Provider sues state officials for 'regulatory assault' against its facilities

Provider sues state officials for 'regulatory assault' against its facilities

A Maryland skilled nursing operator has filed a complaint against state health officials, claiming they "abused and misused the State survey process" to target its facilities in an effort to shut them down.

Admission and visitation policies among top potential legal pitfalls in new rule, expert says

Long-term care providers should pay special attention to their admission, visitation and grievance policies under the new requirements of participation rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, a legal expert said Tuesday.

George Clooney surprises nursing home resident (and staff) on her birthday

George Clooney surprises nursing home resident (and staff) on her birthday

A nursing home in England got a surprise on Sunday when actor George Clooney dropped by unannounced to help celebrate a resident's 87th birthday.

Also in the News for Wednesday, March 22

GOP healthcare bill updates gives states choice between block grants, per capita funding for Medicaid ... SNF to pay $875,000 to family of resident who choked to death ... Senator seeks details into new CMS administrator's ethics compliance

CMS postpones expansion, implementation of bundled payment programs

CMS postpones expansion, implementation of bundled payment programs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is pushing back the implementation date for its recent rule creating a bundled payment program for cardiac care, as well as changes to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement program. Further delays also are being considered.

Providers prepare for potential tension on Congressional visits

A tense political environment in Washington, D.C., means long-term care providers headed to Capitol Hill need to be passionate but polite, executives said Monday.

GOP healthcare bill needs changes to better support seniors, Ryan concedes

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is planning to propose changes to the GOP's Affordable Care Act replacement policy that would help alleviate healthcare costs for seniors.

Also in the News for Tuesday, March 21

Jury finds SNF negligent in resident's death, awards family $450,000 ... Nursing Home Compare is flawed, Ohio providers say ... Eliminating LGBT seniors from national survey could jeopardize access to services, group fears

GOP health plan moves forward, moving seniors closer to higher insurance rates, lower access to healthcare, analysts say

GOP health plan moves forward, moving seniors closer to higher insurance rates, lower access to healthcare, analysts say

Seniors just shy of Medicare eligibility age could find their ability to pay for future long-term care services stymied due to projected rises in health insurance costs that would come under the House GOP's healthcare plan, analysts say.

Judge gives provider reprieve on $347 million penalty

A Florida-based provider has breathing room to appeal a $347 million judgment after a federal judge said the payment could force 183 facilities to collapse.

Skilled workers are at higher risk for mistakes when interrupted, study finds

Highly trained workers generally work faster, but they are more likely to make mistakes after they are interrupted, a new study finds.

Also in the News for Monday, March 20

Meals on Wheels pushes back against budget cuts, noting 2.4 million seniors served annually... Medication reconciliation may reduce rehospitalization, study indicates ...Medical director arrangement lands hospital in court

Trump budget plan would carve 18% from HHS, add millions to combat healthcare fraud

Trump budget plan would carve 18% from HHS, add millions to combat healthcare fraud

President Donald Trump's proposed budget plan for fiscal year 2018 slash the budget for the Department of Health and Human Services while putting additional funds into fraud prevention.

Medicaid cuts won't harm beneficiaries, access to care, Price says

Changes to Medicaid proposed by Republican lawmakers may cut the program's budget, but won't jeopardize care for beneficiaries, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., said Wednesday.

HCR ManorCare facility must pay damages in negligence case

HCR ManorCare will have to pay punitive damages in a negligence and abuse case filed by a resident of its Hemet, CA facility, an appeals court ruled this week.

Also in the News for Friday, March 17

Judge: PA received $3 million in improper Medicaid funds for nursing home training ... SNF aides fired, charged with assault of 93-year-old resident ... Hip, knee replacement surgery patients fare better at home than rehab center, study finds

SNF occupancy down despite 'significant' flu season and Medicaid admissions up, report shows

SNF occupancy down despite 'significant' flu season and Medicaid admissions up, report shows

Skilled nursing occupancy rates hit their lowest level on record in the fourth quarter of 2016, according to a report released Wednesday.

MedPAC: Current payments encourage 'unnecessary' post-acute care

Federal officials may have missed out on saving as much as $11 billion over the past seven years by not implementing the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission's recommended post-acute payment updates, the group said on Wednesday.

