2016-HHS Guidelines – Patient Access to Records

Back in the day, a person stayed with one doctor for many years.  Now, with changes in insurance and a transient population, changes in care providers is common.  Many times an Assisted Living resident may have a doctor they visit and then switch to a doctor that visits them.

It has become more important for patients to have access to their medical records so that they can share them with their new care-givers and doctors.

There was a dream of a national digital system for keeping records that would be accessible to any medical team.  Barriers appeared to block over-all access between providers and systems.  Now, patients want and need to keep their own medical records.

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department has issued new guidelines designed to make it easier for patients to access their medical records says Argentum (Formerly known as ALFA).

doctor-visitAccording to the guidelines, “doctors and hospitals can’t require patients to state a reason for requesting their records and can’t deny access because they believe a patient may be too upset by the information.”

The guidelines also say:

  • A health care provider can’t require patients to pick up their records in person if they ask to have them sent via mail or email, and can’t deny a request for access to health information if the patient has failed to pay medical bills.
  • A doctor or hospital may charge a fee for copying but can’t charge for the cost of searching for data and retrieving it.

Assisted Living Communities can encourage new residents, family members, the POA for Heath Care, to retrieve records for keeping and sharing with doctors.

Click here to learn more about the HHS HIPAA Law Guidelines.

Nurturing, Educating, Serving Families

If you are providing homes for people who need assistance with daily living.  You know how important their family members are.  You know how much they play a part in selecting a home for their loved one.

support-for-seniorMany of those family members helped provide care to your residents before the resident moved in.

Many seniors want to remain in their family home as long as possible before they move into a new home at an Assisted Living Community.  No matter how many fun activities are available at the ALF; how tastier the meals, how much easier it is on the themselves and the family….  resisting change is normal.  Why do we expect seniors and their family members facing health and mobility issues to be any different?

two-guysSo provide help and information to the families now.  When and if they decide to move to a new home, your community will be at the top of their list.

Click here for a newsletter for caregivers.

Research shows that companies lose customers 68% of the time because the customer was displeased with the seller’s attitude.

Incredible! So make sure your customers don’t get the impression that you don’t care!

As marketing guru Robert Grede says, “No matter what your business, if you don’t make your customers feel important they will leave you for a competitor without a second thought.”

West Central Solutions, Inc. is based in Citrus County, Florida and provides project management and on-going over-sight for owners of Assisted Living Facilities.  Contact us to learn more about how we might help your facility grow stronger.

What One Thing Brings Holiday Cheer to Employees?

Yes!  There is one thing that ALF owners and senior living managers can do to make employees cheer at holiday time.

It is coming to the end of the year and big holiday celebrations. This is the perfect time to spend some relaxed time with your employees, getting to know them. This enhances relationships and builds relationship equity.

Holiday-snow-man

So how do you do this when the budget is tight with holiday pay and employees cashing in their vacation time?

 

 

 

 

Have a POTLUCK.

Don’t use the time to give speeches…

Well, not unless the speech is short and it is full of thanks.   Maybe, if you had a good year or overcame obstacles it is time to remember how great your team is and what you have accomplished.

But keep it short.

Holiday_Potluck

POTLUCKS are affordable ways to increase bonds, build employee engagement and strengthen relationships. All of which reduces employee turnover.

Remember to make holiday time all inclusive. We all think our belief is the right belief yet it is important to remember and respect that others can hold different beliefs. Help all employees feel welcome by including their holidays and traditions throughout the year. More opportunities for POTLUCKS!

And speaking of inclusive…. remember the night staff! Stagger the times of Potlucks or have more than one in a week at holiday time. One for each shift where the owner and/or administrator shows up to chat, give thanks and appreciation.

 

And what better way to bond that by breaking bread together.

Take pictures and share them on the employee bulletin board.

ALF Consultant Potluck Collage4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHO PAYS ??–

Don’t feel that you have to sponsor the main course every time.   If you have enough employees there will be plenty of food without a main course.   If you have enough employees, three or more can go together on providing the main course.

Employees will spend this time together off the clock if they normally take an “off the clock break”.   What we have done in the past is make the speech or any presentation “on the clock” (paid) and the eating and chatting part “off the clock” (unpaid).

West Central Solutions wishes for you that your 2016 is Full of Fun Potlucks with great conversations, laughter, and good food.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

balls-christmas

West Central Solutions provides project management and on-going oversight to owners of privately held assisted living facilities.  Sign up to receive more of Theressa’s Tips on Senior Housing… learn more.

Be a Champion and Meet the Demand for Senior Housing

What are you doing to prepare for the Silver Tsunami?

The first of the Baby Boomers are now Retiring. The average age of entering Assisted Living is 82 to 86. So we have about 20 years to prepare for large increase in demand for senior housing and senior care.

The biggest challenge will not be building enough units. It will be providing affordable care, and training, maintaining and retaining the best staff.

At a November 2015 Florida Assisted Living Association Meeting in Citrus County Florida, West Central Solutions’ President, Theressa Foster, spoke to the professionals about some ideas for meeting the challenges ahead.

We condensed it into this 2 minute video.

New challenges are ahead for the Administrators and Owners of Senior Housing. Combining child care and elder care has been shown to enhance the lives of seniors and the children. This kind of arrangement will also help our front-line staff stay working for us longer.

What other ways can we help address the coming staff shortage? Let’s put our heads together and come up with ideas that will work to reduce costs, improve care, be respectful to residents, and meet the increasing demands.

