankings for all SNFs included in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 program year. A list of each SNF’s incentive payment multiplier and updated ranking can be found on the SNF VBP website . The incentive payment multiplier applicable to each SNF is unchanged from the multiplier that CMS previously included in the SNF’s FY 2019 Annual Performance Score Report. That multiplier will be used to adjust the Federal per diem rate otherwise applicable to the SNF
Mass Senior Care Association recently added new program offerings, including an ICD 10 coding seminar in December and a repeat of the popular Geri-Care Behavioral Safety for Caregivers program in early January. Please click on the links below to register or download a registration form. 11/8 MASS SENIOR CARE ASSOCIATION ANNUAL MEETING & TRADE SHOW, 9:30 am - 3:30 pm - DCU Center, Worcester, MA. Facility Members please click here to download a registration form. EXHIBIT BOOTHS ARE SOLD OUT.
The Intent to Apply (ITA) for the 2019 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award application cycle is closing soon! The deadline to submit an ITA is November 8, 2018 at 8 p.m. Eastern Time . AHCA/NCAL encourages you to submit an ITA through the Quality Award Portal here before the deadline. More information about the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program, the benefits of submitting an ITA and key dates are listed below and available at ahcancal.org/qualityaward . If you have any questions,
Mass Senior Care Association was saddened to learn of the recent death of Gerald “Jerry” Schuster, 89, founder of Continental Wingate Co. Inc, the holding company for Wingate Healthcare. In 1965, Mr. Schuster founded the holding company specializing in financial services, real estate development, property management, and healthcare. Under the leadership and direction of his son, Scott, Wingate Healthcare has developed into a regional provider of skilled nursing and supportive care to seniors in residential settings in Massachusetts and New
With the November 6th election only a few weeks away, please join me in urging members of the long term care community to support a NO vote on Question 1 to reject mandatory nurse-staffing ratios and a YES vote on Question 3 to preserve the current non-discrimination law for transgender people. VOTE NO ON QUESTION 1 Question 1 would impose rigid government-mandated nurse staffing ratios at every hospital in Massachusetts. Mass Senior Care is extremely concerned that Question 1 will
The Hand in Hand: A Training Series for Nursing Homes was previously developed as an instructor-led training conducted by nursing home staff for nurse aides. The Hand in Hand training is now available as a self-paced, online training and available to download for use as an instructor-led course. The updated Hand in Hand: A Training Series for Nursing Homes is available on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS’s) Integrated Surveyor Training Website (ISTW). For help with registration and
On Wednesday, October 24, 2018, CMS released new data on the quality of care delivered in skilled nursing facilities by adding the following five SNF QRP measures to Nursing Home Compare: Assessment-based measures: Percent of SNF residents that develop new or worsened pressure ulcers Percentage of SNF residents whose functional abilities were assessed and functional goals were included in their treatment plan Percentage of SNF patients who experience one or more falls with major injury during their SNF stay Claims-based
Mass Senior Care offered testimony on the Department of Public Health’s proposed amendments to Determination of Need (DoN) regulations: · Grandfathering of Unimplemented DoNs – in 2017 the Department indicated in a memorandum to the Public Health Council that the new DoN regulations would have no impact on previously issued DoNs. We believe that it is critical to have this grandfather protection be codified in the regulation. · Community-Based Health Initiative (CHI) – We continue to urge the Department to
Mass Senior Care Association members can register for a new education program designed to help skilled nursing facilities succeed under the new CMS value based purchasing payment program (SNF VBP) that took effect Monday, October 1, 2018. The course ( Understanding SNF VBP in Detail ) contains six modules that provide an in-depth description of each feature of the SNF VBP program along with helpful tools, documents, and primary source references to the program. This new training program is intended
