February 2013 Issue of McKnight's Long Term Care News

February 2013 Issue of McKnight's Long Term Care News

Top news stories from the February 2013 issue of McKnight's Long-Term Care News.


Latest funding deal sidesteps fiscal cliff

Providers generally lauded a deal that kept the nation from going over the so-called fiscal cliff in January. Spared were automatic Medicare cuts to physicians ...

Avatars in LTC to open doors

The role of avatars in senior care settings will be addressed during the 2013 McKnight's Online Expo technology session.

Inmates cause 'jeopardy' tag

An Oklahoma provider is appealing after it was slapped with Immediate Jeopardy citations and $168,000 in fines for housing inmates injured in a prison riot.

Therapy helps mend aphasia

Aggressive therapy can improve language function and general cognition for seniors who have had aphasia for years, according to a study recently published in Brain ...

Rising flu toll sparks tussle on shot rules

The contentious issue of whether healthcare workers should be required to be vaccinated against the flu gained new ferocity in January. Deaths caused by influenza ...

More effective shots created

New strains of genetically engineered bacteria may improve the efficacy of vaccines for diseases that include the flu and pertussis, University of Texas at Austin ...

'Bed tax' reform threat looms

Nursing homes could be hurt if the federal government lowers the Medicaid provider tax safe harbor threshold to reduce the national deficit, according to a ...

Long-term care commission's work unlikely to fuel changes

The fiscal cliff avoidance deal seems to prove an adage about politics being the art of compromise. But as tradeoffs go, long-term care providers didn't ...

Food costs may take a bigger budget bite

Long-term care facilities should prepare to pay more for food in 2013, with prices going up as much as 4%, according to a prominent industry ...

State News

State news

The Florida Health Care Association (FHA) criticized a report that one in five Florida nursing homes appears on the state's watch list for failing to ...


Rapid (Rx) transit

Time is a valuable and limited resource in long-term care. Caregivers often scramble to meet the varying needs of their residents and struggle to balance ...

Upon further review

Instead of spending more time doing hands-on patient care, therapists who work with Medicare beneficiaries have been strapped with increased administrative tasks, sometimes leading to ...

60 Seconds with...

60 Seconds with Gary Kelso, Chairman AHCA Not-for-Profit Council

What does a not-for-profit council do for a mostly for-profit association like AHCA?

Ask the care expert

Ask the Care Expert ... about space heaters in SNFs

We have a family that insists on bringing in a space heater for their mom's room during the winter to "make her happy." Are space ...

Resident care

Drug regimen found effective for common kidney condition

A major clinical trial out of the United Kingdom points a new direction for treating a common form of kidney disease.

Study links hormone to asthma-obesity

Obese people may be prone to asthma because of a hormone called leptin, a new Columbia University study has found.

Ask the treatment expert

Ask the treatment expert ... about the relationship of pain and wounds

How can we best identify pain associated with wounds?

Wound care

Researchers turn to mussels as a model for bio-adhesives

The biology that allows mussels to stick to underwater surfaces is providing insight to researchers looking at wound care.

NQF's measures target pressure ulcers

The National Quality Forum (NQF) Board of Directors recently endorsed 12 patient safety measures with a focus on complications. The measures address pressure ulcers, falls, ...

Ask the nursing expert

Ask the nursing expert ... about restorative dining

I am a director of nursing in a 130-bed facility with three nursing units and we would like to start a restorative dining program. Could ...


New Johns Hopkins process tackles dementia symptoms

A new six-step approach from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing professors outlines management of behavioral symptoms in dementia.

Low wages means higher BP, study says

Low-wage workers have a greater risk for hypertension than workers with higher wages, University of California-Davis investigators have discovered.

Payment & policy

Ask the payment expert ... about inaccurate MDS therapy information

What happens if my therapy company makes an error on the MDS and as a result, a change of therapy was missed? Are we still ...

Medicare has two more years to reclaim any overpayments

Providers will have to hold their breath a little longer after receiving Medicare payments, thanks to a little-publicized provision of recently signed fiscal cliff legislation.

CMS wants burdens eased

Providers will have their say about the future of Medicare Administrative Contractors.

Ask the legal expert

Ask the legal expert ... about due diligence when being recruited

I'm an administrator and am being recruited by a skilled nursing facility with past legal troubles. What should I do to satisfy myself that this ...

Legal Matters

Falsified records mean legal woes for administrator, aide

Lying about a wandering resident and foregoing help when lifting a resident were all it took to land a nursing home administrator and a nurse ...

Hospice settles HIPAA case for $50,000

A stolen laptop has resulted in an Idaho hospice organization paying the Department of Health and Human Services $50,000.


Goal: garden variety rehab

When Grancare Nursing Center owner and administrator Donna Zunker began envisioning a new rehab wing, she wanted more than a new addition.

How to do it…

How to do it ... Multidisciplinary wound care teams

Research supported by general industry consensus shows successful wound care management in long-term care cannot be achieved by a singular effort. Building highly effective and ...

A day in the life

Staff generosity finds the net

Never mind the frigid winters in Ontario, staff members at Streamway Villa in the town of Coburg know how to bring warmth to their residents.

I couldn't live without...

I couldn't live without ... Xerox data center hosting

Having outgrown their previous hosting provider, Texas-based Harden Healthcare went looking for a new solution. The organization found it in Xerox, which is now hosting ...


Enforcement of privacy rules now delayed until March 31

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has pushed back enforcement of two electronic healthcare transaction rules by three months, the agency announced in January. ...


Difficult eaters ahead

Food. I eat it, savor it, crave it and can't seem to live without it — and I suspect I'm not alone. Talk to any ...

Compliance clock ticks

Nursing facilities have always faced an array of obligations in order to provide services to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, which can sometimes seem burdensome in ...

Company news

Golden Living to pay $600k but derides wound care charge

Golden Living announced in January it reached a settlement totaling more than $613,000 with the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health ...

NHC acquires 6 more SNFs

National HealthCare Corp is buying six nursing homes from landlord National Health Investors for $21 million, the company announced.

Vendor news

More vendors at CES highlight health and wellness options

The number of digital health exhibitors at January's CES show in Las Vegas was up 25% this year, according to event organizers.

FDA wants lower doses for sleeping aids

The Food and Drug Administration is requiring manufacturers of certain sleeping pills, including the widely prescribed Ambien, to reduce current recommended dosages.

Business & Marketing

HUD 202: Big changes

The HUD 202 program had a major policy change in 2012 that will permit numerous not-for-profit providers to take capital from their existing HUD 202 ...

The big picture

Good news, for lawyers

We journalists tend to get all warm and tingly when previously guarded information is finally made public. It must be in our DNA.

Editor’s desk

Tired of the bum rap? Here's how to rise above

It's no wonder you, as a long-term care provider, might get fed up with the general media. Sometimes it has to seem that mass media ...


On the job for 6 decades

Over the past 63 years, 11 presidents have come and gone, wars have been won and lost, and the long-term care industry has experienced a ...