Archive February 2023

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MHCA Wage & Fringe Benefit Survey - deadline extended to March 24!

We have extended the deadline to complete this year's Wage & Fringe Benefit Survey to March 24! We want to ensure that members have ample opportunity to complete the survey, as the data is important for our advocacy and legislative efforts. As always, individual responses will remain confidential.
If you need a copy of the survey sent to you (or other staff member), please contact Dianne at the Association office (207.623.1146, ext. 201)
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Are you looking for educational opportunities for you and your team?

We have great news! MHCA is planning a number of excellent programs that you might find beneficial. For your convenience, I’ve listed the first few sessions on our calendar:    In addition, we’ll be hosting our first ever MCA Leadership Academy from 1-3pm (every other week) from April 4, 2023 to June 13, 2023.  This six-part webinar series (12 contact hours) offers any leader or manager clear, practical, and engaging content. We’ll cover things like staff retention, engagement, conflict management, accountability, service excellence, building harmony, personal effectiveness, replenishment and more.  
As always, for the latest information on our upcoming courses, please visit the Event Calendar on our website. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at 207.623.1146 (ext. 216).
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Infection Prevention Trainings and Resources

There are a few useful infection prevention trainings available for long term care staff. 
  1. Maine’s Core Infection Preventionist Training Program
    1. Free
    2. 8 hours long
    3. This 8-hour course provides instruction on the use of standard precautions, droplet and airborne precautions, and when to use each. It will demonstrate proper hand hygiene and provide information about employing personal protective equipment for infection prevention. Additionally, it will discuss safe handling of potentially contaminated equipment or surfaces in the resident environment. This course is recommended for infection preventionists, nurses, directors of nursing, and others in extended care facilities involved in the prevention and control of infection.
  2. Certification in Infection Prevention and Control, or CIC
    1. Through Maine’s tuition remission program, MaineDOL can offer support for staff at long-term care facilities to take a CIC prep through APIC ($400) (or another service provider if preferred) as well as the price of the test ($410). To request this training (or others) employers would need to fill out this quick form to be connected to the Healthcare Training for ME team.
  3. AHCA/NCAL Infection Preventionist Specialized Training (IPCO)
    1. The course is open to AHCA/NCAL members for $450 and non-members for $650.  
    2. 25 contact hours
    3. AHCA Infection Preventionist Specialized Training (IPCO) is a specialized course of study for healthcare professionals who desire to serve as Infection Preventionists (IPs) as established in the CMS Reform of Requirements of Participation for Long Term Care Facilities. Through this program, individuals will be specially trained to effectively implement and manage an Infection Prevention and Control Program in a nursing center. 
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Job Posting Support from Live and Work in Maine

Got open jobs? Live + Work in Maine is offering FREE job listings on their job board to any healthcare employer in Maine. This is possible through a public/private partnership with Live + Work in Maine, Maine Dept. of Health & Human Services, and healthcare industry associations like the Maine Health Care Association.

Fill out the form here to get started on posting jobs for free on their website.
What makes their job board unique?
1. It's focused on promoting Maine employers only.
2. Live + Work in Maine is a non-profit, mission-driven organization; their job is to promote your jobs so more people can live and work here.
3. Tens of thousands of people visit the LWM job board every month. That's free traffic/eyeballs for your job listings.
4. Employers all across Maine use their job board already; this is an established offering with a good track record of success.

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AHCA/NCAL’s LaShuan Bethea, Holly Harmon Awarded McKnight’s Women of Distinction Recognition

Congratulations to former MHCA employee and current AHCA employee on being awarded the McKnight's Women of Distinction recognition! 

AHCA's full press release is copied below: 

AHCA/NCAL’s LaShuan Bethea, Holly Harmon Awarded McKnight’s Women of Distinction Recognition 
Bethea, Harmon named into the ‘Hall of Honor’ for senior leadership and contributions to the long term care profession 
WASHINGTON, DC – The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) Senior Vice President of Quality, Regulatory and Clinical Services Holly Harmon and NCAL Executive Director LaShuan Bethea were among 20 women recently announced into the Hall of Honor for the annual McKnight’s Women of Distinction award. The award program honors women who have made a significant impact on their organization and the long term care sector.  
“I am beyond thrilled to be an honoree for this year’s Women of Distinction awards program,” said Bethea. “Looking at this list of women, I am in awe and incredibly impressed to see so many esteemed and talented individuals who are making a difference in the industry. It’s an honor to be recognized among them.” 
With more than 25 years of experience in health care, Bethea began her long term care career in high school as a licensed practical nurse in a skilled nursing facility. She has held many roles throughout her career, both acute and post-acute, and is a registered nurse and attorney. Now, as the executive director of NCAL, Bethea advocates on behalf of assisted living and other long term care providers to state and federal policymakers. She has dedicated herself to helping providers navigate the challenges presented by COVID-19 and support efforts to ensure a strong future for assisted living.  
Harmon has been in long term care for more than 25 years, working her way from a certified nursing assistant (CNA) to spearheading quality and regulatory efforts for the nation’s largest association representing the profession. Harmon has extensive experience in a wide array of settings including post-acute care, long term care, residential care, assisted living, independent living, psychiatric hospital and occupational health. At AHCA/NCAL, Harmon uses her background as a CNA, nurse, director of nursing and nursing home administrator to help improve quality of care throughout the profession. She also led AHCA/NCAL’s advocacy and feedback to federal agencies on how clinical guidance needs to pay attention to the resident’s quality of life. 
“It is so important that we empower women, encourage them to engage their skills, and inspire the next generation of leaders in our profession,” Harmon said. “I am extremely proud to be a part of this program that does just that -- showcasing the incredible, talented women that we are grateful to have in our sector.” 
This is the fifth year the annual awards program will be held. The honorees will be celebrated on May 22 during an in-person event in Chicago, offering education sessions in addition to the awards presentation.  

