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Volume 25 Issue 49 - Nov. 30, 2018



Senior to Leave Top AHCA Post in January

The State’s Top Healthcare Regulator is Stepping Down Effective Jan. 7.

Justin Senior, the secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, sent an email to his staff Tuesday afternoon saying he will leave the agency to pursue an “outside opportunity.” The Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida announced late Tuesday that Senior will become the group's chief executive officer.

“I do not have words to describe how much I have enjoyed working at AHCA and with all of you --- it just has been an incredible experience and one that I will always deeply appreciate,” he wrote in the email to AHCA's staff. “The work that you do positively impacts the lives of millions of Floridians and I have had the good fortune and opportunity to work with some of the smartest, nicest and most dedicated people in the country on a daily basis.”…  Read More...

Source: The New Service of Florida

Governor-Elect's Agenda: Older Floridians Deserve Long-term Care

Florida was a national leader in providing Community Care for the Elderly and Home Care for the Elderly 30 years ago. The community-based long-term-care programs for seniors were national models that guided the development of the first Medicaid-funded in-home programs in the United States. A lot has changed since the 1980s. Florida’s population has grown to 21 million in 2018 with 23 percent of the population over 60. Furthermore, between 2010 and 2030, 57 percent of the expected growth of 5 million more Floridians is forecast to be age 60 and older. Read More...

Source: Orlando Sentinel


As LeadingAge Florida wraps up our fiscal year today, your team in Tallahassee is turning its attention to 2019, focused on increasing the value we deliver to you each day.

So this week’s Link is a perfect opportunity to share some of the initiatives we’ve got planned for next year which will do just that.

You’ll notice one of our key efforts is already underway if you’re following us on our social media platforms. This week we began the search for a Director of Nursing Home Public Policy – an expert who can help shape and execute our nursing home-related regulatory and legislative priorities. At the same time, we’ve also begun searching for a Director of Housing Public Policy, whose expertise will have the same impact on our policy and educational priorities for our affordable housing members.

I’m very excited about these investments in new team members who will help strengthen our already excellent public policy team.

In addition to growing our team, we’re also expanding our educational programming in 2019. Watch for innovative programs from our Gold Business Partners – Ziegler, CliftonLarsonAllen, Bouchard Insurance, Sodexo, and Greystone – including sessions aimed at helping you see around the corner on key challenges like workforce, finance, the liability climate, and other topics.

We’re also excited to relaunch the LeadingAge Florida Leadership Academy in 2019, one part of our broader effort to help with members’ concerns about where the next generation of senior living leaders will come from.

But we’re taking this program in an entirely new direction. Modeled after LeadingAge’s Larry Minnix Leadership Academy, our year-long program will immerse participants in leadership theory and practice, focusing on collaboration, advocacy, self-reflection, work-life balance, and innovation. The Academy will kick off at our Convention in July 2019. Space will be limited, and the application process will open early next year – so be on the lookout for more information on the relaunch of the LeadingAge Florida Leadership Academy.

This is just a snapshot of our plan for 2019 – there is much more to come as we look toward the new year. I would of course be happy to talk with you in as much detail as you’d like about these initiatives, and others, any time.

Have a great weekend,

Steve Bahmer


CMS' New PDPM Webpage

 Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) webpage is now available.

This website includes a variety of educational and training resources to assist stakeholders in preparing for the PDPM implementation:

  • FAQs
  • Fact Sheets
  • PDPM Training Presentation
  • Implementation Tools (including PDPM GROUPER logic)

Additionally, they will be conducting a SNF PPS – PDPM National Provider Call on Tuesday, December 11, 2018.

To register please click on the link below.

SNF PPS: New Patient Driven Payment Model Call | Tuesday, December 11, 2018, from 1:30 to 3 pm ET

Register here (https://blh.ier.intercall.com/) for Medicare Learning Network events.

On October 1, 2019, the new Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) is replacing Resource Utilization Group, Version IV (RUG-IV) for the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Prospective Payment System (PPS). Topics:

  • Overview of PDPM, a new case-mix classification system for SNF Part A beneficiaries
  • Changeover from RUG-IV to PDPM

For more information, review the FY 2019 SNF PPS final rule, and visit the PDPM webpage. A question and answer session follows the presentation; however, attendees may email questions in advance to PDPM@cms.hhs.gov with “December 11 Call” in the subject line. These questions may be addressed during the call or used for other materials following the call.

