Nursing homes may be targeted for turning away patients being treated for opioid addiction

Nursing homes may be targeted for turning away patients being treated for opioid addiction

Federal investigators could begin cracking down on nursing facilities that refuse admission to patients being treated for opioid addiction, experts are warning.

Under-65 nursing home population grows in some states, putting new emphasis on mental health care

Under-65 nursing home population grows in some states, putting new emphasis on mental health care

Though nursing facilities have traditionally been designed to treat the elderly, younger residents are using facilities more often — bringing with them fewer physical demands and more behavioral health diagnoses.

High-quality, short-term nursing stays lower risk of seniors entering long-term care

Seniors who seek rehab at higher-rated short term nursing facilities are less likely to transition into long-term care facilities afterward, finds a study from the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Also in the News for Wednesday, April 18

Nursing home destroyed by chemical plant explosion reborn in new setting ... Food worker suing county for sexual harassment and retaliation in the nursing home kitchen ... Skilled nursing-heavy Regional Health Properties settles 25 lawsuits, looks to grow

Supreme Court may revisit key False Claims decision

Supreme Court may revisit key False Claims decision

The Supreme Court may be willing to reconsider a ruling that has had a dramatic impact on False Claims cases since 2016, including an extraordinary $347 million reversal in favor of nursing home operator Consulate Health Care.

HCR ManorCare strategy to exit bankruptcy gets OK; will sell 74 facilities

HCR ManorCare strategy to exit bankruptcy gets OK; will sell 74 facilities

Six weeks after entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy, HCR ManorCare has won federal approval for its exit strategy.

Another state accused of improprieties in granting private Medicaid contracts

A Pennsylvania Court has ruled the state's Department of Human Services violated procurement rules when an official met with top executives of a company bidding for a share of its Medicaid service contracts.

Also in the News for Tuesday, April 17

Retention of new nurses could improve with mentorships, specific education, study finds ... Dementia prevalence declining, but population growth will still push numbers higher ... Doctors: leaving seniors out of clinical studies neglects too many important questions

At least 9 lawsuits against SNFs on hold as a result of Orianna bankruptcy

At least 9 lawsuits against SNFs on hold as a result of Orianna bankruptcy

A bankruptcy filing by Tennessee-based Orianna Health Systems has put at least nine wrongful death lawsuits against the company's nursing homes on hold indefinitely.

Watchdog says nearly one-third of CMS telehealth payments were improper

The growing drumbeat for greater use of telehealth in long-term care may have encountered a muffler.

Court rules nursing homes can't sue state over Medicaid decisions

Ohio nursing homes don't have standing to sue the state over Medicaid eligibility determinations unless specifically authorized.

Also in the News for Monday, April 16

NIC: First-quarter occupancy inches up in skilled nursing segment ... Police: nursing home employee siphoned pills for three weeks before co-workers noticed ... Man who created Dolly the cloned sheep, leading to Parkinson's advancements, now has the disease himself

Improper payments, bad data threaten access to long-term care, GAO health leader testifies

Improper payments, bad data threaten access to long-term care, GAO health leader testifies

Despite efforts to reduce improper payments in Medicaid, they continue to increase — rising to about $37 billion in fiscal year 2017, the Government Accountability Office's healthcare director told members of Congress Thursday.

CMS cuts to ambulance pay for dialysis will 'devastate' access for some

Skilled nursing providers and ambulance companies are worried that a looming cut to ambulance reimbursement could limit access to care for dialysis patients, as the new rate drives payment below actual cost for some.

Pennsylvania court allows another plaintiff to seek punitive damages from Golden Living

The family of a nursing home resident who died — at least in part, due to pressure ulcers — can pursue punitive damages in a wrongful death suit against Golden LivingCenter-Stroud.

Also in the News for Friday, April 13

Advocacy organizations blast proposed balanced budget amendment as attack on "bedrock" programs, including Medicare ... Researchers review benefits, address potential threats of animal visits in brochure for long-term care facilities ... Feds: Owner of medical staffing company failed to pay employment tax; spent withholdings on race car parts

Federal authorities challenge Orianna bankruptcy plans; skilled nursing chain wants others protected

Orianna Health System's plan to shift more than half its skilled nursing facilities to its landlord may be in trouble.

