Study sheds light on dangers of working second, third shifts

Study sheds light on dangers of working second, third shifts

Workers whose hours fall outside of a traditional 9-to-5 schedule may be more susceptible to sleep- and weight-related health issues, according to a new study from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

IRS regulations will fine small businesses that reimburse employees for healthcare costs

A new Internal Revenue Service regulation will fine small businesses that reimburse employees for their healthcare coverage instead of providing a health insurance plan.

CA combines 280,000 LTC workers to form largest nationwide union

Long-term care workers from 37 counties in California have combined into the largest local union in the country, the Service Employees International Union announced Tuesday.

New trial strives to reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics in PA/LTC facilities

A $1.5 million national trial will be held to analyze ways to reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics in post-acute and long-term care facilities, the University of Pittsburgh Schools of Health and Sciences announced.

Also in the News for Thursday, July 2

Family of nursing home resident awarded $18M in wrongful death case ... Therapy tortoise visits nursing home residents ... Nonprofit nursing home operator comptroller pleads guilty in $208,000 wire fraud case

Supreme Court will consider forced union dues case

Supreme Court will consider forced union dues case

The Supreme Court will consider whether government workers' rights are violated when they're forced to pay dues to unions they don't want to join

Providers should use technology to reduce antipsychotic drug use, experts say

New technology can help reduce the use of antipsychotics for nursing home residents with dementia, experts said during a McKnight's Super Tuesday webinar.

EHRs and predictive analytics could predict nursing home fall risks: study

Using electronic health records with predictive analytics algorithms could help identify long-term care residents who are at a high risk of harmful falls, a new study has found.

Also in the News for Wednesday, July 1

Nursing home employees failed to perform CPR despite patient's wish ... AHA support clot-removing device for stroke treatment ... Few nursing homes use health IT to communicate with facilities

Association slams proposal favoring unionized nursing homes

Connecticut lawmakers are planning to distribute funds to nursing homes based on "irrelevant factors," the state's largest association of skilled nursing facilities said.

LA could receive $15 million to improve nursing home inspections

A proposed contract between California and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health could result in $15 million in additional funding to improve oversight and delays in nursing home investigations.

CMS shouldn't rely on accreditation surveys for hospice quality, report says

Accreditation surveys are not a guarantee that hospice providers are meeting federal or state requirements, according to a new report from the Office of the Inspector General.

Also in the News for Tuesday, June 30

Golden Living executive dies from cancer ... Medicaid billing supervisor wastes $1.6M in excessive pay, audit finds ... Research to explore why Alzheimer's hits women more than men

Healthcare inspections for nursing homes to be tougher under new OSHA rules

Healthcare inspections for nursing homes to be tougher under new OSHA rules

Nursing homes will face more scrutiny based on a new key hazard list from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Law allowing facilities to make medical decisions for incompetent residents is unconstitutional, judge says

A California law allowing nursing homes to make medical decisions for mentally incompetent residents was declared unconstitutional Wednesday.

Woman who ran illegal assisted living facility sentenced to 24 years

A Maryland woman who authorities say ran an illegal "assisted living" facility out of her run-down apartment has been sentenced to 24 years in prison.

Also in the News for Monday, June 29

Adults with frontotemporal dementia at higher risk of stroke ... Queens nursing home employees charged with abuse ... Racial differences may affect nursing home "residents" quality of life

Supreme Court rules in favor of ACA subsidies

Supreme Court rules in favor of ACA subsidies

The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on Thursday that subsidies provided under the Affordable Care Act are legal in every state, regardless of whether they come from state healthcare exchanges or Healthcare.gov.

LTC will face more pressure to lessen antipsychotics, government officials say

The push for long-term care facilities to abandon the use of off-label use of antipsychotic medications for residents with dementia will intensify over the next two years, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials said Thursday.

Sabra acquires skilled nursing portfolio for $234M

Sabra Health Care REIT Inc. agreed to purchase a portfolio of four transitional care facilities in Maryland for $234 million, the company announced Wednesday.

