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. Mass Senior Care is extremely concerned that the ballot initiative would exacerbate the current nurse shortage in long term care facilities, as long term care nurses
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
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
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
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 Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) yesterday issued a Notice of Proposed Agency Action, which would update Medicaid nursing facility rates in FY 2019. EOHHS Secretary Marylou Sudders presented her FY 2019 proposal to the Mass Senior Care Association Board of Directors and indicated that the regulation represents the agency's first step in a short-term stabilization package totaling $30 million in additional spending beginning October 1, 2018. The Secretary also committed to immediately begin working with the
Mass Senior Care is pleased to welcome our new members to the 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:
Join colleagues from across the state at our 2018 Annual Meeting & Trade Show on Thursday, November 8th at the DCU Center in Worcester. This year's theme, " Shaping the Future of Long Term Care: It’s All About Quality,” will feature keynote presentations from U.S. Congressman Richard Neal and Mark Parkinson, President & CEO, American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). The afternoon session will include a Department of Public Health Presentation on Nursing Home Quality Initiatives ,
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences, is pleased to announce a free webinar designed for long-term care facility staff interested in or currently reporting C. difficile data in NHSN entitled, “ Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s External Validation of Long-term Care Facility (LTCF) National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Data ”. This free webinar will be held on September 27, 2018 from 12:00pm -1:00pm. Webinar topics include: Presentation of results from MDPH’s external validation
EOHHS Secretary Marylou Sudders announced the creation of the Massachusetts Sepsis Consortium, a public-private partnership of more than 25 organizations, including Mass Senior Care, to collectively address the public health threat sepsis presents. The Massachusetts Sepsis Consortium will: identify and disseminate strategies to advance the prompt diagnosis and treatment of sepsis in all healthcare settings; increase awareness about sepsis prevention, symptoms, and when to seek medical care; and recommend an approach for tracking trends in sepsis morbidity and mortality statewide.
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
The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) today issued a Notice of Proposed Agency Action, which would update Medicaid nursing facility rates in FY 2019. EOHHS Secretary Marylou Sudders presented her FY 2019 proposal to Mass Senior Care Association Board of Directors and indicated that the regulation represents the agency's first step in a short-term stabilization package.
Yesterday afternoon, the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) released proposed regulations to implement the SFY 2019 budget requirement directing the Governor to develop a hardship waiver program for the Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC) Supplement.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released revisions to the Long Term Care Survey Process (LTCSP) Procedure Guide and the LTC Survey FAQs . Other revisions include the LTC Survey Pathways and the LTCSP Initial Pool Care Areas which can be accessed on the CMS website .
A team of nationally recognized long term care researchers from Brown University led by Stefan Gravenstein, MD, MPH, and Vincent Mor, PhD, are undertaking a large-scale quality improvement study to evaluate the impact of the annual influenza vaccine on long term care residents' hospitalization risk for the 2018 influenza season. Nursing centers that meet eligibility and agree to participate will be asked to complete a short survey and receive financial compensation of $150. If you are interested in participating in
MassHealth will be making changes to the Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) process required of all nursing facility admissions in October 2018. 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 PASRR trainings in the next several weeks. Due to overwhelming demand, two additional sessions are being offered for nursing facilities: Location Address Primary Audience Dates
MassHealth will be making changes to the Preadmission Screening and Resident Review (PASRR) process required of all nursing facility admissions in October 2018. 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 PASRR trainings in the next several weeks. The training will be held at the following locations: Location Address Primary audience Dates Time Mount Saint Vincent
As noted in an earlier E-News Update , MassHealth is actively working on a waiver request to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that 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 has expressed serious concerns to MassHealth in regard to the possibility of
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 be available as a self-paced, online training and is 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
On August 10, 2018, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a bill substantially limiting the use of non-competition agreements in Massachusetts. The law will only apply to non-competition agreements entered into on or after October 1, 2018, and with some exceptions will apply to both employees and independent contractors. It also broadly applies to independent contractors and includes any “forfeiture for competition” agreement.
Mass Senior Care invites staff at member facilities to participate in various committees designed to share information on the topics of clinical quality, regulatory, human resources and finance and reimbursement. This information and feedback will assist MSCA staff with developing policy positions and prioritizing strategic initiatives. Committee meetings are held in Mass Senior Care’s office in Waltham. Facility members are invited to participate. If you are interested in attending one of the upcoming committee meetings, please contact Jennifer Chen .
As part of the Baker Administration’s regulatory review and efforts to provide short-term regulatory relief to the nursing home provider community, the Public Health Council authorized the Department of Public Health to promulgate revisions to 105 CMR 153.000, Licensure Procedure and Suitability Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities .These revisions became effective August 24, 2018. Mass Senior Care supported the adoption of the regulations which address many of the concerns Mass Senior Care members and other stakeholders put forth including removal
PointRight, a Mass Senior Care Associate Member, invites all Mass Senior Care members to participate in an upcoming webinar, Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM): The Basics , on Thursday, September 13, 2018 from 2:00pm-3:00pm EDT. This webinar will provide an overview of the basics of PDPM and will discuss the potential impact of this change on facilities’ care processes, and identify areas with a potential for error with recommendations for avoiding them. Please click here for more information on PointRight's upcoming
The National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care and Quality Assurance Performance Improvement will host a call on Dementia Care: Opioid Use & Impact for Persons Living with Dementia Call on September 18, 2018 from 1:30 to 3:00 pm ET. During this call, providers will gain insight on opioid use in the post-acute and long-term care setting and learn about the impact of opioid use on persons living with dementia. Additionally, CMS will share updates on the progress of the National
We have posted on the Mass Senior Care Members Only website January 1, 2018 nursing facility census data, based on updated MassHealth survey information. Please click here to access a capsule summary and links to the 3 worksheets highlighted below. If you need the username and password to the Mass Senior Care Members Only Website to access the data, please contact the Mass Senior Care office at 617-558-0202. Aggregate summary , July 1, 1993 – January 1, 2018 - nursing
Please see below for updated email contact information for the Department of Public Health, Division of Health Care Facility Licensure and Certification: Sherman Lohnes, Director - email@example.com Michelle Bramante, Certification Unit Manager - Michelle.firstname.lastname@example.org Cathy Congo, North Regional Manager - email@example.com Patrice Faysal , South Regional Manager - firstname.lastname@example.org Andrew (“Drew”) LeRoy, West Regional Manager - email@example.com Beth Scheffler, Complaint Unit Manager - Beth.firstname.lastname@example.org
Mass Senior Care is extremely concerned that the ballot initiative would exacerbate the current nurse shortage in long term care facilities, as long term care nurses would be recruited to hospitals in order to meet the mandated staffing requirements proposed in Question 1.
