2015 Part B Fee Schedules

Thanks to GHCA’s very own President / CEO, Tony Marshall, for calculating the Part B Fee Schedules needed for 2016. Tony has furnished these schedules to AHCA for many years. Click HERE for the 2016 GA Fee Schedules effective January 1, 2016 and HERE  for the 2016 GA MPPR Fee Schedules effective January 1, 2016. Please remember that you will need both of them, as the final rule continues the multiple procedure payment reduction (MPPR) policy for “always therapy” services. The MPPR policy required a 50 percent reduction to be applied to the practice expense component of payment for the second and subsequent “always therapy” service(s) that are furnished to a single patient by a single provider on one date of service (including services furnished in different sessions or in different therapy disciplines).

November 25th, 2015|News, Newsfront, Reimbursement Corner|

Be Sure to Read New VA Contracts Before Signing Them

As you may know, 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. DOL announced earlier this year that the minimum wage for certain federal contracts will increase to $10.15 per hour beginning January 1, 2016. The DOL notice on this increase can be found here. Should your current VA contract be up in the near future, be sure to carefully review and read your new VA contract before signing it for any new additions that could be in the contract that were not in your previous contract. Medicare (Parts A and B) or Medicaid providers are not considered to be federal contractors. However, if a provider currently has VA patients and a VA contract, they are considered to be a federal contractor. Since VA contracts are covered by the Service Contract Act, this Executive Order applies to such [...]

November 25th, 2015|News, Newsfront, Reimbursement Corner|

Recent AON/AHCA Study Suggests That Liability Costs Expected to Rise for Long Term Care Facilities

The cost of liability continues to increase for the long term care profession, according to the findings of an analysis recently released by the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and Aon Global Risk Consulting. The overall national long term care loss rate is expected to grow by 5 percent annually, with claim frequency driving the increase at an expected 3 percent growth rate. In August of this year, at the direction of GHCA Board leadership, GHCA staff convened a group of legal and provider stakeholder in an attempt to craft legislation aimed at liability relief for Georgia providers. An early draft has been prepared and GHCA staff is currently working with legal and legislative stakeholders to build consensus as we move towards the 2016 legislative session. Please click here for a recent article summarizing the full report.

November 25th, 2015|Legislative, News, Newsfront|

GHCA Board Votes to Approve Priorities for 2016 Legislative Session

At the November 17th Board Meeting in Stockbridge, the full GHCA Board unanimously approved the priorities for upcoming Legislative Session set to being January 11, 2016. The two motions heard by the full GHCA Board arose from a joint meeting of the GHCA Legislative and Reimbursement Committees held earlier in the day. The priorities instruct GHCA staff and leadership to pursue both updated reimbursement mechanisms (current cost report with inflation, updated fair rental value system appropriations and a potential liability insurance pass through) and legislation designed to address troubling trends in provider liability costs. GHCA staff and leadership began discussions with both the Governor’s Office and legislative leaders in October and continue to work all relevant committee members in the weeks leading up to the 2016 session.

November 25th, 2015|Legislative, News, Newsfront|

Georgia Quality Award Application 2015

Minimum Criteria for Submission of Application Participate in the Georgia Quality Improvement Program Must meet minimum points on Quality Incentive Report for quarters ending: 9/30/14, 12/31/14, 3/31/15, 6/30/15 Note: Failure to attach all required data will result in disqualification.    Must be below the Georgia (State) average calculation points for cited deficiencies for the period of July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2015 Clinical Quality Quantitative data to be considered will be: Must be at or below  the State average on 8 of 11 Quality Measures, using this criteria for all quarters Immunization rates for flu and pneumonia for these specified quarters needs to be at 80% or above for each quarter. Data from CMS will be used for this award year's reporting period – 9/30/14, 12/31/14, 3/31/15, 6/30/15 Long Stay composite score measures to be included are– Percent of residents with one or more falls with major injury Percent of residents with a UTI Percent of residents who self-report moderate to severe pain Percent of high-risk residents with pressure ulcer Percent of low-risk residents with loss of bowels or bladder Percent of residents with catheter inserted or left in bladder Percent of residents physically restrained Percent of residents whose need for help with ADL has increased Percent of residents who lose too much weight Percent [...]

