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McKnight's Online Expo begins next week

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More registrants than ever are prepping for the fifth annual McKnight's Online Expo, which kicks off Wednesday and Thursday at a keyboard near you.

DAY ONE: McKnight's 5th Annual Online Expo kicks off today with technology, wound care and capital webinars

DAY ONE: McKnight's 5th Annual Online Expo kicks off today with technology, wound care and capital webinars

Today marks the beginning of the 5th Annual McKnight's Online Expo, the largest online trade show for the long-term care community. Free registration is still available online at www.mcknights.com/expo2011

SIX DAYS TO GO: McKnight's 5th Annual Online Expo

SIX DAYS TO GO: McKnight's 5th Annual Online Expo

Two federal courts recently issued nearly identical rulings declaring the Medicare cap on hospice reimbursements to be invalid. They continue an unbroken series of rejections of the Department of Health and Human Services' payment rule.

Consumer advocates to ask for more regulation of assisted living at Senate roundtable today

Consumer advocates to ask for more regulation of assisted living at Senate roundtable today

Assisted living should be subject to more government oversight and regulation, at least one consumer group is expected to recommend this afternoon at a Senate Special Committee on Aging roundtable.

AstraZeneca pays $68.5 million in Seroquel marketing case

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca on Thursday agreed to pay $68.5 million to settle allegations that it inappropriately marketed the drug Seroquel for off-label uses, multiple states' authorities announced.

Assisted living group releases review of new state AL policies

At least 18 states have implemented some form of new regulations, statutes and policies governing assisted living services in the last year, according to a new analysis by the National Center for Assisted Living.

Racial preference ruling disseminated to state's nursing homes

All nursing homes in Indiana will be notified of a recent court ruling that declared that nursing home residents cannot specify treatment from a particular caregiver based on race, state health officials said recently.

Hospice provider wins injunction against HHS efforts to enforce 'capricious' reimbursement cap

Hospice provider wins injunction against HHS efforts to enforce 'capricious' reimbursement cap

An Arkansas hospice provider has been granted a temporary reprieve from efforts by the Department of Health and Human Services to recoup reimbursement the federal agency says exceeds the annual Medicare reimbursement cap for hospice services.

Obama announces $25 million in malpractice reform grants

President Obama last Thursday authorized $25 million for pilot programs to investigate tort reform options.

Right-to-die hearing can't take place in Australian nursing home, company says

A quadriplegic Australian nursing home resident who has been petitioning his nursing home to allow him to starve to death has been denied a bed-side court hearing of his case, according to local news reports.

Obama's plan for tort reform may include 'apology legislation'

Obama's plan for tort reform may include 'apology legislation'

President Obama this week publicly ruled out capping malpractice lawsuit awards as an approach to medical liability reform. His track record on the issue indicates he may be more open to ideas such as "apology legislation," or focusing on the reduction of preventable medical errors, according to one news outlet.

Obama to AMA: Liability reform is on the table

At his biggest, and longest, healthcare policy address to date, President Obama on Monday stated that he'd been privately discussing the idea of liability reform with the American Medical Association for weeks.

Report: Drug manufacturer knew Zyprexa was ineffective, deadly for seniors with Alzheimer's

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lily & Co. knew its product Zyprexa was ineffective for treating dementia when it pressured physicians to prescribe it to seniors from 1999 and 2003, according to a report citing recently unsealed company documents.

U.S. Supreme Court lets law nullifying nursing home pre-admission arbitration agreements stand

U.S. Supreme Court lets law nullifying nursing home pre-admission arbitration agreements stand

By refusing to review an Illinois appellate court ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has tacitly agreed that a state law nullifying nursing home arbitration agreements supersedes the Federal Arbitration Act, which favors arbitration agreements, according to a Bureau of National Affairs report.

