When a nurse seems too good to be true

One would think the most interesting part of a book where the main character kills hundreds of people would be the murders. But you'd be wrong: It's the cover-up. This is one true story you'll never forget.

Your greatest staff-training tool could be a threat

I've wanted to write a follow-up blog ever since a late June news story in the Daily Update. In my opinion, there has been no better example of a useful article for long-term care providers anywhere, before or since.

It's not about you. It's about your age.

We often hear that ageism is one of the barriers facing long-term care residents these days. Turns out it's a barrier many employees may be up against as well.

Resident stories lurk within objects

It was the teddy bear that first grabbed my attention.

... and now back to that little ol' entity called HCR ManorCare

While so much talk has been about ProMedica's daring venture into long-term care, it seems a lot has been overlooked about the former No. 1 nursing home chain in the country that it has partnered with.

A simple way to make life safer for nursing home residents

According to recent reports, more than 1,000 senior living operators in the Sunshine State still do not have back-up generators on the premises.

Male incontinence: How to address it

In general, I am loathe to make too much of differences between men and women, but that's especially true it comes to long-term care. After all, no matter who you are, chances are quality of life, dignity and proper treatment are important to residents and their families.

Will blockbuster ProMedica-HCR ManorCare deal work? We'll know 'fairly quickly'

While leaders of both HCR ManorCare and its new parent company, the ProMedica healthcare system, brim with confidence over their new, joint capabilities, they realize there are whispers in the corridors and curiosity-seekers peeking around corners, not so sure that their grand new experiment is going to be a success.

Keeping your friends close, and the media closer

After nearly three decades of watching this sector, I'm still astounded by two bizarre aspects of general media coverage.

'Avoid the object' may help dementia care

A new that caught my eye found that 30 minutes of visually-guided movements per week can slow or even reverse the progress of dementia. This is good news.

Virtue amid this long-term care drama worthy of the big screen

Since the dramatic FBI raids became known three years ago, there have been few long-term care stories more compelling than the "looting" of American Seniors Communities by some of its former executives. Now, we know the rest of the story.

Finally, some labor news that won't leave a mark

It's nice when something comes along that doesn't leave either management or labor holding its head. That appears to have happened Thursday when President Trump signed an executive order that might eventually give long-term care a boatload of new job-ready employees.

Bay State prepares for more closures

The headline stopped me in my tracks: "Nursing home sector on verge of collapse." It seemed a tad dire, even for an industry that seems to constantly predict disaster.

A provider out to solve the turnover problem 'once and for all'

There's a new player on the long-term care scene and it makes no small plans. It's goal, in part, is to "enlighten" the rest of the profession with an employee-focused brand of care, as well technical innovation that could revolutionize resident response times and care.

The 'fake news' problem is all too real. But probably not as you imagine.

We seem to breeding unprecedented numbers of self-righteous experts armed with warped perspectives. That's where "fake news" is doing its real damage. And by all accounts, things are only going to get worse.

Pump it up: How to support working mothers

You can set up employees for success by speaking up for breastfeeding coworkers.

The hope: New skilled nursing payment model still a work in progress

College kids are often known for being creative. On this count, my friends and I could proudly be pronounced guilty.

How not to learn from a nursing home tragedy

Let's be clear: A tragedy last year wasn't a once-in-a-century outlier. It was a disaster waiting to happen.

Life lessons from the Capital

Reflect for a moment, please, on your first job. The people you met, the lessons you learned, and how it influences you today.

Wish I was there — Myda's nursing home parade through the heart of town

I don't care how grand your area's Fourth of July parade or festivites might have been. The best parade I've heard about lately took place last month due to the efforts of a creative skilled nursing facility.

Skilled care operators feeling the pinch. Or should we say, pinches?

"This is going to be the wave of the future." If you happen to be a long-term care operator looking for words to live by, the above sentence is a pretty good choice.

Keep the Public Health Commissioned Corps robust

A challenge for long-term care providers right now is figuring out what to expend mental energy on when it comes to news and policy reform.

Managed care's skilled nursing legacy: creativity or just The Big Squeeze?

The vision of a rough shaven wild West gunslinger comes to mind. A dirty-faced bandit who shoots up the floor under someone's feet, just to see him jump.

Lip service is a poor trade for the real thing

"Stand up, Dad," my daughter kept insisting. But there was simply no way that was going to happen. The setting was a major league baseball stadium. As part of a pregame tribute, the public address announcer had just requested that any fans who had served in the military please rise.

Talking dual eligibles, MedPAC with a Harvard long-term care guru

We all have something that we'll admit to getting a little geeky about.