Fourth quarter FY 2017 Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Reports (PEPPERs) are available for hospices, Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs), Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities (IPFs), Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs), and Long-term Acute Care Hospitals (LTCHs). These reports summarize provider-specific data statistics for Medicare services that may be at risk for improper payments. Use your data to support internal auditing and monitoring activities. For instructions on obtaining your PEPPER, read the Secure PEPPER Access Guide . Visit the
The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has updated its work plan and included a new nursing center staffing level review . The August 2018 update indicates that OIG will examine nursing staffing levels reported by facilities to the Payroll-Based Journal and CMS's efforts to ensure data accuracy and improve resident quality of care by both enforcing minimum requirements and incentivizing high quality staffing above minimum requirements.
In the fall of 2017, Beneficiary and Family Centered Care Quality Improvement Organizations (BFCC-QIOs) launched Healthcare Navigation programs that offer a good solution for Medicare fee-for-service patients who need help navigating the health care system. Through this free program, BFCC-QIOs connect Medicare patients, as well as their families and caregivers with the resources and support they need to understand what care is needed and how to access it. You can learn about this free service provided by BFCC-QIOs for Medicare
A 2016 Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report noted that providers may not be informing CMS of ownership changes. Providers must update their enrollment information to reflect changes in ownership within 30 days. Owners are individuals or corporations with a 5 percent or more ownership or controlling interest. Failure to comply could result in revocation of your Medicare billing privileges. Click here for additional information and resources.
With September less than a month away, the Mass Senior Care Association Fall Education Calendar is taking shape with educational offerings for all levels of staff. Registration is now open, please click on the links below to register online or download a registration form. September 25 – MDS 3.0 Updates for October 1, 2018 , Presented in Partnership with Harmony Healthcare International (HHI), 8:30 am - 11:45 am, Boxboro Regency Hotel & Conference Center, Boxboro. Click here to register online
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 July 2018.
In February 2016, the Commissioner of Public Health announced a series of initiatives aimed at fostering quality care delivery in skilled nursing facilities across Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) recognized an opportunity to improve care delivery by strengthening resident and family councils and enhancing resident and family engagement. The Strengthening Resident and Family Councils Initiative launched in March 2017 in an effort to develop, enhance, and sustain Resident and Family Councils by providing education and training opportunities
Annual Performance Score Reports for the FY 2019 Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Purchasing (SNF VBP) program year are now available. SNFs with eligible stays during the CY 2017 performance period can retrieve reports via the Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reporting (CASPER) System. Review and submit correction requests for your performance score and ranking information by August 31 at 11:59 pm. For More Information: SNF VBP Annual Performance Score Report Memo , Program FAQ , Contact SNFVBPinquiries@cms.hhs.gov .
As part of the Baker Administration's regulatory review and efforts to provide short-term regulatory relief to the nursing home provider community, the Public Health Council yesterday authorized the Department of Public Health (DPH) to promulgate revisions to 105 CMR 153.000, Licensure Procedure and Suitability Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities.
CMS has released the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Confidential Performance Score Reports, which contains each SNFs payment adjustment for FY 2019 along with information on rehospitalization rates and scores used to calculate payment adjustments beginning October 1, 2018.
Building on its 33 year legacy of assisting long term care staff in furthering their education, the Massachusetts Senior Care Foundation is proud to announce its 2018 Foundation Scholars . This year's class of 36 exceptional awardees include 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. The 2018 Foundation Scholars represent a broad cross-section of staff and facilities across Massachusetts
CMS adopted the federal fiscal year 2019 (FFY 2019) Medicare SNF PPS rule. The final rule establishes a market basket increase of 2.4 percent, a figure statutorily mandated by Congress, and will start October 1, 2018. CMS also finalized a payment system called the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM).
The National Quality Award Program is pleased to announce that the 2019 application packets are now available online. In addition, the 2019 program calendar and submission checklist have been posted to each award level page. This is an opportunity to show residents, family members and the community-at-large your organization's commitment to continuous quality improvement, and to establish recognition on a national level. Get ready to begin your journey today! Please visit the Bronze , Silver or Gold application pages to
In March 2018, Mass Senior Care began a quality initiative project to identify the most frequently cited deficiencies in Massachusetts long-term care facilities to obtain a better understanding of the reasons for these deficiencies as well as to identify trends.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has updated the Nursing Home Compare (NHC) website with staffing data from the first quarter of 2018. The following measures on NHC have been updated based on PBJ data from January 1 - March 31, 2018