Member News

Medical Test Site Waivers (CLIA Waivers)

DSHS issued an updated Dear Provider dated April 22, 2022, regarding the requirement for AFH operators to obtain a Medical Test Site Waiver (MTSW).  This updated DPL provides resources to help with the application process. 

As a recap to explain where this requirement came from, during COVID, many places (such as schools and businesses) began performing COIVD-19 testing.  The Department of Health (DOH) recognized that these businesses were conducting testing and utilizing the results of that testing to determine business practices. According to state and federal law, any site conducting medical testing, interpreting the results of a medical test, or acting on the results of medical testing is required to have a MTSW.  Blood glucose monitoring, UTI screening, and COVID testing are common examples of testing performed in an AFH.  The results of these test may influence insulin use or medical referrals for example. Therefore, homes conducting these tests do need a MTSW in compliance with state law.

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Save the Date: 2022 Spring Conference

Save the date! Join us May 26th, 2022 for our Virtual Spring Conference!

Topics will include:

Legislative & AFH Industry Updates

Common Citations and How to Avoid Them

How the Long-Term Care Foundation Can Help Support AFH’s with Recruiting Staff

Re Imagining the Caregiver Experience

 

Register today!

A Letter from our Executive Director

Dear Adult Family Homes of Washington,

 Happy Spring! Despite my allergies, I love this time of year.  I appreciate having more light, more warmth and seeing everything blooming. This spring, I am also grateful for the significant drop in COVID-19 cases and community transmission.  We are seeing lifting of many restrictions that have been in place for years now. In fact, I was recently able to attend an in-person gathering with around 200 participants.  It was so nice to be around our members and affiliates again.   Special thanks to Elder Village Partners for coordinating the networking event. 

 

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HCS Resuming Onsite Client Visits

Home and Community Services (HCS) is resuming in person client visiting for long-term care
Medicaid assessing and care planning beginning April 15, 2022.
HCS staff are screened by self-attestation prior to conducting an in-person case management
appointment. You may ask the COVID screening questions that you normally ask employees
and others who enter your facility or home. HCS staff will contact you before arriving to
determine if there is any suspected or known COVID in the setting. In the event of known or
suspected COVID, they will reschedule the in-person assessment for a later date or work with
you and the client to complete remotely if delaying will negatively impact client access to
Medicaid services. HCS staff will wear all appropriate source control (well fitted face mask or KN95), follow facility safety requirements and all Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance for infection prevention. The HCS case manager will work with you on ways to
minimize contact and limit exposure as much as possible during the appointment. Click here to read the entire Dear Provider Letter. 

Legislative Session 2022: Summary

The 2022 sixty-day legislative session is wrapped up.  For adult family home operators, the final operating budget and policy changes result in gains.

Funding for the Collective Bargaining Agreement

A primary objective of the Adult Family Home Council in this session was to secure funding for the renegotiated contract. The final budget allocates over $20 million to fund the negotiated changes. The funds are distributed in a variety of ways.

  • 3-7% variable increases to the base daily rate
    • Average 5.5% or
    • Average $5.86 per day increase
  • Increases Medicaid contributions to the Adult Family Home Training Network (AFHTN)
  • Effective 7/1/2022

The rate increases and the increased support for workforce development are critical in ensuring the ongoing viability of Washington’s adult family homes.   An updated rate sheet will be available soon for AFH Council members.

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DDA Specialty Adult Family Home Stakeholder Meetings

DDA is hosting stakeholder sessions to gather your input. Here is their message:

Our state offers many Adult Family Homes (AFH) that provide long-term, stable supports for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). We want to learn what makes them successful and how to support more IDD specialty AFH homes.

If you have ideas and experiences to share, please join us for one of our online stakeholder events. Your feedback helps ensure that we identify specialty services that meet the needs of those who matter most—our clients.

How to get involved:

Attend one of four Zoom stakeholder events that focus on the following questions:

  • What are you looking for when considering an AFH as your long-term residential option?
  • What services and supports in this model are the most important to people with IDD?
  • What training is important for an AFH provider to meet the needs of people with IDD?
  • What would you expect of an AFH with a mission to serve people with IDD?

Please select a date below to register for a virtual Zoom meeting:

March 30, 2022: 9 a.m. to Noon   Click here to register

March 31, 2022: 1- 4 p.m.            Click here to register

April 13, 2022: 9 a.m. to Noon     Click here to register

April 14, 2022: 1 – 4 p.m.              Click here to register

If you need an accommodation, please contact Paula Costa by March 23, 2022, to let us know how we can make this event accessible to you. Paula can be reached at 206-806-1292 or paula.costa@dshs.wa.gov.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Resumption of Training Requirements and Certification Deadlines

Unless a worker is exempt from training as described in WAC 388-71-0839 or WAC 388-112A-0090, employees hired during the COVID-19 emergency must complete basic training, and required specialty training, as follows.  Please encourage all employees who need training/certification to begin the process as soon as possible.

Worker hired or rehired during the time frame of:Must complete basic training no later than:
8/17/2019 to 9/30/20204/30/2022
10/1/2020 to 4/30/20216/30/2022
5/1/2021 to 3/31/20228/31/2022
After 3/31/2022Standard training requirement

For workers who are required to be certified as home care aides, certification must be obtained as follows:

Worker hired or rehired during the time frame of:Must be certified as a home care aide no later than:
8/17/2019 to 9/30/20207/19/2022
10/1/2020 to 4/30/20219/18/2022
5/1/2021 to 3/31/202211/19/2022
After 3/31/2022Based on hire date

(*A long-term care worker is considered “rehired” if they held previous employment as a long-term care worker and did not have an active home care aide credential when hired during the time frames outlined above.)

If a long-term care worker is limited-English proficient, the worker may request an additional sixty days to obtain certification.

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Why Membership Matters

An open letter to all adult family homes not yet members of the AFH Council.

I am writing to ask for your help. We have an opportunity to make a huge impact for the adult family homes of Washington.

In Summer of 2022, the Adult Family Home Council will be renegotiating current Medicaid rates.  The process allows us to insist upon meaningful increases that will address our workforce shortages and the increasing cost of everything.  We intend to work with the state on a contract that reflects the hard and critical work you do every day.  If they do not agree to our terms, we have the opportunity to take legal action and put these issues before an arbitrator.  The arbitrator (like a judge) will hear the facts of the contract dispute and make a final ruling.  The facts are on our side. We believe we can prepare a case that will result in a significant award for the adult family homes of Washington.

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Updated Visitation Guidance Effective 2/23/2022

On 2/23/22 the new LTC COVID Response (formerly Safe Start Plan) goes into effect opening indoor visitation in long-term care settings. Here is a link to the updated plan: LTC COVID Response Plan

Please look for a GovDelivery email from DSHS on Friday afternoon (2/18/22) with this announcement. The next two Thursday DOH Q&A calls will be dedicated to providing more information about these updates and answering questions. 

Register: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_nOtpmAYwTSKBxbnYnyP2jg

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