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A monthly newsletter highlighting events and resources for Nursing Homes & Partnerships for Community Health

In This Issue:
The Latest News from CMS


CMS Staffing Study To Inform Minimum Staffing Requirements for Nursing Homes
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched a multi-faceted approach aimed at determining the minimum level and type of staffing needed to enable safe and quality care in nursing homes. This effort includes issuing a Request for Information (which occurred earlier this year as a part of the Fiscal Year 2023 Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule) and conducting a new study.

The information obtained through these efforts will inform future proposed rulemaking on minimum staffing requirements, which CMS plans to issue in Spring 2023. Facilities will be held accountable if they fail to meet this standard. Learn More


Upcoming Learning & Action Network (LAN) Events
  • Combined Partnerships for Community Health and Nursing Homes: Learn Steps You Can Take To Reduce Dialysis Readmissions and Emergency Department Visits​​
    Thursday, September 22 at 12:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. CT (30 min.)
    Hear first-hand the real experiences of a patient and learn directly from an End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) expert some techniques for improving the transition experience across health care settings and the continuum of care. Use what you hear in this session to analyze and improve your care transitions.
    View Agenda | Register Now

Register for Upcoming LAN Events

​Last Month's Learning & Action Network (LAN) Events

  • Combined Partnerships for Community Health and Nursing Homes: Move the Needle! Tactics for a Successful Immunization Campaign
    Recorded on August 25
    In this webinar, we discussed current guidance and documentation, energizing your teams for a successful campaign, and elevating the importance of vaccination status in patient transfer documentation. Watch the recording to learn the steps to create a successful vaccine campaign and best practices for documentation and transfer of vaccine status across care transitions.
    View Slides | Watch Recording

    Watch Previous LAN Events and Bite-Size Learnings

We want your feedback

Were You Able to "Use Tomorrow" What You Heard During the LAN Events? 
If Yes, Click Below. 

Nursing Homes LAN Attendees: Click here
Partnership for Community Health LAN Attendees: Click here


Upcoming Infection Prevention Shop Talks
  • September 2022 Shop Talk Call
    Thursday, September 15 at 2 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT (60 min.)

    **ANCC Contact Hours Awarded**
    Join the monthly Shop Talk sessions hosted by the Alliant patient safety team. Attendees will receive updates on the NHSN database and CMS requirements. This month, we will review the new COVID-19 Pathway and Weekly Vaccination Module changes. There will also be a live question and answer session to help with your immediate needs. Submitting data accurately into NHSN will help you more confidently plan your risk assessments and quality improvement initiatives.
    ​​​​Register Now
View Previous Shop Talks

Join the Alliant Health Solutions-LTC NHSN Group!
Joining the group and conferring rights to Alliant Health Solutions-LTC to view NHSN data allows for seamless support and technical assistance.
View Step-By-Step Guide


Leadership Lessons
​​​Words of advice from leaders on the front lines.

This month’s leadership lesson is from Danyce Seney, Alliant Health Solutions nursing home co-lead. 

10 Life Lessons for Leadership Success

An Army drill sergeant raised me, and many of the life lessons he “drilled” into me can apply to both formal and informational leadership roles in the health care environment. The 2014 University of Texas at Austin commencement address by Admiral William H. McRaven reminds me of these life lessons, with a focus on 10 strategies for leadership success:

1. Accomplish your first task of the day.

  • By accomplishing one thing, it motivates you to do more and solidifies that every little task matters and adds up.

2. Find someone to help you in life.

  • Life cannot be accomplished without help. Teamwork makes the difference.

3. Respect everyone.

  • Everyone is worthy of the same respect. By providing that respect, you will receive the respect of everyone and enable you to better lead.

4. Life is not always fair. Move forward.

  • There will be events that occur that are unavoidable. Move forward and learn from them. Don’t let those events shape you.

5. Don’t be afraid to fail often.

  • You will make mistakes. Do not be so afraid of failing that you do not try.

6. Take risks.

  • Leaders do not stand or sit on the sidelines. Leaders attempt to move forward and try new things.

