AHCA/NCAL 65th Annual Convention & Expo

Debunking The Myths About Surveyors’ Expectations For Dementia Care

This session will address surveyor training relative to reducing off-label use of antipsychotics in skilled nursing care centers. Hear from the former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) director of nursing home survey and certification program about the approach and expectations to better understand how policy will impact you and your organization and help you to be prepared for review of this issue on your next survey.

Session Leader:
Alice Bonner, PhD, RN, associate professor, Northeastern University, Westborough, Mass.

Building The High-Value Skilled Nursing Facility: Securing An Essential Row In The Market

As delivery system and payment reform transform the health care marketplace, referrer and payer demands necessitate a more effective approach to post-acute care delivery that prioritizes cost-appropriate patient placement and the efficient transition of patients into lower-cost care settings. To meet these demands, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) must evolve their approach to care delivery by enhancing clinical staffing structures and adopting a “total cost” mindset that reflects the goals of population health.

Session Leader:
Jared Landis, senior consultant, The Advisory Board Co., Washington, D.C.

Utilizing QAPI To Develop A Pressure Ulcer Program

This session will provide your organization with the necessary steps to implement a pressure ulcer program using the Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) approach, ensure systems are in place to meet F314 regulations and standards of practice, provide the wound team training on how to set up a skin care prevention and treatment program, and set up effective wound care team meetings. How to effectively monitor both the skin care prevention and treatment programs will also be discussed.

Session Leader:
Judith Morey, RN, BSN, CWOCN, APN, Pathway Health, White Bear Lake, Minn.

Competence And Confidence: Using Education As A Retention Strategy

When it comes to meeting staff stability goals, progressive organizations are turning their attention to education and competency building as a retention strategy. Organizations that employ strategies to continually educate and build staff skills are creating loyal staff members who are responsive, competent, and confident. This session will show strategies for making education and training a new and powerful retention tool.

Session Leader:
Marguerite McLaughlin, MA, senior director, quality improvement, AHCA, Washington, D.C.

How Do You Get A Seat At The Table When You Can’t Get Your Foot In The Door?

Census is on the decline. Hospitals are picking your competitor down the street for rehabilitation for their patients. How do you “up your game” so that you have a seat at the table? How do you secure your future? This session will walk you through an array of tips and strategies to strengthen your position, promote your strengths, and get your staff and families serving as ambassadors.

Session Leader:
Greg Dowdy, chief operating officer (COO), American HealthCare, Roanoke, Va.

One Year Of Bundled Payments: How Are They Working, And What Does The Future Look Like?

Bundled payments are considered a viable alternative to fee-for-service payment in post-acute care. In the first hour of this session, speakers from Avalere Health and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) will discuss the current legislative environment around bundled payments, and where they see bundled payment policy going in the future.
Potomac River, Georgetown, DC
In the second hour, a panel of AHCA member companies will discuss their first year of experience in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement demonstration. They will discuss challenges and opportunities, and discuss how bundled payments are working for their centers. Participants will walk away from this session with a much deeper understanding of the policy landscape around bundling, as well as actionable information about how bundling works for providers on the ground.

Session Leaders:
Ellen Lukens, vice president, Avalere Health, Washington, D.C.; Joanne Powell, NA, RHIT, RAC-CT, director, reimbursement strategies, The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society, Sioux Falls, S.D.; Barry Lazarus, vice president, director of reimbursement & chief compliance officer, HCR ManorCare, Toledo, Ohio

Federal Town Hall: Enhancing Provider Navigation Of Federal Programs, Assistance, And Waivers Prior To, During, And After A Disaster

This session will describe the federal landscape of programs, services, assistance, and waivers available prior to, during, and after a disaster. Providers will receive a brief overview of health care coalitions and how they can better support emergency preparedness in a community. Participants will hear from federal government experts on navigating the programs and their requirements. Federal-specific questions regarding emergency preparedness, response, and recovery will be answered.

Session Leader:
Kristen Finne, senior policy analyst, Health and Human Services/Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Office of Policy and Planning, Division of Health System Policy, Washington, D.C.

Developing Effective Partnerships With Your Hospitals

A hospital and SNF partnership is critical to sustaining a SNF’s business model in the new environment of health care delivery. Strategies to build effective partnerships and to present your SNF’s data and services to hospitals will be reviewed. This session will also provide insight from hospitals about their expectations of SNFs, as well as the experience of several centers that have built an effective collaboration with hospitals. A review of innovative partnerships between hospitals and SNFs will be presented.

Session Leader:
Laurie Herndon, MSN, GNP-BC, ANP-BC, director, clinical quality, Massachusetts Senior Care Association, Grafton, Mass. 

Turning Around Turnover For Greater Staff Stability

One of the challenges in long term care is to retain new hires and facilitate long-term retention. The impact of high turnover can jeopardize staff satisfaction, resident and family relationships, finances, and ultimately quality of care. Fortunately, many providers are successfully adopting practices to retain new hires beyond the make-or-break 90-day threshold. This session will discuss how to implement consistent assignment practices, balance staff assignments, achieve the right amount of flexibility in staffing for higher satisfaction, and hire right.

Session Leaders:
Mark Woodka, chief executive officer, OnShift, Cleveland, Ohio; Irene Fleshner, RN, MHSA, FACHE, senior vice president, strategic nursing initiatives, Genesis HealthCare, Sarasota, Fla.