LeadingAge Florida is pleased to partner with Ziegler, a Gold Business Partner to bring you the 15th edition of the LeadingAge Ziegler 200 (“LZ 200”).

This publication has become an eagerly anticipated annual report of the largest, most complex not-for-profit senior living organizations, since its inception in 2004. The 2018 report demonstrates the significant role that LeadingAge member not-for-profit organizations play in the aging services field. From the oldest to the newest, the largest to the smallest, each organization has a unique story that includes commitment, community support, stewardship, resilience, and a reputation for going above-and beyond. Read More...


Florida Organizational Session Report

Following an extended election cycle, legislators and newly-elected members arrived in Tallahassee on Tuesday, November 20th for the Organizational Session. All members were sworn into office, presiding officers were elected in their respective chambers and leaders' priorities were outlined for the coming session.

The 2019 Regular Session will commence on Tuesday, March 5th, and is scheduled to end 60 days later on May 3rd. In addition, legislators will hold interim committee meetings in Tallahassee for the below listed weeks:

December 11-14 February 4-8
January 7-11* February 11-15
January 22-25 February 19-22

*The Inauguration for Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis and the members of the Cabinet will be held January 8th. Read More...

 Where to Find Key SMMC Information on the AHCA Website

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) contracts with Medicaid health and dental plans to provide services to health plan enrollees in the Statewide Medicaid Managed Care (SMMC) program. The Agency recently entered into new contracts with health and dental plans. As part of those contracts, the Agency achieved program changes that greatly benefit enrollees and providers.

To help keep our recipients, providers and other stakeholders informed, the Agency posts important and updated information regarding the SMMC program on our website at www.ahca.myflorida.com/SMMC.

Recently, the Agency updated the SMMC webpage to make information more accessible and easy to find. Below you will find a screen shot of the new webpage and quick links to documents that are included on the new page.

Below are links to resources on the SMMC website that may be helpful:

These resources are here to help ensure our Medicaid recipients and providers experience a smooth transition.

Important Upcoming Change: New Florida Medicaid Web Portal

The Agency for Health Care Administration (Agency) and its fiscal agent, DXC Technology (DXC), would like to announce that a redesigned Florida Medicaid Secure Web Portal (Portal) will be available on January 25, 2019.

The redesigned Portal will have an updated look and feel, with new icons for navigating the menu. The functionality of the Portal will remain the same as the current Portal, and users will still access the Portal using the same login that they use now.

Providers are encouraged to monitor future alerts for additional information about the redesigned secure Web Portal.

QUESTIONS? FLMedicaidManagedCare@ahca.myflorida.com
COMPLAINTS OR ISSUES? ON LINE http://ahca.myflorida.com/Medicaid/complaints/ | CALL 1-877-254-1055


Nursing Home Staff Competency Assessment Toolkit LeadingAge Annual Meeting & Expo Graphic

It’s important that you be made aware that this week the Center for Medicare and Medicaid published the first of three planned toolkits as part of its continued commitment to help reduce adverse events, improve staffing quality and improve dementia care in nursing homes.

Toolkit 1: Nursing Home Staff Competency Assessment: The competency assessment is a tool to help nursing homes break down and self-examine some of the most important building blocks of quality care. The competency assessment can be used to identify areas where your nursing home is doing well, versus where your facility might need support.

In the toolbox are three competency assessment areas. They are the CNA assessment, LPN and RN assessment, and management assessments for DON, ADON and Administrator. 

The assessments pose questions about behavioral, technical and resident-based competencies and should be completed as needed. The toolkit can support your nursing home’s existing learning and development standards of practice. The toolkit also includes an Instruction Manual to support managers in implementing the assessment. The guide provides resources, including videos, talking points, an email memo, a poster, an assessment completion tracker, a manager’s guide to meeting one-on-one with staff, and an assessment results worksheet to compile and analyze results.

Click here to view the various CMS assessments.