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Introduction from Our Director of Quality and Regulatory Services

I would like to introduce myself as I am the new Director of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at Maine Health Care Association.  I am a registered nurse as well as a licensed Nursing Home Administrator with over 25 years of experience working in highly regulated long-term care settings. In my roles, I have been responsible for state, federal, JCAHO and CARF surveys.  

I wanted to share a little bit about my background-- I am greatly committed to a strength-based person-centered care model. As a leader, I embrace the development of staff. It may be helpful to share that I led the first CARF Person Centered Long Term Care Accreditation survey in the state of Maine and I was the facilitator in the achievement of the first AHCA Gold Quality award in the State of Maine. Also, I have led multiple deficiency free surveys.

I look forward to getting to know all our members and working with you and your teams.

Please feel free to reach me via email: on in the office at 207-623-1146 X221.

Update on Public Hearing for the Biennial Budget

A public hearing on the long term care related sections of the State Biennial Budget for SFY 2024- 2025 (LD 258) was held on Wednesday, February 22nd
Angela Westhoff, MHCA President/CEO and Wanda Pelkey, MHCA Board Chair both testified before the Joint Standing Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee and the Health and Human Services Committees. MHCA’s testimony expressed appreciation for the $25 million in the Supplemental Budget as well as the current LTC measures in the proposed Biennial Budget, but noted that these measures do not go far enough to close the significant funding gap between the cost of providing care and MaineCare reimbursement. 
The Biennial Budget includes $47 million for cost-of-living increases for LTC and $29 million for rebasing in FY 2025 for nursing homes. It also includes $10 million for high MaineCare utilization payments for Private Non-Medical Institutions (PNMI-Appendix C). While this is a good start, it does not adequately address the year over year structural shortfalls in reimbursement rates. It also does not provide any new resources to address rate reform investments slated to begin in 2025. 
Last week, MHCA distributed an action alert calling on members to submit written testimony to the two committees. Even though the public hearing has passed, you can still upload written testimony to the legislature’s on-line portal for the next several days. Instructions noted below.
No work sessions have been scheduled for LD 258.
How to Submit Your Testimony: 
  1. Visit
  2. Click “public hearing”. A drop-down menu will appear, choose a committee. You will select: Appropriations and Financial Affairs.
  3. Next choose the date: February 22, 2023 at 10:00 am.
  4. Then Choose the Bill: LD 258, An Act Making Unified Appropriations and Allocations from the General Fund and Other Funds for the Expenditures of State Government and Changing Certain Provisions of the Law Necessary to the Proper Operations of State Government for the Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 2023, June 30, 2024 and June 30, 2025.
  5. Then choose the file on your computer containing your testimony.
  6. Complete the questions including Name, City/ Organization, email, phone number, etc. and check off “I’m not a robot” and then hit the “Submit/ Register” button. 
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Governor Mills Signs Supplemental Budget Into Law

On February 21, Governor Janet Mills signed the Supplemental Budget (LD 206) into law. The Legislature overwhelmingly approved the measure last week by a vote of 113-21 in the House and 24-5 in the Senate. It earned the unanimous support of the Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee.
“The supplemental budget will help Maine nursing facilities, hospitals, small businesses, and others while keeping our budget balanced,” said Governor Janet Mills. “I thank the Legislature for its strong bipartisan support for the measure, and I look forward to working with them to craft a biennial budget that improves the lives and livelihoods of Maine people.”
The Supplemental Budget includes $25 million in State ($6 million) and Federal funds to nursing homes and residential care facilities. This is welcomed news to help address the ongoing financial challenges long term care facilities are experiencing including historic labor shortages, lagging reimbursement, and skyrocketing costs. 
The details of the distribution of these funds have not been released yet. MHCA will be sure to keep members updated on this as soon as more information becomes available.  
Read the announcement here.
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We are pleased to announce the MHCA Virtual Leadership Academy!

Did you know that the main driver for employee retention is having a great supervisor?  Great managers produce higher employee engagement, productivity, retention, improved teamwork, and higher customer satisfaction. 

Do you need help training your leaders?  The MHCA Virtual Leadership Academy covers topics ranging from employee engagement to personal effectiveness. We will host this series online from 1-3:00 PM, every other Tuesday, from April 4, 2023 to June 13, 2023.  For details, you may click here to visit the event page on our website.
Don't miss the opportunity to train your leaders.  When you train your managers, everyone wins!  

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FTC Proposes Rule to Ban Noncompete Clauses

In January 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released a proposed rule to ban noncompete clauses. According to the FTC, approximately 30 million people are bound by a non-compete clause, which is a contractual term between an employer and a worker that blocks the worker from working for a competing employer or starting a competing business, typically within a certain geographic area and period of time after the worker’s employment ends.
The FTC’s proposed rule would generally prohibit employers from using noncompete clauses. It would make it illegal for an employer to: 
  • Enter into or attempt to enter into a noncompete with a worker; 
  • Maintain a noncompete with a worker; or 
  • Represent to a worker, under certain circumstances, that the worker is subject to a noncompete. 
The comment period is open through March 10, 2023, and you can find more information here for submitting comments. 
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