Researchers, doctors, nurses, patients and caregivers have already gone a long way in preventing catheter related bloodstream infections.
Long-term care facilities traditionally take steps to ensure that residents have a financial and a healthcare power of attorney in place upon admittance. But what happens when an agent named under a POA fails to make payments for the resident's stay at the facility?
Good news: More skilled nursing facility staff are getting their annual influenza vaccine than ever before. Last season, nearly 70% were vaccinated, up from 64% a year earlier. Bad news: SNF staff still have the lowest influenza vaccination coverage rates of healthcare professionals by work location.
"Bonnie" was admitted to the skilled nursing facility following surgery for a right hip fracture. Prior to her fall, she said she was living by herself, fully independent. Although she claimed she wanted to return to her apartment following rehabilitation, she was slow to make gains in her therapy, often complaining of great pain and isolating herself in bed.
We're wrapping up a time of year when many of us are heartened by seeing family and friends for the holidays. But what if residents don't have anyone?
I've heard a lot of talk lately about suing nursing homes - not only from family members distraught over an elderly loved one's injury or death in an SNF, but also from the growing chorus of lawyers trolling the local airwaves for potential plaintiffs.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have made information technology and staff competency a priority for the past five years.
Millennials were raised to be confident individuals. This confidence can be off-putting to their more seasoned coworkers.
The long-awaited QAPI regulations are finally in effect. Facilities now have until November 28, 2017 to create their QAPI plan and present it to state surveyors.
Most of our patients over 80 have vestibular deficits, and that's why they fall.
As a professional caregiver, you see, hear and experience the story of the lives before you, and not just the shell of an aging body. Your actions do not make the evening news, but they should.
Driving my Grandma to one of her favorite restaurants to celebrate a significant birthday (she prefers that I don't specify which) offered me an important lesson in communication.
Patients in post-acute settings are among the most medically fragile, with multiple co-morbidities that often require intensive care
Shifting the focus from the volume of services provided to the patient outcomes achieved is remarkably beneficial to both parties.
The post-acute area is viewed by most as the leading opportunity to find cost savings and efficiencies.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a brief to the federal D.C. District Court related to the American Hospital Association's case against the agency over the backlog of Medicare appeals.
Nursing home operators call it low occupancy. Medicare insiders call it a declining census. Economists call it excess capacity.
Even though I'd worked as an activities director and administrator in long-term care, placing my mother in assisted living and then in memory care was initially a wrenching and emotional experience.
Everyone is aware that the healthcare system for reimbursement is changing rapidly and reimbursement will now be the driver of how we get our business instead of the reward for filling the bed.
These are uncertain times. But workplaces are often uncertain places because of rapid changes in market, ownership, business plan, technology.
How does the performance of your referral sources impact your outcomes? Turns out ... a lot. If you want to gain a better understanding of a hospital's performance, The Leapfrog Group is a resource to consider checking out.
When a resident leaves a skilled nursing facility after a successful rehabilitation, it's a clear signal to the community the facility is doing its job.
Ever since the ACA became law in March 2010, HHS has set a breakneck pace for transforming traditional Medicare fee-for-service payments into a value-based system; with Obama's HHS Secretary projecting that nearly every fee-for-service payment the agency makes in 2018 would be tied, in some way, to value.
The use of contract agency staff to fill nurse aide and licensed nurse vacancies is escalating. This increase is seen across many states, not to mention across the nation as a whole. Yes, we have a well-documented nursing shortage. Who, if anyone, is concerned? Let's all take a number and get in line!
Currently, we should understand Medicare Part B through the lens of Section 202 of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA).
January 1 will put new evaluation codes for physical and occupational therapy into effect and we all better be paying close attention.
It has long been speculated that a patient's (or their family's) disappointment with the care they receive in the healthcare system is a key driver for complaints and sometimes even litigation.
"Information is King" when an unexpected emergency or natural disaster strikes. Not just for those tasked with responding to and managing the crisis but for everyone impacted.
Dispelling a myth, changing a perception and instigating a cultural transformation is a heavy lift and takes a lot of time. But all of those things are taking place in nursing homes across the country, even amidst challenges of a nursing shortage, low wages for long-term care employees and a burgeoning elderly population that is living longer and with more complex health conditions.
This past spring, we at Jewish Senior Life broke ground on a campus transformation project that will redefine home for our elders and revolutionize the way we deliver care.
Plus, we know that LGBT older adults are less likely to access care, and when they do, they feel they have to go back into the closet in order to minimize the risk of being mistreated.
