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Indiana FSSA Division of Aging Issues Updates to e450B Process
'Why' I Originally Chose to Work in Long-Term Care
ISDH Publishes Update to Advance Directives Brochure
CMS QAPI Material Rollout for Nursing Homes
National Nursing Home Week - Team*Care - 10 Simple Ways to Work as a Team

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SHC Blog

Indiana FSSA Division of Aging Issues Updates to e450B Process


Indiana FSSA's Division of Aging is revising the e450B process.  The changes will be effective November 1, 2013.  A memo was published 10/14/13 which has some potentially valuable information for the staff who complete the e450B in your nursing facility. The memo can be found in its entirety here.  It includes not only the upcoming changes but also examples, a quick-reference table,  and reminders of the process.  

Indiana FSSA's Division of Aging Updates e450B Process - Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC - www.simmonshc.com - Providing Social Service, QMRP consulting to the long-term care industryThe Division of Aging will also be hosting several webinar/training sessions to review the changes along with an opportunity for questions and answers.  

Webinar Training Sessions (Registration is required) - 

An "In-Person" training session is scheduled for Monday, October 28 from 1P-3P at the Indiana Government Center South Auditorium (402 W. Washington St, Indianapolis).  Registration is not required for the Indianapolis session.  However, bring a printed copy of the 10/14/13 FSSA Memo for reference. The Division of Aging is also expecting to have a PowerPoint presentation available on the e450B website by the end of the business day 10/18/13.  It is recommended that it be printed and brought to the training session also.

Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC, provides Social Service, QIDP (QMRP) consulting services to the long-term care industry.  Our primary focus includes regulatory compliance, timely MDS 3.0 documentation completion, survey preparation, and behavior management.  Based in Indiana, we bring 19 years of 'hands-on' trusted experience to our valued clients.  Contact us today to discuss how SHC can assist your nursing facility to gain the results you need.

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'Why' I Originally Chose to Work in Long-Term Care

A few days ago, Denise B. Scott, published a blog post entitled "Do You Remember Why You Do What You Do?".  If you haven't read it, I would encourage you to do so.  And while you're there, subscribe to her 'Ideas to Inspire'.  I look forward to her posts every few weeks and they certainly help keep me inspired.  

'Why' I Originally Chose to Work in Long-Term Care - Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC - www.simmonshc.comMy “why” – For those of you that know me, you have most likely heard me tell my ‘why’ story.  The short answer is because of my grandmother and originally, location.  For those who haven’t heard it, here’s the long but meaningful reason I do what I do. 

Growing up on the farm, we shared a double-house with my grandmother.  I saw her every single day.  On weekends as a child, Grandma would say to me (and please don’t take offense, but these were her words), “It’s time to go visit the old ladies at the home”.  And off we would go to the local nursing home.  Until I went away to college, I went with her to the small 60-bed facility.  We typically would spend the afternoon, visiting with her friends and family members that resided there.  When I was younger, I recall running up and down the hall, most likely causing havoc and irritating the nurses.  As I got older, I began visiting with other residents while Grandma would still be in her friends’ rooms.  They would share stories that fascinated me (and still do).  I would see rooms absolutely packed with all of their belongings.  A lifetime of mementos crammed into such a tiny space, each item so valuable to them.  They would tell me the history behind the items and why the particular piece meant so much to them.  They would tell me tales about the people in their photos, usually family members who had often been influential in their lives.  The men would share favorite and not-so-favorite memories of their former jobs and military experience.  The ladies would share their favorite meals to cook, humorous stories of their children, and how they would make the grocery budget last all week.  I remember thinking that those residents seemed to be just aching for someone to listen.  They had an identity and still wanted others to realize who they were.  This was the 1970s and early 1980s; that wasn’t a prevailing concept during that time.  The medical model was all staff knew.

