Long-Term Care

Government would pay seniors to create advanced directives under Senate bill

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Medicare beneficiaries would be paid to create advance directives and store them in an easy-access system if a recently proposed Senate bill were to become law.

Bill would create 'advanced aide' positions in nursing homes to improve transitions, dementia care

Bill would create 'advanced aide' positions in nursing homes to improve transitions, dementia care

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Advanced certified nursing assistants — with specialized skills in care transitions, dementia and other areas — could become important staff leaders in long-term care facilities through newly proposed federal legislation. The "Improving Care for Vulnerable Older Citizens through Workforce Advancement Act of 2014" was introduced Thursday by Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).

Nursing homes send too many dementia residents to the hospital in their last year of life, study finds

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Nursing homes could do a better job of keeping residents with dementia out of the hospital during their last year of life, suggests recently published findings in Health Affairs.

House members request $200 million to increase long-term care, geriatric medicine workforce

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To meet an increasingly urgent need, Congress should earmark $200 million to expand the number of geriatric care workers. This was the case that 26 House members made in a recent letter Appropriations Committee leaders.

US dementia strategy overlooks transitions into and out of nursing homes, analysts find

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The U.S. national strategy for tackling dementia fails to address late-stage transitions into long-term care facilities from a person's home or the hospital, according to a recently published analysis in Health Affairs.

CMS releases Medicare physician payment information, includes some nursing home affiliations

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Long-term care providers and residents now can glean insights into where their local doctors stack up nationally by referring to newly released data on Medicare physician payments. For the first time ever, the government made this information publicly available Wednesday.

Community connections and quarters: How one nursing home responded to a 45-day water crisis

Community connections and quarters: How one nursing home responded to a 45-day water crisis

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In its forthcoming emergency preparedness guidelines for long-term care facilities, maybe the government should include this directive: The facility is to cultivate strong relationships with area businesses and keep a supply of quarters on hand. At least, this is one idea I took away from a conversation with Michael D. Gore, MBA, CNHA, FACHCA.

Skilled nursing facilities could lose big money if they don't hire a managed care coordinator, expert says

Skilled nursing facilities could lose big money if they don't hire a managed care coordinator, expert says

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Skilled nursing facilities stand to lose substantial sums of money as they increasingly do business with managed care plans, unless a coordinator is on top of exclusions and other contract elements, a prominent healthcare consultant told an audience Monday at the American College of Health Care Administrators annual meeting.

Tornado shelters should be installed in nursing homes, government agency recommends in report on Joplin disaster

Tornado shelters should be installed in nursing homes, government agency recommends in report on Joplin disaster

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The deadly tornado that destroyed a Missouri nursing home three years ago showed that long-term care facilities need to have specially designed shelter areas, says a recently released government report. The one-story, wood-frame Greenbriar Nursing Home structure — built in the mid-1960s — was totally leveled, the report states. Workers and residents followed protocol by sheltering in inner hallways to avoid flying glass, the NIST found. However, the attempt to remain safe was futile.

Emergency prep rule for long-term care should specify amount of supplies to have on hand, advocacy group says

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Long-term care facilities should have specified amounts of fuel and supplies on hand as part of a forthcoming regulation on disaster preparedness, a prominent consumer advocacy group argues.

Medicare manual revision addresses civil monetary penalty policies, survey timeframes

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A long-term care facility slapped with a civil monetary penalty has a chance for an independent informal dispute resolution, according to new manual guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Profile: Mastering by example

Profile: Mastering by example

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Everything Mary Leary needed to know about tenacity and resilience, she learned at home. Her father lived a full life despite injuries from World War II that left him fully disabled and forced him to relearn how to walk and talk.

Big data headaches

Big data headaches

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A tsunami of information has skilled nursing facilities searching for ways to shore up against the deluge that could wash over the long-term care industry

Some good news (from MedPAC !): Quality rising

Some good news (from MedPAC !): Quality rising

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A funny thing happened on the way to a semi-annual eye rolling about a MedPAC report. It contained some information that could make long-term care providers happy.