Penalty money funds person-centered care initiative for Georgia nursing homes

Penalty money funds person-centered care initiative for Georgia nursing homes

A $1.6 million grant from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Georgia State Survey Agency will help nursing homes across the state better understand their residents' needs and deliver more competent care.

Nursing home duped for 4 months by RN-impostor

A skilled nursing facility in West Virginia employed a "nurse" for nearly four months before discovering she was using someone else's licensing credential.

Also in the News for Thursday, April 12

Genesis announces divestiture of 24 facilities in Texas ... D.C.'s year-old assisted suicide law has gone unused ... Office manager accused of stealing from nursing facility and its residents ... No doctor required: FDA OKs device using artificial intelligence to spot diabetes-related eye problems

Kaiser Study: Nursing homes have fewer residents, but those residents need more help

Kaiser Study: Nursing homes have fewer residents, but those residents need more help

Though occupancy rates fell between 2009 and 2016, the needs of nursing home residents have grown considerably — placing more demands on sometimes unprepared nursing staff, according to an in-depth analysis published by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

CMS report highlights disparities in care for the elderly

CMS Tuesday released a report examining racial, ethnic and gender differences in healthcare experience among Medicare Advantage beneficiaries.

Admissions halted at nursing home that removed patient for smoking

A Tennessee nursing home that reportedly moved a resident into a hotel when he refused to stop smoking — despite a strict no-smoking policy — has had its admissions suspended by state officials.

Also in the News for Wednesday, April 11

Now hear this: Senate bill would provide Medicare coverage for hearing aid help ... Defining Alzheimer's by brain changes, rather than memory loss, may help spot disease — and develop treatments — sooner ... Doctors call for universal shingles vaccination of LTC residents

1,650 workers at nursing homes in receivership finally get paid

1,650 workers at nursing homes in receivership finally get paid

A court-appointed receiver has doled out paychecks to 1,650 workers at 31 nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Nebraska.

Dangerous profession: nursing home assistants report three times the injuries of other workers

Certified nursing assistants have one of the highest reported rates of injury across the country and in Ohio, according to a review of injury data and first-person stories reported this week by The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.

Clinics offering 'miraculous' treatment for diabetic foot ulcers hit with federal fraud charges

A federal grand jury has indicted the lawyer behind a 'miraculous' diabetes treatment widely panned as sham medicine.

Also in the News for Tuesday, April 10

Study: Antiepileptic drugs increase risk of Alzheimer's and dementia ... CMS: Colorado Medicaid program too lax in fraud, waste investigations ... Blood pressure control can lessen dementia onset in older African-Americans

GAO: Feds not doing enough to protect Medicare beneficiaries' data

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services needs to improve how it handles beneficiary data being shared with others, especially research organizations, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

LGBT Americans worry about getting into, living in long-term care

More than 1 million Americans already over 65 identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans, but many in the generation behind them worry that now widely-accepted label may still make it difficult to find long-term care as they age.

Back off the barista? Coffee may heighten Alzheimer's symptoms

It's not just cancer that could be lurking in your morning cup o' Joe. Researchers in Spain have linked prolonged exposure to caffeine to worsening Alzheimer's symptoms, at least in mice.

Also in the News for Monday, April 9

Post-acute providers should provide targeted care for obese hip-fracture patients ... LeadingAge, American Health Care Association seek compensation data for partner's annual nursing home salaries study ... Joint HHS/DOJ healthcare enforcement team recovers $2.6 in healthcare fraud payments

IT expands its horizons: From furnaces to food service, a wealth of software services are available to deliver well-timed attention to physical plant issues that don't involve direct resident care

IT expands its horizons: From furnaces to food service, a wealth of software services are available to deliver well-timed attention to physical plant issues that don't involve direct resident care

While some solutions are just beginning to realize their potential, others are evolving beyond the wildest expectations.

Myths busted! SNF therapy is a great place for debunking persistent misconceptions and lore

Myths busted! SNF therapy is a great place for debunking persistent misconceptions and lore

Despite efforts by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to clarify Medicare rules via its coverage manuals and local coverage determinations, some rules are just too broad to interpret specifically, she notes. And so myths persist.

Ask the Care Expert about ... documentation terms

Ask the Care Expert about ... documentation terms

At my facility, they are mixing pressure ulcer with other terms. What's correct to use in documenting?

Ask the Treatment Expert about ... support surfaces

Ask the Treatment Expert about ... support surfaces

We are evaluating preventive and therapeutic support surfaces for our beds. What should we consider most?

