Coffey Break


  Forward to a friend December 2017 Vol 16, Issue 12

In This Issue

Adult Day News (GADSA)

Activity Professionals (GAAP)
LeadingAge Georgia Business Connection
Center For Positive Aging
Culture Change News
Georgia Institute on Aging
General Notes of Interest
LeadingAge (National)
News Throughout the Spectrum of Aging Services
Public Policy
Vacancy Report

Quick Links

Upcoming Events Calendar
Job Mart


Special Thanks to Our Institute Partners

Institute Supporters

Inside Your Association - LeadingAge Georgia

LeadingAge Georgia is the statewide association of over 150 key not-for-profit and other mission-focused organizations dedicated to providing quality housing, health care, community-based and other related services for older Georgians. The mission of LeadingAge Georgia is to represent and promote the common interests of its members through leadership, advocacy, education and other services in order to enhance each member's ability to serve older Georgians.





From the Staff and Boards of LeadingAge Georgia,
Georgia Institute on Aging and Center for Positive Aging



2017 Annual Business Meeting Around 140 members and guests attended the annual business meeting Thursday, December 7th. The day began with the 2017 Awards program (see award honorees listed below). The meeting was facilitated by LeadingAge Georgia Chair, Mark Lowell, Executive Director of St. George Village. Mark began by sharing the two strategic goals that members identified as a priority:

  1. Finding and Retaining Competent Staff
  2. Meeting the Physical and Behavioral Health Needs of Residents Who are Aging in Place.

The Board Chair reviewed accomplishments of the year and highlighted fundraising successes.


2018 professional development events including the 2018 conference (Life on Purpose, April 17-19). Jacque Thornton thanked Institute Partners and Supporters and the 2017 Leadership Academy received their certificates of completion. Financial reports and the 2018 budgets for the Association and Institute were approved, Value First and Membership reports were presented as well as public policy issues for 2018.


Nominations for 2018 officers and new board classes (3 year terms – Class of 2020) were presented, accepted, and confirmed nominees were officially installed. Mark Lowell closed out the business meeting and moved into the CEO Transition program.


Robert Bowles was awarded the Allison Cuba Champion Award for his willingness to share his journey with dementia to members throughout the state.


Outgoing board members received Leadership Awards:

LeadingAge Georgia board: Laura Rice; Briarcliff Oaks; Tom Rockenbach; Carlyle Place; Lauri Ann Brooks; Talmage Terrace | Lanier Gardens
Georgia Institute on Aging board: Samantha Eaves; Wesley Woods Senior Living: Katie Jones; Beverly Home Care


Walter Coffey, outgoing President & CEO, was honored for his 18 years of service. The Leadership Academy was named after Walter and a scholarship fund set up in his honor. There were staff presentations and a presentation from GADSA. There were 12-15 of Walter's colleagues (from CMS, DAS, ARC, GHCA, GCoA, GSU, etc.) attending to honor him as well. Walter made comments, thanking the boards and members for all the love and support, and challenged members not to become complacent, but step forward to share their stories and create the future of aging services in Georgia. He reminded members of all the human capital available to access in member organizations as well as in the community at large.


The new President & CEO, Ginny Helms, was officially introduced and she addressed the members. Rev. David Ault offered a reflection and there was a networking luncheon.



Congratulations 2017 Award Honorees LeadingAge Georgia Award of Honor

Mark Lowell; St. George Village

The Award of Honor, the Association's highest award, is presented to a distinguished individual who has provided outstanding leadership to the Georgia Association and whose exemplary service and commitment to quality have advanced both the association and the aging-services field.


Innovation in Care and Services Award
Talmage Terrace | Lanier Gardens; Wesley Woods Senior Living for the Life Enrichment Program

This award recognizes a LeadingAge Georgia member organization for programs and/or services that are models of innovation and excellence and that contribute significantly to the quality of life of the individuals served.


LeadingAge Georgia Volunteer of the Year Award
Dr. Carolyn Bradley; Carlyle Place
This award is presented to a resident or non-resident, group, or individual, volunteer of an LeadingAge Georgia member organization that has performed significant volunteer service to clients/residents, and has demonstrated unusual commitment to preserve the dignity and well-being of the residents/clients.


LeadingAge Georgia Distinguished Service Awards
Patricia F. Duncan; Alice Place Adult Day Care &

Terry Ferris; Clairmont Oaks

This award recognizes the achievements of members, Trustees of governing member boards, non-members, or institutions in making outstanding contributions toward the welfare of older persons in areas such as research, education, communication, public policy, or excellence in leadership or governance accountability for member organizations



Caring Heart Awards
Donna Stovell; Saint Anne's Terrace &
Alfie Armstrong: Visiting Nurse Health System

This award recognizes the achievements of front-line staff and direct care employees, whose caring spirit have made significant impact upon the lives of older adults, while working for an LeadingAge Georgia member organization.



