Court: Private parties can't sue SNFs to release documents

Court: Private parties can't sue SNFs to release documents

Nursing homes can't be sued by private parties looking to access the facilities' documents, a state high court has ruled.

OIG: Nearly 30% of rehab facility patients suffer care-related harm

Almost 30% of patients who receive care at inpatient rehabilitation hospitals experience some sort of harm relating to their care, according to a new government report.

Medicaid supplemental payment rule heads to White House

A rule that would strengthen oversight of supplemental payments for Medicaid providers arrived at the White House for review this week.

Also in the News for Friday, July 22

AHCA/NCAL announces 2016 award winners ... Antibiotics may slow Alzheimer's progression ... MRSA common on hands of nurses with job-related skin diseases

Feds acknowledge 'large gaps' in HIPAA regulation of health apps, wearable tech

Feds acknowledge 'large gaps' in HIPAA regulation of health apps, wearable tech

The rise of health-focused mobile applications, websites and wearable technologies has left gaps in regulations meant to protect consumers' data, according to a long-awaited federal report.

Officials face scrutiny after SNF employee shares photo of deceased resident on Snapchat

A former resident care worker has been fired by Canadian health officials for sharing on Snapchat a photo of a deceased resident at a government-run long-term care home.

CMS: Fraud prevention efforts saved Medicare, Medicaid $42 billion

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' fraud prevention efforts saved the agency $42 billion dollars in fiscal years 2013 and 2014.

Also in the News for Thursday, July 21

Indoor falls spur more SNF stays than outdoor falls ... RN convicted in $8 million Medicare home health fraud scheme ... FDA issues recall of liquid stool softener for bacteria contamination risk

GOP platform puts focus on home-based long-term care, elder abuse

GOP platform puts focus on home-based long-term care, elder abuse

The Republican National Committee will set its sights on policies that foster home health and seniors' preferences in 2016, according to the party's final platform.

SNF employee sentenced to 10 months in prison for abuse caught on family-placed camera

A former employee at a South Dakota facility will serve nearly 10 months in prison after pleading guilty to abusing and neglecting a 66-year-old resident.

AHCA state chapter under attack for $330k political donation

A large Arkansas provider association found itself the subject of an ethics complaint this week over donations it made to a state ballot question committee.

Also in the News for Wednesday, July 20

Bristol-Myers Squibb pays $30 million to settle kickback scheme involving antipsychotic, diabetes drugs ... Kansas Medicaid backlog putting financial pressure on SNFs ... DOJ may block insurance mega-mergers that would shake up Medicare Advantage market

HIPAA audits intensify with document requests for 'unlucky' providers

More than 150 healthcare organizations received document requests last week as part of the second phase of HIPAA audits, according to the Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.

Three ACOs drop out of Next Generation program citing financial concerns

Three accountable care organizations have left the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' Next Generation model less than one year into the program.

Facility fined, employee fired after misread advance directive leads to resident's death

An Illinois nursing home has been cited and fined $25,000 after nursing staff failed to follow an advance directive regarding cardiopulmonary resuscitation, resulting in the death of a resident.

Also in the News for Tuesday, July 19

VA nursing homes on par with community facilities ... SNF maintenance man arrested for hiding camera in bathroom ... Bill introduced to slow overtime pay changes

Hospital admission rates among SNF residents improving across U.S.

Hospital admission rates among SNF residents improving across U.S.

The number of hospital admissions and readmissions among nursing home residents dropped in many areas in the United States, according to a recent report.

Nursing home workers push back against MA governor's budget cuts

Massachusetts nursing home workers are fighting back against last-minute budget cuts that would slash an anticipated $35.5 million funding boost to the state's healthcare workforce.

Healthcare groups urge CMS to keep pain questions until alternatives are developed

A proposal by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to remove pain management questions from hospitals' value-based purchasing scores drew the ire of some clinical advocates, who say the change would hurt patients.

