Member News

Medicaid Rate Increase Scheduled for July 1, 2022

AFH Medicaid rate increases are scheduled for July 1, 2022.  The chart reflects the current rates and new rates by service area.

Under Washington state law, Medicaid rates only increase through the process of collective bargaining. (RCW 41.56.029) The Adult Family Home Council is the exclusive representative for adult family homes when negotiating these rates.  Our sucess depends on having the support of the those we represent. We are currently negotiating rates for additional increases in funding. If you are not yet a member, please invest in our advocacy work, so we can hold DSHS accountable to fair wages and reasonable working conditions.  Join here: Become a member – Adult Family Home Council

MSA Counties: Benton, Clark, Franklin, Island, Kitsap, Pierce, Snohomish, Spokane, Thurston, Whatcom, and Yakima Counties. 

NMSA Counties: Adams, Asotin, Chelan, Clallam, Columbia, Cowlitz, Douglas, Ferry, Kittitas, Garfield, Grant, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Klickitat, Lewis, Lincoln, Mason, Okanogan, Pacific, Pend Oreille, San Juan, Skagit, Skamania, Stevens, Wahkiakum, Walla Walla, and Whitman.

 

 

Infection Prevention Information for Visitors

The Strategic Partners Program in the Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance (HAIAR) section of the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), is pleased to announce the release of a webpage containing links to two educational videos to help visitors to long-term care facilities learn about basic infection control measures for preventing COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. The long-term care visitation video describes basic infection prevention practices, while the long-term care isolation precautions video covers the proper use of personal protective equipment when visiting someone who is in quarantine. The site also includes an informational flyer that contains a QR code, that can be scanned to watch the videos. In addition, you will find corresponding guidance documents. Please print and share these resources with visitors to provide them with knowledge and tools to keep everyone safe.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us all many lessons about how to best protect vulnerable residents. One of those lessons is that everyone has a role in infection prevention, even visitors. Visiting someone in a long-term care facility, including nursing homes, and veterans’ homes, is so important for both the resident and the visitor. However, it also poses a risk of bringing illness into the building, and infecting residents and staff, and that is why DOH produced the two videos.

The videos and several of the guidance documents are in the process of being translated and will be added to the webpage as they become available. If you require additional translation, please contact Kathy Silverman, Health Services Consultant. Questions and comments about the videos and webpage may be directed to Bonita Campo, Special Projects Unit Supervisor.

A Letter from our Executive Director

To the Adult Family Homes of Washington

I want to recognize that for many, times are tough.   Workforce shortages, inflation, COVID-19 outbreaks, and increased expectations from DSHS continue.  On July 1st, the state intends to reduce the COVID-19 funding by 20% while cases continue to rise.  There are increases to the base daily rates, previously negotiated by the Council, that will help offset the reduction of the COVID funding.  Unfortunately, these rate changes will not keep pace with the realities of increasing prices and demands for higher wages.  As we hear the challenges for the membership, we are actively seeking solutions. Currently, we are undertaking several initiates to address rising costs.  

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Get Involved in a Project Using a Virtual Reality System for AFH Caregiver Training

WHO?

  • We are inviting you to participate in our research project if you:
  • Are 18 years of age or older,
  • Are working at an adult family home in Washington State,
  • Are a CNA or HCA, or have completed CNA or HCA certification
    training but not yet certified
  • Have at least one month of caregiving experience in an adult family
    home, AND
  • Understand and speak English

WHY?

  • The caregiver’s training, health, and safety are critical to resident care.
  • Current training is generalized, and skills practice is not in real-world
    settings. Also, the caregiver courses fall short on addressing the adult family home workforce’s health and safety.
  • We plan to develop a new interactive virtual reality program that mimics adult family homes for caregiver training.
  • Your experience will help us decide what to put in the content and
    scenarios.

WHAT IF YOU MEET THOSE CRITERIA AND AGREE TO PARTICIPATE?
Our interviewer will schedule a time to talk with you. The interview will:

  • Be about 90 minutes
  • Be done via Zoom (audio/videoconferencing tool)
  • Be scheduled for a time that is easy for you

We will not show the information to anyone else. Everyone who does the interview will
receive a $50 gift card for their time and contribution to our project.

ARE YOU INTERESTED OR DO YOU NEED MORE INFORMATION?
Please contact us (VR for AFH Caregiver Training) at VRforAFH@uw.edu, 206-543-
8589 (Phone), 206-543-0701 (Text), or by completing this survey (click here VR for
Adult Family Home Training or scan the QR code at the top right corner).

If no one answers the phone, please leave the time you called, your name, and your
contact number. We will contact you as soon as we are able.

Click here for the flyer. 

All Staff Required to Take Training if any Resident has EpiPen Prescription

The department published a Dear Provider Letter on June 1, 2022, informing providers that emergency rules were filed to amend WAC 388-76-10455. This rule will allow all AFH staff who have been trained to administer epinephrine to residents assessed as requiring it (if the resident has a prescription for an EpiPen due to history of a life-threatening allergy). 

The required training must be conducted by a nationally recognized organization experienced in emergency health treatment or an entity or individual approved by the department of health. Online training is available through the American Red Cross. The cost is $35 per person. The department is exploring other training options and will share information when it becomes available. 

Click here to read the entire Dear Provider Letter. 

Reinstatement of Tuberculosis Testing Requirements July 1, 2022

Currently, tuberculosis (TB) testing requirements are suspended by the Department of Social
and Health Services under WSR 22-07-004, which will expire July 1, 2022.

Residential Care Services (RCS) will not be refiling emergency rules to extend the suspension
of the requirements after the current emergency rules expire. Washington state is experiencing
a significant increase in the number of TB cases. It is necessary to reinstate TB testing
requirements to reduce the risk of illness to the vulnerable people we serve.

To be prepared to meet the TB testing requirements on July 1, 2022, RCS encourages all facilities and providers to immediately begin staff TB testing. This will allow time to meet the requirements once the emergency rules have expired and the permanent rules are reimplemented.

Click here to read the entire Dear Provider Letter. 

Survey for HCA and CNA Training, Testing & Certification Needs in AFH’s

As DSHS and DOH are looking to resume the training requirements post pandemic, we are trying to get an idea of how many caregivers hired during the pandemic still need to complete their training, testing or certification as either a Home Care Aide or Certified Nursing Assistant. This information will help inform timelines for reimplementing these requirements.

Please take a couple minutes to complete this survey.

Thank you!

Sign Up for Fit Test Training

Learn how to conduct your own respirator fit test to help protect your staff and stay in compliance with the respiratory protection regulations. The DOH Occupational Health Team have started training LTC facilities to conduct their own fit test. There are three steps: 1) Complete the pre-training work before attending the Fit Test Training webinar, 2) Attend the Fit Test Webinar and participate, 3) Complete the Hands-on Fit Test Training with the DOH fit test vendor. If you are interested in learning how to conduct your own fit test, please visit www.doh.wa.gov/ltcrpp, go the our Fit Test Training page for more information and sign up.

The free 3M online medical evaluation is still available for LTC facilities for a limited time. Email HAI-FitTest@doh.wa.gov  with *MEDICAL EVALUATION* in the subject line for information on how to get signed up for the medical evaluation online system. 

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