A Pioneer Network webinar on Thursday was a good reminder of how easy it can be to judge absent families when caring for the elderly.
McKnight's Senior Living's inaugural Online Expo arrives June 20. Just like McKnight's past Online Expos that have attracted thousands of long-term care professionals, it is free to attend and offers free CE credits — three, to be exact.
What does it mean to win post-acute care? There aren't any trophies involved, no big acceptance speeches in front of the industry. What winning providers do have, however, is a deep understanding of their data and a competitive edge in their markets.
In a year already chock full of regulatory victories, last week's development about arbitration clauses might turn out to be the best of the bunch. But ...
One might be forgiven for watching an Office of Inspector General video discussing nursing homes and wish it were about 10 — or 20 — minutes longer. That's because the video is under three minutes long. It tells maybe half the story around the OIG and nursing homes.
Providers are thrilled with the administration's decision to rescind an order to ban pre-dispute arbitration agreements. But they also know they can't let their guard down.
Benjamin Franklin once said that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." His 1736 statement was referring to firefighting — better to prevent a fire than deal with putting one out — but it can also apply to one of the most challenging issues in long-term care: Pressure injuries.
Operators might want to keep an eye on new involuntary discharge legislation under consideration in Illinois.
It's hard to intrigue me much when it comes to renovations or new buildings. But in the case of Masonic Homes of Kentucky, one element in particular caught my eye: Its history as a refuge for widows and children, and how the latter continues to inspire its mission.
In a clear case of being able to learn from a cousin, long-term care providers should take note of results of a baby-monitoring study at a respected pediatric hospital.
With recent major funding proposals about Medicaid causing such a tizzy, it's fair to ask why the powers-that-be find Medicaid such a tempting piñata. There are two main drivers. But only one is usually mentioned in polite company.
Memorial Day heralds the start of summer — and with it risks for both you and your residents.
Eye-rollers might be inclined to snort at the thought of "just another" research center popping up. But they might want to have another think after Tuesday's big long-term care announcement.
Researchers with Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health found slight differences in 30-day mortality rate for hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries when treated by doctors in different age groups.
There was a celebration at the White House earlier this month after the House narrowly voted to replace the nation's health law. More than two weeks later, the House has still not advanced the American Health Care Act to the Senate. And it's beginning to become clear why.
As much as I enjoy presenting or speaking in front of groups of people, it's also true that a moment before I begin, I always experience a moment of sheer panic.
Whether you're a kickball captain on the playground, a Little League coach on draft day or a shopper crossing the threshold for a big new sale, you know the look you give.
With how much positive press and research surrounding the benefit music can bring to people with dementia, it came as somewhat of a shock to me to find there had never been a nationwide study of the Music & Memory program — until now.
As an administrator or manager, do you have an open-door policy? Or an open office floor plan? It's often recommended, but in many cases, it can go awry.
I'm happy to report I might have found a near CliffsNotes equivalent for the recently passed American Health Care Act. You know, the Obamacare repeal and replace bill that the House passed last week.
In an age where 1 in 5,000 households speak a language other than English, language barriers between healthcare workers and the patients they care for can have care-related consequences, including higher risk of readmissions, longer inpatient stays and more adverse events.
Technology has been a true game-changer in long-term care. That's why it gives me such great pleasure to announce that the 2017 McKnight's Technology Awards contest will kick off Thursday (May 11).
Yesterday was a great day for House Republicans as they passed a bill that slashes $840 billion from the Medicaid program over the next decade and will cause an estimated 24 million Americans to lose their health insurance in the next decade.
One thing I've learned since joining this business years ago is that if you want a creative, persuasive thinker on your team, you could do a whole lot worse than Alan Rosenbloom.
Long-term care leaders can encourage healthy activity among their staff, starting with modeling healthy behaviors themselves. But what about the frontline healthcare workers with just a few minutes a day to eat, or employees whose stressful duties are taking a toll on their own health?
