Human Resources

Recruitment and retention of qualified nursing staff are challenges that many facilities face. The nursing staff is the front line of care and the most important asset in providing the best resident outcomes possible. Learn how to engage, prepare, and support the staff that you have and recruit the staff that you need with the articles below.   

  • Staffing During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Guide for Nursing Home Leaders (2/21)

    By IHI - February 23, 2021
    A resource guide, written by and for directors of nursing, administrators, and other nursing home leaders, outlines steps to reduce or eliminate urgent staff shortages, particularly shortages of direct care workers. This guide is from the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and Project ECHO, a project of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
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  • CDC NHSN LTCF Optional Weekly COVID-19 Vaccination Reporting Module Update (2/21)

    By CDC - February 22, 2021

    Weekly HCP & Resident COVID-19 Vaccination Data Reporting

    Long-term care facilities can track weekly COVID-19 vaccination data for residents and healthcare personnel (HCP) through NHSN. This reporting is currently optional.

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  • OIG to Look at Medicare Part D Payments in SNF Stays and Nursing Home Background Checks (1/21)

    By OIG - January 15, 2021

    Medicare Part D Payments During Covered Part A SNF Stay

    Medicare Part A prospective payments to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) cover most services, including drugs and biologicals furnished by the SNF for use in the facility for the care and treatment of beneficiaries. Accordingly, Medicare Part D drug plans should not pay for prescription drugs related to posthospital SNF care because these drugs are already included in the consolidated payment for Part A SNF stays. We will determine whether Medicare Part D paid for drugs that should have been paid under Part A SNF stays.

     

    Announced or Revised

    Agency

    Title

    Report Number(s)

    Expected Issue Date (FY)

    January 2021

    Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

    Medicare Part D Payments During Covered Part A SNF Stay

    W-00-21-35866

    2022

     

    Background Checks for Nursing Home Employees

    Federal regulation 42 CFR 483.12(a)(3) provides beneficiaries who rely on long-term care services with protection from abuse, neglect, and theft by preventing prospective employees with disqualifying offenses from being employed by these care providers and facilities. The National Background Check Program was enacted by legislation in 2010 to assist States in developing and improving systems for conducting Federal and State background checks. Prior OIG work has shown that not all States complied with the National Background Check Program for Long-Term Care Providers. We will determine whether Medicaid beneficiaries in nursing homes in selected States were adequately safeguarded from caregivers with a criminal history of abuse, neglect, exploitation, mistreatment of residents, or misappropriation of resident property, according to Federal requirements. 

     

    Announced or Revised

    Agency

    Title

    Report Number(s)

    Expected Issue Date (FY)

    January 2021

    Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

    Background Checks for Nursing Home Employees

    W-00-21-31553

    2022

     

     

     


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  • Studies Look at Healthcare Workers Infected With COVID-19 and Potential Re-infections (12/20)

    By HHS/CDC - December 06, 2020

    Study 1: New findings from a study of thousands of healthcare workers in England show that those who got COVID-19 and produced antibodies against the virus are highly unlikely to become infected again, at least over the several months that the study was conducted. In the rare instances in which someone with acquired immunity for SARS-CoV-2 subsequently tested positive for the virus within a six month period, they never showed any signs of being ill. 

    Study 2: Among 156 frontline health care personnel who had positive SARS-CoV-2 antibody test results in spring 2020, 94% experienced a decline in antibodies at repeat testing approximately 60 days later.


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  • COVID-19 Testing Guidelines for Nursing Homes (10/20)

    By CDC - October 16, 2020

    Testing Guidelines for Nursing Homes FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2020

    Revisions were made on October 16, 2020, to reflect the following:

    Updated link to Testing Resources for Nursing Homes one-pager for nursing home personnel with link to Guidance for SARS-CoV-2 Point-of-Care Testing.

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  • COVID-19 County Positivity Rates: Monitor to Adjust Staff Testing (9/20)

    By CMS - September 08, 2020
    COVID-19 Testing 
    As part of CMS’ commitment to protecting nursing home residents, and to boost the surveillance of COVID-19, nursing homes are now required to conduct testing of residents and staff.  More information about these requirements and guidelines can be found here.  These guidelines include testing staff on a certain frequency based on the COVID-19 positivity rate for the county the nursing home resides in.  Rates of county positivity are posted here. (Archive is here.) Facilities should monitor these rates every other week and adjust staff testing accordingly.
    Supporting COVID-19 Testing
    The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), recently announced that we will begin providing nursing homes with a Point of Care (POC) rapid response testing instrument to bolster each facility’s ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The data collected through the NHSN system directly supports this initiative by helping to prioritize the nursing homes with testing needs and an increasing number of cases. For the methodology describing how facilities are prioritized, and a listing of the facilities, please click here. A list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) is also available here.

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  • Q&A: Could you please share some really good interview questions for an ADON position?

