Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving from AHCA/NCAL


November is National Family Caregivers Month

November is National Family Caregivers Month, and Caregiver Action Network sets the theme for it each year.  The 2018 theme isSupercharge Your Caregiving”.  More background on National Family Caregivers Month can be found here.  According to AARP, about 40 million family caregivers provide about $470 billion annually in unpaid care to their loved ones.  About 3.7 million family caregivers provide care to a child under age 18 because of a medical, behavioral, or other condition or disability, and 6.5 million family caregivers assist both adults and children.

Long Term Care Sector Addresses Caregiver Shortage with Innovative Workforce Resource Center

Finding a qualified workforce is one of the largest challenges facing long term care providers. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) recently unveiled new resources to help members attract and retain qualified caregivers in the more than 13,500 member centers nationwide. 

The online Workforce Resource Center includes resources and tools for AHCA/NCAL members to learn more about effective strategies for recruiting, retention and staff development.  The association also announced a partnership with PHI, a leading provider of workforce training programs.  PHI offers a range of services that help providers attract quality workers, promote excellent care, reduce turnover and achieve cost efficiencies. AHCA/NCAL and PHI will provide coaching, training and consulting to help long term care providers deliver quality care. 

“Our members have been clear that staffing is one of their biggest challenges,” said Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “The tools we’ve developed, and our partnership with the premier organization in long term care training and development, will provide valuable resources for our members.” 

The health care system has experienced a shortage of trained caregivers for critical roles for some time. The federal government estimates nearly 27 million people will need some kind of long term care by 2050, magnifying the workforce shortage that already exists. 

“AHCA/NCAL will continue to develop workforce resources that help our members maintain the high quality of care they provide for America’s seniors and people with disabilities,” said Parkinson.  

AHCA/NCAL Supports HEADs UP Act

AHCA/NCAL has added its name in support of the Healthcare Extension and Accessibility for Developmentally disabled and Underserved Population Act (HEADs UP Act) of 2018 (H.R. 6611), which was introduced by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA-6) and Rep. Greg Harper (R-MS-3).  This bipartisan legislation would designate people with intellectual and developmental disability (ID/DD) as a Medically Underserved Population (MUP).  Many feel this designation is needed as people with ID/DD experience poorer health outcomes, shortened life expectancies, and lack access to even the most basic forms of care when compared to the non-disabled population.  A designation as a MUP would help to close these gaps and achieve better health outcomes for the entire ID/DD population.

Despite the large and growing size of the population with ID/DD, there are few primary care providers and even fewer specialists who are trained to treat the ID/DD population.  The MUP designation would open up over 25 government programs within the Health Resources & Services Administration and other federal agencies for the ID/DD population.  These programs include, among other things, incentives for physicians to treat this population in the form of higher Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reimbursement rates for physician services delivered in Health Professional Shortage Areas, a designation closely related to MUP.  More information on the bill can be found here.

AHCA Honors 2018 Award Recipients

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) honored the recipients for the 2018 AHCA Awards program in San Diego at the AHCA/NCAL 69th Annual Convention that was held October 7-10, 2018.  Each year, AHCA recognizes the men and women who selflessly care for individuals in long term and post-acute care centers, and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD) residences.  Honorees demonstrate selflessness, compassion, and strive to enhance the lives of seniors and individuals with disabilities in their communities.  The 2018 AHCA Awards recipients can be found here. 

70th Annual Convention & Expo - Call for Presentations

AHCA/NCAL will hold its 70th Annual Convention and Expo at The Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, FL. As a long term care professional, you understand the trends, issues, and challenges facing our profession. Now is your chance to share ideas that reflect your success stories and professional insight, as well as ideas and programs that enhance the long term and post-acute care service delivery. We are particularly interested in proposals that reflect and will help support providers in achieving the AHCA Quality Initiative goals the Quality Initiative for Assisted Living, and Advancing the Core Values of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Criteria. Click here to submit your proposal by the deadline of November 30, 2018.

NFP Grassroots Advocacy – Facility Visits over Recess

Gary Kelso, AHCA’s NFP Council Chair, encourages AHCA’s NFP providers to participate in our grassroots advocacy efforts in 2018.  AHCA would like to help you get facility tours and in-district meetings set up over future recess days.  Please provide your name, facility address, and email address and we will craft the invite and send it to you to send to the Congressional office.  The four brief steps for a successful facility tour visit can be found herePlease feel free to contact Matthew Smyth and Dana Halvorson who can help you with all of the logistics.

AHCA’s NFP Council member, Van Moore (pictured to the right), meets with Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR-2, pictured on the left) at the Oregon Veterans’ Home in The Dalles.  Van discussed with the Congressman issues impacting AHCA/NCAL members, including the observation stays issue.