President Trump just announced a new plan to slash tax rates for long-term care operators and other businesses. But his desire to aid the corporate class has apparently not made its way to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
"You cannot make long-term successful change with people who are blocking it," a long-term care workforce expert said Thursday. He's, oh, so right, about this and other staffing challenges.
I don't think I'd ever heard of Menlo College in California before Wednesday, but if I had a college choice to make again, I might seriously consider going there. If only to learn more from its president and how he might help my career, and yours.
Every so often a new study will be published that reminds me of my favorite Onion headline of all time: "Man Who Drinks 5 Diet Cokes Per Day Hoping Doctors Working On Cure For Whatever He's Getting."
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services inserted an important new requirement in the latest version of its Payroll-Based Journal manual. It's one of those innocent-looking provisions that are fairly easy to skim over. But your facility might quickly find itself in hot water should it be ignored.
We are what we eat, and there's a lot of evidence that our nursing home workforce is struggling to be good.
The saga of nurse Carolyn Strom has been one of our most popular over the last six months. She is, of course, the Canadian who vented about her grandparents' healthcare on Facebook and was fined for it.
People not following their doctors' medication orders contributes to an estimated 125,000 deaths and 10% of hospitalizations per year, along with somewhere between $100 billion and $289 billion in healthcare costs. A lot are like like certain geniuses on my Facebook page.
You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief when NIC released its first-quarter tally on skilled nursing occupancy levels. To be sure, the 87.2% rate is not exactly a cause for celebration. Then again, maybe it is.
In addition to the terrible tragedy of opioid addiction in the United States right now, long-term care providers have an additional challenge: Figuring out both how to make sure seniors retain access to pain medication and how to keep those medications from leading to addiction.
With one son in college and another trying to figure out where to attend, the future job market is a topic near and dear to this writer's heart. Believe me.
As a teenager I spent a few weeks one summer working at a very popular food stand at the Wisconsin State Fair. "Very popular" is an understatement — the stand serves thousands of people each day, with some customers I spoke with driving from out of state just to eat there.
Skilled operators have been telling lawmakers and regulators that they are the cheapest post-acute care option out there, and it appears the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has not only heard the claim, but wants to take the industry up on it.
If there's an area that I would argue is as bad as it was when I wrote about it in 2012, it would be how-long term care operators handle a public relations crisis.
When I was very young, my parents used to chuckle at how I, a through-and-through suburban kid, would rise so early and turn on the TV to watch ... the farm report.
What happens when a resident's wishes clash with the regulations with which long-term care providers must comply?
It wasn't too long ago that thousands of nursing homes were fleeing the Medicaid program.
One of the common refrains you heard last week as the GOP healthcare plan marched to its demise was Republicans saying that "we're letting perfect be the enemy of good."
If you need a little encouragement to stay positive next time something goes awry, look no further than this story from the New York Times.
Skilled care operators have their work cut out for themselves. But I have to say I'm feeling better about the sector's prospects after spending some time at last week's NIC Spring Investment Forum in San Diego.
Hearing the phrase "root cause analysis" always strikes a bit of fear into my heart because it always seems to be a complex process. In long-term care, this is often framed as not only knowing that a resident fell, for example, but why she fell.
We found some long-term care employees willing to talk about how their managers make a real impact by giving help. These are long-term care managers who talk the talk AND walk the walk — and earn the admiration of workers.
For all the benefits that end-of-life care talks can bring, a new study indicates that even when such talks take place, patients' preferences aren't always understood or effectively communicated. In total, just 20% of the surrogates interviewed correctly predicted the veterans' end-of-life care preferences.
As Momma used to say, not everyone who wears respectable clothes is respectable.
The most delightful story in politics this week leads us to some great tips for getting to know your co-workers better, and includes a reference to Willie Nelson. What could be better than that?
Whoever said politics makes strange bedfellows could have a field day with this one.
