Nursing home pays $1.2 million fine following 35 deficiencies

A Tennessee nursing home is rebounding after being hit with a seven-figure fine from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Former pharmacy CEO gets max sentence for selling repackaged drugs to nursing homes

A former pharmacy CEO has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges that he repackaged and sold drugs returned from nursing homes.

Also in the News for Monday, August 31

FDA approves new cholesterol drug... Spouses of stroke survivors face lasting health issues... Pilates linked to better balance in older women with back pain

GAO will investigate Five-Star rating system

GAO will investigate Five-Star rating system

In a move sure to surprise many providers, the Government Accountability Office will investigate the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Five-Star Quality Rating System, according to a published report.

CMS extends nursing home improvement initiative

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will extend its initiative to improve care in nursing facilities, the agency announced Thursday.

Bill would expand restrictions on campaigning in nursing homes

Wisconsin legislators have introduced a bill that would ban political candidates and their staff from campaigning at nursing homes on the day voting deputies visit to help residents complete their absentee ballots.

Also in the News for Friday, August 28

Head of ACO organization disappointed with 2014 results... Prisons should be more like nursing homes... Growth hormone reduces risk of fractures in women with osteoporosis

Post-acute push boosts ACO savings

Post-acute push boosts ACO savings

Medicare accountable care organizations saved the federal government more than $411 million in 2014, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Nursing home's safety documents not protected, court rules

A North Carolina nursing home operator can't claim privilege in protecting documents created by its safety committee from discovery, a federal trial court has ruled.

Seniors have higher risk for hospital admission after outpatient surgery

Seniors are more likely to be admitted to a hospital after outpatient surgery due to misunderstanding discharge and medication instructions, a new study shows.

Also in the News for Thursday, August 27

CBO forecasts increased Medicare, Medicaid spending... Nurse admits to covering up abuse, neglect at SNF... One third of "very elderly" Americans on statins "without evidence"

Racial gap in hospice use, advanced care planning expected to grow

Only a third of eligible black Medicare beneficiaries enroll in hospice compared to half of white beneficiaries, a racial gap that is expected to grow, according to a new report from Kaiser Health News.

Structure, strategy key to implementing IMPACT Act standards

Long-term care providers work with four "building blocks" of standards under the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act, experts said during a McKnight's Super Tuesday webcast.

Medicaid costs for antipsychotics to decrease as patents expire

Expiring patents for blockbuster antipsychotic medications is expected to increase use of the drugs' generic versions and save Medicaid billions of dollars annually, a new study shows.

Also in the News for Wednesday, August 26

Florida approves request for 1,000 new nursing home beds ... Dementia drugs tied to increased mortality risk... Access to nature improves sleep quality for seniors

State puts new limits on memory care advertisements

State puts new limits on memory care advertisements

Nursing homes will no longer be able to advertise that they provide "memory care" or similar services unless they meet state dementia care standards, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health said in a letter to providers last week.

Proposed PACE quality measures are lacking, organization says

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' proposed quality measures for organizations participating in the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly need revising, according to the organization which created the program.

Illinois becomes sixth state to allow cameras in nursing home rooms

Legislation allowing families to install cameras in nursing home rooms was signed into law by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) last week.

Also in the News for Tuesday, August 25

Flu vaccinations mean fewer resident deaths, study finds... Study pinpoints nine factors that increase dementia risk... LTC company blames bounced checks on payroll changes

McKnight's Senior Living website and Daily Briefing e-newsletter debut

McKnight's Senior Living website and Daily Briefing e-newsletter debut

McKnight's is now offering senior living professionals their own new source of daily news, analysis and information. McKnight's Senior Living (URL: www.McKnightsSeniorLiving.com) features news, analysis and information on a unique website.

PharMerica, Kindred settle in Amgen kickback lawsuit

PharMerica Corp. and Kindred Healthcare have agreed in principle to out-of-court settlements in a whistleblower suit that implicated the companies in alleged massive kickback schemes involving a popular anemia treatment medicine.

LeadingAge rallies against proposed Medicare, Medicaid changes

A leading nursing home advocate is mustering support to combat massive changes the administration has proposed for Medicare and Medicaid participation.

Also in the news for Monday, August 24 ...

Report tackles Medicaid pay for adult day services ... Heart failure symptoms still often lingering after hospital stays ... Dementia numbers, risks stabilizing in Western Europe, experts believe

SNFs lead bundled payment pilot participants

SNFs lead bundled payment pilot participants

A new analysis shows skilled nursing facilities make up two-thirds of providers participating in a bundled payment pilot program.

CDC looking for providers that are hypertension control champs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now accepting nominees for a program that celebrates hypertension control "champions." The agency's stated aim is to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over the next two years.

