News

Executive Order on $10.10 Hourly Federal Contractor Minimum Wage, VA Contracts, and VA Webinar

On February 12, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order 13658, Establishing a Minimum Wage for Contractors. The Executive Order raises the hourly minimum wage paid by contractors to workers performing on covered Federal contracts to: (i) $10.10 per hour, beginning January 1, 2015; and (ii) beginning January 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, an amount determined by the Secretary of the Department of Labor (DoL) in accordance with the Order. On October 1, 2014, DOL published the final rule implementing the provisions of Executive Order 13658.
It is long-standing policy that Medicare (Parts A and B) or Medicaid providers are not considered to be federal contractors. However, if a provider currently has VA patients, they are considered to be a federal contractor. AHCA held a webinar with officials from the VA last week on issues impacting those with VA contracts, including the $10.10 issue. The full webinar can be found here. AHCA is awaiting answers from DOL, which has jurisdiction over this issue, on how the $10.10 will impact those with VA contracts or those thinking of entering into a VA contract. As soon as AHCA has information from DOL, which should be this week, AHCA will share it with its membership.

December 18th, 2014|Newsfront, Reimbursement Corner|

Refreshed LTC Trend Tracker Proving to Be Valuable Resource

The new and improved online platform for LTC Trend TrackerSM – launched at the AHCA Annual Convention this fall – is transforming how skilled nursing providers maximize their quality improvement efforts and operational performance.
Available exclusively to AHCA members, LTC Trend Tracker allows providers to access extensive CMS data on skilled nursing centers, as well as compare themselves to their peers. This more modern, user-friendly version gives more information up-front, allows the creation of custom reports and offers additional options in choosing peer comparisons. Members can access information such as exclusive, in-house measures that provide insight on hospital readmissions and discharges to the community. It also allows skilled nursing organizations to examine ongoing quality improvement efforts.
Members not yet signed up for LTC Trend Tracker should utilize this exclusive member benefit and register today. For any questions, please contact the LTC Trend Tracker team. 

December 18th, 2014|Newsfront, Reimbursement Corner|

VERY IMPORTANT DFCS Policy Change

The Division of Family and Children Services released MAO Policy Memo #14-19. The Policy Memo serves to provide clarification to both the Retroactive Medicaid and IME Policies and is effective immediately. Click HERE for to see the policy.  Some key points from the memo are:

The term "Retroactive Medicaid" only applies to the 3 months prior to the application date; therefore, there will be no protection for reapplication for what used to be referred to as "intervening months." In other words, protection is no longer allowed for those months that eligibility could be reconsidered for procedural reasons, such as lack of verification.

Example: Under old policy, a patient applied for Medicaid on January 1, 2014 and was denied on March 1, 2014 because the family did not present verification timely. A second application was not filed until July 1, 2014. All dates of service from October 2013 through July 2014 were protected for reapplication; the first application protected October 2013 through March 2014 and the second protected April 2014 ongoing. However, under the current policy change, ONLY October 2013 through December 2013 are protected under the first application and the […]

December 18th, 2014|Newsfront, Reimbursement Corner|

www.GHA911.org

This website is one of the many ways for Georgia’s hospitals, nursing homes, and other local and state agencies to be kept informed of vital news, information, and tools to assist them in their disaster preparedness and mutual aid planning. Please log into the system and register to receive a username and password for any member of your facility. Bed count drills will occur every Wednesday and your update is due before 12pm. You must update on Wednesdays and before noon in order to be counted as participating.

A recorded training video for GHA911.org can be found on the GHCA website by clicking here. If additional training is needed, please contact thanshaw@ghca.info.

CLICK HERE FOR TRAINING VIDEO

Please forward all technical issues to Tiffany Hanshaw at thanshaw@ghca.info.

December 18th, 2014|Emergency Preparedness|

Members Invited to Participate in “Share a Moment of Love this Holiday Season” 2014

Members of the GHCA are being invited to participate in the 2014 "Share a Moment of Love this Holiday Season" program.
Created to improve the quality of life for Georgia’s skilled nursing care center residents and increase community awareness of local GHCA members, the holiday visitation campaign invites the public to visit a GHCA member and its residents during the last weeks of December.
On behalf of the association, the GHCA’s PR agency Curran Public Relations pitches the story to media outlets in select markets in the state and coordinates coverage. In 2012 and 2013, the campaign received several prominent media placements throughout the state. We expect the same in 2014.
In order to participate members need to know the work schedule of their designated spokesperson or their backup from December 20th to January 2nd, feel comfortable talking with the media, have residents willing to pose for a photo and understand that the media acts quickly. Curran PR will guide you through the process of dealing with the media and make this a beneficial experience for you.
Information about the campaign will be shared with the public via www.Facebook.com/GHCA.info and the Twitter handle @GHCAinfo. GHCA members will be encouraged to visit these sites and "Like", […]

