Jason Bring, Arnall Golden Gregory For the second year in a row, the Georgia Health Care Association successfully spearheaded the passage of liability protections for its member nursing facilities and their investors. Georgia was becoming a litigation destination for out-of-state, predatory law firms targeting nursing homes. Faced with these outside litigation pressures as well as increasing pressure by in-state law firms, Georgia’s nursing facilities needed additional protections from litigation abuse. In the 2015 legislative session, GHCA introduced a bill to stem the misleading use of survey reports in attorney advertising. Out-of-state law firms were using excerpts of surveys reports to paint a misleading and often deceptive picture of nursing homes, with the intent of inflaming the public and drumming up cases that might not otherwise be pursued. The legislation, House Bill 342, required any advertiser using a survey report to disclose the full details of the survey report and process, including whether the alleged deficiencies had been corrected, as well as the percentages of facilities in the state with similar citations. In addition, House Bill 342 restricted the use of survey reports at trial and prevented them from being used to establish negligence as a matter of law. Building on the prior year’s success, in 2016 GHCA introduced a second bill, House Bill 920, aimed [...]
Last week, Gov. Nathan Deal appointed GHCA/GCAL President & CEO Tony Marshall to the Georgia Council on Aging. “Thank you to Governor Deal for this honor,” said Marshall. “As a Council member, I will have the opportunity to further advocate for the elderly, frail, and disabled residents of Georgia on behalf of GHCA.” Former GHCA Board member, Ashton Windham, was also appointed. Windham is the chief financial officer of WindCorp Management Services and operates a private home care service. He is licensed as a nursing home administrator and as an insurance agent. Windham remains active within GHCA. Another appointee is a friend of GHCA, Perry Kemp, Pharm.D. Kemp is a practice manager and physician services liaison for Community Primary Care of Georgia. He is a member of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, the Georgia Pharmacy Association, the Georgia Medical Directors Association, the American Medical Directors Association and the Gerontological Advanced Practice Nurses Association. The Georgia Council on Aging was created by the Georgia General Assembly in 1977. Council members are appointed by the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House and the Commissioner of the Department of Human Services. The Council has twenty members, including ten consumers at least 60 years of age and ten service providers. Members are chosen to represent [...]
June was an exciting month for GHCA. Our Summer Convention was held on Amelia Island mid-month and was a huge success. The event featured informative educational content, special appearances from multiple legislators, and a beautiful venue. You can read some of the convention highlights in this newsfront and view the highlight videos below: Convention Highlights Golf Highlights I would like to thank our members who attended the convention and our generous sponsors for their support. I look forward to seeing you all again at our Winter Convention in January. I would also like to thank the members of the Membership Services Committee, led by Chair, Kerry Smith and Mendee Rock, Vice President of Membership Services. Your hard work is what makes each GHCA convention a success. During the House of Delegates meeting at the convention, officer elections were held and the 2016-2017 Board members were installed. Congratulations to the new Board and thank you for your dedication to your professional organization. I look forward to working with each of you to accomplish GHCA initiatives in the coming year. Lastly, I want to remind members that the 2015 fiscal year ended June 30. July 1 marks the beginning of a new fiscal year with new challenges and opportunities for GHCA. I, along with the rest of [...]
2016-2017 GHCA Board Members Elected GHCA is pleased to announce the 2016-2017 Board of Directors whom were elected during the House of Delegates meeting at the GHCA/GCAL Summer Convention on Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Rep. Trey Kelley was present during the meeting to install the following: Chair of the Board Harve Bauguess, Bauguess Management Vice Chair Donna Stefano, Tara Cares Secretary Michael Ferguson, PruittHealth Treasurer Jerry Patton, A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab Board Members at Large Gregory Davis, Ethica Health & Retirement Communities Tracy Nelson, River Towne Center/Genesis Healthcare Kerry Smith, New Horizons Lanier Park Michele Todd, Douglasville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Ron Westbury, Westbury Medical Care Home Council Presidents (Elected during the Spring Council Tour) Metro Atlanta Melanie DuPont, Lake City Nursing & Rehab/Tara Cares Northeast Laura Backus, PruittHealth Northwest Lemarr Gass, PruittHealth-Rome East Central Keith Wilson, Ethica Health & Retirement Communities West Central Kim Hodges, Ethica Health & Retirement Communities Southwest Phil Herndon, Berrien Nursing Center Southeast Terry Cook, Pineleaf Investments Middle GA Joe Andrews, Crossroads Medical Management Additional Board Members Immediate Past Chair Bill Davis, Crossroads Medical Management SOURCE Representative Dorothy Davis, Visiting Nurse Assisted Living Representative Barbara Mitchell, Magnolia Manor AHCA Board of Governors Deborah Meade, Health Management Congratulations to all 2016-2017 Board members! GHCA Congratulates [...]