I don't mean to make your lives more difficult by adding another issue onto that pile, but according to a recent survey from the National Safety Council, there's a problem plaguing American workplaces that needs addressing: prescription drug abuse.
The long-term care industry's worst fears about what a Trump healthcare plan might contain have not just been met after last week's unveiling, they have been far exceeded.
As a long-term care provider — and very importantly, employer — you might not be thinking about the full costs of what the House's newly proposed health insurance plan could be. Let's break it down.
Tuesday's statement from the American Health Care Association on Republicans' plan to repeal and replace Obamacare was striking. There was no walking a tightrope or mealy-mouthed ambiguity in it.
From adding cheerleaders to finding backgammon partners and sharing farming advice, a collaboration project between a CCRC and Fresno State students has been a rousing success.
Quite a few skilled care operators tend to look at assisted living as being not quite equal. Many on the skilled side tend to see themselves as being a bit, ahem, more qualified.
While most businesses offer at least two weeks of vacation at a minimum, the topic of a recent article in Crain's caught my eye: Companies offering unlimited vacation.
I'd say the thing we write about most often in this line of work is payment issues. As a long-term care provider, you are eternally under pressure with whether there will be enough to pay for everything.
I've been in a fight with my computer monitor for the past couple of days. The screen was crisp and bright looking, but after a few hours I'd start getting a headache. I had been blaming that on a lack of coffee, until I started doing some research.
Long-term care operators tend to be a nervous lot. Rightfully so.
For all of our interest in cognitive training for dementia patients, we are nagged by knowing that studies on the topic have varied in quality and reliability.
Finally. That's was my silent reaction when I received the email from a top long-term care provider last week. What took so long? I still wonder.
There's a significant facet of the coming "silver tsunami" that most providers might be overlooking, according to a recently published report.
How often do you, as an administrator, CEO or manager, ask for feedback of colleagues? What I'm talking about is a casual conversation related to improving quality and strengthening company culture, especially with employees lower on the totem pole.
A very wise man once told me that when your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
With former Georgia Congressman Tom Price confirmed as the new head of the Department of Health and Human Services, it's time to turn the focus on the person picked by President Donald Trump to helm the agency most closely linked to long-term care.
On Friday, Dr. Tom Price was sworn in as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Long-term care operators should cast a wary eye toward the new HHS boss for two reasons: Medicaid and Medicare. By all accounts, he plans to make changes to both programs that just might pose an existential threat to this field.
Sessions at the LeadingAge Institute covered the need to have documentation and delegation to reduce nursing liability, and another reflected an in-house counsel's perspective on hot legal topics.
Don't uncork the champagne just yet. That was my sentiment in August when a federal court ruled that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services had come up short in its obligation to educate beneficiaries and providers about the historic Jimmo settlement. It's also my view today.
Recent research from a long-term care employee research group has found first-year workers in the sector are nearly 10% more engaged that workers who have been at their jobs for more than a year. Managers need to consider the implications of this.
There's an old saying in Chicago politics: Once you're bought, stay bought. In other words, if you are being paid to behave a certain way, don't flip-flop. Those who would like to think they understand our new president would do well to keep that adage in mind.
Less than a year ago, it seems as if the long-term care sector was making positive strides in its workforce shortage issue by supporting a bill that would have brought in foreign semi-skilled workers, such as registered nurses, to the United States. Now, things are uncertain and it's not clear where leadership wants to go on these matters.
A funny thing happened in the making of a recent insurance company analysis of claims in the aging services market: a primer broke out on how to achieve better healthcare and liability outcomes by creating better management-staff relationships.
Any news story that heralds a something as the "next frontier" in healthcare is probably worth clicking on, right?
"I have a bone to pick with you," proclaimed the indignant voice on the other line. In my experience, conversations that begin with that invitation seldom go well.
It would be unwise to assume that Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), the likely new head of Health and Human Services, is always going to align with the values of long-term care providers. But in the midst of a whirlwind of news around cabinet appointments, it is worthwhile for nursing home providers to take a deep breath and read about what Price did — and more importantly, did not — say this week.