Allison Cuba Champion Award

Robert Bowles

This award recommended by Association staff, recognizes an association member who has provided exceptional service by working directly with the Association in a way that ultimately benefits the good of all members.




THANK YOU! I have never felt so honored and appreciated in my life. Thank you for all the calls, emails and cards that you were so thoughtful to send. I never thought I would have the chance to have such an awesome career as I have experienced the last 18 years with LeadingAge Georgia.

It is an exciting time as the focus on the success of the Association and the Institute continues to be the best ever! It will be great to see how the work continues to unfold with some restructuring to better serve you – the key providers of aging services in Georgia.

I look forward to hearing awesome things from you – Walter



Conversations with Ginny

My first nine days at LeadingAge Georgia have been terrific. I have a great appreciation for collaboration so it has been a treat to be part of such great engagement with LeadingAge Georgia members. The farewell celebration for Walter at the business meeting, the spotlight on members who earned awards for their great work over the last year, and the joy that members felt for these celebrations made for a wonderful beginning at LeadingAge Georgia. This week we engaged with several adult day members to listen to their concerns and their need for a rate increase through the state so we could articulate their needs in our meeting Tuesday with Representative Terry England, Chair of Appropriations. It was great having Ned Morgens with Tom Bauer and me and it excited me to see Ned do such a fabulous job representing his fellow members. I'd like to have the same type of input from members throughout our continuum of care so that we can address concerns through the legislature and with the state regulatory departments. As policy issues/concerns arise, please contact me and share your insight.


It's also been inspiring to see how hard the team works here at LeadingAge Georgia and to routinely hear how focused they are on the members – you. Whether the team is planning a workshop, writing a grant for educational programs, writing the newsletter or planning next year's Profiles fundraiser, the team here is focused on members – both for engagement and meeting needs.


As we move forward, I'd like to focus on workforce challenges and solutions and I would greatly appreciate your insight on this important topic. So please, share your thoughts in an email, phone call or let's plan a visit.


2018 Leadership Academy Registration Now Open

LeadingAge Georgia Leadership Academy offers members a challenging and engaging year-long learning experience, designed to help aging services professionals at any level in their organization accelerate their leadership development so they are better equipped to serve our field.


The vision of LeadingAge Georgia is to create a generation of authentic, open-minded and transformational leaders who will collaboratively and innovatively create the future of aging services in America.

The 2018 class begins in February. This class is limited to 24 participants.


Click HERE for application.



LeadingAge Georgia Welcomes New Intern

Josephine Misaro, is an international MA student in Gerontology at Georgia State University. She is here from Nairobi, Kenya to continue her education and learn about aging services in the US in order to return home with more information and tools to support elders in Kenya. Josephine has a Master of Arts in Sociology and is a part time lecturer at the University of Nairobi. She is supporting association staff with several projects and be engaged in the work of the Culture Change Network of Georgia.



Value First

Thank you LeadingAge Georgia!


Adjusting to the new Vizient/Provista arrangement, updating Value First participation agreements, and maintaining the high level of support we strive to provide has made 2017 a productive though challenging year. Through it all LeadingAge Georgia members have been gracious and cooperative while continuing to capitalize on the savings available through Value First GPO. We are grateful for your trust and loyalty. Thank you!

Our goal is to continue serving you in the best way possible in 2018 and beyond. Whether you are planning major renovations, in the market for a new passenger van, trying to drive down day-to-day operating costs, or just need someone to work with staff on identifying vendors to compete for your business, we can help. Contact your representative Vanessa Ceasar at or 404-421-3956.

Owned by LeadingAge national and twenty-five state associations including LeadingAge Georgia, Value First is your GPO.


Free Membership Benefits
Cost Studies: A cost study is a comparison of what your community is spending versus pricing available through Value First. You can have cost studies done in one or more of the following categories: food, medical supplies, janitorial and housekeeping supplies and office supplies.

Even if you are currently purchasing through a different GPO, Value First can do a free, no obligation cost study for you. Our primary goal is to work with LeadingAge members to make sure they are getting the best pricing—with Value First or through other sources.

Renovations and Project Support: When it is time to replace flooring, buy new furniture, convert to LED Lighting, buy new appliances for unit-turns or some other project, Value First can identify companies to compete for your business and assist with the quote review process.

Construction Services Program: You control the project. We help reduce the cost of material and equipment. Many of the architects and designers you do business with are market leaders who are part of the Value First Construction Services Program. Connect Value First with your architects, project managers and key staff as early in the process as possible. Higher savings result from early engagement.

