Archive May 2023

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Nursing Home and Residential Care Facility Rate Methodology Workgroup Meeting Materials

As previously noticed, MaineCare and their vendor Guidehouse Inc. are hosting several work groups with interested stakeholders to obtain important feedback as part of the rate determination process for Section 67, Nursing Facilities, and Section 97, Residential Care Facilities. MHCA has multiple providers from nursing home and residential care facilities participating in this workgroup process as well as Angela Westhoff, President/ CEO and Maureen Carland, Director of Quality and Regulatory Affairs.

The third work group meeting was held on May 17, 2023 and you may view the presented materials and a recording of that meeting on the MaineCare Rate System Reform webpage.

Please contact Bryan Lumbra, Rate Setting Project Manager, with any questions related to this rate reform initiative.

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MHCA Board Member Michael Tyler Nomination to State Workforce Board Confirmed

The nomination of Michael Tyler to represent long term care on the State Workforce Board was confirmed by the Labor and Housing Committee this week. Mr. Tyler is a Partner at Sandy River Company and a member of the MHCA Board of Directors. 
The State Workforce Board’s (SWB) purpose is to ensure that Maine’s workforce development system helps Maine people and businesses compete successfully in the global economy, by convening state, regional and local workforce system partners to:
  • enhance the capacity and performance of Maine’s workforce development system,
  • align and improve the outcomes and effectiveness of workforce programs and investments,
  • promote economic growth, and
  • engage businesses, workers, education providers, economic development, labor representatives and other stakeholders to achieve Maine’s strategic and operational workforce vision and goals.
In 1998, Michael initially joined the Maine Health Care Association Board as a member and eventually assumed the position of Board Chair. Presently, he continues to contribute as a board member and actively participates in various committees. Michael Tyler is a reliable partner for many health care organizations in Maine. He regularly advises long term care facilities from across the state on how to succeed in today’s environment, and he deeply understands the workforce challenges our industry is currently facing.

Congratulations Mike!

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Homes Across Maine Celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week

Last week was National Skilled Nursing Care Week!
Established in 1967 by AHCA, National Skilled Nursing Care Week (NSNCW) celebrates the essential role that skilled nursing care centers play in providing high quality 24-hour nursing care to millions of America’s seniors and individuals with disabilities.
This year’s NSNCW theme—Cultivating Kindness—is inspired by the many acts of kindness that happen in skilled nursing care centers every day. Research has found that practicing compassion and kindness not only can improve health and well-being but can also strengthen human connections and bonds. 

Below are a few photos that a few members posted in celebration of the big week. 

Mount Joseph at Waterville

Market Square Health

Seaside Skilled Rehabilitation Center

May 25, 2023 Legislative Update

Last Thursday, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee voted to carry over into next year's short session two of MHCA's priority bills: LD 1827, An Act to Prevent Closures and Ensure Sustainability of Nursing Facilities, Private Nonmedical Institutions and Residential Care Facilities by Removing So-called Budget Neutrality and LD 251, Resolve, to Classify Employee Health Insurance as a Fixed Cost for MaineCare Reimbursement in Nursing Facilities. While we prefer both passing this session, we look forward to advocating for these bills next year. 

A win for long term care was the HHS's unanimous vote of Ought to Pass as Amended for another MHCA priority bill LD 451, An Act to Ensure Transparent and Accountable Temporary Nurse Agencies. Thank you to all of the members who responded to the Action Alert for LD 451. Sharing your stories helped inform the legislators of the severity of the issue. The next step for this bill to become law is for the full House and Senate to both vote for it. 

HHS is reviewing the DHHS-related portions of the budget change package and will report back their opinion to the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee tomorrow, May 26th. 