Also in the News for Monday, July 18

Sale of nursing home to Sidwell Friends likely to proceed ... Artificial lighting may bring negative health consequences, study shows ... House committee approves spending bill with CMS cuts

New quality measures will hit the Five-Star on July 27

New quality measures will hit the Five-Star on July 27

Five of the six new quality measures for skilled nursing facilities announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will be phased into the Five-Star Quality Ratings system on July 27, CMS officials said on Thursday.

State laws complicate social media abuse cases in nursing homes

State laws designed to protect nursing home residents from abuse often fail to address the growing risk of explicit social media posts by healthcare workers, a new report finds.

SNF employees file staffing petition amid scabies outbreak

Employees at an Illinois nursing home have filed a petition against the facility's allegedly insufficient staffing levels as executives grapple with an outbreak of scabies.

Also in the News for Friday, July 15

Younger seniors spending most on end-of-life care, study finds ... Hospice provider pays $18 million to settle whistleblower suit ... Effects of Alzheimer's-linked gene may appear in childhood

Drug bill with exemptions for LTC pharmacies heads to Obama

Drug bill with exemptions for LTC pharmacies heads to Obama

A bill that would exempt long-term care pharmacies from a controversial "lock-in" provision received final passage from the Senate on Wednesday and now heads to the president's desk.

Report weighs pros and cons of considering social-risk factors for value-based purchasing

Social risk factors could be taken into account in Medicare's value-based payment program, according to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Slavitt: 'Doc fix' start date may be pushed back

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services may delay implementation of Medicare payment reforms over concerns that some physicians may not be prepared for them.

Also in the News for Thursday, July 14

Loss of independence raises seniors' risk for readmission 70% ... Senate introduces Medicare EHR overhaul bill ... Nurse aide pleads guilty to using resident's credit card at casino

Court confirms: Nursing home can't use bankruptcy to preserve Medicare, Medicaid agreements

Court confirms: Nursing home can't use bankruptcy to preserve Medicare, Medicaid agreements

A federal appeals court has overruled a bankruptcy judge's decision to prevent healthcare officials from revoking Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement payments to a Florida nursing home

Employee fired after nursing home administration discovers, reports video of resident

A nurse's aide at a Wisconsin nursing home was fired, but won't face formal charges, for filming a resident and sharing the video with co-workers.

Obama signals 'full speed ahead' for value-based payments

The Obama administration's goal to have half of all Medicare payments delivered through alternative payment models by 2018 gets top billing in a healthcare roadmap for lawmakers written by the president himself.

Also in the News for Wednesday, July 13

Majority of shift workers see dangerous situations at work ... HCP names interim president, CEO ... New test can detect glaucoma 4 years earlier

National nursing home hiring upswing continues

National nursing home hiring upswing continues

The nursing home industry added 3,100 jobs in June, according to new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

End-of-life orders widely embraced by SNF residents, study finds

Nearly half of all nursing home residents in California completed a form expressing their end-of-life wishes in 2011, showing the state's widespread acceptance of the orders.

Electronic hand hygiene monitoring cuts MRSA rates by 42%

Use of an electronic hand hygiene monitoring system decreased the rate of healthcare-acquired MRSA infections in one health system by 42%, research shows.

Also in the News for Tuesday, July 12

CNA arrested for punching resident, fracturing facial bones ... Hospitals push CMS for second delay of star ratings ... Electric brain "zaps" may help fight glaucoma

SNF care coordination, 3-day stay rule targeted in 2017 doc fee schedule

SNF care coordination, 3-day stay rule targeted in 2017 doc fee schedule

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released its proposed physician fee schedule for calendar 2017, and it includes significant aspects for care transition management and the skilled nursing 3-day stay waiver.

House panel votes to continue funding for Medicare assistance program

A massive health spending bill recently voted on by members of a House subcommittee includes a funding pledge for a program put on the chopping block by a similar Senate bill last month.

NYC to put $16 million from nursing home sale toward senior housing, SNF beds

Senior living on New York City's Lower East Side will receive additional funding as result of criticism over a housing deal approved by the city.