Ask the legal expert ... about screening for sex offenders

Ask the legal expert ... about screening for sex offenders

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How can we make sure we don't have registered sex offenders working or volunteering for us? What if they lie to us about it?

Supreme Court to hear case sparked by Omnicare deals

Supreme Court to hear case sparked by Omnicare deals

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A recent $4 million legal settlement over kickbacks for anemia drug Aranesp is small change compared to other recent deals Omnicare has made with federal authorities. News of these payouts hasn't escaped long-term care pharmacy investors, some of whom filed their own charges against the pharmacy provider, launching a case that is now set to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

State News

State News

PENNSYLVANIA - The state's nursing home operators say they are approaching fiscal disaster as facilities look at razor-thin margins half the national average.

Obama budget cuts provider payments

Obama budget cuts provider payments

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Presidents usually release budgets for reasons that have less to do with spreadsheets than legacies. President Obama's fiscal year 2015 spending plan is no different. The $3.9 trillion proposal offers a partisan blueprint for improving jobs, the economy and the nation's long-term fiscal outlook.

CMS requests survey buildup

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is asking for $49 million more in its next budget, largely to expand long-term care inspection programs.

Audits paused, providers glad

Audits paused, providers glad

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Long-term care providers are applauding a pause in the Medicare recovery audit contractor program.

White House spending plan less than industry hoped for

White House spending plan less than industry hoped for

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In every White House budget, there are winners and losers. Unfortunately for providers, long-term care again falls into the latter category. All told, President Obama's $3.9 trillion spending plan for fiscal year 2015 would cut funding for healthcare by $402 billion over the next decade.

Physical demands on CNAs differ by shift

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Certified nursing assistants who work in long-term care are put in severe postures for their shoulders and elbows at night, and for their neck during the day, according to a new study.

Expert panel recommends functional status quality measures for skilled nursing facilities

Expert panel recommends functional status quality measures for skilled nursing facilities

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An expert panel convened by federal regulators has offered recommendations for functional status quality measures in skilled nursing facilities. Released Friday was a summary of the experts' advice to create a functional status quality measure in SNFs, as well as inpatient rehabilitation facilities and long-term care hospitals.

Assigning nurses' desired shifts improves their work ability and health, large study finds

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Nurses' job performance and health are better when they can work the shifts that they want, suggests recently published findings from a large European study.

THE WAIT IS OVER: McKnight's Online Expo kicks off today

THE WAIT IS OVER: McKnight's Online Expo kicks off today

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Today's the day: Long-term care professionals, top vendors and subject matter experts are convening for the eighth annual McKnight's Online Expo. Minimum Data Set changes, technology adoption and wound care practices are the topics on tap in the virtual conference rooms, while the online exhibition hall will feature 15 vendor booths.

MedPAC report shows providers making progress, quality contractor says

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The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's latest report to Congress was submitted Friday with previously known recommendations for payment levels. But largely lost among the 400-page report also was a body of research indicating that long-term care providers are showing progress in quality improvement activities, said a prominent quality researcher.

Foot ulcers double the cost of diabetes care, study finds

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Eliminating foot ulcers would cut costs for diabetes care in half, according to researchers with consulting firm The Analysis Group.

Housing department announces $120 million in funding to help with Olmstead compliance

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State housing agencies can apply for $120 million in new federal funding to support housing options for disabled people transitioning out of long-term care facilities, the Department of Housing and Urban Development recently announced.

A Stritch in time

A Stritch in time

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I have figured out who I want to be at 87, and it's Elaine Stritch. I realized this after seeing Stritch walk through New York wearing a leopard print coat, tights and big glasses during the new documentary, 'Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me.' It has multiple powerful messages about what it's like to grow older, especially when it seems your body is still ticking through sheer force of personality.

House bill would ease readmissions penalties for hospitals that treat many dual eligibles and low-income seniors

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Hospitals that treat a high percentage of patients eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid would get a break on readmissions penalties if a new bill in the House of Representatives were to become law. Dual eligible beneficiaries have low incomes, are likely to have chronic or complex conditions, and often reside in long-term care facilities.

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