“Diagnosis Coding: Using the ICD-10-CM”

Web-Based Training Course (WBT) was released and is now available in case you have not had the opportunity to participate in an in-person training. This Web-Based-Training is designed to provide education on the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Edition, Clinical Modification/Procedure Coding System (ICD-10-CM/PCS). It includes ICD-10-CM/PCS implementation guidance, information on the new ICD-10-CM classification system, and coding examples. Continuing education credits are available to learners who successfully complete this course. See course description for more information.
To access the WBT, go to MLN Products, scroll to the bottom of the web page and under “Related Links” click on “Web-Based Training Courses.”

March 30th, 2015|Newsfront, Reimbursement Corner|

Senate Delays SGR Vote; We Must Continue the Push

Late into the night on March 27th and early into the following morning, the Senate completed its work regarding the budget, yet realized it lacked enough procedural time to take up the historic permanent SGR repeal passed by the House earlier yesterday. The so-called "vote-o-rama" concluded around 3:30 a.m. Friday morning, and the Senate recessed shortly thereafter.
The Senate will address the bill again.  In no way does last night mean a defeat.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell promised just a few hours ago that the chamber would take up the permanent repeal very soon after Senators return April 13.
The delay leaves us time to coordinate our advocacy efforts and reach out to Senators. We are hearing that the Senate has enough votes to pass a permanent repeal.  But the Senate leaders could not move the House measure through the necessary parliamentary hoops this week because such a move required unanimous consent from all 100 Senators.
However, we must make the most of this time while the Senate is in recess.  We must continue our push for the bill to be passed.
Action Steps – We need you to continue reaching out to your Senators if you have strong relationships with them. Even […]

March 30th, 2015|Newsfront, Reimbursement Corner|

ALFA Reports 2014 as Positive Year for Senior Living

McKnights (3/27, Hall)
Senior living providers had a remarkably positive 2014, marked by record investments and acquisitions, growing occupancy rates and swelling demand, according to the annual analysis of the largest senior living providers by the Assisted Living Federation of America.
There were more than 290 acquisitions representing more than $25 billion last year, up from the 2013 record of 225, ALFA reported. Overall, 29 of the top 80 providers on ALFA’s list this year plan to open or acquire additional communities in 2015.
Brookdale Senior Living was the top memory care and assisted living provider and the number two ranked independent living provider (behind Holiday Retirement), on ALFA’s list.
Occupancy rates also soared in 2014, according to ALFA. Both independent and assisted living saw their strongest occupancy rates since 2007. For 2015, assisted living occupancy is expected to rise from 89.3% to 89.6%, while independent living will go up from 91.3% to 92.2%, an all-time high. Senior living was most robust on the Eastern seaboard and in the Midwest.
“We had solid demand in 2014. We had levels of supply to meet that demand, increasing occupancy rates, strong rent growth, and very strong interest from the investor community in terms of acquisition activity,” Beth Mace, chief economist for the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry […]

March 27th, 2015|Assisted Living, Newsfront, Personal Care Homes|

AHCA Launches New Payment Reform Initiative Webpages

Mike Cheek 
AHCA members now have access to the latest information about the ongoing AHCA Payment Reform Initiative (PRI). Log onto the AHCA website* to view the new PRI webpages, which include an overview of the initiative, details on the Medicare Post-Acute Care SNF Payment concept, background on value-based components and therapy regulatory relief, and additional resources.
In June 2014, the Chair of the AHCA Board of Governors appointed a Payment Reform Task Force. The goal of the task force was to develop a viable, proactive and comprehensive vision for payment reform suitable for advocacy with Congress, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Congressional Medicare and Medicaid advisory commissions. Over the course of the summer and early fall 2014, the Task Force members submitted over a dozen reform concept papers. The concepts then were scored and prioritized by the member-driven Task Force.​
Visit the AHCA Payment Reform Initiative homepage to learn more. If you have questions or comments on the still-under-development-effort, please contact Mike Cheek at
*Members must be logged onto the AHCA website in order to view the PRI webpages.

March 26th, 2015|Newsfront, Reimbursement Corner|

NCAL Comments On Proposed Rule That Impacts Aid & Attendance Benefit For Veterans

NCAL Connections (3/26, La Porte)

NCAL recently commented on a proposed rule that impacts the Aid & Attendance (A&A) benefit program for veterans residing in assisted living communities. Published on Jan. 23, 2015, the proposed rule establishes new requirements pertaining to the evaluation of net worth and asset transfers and identifies medical expenses that may be deducted from countable income for eligibility purposes.