7. Face down the adversaries.

  • Be strong. A leader needs to stand straight and be a positive representative.

8. Step up when times are toughest.

  • True leaders step forward when others are tired, weak or unsure to provide stability and guidance.

9. Lift up the downtrodden.

  • Provide reinforcement to those who are in need. A positive word or comment of encouragement is sometimes all that is needed to change the entire tone.

10. Never give up.

  • Leaders persevere when others become tired. Stand strong.

Even in challenging times, maybe especially in challenging times, one person can make a difference. Following these 10 leadership tenets can help you make a difference where you work.

Best Practice Corner
Each month Alliant Health Solutions collects exemplar practices from organizations across the seven-state region. Thank you for your leadership, creativity and perseverance. 

Alabama DPH Creates At-Home COVID Test Infographic
The Alabama Department of Public Health developed an infographic that educates residents on what to do with COVID-19 at-home test results. View Infographic

Louisiana Department of Health Resumes Long-Term Care Office Hours
The Louisiana Department of Health and Where Y’Art Works hosted a COVID-19 vaccine event in late July. COVID-19 vaccines and boosters were available to everyone ages 12 and up. During the event, the public could view artwork from various artists depicting what it means to “Bring Back Louisiana” from the pandemic. View the Bring Back Louisiana Collection

Kentucky Creates $75 Million COVID Relief Fund for Local Nonprofits
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced a $75 million fund to help Kentucky’s nonprofit organizations recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Team Kentucky Nonprofit Assistance Fund will provide one-time direct relief payments, up to $100,000 per eligible nonprofit organization. Read More

NCDHH Kicks Off ‘Know Before You Go’ Campaign
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services kicked off their Know Before You Go campaign, a statewide initiative reminding North Carolinians to stay up to date on COVID-19 vaccines and boosters in time for the start of the 2022-2023 school year, fall festivities, large gatherings and end-of-year celebrations and holidays. Learn More

Do you have a promising practice to share? Please reply to this email, and we will feature you in an upcoming issue.

Health Equity Corner
Alliant Health Solutions' health equity lead, Rosa Abraha, curated the following health trainings, events and resources related to health equity. Check out the resources listed below. 

FY 2023 IPPS/LTCH PPS Final Rule Overview for Hospital Quality Programs
The Quality Reporting Center provided an overview of the Fiscal Year 2023 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS)/ Long-Term Care Hospital Prospective Payment System (LTCH PPS) final rule as it relates to the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting, Hospital Value-Based Purchasing, Hospital-Acquired Condition Reduction, Hospital Readmissions Reduction and Medicare Promoting Interoperability Programs. Download Presentation

Podcast: AHSCAST - Making Health Care Better

graphic of AHScast logo and recent episodes Everyone deserves quality health care.
Tune into the Alliant Health Solutions Making Health Care Better podcast every other Thursday as they interview guests committed to making health care better. If you are a health care consumer, provider, insurer, system or consultant, this is the podcast for you. View All Podcast Episodes



Our team is collecting and curating the essential trainings, events, resources and vaccine updates about COVID-19 and other viruses on our website so you can find the information you need. We've also outlined the essentials below.

View All COVID-19 News & Resources

CMS Nursing Home Infection Prevention Has Never Been More Important Than It Is Now
Alliant Health Solutions and our training partner, Rainmakers Strategic Solutions, are reaching out to nursing homes with direct care staff who participated in infection prevention (IP) training to increase readiness for future pandemics and improve knowledge of direct care staff. Rainmakers is requesting confirmation that direct care staff received IP training that covered the following topics:

  1. Hand hygiene
  2. Standard and transmission-based precautions
  3. PPE
  4. Environmental hygiene
To minimize time away from your priorities, we created the following link to the training assessment for your facilities:
Please complete this training assessment and attestation on or before September 15.
Got questions? Need help? Want more information? Contact Rainmakers Strategic Solutions at 800-950-5636 or email

Upcoming Safe Visitor Policy and Cohorting Plan Assessment
CMS requested Alliant Health Solutions, your QIN-QIO, to work with nursing homes to understand emerging health care needs in the skilled nursing facility and ensure plans addressing safe visitors and cohorting are in place to achieve and maintain health quality and equity. Over the next several months, Alliant Health Solutions will be reaching out to your nursing homes via phone and email to answer two quick questions: 
  • Does your facility have a formal cohorting plan?  
  • Does your facility have a formal Safe Visitor Policy?  
We appreciate your timely response to this CMS-driven directive. Additional information will be provided soon.

