March 2012 Issue of McKnight's Long Term Care News

March 2012 Issue of McKnight's Long Term Care News

big picture

Where to find funding?

In many ways, 2011 was the year of the REIT, or real estate investment trust. Compared to alternative funding sources, REITs were flush with cash ...


Providers give quick rebuke to White House budget plan

President Obama's 2013 budget plan received a cool reception from the provider community. The collective criticism is that the $3.8 trillion blueprint lacks fairness and ...

FTC waves stop sign at Omnicare deal

The Federal Trade Commission has filed suit over Omnicare's bid to grab PharMerica.

New policy triggers rehab mode change

Individual therapy services are seeing a huge spike across skilled care settings, according to a new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services report. The shift ...

Music can be a hearing aid

Lifelong musical training, especially if it lasts late in life, can help overcome age-related hearing loss, a new study finds.

Alzheimer's breakthrough?

Deep brain stimulation enhanced the memory of epilepsy patients with recall problems, a small study has found.

Online Expo gives new chances

Providers can learn about new opportunities to qualify for federal reimbursements at the McKnight's Online Expo later this month.

Flu panel says: Mandate shots

An advisory panel to the White House is recommending providers mandate annual employee flu shots if voluntary programs do not achieve at least 90% compliance.

Newest budget plan earns cutting rebuke

Providers had braced for possible reimbursement cuts in President Obama's 2013 budget. But the actual reductions could be even more austere than anticipated.

Hospital stays now under fire

Skilled nursing facilities should promote their efforts to better reduce rehospitalizations, a policy expert warns.

State News

Right-to-work law is seen as effort to offset unions

Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) signed anti-union legislation early in February that will turn Indiana into a right-to-work state. Right-to-work legislation bans unions from requiring members to ...


Laundry lifeline

It's not easy work and not as glamorous as other positions, so finding and keeping quality staff carries that much more importance.

Running the track

Staying current on wound care tracking methods is essential for clinicians and other staff members working in today's long-term care clinical environment.

60 Seconds with...

60 Seconds with...Kathleen Sebelius

As many as 5.1 million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer's disease. And that number is quickly growing. As the U.S. population ages, the number of ...

Ask the care expert

Ask the care expert: When is isolation required for C. diff, and when can a resident be taken out of isolation?

Residents should be placed on contact precautions while they are experiencing diarrhea. Wait to discontinue precautions until the diarrhea resolves.

Ask the treatment expert

Ask the treatment expert: What should I know about ischemic and diabetic ulcers?

Some of the risk factors that may contribute to development of these ulcers include atherosclerosis, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, smoking and dyslipidemia.

Wound care

Fewer diabetics losing legs, CDC investigators discover

The rate of foot and leg amputations in diabetics over the age of 40 fell 65% between 1996 and 2008, according to a recent report.

Sweet option emerges for wound care

Manuka honey may help clear chronic wound infections and tackle the bacteria that delays healing, Cardiff University researchers have found.

Ask the nursing expert

Ask the nursing expert: Are audit tools useful for organization purposes?

Yes, I sure do! Meet with your leadership team to decide which areas you feel that you need to routinely track. Develop your audit tools ...


Limiting overtime hours seen as good for RNs and patients

State-mandated caps on registered nurses' mandatory overtime have succeeded in reducing medical mistakes and decreasing turnover rates, a new study finds.

Job growth in the forecast for healthcare

Everything is coming up roses for people pursuing jobs in the healthcare industry, according to a new batch of statistics from the U.S. Department of ...

Ask the payment expert

Ask the payment expert: What are some tips for completing a Change of Therapy OMRA accurately?

Nursing and therapy need to be monitoring the therapy level on a continual basis. Therapy staff need to look forward seven days to make sure ...

Payment & policy

A post-acute common pay system possible, CMS says

Federal researchers believe a common evaluation and payment model for three types of post-acute care could be up and running in the not-so-distant future. The ...

Matching pay rates to slow

Lower Medicaid federal matching rates will be in place for about 30 states in fiscal 2014, according to a report from the National Association of ...

Ask the legal expert

Ask the legal expert: How important is it to meet self-reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act?

According to the Affordable Care Act, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services may reduce a civil money penalty (CMP) by 50% in cases where ...

Legal Matters

Court affirms right of state to recover funds for LTC

Arizona has the right to recover a community spouse's annuity to pay for an institutionalized spouse's medical costs, a U.S. Court of Appeals has affirmed.

Gay workers can fight for LTC insurance

Same-sex partners who want to participate in a state long-term care program can move forward with a federal lawsuit, a federal judge has said.

Pursuing excellence

Smart Money: Understanding rates

All CFOs are taught that past performance is not an indication of future performance. Performance data is only part of how investment consultants evaluate money ...

Having my say

Make a difference, now!

By Allen Yearick, MHA, NHA, AFY Management LTC LLC

How to do it…

How to do it... Information technology

Staffing costs dominate budget concerns in many long-term care facilities, yet, ironically, staffing software and management systems do not. The efficiencies gained and the problems ...

A day in the life

A Day in the Life: Finding the future stars of LTC

Jana Headrick likes to snag them when they're young — future long-term care professionals, that is. As the director of wellness at the continuing care ...

I couldn't live without...

I couldn't live without...IVANS

With the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services looking extra closely at Medicare and Medicaid claims these days, skilled nursing providers need every tool available ...


Long-term care stakeholders submit quality measures list

A public-private stakeholder group has submitted quality measure recommendations for long-term care to the federal government.

Resident care

Report: Try both arms when measuring blood pressure

Taking a resident's blood pressure is such a routine task that most nurses never give the protocol a second thought. New research, however, suggests that ...

Study: 'Talking it out' isn't for everyone

Anxiety and depression are rampant among elderly nursing home residents, but a new study shows that one common treatment may not be as helpful as ...

Company news

Kindred may save the day for well-known LA nursing home

One of Hollywood's most famous nursing homes has started readmitting residents, and may stay afloat due to a possible agreement with Kindred Healthcare.

REIT snaps up 10 facilities

Griffin-American Health Care REIT II has acquired 10 skilled nursing facilities and a medical office building for $174.3 million.

Vendor news

Omnicare unveils prescribing app for controlled substances

Omnicare recently announced the launch of a new application for controlled substances. Prescribers — including physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants — can electronically transmit ...

LTC insurer not paying up, lawsuit alleges

California-based Consumer Watchdog has filed a class action lawsuit against Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania. The organization alleges that SHIP is refusing to honor ...

Editor’s desk

The way these guys act is anything but kosher

If long-term care providers (and their residents and families) needed any more depressing confirmation that they are not on the presidential radar screen, they've gotten ...


Sitting still not an option

From his days as a child to running around the halls of UHS centers to running after his own children, Neil L. Pruitt Jr. has ...