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Upcoming NHSN Reporting Relief

It is anticipated that in mid-June NHSN reporting will reduce from 3 pathways to 2 pathways 
The Resident Impact and Facility Capacity Pathway will be reduced from 15 fields to 7 fields, including: 
Eliminating reporting influenza and PPE shortages  
Reducing vaccination status to up to date and not vaccinated 
Adding data field on hospitalizations with recent positive COVID test 
The Staff and personnel Impact pathway will be reduced from 4 fields to 1 field: 
Eliminating COVID-19 deaths, influenza, and staffing shortages 
The entire therapeutics pathway will be eliminated.  
CDC will be hosting training webinars in June. Register here: June 1, 2023 or June 7, 2023  
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CMS Updates Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Telehealth for Medicare Beneficiaries

In response to concerns raised by stakeholders regarding the status of important Medicare Part B telehealth waivers affecting residents of nursing facilities and assisted living residences, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued updated guidance. The latest updates can be found in the CMS Waivers, Flexibilities, and the End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency FAQs, specifically addressing FAQs #22 and #23. 
FAQ #22 reaffirms that the provisions of the recently enacted Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 recognize physical therapists (PT), occupational therapists (OT), and speech-language pathologists (SLP) who work in office- or facility-based settings as distant site practitioners under Medicare law. 
Regarding FAQ #23, CMS has stated that physicians will be able to continue providing telehealth services to residents of nursing facilities for visits other than the mandatory 30 or 60-day in-person visits required under 42 CFR 483.30. This flexibility will be in effect until at least December 31, 2023. 
These decisions have extended the telehealth flexibilities for Medicare beneficiaries residing in nursing facilities and assisted living settings, particularly benefiting those in rural and underserved areas. This extension ensures ongoing access to therapy and physician telehealth services under Medicare Part B, similar to the provisions implemented during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. Providers, including nursing facilities, will be able to submit claims for these telehealth services as they have been doing during the public health emergency. 
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Welcome New Member!

Join us in welcoming our new Associate Personal member Peter Sirois of Eagle Lake, Maine.

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Efficiency Maine has Resources for Long-Term Care Retrofits

Long-Term Care Retrofits: CIP FON-011-2023

Through this Funding Opportunity Notice (FON or “opportunity”) Efficiency Maine is seeking applications for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), lighting and refrigeration projects in Maine’s long-term care facilities.  This initiative falls under Efficiency Maine’s Commercial and Industrial Prescriptive Initiatives (CIPI). This FON offers higher incentives than typically provided under the CIP initiatives, with the intent to accelerate the conversion to high-efficiency equipment in long-term care facilities across the state. Applications are due by October 31, 2023

This FON provides enhanced incentives for qualifying projects to upgrade HVAC, LED lighting, and refrigeration. See the charts below for incentive information on the qualifying equipment and see section 2.8 for a description of the criteria that will be used to determine which equipment (or “measures”) qualifies for these incentives. LED retrofit lighting projects will receive an incentive based on $0.36 per estimated kWh saved in the first year, capped at 85% of total measure cost.

For more details, visit 

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Congratulations to Phil Cyr on Being Recognized as 2023 McKnight’s Pinnacle Awards ‘Setting the Standard’ Honoree

A big congratulations to Phil Cyr on being recognized as the 2023 McKnight’s Pinnacle Awards ‘Setting the Standard’ honoree. 

A staunch industry advocate, Cyr was appointed by multiple Maine governors to boards that helped create positive legislation for the industry, including the Maine Committee on Aging, the Loring Development Authority Board and a commission to study long-term care facilities.

Accordingly, judges named Cyr a “Setting the Standard” category winner in the 2023 McKnight’s Pinnacle Awards.

Read the full article here.

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Reminder: AHCA 2023 Mid-Year Member Survey

AHCA/NCAL is conducting an online survey of skilled nursing, assisted living and ID/DD members to gather data on what’s happening within the industry. Providers will be asked about several topics, including workforce and finances. This survey may be most appropriate for corporate staff and/or facility administrators to complete. 

You can download a copy of the questionnaire, if you wish to gather the necessary information before completing the survey. The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The actual survey can be completed here.

Information from this survey will help AHCA/NCAL address questions from policymakers as well as advocate for resources and common-sense regulations for the profession. This survey will close by midnight on Friday, May 19.  

Any questions, please email us at
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