Tammy Coleman, Angela Huffman and Dana Heitzenrater, three Clinical Consultants at Affinity Health Services, have obtained their Certificates of Training in Infection Prevention in Long-Term Care. As managers and consultants, our team can best serve our clients by staying current in facility level requirements.
The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), which provides this customized training, explains that “Newly published federal regulations will have a significant impact on how long-term care facilities address infection prevention and control.”
The APIC certificate program requires education on topics such as Microbiology 101 for Infection Preventionists, State and federal regulations for infections prevention and control, Environmental services’ roles in infection prevention, and additional topics.
To learn more about this organization and training, visit https://apic.org/Education-and-Events/LTC-certificate
2019 PADONA Spring Conference
Angela Huffman, Clinical Services Coordinator at Affinity Health Services, will be presenting at the 31st Pennsylvania Association of Directors of Nursing Administration (PADONA) Spring Conference in 2019. The annual conference will be held at the Hershey Hotel from April 3rd to April 5th.
Date of Event:
Wednesday, April 3rd, 12:45 PM to 1:45 PM
The PADONA conference title is “Educating, Engaging, Inspiring: Enhancing Clinical & Leadership Practice.” Angela’s presentation will focus on Defensive Documentation for the clinical educational track held in the Castilian Room.
Angela brings over 20 years of experience in the healthcare and long-term care field. She began her career as a Quality Assurance State Surveyor and moved on to focus on ensuring quality resident care and overseeing clinical operations as a Director of Nursing and Nurse Manager. Following her work as Nursing Manager, Angela gained over 10 years of experience as a Clinical Services Consultant providing regulatory compliance services and clinical training. She then served a region of 68 long term care facilities spanning 8 states as a Compliance Field Investigator. Prior to joining Affinity, Angela’s most recent position was as a specialized paralegal, conducting comprehensive medical record reviews and analysis. In addition to meriting the philosophy of providing quality care, Angela is passionate about education and strives to develop problem solving leaders who are confident in their skills, enabling them to provide excellent customer service in a high stress environment.
We would to thank PADONA for the opportunity to be a part of their annual conference.
Learn more about PADONA
The Pennsylvania Association of Directors of Nursing Administration (PADONA) is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association Approver Unit, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. Learn more at the official PADONA website
Denise McQuown-Hatter, President and CEO of Affinity Health Services, will be presenting at this year’s County Commissioner Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP) Conference and Trade Show, to be held at the Wyndham Gettysburg and Gateway Campus of Adams County from August 5th- 8th.
Date of Event:
Wednesday, August 8th, 8:30am to 9:45am
County Nursing Home Issues and Solutions
Long-term Care in Pennsylvania has changed significantly over the past few years impacting our county nursing facilities. The implementation of long-term care managed care (Community HealthChoices); increased scrutiny by the Department of Health and CMS; work force issues; stagnant reimbursement rates; the movement towards value based care; the implementation of Medicare network standards; new survey guidelines; and many other changes have impacted the way skilled nursing facilities are doing business. This session will explore these changes and other factors impacting county nursing facilities, and offer suggestions and real life examples of how nursing facilities and their staff can continue to run a successful nursing facility, with panelists including nursing facility management companies and a county nursing facility administrator.
Denise McQuown-Hatter, President and CEO of Affinity Health Services, and Sheila Capitosti, Vice President of Compliance Services with Functional Pathways, will be presenting at the 2018 LeadingAge PA “Focus on the Future” Annual Conference, held at the Hershey Lodge from June 20th to June 22nd.
Date of Event:
Wednesday, June 20th 2018
“Opportunity In A Fog Of Uncertainty”
Leadership & Strategic Positioning
1) Identify common threads among alternative payment models
2) Evaluate impact of implementation of new models and the challenges facing providers and beneficiaries
3) Explore next steps for all providers to prepare for implementation of new models of reimbursement
Skilled nursing facilities have experienced the effects of numerous alternative payment models in the past couple of years including but not limited to ACOs, Bundle Initiatives and Medicare Advantage organizations all of which have led to an emphasis on preferred providers and narrowing of networks to include those who can demonstrate the best financial and clinical outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries. But the fog of uncertainty is not over by any means. CMS has issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rule-Making announcing that it plans to propose payment reform effective October 2018 (FY 2019). The proposed payment reform model, known as Resident Classification System Version 1 (RCS-1) eliminates therapy minutes as a driver of reimbursement rates and has the support of MedPAC and the OIG. The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014, required MedPAC to develop a unified pay system spanning the four post-acute care settings, and MedPAC’s June 2017 report recommended that Congress direct Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement a system for post-acute care beginning in 2021 with a three-year transition. In their December public meeting, MedPAC recommended that Congress should direct HHS to begin to base Medicare payment to post-acute care providers on a blend of the setting specific relative weights and unified post-acute care prospective payment system relative weights in fiscal year (FY) 2019. MedPAC staff suggested that a blended system could be used in 2019 and 2020 until a transition to a unified post-acute care pay system begins in 2021. Regardless of what the reformed payment model will look like, it is clear that reform is indeed not an uncertainty. The opportunity lies in identification of common threads among all the payment models and preparation for success in a new era of care delivery and reimbursement.
Following National Nurses Week, the American Health Care Association (AHCA) founded National Skilled Nursing Care Week (NSNCW) as a time to recognize skilled nursing care centers across the country, who provide dedicated services and care for seniors and individuals with disabilities.
