Links and Articles from Recent Issues of LeadingAge Connecticut’s
Weekly Capitol Line Newsletter

 

 

January 2018

Nursing Home Rate Letters
The Nursing Home Rate Computation letters are expected to be mailed out in early February. While the State of Connecticut will not be providing a nursing home rate increase this fiscal year, the Department of Social Services has rebased the nursing home rates as required by statute. The rate letters, therefore, will include a full rate compensation report. To preserve your right to appeal the rate, you must file an appeal letter within 10 days of the date on the rate letter. It is important to note that the 10 days run from the date on the rate letter, not the date of receipt, so extra care should be taken to ensure that you can act promptly once the letter arrives. If you should have any questions or concerns once you receive your letter, please do not hesitate to contact us at LeadingAge Connecticut.
 
We expect the following to be reflected in the rebased rate calculations:
The state will be implementing a stop-loss of no more than 2% for those facilities whose new calculated rate falls below their current paid rate.
The rebased rates should reflect the reinstatement of any fair rent component that was removed on January 1, 2017.
The rate computation will include any adjustment made as a result of the recent audit review of wage enhancement funding.

DSS Provider Bulletins
TO: Acquired Brain Injury, CHC Access Agencies, CHC PCA Fidicuaries, CHC Service Providers, Community First Choice, Home Health Agencies and Personal Care Services regarding Electronic Visit Verification Implementation View Message

Vicki Veltri Appointed to Lead State's Office of Health Strategy
Governor Malloy has appointed Victoria Veltri to serve as Executive Director of the state's Office of Health Strategy, a new state office created through the consolidation of several existing resources as part of the bipartisan state budget that was adopted in October. The office, which begins operations on February 1, will be responsible for implementing data-driven strategies that promote equal access to healthcare, improve the value of healthcare, contain costs, and ensure better healthcare systems for Connecticut residents. It combines resources and personnel from several existing state offices. By combining experts, data and goals, the new office, which resides within the Department of Public Health for administrative purposes, will provide integrated, comprehensive leadership to improve healthcare systems and health in Connecticut. Veltri currently serves as Chief Health Policy Advisor in the Office of Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman. Prior to that role, she served as Connecticut's Healthcare Advocate.

DSS Eligibility Processing Reminder
LeadingAge Connecticut continues to work with DSS on the ongoing issues of eligibility and redetermination processing. DSS has informed us that recently several requests for assistance were sent to the inappropriate offices at DSS and in such cases, the nursing home was not able to receive the assistance they were requesting. As a result, DSS has requested that send out the following guidance to our nursing home members regarding who at DSS the nursing home should contact based on the situation they are encountering.
To ensure that you receive a response timely and efficiently please follow the DSS guidance outlined below:
1.    General questions about LTSS please call 1-855-626-6632 and ask to speak to a LTSS Benefits Agent. You will be transferred to eligibility staff trained in LTSS.
2.    Questions about pending applications please call the LTSS eligibility staff member who is assigned to work the application. If you cannot reach the eligibility staff member working the application please contact their supervisor.
3.    Questions/issues with admits, discharges and level of care please contact the appropriate ASCEND worker.
4.    Pay-start issues and W-9 questions please contact the appropriate staff member in the Convalescent Payment Unit.
5.    Cases that meet the criteria for placement on the escalation tool that DSS developed with LeadingAge CT and CAHCF should be sent to Jessica Carroll and Laura Catarino. (This tool was emailed out by LeadingAge Connecticut in October.)
6.    Suggestions and recommendations regarding LTSS processing should be sent to Mag Morelli at mmorelli@leadingagect.org.

NEMT Transition Update
Veyo announces Clinical Coordinators to be contacted with NEMT problems:
Arrika Denbin, adenbin@veyo.com for dialysis centers
Jamie Gallion, jgallion@veyo.com for facilities including hospitals, nursing homes and home health care agencies

2018 Compensation and Benefits Survey is Open
LeadingAge Connecticut's 2018 Compensation and Benefits Survey is now open for participation!  This year's survey applies to hourly staff and senior executive management positions.  To participate, please visit the homepage of our website www.leadingagect.org to access the survey link.   New for 2018 - we are pleased to announce that salary survey results will be provided free of charge to all provider members who complete the survey in its entirety.  We encourage all provider member organizations to take advantage of this enhanced member benefit. Surveys must be completed by February 28, 2018.     Non-participating provider members are still eligible to purchase the survey results for $400.00.   Please contact Beth Ricker at bricker@leadingagect.org or (203) 678-4477 with any questions.

