PARCR - Posts Tagged with "LeadingAge Conference"

Springing into Summer, May 2014

5/1/2014 - PARCR Admin

Regional Public Policy Forums!

LeadingAge PA held three Regional Policy Forums to discuss the 2014 Public Policy Objectives and Planning for the second-half of 2014. These Forums were open to all LeadingAge PA members as an opportunity to share policy ideas, discuss advocacy efforts and offer suggestions for outreach to fellow members, legislators and administration officials. Contact Joan Bradbury for results of these meetings.

Webinar: "Emergency Preparedness - Get Ready, Get Involved"

LeadingAge PA offered an important webinar on Emergency Preparedness, featuring Melissa Robbins, Healthcare and Coalition Coordinator with the DOH Office of Public Health Preparedness, and Tom Grace, Vice President of Emergency Preparedness at HAP. This presentation provide a detailed overview of the regional healthcare coalitions in PA and their role in emergency preparedness and response to disasters that affect long term care facilities across the Commonwealth. Contact Joan Bradbury to get contact information.

NorthStar 2.0 - Members are Financially Viable: Consider New and Improved Revenue Streams through a Short Term Rehab Unit

LeadingAge PA is committed to providing members with education and resources to optimize performance, and to identify challenges, shifts and future trends. Our NorthStar 2.0 encourages members to remain financially viable through the continual evaluation of new and improved revenue streams.

SGR Patch Bill Becomes Law

The Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 is now law. This legislation addresses the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula that is used to determine Medicare reimbursement rates. In the past, Congress passed short-term "patches" to address policy concerns over the SGR formula.

The Act prevents SGR for an additional year; delays ICD-10; extends Medicare therapy cap exceptions; and addresses other funding issues. Contact Joan Bradbury for additional details or questions. 4/3/2014

LeadingAge PA's Annual Conference & Exposition happening June 18-20 in Hershey

LeadingAge PA will host it's Annual Conference & Exposition June 18-20 at the Hershey Lodge, Hershey, PA.

This year's conference, 'GO!', features outstanding general session speakers (check out our Blog for highlights!); an Exposition Hall featuring over 190 businesses; and a special LeadingAge PA/HAP Symposium on Tuesday, June 17. Visit our conference website at for details.


July 2014 Summary

7/1/2014 - PARCR Admin

Thank you to those who participated in our state's annual conference and exposition!

LeadingAge PA held its annual education event June 18th-20th at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, PA. This year's theme — "GO!" — encouraged particpants to stand up and take an active role in advocating for quality, affordable and ethical care across the continuum of senior services and emphasized the need for government to rebalance the way senior services are funded in order to enable providers to deliver the right service at the right time and in the right place to aging consumers.

Whitewood v. Wood

The recent Whitewood v Wood court case decision in which Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act was overturned and same-sex couples were granted the right to legally marry within the Commonwealth has been generating many questions among senior service providers in terms of admissions policies and agreements. Providers with questions are strongly encouraged to seek their own legal counsel when reviewing current admissions policies and agreements in light of the Whitewood decision.

PA House and Senate to reconvene in September From a public policy standpoint, we expect things to be fairly quiet until September 15th, when both the House and the Senate will return to session. Stay tuned for additional policy action and updates, beginning late Summer / early Fall.


Transitioning into June, June 2014

6/1/2014 - Laura Paist

CMP Funds to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Facilities

This week the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a grant solicitation for the reinvestment of federal civil money penalty (cmp) funds to support and further expand the national partnership to improve dementia care in nursing facilities. (legislative update 4 />22/2014)

CMS Proposes FY 2015 SNF Rates & Other Changes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register today related to the prospective payment system and consolidated billing for skilled nursing facilities (snf) for fiscal year (fy) 2015. a full summary of the proposed rule can be found here…this would result in 5 counties in the commonwealth—columbia, montour, franklin, monroe and adams—becoming urban counties beginning october 1, 2014. cms has proposed a 1-year transition period for all snfs during which a blended wage index will be applied to assist providers adapting to a new designation. leadingage pa is continuing to analyze this proposed rule and work with our partners at leadingage (national) to formulate our comments on these changes. (revenue update 5 />6/2014)