Connie Cheren, RN, MSWLeadingAge Florida's Clinical and Compliance Specialist, can be reached via email or phone at (678) 778-0561 to help answer questions before, during and after your surveys.  As a value-added service provided by LeadingAge Florida, Connie can help nursing home and assisted living facility members improve regulatory compliance and clinical outcomes, in addition to offering suggestions about corrective plans of action to improve your surveys.

Sponsored Content

As Aging Population Grows, Demand for Drones Increase

Contributed by Julie Rupenski, President & CEO, MedBest
jrupenski@medbest.com / (727) 526-1294

The year 2030 marks an important demographic turning point in U.S. history. It is the year that all baby boomers will be older than age 65. To address the rapidly growing, aging population and their senior health care needs, drones are being developed, tested, and deployed more than ever before. This technology shows great potential in improving how senior health care and services are delivered. Read More...

The Future of Aging Services Depends on You

Leadership matters in aging services now more than ever.  Invest in developing strong, forward-thinking leaders today!

We know there are emerging nonprofit leaders all over the country who are eager for opportunities to enhance their leadership capacities and would love to participate in the Larry Minnix Leadership Academy. But they need your support!

Give the gift of the Academy program TODAY!

Donations to the Larry Minnix Leadership Development Fund support Academy program expenses, provide financial assistance to organizations with limited resources, and sustain alumni network activities. 

Katie Smith Sloan, LeadingAge President

100% of your gift goes directly towards building leaders in our field.

FAHA Health and Services Newsletter - November 27, 2018

Assist Your Residents with the SMMC Roll-Out Enrollment Process

SMMC New Contract Period Goes Live December 1, 2018, for Regions 9, 10, 11

According to the Agency for Health Care Administration enrollees will be assigned to their existing health plan if that health plan continues to do business in their region. Otherwise, the enrollee will be assigned to a new health plan offered in the region they reside. It is recommended to check the eligibility of all the Medicaid long-term care residents in December to ensure they are assigned to the health plan they are expecting.

If there is a discrepancy in the health plan assigned or your resident is interested in changing their health plan there is an online solution(Member Portal) in addition to Choice Counseling to assist with this choice.
  Read more in the newsletter...


 Medical and Recreational Marijuana in Senior Living

Senior living providers struggle to navigate the legal risks of recreational and medical marijuana laws. While 31 states and the District of Columbia have laws legalizing medical marijuana in some form, there are some states who have additionally legalized recreational marijuana use. Despite these state efforts, marijuana remains illegal on the federal level.

Wednesday, Dec. 12 | 2-3 p.m. ET | Member Rate: $99

Questions? Contact Webinars@LeadingAge.org or 1-866-898-2624 option 1.


Senator Kathleen Passidomo Aims to Protect State’s
Affordable Housing Trust Fund

While Florida communities persistently face affordable housing issues, a trust fund to help solve the problem remains an easy pot to raid.

But state Sen. Kathleen Passidomo hopes to safeguard those dollars in next year’s budget.

One of the first bills filed by the Naples Republican for this session aims to protect the State Housing Trust Fund and Local Government Housing Trust Fund, better known as the Sadowski Trust.

“If we have funds designated for a trust, they should be used for that purpose,” Passidomo said. “It should be an extraordinary event to use these funds for something else.” Read More...

Source: Florida Politics

Affordable Housing Funding Resources Dec. 11 - Jacksonville
Register today for this free training workshop, Affordable Housing Funding Resources, scheduled for December 11, 2018 in Jacksonville.

This workshop is an introduction to federal and state affordable housing funding sources, including the State Housing Initiative Housing Partnership (SHIP), State Apartment Incentive Loan (SAIL), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnership Program (HOME), Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), HUD Continuum of Care (CoC), and Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC).

Presenters will provide an overview of the source of the federal and state funds, how the funds are awarded, allocated and distributed, and their allowable uses. Participants will discuss methods to increase funding for affordable housing on the local level and strategies to encourage the development of affordable housing. Participants will build on that knowledge and discuss how these funds could be leveraged in different scenarios.

The training is designed for new housing program administrators and nonprofit developers as well as experienced housing administrators that would like to refresh their knowledge of the programs and learn recent program updates.

