Emergency Preparedness for GCAL

We are pleased to announce two resources for AL providers, please see below for more information Attached is the AL Emergency Preparedness Guide.  This is a members-only document and can be found on the AHCA/NCAL Emergency Preparedness website. In collaboration with the Florida Health Care Association, NCAL has published an updated version of the Emergency Preparedness Guide for Assisted Living Communities.  This comprehensive guide supports assisted living communities in developing emergency operations plans and includes templates and numerous additional resources.  NCAL members can access this guide on the AHCA/NCAL Emergency Preparedness website. A friendly reminder that our members also have access to  the Assisted Living Incident Command System (ALICS). The Incident Command System (ICS) is one component of the National Incident Management System or (NIMS). ALICS is a simplified ICS and through its use, long term care providers can become part of this standardized system of efficient response. ICS was modified by two consultants for assisted living and reviewed by AALNA board members and then reviewed by the NCAL Workgroup of the AHCA/NCAL Emergency Preparedness Committee.

ALICS offers long term care providers a flexible framework for command and control that is based on the standardized system of ICS. It does this through a system that is designed to:

Manage all emergency, routine, or planned events, of any size or type, by […]

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

Georgia Medicaid Fair – May 6, 2015

Join Us for the Georgia Medicaid Fair – May 6, 2015!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST
Gwinnett Convention Center
6400 Sugarloaf Parkway
Duluth, GA 30097

– 7:00 a.m. Opening Session – 8:00 a.m.
Lunch “On Your Own” – 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Register now. Admission is free.

The Georgia Medicaid Fair will take place on May 6, 2016 at the Gwinnett Convention Center. The opening session highlights news from the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH), including an overview of current initiatives and program/policy updates. The day will feature break-out sessions focused on relevant topics for the provider community, along with time for questions and answers. Areas that will be covered include:

Billing and Claims
Physicians and Physician Extenders Programs
Rural Health/FQHC Programs
Achieving Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records (EHR)
Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver Programs
Member Eligibility
Provider Enrollment, Revalidation and more!

To register online and for details, including the facility layout, map to the facility, parking locations and an agenda, visit

Attendees must register to reserve a seat for each individual session selected.

A confirmation email will be sent to the address you provide during registration. Review the confirmation email for accuracy and note that it will include the facility location and room of each session for which you are registered. Please bring a copy of the confirmation email with you to the […]

April 20th, 2015|Reimbursement Corner|

CMS Policy Clarification Improves Options to Furnish Therapy Services in Assisted Living

NCAL Connection (4/16, Ciolek)

On April 3, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued clarifications to the State Operations Manual (SOM) titled “Clarification of Requirements for Off-Premises Activities and Approval of Extension Locations for Providers of Outpatient Physical Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology Services.”

These revisions provide clarification to guidance for the two-person on duty requirement, approval of extension locations, and permissible off-premises activities, with a particular emphasis on those Medicare therapy services furnished by rehabilitation agencies within an assisted living facility (ALF).  While these policies do not apply directly to NCAL member facilities, they may indirectly impact ALF operations and most importantly, the rehabilitation service delivery options available to NCAL member residents.

Below is a brief summary of the three key policy clarifications related to ALFs. These policy clarifications are effective immediately. If you have questions or comments, please contact Dan Ciolek, AHCA/NCAL Senior Director of Therapy Advocacy at

Two-Person on Duty Requirement

Any space leased, rented, or dedicated for the provision of rehabilitation agency services, including space within an ALF that is designated for therapy service, must meet the two person on duty requirement and become a separately certified rehabilitation agency or become approved as an extension location of a currently certified rehabilitation agency. Leased or rented space that is dedicated to therapy services must be […]

April 16th, 2015|Assisted Living, Legislative, Newsfront, Personal Care Homes|

Georgia’s ALC Care Costs Have Increased

Genworth 2015 Annual Cost of Care Study: At Home Care Costs Increase in GeorgiaEducation, Conversation and Preparation Remains a Critical Part of Developing a Long Term Care Strategy 

RICHMOND, Va., April 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Genworth announced today, the results of its 12th annual Cost of Care Study, which shows that in Georgia, the cost to receive long term care services at home with a home health aide has increased over the past five years. On a national level, the survey shows a dramatic increase in facility based care, including assisted living and nursing home facilities, while the cost to receive care at home through a home health aide is rising at a more moderate growth rate.

“There is something very difficult about facing some of the challenges and issues that come with aging, including the high costs of long term care services,” said Tom McInerney, president and chief executive officer at Genworth. “Part of our mission at Genworth with the Cost of Care study is to continue educating Americans on how to have tough conversations around long term care and the importance of planning. In fact, last year we embarked on a journey to help facilitate these discussions through our Let’s Talk national initiative.”

Rising Cost of Long Term Care

Nationally, the 2015 median hourly cost for […]

April 10th, 2015|Assisted Living, Newsfront, Personal Care Homes|

ALC Residents Create Works of Art

Long Term Care Leader (4/7, Reeves)

Skip the museums. The 2014 submissions for NCAL’s Art for the Ages project are now available for viewing through NCAL’s online art exhibit for the public. Last winter, NCAL member communities submitted more than 150 images of resident art and craft work for display. NCAL’s Art for the Ages displays the many talented artist-residents from across the country. Art for the Ages also celebrates this life-enhancing and enriching activity for seniors.