CMS Proposes Changes for Hospice Providers in FY 2015

Thank you to our partners at LeadingAge (national) for sharing their summary and analysis of the rule. (regulatory update 5 />7/2014)

State Revenue Shortfall Grows

In a press release, Pennsylvania's Department of Revenue announced that state revenue shortfalls are much higher than anticipated. This equates to a two-year difference of $1.35 billion, notwithstanding the statutory changes included in the proposed budget. LeadingAge PA continues to track this year's budget process in Harrisburg and will continue to provide updates to members as they become available. You can also visit the IFO online for additional information and revenue estimates. Please contact Joan Bradbury with questions. (Legislative Update 5/8/2014)

2014 Public Policy Objectives: Creating LTC Navigators for Consumers

LeadingAge PA's 2014 public policy objectives checklist has been propelling our advocacy efforts this year as we meet with the legislature and state agencies to discuss issues that affect our members and propose innovative solutions. today, we will be visiting legislative leaders and the governor's office to distribute the newest policy objective card on creating long-term care (ltc) navigators for consumers. you can follow along on our website as each objective is checked off the list!

NorthStar 2.0 - Members are Strategically Positioned: Types of Research to Support Your Strategic Planning Initiatives

Market Study vs. Community Needs Assessment

LeadingAge PA‘s NorthStar 2.0 encourages members to align their core competencies with the needs of the community they serve and to develop key partnerships throughout the continuum of services. To do that, they must have a thorough understanding of their market and the information that is relevant to healthcare providers in their community.

Still no Definitive Answers as to What is in the Budget

Stay tuned for more information! If you have any questions about the Commonwealth's budget, please contact Joan Bradbury.

LeadingAge PA’s Annual Conference & Exposition in Hershey June 18-20, 2014

Stop In to see (or be part of) PARCR’s Exhibition Table


Catching Up with News from LeadingAge PA - February 2015

2/28/2015 - PARCR Admin

Act 31 Reminder

Reminder of Act 31 Child Abuse Prevention and Reporting Continuing Education for Licensed Professionals Effective January 1, 2015. Act 31 requires all health related licensees and who are mandatory reporters to complete 3 hours of Department of Human Services (formerly DPW) approved training on initial application for a license. Additionally, all health related licensees applying for a license renewal are required to complete 2 hours of Board approved continuing education in child abuse recognition and reporting requirements

Senate Bill 4

A notice was sent out at the request of LeadingAge PA to ask your Senator to vote YES on Senate Bill 4: Legislation to Amend the PA Constitution to allow the General Assembly to Establish Criteria for Purely Public Charity. A report was sent out that SB 4 passed the Senate on February 17, 2015. It is planned that more information will be sent as the bill moves on. Thanks to those who reached out to their Senators. Since the bill passed the full Senate and is now headed to the House. LeadingAge PA will be asking for you to call your Representatives in the near future on this critical issue.

Governor Wolf Announces Cabinet Members

Ted Dallas has been chosen as the Secretary for the Department of Human Services. Most recently, Dallas served as the Secretary of the Maryland Department of Human Resources. Prior to his work in Maryland, Acting Secretary Dallas served in Pennsylvania’s Rendell Administration for five years as the Executive Deputy Secretary of the Department of Human Services, formerly the Department of Public Welfare.

Teresa Osborne has received the nod to serve as the Secretary for the Department of Aging. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Luzerne/Wyoming Counties Area Agency on Aging. Previously she served as the Executive Director of the Lackawanna Area Agency on Aging.

Dr. Karen Murphy has been appointed as Secretary for the Department of Health. Dr. Murphy has extensive knowledge of the healthcare industry and has demonstrated her ability to lead complex organizations and initiatives in both the public and private sector. Formerly, Dr. Murphy served as the Director of the State Innovation Models Initiative at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation.