Recent DPH Blast Faxes
The Department of Public Health has sent out two recent blast faxes that are attached to this email:
Blast Fax 2018-02 Reminding Nursing Homes of their Workplace Violence Incident Report Obligation
Blast Fax 2018-04 Regarding the Reportable Events Requirements
If you are not receiving the blast faxes directly from the Department, please let us know.
 
Alzheimer's Association Launches Comprehensive Dementia Care Practice Recommendations
Last week the Alzheimer's Association released new dementia care practice recommendations aimed at helping nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and other long-term care and community care providers deliver optimal quality, person-centered care for those living with Alzheimer's and other dementias. The recommendations are  posted online and will be published as a supplement to the February issue of The Gerontologist.

Announcing Our 2018 Partners
LeadingAge Connecticut is pleased to announce our 2018 Partners and we look forward to a productive year of working together in support of our membership.

2018 Platinum Partners
BlumShapiro, C.E. Floyd Company, Inc., Insurance Provider Group/The Schuster Group, ProCare LTC Pharmacy of Connecticut, Value First and Ziegler

2018 Gold Partners

Amenta Emma Architects, HealthPRO Heritage, IT Direct, KBE Building Corporation, M&T Bank, Mobilex/US Laboratories, OneDigital, Unidine and Wiggin and Dana 

Emerging Leader Partners

CliftonLarsonAllen, MatrixCare and Symbria


LeadingAge Connecticut Launches New Career Center Site
LeadingAge Connecticut is proud to announce the launch of our new Career Center!  We've been working hard on many website improvements and today we are excited to announce the release of this new job posting site.  By partnering with Web Scribble, a leading provider of job board platforms, we are pleased to offer this powerful resource to your organization.   You will be able to access this targeted and qualified pool of talent by advertising your jobs on our Career Center. Post your jobs at careercenter.leadingagect.org.   The Career Center can also be easily accessed from the homepage of the LeadingAge Connecticut website www.leadingagect.org.  Please select the Career Center tab on the right side of the navigation bar.

CMS Announces Initiative to Address Improper Facility-Initiated Discharges
CMS, in a Survey and Certification Letter dated Dec. 22, 2017 and posted on Dec. 26, 2017, announced an initiative designed to examine and mitigate facility-initiated discharges that violate federal regulations. CMS noted in the Letter that "discharge/eviction" was the most frequent nursing facility complaint category logged by Long-Term Care Ombudsman programs nationally in FY2015.  CMS stated that the reasons for non-compliant discharges can vary, but often are driven by payment concerns and behavioral/mental/emotional expressions or indications of resident distress. The changes announced in the Letter took effect immediately. S&C 18-08-NH
 
OLR Issue Brief on Medicaid
Linked below please find a new Issue Brief by the Office of Legislative Research on Medicaid that we thought may be of interest. Issue Brief: Medicaid 101


Update from DSS and DRS on Pension Withholding Requirements
We are pleased to inform you that the Department of Social Services (DSS) worked jointly with the Department of Revenue Services (DRS) to draft an important clarification regarding the new law that went into effect January 1, 2018 requiring payers of taxable pensions and annuities that maintain an office or transact business in Connecticut to withhold Connecticut income tax from distributions to Connecticut residents. The communication states that individuals active on Connecticut Medicaid and residing in a nursing home or receiving home and community based waiver services are not required to have CT income tax withheld from their pensions and annuities. They must, however, complete and submit the necessary form CT-W4P. Information regarding all of this is included in the attached communication. DSS has asked that all questions about the attached communication be directed to DRS at 800-382-9463 or 860-297-5962.

New S&C Memo
On December 28th, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services(CMS), posted Survey and Certification (S&C) Memo 18-10-ALL that clarifies the position of CMS as it relates to texting. Information in the new memo includes:
•    Texting patient information among members of the health are team is permissible if accomplished through a secure platform.
•    Texting of patient orders is prohibited regardless of the platform utilized.
•    Computerized Provider Order Entry(CPOE) is the preferred method of order entry.