DOJ's lawsuit against provider can proceed despite bankruptcy filing

A federal lawsuit claiming a Tennessee-based skilled nursing operator provided "grossly substandard care" can proceed despite the provider's bankruptcy filing, a judge ruled on Monday.

Also in the News for Thursday, March 16

HHS, CMS leaders promise Medicaid collaboration with states ... SNF nurse arrested for intercepting prescription deliveries, stealing $9,500 in drugs ... Beijing to allow foreign, for-profit nursing home operators to set up shop

Online Expo continues today with wound, technology sessions

Online Expo continues today with wound, technology sessions

Coming off of a record-attendance day, McKnight's Online Expo returns for its final day with hot-topic educational sessions on wounds and technology.

Providers gearing up to work with newly-confirmed CMS administrator

Long-term care provider groups were complimentary of Seema Verma as she was confirmed this week as administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

GOP health bill could slash $117 billion from Medicare fund, analysis shows

Medicare's trust fund could lose $117 billion in revenue over the next 10 years if the recently proposed Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act is passed into law, according to an analysis released Monday.

Also in the News for Wednesday, March 15

House proposal would require LTC expert on Medicaid advisory panel ... SNF nurses charged with stealing residents' medication, swapping in Tylenol ... Study shows promise for C. diff treatment in pill form

It's here! McKnight's Online Expo kicks off today at 10 a.m. ET

It's here! McKnight's Online Expo kicks off today at 10 a.m. ET

McKnight's 11th Annual Online Expo is back with educational sessions beginning today at 10 a.m. ET. Registration is still open and ongoing through Wednesday for last-minute attendees.

New York's largest for-profit SNF operator kept nurses in 'indentured servitude,' lawsuit claims

New York's largest for-profit nursing home group allegedly kept more than 350 Filipino nurses in "indentured servitude" and sued those who tried to quit, according to a class action complaint filed last week.

ACOs cut medical costs without raising drug spending, study finds

Accountable care organizations helped reduced Medicare medical costs without increasing prescription drug spending, according to a recently published analysis.

Also in the News for Tuesday, March 14

Little agreement how to solve 'storm' of violence against healthcare workers ... SNF visitor sentenced to 9 years in prison for raping resident ... CDC: Flu season has likely peaked

One day away: Payment session to kick off 11th McKnight's Online Expo

One day away: Payment session to kick off 11th McKnight's Online Expo

McKnight's 11th Annual Online Expo kicks off tomorrow at 10:00 am ET with a compliance-focused session that is a must-attend for long-term care providers.

Access to nursing homes would dim under Republican proposal, AGS warns

Provisions of the recently released American Health Care Act could jeopardize seniors' access to long-term care, the American Geriatrics Society warned last week.

Medicare could be next on Trump's chopping block, experts say

President Donald Trump's campaign promise to leave the Medicare program intact could hinder his administration's efforts to reduce healthcare costs, experts said last week.

Also in the News for Monday, March 13

Full Senate vote could narrowly confirm CMS head Monday ... Seizures more prevalent in SNF residents than community-dwelling seniors ... HHS head promotes health IT growth to improve patient care, cut costs

Medicaid official opposes ACA replacement bill 'despite political messaging'

Medicaid official opposes ACA replacement bill 'despite political messaging'

Chief medical officer of the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services Andrey Ostrovsky, M.D., took to Twitter on Wednesday to express his concern with legislation of the GOP's new healthcare plan.

Lawmakers reintroduce bill to ensure observation stays count toward SNF coverage

A bipartisan group of lawmakers reintroduced a bill on Wednesday that would require days spent by hospital patients in observation status count toward the three-day inpatient requirement for skilled nursing coverage.

Colorado may have to pay $43 million in Medicaid system mixup

A computer system error may leave Colorado to foot a $43 million Medicaid bill, according to local reports.

Also in the News for Friday, March 10

Medicare appeals backlog can't be fixed by 2021, HHS says ... CMS rescinds Feb. operations manual update, publishes new update reflecting mega-rule ... OIG head details hospice care inadequacies in testimony before House

McKnight's Online Expo arrives in just 5 days!

McKnight's Online Expo arrives in just 5 days!

Providers will have a chance to connect with colleagues, learn from long-term care experts and earn up to five free continuing education credits when McKnight's 11th Annual Online Expo kicks off next week.