Sharing artwork can also give inspiration to other assisted living caregivers on how to implement similar projects in their communities. Follow AHCA/NCAL’s board on Pinterest to save these art activity ideas for your own communities.

April 8th, 2015|Assisted Living, Newsfront, Personal Care Homes|

Caregiver Training Requirement

As a part of GHCA/GCAL’s initiative to build relationships with regulatory bodies, we have set up quarterly, in-person meetings with Dwayne Garriss, State Fire Marshal.  Our first meeting went well and he was able to clarify some of the discrepancies regarding the Caregiver Fire Safety Training. Take home messages included:

SNFs are not required to complete the course.
ALL employees of every ALC and PCH are required to take the training, NOT just direct care staff.
Every new employee will need to complete the training within 30 days of hiring.
All ALCs and PCHs will need to be compliant with the Caregiver Fire Safety Training by July 1, 2015
The Fire Marshal’s office will be sending someone to GHCA’s Annual Convention to host a 3 hour training on June 17, 2015.

GHCA/GCAL will be working with the Fire Marshal’s office to schedule a class(es) to be hosted at the Fred Watson Training Center in Stockbridge, GA which will be available to all ALCs and PCHs in the state. Details soon to follow. Should you be interested in hosting a training at your community to include GCAL members and/or have any issues you would like to be addressed at the next Fire Marshal meeting, please contact us at

April 7th, 2015|Assisted Living, Newsfront, Personal Care Homes|

Wandering residents and elopement prevention

McKnights (4/7, Norman)

Adults with a history of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are at risk for wandering and elopement. Because this could result in an injury or fatality, consider evaluating existing organizational protocols and strategies to prevent elopement or wandering.

Identification and Assessment of Those at Risk

The first step is to identify residents who may be at risk to wander or elope. Elopement is defined by the National Institute for Elopement Prevention as “When a patient or resident who is cognitively, physically, mentally, emotionally and/or chemically impaired wanders away, walks away, runs away, escapes or otherwise leaves a caregiving facility or environment unsupervised, unnoticed and/or prior to their scheduled discharge.”

The assessment process, if done prior to admission to the facility, may help determine whether the organization is capable of properly and safely addressing the resident’s care needs.

A reported history of wandering may indicate that an increased risk of elopement exists and that additional supervision and other precautions may be required. If there is a history of wandering, ask questions, such as:

When did the wandering behavior begin and how frequently does it occur?
Is it more frequent in daytime hours or at night?
Is the wandering associated with other factors, such as noise or discomfort/pain?
What type of travel pattern is exhibited (random, pacing, lapping)?
Does the wandering appear purposeful?

Once a resident has been […]

April 7th, 2015|Assisted Living, Newsfront, Personal Care Homes, Uncategorized|

2015 GHCA Summer Convention Registration NOW OPEN

GHCA is excited to announce the 2015 Summer Convention, “Bring on the Fiesta”, registration is now open. Thanks to a new registration system, GHCA is going paperless and all registrations will be submitted online. Also, your credit hours will be tracked and accessible online.

Click here to register.


We advise you to book your hotel stay at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Amelia Island under the GHCA block. To book your hotel stay online, click HERE. For guests that prefer to make their reservation via phone, we have a dedicated group desk available to accommodate them at 866-763-2960 please reference the group name GHCA Annual Convention 2015 when making reservations.

NCAL Performance Measure Survey

To help determine our profession’s progress, NCAL conducts an annual survey on performance measures, and all GCAL members now have access to the 2014 NCAL Performance Measure survey results. This year marks the 5th year that NCAL is collecting performance data on important quality improvement areas including community operations, employee satisfaction and development. The data that NCAL collects supports the assisted living profession’s advocacy efforts on state and national levels. There is no other data source that provides the kind of current information about assisted living.

States that had sufficient response rates received specific state reports, and the goal for Georgia is to encourage our members to participate on an on-going basis and next year have GA specific data! Click HERE to view the report. Please note that membership login is required.

April 3rd, 2015|Assisted Living, Newsfront, Personal Care Homes, Quality Corner|

5 Steps to Avoid the High Cost of Employee Turnover

Business 2 Community (4/3, 14K) reports on ways to avoid high employee turnover, which varies by industry. The home healthcare industry has a high level of turnover; “According to a study by the American Health Care Association, annual turnover rates among the long term care industry are approximately 70 percent.” To combat turnover, Business 2 Community suggests refining hiring practices, clarifying goals, developing work relationships, conducting regular performance reviews, and being proactive.  Steps to help:

Step 1 – Clarify your purpose organizationally and individually. Lack of clarity and direction can kill your business and wreak havoc on your team. Know where your business is heading and direct and motivate your team to move forward.

Step 2 – Be smart about recruiting and hiring practices. Hire people who not only have the skill and knowledge your company needs, but also have attributes that work well within your business’s culture.

Step 3 – Develop strong work relationships and communication from day one. New-hire orientation is more than a one-time, one-day event. Look at it as a process of integrating and acclimating a new employee to your company’s unique culture and way of doing business.

Step 4 – Realize that performance management is not an annual event. Performance management is a valuable retention tool. It drives employee behavior to align with your […]

April 3rd, 2015|Assisted Living, Newsfront, Personal Care Homes, Quality Corner|