When no comment says a lot: A tale for nursing homes and hospitals

One should never forget that some of the most brutal fights occur between brothers or sisters.

Gear up for another healthcare payment fight

Watching the GOP try to force through its latest healthcare reform plan, which would once again hit Medicaid hard, I was reminded of something my mother used to jokingly say: "It's like deja vu all over again."

Time to increase your dose of overprescribing education

It turns out seniors who might be victims of overprescribing recognize it an issue all too well, according to new research.

Here we go again: All nursing homes are bad

There is no way to sugarcoat what happened last week in Hollywood Hills, FL. Eight skilled care residents died in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Our condolences go out to the victims and their families. But there is another troubling aspect to this that deserves attention. Namely, it's becoming clear that nursing home bashing is in vogue again.

Provider gives perfect response to Hurricane Harvey evacuation critics ... and then gets taken to court

Late last week, I latched onto what I thought — and still think — is a great example of how a provider should respond to a bad public relations incident. We're talking standing up to critics in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

EHRs that suck away the physician's soul

It's not a secret that in long-term care, direct-care workers often resent physicians.

Who's thriving? Here's the shopping list for it

People most likely to thrive are ... (drumroll please) ...

On second thought, I'll walk in my own shoes

Nothing matters more to hospitals than the wellbeing of the people they serve. Well, there may be one thing — money. Maybe that's why you're unlikely to find any hospital commercials touting the remarkably loose ways they can define "observation status."

Do you pass the free-time test at work?

Now that summer is essentially over, can you say your employer is one of the better ones when it comes to vacation and warm-weather perks? More important, how do your choices rate? Many signs aren't good.

Harvey response brings heartfelt tugs from all of LTC

Amid the massive amount of tragic news related to Hurricane Harvey, there also have been many ways long-term care stakeholders have risen to the challenge. The list includes providers as well as the volunteers and suppliers who enable them to take care of those in their care.

Something new to think about for flu season

Allow me to get ahead (slightly) of the deluge of news articles, press releases and conference sessions on influenza and vaccinations that are about to hit, with the results of a new study throwing a new wrench into vaccination efforts: race.

Out of the bad we shall find good

"Out of the bad we shall find good." That sounds kind of biblical, doesn't it? But I didn't hear it while sitting in a pew on a Sunday. It came from a resolute skilled nursing manager I was talking with a while back.

A Baptist Home blast from the past

Coming from a long line of folks who hate to throw anything away, culling more than 250 books this summer from our house has been physically painful. But the cleaning also has resulted in some unexpected treasures.

Put on your boogie shoes — your brain will thank you

I'm a fan of dancing. I've been known to bust a move in bars, at weddings, in school musicals and during obligatory dance breaks at college football games. But one thing I actively tried to avoid at all costs was dance workout classes — until recently.

Make arbitration an option — an obvious one

Like so many other contemporary debates, the arbitration issue has degenerated into a talking-points battle.

You're not too busy to know this CMS news is good news

It's nice to have friends in high places. Even better if she speaks of clearing regulatory clutter.

Regarding working, with help from Google

It's worth checking out Google's blog, "re: Work," which shares tools and documents used by Google managers, all for free.

In case you missed it, there's a new Medicare audit process coming

it's understandable if a story we ran last — about the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services revamping its Medicare audit process — slipped under your radar. Here's what you need to know to catch up.

Antipsychotics in skilled care: Finding the right dose won't be easy

It happens all the time in politics: After dissatisfied voters throw the rascals out, new rascals push back way too hard. Could the same thing happen to the use of antipsychotics in skilled care?

Can 575,000 people be wrong?

I found it stunning Tuesday when I read that more than a half million people had taken advantage of new Medicare coverage that pays for end-of-life discussions with their doctors.

Smartphones and hope for mental illness

Researchers at Dartmouth University are using smartphones in a new and interesting way. They've developed a plan for geriatric patients to better manage their mental illness.

Using the powers of Facebook for good, not evil

As more people join social media and start voicing their opinions online, more long-term care consumers — like it or not — are likely to turn to social media ratings since government review sites often lack consumer perspective, authors of a new academic study assert.

Are you ready for some predictive scheduling?

What do workers in the long-term care, retail, hospitality and foodservice sectors have in common? Among other things, varied work schedules.

Finding the passion in long-term care

I observed and wrote a lot about the long-term care industry this summer, but one thing was consistent through all of it: Long-term care providers are passionate.

And the award for most maligned part of long-term care goes to ...

It took a while, but I might have finally found something that therapy providers can point to with righteous indignation and say, "That ain't right!"

Winning with the help of Trump

When the American Health Care Association sued the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last year, my assessment was that it might win the literal battle, but lose the hearts and minds of consumers.

Person-centered confusion — and the value of a milkshake

It was a bit disheartening to read some of the comments we received on a story covering a resident-focused care session at a recent national conference. The commenters seemed to immediately pole vault over the advice the speaker was trying to share, into a place of negativity and sarcasm.

How to police recidivist nursing homes: 3 strikes and you're out

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has the option of terminating nursing homes from the Medicare and Medicaid programs that it deems harmful. But to say the government has been reluctant to do so would be an extreme understatement.

Will governors ride to providers' rescue?

Now that the U.S. Senate has apparently decided to make healthcare somebody else's problem, I suggest keeping an eye on another pack of politicians: the governors.

Recruitment and retention tips direct from frontline workers

Long-term care managers need to understand what they can do to make their workplaces as employee-centered as possible — or risk losing out on the best workers, experts and front-liners alike emphasized on Tuesday.