FDA Authorizes Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech Bivalent COVID-19 Vaccines for Use as a Booster Dose
The Food and Drug Administration amended the emergency use authorizations of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine to authorize bivalent formulations of the vaccines for use as a single booster dose at least two months following primary or booster vaccination. The bivalent vaccines, also referred to as “updated boosters,” contain two messenger RNA (mRNA) components of SARS-CoV-2 virus, one of the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 and the other one in common between the BA.4 and BA.5 lineages of the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. 
The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent, is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals 18 years of age and older. The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent, is authorized for use as a single booster dose in individuals 12 years of age and older. Read More 

Nursing Home Emergency Preparedness Program (NH EPP) Self-Assessment 
September is National Preparedness Month, so now is the time to review and update your facility’s Emergency Preparedness Plan. Do you have a safe visitor policy? Cohorting plan? Has your direct care staff been trained in infection prevention practices? Alliant Health Solutions is here to help. Take the NH EPP Self-Assessment

NCRN Accepting Applications for Grant Funding
The NCRN Community Engagement Core invites nonprofit community-based organizations to submit proposals to apply for funding. The proposal must detail a program or intervention designed to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on disproportionately impacted communities. Please click on the attached application package below for additional information about the grant and eligibility requirements. Click Here to complete the grant application. The application deadline is September 16, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. ET. Decisions will be announced on or before October 7, 2022. The grant period begins November 1, 2022, and ends April 1, 2023. For additional questions, please call the NCRN Call Center at 1-877-904-5097.
Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Jeremy Bischoff

Pain Management for People with Serious Illness in the Context of the Opioid Use Disorder Epidemic 
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine sponsored a workshop on November 29, 2018, to examine the unintended consequences of the responses to the opioid use disorder epidemic for patients, families, communities and clinicians, and to consider potential policy opportunities to address them. A publication summarizes the presentations and discussions from the workshop. Download Publication 

September is National Recovery Month 
National Recovery Month is observed every September to promote and support new evidence-based treatment and recovery practices, the nation’s recovery community, and the dedication of service providers and communities who make a recovery in all its forms possible. Learn More

National Drug Take Back Day: October 29, 2022 
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. Learn More

Opioid Resources:

  • Medicine Disposal​​​​​​Use this resource to safely dispose of unused, unwanted and expired medications. Download Resource
  • Do’s & Don’ts of Pain Medicine Use this resource to learn how to safely use pain medicine. Download Resource

CMS Chronic Pain Journey Map 
The Chronic Pain Experience Journey Map highlights the most prominent barriers experienced by people accessing care and the influencers acting on providers, ultimately affecting the person with chronic pain, their quality of care, and their quality of life. Download the Chronic Pain Journey Map

Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Tanya Vadala

Influenza Vaccination Coverage Among Healthcare Personnel 
CMS is finalizing the adoption of a new process measure, the Influenza Vaccination Coverage among Healthcare Personnel (HCP) measure for the SNF QRP, beginning with the FY 2024 SNF QRP. The measure reports on the percentage of HCP who receive an influenza vaccine any time from when it first became available through March 31 of the following year. SNFs will submit the measure data through the CDC National Healthcare Safety Network with an initial data submission period from October 1, 2022, through March 31, 2023.

Residents of long-term care facilities, who are often older, are more susceptible to influenza due to general frailty and comorbidities, close contact with other residents, interactions with visitors, and exposure to staff who rotate between multiple facilities. Therefore, monitoring and reporting influenza vaccination rates among HCP is important as HCP are at risk of acquiring influenza from residents and exposing residents to influenza.