Also in the News for Friday, June 26

DaVita to pay $450M to settle waste charges ... Exposure to noise pollution linked to high stroke risk ... Parkinson's treatment increases all-cause death risk

House votes to repeal Independent Payment Advisory Board

The House voted 224-154 on Tuesday to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which was created under the Affordable Care Act.

NOTICE Act movement earns association approval

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living applauded the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday for moving forward a bill that would change appointment of "observation status" for hospital patients.

Fall prevention program 'LIFTs' risk of senior falls

A home-based fall prevention and wellness program has shown evidence of a 13% reduced risk of falls among seniors in a one-year period, while also reducing the occurrence of insurance claims, LifePlans Inc. announced Wednesday.

ACHCA's Marianna Grachek announces retirement

ACHCA's Marianna Grachek announces retirement

Marianna Grachek, who has been president and CEO of the American College of Health Care Administrators for nine years, announced she will retire on July 15.

Also in the News for Thursday, June 25

16 dead in northern Mexico nursing home fire ... TX governor signs 'three strikes' rule into law ... Former AL administrator sentenced for allegedly stealing $81,000 from residents

Assessment finds Medicare quality measurements lacking

Many chronic conditions seen in long-term care settings are under-represented in Medicare pay-for-quality programs, an Avalere survey has found.

Experts call for larger pharmacist role in medication management

Pharmacists should be able to tap into a resident's full electronic health record as a way to improve care, industry experts said Tuesday during the Long Term and Post Acute Care Health IT Summit in Baltimore.

Diabetes medication also reduces dementia risk, study finds

Prior research has shown older adults with diabetes have a higher risk of developing dementia, but a new study finds that a frequently prescribed diabetes drug could reduce that risk.

Also in the News for Wednesday, June 24

Fraud still plagues Medicare Part D... Advice on enhancing brain health in older adults... Medicare slow to adopt telemedicine due to cost concerns...

Prison sentence in Medicare fraud conviction is excessive, court rules

A federal appeals court has found that a 68-month prison term for a provider convicted of Medicare fraud is too excessive.

Eager-to-sell owner is making community 'unlivable,' residents claim

Residents of a Brooklyn assisted living facility are accusing the owner of not turning on the air conditioning in an effort to make them move out.

Interoperability dominates as major theme of LTC tech conference

Interoperability dominates as major theme of LTC tech conference

Bundled payments, data assessment and standardization and changing payment models dominated the first full day of the Long Term and Post Acute Care Health IT Summitin Baltimore.

Also in the News for Tuesday, June 23

Light activity can boost seniors' health... Nursing home residents on Medicaid have higher rate of hospitalization... Minnesota passes $138 million nursing home funding bill... Cigna rejects Anthem's $47 billion takeover bid...

Hospice provider will pay $10.1M for overcharging Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare

A Florida-based non-profit hospice provider will pay more than $10.1 million for allegedly overbilling Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare, according to the terms of a settlement reached with federal authorities.

CMS considering ACO-style care model for dual eligibles

A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services executive says the agency is considering developing an accountable care organization-type model for beneficiaries who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid.

Florida's new assisted living standards a win for nurses

Florida's new state standards for nurses in assisted living facilities may boost recruiting and allow freedom in performing medical functions for residents.

Also in the News for Monday, June 22

AHCA named a top place to work by Washington Post ... House votes for medical device tax repeal... Home care agency ordered to pay $3M in overtime pay... FDA approves device to help blind people"see" with their tongues...

AHCA supports push for clarity in value-based purchasing, quality program implementation, leader says

AHCA supports push for clarity in value-based purchasing, quality program implementation, leader says

Quality reporting and value-based purchasing should be coordinated with the Nursing Home Quality Initiative, the American Health Care Association and American Hospital Association agreed this week.

Proposed House budget would cut Agency for Health Research on Quality

The House Appropriations Committee's proposed fiscal 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services budget would eliminate the Health & Human Services' Agency for Health Research on Quality.