At the end of September, CMS published the final rule revising the health and safety standards that long-term care facilities must meet to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Baby boomers likely recall, in flickering black-and-white, kindly physicians making house calls on television and in the movies.
Ten years - that's how long the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals estimates the Medicare appeals backlog of 750,000 cases will take to clear.
In this world of RACs, ADRs, denials and incentivized payback demands, it behooves us as providers to stare back at The Abyss and defy the illogical and irrational edicts of "PLOF" as the determining factor for payment.
With these recent decisions, we have discovered that there is success in demonstrating to a jury or arbitration panel how a pressure injury can be unavoidable as defined under F-Tag 314.
The most common type of arrhythmia, AFib increases stroke risk by five-fold and disproportionately impacts older Americans, with close to half of all atrial fibrillation-associated strokes occurring in patients ages 75 and older.
Sometimes well-meaning supervisors (and sometimes leaders who don't want to do the hard work of dealing with problems) try to use appreciation as a "quick fix" for deeper issues that need to be addressed.
The new GG Section of the MDS has been in practice for almost a month — just enough time to see what questions about nursing and therapy departments cooperating still need answering.
When California launched Cal MediConnect, its landmark dual eligible demonstration project, its architects knew the challenge they were accepting.
Fearmongering has certainly played a major role in the 2016 presidential race, but you might not realize it's also become more and more common in our own industry as well.
To build a courageous pathway for their organizations, long-term care leaders need to have a clear vision of what they want the future to be — for themselves and those they want to lead. Then, they have to remove what appears to be "fabricated evidence" that tends to snap a person back into usual patterns or decisions.
As we are moving towards new payment systems, it is imperative that we are involved and offer comments when we are able to as this will greatly impact us as providers. We also need to stay informed so we can modify our policies and procedures to be reflective of the changes.
Each year we bring hundreds of elders together in many states to compete for top medals and trophies in a heartwarming competition.
APRC has always focused on quality improvement; it's part of our culture.
The future of healthcare and health insurance gets top billing from mass media as the primary crisis we need to contend with and resolve, especially in the U.S. But there is another epidemic looming that will affect the health and welfare of anyone in need of care in the next several decades.
Our art therapists will continue to identify new ways to integrate technology into our existing creative practices so that in-the-moment meaning can be preserved, revisited and shared.
Most new developments with beds for acute care are being built by non-profits that are working to achieve CCRC status, and they are merely setting aside space for the required percentage of skilled nursing beds in relation to independent living and assisted living residences
Your residents and potential consumers are paying more attention than ever to the care they receive, and long-term care providers are taking note.
Healthcare for seniors these days all too often focuses on the ill and the infirm, bedridden and beholden to physicians and nurses.
Thanks to new technology we have averted multiple re-hospitalizations, weeded out poor home healthcare providers, provided enhanced education to our patients and ensured that our commitment to our patients extends beyond their stay in our facilities.
My first experience dealing with impaired practice in the healthcare setting came when I was a young nurse. I just passed my boards and was still a novice nurse in my practice. The situation was layered in complexity and safety issues.
Since the inception of the Five-Star Quality Rating program in December 2008, there have been 113 Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) that have earned and maintained an overall 5-star score. Who are these exceedingly high performers and how do they do it?
Patients and families, whether new to long-term care or veterans, get a first impression by our manner, our speech, and our clothes. Make the first impression the best one.
At the conference, not only will you have exposure to exceptional educational and networking opportunities, you will also be able to join us as we ready ourselves for the boom ahead
At Signature we have been on a long term project helping leaders to learn to recognize actions that support and/or conflict the Sacred Six.
Over time there have been numerous books, projects, articles and discussions on the art of leadership. The term "art of leadership" could be defined as the application of the skills of leadership.
Residents are people first and foremost, and they retain all the same rights as other people, including one so basic as choosing what to eat.
The rule requires that each covered healthcare program provide notice of its compliance with the rule's various policies and requirements, as well as how to file grievances and a complaint with OCR.
Working in the SNF environment as long as I have (don't ask) I have encountered lots of myths, rumors, fables and tales about how therapy should operate in our very limited community.
When I think of the ongoing shift away from fee-for-service, I am reminded of its value. Whether anyone likes it or not, the era of value-based care is emerging.
Taking, posting, and sharing unauthorized images of residents via social media (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, etc.) can constitute abuse in violation of the Federal Conditions of Participation (COPs) for nursing homes.
