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Richter ShareSource Blog

Resident Trust Fund Considerations for LTPAC and Senior Care Facilities

Posted by Sandra Reutter, Consultant on Jun 30, 2016 10:44:58 AM

By definition, the Resident Trust Fund is an account that is held by a Long-Term Care or Senior Living facility in order to manage the finances of the resident.  Most of them are set up as one single bank account made up of all the participating residents’ funds combined; however, each resident’s transactions must be accounted for and documented individually.  When the individual’s fund balance reaches $50, any additional funds must be placed in an interest bearing account and the residents will be entitled to a portion of the interest each month based on a set calculation for spreading that amount equitably.  The facility and residents who receive Medicaid benefits must also be aware that if their funds go above the resource limitation threshold, they may lose their Medicaid coverage until the money is spent down.

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Topics: Clinical Consulting, Accounting, Financial Consulting

QAPI Basics - Setting Your Goal

In my previous 2 blogs I discussed the five elements of QAPI, and the twelve steps of the QAPI process. In QAPI Part 3, I am going to delve into the process once you have gathered your data and you're ready to compare and interpret that data based on benchmarks that you have obtained from CMS and other sources in order to set your goal.

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Topics: Clinical Consulting

LGBT Rights in Long-Term Care Facilities

In 2015 there were an estimated 3.9% or 9 million Americans who identified as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender (LGBT). During the past few years we have seen an increase in the number of long-term care residents who are openly part of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender (LGBT) community. The federal 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law requires nursing homes to “protect and promote the rights of each resident”, emphasizing individual dignity and self-determination in the provision of long-term care. Every nursing home accepting Medicare and/or Medicaid reimbursement must meet federal requirements, including those regarding residents’ rights. Individuals living in nursing homes have the same rights to be free from discrimination and harassment as individuals living in the larger community. Specifically, they have rights and protections provided by federal nursing home regulations and state and federal anti-discrimination provisions. The rights of all residents should be honored and respected, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression.

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Topics: Clinical Consulting

Preparing for Year-End Reporting Requirements with Monthly Planning Practices

Posted by Lauren Gurcze on Jun 23, 2016 11:32:55 AM

Flash forward several months – it’s the New Year and you are ready to start off fresh. But wait, before you can start a fresh new year, you have to answer a bunch of questions and provide all sorts of paperwork to back up work you did last year. It’s audit and cost report time. All you want to do is move forward and you are suddenly expected to answer questions about activity that happened 10-11 months ago.  As a busy business office, you are lucky you can remember what happened last week let alone 10 months ago.

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Topics: Medicaid Consulting, Accounting, Financial Consulting

Elements of an Effective Health Care Facility Gatekeeper Program, Part 2

Posted by Celeste Rininger, RN RAC-CT on Jun 21, 2016 10:00:35 AM

In my last post, I discussed how important the admission process is for building trust with the new resident and their families/ loved ones. This rapport may help to avoid unnecessary hospital readmissions if the resident/ families can trust that the facility is carefully assessing the resident’s needs and working in their best interests. This trust building involves all staff and continues after admission. It requires consistent observation and communication by housekeeping staff, nurse assistants, dietary, nurses and therapists alike. The process includes the in-depth evaluations and assessments of the Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) members – forming an individualized plan of care. This plan culminates with the Nurse Practitioner (NP)/ Physician Assistant (PA) and physicians, orchestrating the team via orders and close direction to meet the identified needs of the resident in order to truly be successful. It takes the whole team!

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Topics: Clinical Consulting

Elements of an Effective Health Care Facility Gatekeeper Program, Part 1

Posted by Richter on Jun 17, 2016 9:29:56 AM

More than ever, hospital readmissions are proving to be detrimental to the overall health of the resident (with transfers back and forth) and now disadvantageous to the transferring facility’s overall quality score. Many facilities do not have a solid program/process in place to manage and avoid these transfers which puts them at risk.

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Topics: Clinical Consulting

Best Practices for Customer Service in Long-Term Care Facility Business Offices

Posted by Richter on Jun 16, 2016 10:44:49 AM

I remember seeing a sign in a cartoon, “For Customer Service – go to Helen Back.” When you read that out loud, you will get it. I am sure it was meant to be funny but maybe there is some truth in humor. It really makes you wonder “Is that our policy?” Customer Service protocols and guidelines can be formalized in writing, shared with all employees and have a primary focus of “Customer First”.

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Topics: Clinical Consulting

Developments Around Home Health Care Provider Wage and Reimbursement Rates

Posted by Donna Berry on Jun 14, 2016 10:08:54 AM

While the majority of the world is focused on the many issues and often questionable antics of the contenders for the highest office in the land, home health care managers are faced with a different set of issues. Unfunded federal and state mandates continue to impact the industry. For the home healthcare providers who managed to survive rate cuts, the shift to managed care, payment delays, shrinking margins and the most recent federal overtime rule, there is now a new challenge.

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Topics: Clinical Consulting, Financial Consulting

Decoding the New GG - Best Practices and Implementation

The new Section GG will be in effect on October 1, 2016 for Long Term Care Facilities using the MDS 3.0 for payment. Although the new Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) manual has not been released, we are able to extrapolate the majority of the information from our LTAC cousins who are already using this new section.

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Topics: Regulatory Changes, Medicaid Consulting, Clinical Consulting

Accounts Payable and Invoice Review Best Practices for Health Care Facilities

Posted by Liz Lane, CPA, Senior Accountant on Jun 9, 2016 1:41:59 PM

All facilities receive invoices for goods and services provided.  It is imperative to have a strong accounts payable system in place so that the monthly financials portray the true story.

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Topics: Accounting, Financial Consulting

Strategies to Maximize LTPAC Employer-Employee Relations

Posted by Carolyn Lookabill V.P./COO on Jun 7, 2016 11:11:16 AM

The LTPAC industry has long dealt with a very high turnover rate, estimated at upwards of 150%. Providers invest massive amounts of money into recruitment efforts for front line staff including advertising, STNA classes, bonuses, free uniforms, benefit programs, etc. Facilities all have Staff Development programs to help educate both the new and the seasoned employee. Terms like “Employee Onboarding” are incorporated into our written materials and we stay current with the “best practices” for hiring. But are we missing something?

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Topics: Clinical Consulting