Highmark Partnership

Highmark has contracted with naviHealth, a post-acute care management company that contracts with risk-bearing healthcare organizations, resulting in naviHealth coming into facilities and denying services. PARCR members who have Highmark coverage and have questions should feel free to contact Anne Henry, Vice President of Government Affairs at <> or 717-790-3949.

Legislative Breakfast

The LeadingAge PA Government Affairs team hosted a successful legislative staff breakfast on January 29, 2015 at the State Capitol. In attendance were staff members from committees critical to assuring that our members’ best interests are taken into consideration as bills are introduced and moved through the legislative process. More…

LeadingAge Leadership Conference

PEAK! The 2015 LeadingAge (national) PEAK leadership conference in Washington, D.C. will take place on March 16-18. LeadingAge PA's Government Affairs staff will participate with members in meetings on Capitol Hill with Pennsylvania’s Congressional Delegation. The meetings are designed to allow LeadingAge PA members to discuss the effect of federal issues on their communities. Register

CMS Describes Changes to Five-Star Rating System for Providers

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) described some major changes/adjustments to Nursing Home Compare, and the scoring methodology for the Nursing Home Five-Star Rating System. It appears that there will be an impact to nursing homes’ overall rating based on these changes. CMS is advising that many facilities will see a reduction of 1 -2 stars in their overall rating based on the revised scoring methodology. For LeadingAge (national)’s brief overview of the changes, please click here.

LeadingAge PA Legislative Breakfasts happening April-May!

Join LeadingAge PA’s Government Affairs team for one of our upcoming Legislative Breakfasts at a location near you! Come meet your elected officials to discuss the importance of the services your facility provides and how it benefits the seniors in your community. This is an excellent opportunity for members to connect with their representatives in an informal, social setting in order to build and foster these important relationships. PARCR members are invited to attend. See dates and locations/learn more…


Tidbits: Wrapping Up April 2015

4/30/2015 - PARCR Admin

Senate unanimously approves Ted Dallas as DHS Secretary

On April 22, the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee held a hearing on the appointment of Ted Dallas as Secretary of the Department of Human Services.

DHS announces adult protective services reporting requirements

This week, the Department of Human Services (DHS) announced mandatory reporting requirements regarding abuse, neglect, exploitation or abandonment of adults ages 18-59 as covered by the Adult Protective Services Act of 2010.

LeadingAge PA resource on music licensing

Recently, LeadingAge PA has been contacted by members with questions about music licensing fees. Click here for information and links to resources about music licensing requirements.

U.S. House of Representatives THUD funding bill drastically cuts Section 202 PRAC program

The U.S. House of Representatives Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Subcommittee released its 2016 funding bill, which drastically reduces the Section 202 account, cutting funds well below the $365 million that is necessary to renew existing PRAC contracts.

General Assembly back in session this week

May is upon us, and the governor’s budget has yet to be introduced in legislative bill form including the governor’s proposal to expand the sales tax to include nursing facility, residential care facilities and home healthcare services. With only six session days in May, it is difficult to say if anything meaningful will happen regarding the budget process. LeadingAge PA will keep members informed as the discussion on sales tax and the budget moves forward.

LeadingAge PA Annual Conference

Register today for LeadingAge PA's 2015 Annual Conference & Exposition June 17-19 at Hershey Lodge. The conference offers many educational sessions, networking opportunities, and vendors with new products and services of interest.

Please note: PARCR will have a display table at the conference.


Legislative Tidbits March 2015

3/31/2015 - Laura Paist

SB 4 passed the full Senate on February 17, 2015 with a vote of 30 yays and 19 nays. SB 4, sponsored by Senator Aument (R-Lancaster), is a joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of PA, providing for criteria for institutions of purely public charity. The bill has now been received in the House of Representatives and has been referred to the House Finance Committee. A date has not been set for the committee to consider SB 4. LeadingAge PA will continue to strongly advocate for passage of SB 4 and may be calling upon members for assistance with grassroots at some point in the future.