Hospice owner sentenced to 6 years in $20 million SNF kickback scheme

The owner of an Illinois hospice company was sentenced to six and a half years in federal prison on Tuesday for his role in a Medicare fraud scheme that paid kickbacks to nursing homes.

Price: ACA repeal bill a 'first step' to put Medicaid program on 'sustainable path'

Legislation introduced this week to replace the Affordable Care Act will make the Medicaid program more sustainable, according to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D.

Also in the News for Thursday, March 9

GAO: Medicare, Medicaid at 'high risk' of fraud, waste ... Provider to pay $325,000 to settle claims that it discriminated against disabled workers ... IL lawmakers introduce bills to prevent 'improper' LTC discharges and fine understaffed facilities

Providers: Republicans' ACA replacement bill would 'destroy' Medicaid system

Providers: Republicans' ACA replacement bill would 'destroy' Medicaid system

The Medicaid program would sustain major cuts under legislation presented by Republican lawmakers as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act, according to provider groups.

ACA changes could strip insurance coverage from hundreds of thousands of direct care workers, group says

Legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act may complicate the increasing shortage of healthcare workers, according to a report released Tuesday.

Former nurse raped by supervisor sues SNF, parent company

A former nurse at a Colorado skilled nursing facility has filed a lawsuit alleging that she was raped by a supervisor whose history of sexual harassment was known when he was hired.

Also in the News for Wednesday, March 8

Shorter hospital stays bump up readmission risk ... Georgia high court rules in favor of SNF in arbitration dispute ... Mounting Alzheimer's costs could bankrupt Medicare, report claims

New OIG Medicaid fraud data, map shows nearly $1.9 billion in recoveries

New OIG Medicaid fraud data, map shows nearly $1.9 billion in recoveries

Medicaid Fraud Control Units delivered nearly $1.9 billion in recoveries in fiscal year 2016, according to a new data set and interactive map released Monday by federal officials.

Care coordination models show promise in reducing hospitalizations, Medicare costs among SNF residents

Care coordination models tested through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' have indicated which strategies can help reduce hospitalizations, according to a new study.

Man found alive after being dropped off at intersection 10 miles from nursing home

An Illinois man was found in a ditch Monday, three days after being dropped off at an intersection nearly 10 miles from the nursing home where he was supposed to be admitted.

Also in the News for Tuesday, March 7

Medicare will be a 'guarantee' under new administration, HHS Secretary says ... Advocate group calls FL nursing home reports 'shocking' ... Medicare reimbursement for dental care a long shot, but advocates aim to bring fight to 2020 election

MedPAC: New post-acute payment system speed-up — could kick off in 2021

MedPAC: New post-acute payment system speed-up — could kick off in 2021

A new reimbursement system for post-acute care providers could be implemented sooner than previously thought, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission indicated last week.

'Radical' Medicaid changes could lead to LTC service cuts, LeadingAge and 99 other advocacy groups warn

Proposals to move Medicaid to a block grant or per capita cap system would result in cuts to the program that could put beneficiaries and funding for providers at risk, dozens advocacy groups told lawmakers on Friday.

Woman who set SNF fire that killed 16 still not competent to stand trial

A 36-year-old woman who admitted to starting a fire that killed 16 residents at a Connecticut skilled nursing facility in 2003 is still not competent to stand trial, her lawyer and local prosecutors agreed last week.

Also in the News for Monday, March 6

Former CMS head 'angry' that ACA repeal could strip nursing home, quality provisions ... Medicaid expansion may stay under plan from GOP governors ... Second ACA repeal draft leaked amid claims that GOP is 'hiding' bill

Opioids may slow down wound healing

People with chronic wounds who are prescribed opioids to treat their pain may experience slower healing than those who don't receive the drugs, according to new research.

Skin grafting method stops chronic wound recurrence

Skin grafting method stops chronic wound recurrence

A recently developed skin graft treatment may help speed up the healing process for chronic wounds like pressure sores and diabetic ulcers — and keep them from coming back.

Ask the Care Expert about ... choosing dressings

Ask the Care Expert about ... choosing dressings

With thousands of dressings on the market, which is the best for wound healing?

New call product aimed at smaller SNFs

RCare has debuted a wireless call solution, titled the BCube Nurse Call Platform, specifically geared toward small skilled nursing and assisted living communities.

