GA DCH Board Meeting Recap

The Georgia Department of Community Health met on Thursday, August 25 and unanimously approved the AFY17 and FY18 Budgets to be presented to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. Click here for the 2016 DCH Board meeting schedule and materials. Elizabeth K. Brady, DCH’s Chief Financial Officer presented the budget update and AFY2017 and FY2018 requests which can be found here. The presentation included a few of the FY2016 budget highlights which is expected to result in a projected surplus of $149.6 million in state funds. FY2017 budget highlights noted the additional $11.3 million in state funds added to provide a 3% inflation adjustment for nursing home rates. The AFY2017 budget (proposed increase of $114 million to $3.320 billion) included adjustments for expected Medicaid enrollment growth, increases to cover the cost of dual eligible Medicare Part B premiums, and a transfer of additional funds to the Aged, Blind and Disabled program to help reduce the waiting list in the Community Care Services Program (CCSP) waiver. The FY2018 budget request ($3.388 billion) also included increases to cover projected Medicaid enrollment growth, Medicare Part B premiums, waiting list reduction for CCSP, and new state funds to support increased waiver rates and slots previously funded by the Balancing Incentive Payment Program (BIPP).

August 26th, 2016|News, Newsfront|

CMS Releases New RAI Manual

Yesterday, CMS released the latest version of the RAI Manual, Version 1.14, on the MDS 3.0 RAI Manual website.  This version of the RAI Manual incorporates the new Section GG, the new Part A PPS discharge assessment, and clarifies existing coding and transmission policy.  It also addresses clarifications and scenarios concerning complex areas.  Please visit this official page for RAI updates and access to training materials.

August 26th, 2016|News, Newsfront, Quality Corner|

Special September Education Sessions to Note

Listed below are important education sessions GHCA is offering in September: PreLicensure Review and Preceptor Training Scheduled for September 7 - 9, 2016 Joe Townsend returns September 7-8 to present the PreLicensure Review, and will follow with a Preceptor Training Course on September 9. Click here to register for Prelicensure Click here to register for the Preceptor course Changing Payment Models Program Scheduled for September 22, 2016 GHCA members will have the unique opportunity to learn about the changing payment models from James Muller, Senior Director of Research at the American Health Care Association on Thursday, September 22 at the Fred A. Watson Education Center at GHCA, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. . He will be joined by Marinela Shqina, Chief Financial Officer for Manchester Manor and Vernon Manor Health Care Centers, top performing Skilled Nursing Facilities in Connecticut. This program targets financial controllers, administrators and corporate staff interested in payment reform in Post Acute Care that shifts traditional fee for service reimbursement to value-based payments and how to develop business strategies that optimize PAC referral traffic. Please reserve your space now for this program, one of the first of its kind in the nation. Click here to register for the Changing Payment Models Program

August 25th, 2016|Education Updates, News, Newsfront, Quality Corner|

Avoid Penalty, Register for PBJ & Begin Submitting Staffing Data Today

This week, CMS released the percentage of nursing centers, by state, that have not yet registered in the Payroll Based Journal System. Approximately 17% of GA centers have yet to register for PBJ, accounting for 2.27% of the 2,222 centers nationally that not yet registered. AHCA and LeadingAge met with CMS last week. During that time, CMS staff stated they are considering what penalties to impose on nursing centers who have not shown a good faith effort to comply with this Requirement of Participation. The deadline is November 14, 2016 for nursing centers to submit July - September 2016 data. NOTE: it is likely that simply registering by the deadline will NOT be sufficient to reflect a facility’s “good faith effort.” Members who have not yet registered in the Payroll Based Journal system are encouraged to do so and to begin submitting the required data as soon as possible in order to be in compliance with this Requirement of Participation. If you are struggling with data collection and the PBJ requirements, check out PBJ: How to Get Started.  Also, be sure to access other resources such as on demand webinars and FAQ documents on ahcancalED.