Maybe I'm getting old, or the world is more complex, but lately I find my thoughts drifting to simpler times and moments that shaped me into the person I am today. Take, for example, by experience with Helen when I was 18 and she was 90.
In an era of outcome-based care, it is imperative that facilities successfully integrate evidence-based behavioral health services.
While we have worked hard to create safer workplaces, we still have work to do. A new federal rule on injury reporting and recording could help get us there.
For more than half a century clinical nurse specialists have been playing a central and unique role.
Waiting for the arrival of emergency medical system personnel can result in a lower survival rate.
Fading fast are the days of post-acute healthcare providers viewing patients as their primary customers.
Last week, McKnight's published a guest editorial by Michael Hass, "Five design decisions you'll later regret."
The recently proposed mandatory bundled payment program for heart attacks and bypass surgeries is the latest push by CMS to extend the "at risk" period from a 30-day to 90-day period.
Growing up, I had the blessing to spend large amounts of time with my grandmother.
For your benefit, here are five skilled nursing design decisions I've seen people regret once they actually move residents in.
Most of us want to have control over events when our health worsens or life seems short.
How people are viewed by those around them can have a big influence on how they think about themselves, especially when they become ill and rely on others for care
Forty-six years is a long time to do anything, but forty-six years as a nursing home administrator explains why I have no hair and tend to murmur acronyms in my sleep.
In recent years, healthcare providers have sought to prevent rehospitalizations for older adults, so they don't wind up riding a roller coaster of health crises. The statistics have not been encouraging.
One in six Americans over age 70 has impaired vision and one in four has impaired hearing. The prevalence of combined visual and hearing impairment more than doubles among those over age 80 when compared to those between the ages of 70 and 79.
Good design, when it's done well, becomes invisible. It's only when it's done poorly that we notice it.
Imagine you are on a train and the conversation around you is about the seven deadly summer diseases. You eavesdrop because you're a bit scared you might be exposed to one of them.
It's fascinating to observe the evolution of business processes regarding transitions of care.
In the world of skilled nursing care, many are left pursuing antiquated programming options.
This is story of a young physical therapy assistant with big dreams, good morals, strong ethics and not much of a clue as to where the world of skilled rehab was headed. Some things can only be taught in the real world.
Constipation is a common problem in Parkinson's disease, occurring in up to 60% of patients, and may occur even before motor symptoms appear.
Skilled nursing facilities across the country are seeing an increasing number of patients who suffer from mental health conditions.
Even though the Payroll-Based Journal kick-off was last Friday, it's understandable that questions still cloud this new process. It behooves providers to get up to speed and become better informed as soon as possible.
As a development, design, and construction professional, I have a generous and healthy respect for the fact that the buildings we build are entirely secondary to the care provided inside them.
The Summer Olympics are upon us. We will be seeing swimmers, volleyball players and pole vaulters striped in colorful tape again
This year the shingles vaccine (trade name: Zostavax) turns 10
As with other social movements - think about civil rights related to disability or race - change requires the engagement of those involved in it
Contract review allows you to evaluate potential risk exposures and ensure that you limit your liability when working with third parties.
Peter Senge's five characteristics of learning organizations comprise foundations that need to be acted upon by leadership.
Next year the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will begin creating the Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Purchasing Program (SNFVBP) that is scheduled to be launched in 2019.
Many skilled nursing facilities are de facto specialty care centers with a disproportionately large number of certain types of residents. This scenario, unfortunately, can translate into a liability in the survey/certification process and further complicate key Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services initiatives that influence your public profile.
The statistics are troubling. Each year, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, in many states, about 25% of patients admitted to a skilled nursing facility from a hospital are readmitted within 30 days. At some SNFs, readmissions rates are as high as 40%.
In the course of more than a century of serving seniors, one of New Jersey's leading organizations in senior living and care has grown the ministry far beyond its walls. As is true with others nationwide, our mission has expanded in response to a growing population that is living longer and living better
Document, document and document.
What if your patient shows some red areas on her bottom? Typically, you'd try another cushion, another chair, another mattress and then play the wait-and-see game.
I am certain many recognize the term "culture change" from a myriad of resources available within the long-term care professional community.
In addition to payment, ensuring compliance of a telehealth arrangement with the federal and state anti-kickback statutes is key.
One of the leading risk factors for placing a Parkinson's disease patient into a nursing home or long-term care facility is the onset of hallucinations and delusions, a non-motor aspect of Parkinson's disease called Parkinson's disease psychosis.