Government alleges $712M spent in Medicare false billing

The Medicare Fraud Strike Force led the largest nationwide sweep in Strike Force history, charging more than 200 individuals for their alleged participation in Medicare fraud schemes, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Also in the News for Friday, June 19

Medicare coverage could be more useful at age 50, researchers say ... Bill to allow low- performing Medicare plans until 2018 ... Senator questions companies on dubious 'brain' supplements

Largest ever fraud settlement reached by SNF: $17M

A Florida skilled nursing facility chain has reached a $17 million Medicare fraud settlement with the federal government, the largest amount ever paid according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

EEOC sues home for failure to comply with agreement

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has charged a North Carolina nursing home for failing to pay a settlement to a disabled employee.

Longer breaks between shifts help nurses recover better, study says

Allowing nurses longer rest and recovery periods between shifts may improve their sleep, ability to work, and overall well-being, a new study says.

Nursing home scrutinized for alleged sexual abuse incidents

A Washington nursing home is being sued following allegations a resident sexually abused other residents with dementia in January.

Also in the News for Thursday, June 18

Guidance on dining and mobility policies provided to CCRC ... Massachusetts Medicaid spent $500M on unnecessary payments ... Resident sleep quality monitored on internet-based system

Experts say full staff engagement, training crucial to improving dementia care

Specialized training could help staff better handle disturbances, and decrease the need for antipsychotics, according to experts affiliated with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Lawmakers ask for CMS fraud review

Two House committees have requested a review of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Fraud Prevention System, according to a letter sent to the Government Accountability Office.

Salmonella outbreak may be cause of assisted living deaths

The salmonella outbreak at Heritage Corner Assisted Living facility in Ohio may be the reason behind the death of two residents, according to local reports.

NorthStar Healthcare Income buys $639M CCRC portfolio

NorthStar Healthcare Income Inc. has closed on a $639.3 million portfolio of 15 continuing care retirement communities, the company has announced.

Also in the News for Wednesday, June 17

Kelly sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for Cochran case... LTC advocates honored at Congressional briefing... CVS buys Target pharmacies and clinics for $1.9 billion... Negative pressure wound therapy is the fastest-growing market in wound care sector

MedPAC calls for loosening of '3-day' qualifying stay, RAC auditing reforms

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission is recommending allowing nursing home coverage for beneficiaries who have spent as little as one day in hospital inpatient status, combined with up to two days in observation status.

HCR ManorCare must produce reports in wrongful death lawsuit, court rules

HCR ManorCare must produce reports in wrongful death lawsuit, court rules

Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement Program reports are not protected by state law, a West Virginia court has ruled.

California's largest nursing home operator faces government crackdown

A "crackdown" on California's largest nursing home operator has its owners crying foul against the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, according to local reports.

Genesis spends $240M on SNF portfolio

Genesis HealthCare announced Monday it will acquire 24 of Revera Inc.'s skilled nursing facilities and rehabilitation business for $240 million.

Also in the News for Tuesday, June 16

Long term care professionals gather on Capitol Hill ... FDA approves brain implant to help Parkinson's and tremors ... House denies Trade Adjustment bill ... Most people refuse long-term care insurance

Medicare review challenges receive class action certification

Six Medicare beneficiaries whose appeal cases were delayed beyond 90 days will have their challenges tried as one nationwide class action suit.

Environmental stimulation decreases apathy levels in dementia residents

Nursing homes with strong environmental stimulation are more likely to decrease the apathy levels among their residents with dementia, researchers have found.

Court: Insurer must defend nursing home against rape allegation

The Rhode Island Supreme Court has ruled a medical malpractice insurer has a duty to defend a nursing home against claims an employee raped a resident.

Also in the News for Monday, June 15

Medicare favors generic opioid drug to avoid abuse ... LTC plans use technology to reduce costs ... Spinal cord injuries increase in older adults ... More than half of seniors live below poverty threshold

Study: LTC nurses spend less than half of time on resident care

Care providers spend more than half of their time at work doing tasks that do not involve resident care, indicating long-term care can become more efficient by delegating certain activities to non-regulated workers, according to new research.