If you want to see Theressa’s full 11 minute presentation, press play…

ALF Learning Opportunities – November 2015

We would like to share with you two great opportunities to learn and grow… and maybe enjoy some moments with others who are experiencing some of the same things as you.

One is for Caretakers of those with Dementia and One is for Owners, Administrators, and Managers of Assisted Living Facilities.

EVENT #1

“Being in a Business that Caters to Senior Housing and How to Be a Champion in Our Industry”

This is FALA meeting that West Central Solutions is proud to host.  It will be held on November 10th, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. at Tuscany on the Meadows in Hernando, Florida.

Theressa Foster, will be sharing some of her vast wisdom at the event.  You won’t want to miss it.  Check out the flyer.

FALA invite – November 2015-11

RSVP to Charlie at 727-942-1993

 

EVENT #2

“Creativity in Dementia Care” is about using Art and Poetry and more in the care of those with Dementia.

The event for caretakers of those with Dementia is a FREE event sponsored by Elder Options and United Health Care.  It will be held on November 12th, 2015 at 8:30 to 2 p.m. in Gainesville.

Creativity in Dementia Care 2015

Sounds like a fun time! Register by calling Tom at 352-692-5226.

Veterans’ Village – Home for Our Heros

Citrus County, Florida Looks at Proposed Assisted Living Community for Veterans

Veteran-flag

We learned recently of the efforts in our home community to build an affordable Assisted Living Community for Veterans.  The proposed site sits adjacent to the current Veterans Assistance Community Clinic in Lecanto, Florida.

As a management/consultant company specializing in Assisted Living Facilities, West Central Solutions is particularly aware of the cost effective model of Assisted Living and how its combination of independence, assistance and social interaction provides quality of life for seniors.  Too often seniors become isolated as their ability and mobility decrease.  Our veterans deserve affordable Assisted Living, a home that focuses on their whole person – physical, emotional, and social.

The facility will be an Assisted Living Facility for those that need assistance with daily living (ADL), but do not need the skilled nursing care that is provided in Nursing Homes.  Assisted Living costs much less than Nursing Home Care.  A Nursing Home in and around Citrus County has an average cost of about $8,000 a month.

What is the difference?

ASSISTED LIVING:

A resident of Assisted Living must be able to dress themselves.  Someone can provide direction and guidance, but the resident themselves are able to put their own legs in the pants (for example) or take the pill cup from the assistant and put the pills in their mouth themselves.  Assisted Living is mostly private pay, but there are other possible sources of assistance including VA benefits and Managed Care (a Medicaid diversion program).

NURSING HOME:

A Nursing Home is a skilled facility based on a medical model which means it can provide hands-on assistance with bathing, dressing, eating and more.

 

 

supportVETERANS SPECIAL NEEDS

Veterans need a safe environment that accommodates their special issues related to war.  There is no special license to specialize in Veteran Care, just as there is no such requirement for an Assisted Living Facility to provide Memory Care. But there is special training for those who work in a memory care unit. So a facility like Veterans Village would have staff trained on caring for combat veterans. Veterans’ Village will cater the housing design and staff to ensure our Veterans needs are met.

Between 2009 and 2013 Citrus County was home to about 21,000 vets, now estimated to be about 27,000. As our soldiers return for overseas with brain injuries, Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, back and other traumatic injuries, many of them will need the kind of help that a facility like this could provide them. It will help them retain dignity, some cherished independence, and quality of life.

Socializing is vital to anyone. For veterans who are suffering from various mental health and physical issues related to war, social interactions are therapeutic and necessary. This community will embrace them and help them thrive in a safe social environment with the care designed for their needs.

The facility will also have a positive economic effect on Citrus County — provide jobs in the short term for construction, and create 35 to 40 full-time direct and indirect jobs for every 100 veteran’s housed.

Assisted Living Management Company Assembles Advisers

Advisory Team to Lend Expertise to Assisted Living Management Company

What do a CPA, a lawyer, an RN, a psychiatrist and a general contractor have in common? They all are advisers to West Central Solutions, Inc. a Citrus County Florida based, woman-owned, senior housing management company.

Intro Assisted Living Management Advisors-edit

The initial meet and greet gathering May 26, 2015 was held at Tuscany on the Meadows in Hernando, FL. Theressa Foster, president of West Central Solutions addressed the diverse group.

Theressa shown here with Dr. Gurnani, Psychiatrist, Advisor specializing in Geriatric Care.

Theressa shown here with Dr. Gurnani, Psychiatrist, Advisor specializing in Geriatric Care.

“To succeed I know I must surround myself with smart people,” said Theressa Foster “I chose you for your expertise in your field, you intelligence, and your compassion for seniors. Thank you for your willingness to share your knowledge and experience with us.”

Advisors Group Assisted Living Consultants

From Left to Right

Back row name and expertise: Dale Marie Merrill, Legal; John Comer, Accounting; Mike Orlito, Small Business Consultant; Sue Hnat, representing families of seniors; Lynne West, Hospice Care; Jeanne Green, Chamber Ambassador; Dr. Parmanand Gurnani, Senior Mental Health; Michael Wilburn, Construction.

Front row is the West Central Solutions team: Yolanda Lusher, Senior Housing Consultant; Theressa Foster, President/Owner; Susan Straley, Assistant to the President.

Not shown but also Advisers are: Greg Kell, Spiritual; Dean Dickmann, Business.

West Central Solutions provides management and oversight to privately held Assisted Living Facilities in Florida and Colorado. The company is a member of Florida Assisted Living Association, an A rated member of the Better Business Bureau, and active in both the Citrus County Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Hernando County Chamber.

The President serves on several community boards.

 

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