Long-Term Care

Jonathan Blum, who oversaw long-term care reforms, resigns as head of Medicare

The nation's top Medicare official, Jonathan Blum, is leaving his post next month, news outlets reported Tuesday. Blum became a familiar figure to long-term care providers through Open Door Forum calls and other outreach efforts during his five-year tenure, as he guided implementation of Medicare reforms under the Affordable Care Act.

Cipro and related antibiotics increase MRSA risk in long-term care facilities, study shows

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Long-term care residents on a fluoroquinolone antibiotic such as Cipro are at an increased risk for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, researchers in France have found.

Charges that Omnicare disguised nursing home kickbacks as charitable contributions can proceed, federal judge rules

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A whistleblower can keep pursuing his allegations that long-term care pharmacy Omnicare funneled payments to nursing home owners through so-called charitable donations, U.S. District Court Judge Robert M. Dow Jr. recently ruled. Dow dismissed other charges leveled in the suit.

Management of Diabetes in the Long-Term Care Setting

Management of Diabetes in the Long-Term Care Setting

This CME, CNE and ACPE accredited activity will help improve your knowledge of the treatment of diabetes mellitus and improve the quality of care for older adult patients in the long-term care setting. The activity includes two separate modules delivered in a slide and video format. The videos feature examples of patient case vignettes with real-life examples of unique issues that affect the older adult patient. The first module discusses the management of diabetic patients with cognitive issues and the second focused on the advantages and disadvantages of pharmacological treatment. This education is brought to you by Boston Medical Center's Endocrinology and Geriatric Care departments.

RACs were 'most improved' healthcare auditors for getting back money in 2013, government report states

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Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors dramatically stepped up their overpayment recoveries last year, returning nearly $487 million more to the government than they did in 2012, according to a new report from a federal watchdog agency.

Long-term care facilities approach 80% worker flu vaccination rate after handing power to regional pharmacy, AHQR reports

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Fourteen long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania dramatically increased their staff flu vaccination rate by having a regional pharmacy take over the process, according to a report issued Thursday by the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHQR).

Shortchanging the Older Americans Act has led to unnecessary nursing home placements, senators say

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Chronic underfunding of the Older Americans Act is leading to unnecessary long-term care facility admissions, Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT) and 26 of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate said in a recent letter to Appropriations Committee leaders.

PharMerica to pay $200,000 settlement over federal charges of unsafe dispensing practices

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Long-term care pharmacy company PharMerica has agreed to pay about $213,000 to settle charges that it dispensed medications without prescriptions and committed other breaches of the Controlled Substances Act, federal authorities announced Wednesday.

Septicemia, urinary tract infections rank high on latest list of hospital readmissions causes

Septicemia, urinary tract infections rank high on latest list of hospital readmissions causes

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Two infectious conditions common in long-term care settings — septicemia and urinary tract infections — were among the top causes of hospital readmissions for Medicare beneficiaries in 2011, according to recently released data.

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.

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