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Archive June 2022

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Attention Activity Professionals! Join MHCA for upcoming virtual workshop

MHCA is pleased to host Nancy Richards, ADC, EDU, MC for our upcoming virtual Activity Professional's Workshop! The workshop will be hosted virtually, via Zoom, on July 12 & 13, 2022, from 1:00-2:30PM each day. For full program details and to register, please click here.
 
Nancy shares her mission below:
 
"We are on a mission pushing back stigma around mental health and aging across the community. Mobilizing the power of therapeutic activities which engages, empowers, and cultivates well being. Our products and services strive to provide a burst of energy through education for Activity Professionals, health care service providers and care partners in the community."
 
We are grateful for Nancy's willingness to partner with us and share her expertise with Maine's Activity Professionals! We hope you will choose to join us for this exciting educational opportunity. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me.

Staff Contact: aellis@mehca.org

Reminder and Helpful Tips to complete DHHS Minimum Wage Template by June 24th Deadline

In Public Law 2021, Chapter 398, Part AAAA, section 5 of the state budget enacted last summer, the Department of Health and Human Services is directed to increase rates to “enable providers to cover labor costs for essential support workers to equal at least 125% of the minimum wage… [including…] taxes and benefits […]”
 
DHHS has develop a template to collect employee-level data from long term care facilities in order to calculate the payment necessary to each facility to bring reimbursement for workers under 125% of minimum wage up to the 125% of minimum wage (presently $15.94/ hour).
 
The template is due no later than close of business on Friday, June 24, 2022. The Department will then use the resulting data to calculate the total amount for Part AAAA which will be incorporated in the FY 2023 rates. Any delay in receiving the template may result in delays with issuing rate letters. MHCA encourages members to submit their data by the deadline.
 
Instructions are included on the template and questions should be directed to Grace Williams at grace.williams@maine.gov
 
These tips are meant to provide some general guidance to members as they complete the template:
 
  1. Be sure to complete the template for each level of care (nursing facilities, residential care facilities). Note there are two separate tabs in the workbook already for NF and RCF. Copy and rename tabs for any additional levels of care (e.g. CBS, ABI, Other).
  2. Enter facility name and NPI on each tab of the workbook. 
  3. For the purposes of this data collection effort, “essential support workers” are defined as individuals who by virtue of employment generally provide to individuals direct contact assistance with activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living or has direct access to provide care and services to clients, patients, or residents regardless of setting.
  4. Please note under the column “position” there are five positions including: CNA, CMT, Ward Clerk, Activities, Attendants.
  5. We advise members to include ALL direct care workers in the five categories listed above including those who make more than $15.94 per hour. You do not have to include any other employees.
  6. Total hours worked (column 5) must be inclusive of all hours worked (including overtime and shift differentials). Paid time off should NOT be included in this column.
  7. Total compensation (column 6) must be inclusive of all pay, including base pay, overtime, shift differential, any bonuses, or other forms of compensation.
  8. Non-base wage compensation (column 7) must include bonuses and only the portion of overtime and shift differential wages that are in excess of base wages.
  9. Column 8 automatically calculates base wage compensation as the difference between columns 6 and 7.
  10. If a worker changed job classification during the year (i.e. from Ward Clerk to CNA), that workers’ multiple job classifications and corresponding wages must be entered on different rows. If the worker’s wages changed during the year, but they remained within a single job classification, all wages are to be included on a single row.
  11. If an employee worked on different units (NF, RCF, CBS) report only applicable unit’s portion of wage on each tab. Consider adding a reconciliation for accruals if necessary.
  12. Please double check for accuracy to ensure that total compensation and hours worked for all levels of care reconcile to cost reports. See instructions on the template.
 
Staff contact: awesthoff@mehca.org

Directory & Buyer's Guide Advertising Opportunity

This annual desk reference is well used and respected by providers, consumers, and companies providing products and services to long-term care providers. The Directory is a great way to promote your organization while supporting the association and the work that we do.
 
This year’s Directory will be printed and distributed onsite at our Fall Health Care Conference & Expo on October 18-20 at the Samoset. An electronic copy will be available and distributed to all MHCA members after the conference. Attendees and exhibitors receive 1 complimentary printed copy.
 
Pricing:
 
  • Quarter Page Ad (4.5” w x 1.5” h) Black/white: $100 OR Color: $125
  • Half Page (4.5” w x 3.5” h) Black/white: $175 OR Color: $225
  • Full Page (4.5”w x 7”h) Black/white: $250 OR Color: $325
 
Features of this valued publication include:
 
  • A complete listing of all Maine long term care facilities by county - MHCA members are differentiated;
  • A listing of all organizational members of MHCA
  • A directory of important governmental and regulatory agencies and contacts;
  • An advertising/buyer’s guide showcasing vendors of long term care services and products - indexed by type of business;
  • A listing of Fall Conference Exhibitors;
  • With the electronic publication, we added navigational features, like bookmarks, for ease of finding information and facility listings. We also hyperlink to websites and email addresses.
 
Specifications:
 
  • Sized, camera-ready advertisements are preferred;
  • Electronic files format preferences (300 dpi): tif, jpeg, PDF. Be sure to collect fonts for PDFs.
 
If artwork is not camera-ready, we can produce your advertisement with logo file or website photos, or from business cards, letterhead or other copy you provide.
 
Purchase your ad today!
 
Staff contact: dchicoine@mehca.org
 

Help LTC employees pursue career and educational goals!