Alliant Quality is pleased to announce a new initiative to prevent and reduce the prevalence of Clostridium Difficile (C. Diff). This initiative will support nursing home submission of data into the CDC's National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) data bank which will provide for analysis and creation of a national baseline for C. Difficile infections in nursing homes. NHSN provides LTC centers with a customized system to track infections in a streamlined and systematic way. Join us to learn more about how you can identify and track your progress toward stopping infections. Please click HERE for a downloadable brochure.
The Georgia Health Care Association and Georgia Center for Assisted Living (GHCA/GCAL) announced this week that Kerry Smith has been chosen by the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) as a future leader in long term and post-acute care. Smith will join the Association’s Future Leaders program, a year-long program that offers training and guidance for long term and post-acute care professionals. “AHCA/NCAL is dedicated to offering skilled nursing professionals who are providing high quality care the opportunity to enhance their leadership skills,” said Mark Parkinson, President & CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “We look forward to seeing Kerry and the entire Future Leaders class apply these newly-acquired skills to improve the well-being of individuals within long term and post-acute care.” “Kerry’s dedication to quality care and strong leadership skills make him an excellent candidate for the AHCA/NCAL Future Leaders program,” said Tony Marshall, GHCA/GCAL President & CEO. “We look forward to watching him enhance these skills and apply them within GHCA/GCAL, AHCA/NCAL, and long term and post-acute care.” Smith is the Administrator of New Horizons Lanier Park in Gainesville, GA, and also serves as director of Long Term Care at Northeast Georgia Medical Center. He is a Board Member at Large and Chair of the Membership Services Committee for GHCA. He [...]
The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ) released its first ever report on post- acute care for all payer types. Nearly eight million patients, or 22%, received some level of post-acute care following discharge from the hospital. Primary medical conditions requiring post-acute care were: total hip/knee; septicemia or severe sepsis; and, heart failure or shock. Of the approximate eight million patients requiring post-acute care, nine percent were admitted to skilled nursing care centers.
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), has published its Fiscal Year Work Plan: Mid-Year Update, 2016, setting forth the various OIG department (Office of Audit Services, Office of Evaluation and Inspections, Office of Investigations, and Office of Counsel to the Inspector General) 2016 activities. The work plan involves projects planned in each of HHS’ major entities including, but not limited to, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Administration on Aging. The work plan also lists the 2015 HHS top management and performance challenges including: protecting an expanding Medicaid program from fraud, waste and abuse; fighting fraud, waste and abuse in Medicare Parts A and B; meaningful and secure exchange and use of electronic information and health information technology; administration of grants, contracts and financial and administrative management systems; ensuring appropriate use of prescription drugs; ensuring quality nursing home, hospice and home- and community-based care; implementing operating, and overseeing the health insurance marketplaces; reforming delivery and payment in health care programs; effectively operating public health and human services programs; and ensuring the safety of food, drugs and medical device New and relevant action items under CMS that have been started since Oct. 2015 include, but are not limited to: Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System Requirements; National [...]
The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Inspector General (OIG), has published a report, Medicare Benefit Integrity Contractors’ Activities in 2012-2013: A Data Compendium, focusing on the Program Safeguard Contractor (PSC), Zone Program Integrity Contractor (ZPIC) and the National Benefit Integrity Medicare Drug Integrity Contractor (MEDIC). According to the report, some workload results, such as the number of proactive projects started and the number of revocations recommended for contractors increased overall from 2012-2013, while others, such as the number of cases referred to law enforcement, decreased. While increases and decreases vary from year to year and may be caused by reasonable shifts in workload priorities, OIG believes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) should examine these changes to ensure that they are in alignment with the agency’s integrity goals. CMS concurs with OIG’s recommendation; however, to address workload variations, CMS is developing the Unified Case Management (UCM) system. The UCM system will serve as a central repository to track leads, monitor audit progress, and collect contractors’ workload in a unified manner. CMS will also provide guidance to align all Medicare contractors with clearly defined workload definitions.
On June 15, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) released its June 2016 Medicare and the Health Delivery System report to Congress. The report notes that the three-day stay required for Skilled Nursing Center service eligibility is an important protection to prevent inappropriate admissions. However, the Commission includes that in 2015, it recommended that up to two observation days might be counted towards the three-day stay. For more information about observation stays and the three-day stay requirement, please visit the AHCA/NCAL website. An AHCA summary of the MedPAC session is available here.