President's Message
There have been many questions surrounding the release of the new Covid-19 vaccine. Who can get it, how do we get it, and is it safe? All of these questions are valid and for many, still in the process of being answered. Once availability and access have been made clear, the biggest question still remains; do I want to get vaccinated?
I chose to get the vaccine, and received my first dose two weeks ago. For those of you still deliberating, I want to tell you why I made the choice that I did.
Like many of you, I would like to see a return to normalcy, and I believe that this vaccine will move us toward that goal. Yes, this vaccine was created and approved in record time, but after looking through the research, I could honestly say that I trust the process of approval for this vaccine. In addition, I believe that my role in home care is a great responsibility, not only to protect and care for individuals, but also to act as a leader in times of uncertainty or distress. Getting the vaccine felt like the right thing to do to protect those I serve and those I work with in addition to my family. I am currently living with my dad and taking care of him. He is suffering from Brain Cancer and is immunocompromised. As his primary care giver, I feel a responsibility to do all that I can to protect him.
This week, I will be taking my second dose and I am glad that I made the choice to take the vaccine.
If you are still on the fence regarding the vaccine, I urge you to continue to research the vaccines available and continue to ask yourself why. Why should I get vaccinated? Why not?

Rachel Manchester
HCAW President
Upcoming Events
Oasis Hacks
February 18-19 (Must register by February 11th)
These hands-on sessions are like no other OASIS training you’ve participated in! Prior to the two, two-hour webinar training sessions, attendees will receive by mail a hard copy “INSTANT OASIS Hacks Kit” that includes:  
  • a copy of the INSTANT OASIS Answers book for 2021
  • the Key Concepts Reference Card  
  • 75 Key Concepts tabs to customize your INSTANT book  
This is not an introductory OASIS course.
Attendees should have at least a familiarity with the OASIS items and data collection rules.
In addition to a valuable overview of important guidance, participants will leave the series with an indispensable resource for use during the open-book COS-C Exam and during day-to-day OASIS work.
Each webinar session will be held LIVE in two, two-hour-long sessions.
Clinical Connections- Regulatory Round-Up
Wednesday, February 24th
GoTo Meeting
Cost: Free
Join us for a discussion with Donna Goodwin, our HCAW Clinical Director! Donna will be covering the following points:
  • Accessing and navigating the WA State In-Home Services law and rules
  • Defining the difference between statute and rule
  • Revealing resources for your toughest regulatory and survey issues
Legislative Lunch and Learn  
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021
GoTo Meeting
Cost: Free
The legislative session kicked off 27 days ago! We welcome you to join us for the opportunity to discuss both federal and state legislation that may impact the Home Care industry. Our Public Policy Director and Clinical Director will be available during this hour to answer your questions and give additional insight on the current session.
Leslie Emerick
HCAW Public Policy Director
Donna Goodwin
HCAW Clinical Director
In The News
Click on the topics below for more information
Covid-19 Updates
By now you are probably aware of the availability of vaccines for protection against COVID 19. Pfizer and Moderna both have produced vaccines. Johnson & Johnson is in line to request emergency use authorization for a third vaccine. Phase 1. A. and 1. B. vaccination clinics have started in Washington state. The focus of Phase 1.A is on LTC facilities and front line workers including those in the home health, home care and hospice arena. Phase 1. B. has been expanded to include those over the age of 65 and those over 50 from multi-generational families.

You may have questions on how to move forward. Your staff and patients may have questions. If you do not know what phase you are in that is your first step. Then find vaccine clinics in your area and make an appointment if vaccine is not provided by your employer. This link will take you to more important information from the Department of Health including how to find your phase and clinic locations by county.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Discussion Corner
HCAW is dedicated to being a resource and leader in improving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in Home Care. We have begun discussions with an expert in the field and will be bringing some webinars and resources in the months to come! Stay tuned! In the meantime, we would ask that you read the article below to start the discussion.

Survey Readiness
All In-Home Services (IHS) providers should be familiar with the requirements for periodic surveys (inspections) conducted by the Department of Health (DOH). DOH performs re-licensure surveys (state) as well as Medicare recertification surveys for those who are certified Medicare providers. Complaint surveys also known as complaint investigations are also conducted by DOH. The two sets of regulations that are essential for IHS providers to have readily on hand are the IHS WACs and the Medicare Conditions of Participation (COPs) if you are Medicare certified.

WAC stands for Washington Administrative Code and is the rules we are surveyed under.

Our surveyors are employed by DOH and contract with CMS to perform Medicare certified agencies as well as performing state work for those agencies that are state licensed only. Currently routine surveys (re-licensure or recertification surveys) have been suspended due to the Public Health Emergency (PHE) related to COVID 19. Complaint investigations could happen depending on level of severity.

We know we should be “survey ready” every day. That can be super challenging during the PHE.
In future installments of this newsletter, we will feature selected WACs and COPs that will be part of future surveys. If you have specific survey related questions, please forward them to HCAW and we can provide answers in upcoming newsletters. 
Compliance Corner
In a recent National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) newsletter brief, clarification was provided regarding what appears to be conflicting guidance on face to face encounters. The affected regulations include: Section 424.22 (a)(v))A)-(C); 484.2; & language in the CARES Act.

Since 2010 when the face to face requirement was introduced, it has created confusion for Medicare certified agencies.

NAHC has reached out to CMS for clarification. See link below to read that section of the NAHC newsletter. More to come.

HCAW Membership
We want you to join our community of members! Here's why.....

  • We offer a community, resources, and strong voice for professionals providing care in the home.
  • Our membership is for your entire team! Members include managers, directors, aides, nurses, dietitians, finance managers, c-suite executives, and all other professionals who support care in the home. 
  • Free and reduced cost premium education that impacts your work.
  • Tools and resources to improve your agency.
  • HCAW advocates for our members and industry both here in Washington state and throughout the nation.
  • Up to date news that impacts you.
HCAW Website and Social Media
We have been working hard to update our website and refresh our social media platforms! If you have visited our website previously, please make sure that you clear your cache to ensure that you get the must updated version! And remember to follow us on social media!