November 4th, 2015|Quality & Regulatory|

GHCA Proudly Announces the 2015 Social Worker of the Year

The recent Georgia Society of Nursing Home Social Workers (GSNHSW) Annual Convention at the King & Prince Beach and Golf Resort in St. Simons was a great success again this year. The activities were fun and informative with more than 75 attendees. Numerous key executives and stakeholders from across the state also attended. In addition to the Activity Director, GHCA also presented the 2015 Social Worker of the Year Award. On Thursday, Oct. 15, Lynne Price, state president of Bolingreen Health and Rehabilitation, and state Board president of GSNHSW opened the ceremony and introduced Michael Ferguson, Board liaison to the GHCA Board of Directors, who presented Tim Bonds with the Social Worker of the Year award. As one of the state’s hardest-working Social Workers, Tim has shown a steadfast commitment to the residents and families at Anderson Mill Health & Rehabilitation Center consistently for the past six years. Tim’s facility administrator stated, “Tim is one of the hardest working, most dedicated and compassionate social workers I have ever had the privilege to work with. He always put the patients first and does everything in his power to assist them in accomplishing all their goals. He treats them all as if they were an actual family member. We have to make Tim go home at the end of every [...]

October 30th, 2015|GSNHSW, News, Newsfront|

GHCA is Proud to Announce the 2015 Activity Director of the Year

The recent Georgia Society of Nursing Home Activity Directors (GSNHAD) Annual Convention at the King & Prince Beach and Golf Resort in St. Simons was a great success again this year. The activities were fun and informative with more than 100 attendees. Numerous key executives and stakeholders from across the state also attended. On Monday, Oct. 12, Mary Mundy, state president of Greene Point Health Care and the president of GSNHAD, presented the Activity Director of the Year Award to Donna Martin-Estes, state vice president for Brightmoor Nursing Center. As a deserving recipient of this award, Donna has worked tirelessly as an Activity Director at Brightmoor for 12 years and has overwhelmingly won the hearts of the residents and her co-workers. Donna’s Director of Nursing stated, “She far exceeds my expectations for what should be exhibited by an Activity Director. There is no box she can’t break out of or work in. She insure that ALL residents as well as staff and visitors are aware of the journey’s to be embarked upon. This may mean going to the Land of Oz, cruising across the world, stepping out of a time capsule or just displaying one on one TLC during daily interactions. She’s never seen without a smile and will put you in a good mood where you are in [...]

October 30th, 2015|GSNHAD, News, Newsfront|

Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) began October 1, 2015

Voluntary submission period for the electronic data submission system of the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) has begun. The purpose of the voluntary submission period is for centers and vendors to test their processes to submit data in the required format in advance of the mandatory submission period, beginning July 1, 2016. Registration is still open for ALL nursing centers and will remain open. The registration process only takes 10-15 minutes to complete. Step 1: Obtain a CMSNet User ID for PBJ Individual, Corporate and Third Party users, if you don't already have one for other QIES applications (many users may already have this access for MDS submission). Step 2: Obtain a PBJ QIES Provider ID for CASPER Reporting and PBJ system access. PBJ training modules for an introduction to the PBJ system and step-by-step registration instruction are available on QTSO e-University; select the PBJ option. For more information related to this program, click here. Or, e-mail

October 30th, 2015|News, Newsfront, Reimbursement Corner|

DCH Board Expected to Vote on Controversial Certificate of Need Rule Change November 12th

The Department of Community Health’s board will vote this November on the controversial proposal to allow Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s (CTCA) Georgia facility to reclassify as a general acute-care hospital. The proposal, if it gains final approval from the board, would allow CTCA to seek a reclassification as a general hospital. And if the cancer hospital wins a “certificate of need’’ (CON) for that change, it could then avoid the current restriction of having no more than 35 percent of its patients come from Georgia. For a full summary of this CON debate, please see this recent article from Georgia Health News. To review the proposed DCH rule, please follow this link.

October 30th, 2015|Legislative, News, Newsfront|

Governor Deal reports that year-to-date tax collections up 9.4 percent compared to 2014

Gov. Nathan Deal announced earlier this month that Georgia’s net tax collections for September totaled nearly $1.97 billion, an increase of $83.4 million, or 4.6 percent, compared to September 2014. Year-to-date, net tax revenue collections totaled almost $5.13 billion, for an increase of nearly $438.7 million, or 9.4 percent, compared to last year, when net tax revenues totaled $4.69 billion.

October 30th, 2015|Legislative, News, Newsfront|