How nursing homes can put themselves out of business: skimp on tech

When you read between the lines, the troubling message in a new study is this: Skilled care operators had better stop being tech cheapskates — before it's too late.

Hollywood Hills owners up off the mat, courtroom drama all but guaranteed

Lawyers and legal finaglings are rich fodder for some of the most popular movies and television productions ever made. Get ready for another big show in that regard, and long-term care will be at its core.

An unexpected consequence of workplace violence

The healthcare industry is well aware of the consequences of workplace violence. With workplace violence-related injuries in the sector clocking in at nearly five times the rate as the private sector as a whole, it'd be hard not to.

Perceptions of stress impact our views on promotion

It would be unusual to find anyone working in the long-term care industry who wouldn't regularly think of themselves as stressed.

Work shirts and staff attitudes

For most of his adult life, my dad was an operating engineer for Sears Roebuck & Company. He wore shirts with its name almost non-stop. Such choices might not reveal much. Then again, they could be quite telling

Why the new 'Best Workplaces in Aging Services' list matters so much

Providers around the country should share the enthusiasm for Fortune magazine's new "Best Workplaces in Aging Services" list. All of them will benefit from the good vibes the list will generate.

Embracing — and encouraging — online reviews

It's time again to talk about an issue that's been increasingly on healthcare providers' minds in recent years — and will probably only continue to grow more urgent: patients' online reviews.

What not to do when criticized

If you want to see the trickle-down impact of lowering the bar related to our expectations of public political decorum, look no farther than Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R).

A new way to think about long-term care funding

During a talk last Monday at the LeadingAge conference, Harvard Professor Jennifer McCrea served up an interesting take on the warping nature of money.

New LeadingAge board chair declares it's time to play ball

Several thousand LeadingAge members got their first look at new board chairman Steve Fleming on Monday, and if initial meetings are any indication, it's going to be a wonderful relationship.

Shining a light on domestic violence within your staff

Domestic abuse can harm a workplace from the outside, with victims reporting higher rates of lost productivity, absenteeism and difficulty focusing on work due to their abuse. In nursing homes, domestic violence has led to headline-grabbing tragedies, including the case of two employees and a police officer shot to death in May by the estranged boyfriend of a nurse.

What we can (still) learn from Dr. Ruth

It shouldn't have been surprising to see the throngs of folks lined up to see Dr. Ruth Westheimer, speaking during LeadingAge's annual conference on Monday. She fittingly fronted an exhibit called Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll, and it was inspiring.

Nursing shortage relief from an unexpected source

When it comes to skilled-care staffing, the future outlook is bleak. If it's possible, the situation for nurses might be even worse. But at least a partial solution could be in the offing from a surprising source.

Therapy caps a big step closer to extinction

Could this really be happening? Medicare Part B therapy caps took a huge step toward vanishing for good on Thursday.

Time for some Halloween magic — senior style

It's recently come to my attention that some people haven't seen the greatest Halloween movie of all time. No, it's not a slasher flick or anything that relies too heavily on jump scares. I'm talking about the 1993 masterpiece "Hocus Pocus."

Isolated nurses and the crisis of LTC identity

A new English study is both interesting and concerning related to long-term care nurses. These nurses feel isolated and excluded compared to others in the healthcare profession, and that can have big implications for you.

Are you ready for some political football?

Well you just knew things were about to start getting nasty for Florida nursing homes. That's what generally happens when more than a dozen residents die for reasons that are hard to believe.

The hell with this guy

Speaking at the same Mandalay Bay complex in Las Vegas from which a "madman" committed the deadliest mass shooting by a single person in U.S. history just two weeks earlier, American Health Care Association CEO Mark Parkinon delivered a bold, unscripted edict.

What's on LTC's 'to-don't' list?

My main takeaway from a key speech Monday is likely something that hit home for others in the audience as well: we should focus less on what we should be doing, and more on what we shouldn't.

The 20-mile march in LTC

It's rare for smart leaders in any industry to not be familiar with Jim Collins, especially his signature work, "Good to Great."

Promising signs on the regulatory front

President Trump is no fan of regulations, and long-term care operators have more than their fair share to contend with. So it's a welcome breeze when Trump says he wants to start eliminating some regulations. But the industry ought to do something more on its own.

Here's a road map to the LTC leaders you should be following

You could make good use of talking pens, drone technology and a program that brings 70% reduction in incontinent episodes, right? Yes, you could — just like your fellow providers have.

Could end-of-life care be getting worse?

With more providers and patients than ever focusing on palliative and hospice care, shouldn't the quality improve at least a little bit? Not necessarily.

Stop claiming 'resident rights' in discrimination cases

Administrators wiser than me have offered advice on what to do when there's a racist resident.

Time for long-term care to go postal?

One of my favorite gone-off-the-rails fundraising stories involves one of my former college roommates.

Nurse staffing crisis averted? Thank the millennials

It's your friendly neighborhood millennial here, back with some exciting news about the age cohort that's been mystifying employers and apparently annoying everyone else over the past decade or so — we might have just helped the healthcare industry avoid a huge problem.

Failing better

As the week begins with even worse-than-usual news — on many fronts — I decided to forego what I was going to write about (interpreting the OIG's latest report) and make a recommendation.

Is it time for operators to focus on small ball?

Rick Matros tweaked more than a few noses last week when he made some rather disparaging remarks about the benefits of investing in behemoths. As he sees it, there pretty much are none.

Gingrich: Providers able to fix workforce problems themselves

Newt Gingrich tells long-term care providers not to wait for the government to fix their staffing challenges. He also claims some relatively easy solutions are at operators' fingertips.

Urban opportunities for providers

When you think of the top places people want to retire to, the location that comes to mind probably isn't a huge, bustling city.

The value of RN-to-BSN programs

The idea of a BSN programs should be a big draw to long-term care RNs.

Biting off your nose to spite Obama's face

It's hard to describe how incredibly dangerous and stupid the latest GOP effort to replace Obamacare really is. But I'll try.

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.

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
    Staff Writer

    ALL MCKNIGHT'S BLOGS