Fast forward to the late 1980s and early 1990s - Grandma got Alzheimer’s disease. For many years, she’d still visit the ‘old ladies’, but would need someone to drive her.  When I was home, that was my duty. I tended to not always stay the whole time, but would go in for at least a while.  I’d see the same residents each time, sitting in the front lobby by the aquarium, lined up at the nurses’ station, or sitting somewhat lifelessly in the hallway staring out into space.  The same rooms with belongings practically spilling into the hallway.  Bingo being conducted in the dining room. For some reason, as I became a teenager, what was fun to do as a child now seemed to be rather depressing.  As we’d get into the car after each visit, Grandma would always say the same thing to me – “Don’t ever let them put me in here”. 

My parents cared for Grandma at home for many years - hiring caregivers, rearranging their lives to keep Grandma safe and comfortable.  On one occasion, they needed to go out of town and arranged for Grandma to have a respite stay at the nursing home. Upon my parents’ arrival home from their trip on that Sunday afternoon, they discovered my grandmother sitting on her back patio. She was, of course, supposed to still be on her respite stay at the nursing home.  No one in the family had any phone calls from the nursing home.  No notice stating that Grandma was missing.  So we didn’t call them either.  Mom simply went into the nursing home and told them she was there to discharge Grandma.  The nurse very obviously thought Grandma was still there and went to get her.  After the staff began to realize that Grandma was missing, Mom confided that she was already at home.  We were able to discover that a family friend had been visiting a loved one at the facility, saw Grandma, assumed she was doing her weekly visits, thought he’d save someone a trip into town to get her, and offered to take her home.  Of course, Grandma said yes.  

When the time finally came that Grandma’s disease had progressed in such a way that my parents simply could no longer care for her safely at home, they emotionally moved her into a small private family home with 3 other older ladies.  The owner of the home and her family members cared for Grandma until her death in February 1995.  It wasn’t necessarily the prettiest environment; it most likely would never have passed a nursing facility’s ISDH/CMS inspection; and definitely the home would not have gotten through OSHA.  But Grandma was comfortable there, my parents honored her wishes, and the owner/family obviously cared about her and kept her safe. 

Prior to Grandma’s death, in 1994 I graduated from college.  With the feelings that most early 20-year-olds have, I was ready to conquer the world, but had no real idea what was ahead.  A high school friend was working in medical records at the ‘new’ nursing home in town and said that there was an opening.  It was about a mile from my house and within 3 blocks of my child-care provider and nursery school.  I took it as a sign.  I became the Director of Social Service/Admissions/Marketing in 1994.  I was determined to never forget my childhood memories of visiting the “old ladies in the home”.  Never to forget that Grandma obviously hated what she witnessed each week so much that she made sure we all knew she didn’t want to live there herself.  Never to forget the feeling of seeing residents staring out into space, their cramped rooms, their need to have an identity and tell their stories.  Never to believe that the prettiest facility is the best, that caring and compassion are much more important.  And never to forget how mentally hard the decision was for my parents to move my grandmother off the farm. 

Except for the family farm, nursing homes continue to be my favorite place to be.  I think of Grandma with every visit.  And I believe that taking me with her was the greatest gift I ever received.  Making visiting our elders a normal act is a priceless gift we should all give our children.  After 19 years in the industry, we have come a long way from what I witnessed in the 1970s.  I look forward to the day when the regulators realize that enabling/encouraging staff to take time to listen to stories and being able to know the residents’ identities is much more important to their quality of life than some of the regulations and would ultimately improve quality of care.  Most families would rather have someone listen to them for 5 minutes than spend that time posting the required staffing sheet that virtually no one reads.  I still feel that we can continue to improve care for our elders – one day, one person, one change at a time. 

What is your “why”? I look forward to hearing why you do what you do!

Does your Social Service department need general assistance, help 'keeping up' with MDS 3.0 assessments, or require monthly consultations to meet the requirements of F251?  Contact us at Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC, and we'll be glad to help your nursing facility maintain or achieve regulatory compliance.

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ISDH Publishes Update to Advance Directives Brochure


An updated version of the 'Advance Directives - Your Right to Decide' brochure has been released by the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH).  Included in the revision is information related to the new Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) form which Indiana has approved beginning July 1, 2013.  The brochure also now includes Out of Hospital Do Not Resuscitate Declaration and Order guidance.  

