The House of Representatives, yesterday, passed its FY2019 deficiency 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 an abrupt and fundamental redesign of MassHealth’s longstanding capital reimbursement methodology.
Oriol Health Care recently donated 35 ventilator units to Dr. Plutarco Castellanos. Dr. Castellanos will be bringing the ventilators to a newly built hospital in Honduras which will help people in need who are waiting for a unit to become available.
The CDC will host a free webinar on Preventing the Spread of Novel or Targeted Multidrug-resistant Organisms (MDROs) in Nursing Homes through Enhanced Barrier Precautions on Thursday, October 24, 2019 from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm. The CDC recently introduced a new approach called Enhanced Barrier Precautions to help address the challenges in caring for residents with MDROs in nursing homes.
MassHealth’s Technical Refresh, on October 27, 2019, will replace its "end of life" HIPAA compliance and translator tool. Providers and Trading Partners who submit and receive 270/271 batch eligibility transactions are required to evaluate the changes outlined in the MassHealth HIPAA Companion Guides, modify their systems as appropriate, and test the transaction with MassHealth to ensure that files submitted on or after the implementation date will process correctly.
Mass Senior Care’s President Tara Gregorio and Vice President of Clinical Operations for Bane Care Management, Lynne Farrell were featured in the Betsey Lehman Center’s Patient Safety Beat article, "Efforts are on to raise flu vaccination rates for Massachusetts health care staff."
Mass Senior Care earlier this week testified at the MassHealth hearing on the Ambulance and Wheelchair Van services regulation that was adopted on an emergency basis, effective September 20, 2019. The regulation updated Medicaid transportation rates. MSCA members have noted that access to wheelchair van transportation for nursing facility residents to travel to needed physician, treatment or other medical appointments has become increasingly difficult to secure over the last year as many transportation providers have found it challenging to provide transportation service to nursing facilities residents due to Medicaid underfunding.
BaneCare Management, has received the Silver Award in the 2019 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards program. BaneCare is being recognized for their data analysis on residents who are admitted to the hospital after being discharged from a skilled nursing facility.
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.
AHCA has published two new tools and a resource list in the ahcancalED section of the AHCA website. These resources were developed by the AHCA Survey/Regulatory workgroup to support nursing centers and assisted living communities in preventing and addressing reported incidents of resident-to-resident mistreatment.
EOHHS last week issued proposed revised rates for services provided by temporary nursing to licensed hospitals and nursing facilities -- 101 CMR 345/Temporary Nursing Services (TNS). The proposed amendments would establish the rate limits for temporary nursing agency services for each geographic region as purchased by hospitals and nursing facilities effective January 1, 2020.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences and Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality invites you to participate in an educational webinar on healthcare personnel influenza vaccination for long-term care facilities. This webinar is scheduled for October 23rd, 2019 from 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm. Click here to register for this webinar
EOHHS has scheduled a public hearing on Friday, November 1, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. in the First Floor Conference Room, 100 Hancock Street, Quincy, Massachusetts MA relative to the adoption of the FY 2020 Medicaid nursing facility rate regulation - 101 CMR 206.00: Standard Payments to Nursing Facilities. The regulation was adopted last week on an Emergency basis. The EOHHS Nursing Home Provider Payments webpage includes links to the new regulation and summary rate worksheet. EOHHS will issue the October 1 rate certification letters to providers via email on or around October 22nd.
The Determination of Need (DoN) program has released guidelines which provides guidance to applicants on submitting proposed project applications that consolidate all planned or reasonably foreseeable capital expenditures for a licensed health care facility during a single federal fiscal year. The DoN program will host an educational webinar on the consolidation guideline for all interested parties to provide information about changes to the application process.
CMS this week issued three important manual updates for PDPM implementation including Medicare General Information, Eligibility, and Entitlement Manual PDPM, Medicare Benefit Policy Manual and the Medicare Claims Processing Manual.
CMS announced that starting on October 23, 2019, nursing facilities that have been cited at the G-level or above for abuse, neglect and exploitation under F600, F602 and F603 in the last year or at the D-level or above for the potential harm in the past two year will be flagged with an abuse icon on Nursing Home Compare. 43 Massachusetts nursing facilities are impacted by this policy.
EOHHS has adopted on an emergency basis updated Medicaid rates of payment for Ambulance and Wheelchair Van services, effective September 20, 2019. Mass Senior Care has urged MassHealth to address transportation funding and shortages to ensure access to critical wheelchair van services.
Don't miss our 2019 Annual Meeting & Trade Show on Thursday, November 14th at the DCU Center in Worcester. This year's theme, “The Future of Long Term Care: Strategies to Survive and Succeed”, will feature Clif Porter, Senior Vice President of Government Relations at AHCA/NCAL and Secretary Rosalin Acosta, Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
The Department of Public Health has published on its website information on preventing falls with injury in nursing homes. A newly published Special Emphasis Report: Nursing Home Falls with Injury, by Patient Characteristics 2013-2018 uses data reported to DPH to better understand individual characteristics that may increase the likelihood of a fall as well as those that may make it less likely for a resident to suffer a fall.
Massachusetts Senior Care Association is a proud partner organization of The Massachusetts Sepsis Consortium, a public-private effort of more than two dozen organizations to reduce sepsis morbidity and mortality, coordinated by the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety. The Massachusetts Sepsis Consortium marked Sepsis Awareness Month by launching Sepsis Smart, a statewide campaign to alert people to sepsis, its symptoms and the need to act fast if sepsis is suspected.
