CMS Offers Advancing Care Coordination through Episode Payment Models (EPMs); Cardiac Incentive Payment Model; and Changes to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model Webinar

This week, GHCA received the following communication from CMS: On August 2, 2016, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published four new payment models and refinements to a current model through a notice of proposed rulemaking to further advance care coordination for Medicare fee-for-service (FFS) beneficiaries, which will begin on July 1, 2017. Three new episode payment models (EPMs) would test making participants financially accountable for the quality and cost of episodes of care helping achieve the goal of higher quality at a lower cost for the following episodes: An acute myocardial infarction (AMI), including both medical therapy and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), A coronary artery bypass graft (CABG), and A surgical hip/femur fracture treatment, excluding lower extremity joint replacements (SHFFT). The Cardiac Rehabilitation (CR) incentive payment model for EPMs and Medicare FFS participants would test financial incentives for Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) hospitals that encourage the management of beneficiaries following an AMI or CABG toward greater utilization of CR services. Lastly, CMS is proposing refinements to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMS Innovation Center) will host a webinar to present various aspects of the Advancing Care Coordination through Episode Payment Models (EPMs); Cardiac Incentive Payment Model; and Changes to the Comprehensive [...]

August 24th, 2016|News, Newsfront, Quality Corner|

Webinar: SNF Quality Reporting Program

On September 1, 1:30 - 3:00 p.m., CMS will host a webinar designed to educate participants on the reporting requirements for the new Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP), effective October 1, 2016. The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act) established the SNF QRP and requires the submission of standardized data. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. Click here to register. Agenda: Overview of the IMPACT Act and the SNF QRP Resources for providers Three Quality Measures (QMs) finalized for SNF QRP in FY 16 SNF Prospective Payment System (PPS) Final Rule Four QMs Finalized in FY 17 SNF PPS Final Rule Data collection timeframe and data submission deadline for the FY 18 payment determination Consequences of not meeting the data submission deadline Reconsideration and exception and extension procedures

August 24th, 2016|News, Newsfront, Quality Corner|

AHCA/NCAL Announces Agreement with Motion Picture Licensing Corporation

As reported on AHCA/NCAL’s Long Term Care Leader Blog: “Movie Night” is a time honored tradition at an assisted living community or skilled nursing center – an expected social activity for many residents. This week, AHCA/NCAL announced a formal agreement with the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC) to help long term and post-acute care providers continue to offer this cherished event while adhering to federal copyright laws. Motion picture showings within senior living and health care communities have always required a public performance license in accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act. As a result, AHCA/NCAL (and all other leading industry associations including, LeadingAge, National Association of Activity Professional (NAAP), American Senior Housing Association (ASHA), and Argentum has entered into a new agreement with MPLC. The 2016 Agreement better educates members on the need for copyright compliance when motion pictures and other audiovisual programs are shown in senior living and health care communities. The Agreement states that: All communities, regardless of their type or license status, must obtain licensure for exhibitions of Videos transmitted over a closed circuit television system or in-house channel. All communities, regardless of their type or license status, must obtain licensure for exhibitions of Videos in common areas such as a theater, lounge, or community room. Assisted living, nursing and rehabilitation units [...]

August 24th, 2016|Assisted Living, News, Newsfront|

Governor Nathan Deal Visits GHCA Headquarters

On Tuesday, GHCA was thrilled to have Governor Nathan Deal join us as our special guest at the Board of Directors Meeting at our headquarters in Stockbridge. There, he spoke to GHCA leadership about his Opportunity School District initiative that will be on the November 8 general election ballot. The initiative focuses on improving education in Georgia schools which will, in turn, better prepare young people in the state to join the workforce. For more information on this initiative, click here. Also during the meeting, GHCA leadership had the opportunity to discuss long term care related issues with Governor Deal. There was excellent dialogue and the Governor assured those in attendance that he is open to further discussion with GHCA on these issues in the future. Following the meeting, the Governor took the time to visit with members individually and take photos. “On behalf of GHCA, thank you to Governor Deal for taking the time to come speak with our leaders,” said GHCA President & CEO, Tony Marshall. “It was an honor having him at our Board meeting and we look forward to having additional meaningful discussions with him in the future.”  