Advance Directives Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC BlogPertinent information - 


If your nursing facility's Social Service department is needing assistance with compliance regarding code status, Advance Directives, or end-of-life documentation, contact Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC at julie@simmonshc.com

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CMS QAPI Material Rollout for Nursing Homes

CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) has issued a letter (Ref: S&C: 13-37-NH 06/07/2013) to State Survey Agency Directors regarding the rollout of QAPI (Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement) materials available for nursing homes. 

CMS Rollout of Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement (QAPI) Materials for Nursing Homes Page 1CMS Rollout of Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement (QAPI) to Nursing Homes Page 2

CMS Rollout of Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement (QAPI) to Nursing Homes Page 3
In need of assistance with compliance for your Social Service or Activities departments? Looking for help with QIDP (QMRP) documentation? Contact Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC at (260) 894-1417 or click here.

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National Nursing Home Week - Team*Care - 10 Simple Ways to Work as a Team

As we begin the biggest week of the year in long-term care, take a minute to consider the 2013 National Nursing Home Week slogan - Team*Care: Everyone Pitches In!  I would suggest that in our industry, more than most, the only way to be truly successful is to work as a team.  When one department struggles, it has an affect on every department.  

Begin today to demonstrate respect of your coworkers and initiate a culture of teamwork.  Whether you are an Administrator, department head, or direct care staff, you have the ability to make a difference.

  1. Assist residents to group activities.
  2. Help family members search for missing items.
  3. Share successful behavior interventions with another staff member.
  4. Be punctual for Care Conferences.
  5. Come prepared to Quality Assurance / Performance Improvement meetings.
  6. Complete your designated MDS sections in a timely manner.
  7. Remind and assist family members with adding new belongings to the inventory list.
  8. Clean residents' glasses.
  9. Be kind to new employees.
  10. Say thank-you.

How are you demonstrating that you are a team-player at your nursing facility?  Share your suggestions!

Sending joyous wishes for a happy National Nursing Home Week 2013 to the absolutely amazing folks that I've had the privilege to work with over the past 19 years.  

Is your facility needing compliance assistance or interim staffing in the areas of Social Service, Activities, or QMRP services?  Contact Julie at Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC.  


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Monthly Report of Indiana CaseMix/PASRR Audits



Background - Every month in Indiana, the HP LTC Unit conducts on-site audits of Medicaid-certified long-term care facilities with oversight provided for the Division of Aging and the Office of Medicaid Policy & Planning. The purpose of the LTC review is to ensure that the IHCP (Indiana Health Coverage Program) is reimbursing for the appropriate RUG classification as demonstrated by the MDS version 3.0 and supporting documentation.  The LTC auditing team also performs Level of Care (LOC) and Pre-Admission Screening Resident Reviews (PASRRs) of LTC residents.  The frequency of the audits was changed approximately 3 years ago and is determined according to the nursing facility's risk criteria.

HP LTC Audit Objectives - 
  • Determine whether residents continue to have needs requiring NF placement in accordance with State LOC criteria defined by 405 IAC 1-3-1 and 405 IAC 1-3-2.
  • Ensure all services recommended by the Level II assessments are provided.
  • Determine whether IHCP is reimbursing the provider for the appropriate RUG-III classification, reflective of resident needs.
  • Verify that the MDS responses that impact the RUG score are accurate and supported with the appropriate documentation within the assessment reference period.

Average Monthly Validation Rate - 90.5%
Validation Threshold, per IAC (Indiana Administrative Code) - 80%

Nursing facilities that exceed the 20% error threshold rate as outlined in the IAC receive a 15% Administrative Component Corrective Remedy penalty applied for one quarter. The facility is required to respond to a Validation and Improvement Plan (VIP). All unsupported worksheets are reclassified, and the facility is subject to a Case Mix audit within 12 months. 