 

December 2017

New NEMT Contractor Reminder
Effective January 1, Veyo , a Total Transit company, is the Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) contractor for the State of Connecticut and will be responsible for arranging transportation for HUSKY Health members. Their website is up and running and they are now taking reservations for transportation to healthcare appointments. When you access their website, click on the purple Facilities tab on the top to access information on how to arrange for rides for your residents. There is also a guide for facilities that can be accessed through the website. Please note that there is information provided as to how to request the appropriate level of transportation vehicle and a Companion Request Form to communicate to Veyo that the member needs to travel with a companion or attendant due to a physical, mental, or intellectual medical condition.

DSS Provider Bulletin regarding the new NEMT contractor 

Bulletin DXC PB17-94 Regarding Prior Authorization for all Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) 

Veyo is replacing Logisticare and the new contract is an attempt to improve upon the NEMT services. Please let us know if there are questions or concerns that you may have with this new vendor so that we can work with DSS to continuously improve the services.

New OLR Report: Nursing Home Overview
Linked below please find a new report from the Office of Legislative Research which provides an overview of the nursing home industry in Connecticut. The report focuses on nursing home numbers including the amount of licensed nursing homes, recent closures, and the status of the moratorium. OLR Report on CT Nursing Homes

Addendum to the 2017 Legislative Summary
An addendum to the LeadingAge Connecticut 2017 Legislative Summary has been prepared providing members with a review of relevant legislation passed during the 2017 special session. The 2017 Review of Key Legislation Relating to Providers of Services to the Elderly and the addendum from the special session as prepared by Wiggin and Dana for LeadingAge Connecticut members can both be found on the LeadingAgeCT.org website. We hope that you will find these summaries of the new laws passed in the most recent state legislative regular and special sessions useful to you and your organization.

LeadingAge Silver Partner, CliftonLarsonAllen Releases Their 32nd Edition SNF Cost Comparison Report
CLA's 32nd Edition of the Skilled Nursing Facility Cost Comparison Report gathers financial data from the entire population of skilled nursing facilities (SNF) nationwide. This report, based on 2016 data, gathers financial and operational data from every SNF nationwide to help leaders make strategic decisions concerning solvency, cost efficiencies, and profitability. In addition to publishing their traditional report, this year, additional data is offered in a visual, interactive story format so you can compare nonprofit SNFs to proprietary SNFs. You can view the interactive web story and view the report here on the CLA website.
CLA is a LeadingAge Connecticut Emerging Leader Partner

LeadingAge Rate Calculators

SNF Medicare Rate Calculation Tools Update

Rate Calculator: Home Health Medicare Rates for CY 2018

Nursing Home RoP Phase 2 Toolkit on the LeadingAge Website
LeadingAge partnered with Pathway Health to develop Phase 2 tools, resources and QuickPaths* and more resources are now available on the LeadingAge.org website. Please use the following link to access all the tools.  Remember this is a member only section and you may locate the resources by the Nursing Home Tools and Resources tabs on the site.  

Nursing Home Rate Rebasing Reminder
While the State of Connecticut will not be providing a nursing home rate increase this year, the Department of Social Services will be rebasing the nursing home rates as required by statute. We expect that the Department will be sending out the full rate compensation reports shortly.

We want to remind you that if you would like to preserve your right to appeal the rate, you must file an appeal letter within 10 days of the date on the rate letter. 

LeadingAge Connecticut Board Sets Advocacy Goals
The LeadingAge Connecticut Board of Directors has accepted the recommendation of the Legislative Committee by adopting a legislative agenda that maintains the association's current guiding public policy principle and goals, while pledging to lead the future of aging services, defend against harmful legislation and work with like-minded organizations.
 
Current Guiding Public Policy Principle
LeadingAge Connecticut supports the current systems change occurring in long term services and will work to create the opportunity and environment for individual providers to find solutions.
 
This policy position is based on the goals of:
•    Strengthening and investing in our entire system of long term services and supports.
•    Establishing a collaborative and efficient regulatory and reimbursement environment that is adaptive and receptive to forward thinking ideas and planning.
•    Encouraging and enabling providers of long term services and supports to adjust, modernize and diversify their models of care to meet current and future consumer needs and expectations.

