Stories of possible theft and a new high-profile figurehead headline this week's news
What a week in long-term care, eh? A chapter leader accused of corruption and a governor tapped to be the head of a nursing home organization? Can't ask for more interesting news than that.
It is the story of Dennis Bozzi, who allegedly was caught stealing funds, that is probably the more eye-popping of the two. His former employer, Life Services Network of Illinois, said Bozzi misappropriated $670,000. The head of a local chapter charged with misusing more than half-a-million dollars? That is disturbing. The good news is he's paying it back, LSNI leaders said.
There have been cases of other long-term care professionals caught with their hands in the cookie jar, so to speak. It certainly doesn't do much to enhance the image of long-term care.
Soon not to be in Kansas anymore
Then there is the upbeat tale of a Kansas governor who has decided to take the reins of the American Health Care Association. It's certainly exciting to have such a high-profile person lead a major long-term care association. Of course, the job may demand more elbow rubbing than handshaking, but it sounds like he knows how to do both. And his political background certainly will come in handy working with lawmakers. His experience as a nursing home operator also bodes well.
But it's not going to be easy. Medicaid underfunding, a push to cut back on Medicare long-term care, onerous regulations and a massive population of residents in the pipeline? He's got his work cut out for him.
Here's my advice, Gov. Parkinson: Have a good, long talk with Bruce Yarwood. Your soon-to-be predecessor knows a thing or two about how Washington works. Odds are he'll offer a tip or three. These may include: Don't get discouraged. Attitude is key. And don't let those with deeper pockets, i.e., the hospital folks, kick you around.