January 2013 Findings - 

The Case Mix audit validation rate average was 87.6%.  
Five areas of concern emerged from January's audits with the elements having 20% or greater inconsistency with the MDS data transmitted by the nursing facility.  
  • C1000 - Decision Making
  • H0200C - Urinary Toileting Program
  • O0500G - Dressing/Grooming
  • O0500B - Active Range of Motion
  • C0700 - Short Term Memory Problem

At least one of the ten elements comprising Nursing Restorative has appeared in the Areas of Concern for eleven out of the last thirteen months and for eleven straight.

January 2013 Percentage of Records Fully Supported by RUG (Resource Utilization Groupings) Classification - 
  • Extensive Services - 85%
  • Special Rehabilitation - 97%
  • Special Care - 76%
  • Clinically Complex - 92%
  • Impaired Cognition - 78%
  • Behavior - 0%
  • Reduced Physical - 77%

PASRR - 
Seven residents were referred for Level II's including - 
  • Four residents had a diagnosis of Depression, with ongoing psychotropic medication administration and symptoms noted.
  • Two residents had diagnoses of Depression and Anxiety, with medication administration and exhibiting symptoms.

Requirements that will continue to be reinforced - 
  • Utilization of The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) manual for Active Diagnosis.
  • That RUGgable diagnosis has two parts, physician signature within 70 days and “Active” meaning documentation within the 7 day time frame of the direct relationship of the diagnosis to the resident’s current status.
  • MDS 3.0 requires individualized, measureable care plans for nursing restorative and evaluations completed in the 7 day assessment time frame.

Social Service remains an important factor in achieving a successful HP audit. Timely, descriptive, accurate documentation is essential for the Case Mix component. Proper screening and referrals are necessary for PASRR compliance.  

Does your nursing facility need assistance preparing for your HP audit? Do you feel that your Social Service department could benefit from an outside audit before the actual one? Do you know if you are in compliance with the required QMRP consultation for your ID/DD residents? Is your current Social Service or QMRP consultant not achieving your desired results? Contact Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC, at julie@simmonshc.com or 260-894-1417 and we'll discuss efficient, cost-effective solutions.

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CMS Updates Forms for QIS Survey Process


CMS has posted changes to a few QIS forms.  Full information can be found at www.qtso.com.  

Resources - 

Entrance Conference - 

Mandatory Facility Task Pathway Forms - 

Stage I Forms - 

Stage 2 CE Pathways Forms - 

Triggered Facility Tasks Pathway Forms - 

Need assistance with preparation for QIS?  Does your nursing facility need increased support while awaiting a PSR?  Contact Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC, to discuss many options that can assist with regulatory compliance.

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Celebrate National LTC Administrator's Week!


Celebrate National Long-Term Care Administrator's Week March 10-16, 2013.  For those of you dedicated to enriching the lives of residents daily at your nursing facility, we thank you.  Balancing the overall operations at your home with customer needs, government regulations, and company policies requires great focus. Maintaining excellent care for the residents while achieving business objectives involves significant multi-tasking.  Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC, commends those Administrators in nursing homes and assisted living centers who are committed to providing excellent quality of care and quality of life on a 24/7 basis.  

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Would a Proposed Indiana Senate Bill Interfere with F151 Exercise of Rights Compliance?




Indiana currently has a bill pending (IndianaSenate Bill No. 366 Proof of Identification for nursing facility residents) which, if passed, could realistically change accessibility of voting by long-term care residents.  As of the writing of this post, the bill has had its first reading and was in committee.  If passed, the effective date for implementation is scheduled for July 1, 2013.  

Synopsis: Proof of identification for absentee voters. Provides that a voter who votes at a licensed care facility in which the voter lives must give proof of identification. (Under current law, such a voter is exempt from the proof of identification requirement.) Requires a voter who casts an absentee ballot by mail (other than a military or overseas voter or an address confidentiality voter) to provide a photocopy of the voter's proof of identification in the mailing envelope. 

Under Resident Rights, F151 Exercise of Rights states 
  • 483.10(a)(1) The resident has the right to exercise his or her rights as a resident of the facility and as a citizen or resident of the United States.
  • 483.10(a)(2) The resident has the right to be free of interference, coercion, discrimination, and reprisal from the facility in exercising his or her rights.