Ask the Nursing Expert about ... EHR transitions

Ask the Nursing Expert about ... EHR transitions

My company just announced the purchase of a new electronic health record system. As the director of nursing, how can I smooth the nursing department's transition to it?

Ask the Payment Expert about ... how the survey process has changed

Ask the Payment Expert about ... how the survey process has changed

Has the new survey process really changed much?

Lawmakers target SNFs' big payer for fraud, waste cuts

Lawmakers target SNFs' big payer for fraud, waste cuts

A pair of Congressional subcommittees focused on oversight have banded together to examine ways to reduce Medicaid fraud and waste.

ACOs save on backs of SNFs

Providers taking part in a Medicare experiment saved money by funneling care away from skilled nursing facilities and toward physician services, according to a new analysis.

Ask the Legal Expert about ... off-duty abuse allegations

Ask the Legal Expert about ... off-duty abuse allegations

A member of our executive team is going through a divorce where his ex-wife alleges physical abuse. What should we do?

Design: A true community effort at Rockingham County

Design: A true community effort at Rockingham County

When the agents of government come together for a cause, the results can impress, as Rockingham County demonstrates

How to do it: Memory care dining program

Memory care often calls for unique and innovative approaches in every facet of dementia residents' facility experience, and dining is no exception. Experts offer valuable tips on how to minimize stress and promote a safe, pleasant and healthful dining experience.

SNF aims to cut ER visits via telemedicine

A New Jersey provider is testing out telemedicine services in its skilled-nursing facilities, in the hope that it might cut back on unnecessary ER visits.

Fall detection technologies rarely tested on the elderly

Fall detection technologies rarely tested on the elderly

Those wearable pendants and sensors that promise to alert caregivers if a senior is about to, or has just experienced, a fall may not be as effective as they claim.

Things I Think: What the gods want

Things I Think: What the gods want

I know how much you look to me for guidance and insights in navigating the uber-complicated world of long-term care.

ManorCare files papers for bankruptcy, QCP will buy it

ManorCare files papers for bankruptcy, QCP will buy it

The other shoe finally dropped for the one-time largest nursing home chain in the country.

Need some success? You just need to be like Mike

Need some success? You just need to be like Mike

Why would anyone who lives in the Chicago area ever need 700 more pages of Michael Jordan, I thought when I saw the gift. We all soaked up his inimitable wonder — and ungracious blemishes — for years.

Profile: Ruth Katz, Prone to Make It Happen

Profile: Ruth Katz, Prone to Make It Happen

Ruth Katz, SVP Public Policy LeadingAge

Help addressing opioid epidemic in long-term care is on the way

Help addressing opioid epidemic in long-term care is on the way

Long-term care professionals looking to battle the nation's deadly opioid crisis may have an assist on the way, thanks to a slew of new measures announced by the federal government this week.

Opponents 'blast' nearly $100M cuts to Medicaid

Providers and senior advocates alike are "blasting" proposed cuts to Medicaid in the Sunshine State.

Kindred shareholders approve sale to Humana

Another milestone was reached Thursday on the road to combining two healthcare behemoths, one of them a former skilled nursing giant.

Also in the news for Friday, April 6

Michigan has issued 17 citations to a nursing home accused of forcing out its residents ... Care providers say they're prepped and ready for new Medicare ID cards ... A new report has recommended $278 million in upgrades to makeover an Illinois veterans home plagued by Legionnaires'

Judge draws line in Massachusetts: Wrongful death claimants must enter arbitration if residents signed agreement

Judge draws line in Massachusetts: Wrongful death claimants must enter arbitration if residents signed agreement

Wrongful death plaintiffs in Massachusetts must take claims against nursing homes to arbitration, regardless of whether they or their deceased relatives were the ones to sign an agreement.

Nursing home ordered to pay $450,000 in wrongful death case citing resident's multiple falls

A South Carolina jury has found Lexington Medical Center Extended Care guilty of gross negligence in the death of a resident said to have fallen more than 20 times.

Expanded Medicare diabetes prevention program rolls out

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is in the fourth day of an innovative new diabetes prevention program that aims to save lives — and as much as $182 million over 10 years by linking with community partners.