Active Shooter Scenario Training

  • April 6, 9:00AM-noon, Garden Spot Village, New Holland, PA (EAST)
  • April 7, 9:00AM-noon, Masonic Village, Sewickley, PA (WEST)

LeadingAge PA invites long-term care employees to participate in a live education program presented by Sorenson, Wilder & Associates that will provide background, details and training in realistic scenarios to provide long-term care employees with the knowledge needed to protect themselves and their residents during an active shooter event.

LeadingAge PA visited PA delegation during PEAK 2015

The week of March 16, 2015, members and staff from LeadingAge PA visited Congress in Washington D.C. as part of the LeadingAge's (national) PEAK Summit to raise awareness of long term care and senior service topics. Participants advocated for crucial issues such as “fixing” observation days, therapy caps, Medicare sequestration cuts, the Five Star “Quality” Rating System, and funding for low income housing.

Budget hearings are well under way in the state Capitol

Legislative budget hearings on Governor Tom Wolf’s budget proposal are well under way. These hearings allow each state agency to provide detail and answer questions posed by members of the legislative appropriations committees about their portion of the governor’s proposed budget. More…

Older Adults Protective Services Act

Rep. Tim Hennessey reintroduces legislation to amend the Older Adults Protective Services Act. Representative Tim Hennessey (R-Chester), chairman of House Aging and Older Adult Services, re-introduced legislation to update and make necessary improvements to the Older Adults Protective Services Act (Act 79 of 1987). More…

Legislator visits to LeadingAge PA member facilities

The LeadingAge PA Government Affairs team is available to assist members with visits from legislators in several different ways. If you are planning to host a legislator at your facility and would like some help from our team, we are happy to provide you with the legislator’s biography and important talking points. We are also available to attend the visits. If you host meetings with your legislators, we would like to know so that we track these in our database. Your personal relationships with legislators go a long way when the time comes for advocacy issues that are important to LeadingAge PA. Please contact Ana Puig, Director of Legislator Affairs, at <> or (717)790-3948.

REMINDER: LeadingAge PA Legislative Breakfasts happening April-May!

Join LeadingAge PA’s Government Affairs team for one of our upcoming Legislative Breakfasts at a location near you. Come meet your elected officials to discuss the importance of the services your facility provides and how it benefits the seniors in your community. This is an excellent opportunity for members to connect with their representatives in an informal, social setting in order to build and foster these important relationships. See dates and locations/learn more…

Save the Dates!

LeadingAge PA's Annual Conference & Exposition June 17-19 in Hershey PA


June Tidbits

7/11/2016 - PARCR Admin

Budget Negotiations

LeadingAge PA is requesting PARCR's advocacy now.

It is crunch time in Harrisburg for the 2016/2017 state budget, and we need your help to ask for increased Medical Assistance (MA) funding for nursing facilities. Gov. Wolf had originally proposed a 1% rate increase for nursing facility MA funding in his executive budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year; however, due to cuts to the Department of Human Services (DHS) budget, this increase was removed.

While LeadingAge PA realizes that Pennsylvania has a serious fiscal problem and that lawmakers are struggling to pass a balanced budget, we are concerned that over the past five years, nursing facilities have seen increases in funding only twice. Meanwhile, the cost of salaries, benefits and food has continued to rise.

LeadingAge PA is working collaboratively with the Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA) to request a 3.5% increase in Medical Assistance long-term care funding in the 2016-2017 FY budget. In addition, we are collectively requesting $16 million to fund the Non-Public Medical Assistance Day-One Incentive Payment, created by state legislators three years ago to preserve access to care. This funding is included in the Human Services Code.

Make calls to legislators in Harrisburg asking them to support our budget. Find your legislators and their contact information at [].

These talking points will help you communicate your message. This graph shows the difference between the increases in health care inflation and MA nursing facility rates. Please share it with your legislators. Please keep the LeadingAge PA team aware of your efforts both with your legislators and their staff by contacting Ana Puig, Director of Legislative Affairs, at, (717)790-3948. June 30 is the deadline for an on time state budget for FY 2016-17. The LeadingAge PA Government Affairs team will monitor the budget process closely and will provide updates.