Source: Florida Housing Coalition


Good Infection Prevention is a Daily Focus  

Maintenance of Indwelling Urinary Catheters

In this article we will look at indwelling urinary catheters and some routine challenges associated with their use. The literature shows that the prevalence of indwelling urinary catheters in long-term care facilities is 7-10%, and catheterized residents are predisposed to developing a urinary tract infection. Additionally, the catheterized urinary tract is the most common source of bacteremia in the LTC setting. Therefore, indwelling urinary catheters should only be used when necessary and for as short a duration as possible. If indicated, properly maintaining the device will also reduce the risk of developing a catheter associated urinary tract infection.   Read More...

By Chaz Rhone, MPH, CIC
Infection Prevention Advisor | RB Health Partners, Inc.


Share Your Knowledge and Experience with
Aging Services Professionals!

LeadingAge Florida is seeking speaker proposals for our
56th Annual Convention & Exposition!

July 22 - 24, 2019
Hilton Bonnet Creek, Orlando, FL

For details and to submit your proposal, click here.

Deadline for Submission: Thursday, December 20, 2018



Stay Tuned for Details on the Assisted Living Facilities Workshop coming this Fall.


11: SMMC Medicaid LTC Health Plan In-Service Webinar
This webinar will provide an explanation of the Medicaid LTC Health Plans policies and procedures.

* Understand expectations for case management and authorization requirements.
* Learn about provider portals, billing and payment parameters.
* Understand how and when to contact health plans including important contact and phone number information.

19: Bowel/Bladder Incontinence, Catheter and UTI Requirements F690 Review Webinar
This webinar will focus on the Bowel/Bladder Incontinence, Catheter, and UTI Regulations including, but not limited to, F-Tag 690, with a review of the regulations and an analysis of the associated Interpretive Guidance. A review of survey procedures used to guide the investigative process will be discussed. Actual citation examples will be shared and discussed. Tools to assist the facility interdisciplinary team in monitoring compliance and incorporating into the facility QAPI processes will be discussed.

MARCH 2019





As the Value First representative for the State of Florida, I stand ready to assist you in saving money on the goods and services you routinely purchase for your communities. Through our partnership with Vizient (formerly MedAssets), and an expanding portfolio of nearly 500 vendors, Value First helps you save money in all four purchasing categories – Medical, Food, Environmental/Janitorial/Sanitation, and Office Supplies and Capitol Equipment.

Our program works in concert with your purchasing, finance and leadership teams to analyze current expenses and provide a price comparison on exactly how much you can save. Additionally, we can assist you with obtaining capital equipment quotes; you provide the project specifications, and we will work to get the best possible prices available. You receive ALL of this, at NO FEE TO YOU. Look at Value First as an extension of your staff. Currently, more than 225 LeadingAge Florida members are using Value First partners regularly, and we look forward to assisting as many LeadingAge Florida members as possible in 2018.

Our partners at Vizient/Provista provide the resources and guidance to find you the very best in quality and price for what you need to provide the highest level of services to your residents. Check out the new Value First/Vizient-Provista Vendor Catalog and get started TODAY!

To email me, click the photo above, or call me at either of the numbers below. I look forward to speaking with you and visiting your community. Please take a moment and look at some of what our vendor partners offer by clicking onto their logo below.

Robert "Bobby" Bernal, Director of Business Development, Florida Value First Representative
P: (850) 671-3700 | C: (850) 509-8112 | Email


Our Partners:




Copyright 2018 — Publication of LeadingAge Florida
Chairman: Roger A. Stevens
President/CEO: Steve Bahmer
Managing Editor: Steve Bahmer

Copyright Information: Copies of the articles and other information in this publication may be non-commercially reproduced for the purpose of educational or scientific advancement. Otherwise, no part of this publication may be reproduced or utilized in any form, or by any means, mechanical or electronic, including photocopying, microfilm and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the managing editor. For permission to reproduce, contact the managing editor via email or phone (850) 671-3700. 

The information provided via this newsletter is provided “as is” without representations or warranties, express or implied. LeadingAge Florida makes no representations or warranties in relation to the legal information on this website.