The Governor’s Gold Seal Award for Excellence in Long-Term Care recognizes nursing centers that demonstrate excellence in long-term care over a sustained period, promotes the stability of the industry and facilitates the physical, social, and emotional well-being of nursing home facility residents.
There are currently 32 skilled nursing centers in Florida that have earned the Governor’s Gold Seal Award. Under the new Prospective Payment System (PPS) for Medicaid reimbursement, these centers will receive the extra five quality award points for having accreditation or award. The PPS, which takes effect October 2018, will mark the first time in Florida Medicaid history that nursing centers will be rewarded for measurable quality credentials.
Each center receives a quality of care score that reflects the results of all the parameters included in the Nursing Home Guide. These parameters are defined in the Nursing Home Guide Methodology, as specified in Rule 59A-4.165, F.A.C., and the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) will compute a quality of care score and rank nursing center licenses. The centers that have a quality of care score that ranks in the top 15% of nursing centers in each region or top 10% statewide are eligible to apply for a Governor’s Gold Seal Award. The nursing center must also be ranked in the Nursing Home Guide as a five-star facility overall, which is using the state star rating criteria.
There are two periods for applying for the Governor’s Gold Seal Award each year. The first period requires that applications be submitted by March 15, with the quality of care score for this review period being obtained from the preceding quarter ending December 31. The quality of care score will be available by February 15. Application reviews will be completed by April 15, with site visits conducted after that date and a meeting of the Gold Seal Panel taking place to determine those licensees to be recommended for the award. The second period requires applications be submitted by September 15 with the quality of care score period being obtained from the preceding quarter ending June 30. The quality of care score will be available August 15, with site visits and a meeting of the Panel being held after that date for recommended awards.
To be considered for recommendation for a Gold Seal Award, a nursing center must submit to AHCA’s Long Term Care Unit a letter of recommendation, a completed application for Nursing Home Gold Seal Award, the financial documentation required by Rule 59A-4.204, F.A.C. and stable workforce documentation required by Rule 59A-4.204, F.A.C.
Once a nursing center has obtained the Governor’s Gold Seal Award, a termination of the Gold Seal designation will occur if the nursing center files bankruptcy, receives a Class I or II deficiency or receives a survey that results in an overall rank of less than five stars in the Nursing Home Guide. For federally certified facilities, if the disqualifying event is the issuance of a citation for a Class I or Class II deficiency or the assignment of a conditional license status, the Gold Seal Award shall be withdrawn only after the results of the federal informal dispute resolution (IDR) process are considered, if an IDR is requested.
The benefits of receiving the prestigious Governor’s Gold Seal Award is the additional five points toward the quality score for PPS Medicaid reimbursement and being able to use the designation in center advertising and marketing. The greatest benefit to receiving the Gold Seal Award, however, is the journey of improving quality for the residents residing in the nursing center receiving the award.
Deborah Franklin is FHCA Senior Director of Quality Affairs. She can be reached at [email protected].