When health goes south — and fast

Today, life is great. But in February, my pregnancy showed how quickly medical situations can take a nosedive and how medical students can be an asset to patients, and potentially your facility.

The power of the press and nursing homes

Do you do plenty of good work in your long-term care setting? Of course you do. Do you feel like the public knows this well enough? Of course you don't.

Miss Dudlicek was right: There are at least two sides to this nursing home story

Regardless, my class took in the film as part of a field trip, which meant our teacher was obligated to talk about the basics of the scrivener's craft afterward.

Ensuring that your nursing home is providing LGBT-friendly care

Growing old, parting ways with your independence and having to move into a nursing home or assisted living facility seems like it would be difficult enough.

Context is everything with antipsychotics and the elderly

It seems if you want to stir up a sizable dustball of commotion these days, all it takes is a sprinkle of the word "antipsychotics" here and there. Trust us, we know.

Is your skilled care organization ready for some good news?

If I'm going to be truthful about my Catholic school education, many of the lessons remain less memorable than the nuns who delivered them.

Harnessing the power of millennials to further long-term care

The impending wave of aging individuals, requiring all kinds of care and support, is unlike anything we've seen before. So, maybe long-term care's counterpunch should come from an unorthodox direction: Why not tap into millennial mojo before you encounter a boomer bust?

Azar toes company line, which isn't half bad

When the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services addressed a gathering of nursing home owners and operators Tuesday in Washington, it might not have been the HHS Secretary everyone had once hoped for. But at least he delivered his message straight and didn't drop any big surprises on anyone.

How to be a traitor in long-term care

Another day, another love letter. This one comes from one of my less-than-adoring fans. I'll skip to the juicy part: "You fat, ignorant SOB. Why are you always picking on operators?"

Keeping an eye on what the hospital is doing down the street

Maybe we should come up with a few new expression to signify what's projected to be a doubling of Americans age 65-plus by 2060. The Aged Avalanche? Elderly Earthquake? Fragile Flood?

Summer's here, so why not shine?

Why work so hard all year and take your eye off the ball now?

Nursing home operators need more than regulatory relief

You would think the skilled care field would be doing a happy dance these days.

What to do when your resident's death wish seems 'rational'

Suicide — a shadowy issue that most would prefer to ignore — is seemingly a hot topic in the news these days.

It's not just you: Everything's hard about Phase 2 Requirements of Participation

An interesting phenomena occurred Tuesday when we asked providers for the toughest part of complying with Phase 2 provisions of the Requirements of Participation.

A clever idea for a skilled care tax break. But there might be one little problem ....

Our new tax law gives some of the largest companies in America a substantial tax break. The American Health Care Association wouldn't mind snapping off a similar reduction for many of its members.

Playing the population health game in long-term care

When discussing the hospital field, just about every other word out of someone's mouth has something to do with "value" or "population health." The wave is about to long-term care with full force.

Will drug price list bring clarity or just transparency?

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma announced Tuesday that her agency will be publishing "Drug Dashboards" to show the public how much drug prices covered by her agency are rising.

A pro-union move that will put 'democracy' to the test

A newly proposed bill could give unions quite a boost. At your expense. Called the "Workplace Democracy Act," don't let the name fool you. From an operator's perspective, there's not much in the proposal that might even remotely be called democratic.

Making sense out of quality measures in long-term care

Dan Ciolek has spent some 30 years in long-term care, and though he's become adept at quite a few topics in the field, one thing he's still trying to make sense of is quality measures.

When acute and post-acute talk, good things can happen

A young parent's fond wish is that her child, or children, play well together with others. A busy young parent's fondest wish often is that the kids pretty much do it on their own. That's the situation healthcare providers find themselves in quite often nowadays.

Skilled care operators might want to curb their PDPM enthusiasm

If some operators are getting the PDPM tingly-dinglys, I'm experiencing something else: a sense of déjà vu.

Come on folks, do we really need a 'national day' for this?

Forgive me for being such a cynic at my age, but I'm suffering from severe "National Day" fatigue.

Providers rewarded for sticking with it

One could excuse long-term care providers if they're walking around looking over their shoulders right now. I can personally identify with that.

We're shocked — shocked! — that bribery is going on here

Few sectors are as vulnerable to Washington's fickle winds as long-term care.

Are you the Superman, Wonder Woman or Dwight Schrute of long-term care?

When the day starts to drag, and the fantasies begin rolling through your head at work, what fictional character do you start picturing yourself as? Are you the Wonder Woman of the nursing home field? Homer Simpson? Freddy Krueger?