'Smart' alerts serve to boost labor efficiency, cut waste

'Smart' alerts serve to boost labor efficiency, cut waste

New GOJO SMARTLINK Service Alerts allow providers to reduce waste and maximize the efficiency of environmental service workers, according to results of a pilot project.

Where the rubber meets the road

Where the rubber meets the road

I've been thinking a lot about tires today. Mostly because I can. And because my brain hurts from pondering possible PPS changes, Ultra-High therapy billing, and whether peptide-hydrogel biomaterial helps heal chronic wounds.

Where Are They Now: Signature HealthCARE of Fentress County

Where Are They Now: Signature HealthCARE of Fentress County

If telehealth is the future, Signature HealthCARE of Fentress County is already in the time machine.

Walking tied to word game may boost seniors' activity

Walking tied to word game may boost seniors' activity

An iPad-based game connecting seniors with walking is showing promise and being evaluated for a larger community trial, according to a feasibility study.

State News for March 2017

State News for March 2017

NORTH DAKOTA — The state's 80 senior care centers faced a difficult choice when they agreed with a proposed 5% surcharge on the services they provide. In the end, it was either accept the fee or make deep staffing cuts to stay open.

Profile: Steve Fromm

Profile: Steve Fromm

Steve Fromm's journey to long-term care administrator and board chairman of the American College of Health Care Administrators is one that has crisscrossed oceans and states.

BCPI ups quality: analysis

A recent analysis shines a positive light on value-based care models such as federal hip and knee replacement bundled payment programs.

GAO reports assail Medicaid oversight, provider vetting

GAO reports assail Medicaid oversight, provider vetting

The Government Accountability Office recently issued a pair of reports within days of one another critical of how the Medicaid program gathers data and screens its provider participants.

Ask the Payment Expert about ... preparing for the new requirements and surveys

Ask the Payment Expert about ... preparing for the new requirements and surveys

What do we need to do to prepare for the new regulations and survey process?

Immigration order 'chilling,' groups say

President Donald Trump's executive order in January aimed at curtailing immigration raised red flags for at least two medical associations specializing in eldercare.

ACA repeal, Medicaid block grants face hot discussion

ACA repeal, Medicaid block grants face hot discussion

Congressional Republicans met in mid-February to try to discern new details of replacement provisions for the Affordable Care Act, but various questions including about the future of Medicaid, remained unanswered at press time.

60 Seconds with ... Stephen J. Maag

60 Seconds with ... Stephen J. Maag

Q: What's changed with regard to movie licensing in long-term care?

Judge finalizes HHS Jimmo fix

A U.S. District Court judge accepted the Department of Health and Human Services' plan to better explain grounds of the historic Jimmo settlement — with a few added tweaks of her own.

Final rule deadlines branded 'unrealistic'

Final rule deadlines branded 'unrealistic'

Long-term care providers are "gravely concerned" over the recent publication of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' final rule for nursing homes, LeadingAge said in late January.

CHF protocol shows promise

CHF protocol shows promise

A new treatment regimen for congestive heart failure patients in skilled nursing facilities reduced hospital admissions from 31% to 7% over seven months.

Brain meds use soars in seniors

More seniors are taking three or more medicines that affect the brain, according to new research.

High Court to hear SNF case

The U.S. Supreme Court was scheduled to hear arguments in late February in a nursing home arbitration lawsuit that could alter the industry's future, close observers said.

Trump aide: Medicaid grants will cut fraud

Trump aide: Medicaid grants will cut fraud

In a possible sign of what providers might be able to expect regarding Medicaid funding changes, White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said in late January that moving to block grants would "really cut out the fraud, waste and abuse," and that beneficiaries would "get the help directly."

Verma: Fraud a hefty priority

Verma: Fraud a hefty priority

Seema Verma, President Donald Trump's nominee to lead the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, said during her Feb. 16 confirmation hearing that tackling healthcare fraud would be a "top priority" should she get the job.

This Price is no bargain

This Price is no bargain

Dr. Tom Price recently became Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Long-term care operators should cast a wary eye for two reasons: Medicaid and Medicare.

Aides want more EOL care involvement

Frontline workers often are the first to notice dementia patients' pain and detect changes in their behavior, but a new study finds long-term care and hospice facilities need to do more to include them in end-of-life treatment.

