For the last eight years, long-term care professionals have known that there’s one place they need to be near the end of March.

It brings them national experts. 

It delivers “must know” details on professional issues.

It requires no travel and offers the opportunity to earn five continuing education credits.

It costs them nothing. 

It is, of course, the McKnight’s Online Expo. Now in its eighth iteration, the two-day extravaganza kicks off March 26 with three webinars. Two more cap the event the next day.

There is no better way for administrators, directors of nursing and other top managers to become more informed and earn a handful of free CEs.

Last year, more than 3,200  people attended this online event. It is accessible with an Internet-connection and also features a virtual tradeshow that includes live vendor representatives, white papers, contests and giveaways.

Organizers expect another record crowd this year. Registration is ongoing at

It’s all about content

Like other McKnight’s productions, the Online Expo thrives on the quality of its content, in this case its educational sessions. McKnight’s accreditors have issued providers more than 10,000 continuing education credits in recent years for expo webcasts.

Payment is perhaps the No. 1 issue on long-term care operators’ minds year-round. The Expo starts with Leah Klusch leading a session on updated happenings with MDS 3.0. Titled “New rules on the horizon,” it kicks off the Expo at 10 a.m. Eastern Time (7 a.m. Pacific) on March 26.

“Changes in data content and the quality of CMS analytics are producing increased risks to payment and regulatory oversight,” notes Klusch, the executive director of the Alliance Training Center. “Assessment processes must be managed carefully to assure data quality and accuracy. These are the big issues in 2014.”

Session attendees will hear about new and looming MDS 3.0 changes. They’ll also learn of specific changes the government is making or plans to make to the Resident Assessment Instrument manual.

In the second session, Gregory L. Alexander, Ph.D., will deliver “How tech tools are changing the face of LTC.” The session, which targets a wide range of stakeholders, begins at 11:30 a.m. Eastern.

Alexander, an associate professor in the University of Missouri’s Sinclair School of Nursing, will share his research into how long-term care has adopted technology. He’s been examining the issue since 2007, evaluating technology evolution, electronic medical records and the different components in EMRs that enhance communication.

“I’ve been doing a lot of work in understanding how technology is being adopted. Has it been adopted faster than in the past?” he says. “I’ve been looking at quality measures, such as whether IT adoption improve quality. Also, how does it affect workflow?” 

The day concludes with a highly anticipated session on wound care and medical director involvement. Presenter Jeffrey M. Levine, M.D., CMD, AGSF, is one of the foremost wound care and geriatrics specialists in the field today. His session, “The least your medical director needs to know,” begins at 1 p.m. Eastern.

Key topics will include chronic care issues, palliative care and unavoidable pressure ulcers.

“The field of palliative care is extended to wounds, so how palliative care principals are applied to chronic conditions is important,” says Levine, who is affiliated with the Center for Advanced Wound Care and the Division of Geriatrics at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in Manhattan. “It has risk management and costs-savings implications.”

He also will cover outsourcing for wound care. This is becoming more common, but there can be pitfalls.

“Many people think ‘so and so takes care of that, so we’re absolved of any further involvement with wound care,’” he says. “And that’s stepping on a landmine.”

He also worries about how care plans are followed.

“People are outsourcing and they don’t know what’s going on in the facility,” he says. “I’ve seen people have wounds sharply debrided the day before they die in hospice. It’s ridiculous.”

Day Two

The second day of the Expo begins with an intriguing look at various market conditions and financing around the country. Charles W. Harry Jr., managing director and director of research and analytics for the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry, will lead “Where operators are finding capital.”

The 11 a.m. Eastern session will examine what kinds of capital sources are most prevalent, and how operators can position themselves for success.

Harry also will discuss rent rates, market adaption to new growth and other key topics.

Capping the Online Expo’s webcasts will be a popular session on how to prepare for government surveys — and re-surveys.

Jo Walters, RN-C, CDONA, CP, the wellness director at Blanchard House (Assisted Living Concepts) in Ohio will be the keynoter.

“I’m hoping what people take away from it is a better understanding of how to prepare for re-survey so that it is not so stressful for any of the staff members,” she says. “Surveys can be done in a systematic way. I’ll provide [attendees] with the tools so they can start right away in facilities.”

Walters embraces the “war room” concept, versus the traditional method of flipping through a notebook. Participants will learn how to have a system that is “systematic and organized.”

Exploring the market

McKnight’s Online Expo is a first-of-its-kind venture. As in the past, it includes a full, simulated exhibition hall with at least 15 vendor booths.

These eldercare companies will have representatives at their booths, ready to answer questions and give information. They also offer white papers, giveaways, contests and other reasons to stop by.

The beauty of this format is that “attendees” just need an Internet connection. There are no plane tickets, hotel rooms or shuttle buses.

The expo is convenient, flexible and, above all, valuable for LTC professionals’ ongoing education.

In other words, the place to be. 

Registration is free at