Expect the Unexpected: This week’s Top Newsmakers in Quality and Regulatory Affairs

MHCA Congratulates Award Applicants
Maine Health Care Association would like to congratulate the 13 homes who accepted the challenge and submitted a 2019 AHCA/NCAL Quality Award application. The AHCA/NCAL Quality Award program is designed to allow facilities to demonstrate their commitment to resident centered care at the highest industry standard. We at MHCA know that all Maine facilities strive for this distinction. Due to the success of the weekly award support calls, MHCA is beginning work on designing a program for those facilities ready to engage in the award program for 2020. Beginning in the fall of 2019, Maine facilities will be able to take advantage of one on one assistance as they pursue quality award submissions. Assistance will be provided to facilities at all 3 levels of the program. Stay tuned for additional information on this program coming this summer.
Amendments to Process of MSBoN Rule Effective 1/30/19 Begins
DHHS has begun to process Out of State (OOS) Registry Applications according to the new amended MSBoN Rule. According to Robert Carr, DHHS is in the process of amending the current Registry Application to fit with the updated rule and hoping to have this complete by the end of this week, February 17, 2019. Once the application is complete it will be placed on our website here. The staff of DHHS have been working with the various OOS staffing agencies who send traveling CNA's to Maine to notify them of the changes in the application process and what is needed for documentation for an individual to be place on the Registry. Carr adds, that he is going to be putting together an application guide of sorts to help facilities understand the new application process and the documentation that is needed to efficiently process an application. Carr states his willingness to answer questions from members as they arise.
Maine Dementia Care Partnership leads the way to support facilities
McKnight's Long-Term Care News (2/4, Stempniak) reported last week that US Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), who leads the House Ways and Means Committee, wrote a letter to CMS last month "asking for explanation on how SNFs and Medicare plans are acting to address" the use of antipsychotics in nursing homes. Although the letter represents the start of a "conversation with CMS officials to address the issue," a legislative aide said the committee is contemplating legislation on the topic. Maine's antipsychotic medication use rates had declined steadily between 2011 and 2017 but have since become stagnate and in some cases elevated slightly as a state average. The Maine Dementia Care Partnership is working to develop a toolkit for facilities that will help with implementation of proven successful interventions to decrease antipsychotic medication use. The partnership will be working over the next few months to finalize the toolkit with a targeted rollout of summer 2019.
PDPM highlighted at Recent CMS Quality Conference
Seema Verma, and other heads of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a “call to action” to providers and said the healthcare industry's status quo is no longer acceptable. Administrator Verma highlighted the industry's new Patient-Driven Payment Model — along with similar reimbursement changes for home health and labs — as ways to transform the payment system, but said further reform is needed. She noted during the CMS Quality Conference that these are first steps to move SNFs and other providers toward a more “outcomes-based system.” Only 14% of all healthcare providers are in value-based agreements, which needs to “speed up,” she said. “We will go further, as our system needs to realign payment incentives to pay for the results we desire,” she told attendees in Baltimore.
Staff Contact:
Danielle Watford
Director of Quality Improvement & Regulatory Affairs