Last week Secretary of State William Galvin certified the required 87,000 registered voter signatures for four initiative petitions to appear on the November 2020 ballot including the nursing home ballot question, which seeks to increase state funding for nursing home care.
On December 20, 2019, CMS posted a new DRAFT version of the 2020 MDS item sets (v1.18.0) on the CMS website. This version is scheduled to become effective October 1, 2020. Please note that Section G has been removed from all Federal item sets.
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 November 2019.
The American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) released the following announcement this week about the discontinuation of the ACHCA certification exams (Note: not mandated state licensure exams) for nursing home and assisted living administrators:
Heather Reinhold is a charge nurse at Mount Greylock Extended Care Facility in Pittsfield. Heather recently completed her long-time goal of becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) and is now pursuing a baccalaureate degree in nursing at Elms College.
On Friday, December 13th, Life Care Center of the North Shore organized a drum circle for residents and visitors from Mass Senior Care and The Boston Globe. The event was led by David Currier, Life Care’s expert on dementia programming in the Northeast Division, alongside Sarah Blacker, a board-certified Music Therapist.
Mass Senior Care is offering a robust calendar of educational seminars to provide long term care staff with the most up-to-date information on clinical, regulatory, financial and workforce issues. The seminars below are now open for registration, please contact us if you need additional information.
The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) has adopted revised rates for services provided by temporary nursing to licensed hospitals and nursing facilities – 101 CMR 345/Temporary Nursing Services.
Governor Baker has signed into law the FY2019 supplemental appropriation bill, which includes $10 million to restore funding for nursing facilities which saw rate cuts of up to $2.80/day, as a result of a fundamental redesign of MassHealth’s longstanding capital reimbursement methodology.
The Massachusetts’ medical parole law became effective on April 13, 2018. With the passage of the medical parole law, Massachusetts joined the majority of other states in having a procedure to release prisoners who are too ill to present a safety risk to the public. The Prisoners’ Legal Services of Massachusetts has provided the following background memo in regard to the Massachusetts Medical Parole Law.
The Legislature last evening adopted and sent to Governor Baker a FY2019 supplemental appropriation bill, which includes $10 million to restore funding for 170 nursing facilities which saw rate cuts of up to $2.80/day, as a result of a fundamental redesign of MassHealth’s longstanding capital reimbursement methodology. MSCA President Tara Gregorio praised the Legislature for its action to use surplus funds to help support vital services for the Commonwealth’s frail elders.
The Joint Committee on Elder Affairs, chaired by Representative Ruth Balser (D-Newton) and Senator Patricia Jehlen (D-Somerville), recently gave a favorable report to House Bill 619, “An Act Relative to Promoting Innovation in Eldercare Services,” filed by House Majority Leader Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy). Mass Senior Care supports a zero-interest loan program for providers seeking to convert skilled nursing facilities to other important housing and long term care services and supports. A significant barrier for such projects is the lack of available financing.
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.
Mass Senior Care is pleased to report that the Massachusetts DPH has announced a new initiative to encourage long term care facilities to achieve a goal of 90% flu vaccination rate for all health care personnel. DPH will reimburse the calendar year 2020 and 2021 licensure renewal fee for long term care facilities that meet this 90% vaccination rate and successfully complete the required reporting to the Department by the April 15, 2020 deadline.
The third meeting of the legislatively mandated Nursing Facility Task Force was held Friday, November 22nd, and focused on the CHIA Nursing Facility Industry Report covering the period 2013-2017. The Task Force is required to submit its report to the legislature, including any proposed legislation necessary to carry out its recommendations, not later than February 1, 2020.
On November 22, 2019, CMS released a memo entitled "Updates and Initiatives to Ensure Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes." The memo includes updates and announcements on several including Phase 3 Interpretive Guidance, Arbitration Agreements, Infection Prevention and Control and New Toolkit on Employee Satisfaction.
Due to the overall decrease of Tuberculosis cases and low incidence of TB among Health Care Personnel due to occupational exposure, routine practice of annual testing is no longer recommended for HCP. The recommendations for facility risk assessments and infection control practices did not change from the 2005 guidelines.
Mass Senior Care's 2019 Annual Meeting & Trade Show event was a great success. Tara Gregorio, President of Mass Senior Care highlighted the success of advocacy efforts which resulted in a $66 million increase for nursing home care.
Massachusetts Senior Care Association is a proud partner organization of The Massachusetts Healthcare Safety and Quality Consortium which brings together the state’s health care community — providers, payers, patients, government agencies, and other policymakers and experts — to accelerate safety and quality improvement statewide.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) last week issued a proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation that would impact provider assessments and upper payment limit (UPL) programs.
Earlier this year, EOHHS established a new grant program for eligible MassHealth providers to fund efforts to improve access to health care services for individuals with disabilities or for whom English is not a primary language.
The American Health Care Association (AHCA) has provided the following PDPM Claims Payment Update: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) informed AHCA that all Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) claims, including multiple Health Insurance Prospective Payment System (HIPPS) code claims, will now process. Members should submit all claims as quickly as possible to start the 14-day floor claims process.
Massachusetts Senior Care Association is a proud partner organization of The Massachusetts Healthcare Safety and Quality Consortium which brings together the state’s health care community — providers, payers, patients, government agencies, and other policymakers and experts — to accelerate safety and quality improvement statewide. The consortium led by the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety was formed after a study found 62,000 preventable harm events in Massachusetts in 2017. The goal of the consortium is to create a Roadmap to
The Legislature continues to deliberate on the $700 million FY 2019 year end supplemental budget, which includes $10 million to restore funding for 170 nursing facilities which saw rate cuts of up to $2.80 per day, as a result of an abrupt and fundamental redesign of MassHealth’s longstanding capital reimbursement methodology.
Mass Senior Care last Friday presented testimony on EOHHS’ $56 million nursing facility rate regulation. At the public hearing, Chief Operating Officer Gary Abrahams noted that the October 1 regulation implemented the legislatively-required $50 million rate increase, which is necessary to begin to help stabilize the nursing facility sector.
The Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality has released a Circular Letter providing clarification on the use of the term “ambulatory” in the definition of rest home in 105 CMR 150.000 Standards for Long-Term Care Facilities
Due to technical difficulties with the Quality Award Portal, the American Health Care Association is extending the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Intent to Apply (ITA) deadline to Thursday, November 21st. Submissions must be received before 8 pm ET on November 21st.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on November 1st announced via a Federal Register notice that it is extending the validity of TPS-related documentation for beneficiaries under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designations for El Salvador, Haiti, Honduras, Nepal, Nicaragua and Sudan through January 4, 2021.
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.
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 2019. 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 submission deadline for the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) has been extended to November 18, 2019. Assessment data SNFs submitted April 1 – June 30 (Q2) of calendar year (CY) 2019 are due with this deadline.
Mass Senior Care will present testimony on EOHHS $56 million nursing facility rate regulation at tomorrow’s public hearing. Mass Senior Care is grateful that the October 1 regulation implements the legislatively-required $50 million rate increase designed to begin to help stabilize the nursing home sector.
Legislation impacting long term care facilities was heard at the October 29th Joint Committee on Elder Affairs hearing. Representative Denise Garlick (D-Needham) presented oral remarks on her bill, House Bill 609, An Act Relative to Promoting the Betterment of Resident’s Health and Safety in Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Facilities
Life Care Centers of America recently honored Ted Eliopoulos, Director of Business Development, upon his retirement. Ted has worked in long term care for over 25 years and throughout his tenure has been an active member of Mass Senior Care Association. We extend our best wishes to Ted!