Archive July 2023

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Appropriations Committee Advances LD 451 and LD 1474

Last night, the Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee voted on the bills on the special appropriations table. A small fraction of the 266 bills on that table were funded, including two MHCA priority bills: LD 451 An Act to Ensure Transparent and Accountable Temporary Nurse Agencies and LD 1474 Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services to Expedite Reimbursement of Nursing Facilities. 
The over 500 phone calls and emails made by long term care advocates really made a huge difference—a big thank you to everyone who responded to the recent action alerts. 
The legislature is expected to convene once or twice before closing this session.
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Carbapenemase Producing Organism Education Now Available

MeCDC Healthcare Epidemiology now has available Carbapenemase Producing Organism (CPO) education for frontline staff and providers. These include:
  1. A High-Level one-page infographic made in partnership with U.S. CDC’s Project Firstline program.
  2. A CPO Webinar Series  The first video in a 7-part series introducing CPOs, mitigation strategies, current spread in Maine, and what efforts the Maine CDC has done to reduce the risk/spread.
Feel free to check out all the other great free education offered on the Maine Infection Prevention Forum website by both Project Firstline, MeCDC, and the Maine Quality Forum.
Questions about this or other infection control issues, contact:  
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Maine's Hire-A-Vet Campaign Starts Soon!

The Maine Department of Labor’s (DOL) Career Center is looking to get veterans placed with meaningful employment by participating employers through its annual Hire-a-Vet campaign. 

This annual effort is designed to support Maine’s and the nation’s veterans who bring invaluable skills, experience and dedication to the workforce. The campaign’s goal is to help at least 100 Maine employers hire at least 100 veterans within 100 days.
The campaign returns this year with four in-person events. The first will be held at the Augusta Civic Center on Aug. 17, and includes a campaign opening ceremony and the traditional in-person hiring event. The remaining in-person events will be held on Sept. 21 at Eastern Maine Community College in Bangor; on Oct. 19 at The Point in South Portland; and on Nov. 9 at the Auburn Mall.
Registration for employers is now open. Participating employers can register for one or multiple events, and must be registered with Maine JobLink and have at least one active job posted to account on the day of the event. While the events are veteran-focused, all events are open to all job seekers.

Last year, Maine employers hired 186 veterans – including 40 women – as well as military family members with an average hourly wage of over $33. Since 2015, the Maine DOL’s Bureau of Employment Services Veterans Team along with key partners have facilitated connecting over 1,800 veteran jobseekers with over 1,200 Maine employers.
For more information about this program and the four upcoming events, visit the Maine Career Center’s website.

MDS v1.18.11 Updates being implemented on October 1st!

The MDS updates coming in October will be the largest, most significant changes to the MDS 3.0 since its’ implementation Oct. 1, 2010.  It will impact data collection, documentation practices, CMS Quality Measures, and more.  It's time to get your team on board with what's changing.

On August 9th, MHCA will be offering the webinar – MDS v1.18.11 Updates and the Impact on Quality Measures – from 1-2pm to provide an overview of these changes, discuss the impact on publicly reported outcomes, and offer strategies for successful implementation. For details, you may click here to visit the event page on our website. 

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July 6 Legislative Update

This week, the legislature is still working on finalizing the budget, a few remaining bills, and the special appropriations table. MHCA is continuing to advance long term care priorities, such as LD 451 An Act to Ensure Transparent and Accountable Temporary Nurse Agencies and LD 1474 Resolve, Directing the Department of Health and Human Services to Expedite Reimbursement of Nursing Facilities. 

Those bills are currently on the special appropriations table, and we might reach out with action alerts when the time comes. 

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Women in Health Care Leadership Seminar Series

Women are leading the way in healthcare every day. Whether as formal or informal leaders, we know that women leaders often experience more hurdles and speed bumps as they juggle careers and family responsibilities. To meet the growing needs of all women leaders, the Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership has created a new space of learning, networking, and support for women in healthcare.
This 3-month, virtual seminar series will address such topics as:
• Recognize your communication strengths and develop a plan to expand them
• Exploring the myths of vulnerability and learning how being more vulnerable creates a more competent and daring leader
• Learn how to create and model a culture of equity
To learn more and enroll click here.

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Nursing Home and PNMI-C Rate Reform Work Group Update

As previously noticedMaineCare and its vendor are hosting several work groups with interested stakeholders to obtain important feedback as part of the rate determination process.
On June 26, 2023, MaineCare with its vendor, Guidehouse Inc., hosted the 5th Rate Methodology work group meeting. You may view the presented materials for that meeting on the MaineCareRate System Reform webpage. You will be able to access this recording on the Rate System Reform webpage when it is available.  Look for section heading entitled “MaineCare Rate Determination Schedule”, then click on “Current (Rate Determination in Progress” and scroll down about half way. 

Please contact Peter Kraut, Rate Reform Manager, with any questions related to this rate reform initiative.
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Help LTC employees pursue career and educational goals!

The Mike McNeil Scholarship Fund is hosting its annual fundraising golf tournament on October 10, 2023, at the Samoset Resort, Rockport, Maine. The Fund has awarded $76,000 to more than 125 students pursuing careers in long term care.
To fund the scholarship program, we need your support in the
form of sponsors and golfers for the tournament.
Suitable for players of all skill levels, the 18-hole championship Samoset Golf Course boasts seven oceanside holes, 14 holes with spectacular views of the Atlantic, and one of the most challenging finishing holes in New England. Golf Digest named the course the “Pebble Beach of the East” in a 2023 article. The golf complex also features a clubhouse with a golf range, practice green, short game facility with bunkers, Pro Shop and a Clubhouse Grille restaurant.
In addition, prizes will be awarded for individuals and teams
PLUS a chance to win $10,000 for a Hole in One!
For more information, register to play and/or sponsor the event, click here.
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.
Questions? Contact Dianne Chicoine, Tournament Coordinator ( or 207.623.1146, ext. 201)
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StrengthenME wellness series for caregivers begins July 13th!

As you may already know, MHCA is partnering with Strengthen ME and Workforce EAP to offer a free wellness series for caregivers. These 30-minute webinars will be presented by EAP Counselor, Sandra Horne, LCSW, on Thursdays from 10:30am to 11:00am. Mark your calendar with these dates so your caregivers can participate:   
  • July 13th: Asking for Help
  • July 20th: Effective Communication
  • July 27th: Boundary Setting and Saying “No”
  • August 3rd: How to Quiet the “righting reflex” and Listen
  • August 10th: Cognitive Flexibility
  • August 17th: Cultivating Emotional Intelligence
You may click here for a printable version of the flyer. To join the webinars, use this link: We encourage you to make time for your caregivers to participate in any or all of the workshops in this series.

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CDC Identifies Reporting Issue with NHSN Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Module

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) has identified an issue with reporting COVID-19 Vaccination Data for resident and health care personnel in the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Long-term Care Facility Component. Users can initially save their data, but if users attempt to modify data for question #2, an error message is generated, and those modifications cannot be saved in the NHSN application.

The CDC is actively working to resolve this problem and anticipates it to be fixed on July 11, 2023. This data is required to be reported weekly through NHSN.

The CDC has also shared the following workaround for users to modify their data:
Users can upload a .CSV file if they would like to modify data for question #2.
Please review the “Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Summary Data –
CSV Data Import” section on the following webpage: vac/index.html#anchor_21687.
Users can review instructions for uploading data, .CSV file templates, and example files for residents and healthcare personnel. 
If you have questions, please email and include “Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Data – LTCFs” in the subject line.   
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