Dr. Joseph Ratchford recognized with Medical Director Quality Award

Dr. Joseph Ratchford, Medical Director of Effingham Health System and Extended Care Center, received the Medical Director Quality Award during the Georgia Medical Directors Association Symposium in Amelia Island, Florida.  Each year, a Georgia nursing home medical director is recognized for his or her leadership, knowledge, and involvement in their facility’s educational and quality improvement initiatives. The award was given in partnership with GMDA, Alliant Quality and the Georgia Health Care Association.

“He is the quality champion for our care center,” said Mary Pizzino, Chief Information Officer/Executive Director of Quality at Effingham Health System and Extended Care Center. “He inspires action with team members through helping alleviate obstacles with unique perspectives  on  quality  approaches  and  getting  them  to  do  what  needs  to  be  done  to accomplish the tasks at hand.”

Ratchford completes weekly rounds throughout the facility, identifying infection control risks. He is instrumental in working with the medical and clinical staff in developing and implementing nurse and physician protocols such as: Foley removal, nausea and vomiting, chest pain and C- diff protocols.

He has championed performance improvement teams that focused on projects such as: consistent assignments, falls […]

July 30th, 2015|Newsfront, Quality & Regulatory|

Ensure Beneficiaries have accurate KEPRO Help-line number

Since August 2014, in compliance with our CMS contract, KEPRO has accepted forwarded calls from state-based QIN-QIO’s toll-free number that was previously used for beneficiary complaints and appeals. CMS requested that we implement this during the first year of the contract to help with the transition. Beginning August 1, 2015, these calls will no longer be forwarded, and the numbers will be disconnected. (Read more) The Helpline numbers for KEPRO will remain the same and in effect.  As we prepare for this change, we ask that you check your records and beneficiary notices to make sure that you have the correct direct Helpline number for KEPRO. As a reminder: KEPRO’s toll-free Helpline number for Area 2 is: 844-455-8708.

KEPRO will be holding a Webinar for providers and stakeholders on August 12, 2015 from 2-3:15pm ET. This presentation will provide information about KEPRO, important changes/updates, and provide an opportunity for questions to be asked from our Program Director who will be on the line. A “Save the Date” will be sent out soon that will include registration details that can then be shared.

If you have any questions, please contact us. You can also visit our website, www.keproqio.com, for additional […]

July 30th, 2015|Newsfront, Quality & Regulatory|

CMS releases new survey and certification memos

The CMS released two new survey and certification memos and an adverse drug event trigger tool in July that can be viewed here.

Medication-Related Adverse Events in Nursing Homes & Adverse Drug Event Trigger Tool. The CMS has developed and begun pilot testing the Focused Survey on Medication Safety Systems to look at nursing home practice around high-risk and problem-prone medications, such as Coumadin.  CMS collaborated with the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) and the OIG to develop a tool which includes potentially preventable medication-related adverse events, risk factors, triggers, and probes to assist surveyors in investigating actual and potential adverse events and evaluate whether systems are in place to prevent medication-related adverse events.  The trigger tool is one of several tools in use for the pilot focused survey.  The CMS is releasing the draft Adverse Drug Event Trigger Tool to assist surveyors as they investigate medication related adverse events and to assess whether facilities have implemented effective systems to prevent adverse drug events.   Use of this draft tool is not mandatory but may aid surveyors in assessing compliance around medication issues during standard and complaint surveys.  Nursing home providers may also find it useful as a […]

July 30th, 2015|Newsfront, Quality & Regulatory, Surveys & Certification|

GHCA assists Speaker Ralston in hosting the Southern Legislative Conference in Savannah

GHCA was honored to serve as one of four “Silver Sponsors” for the Southern Legislative Conference’s 2015 Annual Convention in Savannah. Georgia House Speaker David Ralston served as Chair for the entire event. At the Speaker’s request, GHCA served as one of the premier sponsors of the 5-day conference. This sponsorship provided unlimited access to over 110 Georgia legislators and numerous out-of-state officials.   

July 30th, 2015|Legislative, Newsfront|


Due to the paperless initiative of DCH and HP, for situations in which providers need to submit a DMA 501 for a paper adjustment/s, they can send those requests to:

HP Enterprise Services
P.O. Box 105208
Tucker, GA 30085-5208

They must put on the DMA 501 that it is related to patient liability. If they do not put either 1) related to patient liability, 2) member linking, 3) third party payment (payment after Medicaid has already processed), the information will be sent back to the provider. Watch for a banner message with this information.