This issue is different than requiring the general population to show proof of identification.  Mandating that residents of nursing facilities must provide proof of identification when submitting an absentee ballot, voting by a traveling voting board, or voting at their own facility when it's a polling place will drastically affect their rights as a citizen.  

Believing that nursing facility residents can easily obtain identification is neither realistic nor feasible.  In general, they are not able to obtain proof of identification that would meet the legal standard as it is currently defined.  The vast majority of residents are not able to physically go to the BMV, nor would there be easily accessible/affordable transportation (another Indiana issue for another day) available even for the few who could go.  There would also be regulatory logistics to deal with, i.e. obtaining MD orders for leave of absences, a caregiver to accompany the resident, approval from guardians/power of attorneys, etc.  The list could go on. 

If passed as currently written, this bill would essentially disenfranchise nursing facility residents - a population that has generally spent their lives voting in each and every election.  I have worked with thousands of residents over the years and I can't express how many are proud to tell me that they have never missed an election since they were 18.  I have had folks not be able to remember their most recent meal or their grandchild's name, but they could tell me whether they were a Republican or Democrat.  They could still share the reason that they missed 'just that one' election.  They could still listen to the platforms the candidates had and form opinions about who they planned to vote for. 

The theme for the 2012 National Long-Term Care Residents’ Right Month was ‘My Voice, My Vote, My Right’.  The focus was on ensuring that residents in nursing facilities still have the right to vote and participate politically.  It stressed the importance of giving them the opportunity to continue to participate in the political process and that voting continue to be accessible to them.  It seems that if this bill were to pass, we will have taken a step backward from what was just promoted as a national theme by advocates less than a year ago.  

If the legislature feels that the current exemption has not been adequate, there could be other alternatives.  Speak with those of us in the industry and listen to our potential alternative options.  Gain insight from Social Service Directors and Activity Directors at facilities.  I would anticipate that the responses would be similar.  

Assistance and attention to their voting rights helps to ensure that the voices of long-term care residents do not go unheard and demonstrates that they have not been forgotten.  I would urge the legislature to not allow another right, another choice to be taken away from these residents. 

*This post was written without a political agenda - simply a deep concern from someone with a passion for protecting the rights of our residents in Indiana long-term care facilities. 

Need assistance with Residents Rights compliance in your nursing facility?  Could you benefit from a QA check of your resident voting process?  Due for the mandatory annual Resident Rights in-service?  Contact Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC, and we’ll begin to help improve Quality of Life services for your residents.

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Monthly Summary Report of HP Indiana CaseMix / PASRR Audits

                                                                                                                                                       
Background - 
Every month in Indiana, the HP LTC Unit conducts on-site audits of Medicaid-certified long-term care facilities with oversight provided for the Division of Aging and the Office of Medicaid Policy & Planning. The purpose of the LTC review is to ensure that the IHCP (Indiana Health Coverage Program) is reimbursing for the appropriate RUG classification as demonstrated by the MDS version 3.0 and supporting documentation.  The LTC auditing team also performs Level of Care (LOC) and Pre-Admission Screening Resident Reviews (PASRRs) of LTC residents.  The frequency of the audits was changed approximately 3 years ago and is determined according to the nursing facility's risk criteria.  

HP LTC Audit Objectives - 
  • Determine whether residents continue to have needs requiring NF placement in accordance with State LOC criteria defined by 405 IAC 1-3-1 and 405 IAC 1-3-2.
  • Ensure all services recommended by the Level II assessments are provided.
  • Determine whether IHCP is reimbursing the provider for the appropriate RUG-III classification, reflective of resident needs.
  • Verify that the MDS responses that impact the RUG score are accurate and supported with the appropriate documentation within the assessment reference period.



2012 Average Monthly Validation Rate - 90.6%
Validation Threshold, per IAC (Indiana Administrative Code) - 80%

Nursing facilities that exceed the 20% error threshold rate as outlined in the IAC receive a 15% Administrative Component Corrective Remedy penalty applied for one quarter. The facility is required to respond to a Validation and Improvement Plan (VIP). All unsupported worksheets are reclassified, and the facility is subject to a Case Mix audit within 12 months.