Program Benefits
▪Transparency in construction pricing.
▪Assistance with planning and procurement of materials, furniture, fixtures, and equipment.
▪Aggregate of purchases across multiple projects to ensure cost containment.
▪3% to 12% project savings.




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Member Distinctions

Congratulations to Deke Cateau, new CEO at A.G. Rhodes Health and Rehab!


Congratulations to Jim Waldrop, Executive Director, King's Bridge Retirement Community on his retirement.

Welcome to Kevin Shaw as the new Executive Director at King's Bridge.


Welcome to David Warren, the new Administrator at The Hellenic Tower.



Calendar Information


To assist with planning, we are sharing information
on special holidays and observances for each month
2 months early.


This month we are sending you information for February



February 2 Groundhog Day

February 13 Mardi Gras

February 14 Ash Wednesday

February 14 Valentine's Day

February 16 Chinese New Year

February 19 Presidents' Day



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Public Policy

LeadingAge Georgia Public Policy Report

Tom Bauer, Ned Morgens and Ginny Helms met with Representative Terry England, Chair of Appropriations for the Georgia House of Representatives. The team shared information from adult day services members and conveyed the need for an additional 5% increase in order to allow adequate pay for staff and to improve the ability to compete with other employers for attracting and retaining staff. Representative England has visited two of the adult day centers that Eve Anthony (Athens Community Council on Aging) and her team operate and he indicated he understands the concerns and needs and will consider the request. We will continue to work with members and key legislators on this important initiative.


2018 Public Policy Agenda


Legislative/Regulatory Issues

Position and Involvement:

  • Adult Day Services
    • Referrals
    • Assessments
  • Home and Community-Based Services: CMS Rules
  • Home and Community-Based Services Waiver
  • Medicaid Non-Emergency Transportation (NET)
  • Physical and Behavioral Health Needs: Aging in Place
    • Dementia
    • Mental Health
  • Community Care Services Program (CCSP)/Service Options Using Resources
    • Implementation
    • Federal (Medicaid) Changes
  • Use of the Term "Assisted Living"
  • Medicaid Funded Assisted Living Communities/Personal Care Homes

Position and Monitor:

  • Medicaid Implementation
  • Proxy Caregiver Rules
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs): Department of Insurance
    • Rules
    • Examinations
  • Property Tax Issues concerning Not-for-Profit Organizations

Budget Issues

Position and Involvement:

  • Home and Community-Based Services Medicaid (CCSP) and Non-Medicaid
  • Adult Day Center Reimbursement Rates
  • Loan Forgiveness for Gerontology Education

Position and Monitor:

  • Nursing Home Provider Tax
  • Use of Civil Monetary Penalty Funds (Support the Culture Change Movement in Georgia)

CO-AGE Legislative Issues

There are two CO-AGE legislative priorities for 2018, along with a carryover issue (Abuser Registry). The two issues on which LeadingAge is working are:

  • Medicaid Funded Assisted Living (Legislation to enable the state Medicaid program to pay for assisted living, increasing the number of facilities and available openings). The work group continues to discuss options ranging from developing a new Medicaid waiver in Georgia, amending the existing Assisted Living Community statute, and creating a study committee.
  • Personal Care Home Requirements (PCH) (Expansion of Enforcement Options for State). The third meeting is upcoming, and the group continues to examine the rules of the Department of Community Health (DCH) related to personal care homes and enforcement of current disciplinary measures and comparing those measures or fines imposed on nursing homes (from the federal government) for violations. The former are more extensive than those for PCHs.


Georgia Institute on Aging










Introducing the Georgia Senior Hunger Think Tank

The Georgia Institute on Aging is pleased to announce an alliance between our organization and the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger (NFESH). This is a natural alliance and NFESH is an organization with which we are very proud to be engaged. The issue of senior hunger is a multifaceted one. The remedy for it must involve numerous sectors – such as housing, healthcare, transportation, government and business -- to ensure the expertise and influence to make a significant impact in its eradication. It was through the recognition of the scope and magnitude of the impact that senior hunger is having in the State of Georgia that NFESH reached out to the Georgia Institute on Aging in a quest to work together to establish the Georgia Senior Hunger Think Tank.


NFESH has been engaged in our What A Waste project in Georgia for well over three years. They have been working closely with the Georgia Department of Human Services through a contract that is enabling them to take a deep look into the operational and administrative underpinnings of congregate nutrition sites within the State to gauge and seek success in such areas as: mitigating food waste; targeting specific populations in need of services through outreach; ensuring the proper amounts of macro and micro nutrients in the menus at congregate sites; and surveying attitudes and behaviors of participants and staff to understand how improvements can be made. In other words, the What A Waste project, which is technology-driven, helps congregate programs save money, improve operations, engage seniors, explore different nutrition options, and examine environmentally sustainable solutions for reducing avoidable and repurposing or positively utilizing unavoidable food waste.