July 30th, 2015|Newsfront, Reimbursement Corner|

General Liability/Professional Liability Costs in the Long Term Care Profession

Aon is seeking facility-specific data as part of the annual Aon Study on General Liability/Professional Liability Costs in the Long Term Care Profession. The purpose of the Aon study is to identify the overall trends in the cost of GL/PL claims for long term care; identify state specific trends in the cost of GL/PL claims for long term care; identify trends in frequency and severity overall and on a state by state basis; explore the impact of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) on GL/PL claims; and examine differences in claims costs segregated by payer type.

Over the years, many GHCA members have participated in this effort. Tort reform is likely to be a major GHCA initiative in the 2016 Legislative Session, and this data is key.  There is no cost to participate and members who do will receive a free electronic copy of the report as soon as it is available (mid-November 2015). Your participation is essential to ensure that the Aon analysis is representative of the profession, and that the states where you operate are profiled. Please note that Aon holds all data in confidence, and no individual […]

July 30th, 2015|Newsfront, Reimbursement Corner|

Georgia House of Representatives Special Election Update

On July 14th, three of the six vacancies of the Georgia House were filled by means of a special election or special election runoff.
In District 24 (Forsyth County), Republican Sheri Gilligan won with 75% of the vote.In District 55 (West Fulton), Democrat Marie Robinson Metze won her runoff with 58%-42%.In District 48 (Roswell), Republican City Council Member Betty Price won her 3-way primary without the need of a runoff. These three women will soon be formally sworn in and their respective 2-year terms will begin immediately.

The three remaining House runoffs are set to take place August 11, 2015. Starting with District 80 (Brookhaven), former Republican Mayor J. Max Davis faces Democrat attorney Taylor Bennett. In middle Georgia, (Houston County, District 146), Shaw Blackmon is set to take on Larry Walker. Both candidates are Republican. Finally, District 155 in South Georgia has an August 11th runoff pitting former Ocilla Mayor Horace Hudgins versus Clay Pirkle of Ashburn.

July 30th, 2015|Legislative, Newsfront|

GHCA PAC Golf Tournament – Wednesday, September 16 – Lake Lanier Islands

Please reserve your room now for Tuesday evening and join us for our Sunset Cruise on the Lake from 6pm – 8pm!!

Register for hotel accommodations and for the golf tournament by clicking HERE.

July 30th, 2015|GHCA, Golf Tournaments, Legislative, Newsfront|

GSNHSW July 2015

2015 Social Worker Annual Meeting

The GSNHSW would like to thank the following sponsors who have signed up for the October Convention:  CareNow Services, Southern Grace Hospice and Palliative Care, Salas Behavioral Health, and CareSouth Home Health.  The Social Workers appreciate all our sponsors do to make this meeting special.  The Metro Atlanta Council of Social Workers will be the host council for 2015.  The Convention will be held at King & Prince Resort, October 14 – 16.   The Education Committee has approved the following speakers: Dr. William Mansbach, Mallory Even and the Metro Music Therapy Group, Lacy Dean, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Ginny Helms from the Alzheimer’s Association, and Nancy Robinson, Administrator, who will present on Hand in Hand.  Please plan now to send your Social Worker.

To register, click HERE.

July 30th, 2015|Affiliate Updates, GSNHSW, Newsfront|

GSNHAD July 2015

2015 Activity Director Annual Meeting

GSNHAD would like to thank the following sponsors who have already signed up to sponsor at the October Convention: Alliance Hospice and Clinical Laboratory Services. Without our sponsors, we would not be able to provide the quality speakers, breaks, and meals. The Metro Atlanta Council of Activity Directors is planning to start off with a Welcome Reception Picnic with hot dogs and hamburgers on Sunday night, October 11. The meeting will be held at the King & Prince Resort and Spa, October 12 – 13. Teepa Snow, one of the best Alzheimer and Dementia speakers in America, will speak for Monday and Tuesday. On October 14, Dr. William Mansbach will present on BCAT – Why Cognition Matters. This meeting is the first to be joined with the Social Worker Annual Meeting, October 14 – 16 per a request from the GHCA Budget & Finance Committee. Please make plans now to send your Activity Director.

To register, click HERE.

July 30th, 2015|Affiliate Updates, GSNHAD, Newsfront|