The 64th Annual Convention & Expo of the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) is coming Oct. 6-9 to Phoenix.

Following are a selection of the more than 60 CEU-credited symposia beginning on Monday, Oct. 7, and going on for three full days.

Increase Opportunities For Person-centered Care Planning And Decision Making

Leader: Susan LaGrange, RN, BSN, NHA, director of education, Pathway Health Services, White Bear Lake, Minn.

Today the buzzwords “culture change” and “person-centered care” are on everyone’s lips. How can providers optimize their ability to really embed the process into their everyday planning and implementation of care? This session will provide tangible and practical tips on how to plan and communicate to caregivers the importance of integrating resident choice in everyday care.

Reduce Direct Care Staff Turnover

Leaders: Jean Cannon, executive director, and Carmy Jerome, assistant director, Aspen House Memory Care Assisted Living, Loveland, Colo.

Hear how one facility reduced staff turnover from 77 percent to less than 20 percent with a few simple, cost-effective methods, including training, staff recognition, understanding staff’s personal situations, staff engagement in business decisions, and fun.

Choosing the QAPI Methodology That Fits Your Organization

Leaders: Christine Boldt, vice president, long term care operations, Benedictine Health System, Red Wing, Minn., and Jeri Reinhardt, RN, director, quality, Benedictine Health System, Cambridge, Minn.

This session will introduce attendees to various types of process improvement methodologies, including Plan Do Study Act, LEAN, Six Sigma, and others. The presenters will also provide an overview of the tools available to support each methodology and learn how to select and apply the appropriate process improvement method to their organization.

How to Partner With Patient Safety Organizations

Leader: Marjorie Forgang, RN, MSN, New Jersey Hospital Association, Princeton, N.J.

This session will help attendees gain an understanding of what a patient safety organization (PSO) is and the role it has in improving quality in long term care. This will include an introduction to the laws and regulations governing PSOs and how long term care providers can take advantage of the confidentiality and privilege protections of a PSO for patient safety work products.

Discharge Should Not Mean Goodbye: Why Post-discharge Follow-up Plays a Critical Role
In Achieving Your Hospital Readmission Goals

Leader: David Mills, chief operating officer (COO), Align, Wausau, Wis.

It is not an issue of whether hospital readmissions will have an impact on post-acute care but, rather, how should an organization be positioned to succeed in this ever-changing environment. The recipe for success is complicated. Experts agree that it takes strong transition support, coordinated discharge planning, superior communication skills, and education designed for the adult learner to truly impact readmission rates. While these areas are often addressed during a patient’s stay, the need for ongoing support remains after discharge. During this session, attendees will learn how to incorporate these and other best practices into the company’s post-discharge follow-up process.

Appreciative Inquiry: A Strength-based Approach To Leading Positive Change

Leader: Joanne Smikle, principal, Smikle Training Services, Ellicott City, Md.

Appreciate Inquiry (AI) turns the traditional paradigm of change on its head. Rather than focusing on how to fix what is perceived as broken, the process of AI creates a positive, affirming framework that asks, “What’s working, and how can we build on that to imagine and design a new future?” What a powerful tool for making culture change more than rhetoric. It is a tool leaders can use to identify the “positive core” that lies at the heart of the profession. It enables committed care organizations to harness the power within to launch change processes that inspire, motivate, and give energy to the people who have the power to drive and sustain positive organizational change.

Anatomy of an Assisted Living Lawsuit: Reducing Risk and Maximizing Quality Through a Formal Expectations Management Program

Leader: Rebecca Adelman, president and shareholder, Hagwood Adelman Tipton, PC, Memphis, Tenn.

The ever-increasing acuity of residents entering senior living leads to greater needs and service expectations. Residents are demanding to remain in the most independent options possible, redefining what it means to “age in place.” This new reality raises many questions for providers, including what litigation/claims risks they are facing and what strategies can be developed for minimizing risk and maximizing quality. The program will identify risk factor data, recommend policy and procedure changes, and offer training modules for various stages in a residency period where providers can set and manage expectations.

Payment Methodology: From SNF PPS to Bundled Payments

Leaders: James Michel, director, Medicare research and reimbursement, and Peter Gruhn, senior director, research, AHCA, Washington, D.C.; Doug Burr, vice president, Health Care Navigator, Roswell, Ga.; Joanne Powell, NA, RHIT, director of reimbursement strategies, Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, Sioux Falls, S.D.; John Perticone, vice president, strategic partnerships, Golden Living, West Mifflin, Pa.; Henry Gordinier, vice president, strategic planning, Kindred Health Care, Louisville, Ky.; and Rachel Feldman, partner, The Moran Co., Alexandria, Va.

AHCA staff will provide a brief overview of the changes to skilled nursing facility (SNF) Prospective Payment System (PPS) for fiscal year 2014 and the relationship between SNF PPS and bundling. Key SNF PPS challenges must be met by providers in preparation for any transition to bundling. Then, a panel of AHCA members will engage in a discussion of their experiences and participation in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative.

Discovering a Different Point Of View—The Leader’s Role in Creating a Culture of Innovation

Leader: Andre Boykin, managing partner, CAPITAL iDEA, Weston, Fla.

If organizations are to sustain viability over the long haul, leaders have to be able to effect meaningful change and innovation inside their organizations. The leader’s role is to create a culture of change and innovation, which will not come about when leaders are satisfied with the status quo. This program reshapes thinking about ways to establish a culture for new ideas and concepts.

The Nuts and Bolts of Survey Success

Leader: Mary Jann, RN, BA, director, regulatory affairs, California Association of Health Facilities, Sacramento, Calif.

Many excellent centers have experienced a bad survey, and few things are more discouraging to providers than to have their good work overshadowed by a damaging 2567. This session, taught by two former surveyors, will show attendees how to be survey ready every day by using a few simple fixes for big results. Through this interactive session, which includes role playing and case studies, attendees will learn techniques to assist them in their quality assurance and performance improvement efforts.

Stabilizing Staff Through Strengths

Leaders: Mitchell Elliott, chief development officer, and Patrick Fairbanks, COO, Vetter Health Services, Elkhorn, Neb.; and Lori Stohs, human capital consultant, Lori Stohs Consulting, Omaha

On average, only 29 percent of individuals are engaged in their jobs, with more than half considered disengaged and 17 percent considered “actively disengaged.”

These statistics can create serious flaws within a team. They can cost an employer time and money, but most importantly, quality of care and personal relationships. Understanding each individual and appreciating their strengths will enhance engagement.

This presentation will involve individual results from the Gallup StrengthFinder Assessment Tool. A case study involving this “strength-based” approach toward employee engagement at Vetter will serve as the core of this session.

From Administrator to Resident: Perspective From the Other Side

Leader: Phillip DuBois, faculty, St. Joseph’s College, Oxford, Maine

In April 2007, Phillip DuBois and his family were involved in a serious car accident. DuBois was seriously injured. After two weeks as a hospital in-patient, he became a skilled rehabilitation resident in his own nursing home for 2-1/2 months.

Today DuBois speaks of lessons he learned from that experience, such as patient perception of quality of care, how the demeanor of the caregiver impacts perception of quality, subjective factors that can impact quality scores, how to create an environment that promotes healing, and practical aspects of person-centered care from the perspective of someone who has been on both sides.