August 25th, 2016|News, Newsfront, Reimbursement Corner|

FYE June 30, 2016 Cost Reports and Instructions Available for Download

The FYE June 30, 2016 Cost Reports and Instructions are available for download on the Georgia Department of Community Health website. Click here to access. Important note: Once completed, cost reports must be submitted in .xls (97-2003 Excel Worksheet) format to Due to the delay in the posting of the forms to the Georgia DCH website, an automatic 30-day extension has been granted to a facility’s previous submission deadline. Requests for additional extensions must be submitted in writing to Darryl C. Threat, Senior Manager of the Georgia Department of Community Health, at 2 Peachtree St., NW, 39th Floor, Atlanta, GA 30303 or via email at

August 25th, 2016|News, Newsfront, Reimbursement Corner|

GHA911 Training Update

The next GHA911 online training sessions are listed below: Wednesday, August 24, 2016 - 1:00 PM Click here to register Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 2:00 PM Click here to register Login information will be emailed to participants once registration is completed. Please be advised that sessions may be cancelled if there are no registered participants 24 hours before the training.

August 25th, 2016|Emergency Preparedness, News, Newsfront|

Nurse Leadership Certificate Program a Success

With the support of the Georgia Health Care Association (GHCA), the Georgia Association of Long Term Care (GANLTC) offered a Nurse Leadership Certificate program at the Fred A. Watson Training Center in Stockbridge this month. The program occurred over two non-consecutive weeks and provided extensive education in areas pertaining to human resources, case mix and case management, MDS, budgets and staffing, risk management, survey process, strategic planning, customer service and leadership. Upon completion of the program, attendees expressed an eagerness to return to their centers to share the knowledge they acquired during the program and integrate the learning into their practice. GANLTC is pleased to report that 100% of participants passed the exam that was administered on the last day of the program! This training would not be possible without the support of the many professionals who generously shared their time and knowledge - Thank you!

August 25th, 2016|News, Newsfront, Quality Corner|

McKnight’s: Nursing Home Settlement Spurs HHS to Investigate Small Health Data Breaches

As reported on McKnight’s Long Term Care News: A recent case involving a stolen iPhone containing nursing home residents' medical records has prodded federal officials to place more scrutiny on smaller healthcare data breaches, according to the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. The OCR referenced five “small” breaches – involving the health data of fewer than 500 patients – in an email announcement sent Thursday. Among them is the case of Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which paid a $650,000 settlement after a phone with more than 400 residents' information was stolen in 2014. Those smaller cases are typically investigated by OCR's regional offices, but beginning this month the agency will kick off a wider initiative into the “root causes” of such small breaches, the announcement said. Regional offices will still prioritize which breaches to investigate, but will ramp up efforts to address noncompliance and issue corrective actions. Click here to read full article.

August 25th, 2016|News, Newsfront|

Reminder: 2017 Quality Award Application Packets Available

GHCA would like to remind members that the 2017 National Quality Award application packets are available on the Bronze, Silver and Gold Quality Award website pages. There, you can also download the 2017 program calendar and submission checklist. Members are encouraged to review the application materials completely as there have been significant changes to the program’s survey eligibility requirements. The new policy can be found in Chapter 3: Application Policies and Eligibility of each application packet. Additionally, for Silver and Gold applicants there is a new requirement for results in Category 7. Silver and Gold applicants will be required to report on 10 measures within their application. Assisted living only applicants may report alternatives to these required results. It is necessary for AL providers to report at least two results. Also, be sure to access the 2017 Bronze Criteria Series on the ahcancalED website. The Silver criteria series will be available in September. 2017 Quality Award deadlines: Intent to Apply Deadline for Bronze, Silver and Gold Applicants: November 17, 2016 Application Deadline for Bronze, Silver and Gold: January 26, 2017 For more information, view the 2017 Quality Award flyer. IMPORTANT REMINDER: In 2014, the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program implemented a recertification policy that impacts ALL current and previous recipients. Under this policy, Bronze and Silver [...]

August 25th, 2016|News, Newsfront, Quality Corner|

AHRQ Stats: Potentially Avoidable Hospitalizations

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that, from 2005 to 2013, the rate of potentially avoidable hospitalizations for all conditions, excluding chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, fell about 23 percent. Rates of potentially avoidable hospitalizations for all conditions in 2013 were highest among African-Americans and lowest among Asians and Pacific Islanders. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2015 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report Chartbook on Care Coordination)

August 25th, 2016|News, Newsfront, Quality Corner|