Also in the News for Monday, July 11

GAO: Prescription drug shortages ongoing problem ... Home care company settles $21.5 million false claims case ... KS nursing home damaged in tornado

NIC: Nursing care occupancy slips further, inventory stagnates

NIC: Nursing care occupancy slips further, inventory stagnates

The nursing care sector's occupancy rates fell 0.3 percentage point in the second quarter of 2016, a new report shows.

Retention of newly licensed RNs linked to multiple jobs, autonomy

Newly licensed registered nurses may be more likely to stay in a job that affords them greater variety and autonomy, according to new research.

Feds want to remove pain questions from hospital report cards to combat opioid abuse

Clinicians may feel less pressure to prescribe opioids to hospital patients under a proposal made Thursday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Also in the News for Friday, July 8

Nursing home admissions frozen after rehab patient's death ... Increased palliative care helps drop ER death rate by 48% ... Efforts to cut hospital admissions also shown to reduce 30-day readmissions

House bill slashes CMS funding, devotes $1.26 billion for Alzheimer's

House bill slashes CMS funding, devotes $1.26 billion for Alzheimer's

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services would receive a funding cut of more than $500 million under a spending bill released Wednesday by a House committee.

Residents sue over sale of their D.C. nursing home

Residents of a historic Washington D.C. nursing home have filed a lawsuit protesting the highly-publicized sale of their facility to a prominent private school.

Man sues SNF after ceiling collapses on him

A former nursing home patient is seeking $100,000 in damages after a ceiling fell on him at a Wyoming care facility.

Also in the News for Thursday, July 7

Risperdal case brings record-setting $70 million verdict ... Occupancy for nursing care properties rises 0.1 percentage point ... Artificial intelligence can help with diagnosing Alzheimer's

Nursing home operator to pay $650,000 after cell phone with patient records stolen

Nursing home operator to pay $650,000 after cell phone with patient records stolen

A stolen iPhone containing the medical records of more than 400 nursing home patients will cost the former owner of several nursing homes $650,000 under a federal settlement.

CCRC salaries on the rise: Exec directors hit $160,000, DONs $93,000

Executive directors at continuing care retirement communities saw their national average salary rise 2.97% to $159,922 this year, while nursing home administrators experienced a more modest increase (2.2%) to $108,629.

Palliative care meetings do not ease anxiety, depression more than regular care, study finds

Structured meetings led by palliative care specialists did not provide appreciable reductions of depression or anxiety in family members of patients with chronic critical illnesses, compared to routine family meetings conducted by ICU teams, researchers say.

Also in the News for Wednesday, July 6 ...

Catholic Belgian nursing home pays for not allowing euthanasia ... Donated blood won't transmit Alzheimer's or Parkinson's ... CMS updates rule allowing claims data to be sold

New rules increase top OSHA fines by 78%

New rules increase top OSHA fines by 78%

Two interim final rules announced by the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday will lead to a major increase in OSHA's maximum penalty for workplace safety violations.

Lawmakers shut down proposal to raise nursing home fines to $10,000 per day

A plan to drastically increase fines and oversight in Massachusetts nursing homes was rejected by state lawmakers on Thursday.

Former Golden Living contractor pleads guilty to $370,000 fraud

A Virginia man hired by Golden Living to oversee construction projects at several facilities faces up to 30 years in prison for bilking the provider out of more than $370,000 in construction costs.

Also in the News for Tuesday, July 5

CMS finalizes rule to give providers better access to claims data ... AHCA awards 71 nursing facilities with Silver National Quality Awards ... FDA offers guidance on normal vs. serious memory loss

The LTC Zen master

The LTC Zen master

It was just meaningless workplace chatter, signifying nothing.

Low-scoring SNFs more likely to accept bariatric residents

Low-scoring SNFs more likely to accept bariatric residents

Obese nursing home residents are more likely to be admitted to poor quality facilities with high numbers of deficiencies, according to research from the University of Massachusetts.

Mindoula Health acquires Care at Hand

Mindoula Health, a case management company focused on behavioral health, has bought Care at Hand.