Workaholics could face stroke risks similar to smokers

Workers who toil excessive overtime hours could be increasing their risk of stroke by as much as one-third, new research shows.

Also in the News for Friday, August 21

Hospice use data may mask end-of-life care issues... C. diff research debunked... "Stress hormone" levels could pinpoint seniors with cognitive decline

New Mexico nursing home sued by state AG sues back

A New Mexico nursing home being sued by the state attorney general claims that he refused to release communications between his office and two out-of-state law firms working on the case, violating the state's public records law.

Court: Nursing home infringed on union rights by taking down signs

A federal court this week upheld a decision by the National Labor Relations Board that found a nursing home company interfered with its workers' rights when it removed flyers and banned stickers displaying union messages.

Fire chief, 5 others placed on leave after death at Minnesota nursing home

Six employees of the Maplewood, MN, fire department, including the chief, have been placed on administrative leave after the death of a nursing home resident.

Also in the News for Thursday, August 20

Beethoven could lower blood pressure, fight heart disease ... More healthcare providers turning to virtual reality to train staff... Workplace violence, patient handling key concerns facing healthcare workers: report.

Nursing home giant Signature Healthcare pushes into insurance industry

Signature Healthcare, one of the country's largest nursing facility companies, is quickly nearing its entry into the health insurance business. Enrollment for Signature Healthcare residents will begin in October.

Deaf residents sue nursing home over lack of communication services

Three deaf residents of an Illinois nursing home have filed a civil lawsuit against the facility, claiming it failed to provide adequate accommodations for them to communicate with staff.

Brookdale settles with EEOC for $112,000 in disability accommodation case

A Denver senior living provider will pay $112,500 to settle a lawsuit that claims it failed to provide accommodations for, and subsequently fired, an employee with fibromyalgia.

Also in the News for Wednesday, August 19

Ventas completes post-acute, SNF portfolio spin-off ... Nutritional supplements like Boost and Ensure have mixed results, study finds... Study looks at what defines identity for people with dementia

WSJ digs into Ultra High therapy billing

WSJ digs into Ultra High therapy billing

Fifty-four percent of the therapy nursing that homes billed to Medicare in 2013 was at the "Ultra High" level, up from just 7% in 2002, a prominent story in the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

New guide seeks to improve physicians' end-of-life conversations

A new guide has been developed to advise physicians on having end-of-life conversations with patients and their families.

AHCA/NCAL announces Gold Quality Award winners

The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living have announced the recipients of the groups' Gold National Quality Awards, which recognize providers that display excellence in long-term care.

Also in the News for Tuesday, August 18

Activity trackers geared toward seniors released... Long hours, heavy lifting may hinder pregnancy ... Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webinar on C. Diff prevention...

Mark your calendars: McKnight's Fall Online Expo returns!

Mark your calendars: McKnight's Fall Online Expo returns!

It will be back to school for students in a few weeks — but they don't have to be the only ones learning new things this fall. McKnight's 3rd Annual Fall Online Expo will return Sept. 9, with the first of three webinars kicking off at 11 a.m. Eastern Time.

Feds name Life Care Centers CEO in False Claims Act suit

Life Care Centers founder and CEO Forrest Preston has been named by federal prosecutors in an amended False Claims Act lawsuit against the company, claiming he benefitted from alleged Medicare overbilling.

CMS announces participants in bundled payment pilot program

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced last week that 2,100 participants have moved to the contract, risk-bearing period of the agency's Bundled Payments for Care Improvement pilot program.

Also in the News for Monday, August 17

MO healthcare provider to pay $5.5 million for improper referral claims... Legionnaires' found in assisted living facility's water for second time in two years... Nursing home operator not responsible for prior owner's ERISA violations

CMS extends enforcement delay for 'two-midnight' rule

CMS extends enforcement delay for 'two-midnight' rule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has extended the partial enforcement delay of its controversial "two-midnight" rule, which was set to expire on Sept. 30. The delay will now last until Dec. 31.

Nursing home sales, closures could face more scrutiny in MA

New rules proposed by Massachusetts officials could put more pressure on nursing home operators looking to sell or close their facilities.

California's largest nursing home operator sued by resident's family

California's largest nursing home operator is being sued by the family of a resident who committed suicide last year while living at a suburban Los Angeles nursing home.

Also in the News for Friday, August 14

Nursing home chain will pay $415,000 to resolve Medicare overpayment allegations... 1 in 4 senior women has osteoporosis, CDC says... Many facilities not equipped to deal with needs of transgender seniors

Court: Documentation lacking in dual eligibles claims

A California hospital group will not receive reimbursements for some Medicare/Medicaid dual eligibles claims because it lacked proper documentation, a federal appeals court has ruled.

