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).
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 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
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 National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care and Quality Assurance Performance Improvement is hosting a call on Tuesday, September 18 from 1:30 to 3 pm ET on Dementia Care: Opioid Use & Impact for Persons Living with Dementia. Register for this Medicare Learning Network event . During this call, gain insight on opioid use in the post-acute and long-term care setting. Also, learn about the impact of opioid use on persons living with dementia. Additionally, CMS shares updates on the
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
PLEASE ASK GOVERNOR BAKER TO SIGN INTO LAW MEDICAID LINE ITEM 4000-0641, WHICH WOULD PROVIDE CRITICALLY NEEDED FUNDING FOR QUALITY NURSING HOME CARE Governor Baker's telephone number is 617-725-4005. Background: Governor Charlie Baker is currently reviewing the Legislature's FY 2019 Budget, which includes $12.8 million in new spending for nursing home care. The Governor has until Saturday, July 28th to either sign, veto or return with amendment portions of the budget. Action: Please call Governor Charlie Baker's office TODAY to
Yesterday, legislative leaders agreed on a FY 2019 spending proposal, which includes $12.8 million in new spending on nursing home care and a MSCA-sponsored requirement that the Governor develop a hardship waiver program for the EMAC Supplement.
This week, CommonWealth Magazine published an op-ed, " Nursing home sector on verge of collapse " authored by Matt Salmon , CEO of SALMON Health & Retirement and Chairman of the Massachusetts Senior Care Association. In response to the current financial conditions of long term care facilities, Salmon calls on the state and federal government to make meaningful investments to stabilize the skilled nursing facility sector. "Greater investment is needed immediately to prevent further erosion of the state's nursing home
In response to a request for clarification from Mass Senior Care to the CMS Survey Development Team in February on F700 Bedrails, Mass Senior Care received the following response: "Appendix PP defines bedrails as
Massachusetts Senior Care Association is pleased to offer Associate Members sponsorship opportunities and exhibitor booths for the upcoming 2018 Annual Meeting & Trade Show on Thursday, November 8th at the DCU Center in Worcester. This year's featured speakers are U.S. Congressman Richard Neal and Governor Mark Parkinson , President & CEO of American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). Don't miss this opportunity – these sponsorships can promote your business, increase awareness of your products and services, and
Mass Senior Care's Finance and Reimbursement Committee scheduled for Friday, July 20th has been rescheduled to Friday, September 28th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Mass Senior Care office in Waltham. Please contact Jennifer Chen if you have any questions.
Mass Senior Care is forwarding the following message from the Board of Registration in Nursing (Board). The Board no longer issues paper license renewal reminders or paper licenses. The Board will use email to communicate renewal reminders and important changes in statute, regulations and policies related to nursing. FAILURE TO PROVIDE A WORKING EMAIL ADDRESS WILL PREVENT YOU FROM RECEIVING THESE IMPORTANT UPDATES . To add or change your email address, log onto https://www.mass.gov/how-to/update-your-nursing-license-information . The data base does not
Two Mass Senior Care member facilities are being recognized with a 2018 Silver – Achievement in Quality Award by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). The award is the second of three distinctions possible through the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program, which honors long term and post-acute care providers that have demonstrated their commitment to improving the quality of care for seniors
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a revised version of QSO-17-30 that clarifies expectations for providers, accrediting organizations, and surveyors on requirements to reduce Legionella risk in health care center's water systems. This memorandum replaces S&C-17-30 released on June 2, 2017, and revised on June 9, 2017. The memo indicates that facilities must have water management plans and documentation that ensure each center: Conducts a facility risk assessment related to Legionella and other opportunistic waterborne pathogens;
CMS is providing notifications to facilities that were determined to be out of compliance with Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) requirements for CY 2017, which will affect their FY 2019 Annual Payment Update (APU). Non-compliance notifications were mailed by the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and have been placed into facilities' CASPER folders in QIES on July 9, 2018. Facilities that receive a letter of non-compliance may submit a request for reconsideration to CMS via email no later
Get the resources and training that your facility needs to run an effective antibiotic stewardship program by joining a 12-month national project. Beginning in December 2018, the AHRQ Safety Program for Improving Antibiotic Use provides participating long-term care facilities with antibiotic use guidelines, expert coaching, online education, improvement tools, patient education materials, and more to help you prevent harms associated with antibiotics, such as Clostridium difficile . Participants also have the opportunity to earn continuing education credits. To learn more
Congressman Joseph Kennedy, III toured Newton Wellesley Center for Alzheimer's Care in Wellesley, hearing personal stories from family members and nursing facility staff on the importance of investing in direct care staff and funding for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Pictured: Congressman Joseph Kennedy, III (center) with residents’ family members and staff at Newton Wellesley Alzheimer’s Care. Commissioner Monica Bharel , Department of Public Health visits Broad Reach Health Care in Chatham to discuss nursing facility workforce challenges, impact on
On July 9th, a group of industry, academic and government partners affiliated with Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Council to Address Aging announced a global innovation challenge for the improvement of wellbeing in aging populations. The In Good Company: The 2018 Optimal Aging Challenge seeks to develop breakthrough technologies, community resources and solutions that reduce social isolation and loneliness among older adults. The Challenge will continue through September 28, and winners will be chosen in December.
