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Upcoming Educational Opportunities

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September 22, 11am CST | Emerging News (And Noise) about AI, Digital Health and Innovation, Gregory Fosheim

The noise about the promise of artificial intelligence (AI), digital health and innovation in healthcare is deafening at times.  In fact, today’s clinical, financial and IT leaders would be hard pressed to devise a forward-looking strategy that did not at least consider the role of innovation and such initiatives and how it can translate to healthcare quality, cost reduction and population health management.  Innovation can present questions related to challenges with accessing and deploying capital, reimbursement, financial distress, aging physicians, and repurposing of facilities.  This presentation will address answers to some of the challenges and will focus on several different ways health care providers may provide innovation to their patients.  Gregory will explore innovative opportunities, such as, cutting costs through alternative partnerships, telemedicine and engaging advanced practice providers, applying social determinants of health, drone delivery of medications, and how to use governance in innovation.  Register and learn more, click here .

September 23, 11am CST | Leading in Whitewater, Todd Forkel
This presentation will illustrate how to lead effectively in these times of transformational change. Furthermore, it will show how to hardwire elements to keep employees engaged and aligned with your mission.  By the end of this session, participants will learn the elements of building an environment of trust, apply skills to effectively communicate change, successfully demonstrate how to manage changes in operations, and identify how to manage self-care during these turbulent times. Register and learn more, click here .
September 24, 3pm CST | Mindfulness Tools for Burnout and Moral Distress, Dr. Carole South-Winter
Changes to health delivery and administration in recent decades have intensified levels of stress, burnout, and morale among health care professionals. The demands these professionals face include heavy caseloads, limited control over the work environment, long hours, and even concern over adequate PPE and moral issues in recent months. This is directly linked to increased stress and symptoms of burnout. Research supports that mindfulness training can have significant positive impacts on job satisfaction, relationships with patients, co-workers and administration; as well as increased focus and creativity. Research confirms millennia-old reports of mindfulness as a powerful promoter of personal and interpersonal health.  Register and learn more, click here .

CMS Receives Final Coronavirus Commission Report on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) received the final report from the independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes (Commission), which was facilitated by MITRE. The main purpose of the independent Commission was to convene a multi-disciplinary group of experts to solicit lessons learned from the early days of the pandemic and recommendations for future actions to improve infection prevention and control measures, safety procedures, and the quality of life of residents within nursing homes. This 186-page report identifies 27 recommendations and 100+ action steps for CMS.

To review the full report, click here.

Providing A Positive Approach to Care

On September 30th SDAHO is hosting Jack York (Co-owner, It’s Never 2 Late) and Shelly Edwards (Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care) for 5 hours of engaging and dynamic content related to dementia education.

Jack York will take participants on a journey of reframing the perception of dementia and you’ll hear from individuals living the reality of memory and cognitive impairment. He and his crew will take you on their 22,000-mile journey of meeting with senior living residents and those living with brain change.  It will truly having you laughing, crying and rethinking how we treat others, specifically those living with dementia.

Following Jack and crew’s presentation, Shelly Edwards from Teepa Snow’s Positive Approach to Care will provide resources and education on dementia care skills, including the Teepa’s GEMS:  Brain Change Model.  The GEMS model recognizes the shifts in our skills and abilities in any given moment. With dementia, while the progression, pattern, and changes may look very different for each type of dementia, the movement through the GEMS is somewhat predictable. Teepa’s approach to care is one that is so enlightening and refreshing.  She’ll discuss and demonstrate the importance of connection as the first step in any care interactions, but especially focused on people experiencing brain change. Shelly will address – How do we lessen challenging behaviors/situations?  How do we better communicate with someone who has lost the ability to understand language?  What can we do as care partners to help those we work with to be more successful and work with us?

Please view this flyer for additional information on the sessions or click here to learn more and register. Registration is per facility and your entire staff is welcome to attend for one fee.

*This session is included in the Convention Education package.*


Interim Rule Review Committee Approves South Dakota Medicaid Rule Changes

On September 15, the Department of Social Services Division of Medical Services presented a rules package to the Interim Rules Review Committee regarding changes to the South Dakota Medicaid program. The rules update annual references to procedure and diagnosis coding information, allow physician assistants and certified nurse practitioners to order home health services and durable medical equipment in accordance with federal rule changes, clarify coverage of ambulance services when no loaded mileage occurs, clarify third party liability payment provisions involving absent parents, and allow physician assistants, certified nurse practitioners, and certified nurse midwives to have their own caseload in the Primary Care Provider program. The rules were passed unanimously by the Interim Rules Review Committee.