Former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services leader Andy Slavitt burst out of the back room to state his intention to keep Obamacare alive. Bold words from a man not particularly known for bold actions.
Even though I fell off the wearable fitness monitor bandwagon, recent research from the Stanford University School of Medicine might just serve as the incentive I need to jump back on it.
Whenever MedPAC releases payment recommendations affecting skilled care, I'm reminded of the Soup Nazi.
While hospitals and long-term care providers often disagree, providers are united on the thorny topic of backlogs for Medicare appeals.
In their most crass interpretation, advance directives can save the healthcare system a lot of money. At their most heartfelt, they can reduce a lot of pain and suffering. They also are the essence of patient-centered care.
You could write out a long list of personal or work-related goals for 2017 to cover all your bases, but you run the risk of getting overwhelmed or focusing on some goals over others. Instead, take the 140-character Twitter approach.
It was heartening to read about a study from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine Researchers that found sessions of moderate exercise can be anti-inflammatory. That matters because of increasing research linking inflammation to arthritis, which has recently hit my back and toes.
Judging recent national political events by any measure, one can come to a seemingly obvious conclusion: A lot of change is in the air. But what a lot of people aren't talking about is this: The things that aren't going to change. For long-term care providers, this is critical.
There's a question that's key to the long-term care industry but all too often — for a variety of reasons — goes unanswered: Who were your residents before they became your residents?
A recent study found that bundling Medicare payments can dramatically cut costs without sacrificing quality. But the man likely to be the next Health and Human Services secretary is no fan of this new approach
It's worthwhile to examine news from Concord, NH, involving a data breach of 15,000 patient records. On first blush, the question both providers and journalists might ask is if the compromised records were a result of a sophisticated hacking scheme. The answer is a resounding "nope" and provides a teachable incident for us all.
Chalk up another one for that disruptive New Yorker who crisscrossed the nation the last two years, speaking to big crowds, imploring change. His words are proving prophetic again. Bill Thomas, M.D., doesn't know it any other way.
My love of specific types of Christmas music is one of the reasons I was thrilled to see a new case study once again showing the positive impact of personalized music playlists for residents in long-term care facilities.
Federal lawmakers often seem to look down on aging care professionals, but it might not be long before they're looking up to them to learn how to get things done.
If you can somehow find your way to a sauna amid this harsh winter weather striking most of the country, and continue to do so even in warmer months, there's good news: Working up a sweat in a sauna a few times a week can do more than just warm you up.
Mick Jones allegedly wrote "Should I stay or should I go" in 1981 while contemplating whether to leave The Clash. The context may be different this time, but many long-term care operators can well relate to the song's sentiment.
Perhaps it's a sign of growing older when your response to a new government law is not, "That's horrible!" but rather, "Who is going to pay for that?!" Such was the case when I read about Oklahoma's Humanity of the Unborn Child Act and Public Restrooms Act.
"Take me back to the ballgame." It's not my line, nor Riverdale's, though we both wish it was.
It's very fitting, and not at all surprising to me, that a story on social media comments has stirred up some of most intense reader response I've seen on this site in a while.
If you're focusing on the so-called worker bees in your organization, you're ignoring a larger challenge: the importance of finding the best future leaders.
With an eye on offering some excellent possible gift recommendations this holiday season, I'd like to make some book recommendations for everyone in your life. The catch is, of course, that all discuss or celebrate the life of seniors.
Liability costs are expected to rise 6% in 2017 for skilled nursing operators, according to a new report. But there's a more disturbing stat than that to be reckoned with.
individuals who get involved, and stayed involved, with civic and social groups such as neighborhood watch or volunteer organizations score higher on cognitive tests once they reached middle age. Even more telling, these cognitive scores increase for each extra group an individual participates in. There's a lesson here for everyone — especially working professionals. This isn't just kid stuff by any means.