December 2012 Findings - 

The Case Mix audit validation rate average was 91%.  Five areas of concern emerged from December's audits with the elements having 20% or greater inconsistency with the MDS data transmitted by the nursing facility.  
  • K0700A Percent Caloric Intake Through Parenteral/Tube Feeding
  • O0500G Dressing/Grooming
  • O0700 Physician Orders
  • O0600 Physician Examinations
  • O0400D2 Respiratory Therapy - Days

Nursing Restorative issues reappeared on the list this month. At least one of the ten elements comprising Nursing Restorative has appeared in the Areas of Concern for eleven out of the last twelve months and for ten straight.  Physician Orders remains on this list for the fourth consecutive month. It has appeared here 9 months in the last twelve.

December 2012 Percentage of Records Fully Supported by RUG (Resource Utilization Groupings) Classification - 
  • Extensive Services - 93%
  • Special Rehabilitation - 97%
  • Special Care - 83%
  • Clinically Complex - 92%
  • Impaired Cognition - 96% (September had been 76%)
  • Behavior - 0%
  • Reduced Physical - 88%

PASRR - 
Eight residents were referred for Level II’s - 
  • One resident with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy was referred, no evidence an ID/DD Level II was ever completed, although a Level II for Mental Illness was completed 11/1/2007.
  • Five residents had a diagnosis of Depression, with ongoing psychotropic medication administration.
  • Two residents had diagnoses of Depression and Anxiety, with medication administration and exhibiting symptoms.

Requirements that will continue to be reinforced - 
  • The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) manual for Physician Orders.
  • That RUGgable diagnosis has two parts, physician signature within 70 days and “Active” meaning documentation within the 7 day time frame of the direct relationship of the diagnosis to the resident’s current status.
  • MDS 3.0 requires individualized, measureable care plans for nursing restorative and evaluations completed in the 7 day assessment time frame.
  • Emphasis will be placed on residents who do not participate in the BIMS (Brief Interview for Mental Status), who may still achieve a Resource Utilization Group (RUG) for impaired cognition reasons. Those MDS items require examples within the 7 day assessment time frame. Residents who RUG for the BIMS, must have evidence that the interview took place within the assessment time frame.

Social Service remains an important factor in achieving a successful HP audit. Timely, descriptive, accurate documentation is essential for the Case Mix component. Proper screening and referrals are necessary for PASRR compliance.  

Does your nursing facility need assistance preparing for your HP audit? Do you feel that your Social Service department could benefit from an outside audit before the actual one? Do you know if you are in compliance with the required QMRP consultation for your ID/DD residents? Is your current Social Service or QMRP consultant not achieving your desired results? Contact Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC, at julie@simmonshc.com or 260-894-1417 and we'll discuss efficient, cost-effective solutions.

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When is the Perfect Time to Recharge Your LTC Volunteer Program?

                                                                                                                                                       
When is the perfect time to recharge your nursing facility’s volunteer program?  Right now!   

All facilities can benefit from an outstanding volunteer program.  It can –   

  1. assist with improved quality of life for your residents by offering more people to socialize with them,
  2. decrease stress for your staff by having others around to respond to non-care needs, 
  3. and, when implemented correctly, can supplement your marketing efforts to increase census by     expanding the number of visitors in your building on a regular basis, observing the great care you’re providing.    

Start by establishing goals for each month this year and an overall goal to be achieved after twelve months.  Make the goals simple, realistic, and achievable.  Involve your entire team in the process, including any long-term volunteers that you currently have, and residents who have shown an interest.    

Your first goal should be to increase the number of volunteers or volunteer hours.  Establish a ‘campaign’ to achieve record-setting numbers for your program each month.  Ensure that your campaign is not just ‘dumped’ on the Activity Director.  Encourage your team to spread the message to groups that they are members of outside of work.    