The Georgia Senior Hunger Think Tank will be a Georgia-specific organization dedicated solely to accomplishing a shared vision of reducing the number of Georgia elders who are plagued by the threat of malnutrition and hunger as well as the other health, social and emotional problems that routinely accompany it. Working together with other organizations and agencies within the State will allow us the opportunity to think on a larger scale about solutions to this vexing problem.


Think tanks are in the business of formulating and selling ideas – particularly innovative ones – with the intention of: influencing action; igniting transformation; altering expected outcomes; and improving the lives of those vulnerable individuals on whom its mission and work centers. Think tanks provide a venue for bold thinking, consensus building, advocate cultivation and media focus. We will engage a broad spectrum of leaders, supporters and funders from the public and private sectors, whose primary motivation is to enhance the well-being of Georgia's older residents who are threatened by hunger.


We look forward to working together in our alliance with NFESH to seek solutions and innovations to ending senior hunger. To learn more about NFESH and their What A Waste project, please visit our website at



January 2018

Elderly Housing Symposium
January 18, 2018





Leadership Academy - First Event

February 14, 2018

Click HERE for application


GAAP Meeting
February 20, 2017

Information coming soon


Forums Calls

February 21, 2018

Marketing Professionals/Occupancy Specialists
Service Coordinators

Maintenance Professionals

February 22, 2018
Registration coming soon


Adult Day Services Symposium

February 23, 2018

Registration coming soon




Certified Eden at Home Training

March 6-8, 2018

Registration coming soon


Assisted Living Symposium

March 13, 2018

Registration coming soon


Leadership Academy - Second Event

March 14, 2018


Workforce Summit

March 28, 2018

Registration coming soon




2018 Annual Conference
April 17-19, 2018
Greenville, SC
Registration coming soon



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Center for Positive Aging






Joy to the World As we come to the end of yet another great year, you are encouraged to laugh out loud, love unconditionally, and share your smile with everyone you meet! Your smile shows the joy in your heart, and may be the key to putting joy in someone else's life, or even saving a life! Plus, your smile outward will bring you much more joy inward!

When we make a conscious effort to be joyful, joyfulness will eventually evolve into a way of life, without any effort at all! You will be joyful most, if not all of the time. Your radiance will brighten up the very area in which you stand. Your joyful spirit will engulf all those who are around you, making them happy and joyful!

While for some, this holiday season can bring on loneliness, stress and anxiety, you are encouraged to share your smile! As older adults, we have so much for which to be grateful, with our health being primary.

Did you know that by simply smiling you can change your mood? That includes looking in the mirror and smiling at yourself. A mood change can improve your whole outlook. As your smile brings on a mood changes, to one more positive, you feel better. Yes, as you feel better, you can actually improve your health, simply with a smile. Smiling can help lower your blood pressure, reduce your stress and anxiety, and believe it or not, sends positive messages to your brain. Think about the fun time you had with friends or family, the last time you had a good laugh about yourself. The thoughts will bring a big smile to your face.


A smile sets off a chain reaction not just for you, but it becomes contagious. When you share your smile with others, it improves their mood. So much so, that smiles can easily turn into laughter, and with laughter comes happiness and good cheer.

I often get comments on how I seem to always have a smile on my face … now you know why. So, I share with you my smile, and ask that should you see someone without a smile … give them one of yours.

Vow to yourself that this holiday season is going to be joyful, because you will make it that way.

Be Happy, Be Joyful, Be of Good Cheer
During this Wonderful Time of Year
Laugh, Love, Have Fun and Share
Most of All, Smile and show Someone You Care!

Submitted by Carolyn L. Hartfield
Certified Healthy Lifestyle Coach & Outdoor Adventure Leader
Speaker, trainer and writer


Carolyn is a 2016 recipient of the LeadingAge Georgia Profiles in Positive Aging Award, representing AARP. She was selected as a National Association of Professional Women VIP of the year (2016-2017); In January 2017 she was featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) newspaper, has been interviewed on several radio programs and on the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) for airing during Older Americans Month in May 2017. She is the founder of Hartfield's Hikers, Older People with Active Lifestyles (OPALs) and Walk Outdoors for Wellness! (WOW!). For more information about Carolyn, visit her website at or send her an email at



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Culture Change News

2018 CCNG Advisory Group Meeting Dates & Update

Friday, February 2, 2018 | 9:30am – noon | Location: Alliant Quality, Linda Kluge
Friday, April 20, 2018 | 9:30am – noon | Location: TBA
Friday, August 24, 2018 | 9:30am – noon | Location: TBA
Friday, October 12, 2018 | 9:30am – noon | Location: TBA


The Steering Committee decided to not have a separate Culture Change Summit in 2018 since The Eden Alternative International Conference will be in Atlanta May 3-5, 2018.