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 June 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 July 1, 2018, Massachusetts' Pay Equity Law, Chapter 177 of the Acts of 2016, took effect. The statute amends the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA) to stipulate that no employer can discriminate in any way on the basis of gender in the payment of wage, or pay any person a salary or wage rate less than the rates paid to its employees of a different gender for comparable work, defined as work that requires substantially similar skill, effort, responsibility,
This November, Massachusetts voters will consider a ballot question that would set government-mandated nurse staffing levels at all hospitals across the Commonwealth. Massachusetts Senior Care has 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 result in exacerbating the current shortage of nursing staff for long term care facilities – one in seven nursing positions are unfilled – as long term
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that starting in July 2018 it will post the number of hours worked by non-nursing staff (all staff listed in Table 1 of the PBJ Policy Manual ) submitted through the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system. CMS will also begin to distinguish between hours submitted for direct employees and contract staff. The American Health Care Association (AHCA) has prepared a detailed memorandum in regard to updates and timeline reminders related to
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a note that Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Provider Preview Reports have been updated and are now available. Providers have until July 1, 2018 to review their performance data prior to public display on the Nursing Home Compare (NHC) site. Corrections to the underlying data will not be permitted during this time. However, providers can request a CMS review during the preview period if they believe their data scores displayed are
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.
On June 26 th , the American Health Care Association (AHCA) submitted a detailed comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in regard to the agency’s FFY 2019 SNF PPS Proposed Rule. CMS has proposed a new Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System (SNF PPS). The new payment system, called the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), would replace the Resource Utilization Group (RUGs) PPS entirely on October 1, 2019. It is as yet unclear if CMS' proposed
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.
The SFY 2019 Appropriations Conference Committee is currently meeting to reconcile the differences between the House of Representatives’ and Senate's SFY 2019 budget recommendations. Mass Senior has sent letters to the Conference Committee on the following issues that would impact long term care in the SFY 2019 budget:
The House of Representatives earlier this week enacted an omnibus health care reform bill. The final bill includes three nursing home provisions that Mass Senior Care supported in order to preserve access to long and short term care. Creation of an Emergency Task Force on the Financial Conditions and Future of Massachusetts Nursing Home Care – the emergency task force, of which Mass Senior Care would be a member, would be required to evaluate options and make policy recommendations necessary
At the June 13th Board of Registration in Nursing (Board) meeting, the Board revised Advisory Ruling (AR) 0801: Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in Long-Term Care Facilities to clarify and ensure compliance with current statutes, regulations and scope of practice standards. AR 0801 guides the decision making of Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation when a patient in a health care setting has been found unresponsive. Mass Senior Care and provider members worked with the Department of Public Health, Bureau
On June 15th, the Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality, the Drug Control Program and Board of Registration in Pharmacy, through the Bureau of Health Professions Licensure released a revised list of controlled substances in Schedules II-V that Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCFs) are permitted to store on their premises in a locked Emergency Kit.
On June 15th, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) issued its annual policy report entitled June 2018 Report to the Congress: Medicare and the Health Care Delivery System . This report fulfills the Commission’s legislative mandate to evaluate Medicare payment issues and to make recommendations to the Congress. You can view the entire report or sections of the report from the MedPAC Report webpage . To view the fact sheet, click here . Please note that the report includes ten
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the final version of the revised policies on the immediate imposition of federal remedies. The Quality, Safety & Oversight (QSO) memo 18-18-NH replaces S&C: 16-31-NH , released in July 2016 and S&C: 18-01-NH , published in a draft on October 27, 2017. With this finalized version of the immediate imposition policies, CMS has revised guidance in Chapter 7 of the State Operations Manual (SOM) related to the Immediate Imposition of Federal
Leaders of Mass Senior Care Association advocated on Capitol Hill during AHCA/NCAL’s Annual Congressional Briefing on June 5 th and 6 th . Matthew Salmon , Mass Senior Care Chairman was joined by Frank Romano , MSCA Board Member, Travis Romano , MSCA Member, John Olenio , MSCA Associate Member Medline and Tara Gregorio , MSCA President, who met with the Massachusetts Congressional delegation to discuss elder care issues and legislative priorities including financial pressures on the profession and common-sense
AHCA recently received clarification from CMS on S&C Memo: 17-30 Requirement to Reduce Legionella Risk in Healthcare Facility Water Systems to Prevent Cases and Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease (LD). CMS has clarified that testing for Legionella or other waterborne pathogens are not required, unless it is required by the state. Facilities must have a water management plan to assess the risk of pathogens and have testing protocols in place.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is holding a webinar on Tuesday, June 19th at 1:00pm ET on Emergency Preparedness for Providers. The national webinar will address topics and questions related to the new CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule, the 1135 waiver and Lessons Learned (observations) within the past year. Register for the webinar here .
In the past weeks, several members have noted unusual outputs from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) tools. Since then, AHCA has been in contact with CMS and CMS has updated several tools to correct errors. Please click here to read the complete summary from AHCA.