June 2011 32 6 Issue of McKnight's Long Term Care News

June 2011 32 6 Issue of McKnight's Long Term Care News

June 2011 Cover


Medicare upcoding practices placing industry in hot seat

Providers have done well for themselves under the new Medicare payment system. Too well, according to the federal government.

Alzheimer's diagnostic criteria released

New diagnostic criteria and biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease should help physicians catch the disease earlier and develop therapies faster, according to guidelines released by the ...

AHCA supports ACOs, opposes block grants

Nursing homes are "perfect partners" for accountable care organizations and don't want to be left behind in the changing healthcare landscape, AHCA/NCAL President and CEO ...

McKnight's earns Gold, again

McKnight's Long-Term Care News has repeated as the Gold Award winner for Best News Section in the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors awards competition.

Rapid MRSA/MSSA test

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a blood culture test that can determine if Staphylococcus aureus bacteria infections are methicillin resistant (MRSA) or ...

C. diff surgery a lifesaver?

A new procedure for patients with severe Clostridium difficile colitis could allow them to have a higher chance of survival and preserve their colon.

State agencies called too lax

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services needs to toughen up oversight of complaints about nursing homes, investigators say.

Eldercare costs are up by 3.5%

Long-term care facilities are increasing their room charges. But this year's increase is still less than cost increases for other types of goods and services, ...

MDS coding habits irk Medicare's boss

In the eight months since a new Medicare payment system kicked in, many operators have routinely placed residents in the highest possible reimbursement categories.

State News

CA: New website promotes psychoactive meds education

You've seen Jack Nicholson's portrayal of R.P. McMurphy in "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest," pretending to swallow pills given to him by Nurse Ratched ...


Improving infection control

Study results indicate 'culture change' guided by checklists may be necessary to effectively reduce pathogen threats in new long-term care environment

Providers still adjusting to new Medicare rules

New MDS and RUG-IV rules are revamping how Medicare services are provided and reimbursed. But every indication is that additional changes are coming

60 Seconds with...

60 Seconds With...Dan Mendelson

Dan Mendelson, CEO, Avalere Health

Ask the care expert

Resident care

Frailty, drug reactions not linked: study

New research challenges a commonly held belief among physicians that frailty in seniors is linked to adverse reactions to medications, geriatricians at the San Francisco ...

Ask the treatment expert

Ask the treatment expert: What is the acronym for Principles of Topical Therapy?

Susan Wickard, RN, BSN, CWCN, CWS, CLNC, Clinical Advisor, American Association for LTC Nursing

Wound care

Cotton candy-like fibers may help tough wounds heal quick

Non-healing venous stasis wounds present a major caregiving challenge in many facilities. But a treatment approach based on packing the wounds with cotton candy-like fibers ...

15% of facilities cited for IC violations

More than one in seven nursing homes receive survey citations for problems related to infection control, a study backed by the Association for Professionals in ...


Blood pressure drugs safe in older adults: new guidelines

Hypertension in older adults — particularly in octogenarians — is much more common than in younger adults and more difficult to treat. Due to risk ...

Dementia, oral care can be volatile mix

Citing a link between poor oral health and increased risk of pneumonia and cardiovascular disease, a team of nurses launched a pilot project to test ...

Legal Matters

OIG: No joint pharmacy deal for LTC facility and employee

A pharmacy employee's joint ownership of a long-term care pharmacy with facility owners would potentially violate anti-kickback statues, according to a federal opinion.

Major Medicare fraud agreement reached

A nursing home operator has agreed to pay close to $1 million to settle allegations that it defrauded Medicare, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the ...

Pursuing excellence

Weigh liability insurance

William C. Fisher, President, Investment Advisory Group LLC

How to do it…

How to do it...Wound care

Some of the most costly care in a skilled nursing facility involves wounds and skin breakdown. With so many deep or longstanding wounds in play, ...

A day in the life

He's tuned in to resident choice

When iPods, the popular portable music players, started to become ubiquitous in about 2006, licensed social worker Dan Cohen Googled "iPods and nursing homes." He ...

I couldn't live without...

I couldn't live without...LifeBio

It's almost a given that most people love to talk about themselves, and nursing home and memory care patients are no exception. LifeBio products, which ...


Center takes advantage of IT to showcase new innovations

There's a new attraction in Washington: Kaiser Permanente just opened a Center for Total Health. Company officials said the complex will showcase healthcare innovation via ...

Resident care

Antidepressants can boost stroke recovery outcomes

Recovering stroke patients treated with a short course of antidepressants showed greater improvement in physical recovery than stroke patients receiving a placebo, new research finds.

Company news

'Redbox model,' new funds helping pharmacy company

A long-term care pharmacy company recently announced it had secured $6 million in venture capital, and its CEO says it is ready to take on ...

Signature ups investment

Following its recent move to Louisville, Signature HealthCARE announced it would sink $7 million, up from a projected $5.3 million, into Kentucky.

Vendor news

Mobile mania: Smartphone users dialing up health info

Another day, another batch of survey data showing that smartphones have become the proverbial tail wagging the dog in medical media.

Data firms, drug manufacturers like odds

Data firms and drug manufacturers are feeling confident after the Supreme Court arguments on Vermont's physician data ban.

The big picture

A word about our fathers

It has been said that as children get older, their fathers get smarter. I'm not just hoping this chestnut is true; I'm counting on it.

Editor’s desk

The reaction to ACOs? Please pass the aspirin

I haven't heard them pronounced this way yet, but long-term care providers might want to consider it when it comes to ACOs. Instead of spelling ...


He's ready for House calls: David Gifford, M.D.

David Gifford, M.D., Senior VP, Quality & Regulatory Affairs AHCA