Is it the docs' turn to get stoned?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services brought out its equivalent of a brass band and confetti machine Tuesday to tout a new provider payment strategy. One could almost hear strains of "Happy Days Are Here Again" in the background.

What should long-term care make of these scathing reviews?

Two stories that resonated the most over the past year have been personal blogs from long-term care operators who have left the profession. That's a very interesting fact.

4 steps toward slaying the zombies in your nursing home

They're everywhere — in your billing department, food services, human resources or janitorial — and they're secretly sabotaging your nursing home, one day at a time. We all know some.

'Omni-mom' Barbara Bush gives providers a gift

The tributes to former First Lady Barbara Bush will wash over the media landscape for at least a few news cycles, as well they should. But then, unfortunately, the world will go back to its twisted ways and the airwaves will be dominated by tantrums, tweets and twits.

Will the new mantra for nursing home operators be 'quality over quantity'? Yes and no

A new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation confirms a shift that most skilled care operators can relate to. While resident occupancy levels continue to bottom out, the new arrivals are in worse shape than ever.

Job well done, Grosso has eye out for next adventure

Frank Grosso has done a lot in his 67 years. But he's not done. That much he wants to make abundantly clear.

Bold moves that won't do long-term care any favors

By most accounts, the election of Donald J. Trump as our 45th President has been great news for long-term care operators. But amid various success stories, a serious misstep may be in the works.

Aid for aides: 40 hours' pay for 30 hours' work

To some it could be like studying less for an important exam. Taking food away from a person in need of nutrition. Donating one's modest paycheck to the millionaire's club.

Come for the bargain prices, stay for your annual review

Do you want to work for Walmart? You might not have a choice some day soon.

Time to hit the reset button on readmissions?

It's purely coincidental that it's Easter week and I'm writing about putting all of your eggs in one basket. The researchers put me up to it.

What's a nursing home operator to do? Make adjustments!

Operators who can make some adjustments and ride out the current regulatory and operating storm might not just survive, but thrive.

LTC's 'story of the year' awaiting next chapter

Providers and other stakeholders must feel like school children sitting in the principal's outer office, anxiously — if not eagerly — awaiting their fate.

The skilled care sector may be doomed. What else is new?

If this field had a mantra, it would be: We'll find a way, no matter what.

Tele-ing it like it is: We've got a lot to learn

On its face, this process seems so simple, especially given technology advances lately. Kids do it, even grandmas and grandpas are doing it. So why can't the U.S. medical community do it better?

Are some skilled-care owners doing good and doing too well?

Fortune magazine just released its latest list of billionaires. And this year's compilation contains at least one representative from the long-term care sector. Frankly, I'm not sure whether this development qualifies as helpful or hurtful.

LTC needs to be like Mike

I was worried I wouldn't appear too excited about the Christmas present. Because I wasn't really.

Are we entering skilled care's Golden Age? The answer might surprise you.

It's very possible historians may look back at 2018 as a kind of Golden Age for skilled care. No, I have not been drinking.

End the quarter on a high note

You have every opportunity to make your year a winner even though it's only March.

A case for the flu shot, even with the flu

The time has come, dear readers, to confess a secret. I caught the flu after Christmas. And I had received the flu shot in September.

NAB is making major CE changes. Register now or suffer later.

Long-term care professionals in the habit of obtaining continuing education credits from the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards had better brace for some dramatic changes that kick in April 1. For beginning on that date, many of the old rules will expire.

Note to providers: Go down swinging or get eaten alive

If you feel like you're getting picked on, you should fight back. Scrap like hell, thrash about and do anything you can to cause a ruckus and save yourself. What does this have to do with long-term care providers? Possibly everything.

OIG's chiropractic report should draw more attention

A report last week from the Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General on fraud related to Medicare and chiropractic reimbursement led me to ask the following question aloud: "Wait, Medicare covers chiropractic stuff?"

This hospice study might make nursing homes less comfortable

What's the best eldercare development we've seen in the past quarter century? For my money, nothing compares to the ongoing expansion of hospice care services.

What to expect with the therapy caps repealed

Don't ever let Congress plan your next party. That's my sincere recommendation.

Yes to leisure, no to idle time

In healthcare, the idea of anyone having idle time at work would likely be met with a laugh. Our collective wisdom indicates that American workers are terribly busy, whether they are working in a nursing home, a school or in a corporate role.

Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.

    Contributors

    James M. Berklan
    Editor

    Elizabeth Leis Newman
    Senior Editor

    John O'Connor
    Editorial Director

    Marty Stempniak
    Staff Writer

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