Part 1 - Reducing Rehospitalization: Practical Strategies for Success

Recorded On: 07/27/2016

imageThe National Quality Initiative Series is sponsored by Healthcare Academy

Hospital readmissions can have a huge impact on skilled nursing facilities. It affects payment, five star ratings, your access to participation in preferred networks and your quality measures. In these changing times, to be competitive, you must have a low readmission rate.

Dr. David Gifford (“Giff") will provide Centers with all the strategies and tactics they will need to reduce rehospitalizations. Not only that, but additional supporting information will be available to participants on ahcancalED. Register today to gain access to the most pertinent and useful resources and information.


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David Gifford, MD, MPH (Moderator)

Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs, AHCA

David Gifford, MD, MPH, is a geriatrician and former medical director of several nursing homes in Rhode Island. He currently serves as the Senior Vice President of Quality and Regulatory Affairs at the American Health Care Association. He helped create the Quality Department at AHCA which assists providers in their quality improvement efforts and works with administration officials on regulations and policies impacting the profession. Dr. Gifford also serves on the Board of the Advancing Excellence in America’s Nursing Homes campaign and the Baldrige Foundation Board. He is a former Director of the Rhode Island State Department of Health, where he received the National Governor’s award for Distinguished Service Award for State Officials. Prior to that he served as Chief Medical Officer for Quality Partners of Rhode Island where he directed CMS’ national nursing home-based quality improvement effort. He also holds a faculty appointment at Brown University Medical School and School of Public Health. He received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University and conducted his geriatric fellowship at UCLA where he also earned his Master’s in Public Health while a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. 

MaryPat Carhart,BSN, RN, RAC-CT

Vice President of Clinical Services with Upstate Services Group,

Ms. Carhart is a Registered Nurse with over 30 years' experience in health care as a clinician and leader. After obtaining her Associated of Applied Science in Nursing from Onondaga Community College and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Keuka College, Ms. Carhart's nursing career has included experience in acute care nursing, long-term care nursing and managed care.

Ms. Carhart currently is the Vice President of Clinical Services with Upstate Services Group, previously serving as the Director of Nursing at Central Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, which was designated as a special focus facility by the New York State Department of Health.After accepting the Director of Nursing position in December of 2009, Ms. Carhart assisted with the implementation of a quality improvement plan designed to bring the facility up to an acceptable level of care.As a result of the quality improvement plan implementation the facility was successfully improved in survey results to the extent that New York State removed the facility from the special focus facility designation as of May 2010.

Ms. Carhart recognized the need to reduce re-hospitalization rates for new admissions as well as for avoidable hospitalization for the long-term care resident and sought certification in the INTERACT program and as an instructor implemented the INTERACT Quality Improvement Program within all Upstate Services Group facilities.With the implementation of INTERACT each facility has reduced re-hospitalization and hospitalization rates as well as achieving the ability to partner with hospitals due to the focus on reducing emergency room utilization and avoidable hospital admissions.

Brent Hurley

CNA, NAHCA Board Member

Brent Hurley has served as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) for more than 26 years. He currently serves as a CNA at Courtyard Health Care Center in Goshin, IN. In addition to his work with our nation's frail, elder and disabled citizens, Brent serves on the National Steering Commission of the National Association of Health Care Assistants (NAHCA). He joined the Steering Commission over four years ago and credits his participation on the Steering Commission with the following discovery, "Being on the Steering Commission has given me a chance to see and work with caregivers from across the country. It has allowed me to see that cultures and communities may change, but caring is universal."

Hurley's dedication and commitment to his profession manifests itself in participation in various activities such as the NAHCA Leadership Team in his center, attendance at the 2014 Congressional Briefings in Washington, DC and service on a review panel for Medline Industries Skintegrity System that is intended to promote healthy skin. His hard work and diligence has earned him national recognition and accolades; 2014 Essay Scholarship Recipient and NAHCA's 2015 Excellence in Leadership Award for helping to reduce turnover in his center.

Christine Wheeler


Ms. Wheeler is the Nursing Home Administrator at Advantage Living Center-Wayne.She has been with the Advantage Management Group for the past 7 years in various roles to include Director of Rehabilitation, Director of Clinical Medicare and Reimbursement, and Administrator.

She received her Associates Degree in Certified Occupational Therapy from Wayne County Community College and her Diploma in Nursing Home Administration from Madonna University.

Christine has been dedicated to the profession of Long Term Care/Sub-Acute Rehab since 1995.Her continued focus on all aspects of the resident's experience drives her and her team toward excellence and continued success.

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