Over the last year, Mass Senior Care members have actively participated in on-going discussions with MassHealth regarding the new PASRR 1 form, which will go into effect on Monday, November 5, 2018. While many of Mass Senior Care’s recommendations were included in the revised form, we continue to work with MassHealth and other stakeholders to ensure a smooth implementation and that, importantly, facilities have adequate information from acute care hospitals to properly complete PASRR 1 Form. In their October 19th
The US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) has released its updated list which reflects all OIG exclusions and reinstatement actions up to, and including, those taken in September 2018. This new file is meant to replace the updated List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (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
CareOne at Essex Park in Beverly recently hosted its annual charity dog wash to raise money for Vested Interest in K9s. This organization provides bullet and stab protective vests for police K9s. The staff at CareOne at Essex Park and volunteers washed nearly 75 dogs and the proceeds from this event will be used to purchase a vest for Mass State Police K9 Flash. Please click here to read news coverage of the event.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is continuing to offer monthly “ Bug of the Month ” webinars featuring HAI/AR pathogens of concern as well as infection control and response recommendations. Join us for our next webinar scheduled for Thursday, October 25, 2018 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm conducted in Partnership with Massachusetts Senior Care Association on Thursday, October 25 th : "Infection Control and Response (ICAR) Assessments and Survey Process Findings in Massachusetts Long-term Care Facilities”. Featured speakers:
Please join Mass Senior Care, the Department of Public Health and the Office of the State Long Term Care Ombudsman for a webinar on November 19 from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm to discuss the federal and state regulations related to a resident’s right to smoke in long-term care facilities. This webinar will discuss a resident’s right to reasonable accommodation and resident safety and health. Please note: This webinar will not include a discussion regarding medical and/or recreational marijuana. The
The Alzheimer’s Association & Honoring Choices will host a workshop, Planning Ahead to Age Well with Dementia, on October 30, 2018 from 1:00 p-m – 2:30 pm at the Alzheimer’s Association office in Waltham. This workshop will provide tools to help adults with memory concerns make a health care plan to know & honor their care choices. Planning ahead and all through a progressive dementia diagnosis is essential to ensure we know an adult’s values and care choices, and can
AHCA Quality Award winners from Massachusetts celebrated their recognition at the recent AHCA/NCAL Convention in San Diego. With 30 facilities receiving either a Bronze or Silver Quality Award, the long term care provider community was well represented and we congratulate all recipients on their achievements. Please click here to view a complete list of the Massachusetts award winners.
Mass Senior Care is pleased to welcome new members to our Association. Our Associate Members have demonstrated their commitment to the senior care provider community by joining Mass Senior Care and participating as exhibitors and sponsors for events and educational conferences. Mass Senior Care members are encouraged to contact Associate Members when they are in need of long term care products and services. You can find all of our Associate Members listed on our website, www.maseniorcare.org/preferred-vendors . Associate Members: IntelyCare
Applications for the EMAC Supplement Hardship Waiver must be submitted to the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) by 5:00 p.m. on October 12th . Signed applications should be emailed to EMAChardshipwaiver@mass.gov . DUA's determination will be issued via email by the date in which quarterly payments are due (for Q3, by October 31). Please click here to access DUA's EMAC Supplement Hardship Waiver webpage which contains additional information and a link to the application. Members are encouraged to review the
MassHealth will be making changes to the Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) process in the next several weeks. To help all involved entities – nursing facilities, hospitals, and ASAPs – switch to the new process as smoothly as possible and stay compliant with the PASRR rules, MassHealth will be conducting a PASRR webinar on Friday, October 19, 2018, 11 am – 12.30 pm . To register, please click here .