Person-Centeredness And Enabling Technology Solutions

This session will address innovation in care delivery aimed at realizing person-centered care.
How will technology lessen the challenges to successful aging in place? How will current and emerging technologies play a part in the development and evolution of person-centered care tailored to the function, independence, and quality of life of older adults, their families, and the professionals who support them? How must technology be leveraged to drive the cultural shift from system focus to person-centered care?
Examples of technology approaches, solutions, and promising best practices will be provided, along with recommendations on how participants can bring home a strategy and practical action plan to move from a system focus to one that actively embraces person-centeredness, function, independence, and quality of life.

Session Leader:
Richard Della Penna, MD, chief medical officer, Independa, San Diego, Calif.

Understanding And Responding To Behavior As Communication In Persons With Dementia

Symptoms of dementia, termed behavioral expressions, can be viewed as a form of communication to caregivers. Patients in later stages of dementia are not only unable to communicate their needs, but are often unable to direct their own daily activities. Caregivers and health care professionals strive to anticipate needs for these patients in the hope that they will be able to reduce the person’s distress. Unmet needs may be the result of an inability to communicate, inability to use prior coping mechanisms, or environmental limitations. It is fundamental to any caregiving experience that practitioners utilize techniques and skills that enhance assessment, communication, and quality of life. Learn how health care professionals can utilize nonpharmacological interventions such as aroma, music, or touch therapy; enhanced nonverbal communication techniques; and prayer that have a potential for addressing unmet psycho-social needs.

Session Leader:
Lena Smith, PhD, clinical director/COO, Retreat Healthcare, Rio Rancho, N.M.

Approaching A Fork In The Road: Determining What Financial Structure Works For You

The senior care profession features many options for capital funding and resources. Join experts in this area for an in-depth analysis of various funding avenues that are available. Gain competitive knowledge on funding structures you are already familiar with and some that you wish to learn more about. Capital providers will share how they develop and view partnerships, while operators discuss how their funding partnerships have benefited their businesses.

Learn how to increase profitability, grow your business, and become more familiar with the various capital sources available to you.

Moderator: Roger Bernier, LNHA, MBA, president and COO, Chelsea Senior Living, Fanwood, N.J.
Kenneth Gould, managing director, Lancaster Pollard, Radnor, Pa.; Kyle Henderson, CSH, Washington, D.C.

The SNF PPS: Not Over Yet!!

The Medicare payer landscape is evolving. Various payment/care models are jockeying for position, and the competition will only increase. However, SNF prospective payment system (PPS) fee-for-service will remain viable and critical for some years to come as a stand-alone payer or as part of an accountable care organization’s initial framework.

Presenter Ellen Lukens will offer an analysis that compares SNF utilization rates across the different current and emerging Medicare programs, examines how changes in enrollment could affect overall industry volume, and demonstrates the relevance and durability of the SNF PPS.

Presenters Barry Lazarus and Elise Smith will provide an update on the SNF PPS; CMS’ concerns about the vulnerabilities of the system; and Capitol Hill, CMS, and AHCA efforts to push forward with constructive changes to the current system.

Session Leaders:
Elise Smith, senior fellow, finance policy and legal affairs, AHCA, Washington, D.C.; Ellen Lukens, vice president, Avalere Health, Washington, D.C.; Barry Lazarus, vice president, director of reimbursement and chief compliance officer, HCR ManorCare, Toledo, Ohio

The Challenge Of Providing Therapy Services

The challenges continue in the delivery of medically necessary therapy services. The changes in the rules for Part A and Part B services did not seem to be sufficient to alter the belief that too many patients are being provided with too much therapy. At the same time, Medicare advocacy groups are saying that the Jimmo v. Sebelius settlement should result in more therapy.

CMS has recently released the long-awaited updates to the “Medicare Benefit Policy Manual” addressing maintenance therapy related to the Jimmo settlement. What should a provider do when faced with such contradiction? It is more important than ever to ensure that efficient clinically appropriate rehabilitation results in expected clinical outcomes in order to achieve solid financial performance.

Session Leader:
Pat Newberry, PT, MBA, director, clinical education, AIS, Huntsville, Ala.

Proactive PEPPER Report Use To Mitigate Audit Risk

CMS contractors use data mining to build profiles of providers, networks, billing patterns, and beneficiary utilization. These profiles allow them to quickly identify unusual billing activity that may then trigger audit activity.

SNF providers have the ability to use their claim data to guide compliance auditing and monitoring. The PEPPER report provides data that the SNF can use as a good starting point to prioritize areas for auditing and monitoring activity to mitigate audit risk.

Session Leader:
Shawn Halcsik, DPT, MEd, OCS, CPC, RAC-CT, vice president, compliance, Evergreen Rehabilitation, Wauwatosa, Wis.

Leadership Imperative: The Role Of The Administrator And Medical Director In Improving Care For Persons With Dementia

A positive and collaborative partnership between the medical director and organizational leaders is critical to ensuring the highest quality of care. That partnership is also an important foundation for tackling tough challenges like the initiative to reduce off-label use of antipsychotic medications. This session will explore one organization’s success in building such a partnership and in reducing its use of antipsychotics, providing attendees with practical strategies and lessons learned.

Session Leaders:
Nick Bridges, MS, OT/L, nursing home administrator, Durgin Pines (Continuum Health Services), Kittery, Maine; Jabbar Fazeli, MD, Maine Geriatrics, Portland, Maine.