Executive Board Nominations

Nominations are now open for the four positions on the AFH Council Executive Board.  Nomination will remain open until November 10, 2022

Nominations are accepted for: 

  • Position # 3 representing Snohomish, Skagit, Island, Whatcom and San Juan Counites.  
  • Position # 6 representing Clallam, Clark, Cowlitz, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, Skamania, Thurston, and Wahkiakum Counites 
  • Position # 7 representing King County 
  • At-Large Position representing any county  
Nominees must be from the appropriate county, be a current AFH Council member, and be nominated by a current member of the Council. For a full list of qualifications and responsibilities click here.
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Interest Arbitration Decision Announced

In late August, the AFH Council and DSHS participated in an arbitration hearing to determine the final rates for AFH Medicaid payments for fiscal years 2024 and 2025. The arbitrator’s final decision has been announced.

The decision provides the single largest contract increase, by dollars, or percentage of increase, ever awarded to the adult family homes. The result is an average increase to the base daily rate of 29%.

Additionally, the award corrects outdated county designation.  The new contract will have two county categories: Central Puget Sound Region (CPSR) that includes King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties; all other counties will be considered standard.

There are still steps to finalize the contract, and funding must be authorized by the state legislature, but based on the award from the arbitrator, these are the proposed rates to be paid next year.

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Staff Stability Survey

Aging and Long-Term Support Administration (ALTSA) is participating in a pilot survey for facilities and agencies providing direct care for older adults and people with disabilities.  Although recruitment and retention of direct care workers has always been a challenge, the pandemic has exacerbated these workforce shortages.  We want to take every opportunity to collect and analyze data that will help to inform short and long-term workforce development strategies.

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Welcome our New Advocacy Coordinator

My name is Amina Abdalla. I was born in a refugee camp in Kenya but grew up in Auburn WA. I received my Associate Degree from Green River College and attended Penn State University where I double majored in African Studies and Political Science. I come from a long line of providers. My mother has been a provider for my oldest sister who has developmental disability for over 10 years. Actually, a majority of the women in my family are either senior care providers or providers for patients with developmental disability. I understand the challenges and barriers providers in this industry experience. I’ve had to personally navigate through it as a child and currently as an adult for my mother and my developmentally disabled sister who speak little to no English. Experiencing and understanding the barriers adult care providers go through especially those operating and working in Adult Family Homes is why I joined the Adult Family Home Council.

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Accessing Bivalent Covid-19 Vaccine

This letter is to inform you that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) up to date
guidance was revised September 2, 2022 to include recommendations that anyone 12 years of
age or older receive one updated Pfizer or Moderna (bivalent) booster.

Background: Primary vaccines and booster vaccines protect against the original SARS-CoV-2
virus. The term for this is monovalent. The Fall 2022 COVID-19 booster vaccine is a bivalent
vaccine that protects against the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
The updated CDC guidance recommends that all booster doses be bivalent (protects against
the original SARS-CoV-2 virus AND the Omicron variant). The bivalent booster vaccine is the
only recommended booster vaccine. Monovalent booster vaccine doses are no longer
approved.
The bivalent vaccine should be available to long-term care (LTC) settings over the next 3
months. Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and Residential Care Services (RCS),
Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) recognize the need for clarification of up-to-date definition related to bivalent vaccine access timeline.

 

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Are You Ready for the Next Outbreak?

The WA State DOH HAI/AR Occupational Health Team provides support for LTC facilities on the L&I standard for respiratory protection. Support includes training and answering questions/concerns on respiratory protection, assisting with the cost of the medical evaluation and fit testing, and providing training on how to conduct a valid fit test.

The DOH Occupational Health team can help keep you be compliant with the L&I rules and regulation on respiratory protection and prepare your facility for the next potential outbreak. With high staff turnover rates, don’t wait for the next outbreak, visit our website at www.doh.wa.gov/ltcrpp now to learn how to stay compliant with the respiratory protection rules and regulations or email your questions to HAI-FitTest@doh.wa.gov. We are here to help you!

Governor’s Proclamations Related to Covid-19 Ending October 27

On July 29, Governor Inslee announced that several proclamations issued in response to the
COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency will be rescinded, effective October 27, 2022. This
includes proclamations 20-36, 20-52, 20-65, and 20-66, which waived and suspended rules and
laws in long-term care settings.
The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS), in collaboration with the Department of
Health (DOH), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and other stakeholders,
have been planning for the end of these proclamations, including completing several rulemaking projects. This table gives more information about the requirements waived by these proclamations and the actions being taken in preparation for the end of the proclamations.

Click here to read the entire Dear Provider Letter. 

Mass Testing Sites Available for Those Ready to Take the Certified Nursing Assistant Exams

Training and certification deadlines are quickly approaching. DOH and DSHS have set up temporary mass testing sites to help caregivers who have been hired during the pandemic complete the Certified Nursing Assistant (NA-C) skills and written tests. 

Update on Contract Negotiations, September 2, 2022

On August 31, 2022, the Adult Family Home Council completed a three-day interest arbitration hearing with the State of Washington. The purpose of the hearing is to determine final language for the adult family home contract.  This includes Medicaid rates paid to adult family homes.

During the hearing the Council and the state were both allowed to present a case outlining how their position was the correct way to determine the costs of AFH services.  The arbitrator, who is a neutral third party paid by both the Council and the state, is now reviewing the case presented and will make a determination no later than October 1, 2022. The arbitrator’s ruling is final and binding.

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