Nevada Health Care Association hosts successful seminar

Quality First Educational Series hosted providers, surveyors in rare meeting

CARSON CITY, Nev. – The Nevada Health Care Association (NVHCA) recently hosted its first Quality First Educational Series in Northern and Southern Nevada in January. The meetings brought together skilled nursing providers with state surveyors in an educational setting provided by Lynda Mathis and Frosini Rubertino, who discussed topics such as the survey process, medication management and infection control. The goal of the series, which continues in March with four additional sessions in 2011, is to find ways to improve patient care in Nevada.

“Over the next three years, this series of education and collaboration seminars, attended by both providers and regulators, will result in a higher level of compliance with the state and federal regulations,” said Daniel Mathis, CEO of NVHCA. Previously, the two groups received their educations on the subject from completely different places, which resulted in skilled nursing facilities receiving more citations from regulators. Why? Because the two groups simply were trained differently and, thus, not always on the same page.

Held in Reno and Las Vegas, the seminars were attended by 25 surveyors and more than 120 attendees who represented most of the state’s skilled nursing facility providers in both metropolitan and rural areas of Nevada. Mathis and Rubertino are industry veterans who have worked through the Arkansas Health Care Association to lower the average number of deficiencies during a standard survey and brought their expertise to Nevada for the first seminars in the 2011 series.

“We are all looking forward to many more learning sessions,” Mathis said. “We’re pleased with January’s turnout, which shows our nursing and rehabilitative care professionals here in Nevada are dedicated to quality care and ongoing commitment to providing superior care.”

When skilled nursing facilities work to the best of their abilities, everyone benefits. Person-centered care is associated with improved organizational performance, higher resident and staff satisfaction, better workplace performance and higher occupancy rates. As noted in a recent report published by the American Health Care Association, nursing facilities are the most frequent site of post-acute care in America, treating a full 50 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries requiring post-acute care after hospitalization.

“I think everyone in the room learned important things,” said Julie Liebo, College Park administrator.

NVHCA is committed to improving care in Nevada but cannot do it alone, which is why the organization launched the seminar series. Education and communication helps get the correct information out to the right people in the proper setting, Daniel Mathis said.

The second seminars in the series will be held Tuesday, March 15, in Las Vegas at United Healthcare, 2700 N. Tenaya Way, 2716 building, inside the Anthony Marlon Auditorium and Thursday, March 17, in Carson City at the Carson City Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, 801 S. Carson St. Attendees will have the opportunity to interact with legislators on issues important to the long-term care industry during the Carson City event.

The session, conducted by Lynda Mathis and Sarah Riggin, a nurse in the skilled nursing industry since 1989, will discuss the Minimum Data Set, (MDS), a tool used by facilities to measure results, effectiveness and report to the public to ensure quality care is provided. She also will discuss Care Plans and how facilities can set up creative financing programs in order to manage tricky reimbursement for Medicaid and Medicare patients. Riggin teaches use of the MDS throughout Arkansas and surrounding states.

To register for either the Las Vegas or Carson City seminars, e-mail Information on vendors to be recruited as sponsors can be sent to

The effort began during the first meeting between NVHCA staff and three top administrators from the state including Richard Whitley, administrator of the State Health Division; Marla McDade-Williams, deputy administrator and former chief of the Bureau of Health Care Quality and Compliance (HCQC); and Wendy Simons, the newly appointed chief of the HCQC. This meeting resulted in the formation of the Skilled Nursing Advisory Committee (SNAC), which has a primary goal to reduce the average number of deficiencies written during a regulatory survey. Another goal is to comply with HealthInsight Quality Measures.

To meet these goals, the committee developed the Quality First Educational Series: Achieving Compliance, which will begin in January and continue every other month throughout 2011.

The Nevada Health Care Association is a non-profit organization of long term care facilities and associate members, together representing nearly 50 non-profit and for-profit assisted living, nursing facility, and sub-acute care providers that care for over 6,000 elderly and disabled individuals statewide and employ more than 8,000 Nevadans.

For more information on Nevada Health Care Association or the Quality First Educational Series, call 866-307-0942 or visit or Nevada Health Care Association’s Facebook page.