Community engagement is the key.  Your marketing staff can assist with PR.  In smaller communities, inform your local chamber of commerce of the program and offer to speak at the next meeting.  Create a buzz in your community by contacting neighboring businesses, youth groups, schools, churches, and sororities.  Use your volunteer campaign and goals to drive your social media presence.    

Outline the potential benefits that volunteering can bring to your residents and request an interview with the local newspaper.  Contribute letters to the editor with the benefits of volunteering, updates to your goals, and calls to action for participation.  Offer to submit a monthly “Ways to Volunteer” column.   

Most importantly when beginning a volunteer program have resources available for the volunteers.  Utilize lists that can be reviewed with first-time volunteers to match their interests with your facility’s needs.  Assign each volunteer to a specific task and follow-up to ensure that they feel comfortable with it.  And always remember to follow your building’s policies and procedures regarding volunteers.   

What steps are you going to make this month to improve your volunteer program?  Is your ultimate goal to have one volunteer for every resident?  Have a great idea that has either worked for your facility or that you are planning to implement?  Share it here!   

Need ideas to improve your volunteer program?  Does your Social Service or Activities department need assistance with documentation?  Is your Indiana nursing facility in compliance with QMRP regulations?  Contact Julie at Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC (260-894-1417, julie@simmonshc.com) to start improving Quality of Life services for your residents.

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Have You Nominated Someone for an Age of Excellence Award?

                                                                                                                                                       


Nominations for the Age of Excellence awards are now open through REAL Services.  As stated on their site - "Our purpose is to recognize those individuals who quietly support their loved ones and their communities through daily acts of kindness, compassion and selflessness. They remind us in the most fundamental way, what is most meaningful in life. They remind us that we are truly serving a higher purpose when we serve our fellow man."  

Eligibility - Each award category is different and each has its own guidelines for eligibility. Nominees must work or live in Elkhart, Kosciusko, LaPorte, Marshall or St. Joseph Counties, or provide care to persons residing in those counties. (Indiana)

Deadline for nominations - April 11, 2013 at 4pm.  The awards presentation will take place on May 16, 2013 in South Bend, Indiana.  The keynote speaker is scheduled to be singer and songwriter, Amy Grant.

Nominations can be made online here or by mail via this form (opens as a PDF).  

Nomination Categories - 

  • Business of the Year:  A care giving agency or business that displays a commitment to the elderly.
  • Caregiver of the Year for an Older Adult (60+):  An individual who unselfishly provides unpaid care to someone who is 60 years of age or older.
  • Caregiver of the Year for the Disabled (0-59):  An individual who unselfishly provides unpaid care to someone who is less than 60 years of age.
  • Education Award:  A student, classroom (Kindergarten through College), teacher or school administrator that has displayed an understanding of the value of older adults.
  • Hoosier Lifetime Award (over 60):  An individual, 60 years of age or older, who has demonstrated a lifetime of service to his or her community (paid or unpaid).
  • Professional of the Year:  An individual who, throughout their career, has provided dedicated service to older adults. (ex: nurse, police officer, home health aide, doctor, etc.)
  • Kimble Volunteer of the Year:  An individual, 60 years of age or older, who has displayed a commitment to volunteerism in service to the elderly.
  • Volunteer of the Year (under 60):  An individual, under 60 years of age, who has displayed a commitment to volunteerism in service to the elderly.
  • Volunteer Group of the Year:  A group of volunteers, who has displayed a commitment to volunteerism in service to the elderly.

Contact information for REAL Services can be found at the above links if you have any questions.
As always, contact Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC, with any questions, concerns, or needs related to your Quality of Life (Social Service, Activities, QMRP) departments.  

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2013 PEAK Leadership Summit Registration Open


"PEAK is not your typical conference…
but a dynamic educational experience designed exclusively for strategic leaders in aging services."  

From LeadingAge - The PEAK Leadership Summit features executive education content, high-caliber speakers, and expert-led strategy sessions through specialized education formats. The schedule of events showcases several diverse learning formats to help us better interact with thought leaders as we learn about new and exciting developments in our field.March 18 - 20, 2013
Washington, DC 
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

More information can be found at LeadingAge/Peak.

