Emergency Preparedness

Are you ready for some political football?

Are you ready for some political football?

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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.

Florida generator rule for LTC stands, appeals court says

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An appeals court sided with Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Thursday, upholding his emergency requirements for long-term care facilities to install generators despite providers saying the rule isn't justified.

Senate committee kicks off investigation into nursing home emergency preparedness rules

Senate committee kicks off investigation into nursing home emergency preparedness rules

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The Senate Finance Committee will be scrutinizing the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' upcoming emergency preparedness rules for nursing homes in light of recent hurricanes, committee leaders announced Wednesday.

Emergency! Prep time

Emergency! Prep time

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As deadline nears, providers and vendors ramp up education, training and drills

Disaster communication: A tale of two mothers-in-law

Disaster communication: A tale of two mothers-in-law

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Both of my mothers-in-law live in long-term care communities in Florida. One lives in a place that was excellent about how they communicated with family members before, during and after Hurricane Irma. The other's facility handled that aspect of care poorly.

Experts, lawmakers ponder impact of 8 residents' deaths on SNF sector; facility loses Medicaid funding

Experts, lawmakers ponder impact of 8 residents' deaths on SNF sector; facility loses Medicaid funding

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The Florida nursing home where eight residents died in the wake of Hurricane Irma has now been cut from the Medicaid program, as questions continue to swirl about the incident's effect on emergency preparedness and the skilled nursing sector overall.

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

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

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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.

Ready for anything

Ready for anything

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With implementation of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' new emergency preparedness rules on the horizon, United Hebrew of New Rochelle took its disaster drills up a notch.

Calming fears of floods and other catastrophes

Calming fears of floods and other catastrophes

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By now it's likely that you, your staff, the residents and their families have seen the incredibly disturbing photo of assisted living residents in Dickinson, TX, sitting in waist-high floodwaters. That image and others of the flood are undoubtedly causing concern in your community.

Emergency preparedness: More than an act of paperwork

Emergency preparedness: More than an act of paperwork

My phone rang and the voice said, "We are activating our incident command center." I asked, "Is this a drill?" The voice in a solid tone replied, "This is not a drill."

Preparing for a hurricane

Preparing for a hurricane

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For providers, Hurricane Arthur was a reminder to take another look at your emergency preparedness to ensure your plan is up-to-date and effective.

Emergency prep rule for long-term care should specify amount of supplies to have on hand, advocacy group says

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Long-term care facilities should have specified amounts of fuel and supplies on hand as part of a forthcoming regulation on disaster preparedness, a prominent consumer advocacy group argues.

Getting ready for the unthinkable

Getting ready for the unthinkable

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Natural disasters and catastrophic events by definition arise unpredictably and consequently do not remain even in the back of people's minds on a consistent basis.

Updated emergency prep checklist from CMS includes resident tracking procedures

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Long-term care facilities should have written plans for how they will track residents during evacuations, according to an updated emergency preparedness checklist from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

What's needed in emergency preparedness

What's needed in emergency preparedness

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Emergency preparedness is an evolving issue for long-term care providers. While a recent study by the Office of the Inspector General found that most nursing homes nationwide met federal requirements for disaster plans and training, they also saw that gaps in implementing these plans still exist.

CMS proposes more rigorous emergency preparedness rules for long-term care facilities

CMS proposes more rigorous emergency preparedness rules for long-term care facilities

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Long-term care facilities would have to meet more comprehensive emergency preparedness guidelines, under a newly proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Issues to consider when disaster planning: Part 2

Issues to consider when disaster planning: Part 2

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As we learned during Sandy, it's essential to know where residents will be evacuated and to have protocols to account for everyone's safety. Connect with facilities in your community about where they are evacuating, so you can ensure there is adequate room.

Organizational issues to consider in disaster planning

Organizational issues to consider in disaster planning

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Just as Hurricane Katrina prompted discussion about emergency preparedness in 2005, Superstorm Sandy has re-ignited talks in the senior living communities about their ability to respond to disasters. When storm surges hit New York City last October, about 6,000 people were evacuated from various healthcare facilities, including nursing homes and adult day facilities.

Preparing for disaster in a nursing home or AL facility

Preparing for disaster in a nursing home or AL facility

Don't wait until disaster strikes. Emergency plans should be updated and put to the test on a regular basis, at least annually. New hires must review the plan as part of their training.

A sweep of genius in long-term care procurement

A sweep of genius in long-term care procurement

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Just say "cheese" was my first reaction when I saw the notice.

HHS awards $352 million to providers for disaster preparedness

The Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that it is awarding $352 million in grant money to help healthcare providers improve disaster preparedness efforts.

Frequent escape drills saved elderly at Japanese nursing home in the path of tsunami

Highlighting the need for emergency planning, a nursing home in Japan credits regular evacuation drills with saving its residents.

Feds spending billions to prepare for more complex flu season

In light of the continued spread of the H1N1 virus and the approaching 2009-2010 flu season, the Department of Health and Human Services has announced the allocation of billions of dollars in influenza preparedness funding and additional vaccine purchases.

Senate Aging Committee to focus on emergency preparedness

Best practices for assisting seniors and the disabled before, during and after natural or manmade disasters will be the topic of a Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing Wednesday morning. Local, state and federal officials, including LuMarie Polivka-West, MSP, senior vice president of policy for the Florida Health Care Association, will testify at the hearing. Florida long-term care officials have been among the leaders in designing policies and practices for dealing with hurricanes and other disaster scenarios. Topics will include terrorism preparedness and responses.

Report: Emergency-planning efforts for frail elderly need greater emphasis

Future emergency planning efforts must take into account shifting demographics, particularly the growing number of frail elderly people, according to a new report.

Officer ordered accused nursing home shooter to drop gun three times before downing him

The police officer being called a hero for halting a North Carolina shooting rampage that left seven residents and one nursing aide dead said he was just doing his job when he entered the building alone.

Authorities looking for answers after gunman kills eight at North Carolina nursing home

A 45-year-old local man with no apparent ties to the Pinelake Health and Rehabilitation Center in Carthage, NC, walked into it Sunday morning and shot 11 people. He killed seven residents and a nurse and was shot himself before being taken into custody. A responding police officer who confronted the gunman in a facility hallway, was among those shot but in good condition, officials said.

New England nursing homes well-equipped for ice storm

More than four days after a massive ice storm devastated much of the Northeast, nursing homes have emerged from the disaster relatively unscathed.

Hurricane Gustav: Nursing home evacuations run smoothly this time

Hurricane Gustav: Nursing home evacuations run smoothly this time

In stark contrast to three years ago, when the elderly, and nursing home residents in particular, were especially hard hit by Hurricane Katrina, authorities were reporting smooth evacuation processes took thousands of elderly out of harm's way.

Study: Seniors getting shorted on emergency care

An apparently unconscious age bias among emergency room services personnel, along with a lack of knowledge on how to care for the elderly, could be leading to a distinct lessening of care for seniors, researchers say.