A much-criticized system of reviewing certain Medicare therapy claims is still beset by problems, with about a third of this year's claims awaiting processing, according to a recently released survey from the National Association for the Support of Long-Term Care.
Improved transitions between acute and post-acute settings are partly responsible for continuing nationwide declines in hospital readmission rates, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
The nation's largest not-for-profit long-term care providers have implemented electronic health records, but there is still much room for growth when it comes to the sharing of digital data, according to a recently released survey.
Specialized hospital units for patients under observation status could dramatically reduce the number of seniors forced to pay out-of-pocket for skilled nursing care, according to findings in the current issue of Health Affairs.
A successful program to reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections in hospitals will be expanded into long-term care settings nationwide, under a contract recently awarded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
A newly developed "electronic brief" has been designed to improve the quality of incontinence care in skilled nursing facilities, according to a report from the Australian Associated Press.
The AHCA Quality Initiative goal to reduce antipsychotics use is in sight, the group announced Wednesday. The goal is 15% by the end of this month. The group used federal data in its calculations.
A federal appeals court has upheld a $10,000 fine against a skilled nursing facility for leaving a suicidal patient unattended. The court said that it was "reasonably foreseeable" that allowing the agitated and injured patient to leave the facility unattended was justification for the fine.
A new study has led to a breakthrough in the process to identify people who will fall victim to Alzheimer's disease.
Nursing homes have lagged in the area of palliative care, and need to take a seat at the table, according to researchers in Health Affairs blog.
Pain management is a significant problem for adults aged 65 or older in the United States, new study results indicate.
Education, better prevention and the treatment of high blood pressure may be delaying seniors' signs of dementia and Alzheimer's, according to studies reported on in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Medicare spending on nursing homes, home medical care and other outside care will increasingly come under the government microscope according to a Kaiser Health News/Washington Post report. Widely varied care, additional services and costs from state-to-state have drawn the attention of regulators.
Theft or poor management from trust funds of nursing home patients is aided by a lack of regulations, according to a new USA TODAY report.
Researchers say they are getting closer to proving that Alzheimer's disease and Type 2 diabetes might be one illness.
People with health insurance are not more likely to engage in risky behaviors, but instead focus more on preventative care according to new research.
Researchers have discovered a way to increase the potency of antibiotics against deadly bacterial diseases that have afflicted seniors especially hard. The key is something called inhibitor compounds, which have been developed by structural biologists and chemists.
An international study has discovered a vascular issue that may contribute to Alzheimer's disease and other aging-related neurological disorders.
With all the changes to the MDS on Oct. 1, 2013, how will payment be affected?
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission could be getting closer to formally recommending more uniform payments to skilled nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation facilities.
Federal regulators have come out strongly against facility-wide policies that prohibit cardiopulmonary resuscitation for residents in distress.
We are so very busy in our post-acute care jobs. How are we supposed to get it all done?
People who speak more than one language tend to develop dementia up to five years later than those who are monolingual, new research reveals.
Foreign-born registered nurses comprise up to 15% of the total RNs in the United States, a new study finds.
Are wound cultures the best method to determine if a wound is infected?
In a breakthrough discovery, University of Notre Dame researchers have identified enzymes that can harm or help the way that wounds heal.
Nursing staff can turn residents less often if high-density foam mattresses and attentive documentation are being used for pressure ulcer prevention, research has found.
I heard the rules recently changed related to hospice. Do you know what will be included?
Older hospital patients who have low thyroid hormone levels have a higher level of mortality, new study results show.
Nursing home residents who interacted with therapy-trained animals showed slower rates of cognitive impairment and lower depression, researchers say.
Q: You addressed the LeadingAge annual conference shortly after the government shutdown ended. How do you respond to nonprofit leaders discouraged by the political climate?
A new policy meant to reduce the number of hospital observation stays should be delayed, and stakeholders should collaborate on a better way to achieve that goal, according to the American Medical Association and American Hospital Association.
Providers likely will embrace House legislation that eases billing reviews for operators deemed a low fraud risk.
Seniors who take certain blood pressure medications might be at a dramatically reduced risk for developing dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease, according to findings in Neurology.
Show-tune sing-alongs are an effective form of dementia care, new research suggests.
A Colorado facility might have to pay punitive damages because a supervisor put the wrong safety clip on a lift that malfunctioned and led to a resident's death, a federal court recently ruled.
Medicaid managed care systems have the potential to improve care outcomes, and providers' bottom lines, so operators should embrace them, said LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix.
Leaders in the U.S. Senate have called for a government review of how nursing homes handle facility-managed trust funds.
