The Academy of Senior
Health Sciences, Inc.
17 South High Street
Suite 770
Columbus, OH 43215
Fax: 614.461.7168


The Academy of Senior Health Sciences, Inc. (formerly The Ohio Academy of Nursing Homes, Inc.) seeks to provide public education and awareness initiatives to the long-term care community in Ohio. Our membership represents a true cross-section of the skilled nursing facility profession, from small sole proprietorships to larger Ohio-based multi-facility companies, as well as those businesses that service our industry. Through our public education and awareness efforts, the Academy brings the collective influences of the members together into a single voice on vital issues affecting our profession.

Founded in 1966, the Academy then identified one of its core purposes as "To foster a spirit of goodwill among those persons engaged in the nursing home industry, to promote ethical practices in their relationships with each other, their employees, and the general public to the end that all interests may be served fairly..." Though the organization has undergone several transformations over the years, most notably in 2011, its dedication and commitment to Ohio's most frail and elderly remains the same.

 The Academy Weekly Headlines from 2 Weeks Ago
Reimbursement fix waiting on Gov's signature; update on July 1 rates —  The House agreed to Senate amendments to a bill that included the nursing home reimbursement "veto fix" language. The bill now goes to the Governor's desk where he is expected to sign it this week. It contains an emergency clause that would make the provisions of the bill effective when signed, thus impacting July 1 SNF Medicaid rates. Changes in the language include increasing the funding amount for the "5165.26" from 2.4% of base rates to 5.2% of base rates. We estimate this to be about $84 million in additional funding for nursing homes in SFY 2021. The language also clarified the exclusions to the quality measure such as new facilities and change of providers during SFY 2021. Furthermore, providers that undergo certain renovations or experience a force majeure event that impacts occupancy are exempt from the 80% occupancy requirement. In a call with the Ohio Department of Medicaid related to rate setting, ODM said they are waiting on a handful of cost reports before they can calculate July 1 rates. The Medicaid days on the cost reports are used to calculate the pool of quality dollars and occupancy, both key components to the quality payment amount. The Academy has estimated the point value While they would not commit to a time rates would be finalized, they anticipated having them done by the end of July at the latest. During the call ODM also said they would reconsider using the 2018 Family Satisfaction Survey results because so many providers do not have results of from that survey. ODM also confirmed that they would be using the CY2019 four quarter CMS NH compare data; however, there was some debate as to which cut points to use. The statutory language is silent to the cut points and ODM said they would reconsider using the CY2018 cut points. We will keep you updated as we learn more.

Dr. Acton changing roles at ODH —  Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton resigned from that position last week. Dr. Acton will remain at ODH that will allow her to focus on public health. Dr. Hurst, Chief Medical Officer for ODH, will also resign towards the end of June. Dr. Acton led ODH's response to COVID. She has faced increasing questioning of the department's policies to close Ohio's businesses during the pandemic and the reopening process. Some leaders have been calling for her resignation for several weeks. Dr. Acton has indicated that the stress of the challenges of the pandemic along with the time away from family led to the decision. Lance Himes, former interim Director of Health under Gov. Kasich, will resume that role until a new director is found.

ODM releases plan on studying move to PDPM —  CMS made the move to the Patient Driven Payment Model and different assessment schedule, leaving states that use RUGS-IV in a dilemma. The issue is related to parts of the MDS that are needed for RUGS-IV, but not PDPM, that CMS plans to remove. CMS has extended the time states have to determine how they are going to calculate case mix scores and collect the necessary data before making changes. ODM is taking advantage of that time to study the impact a move to PDPM would have on Medicaid rates. To do this, SNF providers would have to submit the necessary PDPM data on the OBRA assessments. The software vendors would have to adjust the fields used for the OBRA assessments. ODM has said the change would be effective October 1, 2020. ODM would like to move forward quickly to ensure time for the necessary system changes and training.

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