August 19th, 2016|Legislative, News, Newsfront|

CMS Seeks Public Comment for Development and Maintenance of Post-Acute Care Cross-Setting Standardized Assessment Data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) seeks comments from stakeholders on data items that meet the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 ( IMPACT Act) domains of: cognitive function and mental status; special services, treatments, and interventions; medical conditions and co-morbidities; and impairments. In this document, we summarize each data item including background and item use. In addition to general comments, CMS is specifically interested in public feedback regarding these topics: potential for improving quality, validity, feasibility for use in PAC, and utility for describing case mix. Send comments to or to: RAND Corporation 1200 South Hayes Street Arlington, VA 22202-5050 Attn: Barbara Hennessey, W7E Comments are due by August 26, 2016 by 11:59pm ET. For more information, visit the CMS Public Comment Website.

August 18th, 2016|News, Newsfront, Quality Corner|

Georgia State Long Term-Care Ombudsman Program Changes

The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program has recently made changes to regional and center assignments. The Office of the State Ombudsman has provided an updated overview of representatives and counties served.  Please take a few minutes to review and share with appropriate members on your team to ensure availability of current and accurate information. Click to view.

August 18th, 2016|News, Newsfront, Quality Corner|

Bring the Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT) to Your Center

The Virtual Dementia Tour (VDT) is a scientifically proven method that builds sensitivity and awareness in individuals caring for those with dementia by temporarily altering participants’ physical and mental abilities. This evidence-based program simulates changes associated with mid-stage cognitive decline. Second Wind Dreams has received a CMP funded grant to provide VDT training to skilled nursing centers across Georgia at no cost to the center. As the number of patients diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimers continues to grow and the regulatory oversight of care delivery and quality of life for this population increases, specialized training for your staff is more important than ever. For more information, visit the links below: Click here for the VDT grant brochure. Click here for the VDT information packet.

August 18th, 2016|News, Newsfront, Quality Corner|

New Statewide Transition Plan Available for Public Comment Through September 9, 2016

The Georgia Department of Community Health has announced that the revised Statewide Transition Plan is available for public comment. The state is required to give public notice related to the state’s plan to comply with new regulation governing the settings in which services to Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver recipients may be provided. The HCBS Transition Plan explains the steps the state has taken and will take to come into compliance with the Settings Rule Regulation. The rule provides definitions and characteristics of HCBS (e.g. HCBS are community-integrated) and the state’s responsibility is to explain how it will assure and validate that HCBS waiver services are being provided in a manner that matches the definitions and characteristics. The public may make verbal comment at a public hearing on August 23, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. in the DCH Board Room at 2 Peachtree Street, NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303, 5th Floor. The public may comment in writing on or before September 9, 2016 by sending postal mail to the Department of Community Health, Attn: HCBS Transition – 37th Floor, 2 Peachtree Street, NW, Atlanta, Georgia 30303; or by submitting an email to; or by fax to 404-656-8366. Click here to read the Draft Statewide Transition Plan posted for public comment August 9, 2016. Click [...]

August 11th, 2016|News, Newsfront|

Registration Open for 2016 GHCA PAC Golf Tournament

Georgia Health Care Association’s Political Action Committee invites GHCA members and friends to participate in the 2016 GHCA PAC Golf Tournament on Wednesday, September 28 at the Legacy on Lanier Golf Club at Lake Lanier in Buford, GA. This event is one of three PAC fundraisers of the year, so your support is imperative. Additionally, GHCA will again host the Sunset Cruise across Lake Lanier on the Tuesday evening prior to the tournament. For more information and to register, click here. Hotel rooms for participants are available now at the Legacy Resort and Conference Center. To book your room, click here and follow the steps below: Select arrival and departure dates, number of rooms, number of guests Enter the group code 160927GHCA (case sensitive) Click “Check Availability” Selected Desired Accommodations Fill out personal information Review and finalize reservation If you have any questions, please contact GHCA VP for Governmental Affairs, Russel Carlson, at (404) 421-4066 or

August 11th, 2016|Legislative, News, Newsfront|

CEAL Releases Report Highlighting Quality Measures and Instruments for Assisted Living

As reported on AHCA/NCAL’s Long Term Care Leader Blog: Researchers from the University of North Carolina’s Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and School of Social Work, with funding from The Center for Excellence in Assisted Living (CEAL), completed a review of measures and instruments useful to maintain and improve quality in assisted living, and which may help assisted living providers become an even more valuable service choice for aging Americans as healthcare options change. Click here to read the full article.

August 11th, 2016|Assisted Living, News, Newsfront|