SNF workers allegedly posted videos of residents to Snapchat

Two employees of a Massachusetts nursing home have been accused with posting videos of themselves abusing residents on the popular smartphone app Snapchat.

Ohio may send more frail inmates to nursing homes

Ohio is considering a plan to release dying prison inmates into nursing homes to cut costs, a move that's raising concerns among some healthcare organizations.

Also in the News for Thursday, August 13

DME bidding period will kick off in October... California approves security cameras in nursing home rooms... New test can screen for dementia in three minutes

Nursing home antipsychotic use down 21.7%

Nursing home antipsychotic use down 21.7%

Antipsychotic use among long-stay nursing home residents has decreased 21.7% over the past four years, according to a new report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services.

Nurses and technology can mix, expert says

The road to electronic health record success is to directly involve the nursing staff who will be the "heaviest users" of the system, a nursing and clinical information expert said during a McKnight's Super Tuesday webinar.

Senior housing construction may outpace demand

The current boom in senior housing building may outpace demand and lead to trouble for real estate companies, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.

Also in the News for Wednesday, August 12

FDA approves generic of dementia med Namenda... Seniors at 54% higher risk for readmission after surgery ... Drug used to treat liver disease could slow Parkinson's

Obama signs NOTICE Act into law

Obama signs NOTICE Act into law

A bill changing notification of outpatient observation status for hospital patients has been signed into law by President Obama.

New nurses face higher injury risk on night, overtime shifts

Newly licensed registered nurses who work overtime and night shifts are more likely to suffer occupational injuries, according to a study published in the International Journal of Nursing Studies.

CDC releases 2015-2016 flu shot recommendations

Seniors should be vaccinated for the flu before December, according to new vaccination recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Also in the News for Tuesday, August 11

Common medications taken by seniors could delay brain injury recovery... Seattle named top city for healthy, affordable retirement... Tablets allow nursing home staff to give feedback

Senator calls for Five-Star system investigation

A Pennsylvania senator is calling for the federal government to investigate Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Five-Star Quality Rating System.

Assisted living facility to pay $42,500 settlement in EEOC suit

A Michigan assisted living group will pay more than $42,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit alleging it fired an employee with epilepsy.

Also in the News for Monday, August 10

"Modern life" causing dementia to start earlier, study finds... New Mexico attorney general, nursing home chain spar in court... Frail, elderly most susceptible to NYC Legionnaire's outbreak

Senate approves PACE expansion bill

Senate approves PACE expansion bill

The Senate has approved a bill that would expand the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly for testing in other populations.

CA facility allegedly fires employees with disabilities: EEOC

A California senior living corporation discriminates against employees with disabilities, a new Equal Employment Opportunity Commission lawsuit alleges. But the CEO of the company rebuts the accusations, calling them "inflammatory."

Pennsylvania forms nursing home task force

A newly-formed task force will address growing allegations of understaffing and neglect in the state's nursing homes, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced Wednesday.

Also in the News for Friday, August 7

RI facility receives $2.7M grant to improve care for LTC patients ... Ex-nurse's aide pleads guilty to charges for failing to help resident before she died ... AHCA says Thune bill would improve access of rural healthcare

SNFs can ask for three-month quality reporting reprieve

Skilled nursing facilities unable to provide data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service's new quality reporting program will have a 90-day window to request an exception or extension, officials said during an Open Door Forum call Thursday.

Providers may 'Yelp' at review website's newest feature

A new addition to the Yelp website will let consumers examine payment and ratings information about skilled care facilities, The Washington Post reported.

Terminated providers seek refuge across state lines: OIG

About 12% of providers terminated from one state Medicaid program continued participating in other states' Medicaid programs, according to a report from the Office of Inspector General.

Eliminating '3-day stay' rule doesn't increase SNF admissions: study

Eliminating '3-day stay' rule doesn't increase SNF admissions: study

Skilled nursing facility admissions don't increase when Medicare Advantage plans waive the three-day stay rule, new research asserts.

Also in the News for Thursday, August 6

Healthcare facilities need to cooperate in antibiotic resistance fight, CDC says... New bill would improve internet access for rural SNFs... DOJ settles "first of its kind" false claims case

Conference for the ages develops personal touch

Conference for the ages develops personal touch

When President Obama took the podium on the morning of July 13, he thrust aging and long-term care into a reinvigorated spotlight.

Connecting kids with seniors

Connecting kids with seniors

After teaching kindergarteners most of her life, 101-year-old Grace Cloninger continued to interact with children at her nursing home in Sacramento, CA.

