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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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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
training for providers and surveyors
revised surveyor guidance
  • Next Steps:
Ongoing Outreach
  • 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, and we'll begin discussing how SHC can assist you in achieving positive outcomes.

Have a great weekend! 

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And the Antipsychotic Medication Studies Continue

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Another new study, summarized in today's McKnight's News, warns of the possible negative effects of 4 of the most common antipsychotic medications.  The need to have an involved and informed pharmacist onboard with your Behavior Management program remains of the upmost importance.  Is your mental health provider communicating with Social Service and nursing staff?  For those residents who continue on certain targeted medications, the value of thorough documentation is a must. The documentation must include specifics regarding why the benefits clearly outweigh any potential risks. All too often, I see facilities failing to document the numerous non-pharmacological interventions that have been attempted.  I know it's a cliché phrase, but take credit for all the wonderful approaches you've tried and the outcome. Passing along pertinent nursing facility guidelines to your residents' physicians, who might not be up-to-date on the current push to reduce/eliminate antipsychotic medication, can also be a valuable tool.  
Need assistance with your Behavior Management / Psych Med program?  Contact SHC and we'll schedule a visit to help your facility continue improving Quality of Life services.

Behavioral Interventions, AP Med Reductions via LTL Mag

Quick Post - Click here to read Long-Term Living Magazine's recent article, "Reducing Anti-Psychotic Medications?  Try These Behavioral Interventions".

Top 10 #LTC Deficiencies, Top 10 Troubled States

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The latest Top 10 regarding nationwide nursing facility survey citations is out.  Indiana makes the list as one of the states with the most serious deficiencies.  Having participated in survey management in several states, ISDH surveyors consistently are definitely thorough, in my experience.  F-tags among the top 10 include F241 (Dignity), F329 (Unnecessary Medication), F279 (Develop Comprehensive Care Plans), F309 (Highest Practicable Well-Being), F323 (Accidents and Hazards) and F281 (Professional Standards).  

Social Service staff has the potential to be directly involved in these 6 tags.  A functioning Behavior Management program helps with F323 and F329, timely and accurate documentation assists with F279 and F281, and proper observations and psychosocial interventions can cover F309 and F241.  

  • Is your Behavior Management program truly working?  
  • Is it utilized effectively and do the direct caregivers understand the potential benefits of behavioral interventions?  
  • Are Social Service staff made aware of important resident changes in order to intervene and update care plans as appropriate?  
  • Does the Social Service department have systems in place for time management in order to be able to document in a timely manner?  

If your facility needs assistance with Social Service and/or survey management,
contact SHC and we'll schedule a visit to continue improving Quality of Life services.