The CCNG has been asked to help host Georgia participants and be there to greet staff from provider organizations who may be able to attend via a CMP grant that has been submitted.

We have several workshops featuring work in Georgia that will be presented at the Eden conference as well.


At the February 2nd meeting, we will revisit our structure for collaboration (as we do each year) AND we will discuss developing a one-day Culture Change workshop in 2018. If we have confirmation on the CMP grant, we will do some planning around our role in this important project!


Happy Holidays –

CCNG Steering Committee

Linda Kluge, Alliant Quality
Ginny Helms, LeadingAge Georgia
Pam Clayton, GHCA
Becky Kurtz, Atlanta Regional Commission/Area Agency on Aging
Rose Marie Fagan, Culture Change Consumer Advocate
Kim McRae, Have A Good Life
Walter Coffey, WD International Consulting

Adult Day Services (GADSA)


2018 Adult Day Services Symposium

Save the Date - February 23

Registration Coming Soon


2017 GADSA Leadership Team

President: Claire Russell, The Homeplace

Vice-Presidents Public Policy: Ned Morgens, Skylark Senior Care;
Aysha Cooper, SarahCare of Snellville

Vice-Presidents of Members: Carla Jones, Rosswoods; Peggy Padgett, Georgia Infirmary Adult Day Health

GA Association of Activity Professionals










2018 Training Events

Activity and Life Enrichment professionals are a critical asset to creating an environment for lives worth living in the senior living and aging services arena.
That's why we're happy to announce the return of the Georgia Associaiton of Activity Professionals! Your significant involvement will ensure the future of this great organization contiues its mission of providing Activity Professionals with quality and affordable opportunities for professional development and personal growth. Plan to attend upcoming educational and professional networking events as follows:


February 20, 2018 GAAP Winter Symposium

Save the date of February 20th from 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. for our kick-off event (loction to be announced). Networking Luncheon: 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

Topic: Care Plan: "GAAP Stantdard of Care in Documentaiton and Planning for Residents and Client Engagement"


July 20, 2018 GAAP Summer Symposia

Save the date: Join us for Planning!


2017 GAAP Leadership Team

President: Scott Bassett (Philips Tower, Decatur)
Vice-President: Amanda Bennett (Campbell-Stone Sandy Springs; Atlanta)
Membership: Melissa Scott-Walter (A.G. Rhodes Health & Rehab; Atlanta)
Program/Education: Liana Sisco (Lutheran Towers; Atlanta)
NAAP Liaison: Wendy Boyd (The Gardens at Calvary; Columbus)



News Throughout the Spectrum of Aging Services

Assisted Living Communities/Personal Care Homes

96 Ways to Measure Quality in Assisted Living
A new report from the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living (CEAL) recommends 96 tools that assisted living communities could use to measure and improve the quality of services they provide. CEAL is a collaborative of 11 national organizations, including LeadingAge, which is dedicated to advancing excellence in assisted living.


Measures and Instruments for Quality Improvement in Assisted Living summarizes the results of an environmental scan of quality-measurement tools that was conducted for CEAL by the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Full Article



2018 Assisted Living/PCH Symposium

Save the Date - Tuesday, March 13

Registration Coming Soon

Federally Assisted Housing (HUD-Subsidized)

Tax Reform Bills Harm Affordable Housing
The House bill ends the 4% LIHTC program by ending the tax exemption for private activity bonds. Using multifamily housing bonds, a type of private activity bond, is the only way to trigger use of 4% LIHTCs. Ending one ends the other. Nationally, more than 50% of all LIHTC transactions were through 4% LIHTCs (the remaining were through 9% LIHTCs) in 2016. More and more, states are relying on 4% LIHTCs to produce and preserve affordable housing. Eliminating private activity bonds "saves" about $39 billion in the House's $1.5 trillion tax bill. Although the Senate tax bill does not end the tax exemption for private activity bonds, it does include some other provisions that would significantly weaken the LIHTC program.

Full Article



Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac re-enter LIHTC market
The Federal Housing Finance Agency has granted Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac limited re-entry into the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit market as equity investors, effective Nov. 16. The LIHTC was established by the Tax Reform Act of 1986 to provide multifamily property owners and investors with an incentive to create and maintain quality affordable housing. Under the program, qualified properties are allocated federal tax credits and investors are able to invest in those properties to take advantage of the tax credit.