Sabra gains 678 new beds

Sabra Health Care REIT Inc. purchased four Maryland transitional care facilities for $234 million, the company announced in late June.

Music to their ears

Music to their ears

The renovation and expansion of a cramped facility brings residents more privacy and service options, and the operator a healthy cash flow

Damaging hand-offs

Damaging hand-offs

With the stakes raised for more and more admissions — and departures — communication is critical for long-term care providers looking to partner with hospitals

Taking a load off

Taking a load off

More facilities are pulling the plug on resource-robbing laundry practices — as they seek to lessen environmental burden and improve the bottom line

How to do it ... Resident safety

Technological innovation is allowing needy seniors to be monitored while allowing greater mobility than ever before. Experts here make recommendations that can help providers strike a careful balance between freedom, privacy, safety and security.

Ask the Legal Expert ... about non-competition agreements

Ask the Legal Expert ... about non-competition agreements

We are tired of having our top nurses poached by other skilled care providers in the area. Can we hire new nurses under a non-compete clause?

EEOC sues after disabled aide is dismissed

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is alleging that a South Carolina nursing home fired one of its licensed practical nurses due to a disability that complicated her pregnancy.

Golden claims 'retaliation' is behind understaffing lawsuit

Golden claims 'retaliation' is behind understaffing lawsuit

Long-term care giant Golden Living claims that politics and retaliation are the reasons behind a 101-page legal action claiming an array of illegalities at a minimum of 14 of its facilities in Pennsylvania.

LTC staff spend only half of time on care

Long-term care nurses spend more than half of their time completing tasks that don't involve resident care, according to new research in the Journal of Nursing Studies.

Seemed like good idea

Seemed like good idea

One of the more interesting new ways employers are helping employees is through wellness assistance.

SNF bed total drops slightly

The skilled care sector saw occupancy rates and bed supply dip slightly between March and June, new data shows.

Plan will push care planning

Plan will push care planning

A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposal to reimburse practitioners for discussing advance care planning drew praise of long-term care medical directors in July.

Diabetes drug cuts dementia

Diabetes drug cuts dementia

A frequently prescribed diabetes drug may reduce the risk of older adults developing dementia, researchers from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases found.

Seizures also a dementia risk?

Adults with frontotemporal dementia are at increased risk of seizures, per a study from the University of California, San Francisco.

Feds will focus on MDS 3.0

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has a new mission providers need to be keenly aware of, a prominent long-term care payment expert cautions.

A test plan that may cost some a bundle

A test plan that may cost some a bundle

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' "monumental" plan to test bundled payments for hip and knee replacements could spell trouble for skilled nursing facilities, experts warn.

Medicare pilot programs to begin this year

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials are finalizing details for three Medicare pilot programs set to begin this year, agency officials announced.

CMS proposal will target IT, staff competency protocols

CMS proposal will target IT, staff competency protocols

Information technology and staff training are two key topics included in the proposed regulatory overhaul announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as part of the White House Conference on Aging in July.

Ask the Payment Expert ... about MDS-focused surveys

Ask the Payment Expert ... about MDS-focused surveys

I keep hearing about MDS-focused surveys. What are they?

House IPAB repeal advances

The House of Representatives voted in June to repeal the Independent Payment Advisory Board, a Medicare cost containment entity created under the Affordable Care Act.

State's Medicaid managed care data lacking, OIG says

State's Medicaid managed care data lacking, OIG says

The Office of the Inspector General recommended that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services withhold federal funds from states that do not accurately report encounter data under their Medicaid managed care plans.

Profile: Naushira Pandya, M.D.

Profile: Naushira Pandya, M.D.

After spending her childhood in Uganda and completing her early medical training in England, Naushira Pandya, M.D., was shocked by what she first witnessed as an American doctor.

Ask the Care Expert ... about handwashing

Ask the Care Expert ... about handwashing

Believe it or not, we are having a hard time getting our staff to comply with handwashing. Do you have any suggestions to help us let staff know it is urgent that everyone washes their hands?

Seniors delve into online sex communities

Older adults are using online communities to share sexual experiences more frequently, a study published in the Journal of Leisure Research showed.

I couldn't live without ... TotalVue

I couldn't live without ... TotalVue

Working from his REM Laundry office in Versailles, KY, Mark Moore manages his company's contract laundry services for nursing homes all over the country through a new cloud-based monitoring and reporting tool.

Whatcha gonna do?

Whatcha gonna do?

Adversity, that irrepressible rascal. We're far too familiar with it in long-term care.

Kwalu, Clorox team up for a clean finish

Long-term care furniture company Kwalu and Clorox Healthcare have announced a joint marketing venture that will promote disinfectants on non-porous furnishings.

Don't miss any McKnight's news