National Skilled Nursing Care Week began on Mother’s Day, May 13th, and ends on Saturday, May 19th. The theme selected by AHCA for 2018 is “Celebrating Life’s Stories”, which “serves as
a tribute to life’s most significant events, relationships and experiences that shape the unique perspectives of residents, families, staff, and volunteers in long term and post-acute care. “
As you celebrate National Skilled Nursing Care Week, take some time to Celebrate Life’s Stories with your loved ones.
For National Skilled Nursing Care Week resources- including a press release toolkit, logo graphics, and more- visit the official American Healthcare Association website.
A Time To Honor All Nurses
National Nurses Week, May 6th to May 13th, is recognized by the American Nurses Association as a time to honor nurses across the country and celebrate their valuable role in healthcare, while educating the public on the profession.
Gallup polls show that “the public has rated nursing as the most honest and ethical profession for the past 16 years” (American Nurses Association).
This year’s theme is Nurses: Inspire, Innovate, Influence. From the Affinity Health Services team, we thank all of the nurses we have the pleasure of working with each and every day. We salute our team of clinical nurse consultants Angela Huffman, Dana Heitzenrater, and Tammy Lucas-Coleman for their dedication and leadership in their profession.
There are a number of organizations and restaurants that offer special discounts during National Nurses Week.
Find out about a few of these organizations here:
Thank a nurse with these deals for National Nurses Week
Affinity Health Services Annual Retreat – Affinity Days 2018
Affinity Health Services and its affiliate communities aimed to take strong leap into 2018 with the annual Affinity Days Conference last month in State College at the Penn State Nittany Lion Inn. This two-day retreat involved a full agenda designed to be beneficial for each community represented at Affinity Days. The retreat had a motivating Olympics theme as it overlapped the final days of the 2018 Winter Olympics.
After a meet and greet Affinity Days was kicked off with a presentation from Dr. Tammy Manko on “Going the GRIT” and resilience. This inspiring presentation focused on maintaining a healthy and positive attitude each day and to be leaders in tackling and overcoming challenges. Following department focused roundtable discussions, Affinity Director of Human Resources, Mary Kate Bartley, presented a collaborative recruitment and retention plan designed to be an effective tool for each organization. Attendees then participated in an HR Boot Camp presented by Burns White Law Firm.
Day two of the Affinity Days conference is designed to recognize the achievements and successes of affiliate communities. Awards are presented to communities based on annual metrics quantified prior to the event. In addition to another round table session, Affinity’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, Kimberly Kelly-Clutter, educated and refreshed employees on the “WE CARE” policy implemented throughout all affiliate communities designed to welcome communication and empathy for all employees, residents, families and other stakeholders.
Affinity Days aims to be a time for all leaders and community representatives to convene, support, and learn from one another in best practices as well as recognize all achievements and successes. By providing attendees a chance to grow together, the goal is ultimately to lead to the possible care for residents and families of each community.
Affinity Health Services is proud to announce that our President and CEO, Denise McQuown-Hatter has been appointed to serve on the Healthcare Sector Ad Hoc Committee approved by the Pennsylvania Workforce Development Board.
Envisioning and Planning for the Future of the Healthcare Workforce
The intent of the committee is to address the overall workforce issues in the healthcare sector with particular emphasis on exposing the current caregiving occupations emergency and proposing solutions to address the lack of existing and projected direct care workers in the Commonwealth. Affinity Health Services is committed to the vision of this committee and works diligently and creatively to address recruitment and retention of direct care workers that are critical to the care of our seniors.
According to the CDC, so far this season influenza A (H3N2), has been the most common form of influenza. These viruses are often linked to more severe illness, especially among children and people age 65 and older. When H3 viruses are predominant, we tend to have a worse flu season with more hospitalizations and more deaths (CDC: January 2018).
While CDC surveillance systems show that nationally the flu season may be peaking now, we know from past experience that it will take many more weeks for flu activity to truly slow down.
With that being said, it is helpful to take aggressive preventative precautions to prevent influenza in any healthcare workplace.
Below are reminders of simple preventative measures that help to stop the spread of the flu:
1. Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
2. Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
3. Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
4. Clean your hands
Washing your hands often will protect you from germs.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
6. Practice other good health habits.
Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
For additional information related to flu activity, below are links to the CDC’s weekly FluView map and the CDC’s 2017-2018 influenza webpage for your use and reference.
2017 PACAH Fall Conference
Each year, The Pennsylvania Coalition of Affiliated Health Care and Living Communities (PACAH) hosts a conference for local sponsors, vendors, and affiliates to network and attend informational sessions to further their knowledge in all matters related to the long-term care industry. During the conference, PACAH presents awards to recognize achievements and excellence of various individuals and organizations.
We are proud to announce that Denise McQuown-Hatter, President and CEO of Affinity Health Services was this year’s Friend of PACAH Award winner.
The award is granted to an individual or organization who has demonstrated a continued commitment to the improvement of long-term care and has assisted PACAH members in the performance of their duties, often, above and beyond the scope of normal levels of assistance, enabling member facilities to provide excellent service. The recipient has shown continued commitment to PACAH and its goals and positions. This is the highest honor awarded to a nonmember and may be made to an individual or company/agency.
Congratulations, Denise, on this well earned and deserved award!
To learn more about the annual PACAH conferences, visit PACAH.org
Affinity Health Services provides senior community management and consulting services throughout Pennsylvania. Learn more about our services here