Need assistance with your Social Service or Activities departments in 2013?  Questioning whether your current consultant is providing cost-effective outcomes for your nursing facility?  Wondering if your in compliance with QMRP requirements?  Contact SHC today and we can discuss how to implement positive changes for your Quality of Life departments.

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Has Your SNF Registered for the CMS National Provider Call to Improve Dementia Care?



Registration is now open for the National Provider Call: CMS National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes scheduled for January 31, 2013 - 1:30pm - 3:00pm.

Background - CMS developed a national partnership to improve the quality of care for those with dementia residing in nursing facilities.  The focus includes person-centered, comprehensive, and interdisciplinary care.  One of the goals of the partnership is to help reduce antipsychotic medication use in facilities, which CMS has already stated is a primary focus in 2013.  

During this particular call, CMS plans to discuss the mission of the partnership, along with goals, quality measures, and 'ongoing outreach efforts'.  As expected, there should be time for a question and answer session following their presentation.  CMS is listing the agenda as follows - 

  • Welcome and Opening Comments
  • National Partnership Mission
Goals for 2012 and Beyond
The Three R's: Rethink, Reconnect, Restore
Multidimensional Approach: 
public reporting
partnership and state-based coalitions
research
training for providers and surveyors
revised surveyor guidance
  • Next Steps:
Ongoing Outreach
Measurement
  • Questions and Answers

Registration - You will need to register for the call on the CMS Upcoming National Provider Calls registration website.  CMS states that registration must be made by noon on the day of the call or before space has been filled.  

Miscellaneous - CMS plans to have the presentation for the call posted prior and is to be found on the FFS National Provider Calls page.  CMS is expected to email a slide presentation to all participants on the day of the call.  

Are you or your nursing facility planning to participate in the call?  Has your interdisciplinary team (including your pharmacist) developed a 'plan of attack' for psychoactive medication reductions in 2013?

Need assistance with your facility's Behavior Management program or Social Service documentation?   
Is your current Social Service consultant providing the results that your nursing facility needs?  Contact Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC (260-894-1417 or julie@simmonshc.com), and we'll begin discussing how SHC can assist you in achieving positive outcomes.

Have a great weekend! 

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Do You or Your #LTC / #SNF Staff Need One of These Upcoming Trainings?

We wanted to share several different upcoming trainings and webinars of potential interest to those in the long-term care industry - 

Event
Date
Cost
More Information
Registration
Location
Social Service Designee Course (Indiana)
January 21-26, 2013
$495.00
Indianapolis, IN
IHCA Laundry Management / P.O.D. Training
January 8, 2013
FREE
Indianapolis, IN
5-Star QMs and Your Facility 
January 14, 17, 21, 23, or 29, 2013
$270 for early
Evansville, Columbus, Merrillville, Mishawaka, Anderson
IHCA Getting LEAN Webinar
January 10, 2013
FREE for IHCA members
Webinar
LTC SW & QMs, Interviews, & ID/DD/MI Residents
February 11, 13, 15, 20, or 22, 2013
$90 with early sign-up
Evansville, Columbus, Anderson, Mishawaka, Merrillville
Quarterly Compliance Update
January 31, 2013
$79 for LeadingAge members
Indianapolis
Reducing Medication Distribution Errors Using Technology
January 23, 2013
$20 for IHCA members
Webinar
BE MORE Training
January 11, 2013
Free
Indianapolis
INTERACT Overview Session
January 22, 2013
Free
 Indianapolis 

Beginning 2013 and noticing that your Social Service or Activities departments could use some assistance?  Realizing that you need a QMRP for your nursing facility?  Disappointed with the outcomes you have received from your current consultant?  Contact Julie at Simmons Healthcare Consulting, LLC (julie@simmonshc.com or 260-894-1417) and let's discuss how we can implement cost-effective solutions to improve Quality of Life services for your residents.

Know of another upcoming training session or webinar focused on nursing facilities?  Feel free to leave a comment to share.  Hope everyone is enjoying a great start to 2013!
                                                                                                                                                               

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