Nursing home workers own the worst rates of employee injuries and illnesses among U.S. workforces, notes a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Rep. Roger W. Williams (R-TX) has introduced a "trusted provider" bill in the House of Representatives. The measure would give Medicare claim review protections for those who pose a lower risk of submitting fraudulent claims.
The second annual McKnight's Long-Term Care News Excellence in Technology Awards begged the question: How can you compare to last year's storied winners?
As a child, Adrienne Mims, M.D., MPH, thought about being a lawyer. But when her beloved grandmother died of cervical cancer when she was in high school, she redirected her attention to a career in healthcare.
Miller's Merry Manor has a name that is fitting for the holiday season. But the 62-bed facility in New Carlisle, IN, seeks a merry atmosphere throughout the year. Its dance activities, and one special resident, help in that endeavor.
Catheter-associated problems account for nearly a third of all infections reported at nursing homes. Simple precautions can dramatically reduce this challenge
Long-term care operators need to ensure that their lifeblood — data —is adequately guarded in the case of natural disaster, power outage or cyber attack
I experienced many crushing disappointments growing up. A trespassing fairy with a tooth fetish didn't leave a dime under my pillow? Ernie and Bert aren't brothers? Affordable healthcare isn't a right? But the worst was realizing I was too old to be a prodigy. There's an age limit, apparently, or maybe it's height or weight. Regardless, I didn't qualify.
Now, even three or four years down the road, the impression of the long-term care leader cowering like a guilty child is haunting.
If we've learned anything lately, it's this: Changing a healthcare system is no easy task. Just ask the White House.
Your goals as a CFO remain constant: Support the mission. Increase revenue. Consolidate across multiple entities. Budget. Implement internal controls. Facilitate audits and compliance reporting. CFOs want to optimize the organization's returns by carefully managing all the finances.
'Universal' work teams, small-home designs bring Missouri its first taste of an increasingly popular new model of long-term care
What do you get when you ask two academics, one geriatrician, one reimbursement specialist, and an analyst to define average length of stay? Five different answers.
Facilities must always provide exceptional care and service - whether they're in frigid Fargo or balmy Miami. They also need to mesh with the surrounding community. While being sensitive to area cultures and climates is important, it should not be at the expense of sensible, functional design, as experts explain.
» AOD Software will integrate the INTERACT Quality Improvement program into its Answers™ electronic health record program, the company announced at the LeadingAge annual meeting. Through a license with Florida Atlantic University, INTERACT will be embedded in the clinical workflows of Answers EHR.
The Food and Drug Administration has issued final guidance on mobile medical apps.
A new fall detection system may be part of an "aging-in-place" solution for seniors.
I'm an administrator who's read all of this stuff about overuse of antipsychotics on long-term care residents. I like and trust my director of nursing, medical director and clinical staff — to a degree, that is — but what can I do to REALLY know that we're not overusing this stuff, and would not be liable for some sort of adverse regulatory or court findings?
A federal court recently ruled in favor of a Pennsylvania long-term care facility, upholding an argument that individuals cannot bring lawsuits under the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act.
Pharmaceuticals giant Johnson & Johnson and some subsidiaries will pay more than $2.2 billion to settle claims that they inappropriately promoted antipsychotic drugs for use in nursing homes. The agreement also will settle kickback charges related to the nation's largest long-term care pharmacy, Omnicare.
NORTH CAROLINA — A citizen advocacy group called the N.C. Senior Tar Heel Legislature wants state lawmakers to address the number of certified nursing assistants in long-term care facilities.
» HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the failings of healthcare.gov. Sebelius said the government has spent about $118 million on the website itself and another $56 million on other IT around the system.
Investigators at Cornell University's Personal Robotics Lab are developing robots that can accurately predict and respond to human actions. Such machines could potentially offer a new level of comfort to people requiring assistance with their daily activities.
Caremerge's Quality Measures program is simple to use but can help long-term care providers thrive in an increasingly complex healthcare system, according to Ruta Prasauskas, RN, MHS, director of wellness at BMA Management Ltd. in Illinois.
» Brookdale Senior Living workers in the Senior Care division will not receive merit increases due to Medicare reimbursement cuts and therapy caps, the Nashville-based company stated in an email to local reporters.
Senior living companies pursuing Department of Housing and Urban Development financing should expect delays, one expert said.
Kindred Healthcare, one of the nation's largest long-term care operators, has completed the first phase of a repositioning plan and is entering a period of growth, company leaders recently announced.
Senator Jay Rockefeller wants provider groups to support his Medicare Part D plan for a drug rebate bill that calls for money from pharmaceutical companies to replace funds lost from the sustainable growth rate (SGR) removal.
The right for the administrator or administratrix of an estate to bring suit against an LTC provider was upheld in a recent case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Western District of Kentucky.
Meditation and yoga could become weapons in the fight against the advancement of dementia and Alzheimer's Disease in residents with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) according to new research.