Join us for the annual Mike McNeil Scholarship Fund Golf Tournament fundraiser on October 18, 2022, at the Samoset Resort, Rockport, Maine. Prizes include individual and team awards PLUS a chance to win $10,000 for a Hole in One!
 
The Mike McNeil Scholarship Fund promotes careers in long term care through scholarships for individuals affiliated with MHCA long term care facilities. Scholarships are open to MHCA member facility employees, their immediate family members and volunteers wishing to pursue post-secondary education and training in the areas of Nursing, Physical or Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology, Social Work, Activities and Food Service. To date, the Fund has awarded $74,000 to more than 120 students pursuing careers in long term care.
 
For more information, register to play and/or sponsor the event, click here.
 
Questions? Contact Dianne Chicoine, Tournament Coordinator (207.623.1146, ext. 201)
 
Staff contact: dchicoine@mehca.org

CBIC Launches BETA Testing for IPC Certification: FREE Opportunity

The Certification Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc (CBIC) has launched an Infection Prevention certification for LTC.  They are currently taking applications for beta testers (those taking the first exam) from July 13-Oct 3, 2022.  Beta testers are eligible to receive certification, and their test results are used to help establish the grading curve. The testing period will be Sept 15-Oct 15th. After this initial beta phase the exam will be routinely available in early Feb. 2023 for any and all interested in this certification. If you are interested in being a part of the beta follow this link for more information.
 
Certification is a good way to demonstrate proof of education and training.

Staff Contact:
dwatford@mehca.org

Welcome New Member!

Join us in welcoming the following new Associate Organizational member: 
  • IntelyCare: Hayley Merra, Marketing Coordinator, 1250 Hancock Street, #501N, Quincy, MA 02169 Tel: 617-934-5385 Email: hmerra@intelycare.com www.intelycare.com. IntelyCare is the leading tech-enabled nurse staffing platform, empowering healthcare facilities to increase census, reduce costs, and take control of how they manage their workforce.

Staff contact: dchicoine@mehca.org

CDC/NHSN Webinar on Changes for Up-to-Date Vaccination Status: June 23, 2022

NHSN’s surveillance definition of Up to Date with COVID-19 vaccines is based on CDC’s clinical considerations and up-to-date definition for the first day of the reporting quarter. CDC recently updated the definition of Up to Date for certain individuals, so the NHSN surveillance definition will change for Quarter 3, 2022, which begins during the reporting week of June 27, 2022 – July 3, 2022. Please note that this definition change applies to the COVID-19 Vaccination Modules in the Healthcare Personnel Safety, Dialysis, and Long-term Care Facility Components.

Please join the CDC and NHSN for an educational webinar on Thursday, June 23rd from 2:00 – 3:00 PM Eastern Time to learn about the Up to Date surveillance definition change for COVID-19 Vaccination Modules. At this time, they will review the new Up to Date definition, example scenarios, and frequently asked questions.


Register here for this webinar scheduled for June 23, 2022 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada).

Staff Contact: 
dwatford@mehca.org

CMS Releases Memo on Staff Vaccination Requirement Compliance

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released QSO-22-17-ALL, providing new information on how CMS will survey for compliance of the staff vaccination requirement. CMS survey oversight of the staff vaccination requirement for Medicare and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers will continue to be performed during initial and recertification surveys. However, it will now only be performed in response to complaints alleging non-compliance with this requirement instead of all surveys.  
 
CMS will revise QSO-22-11 to ensure deficiency determinations reflect good faith efforts implemented by providers and suppliers and incorporate harm or potential harm to residents resulting from any non-compliance. 
 
CMS also noted that nearly 12,000 providers and suppliers have been surveyed for compliance since the vaccine requirement went into effect in February 2022, and 95 percent of providers and suppliers have been found to be in substantial compliance with the vaccination requirement. 

Staff Contact: dwatford@mehca.org

DHHS Strike Teams still available

As a reminder, the Strike Teams for Maine CDC/DHHS, supported through a contract with Maxim Staffing, are still available. A recent communication from the Department indicates that the effort remains in effect, with about ten current staff deployed to primarily support facilities in outbreak and - in a more limited manner - support to continue accepting admissions.

Members may request assistance or obtain more information by contacting program director Kristen McAuley, MPH, Director of Public Health Planning, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Department of Health & Human Services at 207-446-4083 (office cell) or Kristen.M.McAuley@maine.gov.

Staff contact: ngrosso@mehca.org

AHCA/NCAL endorses Travel Nursing Agency Transparency Study Act

U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) recently introduced the Travel Nursing Agency Transparency Study Act. This legislation, which AHCA/NCAL endorses, requires the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study and report to Congress on the business practices and the effects of hiring agencies across the health care industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senator Cramer noted in his press statement on the bill introduction that: 

“The health care industry was already experiencing a shortage of professionals prior to the pandemic, but COVID-19 exacerbated this issue throughout the country, especially in rural communities. Travel nurses were employed to help meet the rising demands. Over the past few years, there have been anecdotal reports of hiring agencies inflating prices and monopolizing the nursing workforce, potentially leading to a number of concerning consequences for providers, patients, and taxpayers, including inflated prices for care, further nursing shortages, and continued strain on the entire health care system.” 

The full bill is accessible here.  

AHCA/NCAL has heard from members across the country, including Maine providers, that nursing and direct care staffing agencies are charging exorbitant prices to health care facilities that need workers. These agencies are charging more than double and, in some cases, as much as quadruple pre-pandemic rates. AHCA/NCAL has done extensive outreach and been very vocal on the Hill and to the Administration on this matter and the negative impact it is having in long term care.

Staff contact: ngrosso@mehca.org
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