Douglas Manor Sale Announcement
It was recently announced that while two of the Affinity Healthcare nursing homes in state receivership will close, it is the intent of the state to sell Douglas Manor of Windham. The following is the link to the notice of public sale. The two homes that will be closing are Blair Manor in Enfield and Ellis Manor in Hartford.

Resource Guide for Helping Evacuees from Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands
The Governor recently announced that in collaboration with Connecticut United Way 211 and the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), the state has released a resource guide in both English and Spanish that provides detailed information on programs and services available in Connecticut that can help those arriving from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The guide can be downloaded online by visiting uwc.211ct.org/maria.


Nursing Home Residents Arriving from Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands
The Department of Social Services has informed us that they are ready to help any evacuee from Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands. If such an individual is admitted to a nursing home in Connecticut, they will need to establish level of care in ASCEND and if applicable, submit a Medicaid application for nursing home coverage (W-1LTC). Evacuees may also apply for other LTSS Medicaid coverage. DSS has informed us that LTSS eligibility staff will review all such applications and staff are ready and willing to help these individuals obtain proofs that may be difficult to obtain given the circumstances. DSS also provided us with the following link to CMS regarding Medicare and hurricanes: CMS Emergency Information

DSS Stakeholder Meeting on the State's LTSS Rebalancing Strategic Plan
LeadingAge Connecticut staff and membership were well represented at last week's stakeholder meeting to provide input into the state's LTSS rebalancing strategic plan update. The state has received the last installment of federal funding to maintain the Money Follows the Person (MFP) operations until 2020 and they are updating the LTSS rebalancing plan accordingly. Linked below is a report from the Office of Legislative Research on the MFP program that may be of interest, as well as the latest quarterly MFP outcomes report.

Money Follows the Person OLR Report

Quarterly MFP Report


Nursing Home Regulatory Update
The second phase of the new Rules of Participation for nursing homes went into effect on November 28. Part of that second phase is a new nursing home survey process which also began last week. As a  follow up to the first week of the new survey enforcement, DPH issued three blast faxes for all nursing homes. The DPH issued three blast faxes for all nursing homes. The DPH Blast Faxes can be found here:

Blast Fax 17-35

Blast Fax 17-36

Blast Fax 17-36a

Just a reminder, LeadingAge has many RoP tools available to the membership at LeadingAge.org.

Ombudsman Guidance
Earlier this week the LTC Ombudsman issued an updated memo containing guidance on the federal rule as it relates to the requirement to provide the Ombudsman with the notice of involuntary transfer and discharge notices to residents/representatives. The memo also outlines the procedure for forwarding the notice to the Ombudsman. The  Ombudsman's notice can be found here

November 2017

Resources for Phase 2 of the Nursing Home RoPs
LeadingAge has several excellent resources available to the membership to help with compliance. The resources can be found on the LeadingAge website:

Information is also available on the CMS website, including this link to the surveyor training for providers: New Survey Process Training and the following information from the September 7 MLN Nursing Home Facility Assessment Tool call: Nursing Home Facility Assessment Tool and State Operations Manual Revisions

State Budget Update
The State Legislature has now passed SB 1503, An Act Making Minor and Technical Changes to the State Budget and Related Implementing Provisions for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2019, which makes the necessary modifications to the hospital tax provisions vetoed by the Governor in the previously passed budget. The bill also pushes out, from the 2018 tax year to the 2019 tax year, the start of the increase in the maximum income filers may have to qualify for the 100% income tax exemption for Social Security benefits.  Unfortunately, the budget that the Governor signed on October 31 is already showing a deficit and so he made $182 million in new budget cuts on Friday in order to balance it. The Governor's cuts include $91 million to municipalities and $55 million for program costs.
The summary of what is included in both bills can be found here here.

CMS Rule on Emergency Preparedness Now in Effect
The CMS rule on Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers is now in effect and we have been told that in Connecticut, nursing home compliance will be part of the life safety code survey. LeadingAge national has an entire suite of resources, including toolkits, resources, and templates available by clicking here.

