Some long-term care professionals look forward to the month of March for a spring break getaway on the beach or in the mountains.

Others can’t wait for it because they know it means the arrival of the annual McKnight’s Online Expo. The profession’s only virtual trade show returns this year March 14 and 15 with five educational sessions led by nationally respected speakers. Free continuing education credit is available with each.

As always, the price is right: It’s all free to attendees, who will leave with a deeper understanding of the day’s top issues, CE units and a refreshed outlook on their profession.

Even better, those who DO get away from the office for spring break vacation can still take part. The Online Expo is available to anyone with internet access.

“This really is the most convenient, cost-effective way long-term care professionals can hear from top experts, ask them questions and earn CE credits without having to foot a big bill,” said
McKnight’s Editorial Director John O’Connor. “There is truly nothing else like it. That’s why we’ve had thousands of people come each year.”

Day 1

The virtual conference and exhibitor hall open at 9:30 a.m. E.T. on March 14, 30 minutes before the first session. Titled “Medicare compliance update: Are you up to speed?” it will be led by Leah Klusch, the executive director of The Alliance Training Center.

“Operations needs to drive compliance activity and inform the team of changes to coverage guidelines and assessment processes,” Klusch said, impressing the need for updated education. “Today, regulatory oversight is focused on compliance, outcomes and documentation of interventions.”

Upon completion of Klusch’s session, there will be an hour available for exhibition hall browsing and information gathering among the booths, which will be attended by live representatives and, in many cases, feature contests and giveaways. The day’s second session, “Following the money in 2017,” will begin at 12 p.m. E.T.

“With a new year in swing, a new administration, a number of campaign promises to be considered AND a new team of economists advising President Trump on fiscal policy, the economic outlook is changing,” said Beth Burnham Mace, the chief economist for the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care, who will lead the session.

“We’ll review the changing economic landscape and how it will influence the seniors housing and care sector, including the impact of higher interest rates and a strong economy. We’ll also review the latest updated market fundamentals for seniors housing.”

The day’s final session, “Strategies for surviving the survey,” will begin at 1:30 p.m. E.T. Attorney Paula Sanders, principal and co-chairwoman of Post & Schell’s Health Care Practice Group, will lead what could be the best-attended webinar of the Expo.

“What we’re finding across the country is providers are self-reporting and then they’re getting dinged for it,” Sanders explained. “Providers need to learn how to position themselves to get credit for ‘past’ non-compliance, and a lot of it comes down to documentation.”

CMS continues to increase fines in accord with the Inflation Adjustment Act, Sanders added. As a result, “entire operations” will be at risk if operators don’t “fully incorporate the new requirements of participation” into everyday work life.

“I think there are people out there who haven’t spent time to look at the regulations, and break them into pieces,” she added.

Day 2

Wound care is an area of long-term care that can have costly, lasting effects on all employees at a facility, in addition to residents/patients, of course. That’s why the 11:30 a.m. kick-off session on March 15 is so vital.

Titled “Accident or Intentional? Assessing patient injuries in long-term care,” it will be led by Daniel J. Sheridan, Ph.D., professor and director of the Forensic Health Care Education, Research and Intervention Program at Texas A&M’s Health Service Center.

“We’ll be highlighting the importance of using photography to document wound assessment and wound healing. It’s become a standard of care,” Sheridan said. “Proactively investigating all significant injuries is protective both of the client and patients they serve, but also the facility itself.”

“People will come away more empowered. It’s a myth that if you take photos, they will be used against you in litigation. There’s zero data that shows if you’re taking photos you’re going to get sued. It’s all attorney word-of-mouth. In my experience as an investigator, when facilities have a good photo trail of their very reasonable efforts of how they tried to prevent that injury, it’s protective.”

The final Expo session will start at 1 p.m. E.T. and focus on practical uses of data that providers probably are already gathering. “Your data always tells you what to do … are you listening?” will be led by Mark Pavlovich, director of analytics and education at Ethica Health.

“The key to achieving clinical and financial success in post-acute care settings requires paying close attention to the intelligence derived from the massive amount of data generated from day-to-day operations. This is, unfortunately, not as easy as it sounds,” Pavlovich said. “Myriad data sets, disparate sources and individual knowledge bias combine to distract, daze and otherwise demoralize. Attend this session and start to listen to your data.”

Registration is ongoing at