Community Health, Choices (CHC)

On June 9, 2016 the Department of Human Services (DHS) Secretary Ted Dallas announced that the commonwealth will lengthen the transition time for implementation of Community Health, Choices (CHC), the commonwealth’s proposed managed long-term services and supports program. Dallas said that as part of the ongoing commitment to ensure that everyone impacted by the CHC understands and is comfortable with the program prior to it going live, the first phase will now begin July 1, 2017 (rather than January 1, 2017) in the southwest.

LeadingAge PA and many other stakeholders requested that DHS defer the start of the program until all is ready. Learn more about the CHC program on the DHS website.

LeadingAge PA Annual Conference and Exposition

LeadingAge PA is holding its 2016 Annual Conference and Expostion, Be Bold! At the Hershey Lodge, Hershey, PA June 14 to June 17. The 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition is designed to inspire with strategies to explore change and innovation, grow and evolve as aging services leaders, and stay competitive in the provision of long-term services and supports to Pennsylvania seniors. PARCR will have a display table at the conference.

The pre-conference symposium, The Future of Managed Care and Medical Assistance, provides attendees with the opportunity to learn about Community HealthChoices and how it will impact care delivery systems and payment models and how Medicaid consumers will receive services in the future. The symposium is Tuesday, June 14, 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Hershey Lodge, Hershey. This video has details.

Annual Legislative Staff Breakfast

The LeadingAge PA Government Affairs team held its annual legislative staff breakfast at the Capitol on April 28. The intent of the breakfast was to continue developing relationships and have one on one interaction with key staff members that work for leadership and key committees that have significant impact on issues that affect LeadingAge PA and the seniors they serve. Ron Barth, CEO, and Anne Henry, senior vice president and chief government affairs officer, spoke about our priorities for the 2016-17 FY including the budget, Community HealthChoices, and the importance of allowing people to receive assisted living services under the Medical Assistance program. It was a great opportunity to answer questions and to share with the legislative staff that LeadingAge PA is the association of solutions.

The Older Americans Act (OAA) Reauthorization of 2015

President Barack Obama signed into law the Older Americans Act (OAA) Reauthorization of 2015, after it passed both chambers of Congress with unanimous support. LeadingAge commends the President for signing the OAA, which was 5 years overdue for reauthorization. Check for information on the importance of this Act More...

Five-Star Quality Measures

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) enhanced Nursing Home Compare (NHC) in April 2016 to include six new quality measures related to publicly reported readmission. They stated that a preview of the new measures would be available on April 7; however, the preview is still not available at this time. We will be releasing the new 5 Star Analysis Report from LeadingAge Quality Metrics this month once the new measures are available and we can include them in your report. Five of the six new measures will be used in the calculation of the Five-Star Quality Measures (QM) ratings beginning in July 2016. More...


Tidbits to Wrap Up Summer

8/29/2016 - PARCR Admin

Attorney General DePasquale released audit report on DOH oversight of nursing facilities

On July 26, 2016, the state Auditor General, Eugene DePasquale, released a performance audit report on the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and its mission of regulating nursing facilities. The report is categorized into three areas and includes 13 findings and 23 recommendations.

The first area of concern is nurse staffing. The report not only speaks to lack of consistency in DOH's process to calculate and cite nursing facilities for not meeting the state standard of 2.7 nursing hours per patient day, but it also suggests the regulation should be revisited for possible revision, citing a 2006 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services study that seemingly recommended a nurse staffing level of 4.1 nursing hours.

The second area of concern is complaint handling. The most notable issue was the lack of review of anonymous complaints.

The third area of concern is DOH rarely imposes civil monetary penalties as allowed under state law. During the audit period of January 2014 through October 2015, DOH issued only $172,350 in state monetary penalties, while at the same time federal penalties of $2 million were issued. The report recommends that the state review its laws and seek to provide more stringent civil monetary penalties.