 

October 2017

State Budget Update
The Governor signed into law the bipartisan budget, SB 1502, passed by the Senate and House, but in doing so he also took advantage of his rarely used authority to issue a line item veto relative to the hospital supplemental payment provisions tied to the increased hospital provider tax contained in the budget. The Governor has maintained his assertions that the hospital provider language needs to be changed in order to achieve CMS approval. It is not clear whether the legislature shares those concerns and the issues are under review.  At this juncture, the legislature could choose to override the veto or let it stand and work toward a consensus oriented solution. Either way, it seems pretty clear there will be at least one more session day before we officially close the books on the current fiscal year.  A summary of the budget can be found here.
The bill that was passed can be found at the following links:

SB 1502 As Passed

Full OLR Summary – an easier document to read


Connecticut's CT211.org Resources Presentation
Connecticut's 2-1-1 administrator, United Way, gave a very thorough presentation of the services and vast resources that are available to both consumers and providers who are seeking information on available services and supports in the state. 2-1-1 information can be accessed through their website, www.ct211.org.

Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Releases Guide for Consumers Seeking to Hire Homemaker Companions
The Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) has released a new fact sheet for consumers seeking to hire homemakers and companions. The fact sheet is meant to help families understand the process of working with homemaker companion agencies so they are able to make the best decisions possible for their specific needs. A copy of our fact sheet can be found here.

Community Health Workers
Please find below a linked Office of Legislative Research report on Community Health Workers and how they are regulated in Connecticut and other states that may be of interest. Community Health Workers
 
Deposit of Personal Needs Allowance
Please find attached an important correspondence from DSS regarding a change in how DSS will send nursing homes the $30 personal needs allowance for those residents who are recipients of SSI. This change became effective on September 1. LeadingAge Connecticut and CAHCF do not agree with the new process and continue to work with DSS to modify this practice.

Voices Forum Encourages Person Centered Care
At the annual Voices Forum for nursing home resident council presidents held at the Aqua Turf and hosted by the State's LTC Ombudsman Nancy Shaffer, residents were encouraged to express their personal preferences to their caregivers and to participate in their person-centered care plans.  Consumer Voice has published a useful form for residents to use communicate their preferences which was distributed at the Voices Forum. We thought that the membership might also find it helpful. The following is a link to the preferences form and the Consumer Voice website which has additional person-centered care materials that may be of interest.  

2018 Social Security COLA Announced
The Social Security Administration announced today that a 2.0 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will be implemented for 2018. The COLA will begin with benefits payable to more than 61 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2018. Increased payments to more than 8 million SSI beneficiaries will begin on December 29, 2017. For additional information, visit the Social Security Administration website at: www.socialsecurity.gov/cola. Information about Medicare changes for 2018, when announced, will be available at www.medicare.gov.

Opioid Factsheet
The following is a link that was posted on the DMHAS website entitled, "What You Need to Know about Prescription Opioids" that may be of

interest. 

Factsheet: What You Need to Know About Prescription Opioids

Several New State Laws Effective October 1
Several new state laws went into effect on October 1, including several that may be of interest to aging services and housing providers. This link will take you to the recent Wiggin and Dana overview of key legislation passed this session where you can find the laws of interest that are effective October 1. Specifically, new nursing home laws can be found on slides 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9. New housing laws can be found on slides 13, 14 and 15. Home health care notice requirement changes are on slide 18, opioid prescription directives on slide 27, and probate and employment laws on slides 31-35. The detailed information on these and other laws passed this session can be found in the Wiggin and Dana 2017 Legislative Summary.

Electronic Plan of Correction - October 1
DPH has transitioned to an Electronic Plan of Correction for nursing homes effective October 1, 2017. Information on how you can prepare for this new EPoC can be found in Blast Fax 2017-16c

 

September 2017

LTC Survey Process Posting on CMS website
Information regarding the Entrance Conference, Facility Matrix, and Pathways for the new  nursing home federal survey process have been posted to the CMS website. These forms will be used by surveyors for the LTC Survey Process starting November 28, 2017.

Entrance Conference and Facility Matrix

Critical Element (CE) Pathways and Facility Tasks (large file)


Nursing Home Facility Assessment Information
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published the much-anticipated Facility Assessment Tool for care centers to meet the Phase 2 Requirements of Participation effective November 28, 2017. The facility assessment will be extremely important and CMS hosted a call last week to discuss the tool and other outstanding questions with the RoPs. The link to the presentation slides from the call is listed below. State Operations Manual Appendix PP for Phase 2 of the Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities final rule. Presentation Slides

Nursing Facility Assessment Toolkit on the LeadingAge Website
LeadingAge partnered with Pathway Health to develop Phase 2 tools, resources and quickpaths and they have begun by releasing the Facility Assessment Toolkit complete with an overview and guidelines for each section.  This is an in-depth toolkit with sections that will help organizations understand the intent of the facility assessment and gather the necessary information to complete it.
 
