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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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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 - - 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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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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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 - 

More Information
Social Service Designee Course (Indiana)
January 21-26, 2013
Indianapolis, IN
IHCA Laundry Management / P.O.D. Training
January 8, 2013
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
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
Reducing Medication Distribution Errors Using Technology
January 23, 2013
$20 for IHCA members
BE MORE Training
January 11, 2013
INTERACT Overview Session
January 22, 2013

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 ( 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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A Bond Between Marketing and Activities in LTC, Strange Concept or Smart Decision?

I came across this blog post and am quite interested in your thoughts - "A Different Kind of Activity Program" by Steve Moran on Senior Housing Forum (@SeniorForum).  The post is part two of a 2-part series, the first was "Let Us Entertain You to Death".  Administrators, long-term care Marketers, and Activity Directors, if you happen to find a free 5-minute break during this busy weekend, take a moment to read both of these blog posts.

  • What are we doing right with our LTC activity programs?
  • Is Bingo your facility's most attended activity?  Was Bingo the resident's most attended activity prior to admission?  If it wasn't, then why is it now?
  • Where are there areas of opportunity for improvement?
  • Is your activity department adequately staffed?  Really?  
  • Do corporations and boards of directors understand the potential benefits of the department?
  • As we begin the next 5-10 years and expect to see an even bigger increase in baby boomers, will the current structure of activities be tolerated?
  • Have you recently changed your programming?  And if so, are you seeing positive results?
  • How often are we asking for feedback from our residents and families?  Not simply the standard activity assessment, but open-ended questions about how they would like to spend their day now.
  • Activity Directors - if you had an unlimited budget (lol), how would you change your programming?  
  • Are there ways to think outside-the-box and still implement your wishlist of programming without bankrupting the facility?
  • What is the relationship between your activity program and admissions? (Possibly one of the most overlooked aspects of marketing by many facilities.)

As for the educational requirements of an Activity Director - Although I understand the author's rationale, I would strongly caution the industry not to hastily jump on board.  I know that there are many in long-term care that would disagree with me on this (including NASW), but I have witnessed what happened when arbitrary educational requirements were placed on Social Service staff.  The industry lost outstanding, caring, dedicated people.  There are ways to 'raise-the-bar' without alienating current activities staff (i.e. grandfather clauses). 

Your thoughts on activity programming, educational requirements, the referred to blog post?  Feel free to comment, I am truly interested in feedback.

Need assistance with your Quality of Life (Social Service, Activities, QMRP) services?  Contact SHC and we'll schedule a visit to help your nursing facility continue improving care.  Have a fabulous weekend!

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Recent ISDH and CMS Updates / Resources for Nursing Facilities

Several important pieces of information to pass on to our long-term care followers today - 

  • ISDH (Indiana State Department of Health) has recently increased the number of survey areas to 10. They have released an updated map and the roster of surveyor assignments / supervisors.  If you need assistance obtaining the new map and roster, send us an email ( and we'll get that information to you in the form of a Word document.

  • CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) has stated that under healthcare reform there must be regulations requiring nursing facilities to have an effective compliance and ethics program by March 23, 2013.  CMS is expected to publish a 'draft' regulation by December 31, 2012.  
  • The "Hand in Hand" training materials should be arriving to nursing facilities shortly from CMS.  If you're not familiar, the program focuses on person-centered care for residents with Dementia and abuse prevention.  All facilities are supposed to receive one free copy of the training program.  SHC would like to hear feedback from facilities once you review the toolkit.  Contact SHC if you need assistance with implementation of the program.  
  • The most recent information that SHC has on the top F-tag citations for Indiana - F441 (Infection Control), F323 (Supervision/Accidents), and F282 (Comprehensive Care Plans).
  • CMS has released a webinar (available via YouTube at this link) on the CMS National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes - formally referred to as the Initiative to Improve Behavioral Health and Reduce the Use of Antipsychotic Medications in Nursing Home Residents.  The webinar provides an overview of the national partnership, resources for technical assistance, and plans for upcoming educational offerings.
  • CMS has also released a "Discharge Planning" booklet (ICN 908184).  It is designed to provide education on Medicare discharge planning.  Again, email SHC if you need assistance obtaining a copy of the booklet and we'll send you the PDF version.  

Hope everyone stays safe and has provisions in place for staffing today & tomorrow with the pending winter storm!

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Upcoming IHCA QIS Intermediate Training

IHCA (Indiana Health Care Association) has QIS Intermediate Training sessions scheduled for next week  -  December 11 in Merrillville and December 13 in Edinburgh.  Information on IHCA's website can be found at this link and a PDF flyer can be found here.  If you haven't signed up yet, I believe that there's still time to do so.  And if you are planning to attend the Merrillville session, look for SHC and say 'hello'.  

If your facility is needing assistance with ISDH survey preparation, survey management, or achieving regulatory compliance following a survey, contact SHC and we'll schedule a visit to help continue improving Quality of Life services for your residents.

Have a great weekend everyone!

LTC Training Topics, Your Thoughts?

I was talking with an MDS consultant last evening regarding an upcoming seminar she's speaking at related to Quality Measures with a focus on Social Service.  Knowing how difficult it can be to get away from the facility for a day makes it that much more important that topics are pertinent and useful.  The conversation and the discussion of potential benefits of networking, ongoing training, and the many changes surrounding nursing facilities leads me to pose these---

Questions for long-term care folks - 

  • What topics would you like to have addressed in a seminar / conference / training?  
  • What topics would be beneficial for Social Service and/or Activity staff?

Feel free to either comment below on the SHC blog, Twitter (@SimmonsHC), SHC's facebook page, LinkedIn, or send a text / email (Contact Us).  Simply curious to hear other people's thoughts.  I'll post a follow-up at a later date with the top result.  

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