Under the proposed rule, the means-tested A&A program, which the VA also calls “pension benefits,” will require a three-year look-back assessment when determining eligibility. The rule also establishes a clear net worth limit as the sum of assets and annual income.Although the rule would tighten eligibility for the program, NCAL, as well as many other veteran advocacy organizations, support the basic tenets of the proposed rule because it protects veterans from predatory practices of financial planners who appear to have profited from helping veterans become eligible for the benefit.

NCAL did, however, take issue with the proposed rule’s definition of ADLs as unreimbursed medical expenses. According to the rule, the definition of ADLs eliminates two of the most frequent reasons elders move into assisted living: the inability to self-administer medications and the inability to ambulate on their own. In its comments to VA, NCAL recommends that the rule be amended to include in its definition […]

March 26th, 2015|Assisted Living, Legislative, Newsfront, Personal Care Homes, Uncategorized|

Study Strengthens Case Against Antipsychotics To Treat Symptoms Of Dementia.

The Detroit Free Press (3/19, Erb, 987K) reports that a study published online March 18 in JAMA Psychiatry and funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Aging, “strengthens the case against the practice of prescribing antipsychotic drugs to treat delusions, hallucinations, agitation and aggression – symptoms of dementia, including of Alzheimer’s disease.” Researchers arrived at that conclusion after examining “medical data of more than 91,000 veterans over 65.” The article also points out that the FDA “warns consumers of serious risk of side effects of” antipsychotics when used in patients with dementia.

The NPR (3/19, Hensley, 1.58M) “Shots” blog reports that the study authors “boiled down their findings in a way that could be useful for busy doctors and families trying to decide what to do.” That is, ascertaining “how many older patients would have to be on a drug for one of them to die within six months,” also called “the number needed to harm, or NNH.”

Modern Healthcare (3/19, Roce, Subscription Publication, 218K) reports that investigators “found that for every 26 patients treated with haloperidol, there was one additional death within six months that would not have been expected to occur had those patients not received the” medication, and “for every 50 patients taking quetiapine, one unnecessary death might […]

March 26th, 2015|Assisted Living, Newsfront, Personal Care Homes, Quality Corner|

National Assisted Living Week Theme Announced

NCAL Connections (3/18, Preede)

Let the planning begin! NCAL is proud to announce the 2015 National Assisted Living Week® (NALW) theme – suggested by you – “Nourishing Life: Mind, Body, Spirit.”

NCAL received many wonderful theme and activity suggestions through the NALW Facebook page,, and other avenues. “Nourishing Life: Mind, Body, Spirit” stood out as a theme that truly embodies all that assisted living represents. This theme celebrates the countless ways assisted living caregivers nurture the whole resident. Communities across the country work each and every day to ensure that the lives of their residents are fully nourished in each and every way.

Conversely, residents nourish the lives of team members and volunteers by, with the support of loved ones, sharing their inspiring lives. NALW is a time to celebrate all those who work together to create the highest quality of life possible.

In the coming weeks and months, the 2015 NALW logo will be available for download in several formats, and a planning guide and product catalog will be released. The planning guide will contain ideas that tie into the theme, which help providers create their celebration events.

As NALW approaches, visit or the NALW Facebook page for updated information and resources.

March 26th, 2015|Assisted Living, Newsfront|

PASRR Edits Reactivated 4/1/15

DCH / HP will turn the PASRR edits back on for any claims processing done after 4/1/15.  If you still have edits 3001 and 3011 on your remittance advice, then you will not be paid for these claims once the edits are reactivated.  See the HP Banner Message HERE and another helpful document HERE in order to get these corrected before the deadline.

March 26th, 2015|Newsfront, Reimbursement Corner|

GHCA Board of Directors Qualifying Information & Form

Candidates wishing to qualify for any statewide office should either complete the form below or download the nomination form and return it to the GHCA Office by Friday, April 24, 2015. This allows the nominating committee to qualify a candidate for office in accordance to the Bylaws. The elections take place in conjunction with GHCA Summer Convention in June. If you are a current board member and are eligible for a second term, you are required to complete the qualifying form and return it to the GHCA Office. Council Presidents are not required to complete the qualifying form but must be a licensed nursing home administrator with operations in the council the candidate intends to represent.
Failure to meet these deadlines does NOT preclude nominations from the floor, but the Bylaws are designed to ensure that every office has a nominated candidate prior to the Convention.
Qualifying/Nominating Committee
Georgia Health Care Association
160 Country Club Drive
Stockbridge, GA 30281
FAX 678-289-6400

These positions are filled with dedicated volunteers who are committed to improving this Association and our profession in this state. Listed below is the current Board, the required candidate qualifications and the election process.For […]

March 23rd, 2015|GHCA, GHCA Board|

2015 GHCA Awards Nominations