The Massachusetts Consultation Service for Treatment of Addiction and Pain (MCSTAP) offers on demand, telephonic professional consultation to providers on safe prescribing and managing care for patients with chronic pain, substance use disorder (SUD), or both.
The November 2019 State Survey Agency Directors Memorandum (PDF) includes infection control information and basic practices to improve resident safety and quality in nursing homes. Providers can access the following resources by visiting Quality, Safety & Education Portal
Mass Senior Care last week submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) urging the agency to delay implementation of the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule (MFAR) until the CMS has time to collect detailed data from the states and assess state impacts using a Technical Expert Panel.
The FY 2020 budget act authorizes the Direct Care Staff Payment at $38.3 million. Please note that EOHHS has updated its Nursing Facility Direct Care Program FAQ for 2020. EOHHS previously issued Administrative Bulletin 20-03 specifying the compliance criteria and reporting requirements for the 2020 Nursing Facility Direct Care Staff Payment Program.
The fifth and final meeting of the legislatively mandated Nursing Facility Task Force was held Friday, January 31st, and focused on reviewing the Policy Points of Agreement for inclusion in the Final Task Force Report.
The critical shortage of direct care workers across the continuum of long term care was at the forefront of an informational hearing held by the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs this week. Focused on the direct impact the workforce crisis is having on nursing facilities, rest homes, adult day health and home care, the Committee invited testimony from Executive Office of Elder Affairs Secretary Elizabeth Chen and Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development Secretary Rosalin Acosta, policy leaders, industry experts and direct care workers.
Massachusetts is facing a growing shortage of paid caregivers for frail older and disabled residents, with thousands of jobs going unfilled and rampant turnover reported at skilled nursing homes and home care agencies across the state. At a State House hearing Tuesday, front-line care workers and senior living officials attributed the worsening shortage to low wages, lack of opportunities for advancement, and a surfeit of better-paying jobs in the hot Massachusetts economy. They also blamed tightening federal restrictions on immigrants
Due to the anticipated winter weather during tomorrow morning’s commute, Mass Senior Care is postponing the start time for the Associate Members' Meeting on Thursday, February 6th. The meeting will still be held tomorrow but is now scheduled from 12 noon – 2:00 pm.
IHI is offering the sixth Age-Friendly Health System Action Community this spring. This is an opportunity for teams from different health systems to accelerate adoption of the 4Ms in a largely virtual community. As part of the post-acute care communities, nursing homes have been invited to participate in these Action Communities.
The early registration discount for our March 12th full day seminar, PDPM 6 Months Later: The Massachusetts Experience, ends tomorrow, Friday, January 31st. Send in your registration now to guarantee you will receive the reduced rate for this important program.
A new DRAFT version of the MDS 3.0 Item Set Change History for October 2020 (v1.18.0) was posted. This document reflects the changes in the DRAFT version of the 2020 MDS item sets (v1.18.0) posted on December 20, 2019.
Over 100 members of the nursing facility community including residents, staff and service vendors took to the State House on January 28th to kick off Mass Senior Care’s FY 2021 Budget Advocacy Campaign to urge legislators to support funding for quality nursing home care.
Mass Senior Care’s State House Advocacy Kick-Off Event has been rescheduled to January 28th at 12:30pm to coincide with the recently announced Joint Committee on Elder Affairs public hearing on the Nursing Home Funding Ballot Initiative (House Bill 4304).
The FY 2020 budget act authorizes the Direct Care Staff Payment at $38.3 million. Please note that EOHHS has issued Administrative Bulletin 20-03 specifying the compliance criteria and reporting requirements for the 2020 Nursing Facility Direct Care Staff Payment Program.
Healthcentric Advisors, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, invites you to participate on Tuesday February 4, 2020 (10-11 AM) to explore the current threat of multi-drug resistant organisms (MDROs).
Governor Baker yesterday released his FY 2021 budget recommendation and proposes an alarming $30 million cut in nursing home funding (line item 4000-0641). This proposed cut is disappointing and fails to reflect the nursing facility financial and workforce crisis that is currently threatening the viability of the nursing facility sector.
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 December 2019. This new file is meant to replace the updated List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) database file available for download last month.
Clusters of gastrointestinal and respiratory illness in a LTCF or ALR are reportable to the Department of Public Health upon their initial identification, and can be reported using the Gastrointestinal Illness or Influenza/Respiratory Illness Cluster Form.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences and Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality will host an educational webinar on healthcare personnel influenza vaccination for long-term care facilities.
Earlier this week, the legislature assigned the Nursing Home Funding Ballot Initiative (House Bill 4304) to the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs. A public hearing on the bill is expected in the next few weeks.
Submit your application for the 2020 AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program by January 23 at 8:00 pm. Late submissions and payments will not be accepted. To download the Bronze, Silver and Gold application packets and free educational resources, visit the Quality Award website, and submit your application through the Quality Award Portal.
Starting December 19, AHCA LTC Trend Tracker users have access to a tool that shows what is determining their Five-Star Quality Measure ratings and how they can improve. The tool reflects three major changes the CMS introduced to the Five-Star rating in April and October 2019.
Governor Charlie Baker’s FY 2021 budget recommendation is expected to be issued on January 22nd. Mass Senior Care is encouraging members to contact Governor Charlie Baker urging him to close the nursing facility funding gap in the FY 2021 budget. As a critical part of our ongoing advocacy efforts, please join us on January 30th for Mass Senior Care's Advocacy Kick-Off Event at the Massachusetts State House.
DPH has issued an informational memorandum further clarifying the Department’s December 2018 Circular Letter regarding the process for Long Term Care Facility (LTCF) beds out of service, including the procedures for temporary and permanent removal of beds.
Annual Dementia Special Care Unit (DSCU) Disclosure statements must be filed with the Department of Public Health no later than March 1st. Disclosure statements must be submitted using the Health Care Facility Reporting System (HCFRS). Additional information on filing, including a blank disclosure form, is available online.
Effective December 30, 2019, Stephen Davis has assumed the role as the manager of the DPH Complaint Unit and Deputy Division Director. Over the next several months Stephen Davis will transition into the role of Complaint Unit Manager, and out of his day to day responsibilities as Licensure Unit Manager.
AHCA has posted the following information on Medicare Part B therapy services and payment updates effective on January 1, 2020. Late last year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the Calendar Year 2020 Physician Fee Schedule Payment Final Rule.
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.