Nursing home advocates converging on U.S. lawmakers to demand better Medicare reimbursement

More than 300 nursing home owners and operators are expected to meet in Washington on Wednesday and Thursday to try to persuade lawmakers to be generous with Medicare funding. The Obama budget proposal for fiscal 2010, combined with a standard marketbasket update, would leave providers about $330 million, or about $17 per resident day, below this year's payment levels. Providers will be taking their cues from top lobbyists at the American Health Care Association's spring conference before storming Capitol Hill for visits with their Congressmen and Senators. "Top policy issues will be Medicare funding, the proposals for bundling of post-acute payments, and defeating arbitration legislation that would prohibit the use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements," an AHCA spokeswoman said.

Business groups outgun labor in card-check battle, news report finds

Business groups appear to be gaining ground against organized labor in an effort to defeat the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as the card-check bill, according to a recent update on the issue.

Nursing home that refused to recognize union supported by federal appeals court

A long-term care provider in Georgia that decided not to recognize a union-organizing effort in 2008 has had its decision affirmed by a federal appeals court in Washington. Observers say the case could be a bellwether for hundreds of other cases.

Gingrich: Arbitration clause greater threat than 'card check'

Gingrich: Arbitration clause greater threat than 'card check'

The biggest concern with possibly enacting the Employee Free Choice Act is not the so-called card-check measure, which would make union organizing easier; it is the lesser known binding arbitration clause, argues former U.S. Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in an article Wednesday on politico.com.

Specter plans vote against card-check legislation, threatening bill's passage

Nursing homes likely are cheering after Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) said Tuesday he would vote against the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as the card-check bill. His veto could effectively end the bill's chance at passing.

Former union rivals SEIU and CNA/NNOC team up for reform

Two union rivals have set aside their differences and joined forces to increase support for card-check legislation and to bolster healthcare union recruitment.

'Apology legislation' in Pennsylvania would hurt lawsuits against nursing homes, physicians

Apologies for medical errors by nursing home employees and physicians no longer could play a role in lawsuits, according to a bill being considered in the state's legislature.

Officials rap home healthcare providers over fraudulent billing, abusive practices

Home healthcare, the fast-growing destination for many individuals who previously might have sought nursing home care, has been besieged by a spate of fraudulent Medicare reimbursement practices, government investigators say. Overstating a person's healthcare needs - or upcoding - is a significant problem, the government Accountability Office found.

Card-check, Silver Alert bills introduced in Congress

Card-check, Silver Alert bills introduced in Congress

Senators and representatives on Tuesday introduced the controversial Employee Free Choice Act, also known as union card-check legislation. Several long-term care groups immediately issued statements against the bill.

Arbitration act 'bad public policy,' NCAL's Kyllo says

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living have voiced opposition to the recently reintroduced Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act. Members of both the House and Senate have submitted the legislation for congressional consideration.

Nursing home arbitration act resurfaces in Senate

Senators Wednesday re-introduced the Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act, a bill that would prevent nursing homes from requiring residents to sign arbitration agreements as a condition of admission. The bill failed to pass through Congress during the last session.

Assisted living management firm charged with $300 million fraud

Sunwest Management, a national assisted living management firm, has been accused of defrauding investors out of roughly $300 million in a Ponzi scheme, according to recent reports.

Another bill that would prohibit pre-admission arbitration clauses panned by nursing home operators

U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) on Friday re-introduced a bill that would prohibit nursing home and assisted living operators from including pre-dispute arbitration clauses in their admissions contracts. Providers wasted no time attacking the bill.

Nursing home operator faces setback in lawsuit that brought $30 million judgment against it

An appeals court has ordered the retrial of a lawsuit in which a major nursing home chain had most of a $29.8 million punitive damages award against it thrown out. The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled last week that a Warren County Circuit Court judge had made a mistake two years ago when he reduced the damages amount to $163,000.

New rule hindering suits against nursing homes goes unnoticed

A recent article in The Washington Post sheds light on a quietly enacted last-minute Bush policy that hinders the prosecution of cases against nursing homes.

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