Also in the News for Thursday, April 5

Staff who worked with accused nurse say she failed to 'thoroughly assess' patient or render aid after notified of full code ... Missouri joins Louisiana in exploring in-room cameras ... CCRC where fatal fire occurred reopens skilled nursing building ... Minnesota looks for new computer system to help track elder abuse

Remember your first day at work?

Remember your first day at work?

Here's a chance to take part in McKnight's Long-Term Care News' popular Reader Poll department!

New Medicare Advantage rules boost payments to plans, promise drug savings

New Medicare Advantage rules boost payments to plans, promise drug savings

Medicare Advantage plans will get 3.4% more in federal payments next year, while beneficiaries can hope for drug prices to decline.

Judge allows class-action status in Illinois Medicaid delay case

Seniors in Illinois who have faced considerable delays in receiving their Medicaid coverage — including one woman who claims she went blind waiting for eye care — can sue the state, a judge ruled last week.

Governor vetoes bill expanding CNAs' role

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) has vetoed a bill that would have allowed certified nursing assistants with special training to distribute medicine to nursing home residents.

Also in the News for Wednesday, April 4

Baby boomers putting pressure on hips, knees and facilities that replace them ... Memory training needs to target specific difficulties to be effective, study suggests ... State investigation into forced evictions at Michigan nursing home reveals other problems

Members of Congress ratchet up pressure on nursing homes

Members of Congress ratchet up pressure on nursing homes

Four influential Republican Congressmen sent a letter to federal regulators Tuesday, requesting sweeping answers about the agency's oversight of nursing homes.

AG wants 'aggressive' pursuit of Medicare 'fraudsters,' despite reluctance to join whistleblower cases

New research from AARP shows Medicare loses $60 billion each year to fraud or waste, an estimate Attorney General Jeff Sessions said may be too low.

Medicaid complaints double in second full year of privatization

Iowa's independent ombudsman says the number of complaints related to the state's privatized Medicaid program more than doubled last year.

Also in the News for Tuesday, April 3

CNA who took silence for a 'yes' loses license, gets 10 years probation for sex with nursing home resident ... OIG: Medicaid Fraud Control units recovered $1.7 billion in 2017 ... Nurse-led program helps knee replacement patients recover function faster

'Aggressive' advance directive would allow patients to decline food, water at end of dementia battle

'Aggressive' advance directive would allow patients to decline food, water at end of dementia battle

A New York group that supports aid-in-dying has approved a new document allowing patients to record in advance that they'll want to stop eating and drinking if they develop severe dementia.

Momentum grows for in-room cameras at nursing homes

Under a measure advancing in the Louisiana statehouse, families would be able to install video cameras in loved ones' nursing home rooms.

Lawsuit claims nursing home managers scammed resident, sold her house, gave her only $2k for it

An Illinois woman is suing a nursing home and two former employees for allegedly selling her house against her wishes — then paying her only $2,000 for it.

Also in the News for Monday, April 2

Governor's signature will make Hawaii seventh state to legalize aid-in-dying ... Nursing home social services director charged with ID theft from residents ... Walmart said to be eyeing Humana for entry into senior care market, could cause intriguing hierarchy ripples

Provider's payout in whistleblower billing fraud case approaches $60 million

Provider's payout in whistleblower billing fraud case approaches $60 million

A New York provider serving elderly and disabled Medicaid beneficiaries has reached a $10.3 million settlement in a state and federal case over long-term care payments.

Instead of saving $2+ billion, early Medicare ACOs drove up federal healthcare costs $384 million, study finds

An independent analysis from consulting firm Avalere finds the Medicare Shared Savings Program has underperformed when compared to the government's own cost-saving predictions.

Skyline payroll issues force Kansas to seek its largest-ever nursing home takeover

The Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services Tuesday was seeking emergency powers to take over operations at 15 nursing homes operated by New Jersey-based Skyline Health Care.

Also in the News for Friday, March 30

Kentucky skilled nursing facility settles therapy billing dispute for $5.1M ... Illinois nursing home employee charged after failing to deliver CPR for resident who died ... Some therapists concerned 'billing thresholds' may do as much harm as therapy caps

Kindred wins court battle as voting starts today on sale to Humana, equity partners

Kindred wins court battle as voting starts today on sale to Humana, equity partners

A Delaware court has ruled in Kindred Healthcare's favor, rejecting a lawsuit by a large shareholder on the eve of a scheduled vote on the company's three-way sale.