December 18th, 2014|Newsfront|

Emergency Preparedness Star of Long-Term-Care

GHCA is now accepting nominations for outstanding leaders in Nursing Facility Emergency Preparedness and Response. We would like to recognize any nursing facility staff member for their work in implementing preparedness efforts in their facility or for their exceptional leadership during a recent disruptive event.

We will recognize this Champion of Emergency Preparedness during the “Stars of Long-Term-Care” segment of the GHCA Midyear Convention January 21, 2015. Please send all nominations to Tiffany Hanshaw at thanshaw@ghca.info by December 22, 2014.

Nominations should include written explanation on how the candidate meets the following criteria:

Involvement with local officials (Emergency Management Agency (EMA), Public Health, Regional Coordinating Hospital (RCH), etc.)
Involvement with Statewide Emergency Preparedness initiatives (State-sponsored Regional Exercises, Long-Term-Care Emergency Operations Plan, FEMA courses, etc.)
Implemented preparedness efforts in facility
Participate in State or GHCA sponsored Emergency Preparedness Education
Experience in managing a disruptive event in their facility

December 18th, 2014|Awards, Emergency Preparedness, Newsfront|

2015 GHCA Winter Convention and Trade Show

‘Tis the season to make your plans to attend the 2015 GHCA Winter Convention and Trade Show, January 20-23, 2015 at the Renaissance Waverly Hotel and Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta, Georgia. You will experience an impressive and entertaining agenda with amazing people who will deliver the tools to help you enjoy improved outcomes through the pursuit of happiness.  Register today to attend or exhibit and claim your spot at GHCA’s largest event of the year. You won’t want to miss this one!

Click HERE to Learn More and to Register for the 2015 GHCA Winter Convention

Click HERE To Register as an exhibitor

December 18th, 2014|Assisted Living, Convention, Education Updates, Sponsorship, Trade Show, Uncategorized|

HCBS Final Rule Guidance

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued two new documents today related to the Medicaid HCBS rule implementation. The first document is an optional tool that states can use to assess whether “the characteristics of Medicaid Home and Community-based Services, as required by regulation” are present.  The questions in the document are “suggested,” but not required to be used by states according to CMS. The questions may be found here.
The second document is the long-awaited Q&A document from CMS about the final rule and includes common questions and answers about the following topics: 

Public Notice and Comments
HCB Settings – General
HCB Settings – Residential
HCB Setting – Non-Residential
HCB Settings – Restrictions

The Q&A document provides additional guidance on key provisions such roommate choice, the provision of keys to residents and staff, “locked doors or doors with alarms for individuals who are incapable of protecting themselves unsupervised in the community and/or who have documented histories of wandering,” co-located buildings, and resident leases.
While the guidance answers many questions, it may raise additional questions. Overall, it appears that CMS is allowing some flexibility in implementation, but CMS also […]

December 16th, 2014|Assisted Living, Newsfront|

Protect your Staff during Flu Season!

The long term care toolkit for increasing influenza vaccination among healthcare personnel in long term care settings – developed by the HHS National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO) and available on the CDC website – is the first of its kind.
This toolkit was developed because workers in long-term care centers are vaccinated at a much lower rate than that of healthcare personnel in general (63.0% versus 75.2%, according to CDC data for the 2013-2014 flu season). Trends show there have been increases in vaccine coverage within all occupational settings over the past few seasons, with the exception of long term care.
Within the toolkit are a number of resources intended to help long term care centers, agency, or corporation owners and administrators provide access to influenza vaccination for their workforce and to help any employer of workers in long-term care understand the importance of influenza vaccination for their employees.
Providers can find resources for increasing influenza vaccination among healthcare personnel in long term care settings as well as data and other information.
Increasing vaccination rates among long-term care personnel—including doctors, nurses, nursing assistants or nursing aides, home health aides, personal care aides, and others who do not have direct resident care, such […]

December 16th, 2014|Assisted Living, Emergency Preparedness, Newsfront|

Assisted Living Track at GHCA Convention

GHCA has dedicated a convention track to the newest category of membership that is specific to assisted living and personal care homes. For detailed information, click HERE.

December 16th, 2014|Assisted Living, Newsfront|