Latest medication disposal system is created by nurse

Latest medication disposal system is created by nurse

Kitty litter and coffee grounds are among the undesirable materials many long-term care nurses employ to destroy expired or unused medications. Nurse Sherry Day said she knew there had to be a better way.

I couldn't live without ...Touchtown resident Apps

I couldn't live without ...Touchtown resident Apps

Two years ago, staff at The Chesapeake printed out program information and put it on a bulletin board.

Disabled and seniors connect, thanks to a new tech program

Disabled and seniors connect, thanks to a new tech program

When Nancy Likens, director of the Soprema Senior Center and Café in Wadsworth, OH, first came up with the idea of using the café as a job-training site for volunteers from the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities in 2013, she wasn't quite sure how the two groups — senior citizens and adults with developmental disabilities -— would get along.

Ask the Treatment Expert about ... what NPUAP's new "pressure ulcer" definition means for providers?

Ask the Treatment Expert about ... what NPUAP's new "pressure ulcer" definition means for providers?

The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel announced a number of changes in April, including replacing the term "pressure ulcer" with "pressure injury" and modifying stage definitions.

Larger cells found to respond to injury

A professor has discovered a healing process that enlarges cells to maintain the function of injured or diseased tissue.

A comprehensive approach cuts pressure ulcers in half

A comprehensive approach cuts pressure ulcers in half

A team of nurses in Indianapolis cut the rate of hospital-acquired pressure ulcers by 50% and saved about $700,000 a year by introducing new products, interventions and incentives.

Ask the Care Expert about ... different types of surveys

Ask the Care Expert about ... different types of surveys

It seems like we are always in a "survey window," waiting for the inspectors to arrive.

Depression therapy may increase fall risk

Nursing home residents receiving psychosocial treatments for depression have almost six times the risk of falling compared to residents not receiving treatment, according to a new study.

Profile: Jay Zimmer

Profile: Jay Zimmer

Ask The Reutlinger Community for Jewish Living CEO Jay Zimmer about his hobbies, and he'll mention he's been a long-time runner who also enjoys hiking and cycling.

60 Seconds with... Steve Fromm

60 Seconds with... Steve Fromm

What was your election platform? With 2016-2017 ACHCA Board Chairman, Steve Fromm.

AHCA leader spreads lame-duck caution

The annual American Health Care Association's congressional briefing departed from typical dire legislative forecasts in May.

Aspects of IMPACT Act may spread to Medicaid: expert

Aspects of IMPACT Act may spread to Medicaid: expert

Skilled nursing facilities should be on the lookout for aspects of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 to trickle into the Medicaid world, according to one expert.

SNFs are second-rate for stroke care: report

SNFs are second-rate for stroke care: report

Long-term care's largest provider group is firing back over a "frustrating" recommendation that the majority of stroke patients should be treated in an inpatient rehabilitation facility rather than a nursing home.

Mobility focus lifts function

Mobility focus lifts function

In-hospital mobility programs led seniors to have significantly higher ability to move around following discharge, a new study has found.

Drugs linked to greater fall risk

Nursing home residents who take antidepressants for dementia hold a significantly higher risk of falls and fractures than those using antipsychotics, new research finds.

Overtime regs raise concern

In less than six months, providers could face paying a lot more overtime wages, thanks to a new government rule.

Providers blast bills as payment robbers

Providers blast bills as payment robbers

Long-term care lobbyists often gather in Washington to promote legislation they favor.

Antipsychotic use down 27%

Antipsychotic use down 27%

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services established the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes in 2012 after a scathing report found 83% of antipsychotic drug claims were made for nursing home residents without conditions approved for antipsychotic use.

The LTC payment plan

The LTC payment plan

There seems to be a common theme emerging at this year's batch of trade shows. Tips for future success are the rising stars.

Ask the Legal Expert about ... what points should we be attuned to when our facility starts contracting talks

Ask the Legal Expert about ... what points should we be attuned to when our facility starts contracting talks

As the number of ACOs continue to increase every year, and as other payors seek to satisfy the same goals as the ACOs — lower costs with higher quality of services — a new market opportunity is ripe for organizations serving seniors

Ask the Nursing Expert about ... ideas on what I can do for my staff

Ask the Nursing Expert about ... ideas on what I can do for my staff

I am a new director of nursing. Can you share some ideas on what I can do for my staff?