    By Amy Stewart, MSN, RN, DNS-MT, QCP-MT, RAC-MT, RAC-MTA - August 25, 2020
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  • Calendar Q2 2020 PBJ Staffing Data Due Aug. 14, 2020 and Five-Star/Nursing Home Compare Updates From CMS (6/20)

    By CMS - June 26, 2020

    Changes to Staffing Information and Quality Measures Posted on the Nursing Home Compare Website and Five Star Quality Rating System due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

    Memo #QSO 20-34-NH

    Posting Date 2020-06-25

    Fiscal Year 2020

    Summary

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to transparency about changes in publicly reported information on nursing homes during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Changes to the Nursing Home Compare Website and Five Star Quality Rating System:

    • Staffing Measures and Ratings Domain: On July 29, 2020, Staffing measures and star ratings will be held constant, and based on data submitted for Calendar Quarter 4 2019.

    o Also, CMS is ending the waiver of the requirement for nursing homes to submit staffing data through the Payroll-Based Journal System. Nursing homes must submit data for Calendar Quarter 2 by August 14, 2020.

    • Quality Measures: On July 29, 2020, quality measures based on a data collection period ending December 31, 2019 will be held constant.

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  • PBJ Provider User Guide V3.0.1, Incl. Error Messages / Descriptions - UPDATED (5/20)

    By QTSO - May 30, 2020
    This manual explains how to connect to the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system and submit data. It also defines error messages and descriptions, identifying errors by number, severity, error message, and error description. The description section includes potential corrective actions for providers to take to resolve the errors.
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  • OSHA Alert: COVID-19 Guidance for Nursing Home and LTC Facility Workers (5/20)

    By MX - May 18, 2020

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is committed to protecting the health and safety of America’s workers and workplaces during these unprecedented times. The agency will be issuing a series of alerts designed to keep workers safe. In a nursing home or long-term care facility, the following tips can help reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.

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  • PBJ Data Specs Versions 2.00.0, 2.00.3 and 4.00.0 Will Be Accepted Until Further Notice (5/20)

    By CMS - May 03, 2020

    A revised version of the PBJ Data Specifications (Version 4.00.0) is available to Users. The new release of the Data Specifications reconciles changes to the file layout, fileSpecVersion 4.00.0. Census tags have been removed from the 4.00.0 version due to CMS no longer collecting Census data from PBJ as of April, 2018. No immediate changes are needed when using the current PBJ Submission File fileSpecVersions (2.00.0 and 2.00.3), however, Users are encouraged to begin using PBJ fileSpecVersion 4.00.0.  XML files submitted with versions other than 4.00.0 on or after June 2, 2020 will be rejected. Please note this does not apply to the PBJ Administration Submission File format. Users who use this file format for linking employees should continue to use fileSpecVersion 1.00.0. 

    On April 21, CMS added an errata:

    4.00.0 fileSpecVersion: CMS is delaying the previously communicated June 1, 2020 date for rejecting PBJ file Spec Versions 2.00.0 and 2.00.3. The PBJ system will continue to accept PBJ fileSpecVersions 2.00.0, 2.00.3 and 4.00.0 until further notice from CMS. Details can be found in the following document: Errata V4.00.1 for PBJ Data Submission Specifications (V4.00.0) 04-16-2020.

     


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  • CASPER Reporting User’s Guide for PBJ Providers UPDATED (4/20)

    By QTSO - April 09, 2020
    This user’s guide provides information and instructions pertaining to the CASPER Reporting application. Section 12, Payroll Based Journal (PBJ) Reports, addresses the staffing and census reports available to providers, including the Employee Report, the Census Report, the Staffing Summary Report, and the PBJ Submitter Final File Validation Report.
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  • How to Properly Maintain Employee Medical and Personnel Files

    By AADNS - March 25, 2020

    On a day-to-day basis, the DNS can become so busy with staff and resident care that they completely lose track of employee files. However, the DNS is often either directly responsible for or works with human resources to manage employee files. Compiling and maintaining these files needs to be a priority in order to stay in compliance with survey requirements, avoid legal hurdles, and have a reference of past behavior when it’s time to evaluate or promote staff.

    To keep these important documents up to date, here’s what the DNS should know about employee files:

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  • 4 Simple Ways to Support Staff Retention

    By Jessica Kunkler, MA, Staff Writer - February 11, 2020

    One in four nursing assistants and one in five home health aides report that they are actively looking for another job. That’s a lot of unhappy employees.

    This turnover comes at a high price for facilities. It costs an estimated $2,200 to replace a nursing assistant or home care worker, according to the Recruitment and Retention Guide For Employers by PHI (formerly the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute).

    Moreover, frustration in the workplace can be contagious; unsatisfied staff members have a negative impact on residents and their peers alike.

    There are books and guides devoted to programs for staff retention. Better hiring processes, rewards systems, and staff training can yield positive returns for facilities—but overhauling an entire program can feel daunting for busy nurse managers.

    Here are four simple ways to promote staff retention, starting right where you are.

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  • PBJ Submission / Data Specification / Report FAQs Updated (1/20)

    By QTSO - January 27, 2020

    The QIES Technical Support Office has updated its Payroll-Based Journal Frequently Asked Questions.

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