The transition of the Nurse Aide Registry from the IVR Phone System to the new, online Nurse Aide Registry Inquiry System (NARIS) is complete. Moving forward, all Registry checks must be completed online using NARIS.
Implementation of the new Medicare Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) commenced on October 1st. AHCA has also created a survey to secure real-time information on PDPM implementation for the purpose of informing our advocacy efforts with CMS.
Labor and workforce issues continue to be a top concern for Mass Senior Care provider members. Earlier this week, Mass Senior Care electronically distributed to nursing facilities a Labor and Workforce Survey due by October 9, 2019.
The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) has adopted via an Emergency basis the FY 2020 Medicaid nursing facility rate regulation. The EOHHS Nursing Home Provider Payments webpage includes links to the new regulation and summary rate worksheet.
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. Upcoming
Implementation of the new Medicare Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) starts on October 1st. Over the last year, Mass Senior Care has worked to ensure that members are well prepared for this payment change through a series of educational seminars and workshop trainings, including the PDPM Academy seminar, and provision of the Toolkit Resources. We request that you please contact us immediately if your facility experiences any unanticipated difficulties during the initial transition period so that we can work to address
The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) yesterday issued a Notice of Proposed Agency Action to implement the FY 2020 Medicaid rate regulation. As noted in Mass Senior Care Association’s communication to members, the regulation would increase Medicaid funding by $53 million, including implementation of the FY 2020 budget act provisions for broad-based funding and targeted funding.
Please join Mass Senior Care, NALCO Water, An Ecolab Company and the Department of Public Health on October 31, 2019 for a webinar on Legionnaires’ disease, a serious, potentially deadly form of bacterial pneumonia. This webinar will focus on the public health risk of Legionnaires’ disease (LD), approaches to preventing outbreaks, and the CMS water management plan requirements.
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. Please see our upcoming October meetings.
This is a reminder that after September 27, 2019 at 3PM, you will no longer be able to check the Nurse Aide Registry using the current phone verification system. Beginning on Monday, September 30, the only way to check the Registry will be through the new online system. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Nurse Aide Registry Services (NARS) is transitioning from the current Interactive Voice Response (IVR) phone verification system to a new online inquiry system for verification
The first meeting of the legislatively mandated Nursing Home Task Force is set to meet on Friday, September 20th. The Task Force is charged with making recommendations to ensure the sustainability of the nursing facility sector.
At the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs hearing on September 17th, Tara Gregorio, President of Mass Senior Care presented testimony in support of House Bill 619, An Act Relative to Promoting Innovation in Elder Care Services filed by Representative Ron Mariano (D-Quincy).
Jiaoyu Xiong began working as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) over a year ago. During this time, she has realized a career in nursing was her passion. Immigrating from China five years ago, Jiaoyu has made tremendous strides in learning a new language, working part-time, obtaining an EMT certificate and graduating from Holyoke Community College with an Associate’s Degree.
On Wednesday, the Department of Public Health approved a 3-year extension for nursing homes to comply with the CARES Act requirement that prescriptions be issued on a federally-compliant, secure system. The requirement was scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2019.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s (DPH) Nurse Aide Registry Services (NARS) is transitioning from the current Interactive Voice Response (IVR) phone verification system to a new Nurse Aide Registry Inquiry System (NARIS) for verification of certified nurse aides (CNAs) and healthcare employees who have direct contact with patients or residents. This transition will ensure a more efficient self-service method for verification of certification and sanction information.
In July 2019, the Department of Public Heath launched the Medication for Opioid Use Disorders in Long-Term Care Program (MOUD in LTC Program), which aims to reduce challenges to the continuity of care for individuals who receive medication for opioid use disorders at opioid treatment programs and are residents in long-term care facilities.
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 August 2019. This new file is meant to replace the updated List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) database file available for download last month.
The CDC recently published the 2019-20 ACIP Influenza Vaccine recommendations in the MMWR: “Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices - United States, 2019." The CDC has also released a Fight Flu Toolkit, which helps providers convey the threat of flu and why flu vaccination is so important.
On September 4, 2019, Attorney General Maura Healey certified 12 initiatives for the 2020 ballot, including a petition to establish adequate Medicaid nursing home funding. At this point, the Attorney General has determined that these proposals have met the requirements outlined in the Massachusetts constitution and may proceed to the next step in the process, the collection of voter signatures from 80,239 registered voters by December 4, 2019.
The Bureau of Health Care Safety and Quality has posted responses to frequently asked questions (“FAQs”) about Circular Letter 18-12-682: Long-Term Care Facility Beds Out of Service – New Process as well as an informational graphic. These responses to FAQs and the related graphic are meant to help clarify the new process related to open long-term care facilities taking beds out of service or reactivating out of service beds.
The next CMS Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF)/Long Term Care (LTC) Open Door Forum scheduled for Thursday, September 19, 2019 from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern Time (ET).The agenda includes: PDPM, PBJ and SNF QRP resource updates, and CMS-6058-FC Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Programs; Program Integrity Enhancements to the Provider Enrollment Process. To participate by phone: Dial: 1-888-455-1397 & Conference Passcode: 4676500. Pre-registration for the call is not required.