Join us for Shop Talk each month, where we will share important NHSN updates, such as those influenza vaccination data reporting, as they become available.

What You Need To Know About Monkeypox 
Utilizing the most up-to-date CDC guidelines, Alliant Health Solutions created a Monkeypox informational sheet that discusses how it spreads, signs and symptoms, and important infection prevention topics such as precautions and personal protective equipment required, cleaning and disinfection, resident placement and health care worker monitoring and restriction. Download Monkeypox Info Sheet


Watch Our NHSN Shop Talk Shorts Series!​​​

​​​​​We know you're busy. Our new video series answers the most common questions we receive regarding navigating NHSN in a brief way. Available videos cover the following topics:

View NHSN Shop Talk Video Series

Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Amy Ward

Curb the Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease Among Medicare Beneficiaries With Cholesterol Education and Cardiovascular Disease Screening 
This September, dedicate time to talk to your patients and their care partners about their lipid profile and assess their 10-year risk for cardiovascular disease during National Cholesterol Education Month. ​​​​​​Data from the CDC indicate that 71 million adults have high amounts of “bad” low-density lipoproteins (LDL) indicative of hyperlipidemia. High LDL cholesterol levels contribute to arterial plaque buildup and increase the risk of atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, heart attack, cardiac failure, and stroke. Hyperlipidemia is a co-morbid condition that often accompanies other chronic diseases like diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.

The CMS’s most recent public use data estimated that 48% of all Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries were diagnosed with hyperlipidemia in 2018. According to the Mapping Medicare Disparities tool, the state-wide prevalence of hyperlipidemia is around 50% among dual and non-dual eligible Medicare beneficiaries within Alliant’s service area (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee).
Ensure that your patients take advantage of their Medicare Part B preventative screening benefits, which cover cholesterol, lipid and triglyceride blood tests on a five-year basis (cardiovascular disease screening CPT/HCPCS Codes:82465, 80061, 83718, 84478).

Alliant created the high cholesterol screening and management materials to keep patients and providers in the know of the latest tools and resources to help control cholesterol and chronic conditions. Download Cholesterol Patient Handout

Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Ingris Garcia

Readmission Reduction for Dialysis Patients 
Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and kidney failure are at high-risk for recurrent hospitalizations, leading to high morbidity, mortality and costs. The burden of readmissions increases with the worsening CKD stage and is disproportionately high in patients with kidney failure. Unplanned readmissions are avoidable in almost half of patients. 

We invite you to join us for a 30-minute webinar on September 22, where we will hear the first-hand experiences of a dialysis patient and learn techniques from an ESRD expert that will improve the transition experience across health care settings and the continuum of care. Use strategies and lessons learned to enhance your readmission initiatives. Register for Webinar

​​​ Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Carolyn Kazdan

Immunization Processes Self-Assessments Now Available 
Alliant Health Solutions has developed new resources to help nursing homes, physician practices, and clinics evaluate their immunization processes. The self-assessments take minutes to complete and include resource links to ensure your teams have the most up-to-date immunization information. The self-assessments can be used internally or shared with Alliant Health Solutions for coaching support. 
Click Here to watch a two-minute video overview of the self-assessments and the resource links. Download Immunization Processes Self-Assessments

Access FREE expert guidance on this topic: Contact Carolyn Kazdan

Members of the Beneficiary & Family Advisory Council are our partners in making health care better. To join us in this important work, contact Mel Brown or submit this referral form.

Browse resources our council has worked on below: 

Video Highlights  Importance of Flu Vaccines  
People who are 65 and older are at high risk of having serious health complications from the flu. Getting the flu shot protects you from getting the flu and keeps you from spreading it to others. Watch the Medicare and You Flu Prevention Video  Watch the Medicare and You Flu Prevention Video

Contact members of the BFAC via Melody Brown

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This material was prepared by Alliant Health Solutions, the Medicare Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization for Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Tennessee, under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Views expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect the official views or policy of CMS or HHS, and any reference to a specific product or entity herein does not constitute endorsement or that product or entity by CMS or HHS. 12SOW-AHS TO1-NH
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