The adopted rules are available here. The rules will be effective 20 days after the Department of Social Services files the adopted rules with the Secretary of State.

CMS Seeks Comment on SNF Healthcare-Associated Infections Measures

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) is seeking input on measure specifications for Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Requiring Hospitalizations for the SNF Quality Reporting Program. CMS seeks advice regarding identifying the target population, risk adjustment variables, and the feasibility, usability, and potential impact of calculating an HAI measure. The measure is available on the CMS website.

Feedback may be made via email to QM-Public-Comment@acumenllc.com until October 14, 2020.

Fall Prevention Awareness Week

Falls Prevention Awareness Week is September 21-25. On September 23, the first day of fall and National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, the Great Plains Quality Improvement Organization will be hosting a falls Prevention webinar at noon CST (CEUs available).

The South Dakota Falls Prevention Coalition has compiled resources for falls prevention and also created a toolkit with videos, marketing materials and other resources. Visit the Coalition website to check out the resources, toolkit and other information.

COVID-19 Maintaining Healthcare Safety, Critical Care Load-Balancing & Behavioral Health Resources

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange (TRACIE) released an Express message to include the following new resources:

  1. Maintaining Healthcare Safety During the COVID-19 Pandemic – this speaker series, in collaboration with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, highlights short presentations featuring healthcare professionals sharing their experiences as they worked through the operational realities of maintaining and prioritizing healthcare safety during COVID-19.
  2. Critical Care Load-Balancing- the COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Working Group released two resources to help jurisdictions manage COVID-19 patient surge: Critical Care Load-Balancing Operational Template and Considerations for Assessing Regional Patient Load-Balancing Effects during COVID-19.
  3. Behavioral Health Compendium – this compendium is designed to help regional emergency coordinators and federal and state planners support stakeholders in various areas of COVID-19 response and recovery, with sections featuring grants, online resources and trainings, waivers and flexibilities, and data sources.

For more information:

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Strategy

Operation Warp Speed (OWS) is a partnership among components of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense (DoD), engaging with private firms and other federal agencies, and coordinating among existing HHS-wide efforts to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.

HHS and DoD released two documents outlining the Trump Administration’s detailed strategy to deliver safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine doses to the American people as quickly and reliably as possible.

The documents, developed by HHS in coordination with DoD and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), provide a strategic distribution overview along with an interim playbook for state, tribal, territorial, and local public health programs and their partners on how to plan and operationalize a vaccination response to COVID-19 within their respective jurisdictions.  Both documents are available using these links, COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook and the Strategy for Distributing a COVID-19 Vaccine.

To read the full press release, click here.

Click here to read the American Hospital Association Special Bulletin.

CMS Releases Guidance on Value-Based Care Opportunities in Medicaid

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new State Medicaid Director’s Letter to states encouraging states to advance value-based care (VBC) across healthcare systems in their states by implementing value-based payment (VBP) for care for Medicaid populations. CMS encouraged alignment of value-based care and provider incentives across payers. The guidance covers allowable regulatory mechanisms to implement VBP, considerations for states exploring VBP, and examples of innovative payment models for VBP from other states. The guidance highlighted South Dakota Medicaid’s Health Home program as a successful example of a successful program implemented in a fee-for-service payment structure operating in rural and frontier areas.

A fact sheet on Value-Based Care Opportunities is available here.

The full Medicaid Director’s Letter is available here.

South Dakota Medicaid Updates COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

South Dakota Medicaid has updated the COVID-19 Provider Frequently Asked Questions document. Within the update, South Dakota Medicaid clarified acceptance of COVID-19 treatment inpatient hospital procedure codes effective August 1, 2020. South Dakota Medicaid also clarified temporary payment of the Office of Management and Budget encounter rate during the Public Health Emergency for Indian Health Services and Tribal 638 off-site testing and off-site telemedicine services.
The full FAQ is available at https://dss.sd.gov/docs/COVID19/COVID19_FAQ_Providers.pdf

For more COVID-19 information, visit our COVID-19 resources page.


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