Full Article



Home and Community Based Services

Evaluating Meal Programs for Older Adults
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) Nutrition Services is conducting a three-part evaluation of its Title III-C Nutrition Services Program (NSP), which promotes access to nutritious meals, facilitates social contact, supports family caregivers and helps older adults maintain dignity in their homes and communities. Mathematica Policy Research under contract for the ACL completed a research paper, Nutritional Quality of Congregate and Home-Delivered Meals Offered in the Title III-C Nutrition Services Program: An Examination Utilizing the Healthy Eating Index Tool.

Full Article



Despite Staffing Challenges, Home Health Aide Jobs Growing Rapidly
Home health agencies struggling with staffing and retention issues may find solace in the fact that the supply of caregivers will only continue to grow, as the home health aide occupation is expected to be the fastest-growing job in the health care industry over the next decade, according to the 2016-2026 Employment Projections from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic's (BLS).

Full Article



What Home Health Learned from the CoP Interpretive Guidelines Draft
Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a draft of the much-anticipated interpretive guidelines for the Conditions of Participation (CoPs), finally giving home health care agencies some clarity on the new requirements. The draft comes as the deadline for the implementation of the new CoPs is winding down; the effective date is currently scheduled for January 13, 2018.

Full Article



Draft Interpretive Guidance- HH CoPs
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) has issued a draft version of the home health Conditions of Participation (CoPs) Interpretative Guidelines (IGs). The final rule delaying the new Home Health CoPs is scheduled to be posted in the July 10, 2017 Federal Register. The rule delays the effective/compliance date for an additional six months until January 13, 2018


Full Article



CMS Will Not Delay Home Health CoPs
Despite giving agencies a reprieve this past summer by delaying the implementation of the new home health Conditions of Participation (CoPs), the Centers for Medicare& Medicaid Services (CMS) remains headstrong in upholding its effective date of January 13, 2018—despite not issuing a final version of Interpretive Guidelines. With no guidelines, industry stakeholders have been campaigning for another delay in the implementation of the new CoPs, including Bill Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC).

Full Article



Life Plan Community/CCRC

Life Plan Communities Seek to Increase Engagement

People living in life plan communities desire more transparency about business and operational matters, putting pressure on providers to meet these rising expectations while managing pitfalls, including "rogue" residents. That's according to Evanston, Illinoisbased senior housing provider Mather LifeWays and its research arm, the Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging, which partnered with Ziegler, Life Care Services and other organizations to survey life plan community staff from 260 different properties for its recent report, Transparency and Decision Making in Life Plan Communities.


Full Article


CCRC Monthly Rate Increases for 2018 Will Average 3.1%
Continuing care retirement communities plan to raise their monthly fees for existing independent living residents an average of 3.1% in 2018, according to a recent poll of 160 chief financial officers of not-for-profit senior living communities and financial professionals by specialty investment bank Ziegler.

Full Article


CMS Rule on Emergency Preparedness Now in Effect
The CMS rule on Emergency Preparedness Requirements for Medicare and Medicaid Participating Providers and Suppliers went into effect yesterday. The purpose of the new requirements is to establish consistent emergency preparedness requirements for healthcare providers participating in Medicare and Medicaid, increase patient safety during emergencies, and establish a more coordinated response to natural and human caused disasters. LeadingAge has an entire suite of resources, including toolkits, resources, and templates available




Nursing Care/Rehab

New Survey Process has 'Learning Curve for Everybody,' CMS Official Says
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' new survey process for nursing homes will challenge the sector with a "learning curve," but providers can stay on top of it by utilizing the agency's training resources, one CMS official advised on October 30th.

Full Article



Two Dozen Senators ask HHS for Delay of Requirements of Participation
With just over one month to go before the regulations kick in, a group of senators has sent a letter to federal health officials asking for a delay of Phase 2 of the requirements of participation. The letter was sent to Acting Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Eric Hargan and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma with signatures from 24 senators, according to a supporting document from the American Health Care Association. The organization called on lawmakers earlier in October to sign the Senate letter, which was spearheaded by Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND), as well as a similar request sponsored in the House by Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH).

Full Article



SNFs' Neighborhoods, Medicaid Reliance Linked to Providers' Fiscal Stress
The economic and racial makeup of the neighborhood where a nursing home is
located plays a big role in how financially stressed it is, a new study confirms. The research, published this week in Health Services Research, used data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the United States Census Bureau to gauge how a facility's surrounding neighborhood affected its operating ratios and quality of care.