New Items in the Nursing Home RoP Phase 2 Toolkit on the LeadingAge Website
LeadingAge partnered with Pathway Health to develop Phase 2 tools, resources and QuickPaths* and more resources are now available on the LeadingAge.org website. Please use the following link to access all the tools.

CMS Emergency Preparedness Training Online Course
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has developed the new Emergency Preparedness Training Online Course which is available on demand and learners may access it at their convenience: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. This course is required for all State Survey Agency (SA) and Regional Office (RO) surveyors and reviewers who conduct or review health and safety or LSC surveys for emergency preparedness requirements. Non-survey professionals and other SA or RO support staff responsible for ensuring compliance with regulations are also encouraged to take the course. Additional information is available on this flyer or enroll at https://surveyortraining.cms.hhs.gov.

DPH Issues Blast Fax on Electronic POC for Nursing Homes
The Department of Public Health has issued the attached Blast Fax to nursing home administrators and directors of nursing regarding the Department's transition to an electronic plan of correction effective October 1, 2017.

How Will Medicare Changes Impact Your Skilled Nursing Facility's Profitability?
George Thomas, Blum Shapiro
For most skilled nursing homes, Medicare is a small portion of the overall patient mix. It usually falls within the 15% to 25% range of total patient days-but that small percentage can have a powerful effect on the overall profitability of the facility. There are a number of pending Medicare reimbursement changes that are scheduled to take effect over the next two years. Based on the details released to date, these changes could have a significant impact on the overall financial results for most skilled nursing homes.

Read the full article here >>

LeadingAge article: Clearing Up the SNF Quality Reporting Program Confusion


CMS Reveals New Medicare Card Design
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) gave the public its first look at the newly designed Medicare card. The new Medicare card contains a unique, randomly-assigned number that replaces the current Social Security-based number.  CMS will begin mailing the new cards to people with Medicare benefits in April 2018 to meet the statutory deadline for replacing all existing Medicare cards by April 2019. For more information, please visit: www.cms.gov/newcard

Seasonal Influenza Prevention Information
LeadingAge Connecticut is pleased to annually deliver timely information regarding seasonal influenza prevention to our members. The following link will provide you with the Center for Disease Control's Flu Season Information, including information on the Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices - United States, 2017-18 Influenza Season. Please utilize this information as you consider appropriate. We also encourage you to monitor the Connecticut Department of Public Health's website at www.ct.gov/dph for additional flu related information throughout the season.

Connecticut State Plan on Aging Approved
Connecticut's new State Plan on Aging has been signed by Governor Malloy and approved by the federal Administration for Community Living (ACL). The State Plan on Aging can be found on www.ct.gov/agingservices.


August 2017

New LTC Survey Process:  Posting to CMS website
Entrance Conference, Facility Matrix, and Pathways for the new  nursing home federal survey process have been posted to the CMS website at the links below and are fillable forms.  These forms will be used by surveyors for the LTC Survey Process starting November 28, 2017.

Entrance Conference and Facility Matrix
Critical Element (CE) Pathways and Facility Tasks (large file)

Hebrew Healthcare Reorganized and Renamed as Hebrew Senior Care
Hebrew HealthCare announced on August 11 that its Plan of Reorganization has been confirmed by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Connecticut.  As part of its emergence as a reorganized entity, Hebrew HealthCare will now be called Hebrew Senior Care. In December 2016, as part of its plan of reorganization, Hebrew HealthCare's 257-bed skilled nursing facility located on Abrahms Boulevard in West Hartford was transferred to Hebrew Center for Health and Rehabilitation, LLC, a National Health Care Associates affiliate.   The sale of the nursing home eliminated the main challenge to Hebrew HealthCare's financial stability, while assuring that skilled nursing care provided in a kosher facility and in accordance with Jewish tradition would continue to be available in the Greater Hartford community.  Hebrew Center, a for-profit healthcare provider, and Hebrew Senior Care, a non-profit senior care provider, will operate as separate organizations within the same building on Abrahms Boulevard. Under the new organizational branding of Hebrew Senior Care Specialized Health & Living Services, the service lines will each be identified distinctly as The Hospital at Hebrew Senior Care, Connecticut Geriatric Specialty Group, Senior Day Center, Dementia Services, Assisted Living Service Agency, and Hoffman Summerwood.

Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals
The Office of Legislative Research has published a brief on the 8-30g Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure as it was amended by PA 17-170. OLR Issue Brief: Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure


How to Create Age- and Dementia-Friendly Communities

Workforce Center is Open for Business

Report on the 2017 State Legislative Regular Session Outcomes
Wiggin and Dana has prepared the 2017 Review of Key Legislation Relating to Providers of Services to the Elderly for LeadingAge Connecticut members. We hope that you will find this summary of the new laws passed in the most recent state legislative regular session useful to you and your staff. We will also be holding a member-only teleconference on September 19 at 9:00 a.m. to review the new laws. Please contact me at mmorelli@leadingagect.org if you would like the call in information.
Please note: The State Legislature adjourned the regular session without passing a state budget. They have called a special session for the purpose of passing a budget and once a state budget is passed, Wiggin and Dana will prepare an addendum to this report.

New LTSS Financing Report Released by LeadingAge
LeadingAge has been at the forefront of long term-services and supports (LTSS) financing reform for more than a decade. The organization strongly believes that America must create a new system of paying for LTSS so families alone don't shoulder the burden of paying for care their loved ones need. On August 9th, LeadingAge unveiled its vision for the future of long-term services and supports (LTSS) in a new report: A New Vision for Long-Term Services and SupportsFull Article

Deadline Extended for Compliance with New Fire Door Regulation
In Survey and Certification Letter No. S&C 17-38-LSC dated July 28, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provided clarification regarding the requirement for annual inspection and testing of fire doors.  It also announced that it would extend the deadline for compliance with the requirements by six months from July 6, 2017 to January 1, 2018.

Medication Management Tool Update: Lessons Learned
CAST has updated its Medication Management Selection Tool with a revised product and vendor matrix and a new case study. This year, CAST added a summary of all the lessons learned from past Medication Management initiative case studies so that users can quickly find key points from their pioneering peers' experience and wisdom.


July 2017

Care Decisions Connecticut Initiative Provides Resources for Providers
LeadingAge Connecticut is among the organizations leading a new statewide movement, Care Decisions Connecticut, which is empowering patients across the state to become educated on end-of-life issues including advance care planning, palliative care, and hospice care.  The initiative, created by the Connecticut Hospital Association, healthcare partners across the continuum of care, payers, and state government, will integrate patient-directed care strategies to improve palliative/hospice care and quality of life for persons in Connecticut with serious illnesses.  Visit www.CareDecisionsCt.org  for helpful national and Connecticut-specific resources for providers.

Listing of State Programs for Older Adults
Below is a link to a state Office of Legislative Research report regarding State Programs for Older Adults.  This report describes select state programs and services to assist older adults.  2017-R-0146

CMS Releases Provider Impact File for New Proposed Reimbursement Model
As a response to LeadingAge and other association and advocacy groups, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a provider-specific impact analysis file, which details the estimated impact of the resident classification system (RCS-I) model discussed in the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on Medicare Part A payments to each skilled nursing facility (SNF) in the country. The ANPRM proposes revisions to the skilled nursing facility prospective payment system (SNF PPS) and should be reviewed by all member nursing homes.  Link

New Medicare Card (formerly called SSNRI)
CMS is removing Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards to help fight identity theft and safeguard taxpayer dollars. CMS has said that providers must be ready by April 2018 for the change from the Social Security Number based Health Insurance Claim Number to the randomly generated Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (the new Medicare number). Up to now, CMS referred to this work as the Social Security Number Removal Initiative (SSNRI). Moving forward, they will refer to this project as the New Medicare Card. To help you find information quickly, CMS designed a new homepage linking you to the latest details, including how to talk to your Medicare patients about the new Medicare Card.  Bookmark the New Medicare Card homepage and Provider webpage, and visit often, so you have the information you need to be ready by April 1.