The costs of (not) saving time

A study last week confirmed what I often discuss with my friends, which is that money really can buy happiness when it's used to increase time.

Time to praise Medicaid and more regulations?

If you see two providers having a pleasant conversation, it's unlikely they are discussing the joys of Medicaid -- or new regulations.

Medicare complainers line up here for help

If you've had some kind of complaint about the rigmarole of Medicare lately — and who hasn't? — now's the time to start getting it fixed.

How healthcare helps you get a job

The fate of many of the members of our long-term care family are now in the hands of the Senate as it debates the future of the Affordable Care Act.

Active-shooter tips from a survivor — how to respond 'when seconds count'

Betty Brunner was sitting down to an appointment at her hair stylist one morning and the next thing she knew, she was diving for the floor, trying to avoid a crazed gunman. Brunner miraculously escaped injury, but her stylist did not: She was one of three people killed by her ex-husband who also shot himself to death.

Trump: Give nursing home employers a break or two — maybe more

President Trump may be struggling to kill Obamacare. But he is clearly enjoying early success in at least one area: labor policy.

Enraged about an unfair playing field for nursing home admissions

It was not a good sign from the start. The "personal" email stiffly started "Dear Sir," The first line only validated my gnawing feeling: "I can't tell you how enraged I got reading your article ..." It was the start of a new friendship.

Good medicine at Good Samaritan

I often hear a reluctance among executives to acknowledge how tough the lives of some of their employees are. In Mark McElwee's case, however, he's not only acknowledging, he's doing something about it.

Critical thinking tips from the happiest place on earth

What comes to mind when you think about critical thinking? For audience members at a session held yesterday at the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration's annual conference at Disney World, a few things were brought to mind right off the bat.

What's happening in the Senate is no thing of beauty

When it comes to the Senate's latest healthcare bill, providers have unloaded many valid criticisms of it. Sadly, they may be irrelevant. It's easy to get so caught up in this legislation's shortfalls that its purpose is overlooked.

Increasing understanding of Medicaid

When you leave the world of long-term care, you realize how much you know without even knowing it.

Nursing home marketing pros, this is your time to shine

So many times you see individuals who don't typically get the company headlines hoping to, well, make themselves known and earn some recognition. Nursing home marketers, your table is ready.

Catching nurse impostors — if you can

If you've ever seen the movie "Catch Me If You Can," you've probably wondered how in the world the protagonist could get away with his scheme of working jobs he had no qualifications for for so long. You might have also asked yourself that when reading the top story of our Daily Update on Monday morning.

Laugh at Illinois if you must. Just don't be next.

It took more than 700 days, the threat of junk bond status, hefty tax hikes and the spectacle of two stubborn old men playing high-stakes chicken. But Illinois finally has an operating budget. Is this in your future too? .

Why nursing homes can exhale — but not get complacent

The announced delay of full enforcement of new survey requirements is indeed good news for nursing home operators and all of their compliance officers. Their blood pressure should now lower a few millimeters. If only for a while.

How do people really feel about the ACA?

When it comes to social media, I tend to think providers worry a little too much.

The House just bet on tort reform. When will they ever learn?

The long-term care field quickly embraced last week's House vote to enact some long-overdue tort reform. That's not so surprising, but don't get too carried away just yet, is my advice.

The secret to success ... you

Readers help make McKnight's the outstanding professional news source it has become. So it is that we come to a recent email to the editor.

Lessons in learning your limits

Take two friends and toss them at the American Library Association conference and you have a lot of running up to each other speaking in all exclamation points, as well as a solid lesson in how a smart, experienced reader can go awry.

The key to keeping employees around? Kindness

We talk a lot about employee retention in this industry — and I mean a LOT. With the current employment climate of the sector, it would be unwise not to. Here's a key to it.

The fifth vital sign

It turns out Linda Shell's hero had modern medicine right all along, even if her last utterance was well over 100 years ago.

Smoking: A Catch-22 for providers

Journey with me, children, back to 2003, when yours truly hung out with smokers.

Don't like the new ratings system? Welcome to our world

The content in the angry letter sounded all-too familiar. "Flawed methodology" and "substantive errors" in CMS's "chosen methodology." Another nursing home organization taking issue with the Five-Star ratings system, right?Actually, the authors were blasting a new ratings system for HOSPITALS.

Why some children may not visit LTC residents

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.

It's time to sit for a visit and get caught up

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.

The secret to 'winning' post-acute care

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.

Of arbitration victories and payback

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 ...

What the OIG video leaves out

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.

A big threat gone, but bigger threat looms

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.

An ounce of pressure injury prevention

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.

Involuntary discharges could lead to a fine mess

Operators might want to keep an eye on new involuntary discharge legislation under consideration in Illinois.

Staying true to a mission while expanding

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.

Alarming results in latest study

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.

Medicaid just might sink Trumpcare

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.

Summer's here — can you hear me now?

Memorial Day heralds the start of summer — and with it risks for both you and your residents.

LTC's 'diamond in the rough' elevated to center stage

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.

Hire younger healthcare workers — lives might depend on it

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.

Why the Obamacare repeal is being held up — at least for now

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.

A tip for a good speech: Practice with a pooch

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.

Where your future referrals might be coming from

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.

A milestone for Music & Memory

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.

When an open-door policy goes awry

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.

How to compare Obamacare and its House GOP replacement bill — in a nutshell

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.

Lost without translation

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.

Two tech developments you won't want to miss

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).

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 Emily Mongan.

    Contributors

    James M. Berklan
    Editor

    Elizabeth Leis Newman
    Senior Editor

    John O'Connor
    Editorial Director

    Emily Mongan
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