Full Article



CMS Extends Enforcement Delay to 18 Months for Some Phase 2 Requirements
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will be giving long-term care providers 18 months adapt to some of the new requirements for participation without facing penalties, the agency announced. This past summer, upon release of interpretive guidance for Phase 2 of the new rules, CMS said it would postpone enforcement penalties for one year in response to providers' concerns.


Full Article



Nursing Home Member Opportunity - Don't Miss It!

One of the things that makes my visits so pleasant when I visit my Godmother in an Atlanta nursing home is the incredible music that is always playing in her room. She has an IPod with the most amazing music. She has over 600 songs and she loves the music even more than I do and I have great appreciation of the joy and contentment the music brings her. I imagine that listening to favorite songs will bring this joy to other individuals living in skilled care homes and to their families on visits. Listening to Moon River makes for a nicer visit! There is no telling how long it took my Godmother's husband to choose and download 600 incredible songs. Now, that same opportunity is available to residents in nursing homes across Georgia thanks to a grant from Center for Medicare and Medicaid.

A couple of years ago, Healthcare Research Inc. gave grants to LeadingAge Georgia and the Alzheimer's Association and the funds were used to bring an expert from "Music and Memories" to the Culture Change Network Summit. At the summit, there was a half-day program on how to bring the incredible Music and Memories program to Georgia. With this program, a personalized play list is created for each resident with his or her favorite songs and the songs are played on an IPod in the resident's room.

Pam Clayton, Vice President Quality Advancement & Regulatory Affairs, of Georgia Healthcare Association learned of the program at the Culture Change Summit and subsequently wrote a grant to obtain funding from the Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) Fund to bring the program which they are calling "Music Integration" to Georgia. Stephanie Davis and her team at Center for Medicare and Medicaid, who also attended the Culture Change Summit and learned of the program approved the grant and made funds available for the program to be implemented in nursing homes across Georgia. Due to the source of the funds, only skilled nursing homes qualify for the program. Almost all of the slots for nursing homes have been filled and there are only a small number left. If you are interested in bringing this person-centered music opportunity to your home please contact Tiffany Nelson of GHCA at 478-258-9483 as soon as possible. If you have started the program in your home please contact us and share your experience so we can share it with our members!


Ginny Helms

President & CEO, LeadingAge Georgia


General Notes of Interest

CMS to Improve Medicaid Program The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking steps to improve the Medicaid program with new proposals for reforms, fewer regulatory burdens, increased efficiency, and more transparency and accountability, CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced November 7th. "Our vision for the future of Medicaid is to reset the federalstate relationship and restore the partnership, while at the same time modernizing the program to deliver better outcomes for the people we serve," Verma said in a plenary session at the National Association of Medicaid Directors' (NAMD) Fall Conference in Arlington, Virginia. "We need to ensure that we are building a Medicaid program that is sound and solvent to help all beneficiaries reach their highest potential."

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Post-Acute Providers Putting Billions into Regulatory Compliance, Report Finds The healthcare industry spends roughly $39 billion annually on regulatory compliance efforts, with post-acute care providers bearing the brunt, a new report shows. The American Hospital Association's "Regulatory Overload" report, issued October 27th, found average sized hospitals spend nearly $7.6 million each year on administrative work related to compliance, or roughly $1,200 for each patient admitted. Hospitals' annual costs increased to $9 million annually when they had post-acute care beds on site.

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Life Care Centers to Adopt Service Animal Policy Following ADA Complaint Life Care Centers of America will be implementing a new service animal policy across its more than 200 long-term care facilities following a settlement of service animal-related complaint, authorities announced November 3rd. The settlement stems from a complaint filed against Life Care Center of Hickory Woods in Antioch, TN, by a patient who was receiving physical therapy services at the location. The patient, who has a service dog for assistance in the event that she has a seizure, said she was confronted by employees about having the dog in the facility. The patient also claimed employees demanded the dog's vaccination records, and discouraged her from bringing the dog to appointments.

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Ending Medical Tax Break Could Be a 'Gut Punch' to the Middle Class Suzanne Hollack tried to care for her husband at home after he was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia at age 69. But it got to the point where she couldn't take a shower for fear he would stray out of the house. So 18 months ago, she moved him to a memory care community near their home in Scottsdale, Az., which like most long-term care, is not covered by Medicare. That, plus his other medical expenses, cost the couple $90,000 last year.

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House Tax Bill Foes Decry Potential Effects on Seniors' Medical Costs, Housing Advocates for senior living and affordable housing have expressed opposition to H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, proposed Nov. 2 by Republicans in the House of Representatives, because it eliminates the medical expense deduction and tax incentives for senior housing construction. LeadingAge on Thursday convened a conference call with Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), ranking member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), a member of the committee, to discuss the "devastating" effects that the elimination of the medical expense tax deduction would have.