DSS Provider Audit Trainings Scheduled
As required by statute, DSS has scheduled a series of provider audit trainings. Training sessions have been scheduled for Dental Providers, Pharmacy Providers, Physician Providers, Hospital Outpatient Providers, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Centers, CT Home Care Providers, Home Health Providers, Durable Medical Equipment Providers, and Transportation Providers. Please use the View the Bulletin and the upcoming training calendar.

Long Term Care Provider Electronic Plan of Correction (ePOC)
The Department of Public Health has announced the implementation of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Electronic Plan of Correction (ePOC) project. The ePOC system enables CMS and the State Survey Agency (SSA) to electronically manage and track Plans of Corrections for ePOC-enrolled health care providers under their oversight. ePOC will be used for all Health, Life Safety Code, Revisits, and Complaint surveys. More information can be found on the DPH webpage www.ct.gov/dph/epoc. DPH will be holding instructional webinars this week and you can register for the webinars on the DPH webpage.

Housing Study Released
The Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies released its 2017 State of the Nation's Housing report.  Declines in the availability of affordable housing, the lack of available accessible housing, and the increasing demand for new and modified units meeting the needs of seniors of modest and low incomes are detailed.

CMS Releases Nursing Home RoP Guidance

CMS Releases Revised Appendix PP with Renumbered F Tags

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a new Survey & Certification letter, S&C: 17-36-NH, detailing revisions to the State Operations Manual (SOM) Appendix PP for Phase 2, F-Tag revisions, and related issues.   The revisions will be effective on November 28, 2017.

June 2017

Medicaid Face-to-Face Requirement for Home Health
As required by federal law, effective for home health services ordered on or after July 1, 2017, a face-to-face visit and physician certification will be required for home health services that are paid under the Medicaid State Plan for HUSKY Health members (HUSKY A, B, C, and D). All home health services paid under the Medicaid State Plan as well as those provided to Medicaid waiver members must also comply with these requirements. The full DSS bulletin (found here) includes the details of the requirement.

AMA Considers Advocating That CCRCs Be Part of ACOs
The American Medical Association will lobby the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to allow continuing care retirement communities to initiate investment models of accountable care organizations if its board of trustees approves a resolution that the AMA's House of Delegates referred for a decision last week at the delegates' meeting in Chicago. House of Delegates members' reaction to the resolution, which AMDA-The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine said was proposed by AMDA members, were "mixed," according to an account of the body's meeting posted on the AMA website.

Read more on McKnight's Senior Living

Health Information Technology Update
Earlier this year, LeadingAge Connecticut members participated in the state's Health Information Technology (HIT) environmental scan and engagement process. The resulting "Summary of Findings of Current State, Future Needs, and Recommendations for Actions" can be found HERE. The report outlines recommendations that will inform the planning and eventual delivery of HIT services in the State.

New S&C Letter: Water Management Policies
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on June 9 posted a Survey and Certification Letter that outlines the responsibilities of health care providers, including Medicare-certified Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs), to develop and implement water management policies and procedures to reduce the risk of growth and spread of Legionella and other opportunistic pathogens in building water systems.  CMS Issues S&C Letter Outlining Facility Responsibilities Relating to Water Management Policies

Advanced Beneficiary Notice Update
In March 2017, the Office of Management and Budget approved the Advance Beneficiary Notice (ABN) (Form CMS-R-131) for another 3 years.  There are no changes to the form, except the new expiration date of March 2020.  Starting June 21, 2017, you must use the most recent version of the CMS-R-131 to deliver a valid ABN; however, you may begin using the new form immediately. For more information, visit the FFS ABN Webpage.
Note: Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) must use the ABN for items/services expected to be denied under Medicare Part B only.

LeadingAge Insights Tools for Members Seeking to Improve Performance and Market Position
LeadingAge Insights is a collection of tools to help you better understand your own performance and your market position. Use this link to access the LeadingAge Insights website for useful market intelligence tools. LeadingAge Insights

Access Your Member Benefits through My.LeadingAge.org
My.LeadingAge.org is a portal created specifically for members to access and take advantage of exclusive benefits. Take a look at our short video that gives you an overview of some of the more commonly used features. It will also help you through the process of updating your information and signing up for newsletters to ensure that you are receiving the content that's most relevant to you. Check out our video for more information.