American Health Care Association
|This article does not cite any sources. (October 2012)|
|Legal status||trade association|
|Headquarters||1201 L Street NW|
The American Health Care Association (AHCA) is a non-profit federation of affiliated state health organizations, together representing more than 10,000 non-profit and for-profit assisted living, nursing facility, developmentally-disabled, and subacute care providers that care for more than 1.5 million elderly and disabled individuals nationally. AHCA was founded in 1949 and is based in Washington, D.C. The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) is part of AHCA.
AHCA/NCAL works with Congress and the Federal government to advocate for long term care services. Membership is open to small and large health care facilities as well as long term care administrators, directors of nursing, certified nursing assistants, and facility owners and operators.
Currently, the CEO/President of AHCA is Mark Parkinson, former Governor of Kansas. NCAL's CEO/President is Dave Kyllo.
AHCA publishes a weekly member-only email newsletter called Capitol Connection and a separate monthly magazine titled Provider. The publications include breaking news and legislative progress on regulations and issue affecting the long term care industry. The association also offers professional development, educational, and networking opportunities. AHCA/NCAL established their Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes campaign in 2007 to improve care quality in nursing homes.
AHCA/NCAL serves skilled nursing care centers in improving the quality of care provided to residents. AHCA provides facilities with resources and solutions for quality improvement such as Quality Reports, the Quality Award Program, a Leadership Excellence program, Gero Nurse Prep, and Nurse Assistant Training. In February 2012, AHCA/NCAL introduced The Quality Initiative-an effort that builds upon existing work the long term and post-acute care field is doing by setting specific, measurable targets to further improve quality of care in American's nursing and assisted living centers. The four main goals of The Quality Initiative are:
1. Safely Reduce Hospital Readmissions: By March 2012, reduce the number of hospital readmissions within 30 days during a SNF stay by 15 percent.
2. Increase Staff Stability: By March 2015, reduce turnover among nursing staff (RN, LPN/LVN, CNA) by 15 percent.
3. Increase Customer Satisfaction: By March 2015, increase the number of customers who would recommend the facility to others up to 90 percent.
4. Safely Reduce the Off-Label Use of Antipsychotics: By December 2012, reduce the off-label use of antipsychotic drugs by 15 percent.
AHCA/NCAL's current advocacy issues include:
1. Protect and Preserve Medicaid Funding for Long Term
2. Stable Medicare Funding Essential for Quality Care
3. Extended Observation Stays Constrain Medicare Beneficiaries' Access to Skilled Nursing Facility Services
AHCA/NCAL also provides an Advocate Toolkit which includes: Guide to Political Action and Grassroots Lobbying, Crafting an Effective Message, Steps to a Successful Facility Tour, and Using Facebook to Connect with Congress.
Research and data
AHCA develops and compiles comprehensive research and data concerning the long term and post-acute care sector. Whether conducted by AHCA and research agencies or gathered from government agencies, AHCA tries to inform the public and policymakers about the state of skilled nursing centers. Research and Data tools and resources include: LTC Trend Tracker, LTC Stats, Funding, and Trends and Statistics.
AHCA/NCAL members have access to various information and resources which include: Clinical Practice, Compliance Programs, Disaster Planning, Fire and Life Safety, Finance, Medicaid, Survey and Certification, and Medicare. Members also have access to various publications such as Capitol Connection, NCAL Focus, Provider Magazine, NFP Newsletter, and DD Digest.
AHCA/NCAL Convention - This annual long term care industry event includes influential speakers, education programs, networking opportunities, and activities.
Congressional Briefing - Members convene annually at the nation's capital in order to raise awareness of important issues affecting long term and post-acute care in addition to meeting with congressional representatives.
NCAL Spring Conference - This stand-alone event for assisted living professionals had its first inaugural conference in spring of 2012.
Independent Owner Conference - The AHCA/NCAL Independent Owner Leadership Conference is for independent owners (IOs) and not for profit operators of ten or fewer long term care facilities.
Quality Symposium - This annual symposium is for long term care quality professionals and is an event that provides a broad spectrum of programming to quality practitioners at all levels. Included are individual sessions, poster sessions, keynote speakers, networking, and idea sharing.