Messages from the CEO – state of the association

Ron Barth, President and CEO reported that one of the more revolutionary changes that members face is the major shift in managed care for long-term services and supports. Pennsylvania’s program, Community HealthChoices (CHC), is in play, and LeadingAge PA continues to fight for safeguards for providers and consumers. LeadingAge PA is working with the Department of Human Services to make sure the CHC Managed Care Organizations can’t negotiate rates lower than current provider payments. LeadingAge PA continues to advocate for adding assisted living residences as a setting of care for CHC and will continue to push for the inclusion of personal care homes.

On August 16, 2016, Ron Barth, President and CEO, announced that advocacy is one of the most important things LeadingAge PA does for members. To increase its effectiveness, LeadingAge PA recently launched the LeadingAge PA Political Action Committee (PAC) to increase its legislative advocacy and presence in Harrisburg. This is a voluntary member sponsored PAC and another tool that will allow LeadingAge PA to further strengthen and expand our visibility with the Pennsylvania General Assembly and other elected officials. The goal is to raise $150,000 per year for the PAC.

LeadingAge PA’s 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition was another resounding success, with huge attendance and meaningful, inspiring education sessions. LeadingAge PA’s goal in 2016 is to offer more education in multiple formats, and the first half of the year has shown that this has been a good strategy. Ten webinars, Four symposiums, and two Regional Member Interchanges so far this year brought members together and helped get members up to speed on the important issues.


Tidbits for the New Year 2017

2/1/2017 - PARCR Admin

The Department of Heath Services and Aging Announced the delay in Community Health Choices implementation. The implementation will now begin January 1, 2018 in the Southwest region; July 1, 2018 in the Southeast region; and January 1, 2019 in the remainder of the state (as previously planned).

The 2017-2018 session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly officially started on, January 3, 2017, when members of both the House and Senate were sworn into office. While there are 28 new freshman, 6 in the Senate and 22 in the House, there are little changes in the leadership. The only new leader is Stan Saylor (R-York) who was elected chair of the House Appropriations Committee following the retirement of Bill Adolph (R-Delaware). The other change of committee chair that is relevant to LeadingAge PA is the Senate Health and Human Services Committee which will now be led by Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) following the retirement of Pat Vance (R-Cumberland). The LeadingAge PA Government Affairs team is scheduling legislative breakfast across the state for spring. More details will be shared as plans are finalized.

At the January 11, 2017 Quarterly PARCR Meeting, Scott and Steve Dardick from AIA Benefits Resource Group gave a presentation titled Understanding Medicare and Jennifer Holcomb, Director of Memory Support at Cross Keys Village - The Brethren Home Community presented on Memory Support Today and Tomorrow. The power point presentations can be seen on the PARCR website.

The General Assembly came back in session Monday, January 23 through Wednesday, January 25, 2017. According to LeadingAge PA 's report, as an open solvo to the budget, House Republicans led by Stan Saylor (R, York), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, introduced HB 218. LeadingAge PA is currently reviewing the bill to determine Medicaid funding for long-term care and will provide additional information at a later date.

As a reminder, the Governor will unveil his budget proposal on Tuesday, February 7. There is no information on this time regarding what the Governor will include in his proposal for long-term care and senior service providers The LeadingAge Government Affairs team will closely monitor the budget process and provide you with information as it becomes available.

On January 27, 2017, LeadingAge PA participated on a conference call with Governor Wolf’s office regarding his intention to form a brand new state agency which will bring together the Departments of Health, Human Services, Aging and Drug & Alcohol Programs into the Department of Health & Human Services. This change is being made in order to better serve Pennsylvanians as well as to provide efficiency in state government. All affected state agency staff were also informed of this change the same day. A public announcement will be made early next week and further details will be shared in the Governor’s Budget address on February 7, 2017. LeadingAge PA will inform you as further detail becomes available.

Save the Dates! LeadingAge PA's 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition happens June 21-23 in Hershey. This year's theme? CONNECT.