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LeadingAge Recommends Changes on HHS Strategic Plan The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a draft of its FY 2018 – 2022 Strategic Plan in the Federal Register for comments. The draft is a part of the strategic planning process under the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010 and gives agency stakeholders an opportunity to provide comments on the plan.

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High-Profile Senior Care Leader Creates Tiny Homes for Aging Dr. Bill Thomas is well known for taking on traditional nursing home care through
initiatives such as the Green House model. Now, he has introduced two new concepts with the goal of helping people avoid institutional care as they age. At the recent Aging2.0 conference in San Francisco, Thomas formally introduced Minka. A Minka is a small home built through modular construction, enabled with technologies to help seniors and others who need support to live independently.

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Gamification Is New Trend for Physical Therapy Gaming technologies and virtual reality have a new set of fans—physical therapists looking to motivate their patients to exercise. As a result, assisted living and skilled nursing providers and continuing care retirement communities are investing in these technologies and adjusting their care practices to fit, according to a recent article in Senior Housing News.

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On-Site Worker Housing Holds Allure for Senior Living As the staffing crisis continues to plague the senior living industry, some operators across the U.S. are hitting a snag as they hunt for fresh workers: the cost of living is rising in many cities, and employees' wages aren't always keeping pace. This one-two punch has made it tough for some of those crucially needed staffers to live near where they work. And the need for local workers is great. The country will need 2.5 million long-term services and support workers by 2030 to keep up with the aging population, according to a 2017 survey report by LeadingAge.

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Court Shuts Down Two International Mail Fraud Operations Targeting Seniors A federal court in New York has permanently barred 14 people and entities from
operating two alleged multimillion dollar international mail fraud schemes that targeted older Americans and others, the Justice Department announced. In both schemes, the department said, fraudulent "direct mailers" created letters falsely claiming that recipients had won, or soon would win, cash or prizes or otherwise would come into good fortune. To collect the benefits, recipients were instructed to pay what was called a processing fee.


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When Loved Ones Die at Home, Family Caregivers Pay the Price Increasingly, people are dying at home, which sounds like a good thing. For years, Americans have told researchers and anyone else who would listen that this is how they want to go: surrounded by loved ones in the familiarity of their own house. But is dying at home really best for everyone?

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Comfort Keepers Pilots Affordable Home Care Robot A Washington, D.C.-area technology company is teaming up with a private duty home care franchise to deploy a new robot at a price many seniors can afford. Hernon, Virginia-based Comfort Keepers of Reston is rolling out its first model "Rudy," a multifunctional robot companion designed to help seniors as they age at home. Comfort Keepers of Reston performs services such as injections, wound care and ostomy care and employs about 100 aides throughout Arlington, Fairfax, Leesburg, Herndon and Loudoun County, Virginia.

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Q&A: Majd Alwan on Tech's Role in the Future of Senior Living It's long been known that technology would disrupt how the senior living industry
delivers aging services, and as providers forge their paths into the future of senior care, major industry associations have made it a priority to bring tech to the forefront of the conversation. That's where the LeadingAge Center for Aging Services Technology (CAST) comes into play, a program of industry association LeadingAge that officially formed in 2003. The center's mission revolves around raising awareness about technology solutions, along with facilitating partnerships between aging service operators and vendors and providing research about how technology can improve the aging experience.

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Choose Technology to Reduce Social Isolation with the Latest CAST Tool Choosing technology to help older adults connect and engage with others?
LeadingAge CAST has released a new Social Connectedness and Engagement Technology Selection Tool to help you plan for, select, and implement the best solution for your organization. This tool is the latest in the series of LeadingAge CAST Technology Selection Tools. Each portfolio includes a white paper, interactive guide, selection matrix, online selection tool, and provider case studies.


Why Telemedicine is the Future in Senior Housing Debate remains about the terminology, but one thing is certain: telehealth and
telemedicine are becoming cornerstones of health care delivery and stand to
significantly improve senior care. A 2016 survey from the National Business Group on Health found that by 2018, 96% of health systems will be using some form of telehealth in their health care delivery. The term "telehealth" is a broad and often misunderstood one, and does not exactly inspire enthusiasm. Yet its sweeping qualities make it an easy concept to understand: it is the use of digital or electronic technologies in the delivery of health services.

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Director of Homecare Services - Lanier Gardens/Talmage Terrace

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Homemakers - Park Springs

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Executive Director - Campbell-Stone Apartments

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Executive Director - Wesley Woods of Newnan

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