Georgia approves $27 million nursing home rate bump

A $27 million rate bump for select Georgia nursing home owners has been approved by the state's Department of Community Health, and will go into effect when the upcoming fiscal year begins on July 1.

House votes to remove Medicare cuts from trade bill

The House voted 397-32 yesterday to remove controversial Medicare cuts from legislation that would have used Medicare dollars to help pay for the expansion of the Trade Assistance Adjustment program, giving a victory to providers.

Also in the News for Friday, June 12

Medicare spent nearly $400M on tranquilizers in 2013 ... Seniors discussing sex in online communities ... Popular antibiotic could offset superbugs in medical U-turn

Experts say reform needed to alleviate LTC strain on Medicaid

Experts say reform needed to alleviate LTC strain on Medicaid

An increasing reliance on Medicaid to pay for long-term care supports and services has put the sustainability of the system in jeopardy, experts warned Wednesday.

Healthcare spending growth to decrease in 2016

The spending growth for healthcare costs is expected to dip .3% in 2016, due largely to an increase in stock prices, earnings reports and customer base, according to new research.

Cochran case closed by guilty plea

Clayton Kelly has pleaded guilty to breaking into the nursing home of the wife of Sen. Thad Cochran's (R-MS) and taking unauthorized photos of her in bed.

Also in the News for Thursday, June 11

FDA votes in favor of cholesterol-lowering drug ... Nursing home accused of endangering residents ... Popular heartburn medications linked to higher rate of heart attacks

2.5 million more LTC workers needed by 2030, researchers warn

2.5 million more LTC workers needed by 2030, researchers warn

At least 2.5 million more long-term care workers will be needed within 15 years in order to keep up with the fast-paced growth of America's aging population, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California at San Francisco.

Husband and wife plead guilty to stealing $1.2 from assisted living company

The Kansas woman who authorities say worked with her husband to steal more than $1.2 million from an assisted living company has pleaded guilty to one federal count of mail fraud.

Minnix receives Robert L. Kahn award

LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix is the recipient of the 2015 Robert L. Kahn award, which recognizes excellence and significant contributions to the field of successful aging.

Also in the News for Wednesday, June 10

LTC hospitals time discharges to maximize payments: study ... Docs might demand two-year ICD-10 grace period ... Stroke steals 8 years from brain.

Flu vaccine adjusted to avert another deadly 'mismatch' season

Flu vaccine adjusted to avert another deadly 'mismatch' season

Next season's flu vaccination is being tweaked for broader protection, due to last year's inconsistent coverage of influenza strains, U.S. health officials announced.

Court grants class-act certification against Golden Living Centers

Claims of chronic understaffing against 12 Golden Living Centers-operated Arkansas nursing homes will be tried as a class action lawsuit, the Arkansas Supreme Court has ruled.

New labor data predicts booming growth in continuing care

Several sectors of the eldercare industry can look forward to accelerated job growth in the next five years, according to a new report released by employment website CareerBuilder.

Also in the News for Tuesday, June 9

Poor sleep may contribute to Alzheimer's ... 88% of nurses use smartphones on job ... Type O blood may protect against Alzheimer's

White House report shows benefits of Medicaid expansion

White House report shows benefits of Medicaid expansion

States that pass on expanding Medicaid could be missing out on billions of dollars in federal money and additional health-related benefits, according to a new report from the White House.

New diabetes self-management education guidelines released

New guidelines have been released on what type of diabetes self-management education and support should be given to patients, and how and when healthcare providers deliver that information.

Medicare Part D reduced glaucoma medication cost-saving behaviors: study

A new study reports that since the implementation of Medicare Part D, fewer beneficiaries with glaucoma are resorting to cost-saving medication measures, such as taking smaller doses or skipping doses.

