Enforcement

Webcast will focus on new HIPAA rulemaking, enforcement trends

Providers and officers in charge of HIPAA compliance can take part in a valuable 90-minute webcast Tuesday, starting at 11 a.m. Eastern Time. The webinar will address the progression of changes to HIPAA, particularly leading up to the January issuance of a final rule pertaining to privacy, security and enforcement provisions. Attendees will learn about the results of compliance audits, recent findings on data breaches and assessed penalties, and trends in hacking activity.

Healthcare officials eliminate nursing home assessment protocols

Healthcare officials eliminate nursing home assessment protocols

It's a wrap on RAPs. Resident Assessment Protocols (RAPs) will be eliminated under a new assessment regimen in development, an official with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced on Thursday.

New law eliminates fines for nursing homes that fix problems

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver (D) this week enacted a law that eliminates fines against nursing homes that identify and correct health and safety issues on their own accord. The law sets out new rules and guidelines for a "quality assurance assessment" program.

Fire at unregistered Japanese nursing home kills 10, investigation gears up

Local authorities were set to start a formal investigation of an unregistered nursing home in Japan that was the site of a fatal fire late last week. The Thursday night fire wound up killing 10 residents after three more perished Saturday.

CMS: No changes imminent to staffing formula for Five-Star rating

Federal health officials with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services say they are considering tweaking their new Five-Star nursing home ranking system, but altering the way staffing is graded will not happen in the near future.

Initial results of five-star ratings: Nonprofit nursing homes deliver better care, analysis shows

Initial results of five-star ratings: Nonprofit nursing homes deliver better care, analysis shows

Nonprofit nursing homes provide a higher quality of care than for-profit facilities, according to an analysis by USA Today of the first ratings of nursing homes by the government's five-star rating system.

Attorney General says more cameras will be hidden in nursing homes

New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is expanding his practice of installing hidden cameras in nursing homes to include facilities in western New York, according to local news outlets.

Officials give nursing homes new help to avert fraud and abuse

Officials give nursing homes new help to avert fraud and abuse

Health officials on Tuesday issued new voluntary guidelines for nursing homes to help them avert fraud and abuse in Medicaid, Medicare and other federal healthcare programs. The 17-page long document was published in the Federal Register and complements guidance issued in 2000.

OIG: Nearly all nursing homes violated federal standards in 2007

OIG: Nearly all nursing homes violated federal standards in 2007

More than nine out of 10 nursing homes in the United States last year were cited for violating federal health and safety standards, according to a report released Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General.

Nursing-home study: Inspection system 'broken and can't be fixed'

Nursing-home study: Inspection system 'broken and can't be fixed'

A leading nursing-home association is calling for an independent panel to come up with new methods for overseeing nursing facilities. The association's task force issued 31 recommendations Tuesday, highlighting steps that can be taken until such a panel can be convened.

Regulators: Provider gift cards to nursing home residents won't draw fines

Regulators: Provider gift cards to nursing home residents won't draw fines

A healthcare system that proposes giving gift cards to residents and other customers it disappoints with poor service is on firm legal ground, federal regulators say.

Critical report finds surveys are too soft

Critical report finds surveys are too soft

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Nursing homes received another quality drubbing last month after the Government Accountability Office revealed that state inspectors often understate deficiencies, including those about malnutrition, bedsores and abuse, in their annual facility inspection reports.

CMS warns: Medicare therapy caps back in full effect soon

A process that shields most nursing home residents from therapy payment caps is set to expire at the end of next month, federal regulators told providers Thursday during a special conference call. Officials with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services also announced that new surveyor guidances covering nutrition and food handling would be issued in July or August.

Ask the payment expert

Ask the payment expert

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I understand that many facilities are being cited during state surveys for not following standards of clinical practice. That citation is frequently cross-referenced to the assessment process. What can we do to meet this challenge?

Report: Government falls short on nursing home emergency preparedness

Report: Government falls short on nursing home emergency preparedness

Federal officials have done too little to prepare state and local governments for the evacuation of nursing home residents in the event of another major natural disaster, a pair of high-ranking lawmakers claimed Monday.

CMS lists poor performing nursing homes on consumer Web site

CMS lists poor performing nursing homes on consumer Web site

Federal regulators' "Nursing Home Compare" Web site now lists facilities that rank in the lowest 10% in quality based on state inspection results, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services disclosed Thursday.

IT'S HERE! McKnight's Online Expo kicks off with sessions on innovation, market trends and Medicare maximization

IT'S HERE! McKnight's Online Expo kicks off with sessions on innovation, market trends and Medicare maximization

Senior care's first online trade show and educational meeting returns this morning, with three diverse sessions. Individuals can still sign up for their cost-free look and listen regarding the nationally respected line-up of presenters and suppliers. Simply go to www.mcknights.com to register for access.

Grassley wants explanation for performance-based bonuses

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) is upset with the way some Iowa nursing facilities are receiving performance-pay bonuses and has said he will ask federal regulators to explain them. Grassley's request could lead to scrutiny of practices in other states that use similar systems.

Writer's remorse: Maybe I should not have said that

Writer's remorse: Maybe I should not have said that

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Nowadays there are all too many writers making the story about themselves. This is a violation of a traditional journalism tenet that I like to adhere to. But this time I can't help it.

Kohl-Grassley bill aims for larger fines, transparency

Kohl-Grassley bill aims for larger fines, transparency

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Nursing home operators could face fines up to $100,000 - 10 times the current maximum - and would have to provide more ownership, expenditure and staffing information under a new bill introduced in the U.S. Senate.

CMS offering full list of troubled facilities

CMS offering full list of troubled facilities

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All nursing homes on a federal watch list for poor performing facilities now will be publicized on a government Web site, Bush administration officials have decided.

Bill would crack down on nursing home abuses

Bill would crack down on nursing home abuses

Nursing home operators with severe care deficiencies could face civil money fines up to $100,000 - 10 times the current maximum - under a new bill set to be introduced today in the U.S. Senate.

CMS to update 'worst' nursing home list quarterly, list all names

CMS to update 'worst' nursing home list quarterly, list all names

All nursing homes on a federal watch list for poor performing facilities will now be publicized on a government Web site, Bush administration officials announced Tuesday.

It's about time

Staying on top of the latest products, services and industry trends can be a time-devouring pursuit. But the job just became less time consuming, thanks to our new Web site. Eldercare pros can find many time-saving options. These include a substantially enhanced Directory that makes it easier to locate needed services, plus videos of important suppliers. The latest job openings are also available, as well as immediate access to our Career Guide. Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with our new site. We think you'll find it's time well spent.

Nursing home group dislikes False Claims Act ruling

A nursing home association and a hospital association have urged the Supreme Court to reverse a decision that loosens restrictions under the False Claims Act.

Nursing home owners Sal and Mabel Mangano: Not guilty!

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For three weeks, spanning August and September, much of the national nursing home community was glued to goings-on in a place they had never heard of before: St. Francisville, LA. Or at least they should have been.

Shame is powerful motivator

Shame is powerful motivator

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About a decade ago, I wrote a controversial column that offended some readers. In it, I suggested the industry start policing itself by identifying and reprimanding the bad actors in this field, lest the government feel compelled to intervene.