McKnight's Long-Term Care News will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 28, and Friday, Nov. 29, as we celebrate Thanksgiving.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is not thoroughly assessing how well zone program integrity contractors are contributing to Medicare anti-fraud efforts, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.
Leaders in long-term care facilities should take steps to ensure that residents with dementia are not unnecessarily put back on antipsychotic medications, according to officials who spoke on a call with providers Monday.
Particular kinds of antibiotics are effective in eliminating colonies of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in asymptomatic carriers of the deadly bacteria, according to newly published research.
Nursing home staff should adopt evidence-based approaches to pressure ulcer prevention and treatment, and significantly more research is needed, a top expert said Saturday.
The Office of Inspector General may have delayed the announcement of its detailed 2014 annual Work Plan from October until January, but providers now know where the overall focus of investigative efforts will lie for the next four years. The OIG has announced it is committing to maximizing fraud recoveries and the protection of patient data for 2014-2018.
Almost a quarter of Americans over age 75 have not written down or talked to someone about their wishes for the end of life care, according to a new survey from Pew Research Group.
A nursing home operator with 100 beds can expect $194,000 in liability expenses in 2014, according to a new analysis from the American Health Care Association and Aon Global Risk Consulting.
The National Center for Assisted Living and the New Jersey Hospital Association have formed the National Patient Safety Organization for Assisted Living. The organization is the first to electronically collect data on clinical performance from NCAL's participating assisted living members
A Pennsylvania nursing home has scored a victory for 14 of its residents, whose ballots were tossed in a Nov. 5 election.
Most long-term care reforms rely on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for implementation, but the overburdened agency cannot manage all the needed changes in this area, according to a panel of experts.
Spending on healthcare, including skilled nursing care, has grown at a historically slow rate in the last three years, according to a new analysis from the Council of Economic Advisers. The group, which reports to the president, linked the slow growth to Affordable Care Act policies.
Nurses can cut down on errors and improve patients' satisfaction by conducting shift change meetings at bedsides rather than at a nursing station, according to recently published research.
One in four nursing home residents on Medicare was hospitalized in 2011, costing the program $14.3 billion, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. In light of its findings, the OIG has recommended a new quality measure to track hospital admissions.
Certain skilled nursing facilities could provide Medicare-covered services to beneficiaries without a preceding hospital stay, under a new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.
People with dementia who are discharged from a hospital to a skilled nursing facility are less likely to be readmitted than those discharged to other settings, according to recently published research.
Nursing homes might be able to reduce the scope and severity of deficiency citations related to sprinkler systems, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced.
The United States is likely to favor an approach to long-term care financing reform that values self-reliance but includes some form of social safety net, according to a new report from a panel of experts.
3-D glasses soon might be seen in long-term care facilities as well as movie theaters, thanks to a potential breakthrough in stroke rehabilitation. Stroke survivors in a study successfully used a virtual reality system to activate parts of their brain linked to motor skills, researchers recently announced.
Some nursing homes could cut down on the red tape needed to undertake minor repairs and renovations, thanks to a new rule issued by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
A former medical transport driver has been indicted for criminally negligent homicide related to the death of a nursing home resident, the New York Attorney General's office announced Friday.
Nursing home workers would have to recertify their union representation after any major changes in staffing, if a newly proposed bill becomes law.
The frequency of hospital observation stays skyrocketed and long stays became much more common between 2001 and 2009, according to a new report from the AARP Public Policy Institute.
Prospective Medicare changes regarding physician payments might unfairly penalize doctors working in long-term care settings, according to a prominent medical directors association.
The federal government could reduce its Medicaid contributions to states as a deficit reduction measure, but the move likely would achieve savings only by putting seniors at risk, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
States are not doing a good job of monitoring how Medicaid managed care enterprises handle providers serving high-risk populations, according to a new government report. Five of six states evaluated in a recent study were not monitoring MCEs' compliance with a federal nondiscrimination provision, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General found.
Targeting cells known as persisters is a new and highly effective way of eradicating methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, according to newly published research.
Unless steps are taken to improve dental hygiene in the elderly, oral healthcare will cause problems on the same scale as falls, incontinence and mobility limitations, according to recently published research.
Escalating healthcare costs in the United States cannot be pinned on an aging population demanding more services for chronic conditions. Instead, higher costs are primarily the result of price increases, according to a new analysis in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Long-term care insurance policyholders should expect rate hikes, two of the most prominent vendors in the market have announced.
Long-term care operators might want to add show-tune sing-alongs to their dementia care plans, new research suggests.
More uniform reimbursements for skilled nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation facilities could be implemented soon, policy analysts recently told the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services tested the concept in 2006, after developing a patient assessment tool that could be used in both settings.