October 9th Webinar Presented by the PASRR Technical Assistance Center Topic: The Relationship Between PASRR and Other Nursing Home Requirements This webinar will highlight the ongoing relationship of State Authorities and Nursing Facilities (NF) throughout the PASRR process. The webinar will address 1) the relationship between PASRR and Nursing Facility level of care; 2) the relationship between the PASRR regulations and the recently updated regulations that govern the conditions of participation for long-term care facilities; and 3) the relationship between
On Wednesday, September 26th, the 2018 Massachusetts Senior Care Foundation Scholars were honored for their achievements and dedication to long term care at a luncheon ceremony held at the State House. The Foundation selected 35 exceptional awardees which included Certified Nursing Assistants, nurses, admissions, dietary and other facility staff who will use their scholarships to further their professional development and leadership in the long term care profession. “Our Foundation Scholars are successfully balancing work and school, and many have overcome
On November 6th, Massachusetts voters will consider Ballot Question One, which would set rigid, one-size-fits-all government-mandated nurse staffing levels at all hospitals across the Commonwealth, in all units, at all times. Earlier this year, Massachusetts Senior Care joined the Coalition to Protect Patient Safety in opposition to the proposed hospital nurse staffing ballot question.
The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) earlier this week via emergency regulation adopted the October 1 Medicaid nursing facility rates. The regulation represents the agency's first step in a short-term stabilization package totaling $30 million. The second component is expected to begin in January 2019. EOHHS Secretary Mary Lou Sudders has also committed to immediately begin working with MSCA on nursing home sustainability. In addition, we continue to urge the Administration and Legislature to make nursing home care a budget priority and address the urgent financial and labor challenges threatening the nursing home provider community.
The 2018-2019 influenza season is quickly approaching! The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences and Bureau of Healthcare Safety and Quality, invites you to participate in an educational webinar on healthcare personnel influenza vaccination on Tuesday October 9th from 12 noon - 1:00 pm. Featured speakers include: Alfred DeMaria, Jr., MD, Medical and Laboratory Consultant, MDPH Eileen McHale, RN, BSN, Healthcare-associated Infections Coordinator, MDPH Joyce Cohen, MPH, Influenza Coordinator, MDPH Delia Murphy, RN, Infection
Post-training materials (includes answers to knowledge checks) and a video recording of the presentations from the July/August 2018 Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) Provider Training held in Baltimore, MD, on July 31 and August 1, 2018, are now available on the CMS website . Some screenshots included in presentations for the Section GG and Section N sessions and the Case Study Coding Sheet have been updated to reflect recent changes to the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0
Mass Senior Care has filed a response to MassHealth’s request for information (RFI) on Dual Demonstration Waiver 2.0 outlining our concerns with the proposal. MassHealth’s waiver would, among other objectives, seek the flexibility to significantly increase enrollment in One Care and Senior Care Options (SCO) programs. This includes potential passive enrollment into SCO programs of all individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. Mass Senior Care re-iterated its serious concerns to MassHealth in regard to the possibility of
The Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposed rule that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to operate powered patient lifts in hospitals, nursing homes or other long-term care facilities. The Fair Labor Standards Act prohibits workers younger than 18 from performing certain hazardous jobs outside of the agricultural industry. The proposed rule, published in the Sept. 27 Federal Register , would alter the Hazardous Occupations Orders under the FLSA to exempt power-driven patient lifts. DOL states that operating the equipment
On Monday, September 17th, leaders from several Massachusetts health care organizations, including Mass Senior Care, addressed a crowd of over 100 people from across the Commonwealth who came together to mark the state’s 12th annual Falls Prevention Awareness Day . The crowd, which included seniors, clinicians, community advocates and state officials, gathered at the State House to raise awareness that falls are a growing public health issue. The Massachusetts Falls Prevention Coalition continues to work with individuals and organizations to
Mass Senior Care President Tara Gregorio issued a letter to Speaker DeLeo, Senate President Spilka and members of the Legislature urging the Administration and Legislature to dedicate a portion of the state fiscal year 2018 surplus revenue to support quality nursing home care and a living wage increase for our dedicated front-line caregivers who deserve to be paid a living wage. Gregorio’s letter noted that, as a result of years of underfunding, Massachusetts nursing facilities are in the midst of