Also in the news for Monday, June 8

Resident records at risk after nursing home shutdown... House to hold hearing on prescription mismanagement and veteran suicide... Bill would expand meaningful use to behavioral health

New staffing rules redux

New staffing rules redux

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' proposed rule for skilled nursing facilities in fiscal 2016 contains some "must read" information about new staff reporting requirements.

4th Tech Awards program a perfect chance to thrive

4th Tech Awards program a perfect chance to thrive

I've learned after many years of covering long-term care that certain things are sure to arouse providers' anger — over-regulation, under-payment and reckless media accounts among them.

Extending Sulpician reverence

Extending Sulpician reverence

The Rev. Leo Larrivee lends a special touch to life around his Charlestown continuing care retirement community in Catonsville, MD

A Mercy-LSS deal is near

Pending board approval of both organizations, Mercy Hospital St. Louis was preparing to transfer the ownership of 120 skilled nursing beds on its campus to Lutheran Senior Services.

Ventas has record quarter, unveils SNF spin-off plans

Ventas has record quarter, unveils SNF spin-off plans

Real estate investment trust heavyweight Ventas flexed its muscles during the first quarter of 2015 as it reported record revenues and a plan to spin off most of its skilled nursing portfolio.

Design Decisions: Ready for therapy

Design Decisions: Ready for therapy

Otterbein St. Mary's new $1.5 million Designated Therapy Wing sprang up from pure determination — to elevate service and care levels, to increase marketability and to further its ministry mission of serving the small western Ohio town where it is located.

How to do it ... antipsychotics management

Start with root cause analysis, says Denise Wassenaar, RN, MS, LNHA, MatrixCare. Remember that antipsychotics are not FDA- approved for behavioral symptoms in dementia.

Ask the legal expert ... about surveyor citations

Ask the legal expert ... about surveyor citations

One of the first opportunities for a facility to refute surveyor citations or deficiencies and have the survey agency remove them is the Informal Dispute Resolution ("IDR") process or, when CMS has imposed a civil money penalty that the facility must place in an escrow account, the Independent Informal Dispute Resolution ("IIDR") process. (IDR and IIDR are collectively "IDR.")

Alzheimer's spousal sex case has fallout

The case of a 78-year-old retired lawmaker who was prosecuted for alleged sexual abuse of his Alzheimer's-afflicted wife highlights a need for nursing homes to have clearer policies on sex and intimacy, experts say.

HCR ManorCare 'vigorously' refutes whistleblower suits

HCR ManorCare 'vigorously' refutes whistleblower suits

HCR ManorCare is vowing not to back down from its refutation of three "whistleblower" lawsuits that allege the giant nursing home and rehabilitation chain fraudulently submitted claims to Medicare and a Department of Defense healthcare program.

Nursing diversity improves ... but slowly

Though nursing's ranks are becoming more diverse, there's still much work to be done to make it reflective of the U.S. population.

ADAPT's cynical moves

ADAPT's cynical moves

What kind of cruel, heartless person could openly criticize disabled people in wheelchairs? I guess that cruel, heartless person would have to be me.

SNF pay to rise by $500 million

Medicare officials said they hope to increase skilled nursing facility reimbursements by $500 million in 2016 under a proposed new payment rate.

Tech contest is open for entries

Tech contest is open for entries

The 2015 McKnight's Excellence in Technology awards program has returned, giving long-term care facilities a place to shine.

Exercise helps brain matter

Exercise helps brain matter

Cardiorespiratory fitness can change seniors' brains, new research reveals.

Drug-resistant bacteria lurks

A Boston-based study of 152 nursing home residents with advanced dementia found about 20% harbor strains of drug-resistant bacteria.

Awards pile up for McKnight's

Another May, another slew of awards for McKnight's Long-Term Care News.

60 Seconds with ... Richard J. Hodes

60 Seconds with ... Richard J. Hodes

Q: How will the Big Data Portal's launch help ease concerns about Alzheimer's disease?

Minnix: We have outdated views on aging

Aging services over the next decade should be looking at redefining age, improving practices, innovating solutions and transforming policy, the leader of a top senior care association declared in April.

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