Nursing remains atop job growth charts

Job growth for registered nurses is on pace to produce nearly 450,000 new positions by 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Staffing shortages can fuel increased discharge delays

Staffing shortages can fuel increased discharge delays

Providers feeling the pinch of a nursing shortage only need look across the Atlantic to see the possible consequences of being understaffed.

Feds seek redo in hospice eligibility case

The Department of Justice is refusing to back down in a fight over physicians and patient hospice eligibility.

SNF will not have to bargain with union found 'disruptive'

SNF will not have to bargain with union found 'disruptive'

A skilled nursing facility can refuse bargaining with its union after employees made credible threats of violence during the 2013 union election, a court ruled in May.

How to do it... Positioning techniques

In the wake of recent updates to the National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel's wound staging guidelines, providers are re-focusing on prevention. Wound care toolboxes include methods and technology aimed at properly stabilizing residents for effective healing. Experts weigh in here on positioning devices and best practices.

Prolonging other lives

Prolonging other lives

How, where and when furniture is used is directly related to the ability to extend its durability and life, especially in high-traffic areas like dining rooms or lobbies

Keeping watch by night

Keeping watch by night

Overnight incontinence care deserves special planning and strategies; providers get personal with individual options and high-tech solutions

ManorCare, HCP Inc. sued

HCP ignored fraud and misled investors about the performance of ManorCare, its skilled nursing portfolio, according to a class action filed in May.

A Day in the Life: Henpecked and happy

A Day in the Life: Henpecked and happy

Crestview Acres in Marion, IA, welcomed four new residents this spring, but don't expect to find them inside the facility — they're living in a coop out back.

'Site-neutral' pay proposal has providers taking sides

'Site-neutral' pay proposal has providers taking sides

erms about the value-based pay movement tend to spill into one another: bundled payments, accountable care organizations, managed care, site-neutral payments, and on and on.

Reader Poll: "What would you like to accomplish in the next decade?"

"In the next decade it does not appear that a cure for Alzheimer's disease will be found."

False Claims Act penalties to double, feds say

False Claims Act penalties to double, feds say

Penalties for False Claims Act violations will nearly double over the next month in response to a rule from an obscure federal agency, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

Survey: Cameras cause providers privacy, litigation concerns

Privacy violations and litigation risks are among the top worries of providers considering installing cameras in resident rooms, new survey results show.

Omnicare denies kickback allegations, says price cuts were 'discounts'

Price cuts given to Omnicare from a pharmaceutical company looking to boost antidepressant prescriptions in long-term care facilities were legal discounts, not kickbacks, the pharmacy giant argued Wednesday.

McKnight's scores in regional ASBPE awards

McKnight's Long-Term Care News scooped up three awards from the American Society of Business Publication Editors' Upper Midwest Region on Wednesday.

Also in the News for Friday, July 1

Former resident must turn over medical records in disability discrimination case ... Pre-surgery falls common, predict poor outcomes ... Video helps patients make end-of-life decisions

HHS proposal aims to eliminate Medicare appeals backlog by 2021

HHS proposal aims to eliminate Medicare appeals backlog by 2021

The current Medicare appeals backlog could be cured by 2021 under the proposed rules, according to the Department of Health & Human Services.

Preventative care lacking for SNF residents, analysis finds

Nursing home residents, specifically those with diabetes, are not receiving the recommended amount of preventive care procedures, according to a new analysis.

Diversity in age, ethnicity of post-acute residents increasing, research finds

The long-term care population has grown more diverse in age and ethnicity over recent decades, according to new research published in JAMDA: The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

Also in the News for Thursday, June 30

Lawmakers introduce bills on person-centered, palliative care ... Doctors who use EHR face higher risk of burnout ... FDA requests data on hand sanitizer efficacy

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