Benefit of enforced worker flu shots overblown: study

Benefit of enforced worker flu shots overblown: study

Reviewers of four trials often used to support mandatory flu vaccination policies for long-term care workers say the benefits were overstated. But the lead researcher still says he recommends vaccination for healthcare workers.

Ask the Nursing Expert about ... fostering critical thinking

Ask the Nursing Expert about ... fostering critical thinking

Some nurses struggle with critical clinical thinking, especially my newer nurses. The clinical orientation process mainly focuses on teaching how to document and reviews core competencies. What can I do to help increase their critical thinking skills?

Worker class-action lawsuits on the rise?

Employers may face "significant challenges" in 2017 related to workers bringing class-action lawsuits against them.

Trump's Supreme Court pick may spar with CMS over regs

Trump's Supreme Court pick may spar with CMS over regs

President Donald Trump's nominee for Supreme Court Justice recently sided with providers against federal agencies, a fact that should provoke joy in long-term care circles, according to observers.

Ask the Legal Expert about ... the ACA repeal's effect on value-based contracting

Ask the Legal Expert about ... the ACA repeal's effect on value-based contracting

Will President Trump's "repeal and replace" Obamacare campaign pledge impact or modify value-based contracting?

How to do it... Evaluating and choosing IT

Information technology evaluation and selection can be intimidating. But as seasoned IT professionals advise, a thorough and thoughtful process — from developing a roadmap to vetting prospective partners — can make just about anyone into a savvy shopper.

Parts science, humanity

Parts science, humanity

Curbing incontinence requires more than theories or formulas; providers find answers to some of their toughest problems by using both head and heart

Finding loose change

Finding loose change

There are many ways to improve efficiency, keep staff happy and save money in the laundry room. Providers just have to look for them — and read this article

Design Decisions: Manchester Commons

Design Decisions: Manchester Commons

A 60-year-old property sorely needed an upgrade and now has a resident-friendly layout that offers convenience and comfort.

2016 deals in LTC boomed

Long-term care transactions had the largest deal volume and value of any healthcare sector last year, according to a recent report.

Genesis, Kindred team up to tackle outcomes, transitions

Genesis, Kindred team up to tackle outcomes, transitions

Two of the country's largest post-acute care providers are joining forces in an effort to improve quality and care transitions.

Red, white and blue bash

Red, white and blue bash

President Donald Trump was in two places at one time on Jan. 20 — his inauguration in Washington, D.C., and The Summit at Plantsville in Plantsville, CT.

Reader Poll: What do you do either before or after you take vacation to really help yourself?

"A week before, I am focused on tying up loose ends, and I delegate things I know are coming so when I get back, they'll be finished. It clears my mind before I leave, so nothing is pressing."

You've earned this, so now sit back and enjoy

You've earned this, so now sit back and enjoy

I have to admit it: My love for the game of golf has waned lately. My fascination with it started as a young boy, watching my father pick up the game in middle age after successful athletic runs with football, track, softball and other activities.

Therapy upcoding case brings $347 million judgment against Consulate

Therapy upcoding case brings $347 million judgment against Consulate

Skilled nursing chain Consulate Health Care has been hit with a $347 million judgment in a whistleblower case alleging that it routinely submitted false Medicare and Medicaid claims.

Feds likely to intensify HIPAA compliance crackdowns, experts warn

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act audits may soon shift from focusing on provider education to enforcement, some experts shared this week.

Education-focused LTC nursing foundation debuts

A new charitable organization has been established to fund scholarships and academic research grants in the field of long-term care nursing.

Also in the News for Friday, March 3

Panel approval paves way for full Senate vote on CMS nominee ... High-dose flu shot cut seniors' risk of death in severe flu season ... HR director for CCRC pleads guilty to embezzling more than $700,000

Hospice owner accused of encouraging patient overdoses charged in $60 million fraud scheme

Hospice owner accused of encouraging patient overdoses charged in $60 million fraud scheme

The owner of a Texas hospice company who allegedly encouraged employees to overdose patients for monetary gain is among 16 individuals charged for their alleged roles in a $60 million Medicare fraud scheme.

Illinois nursing home damaged by tornado, evacuated

Illinois nursing home damaged by tornado, evacuated

Residents and staff of an Illinois county-run nursing home are safe after the facility was hit by a tornado on Tuesday.

SC admits paying providers for putting up with Medicaid application backlog

The South Carolina health department acknowledged to McKnight's on Tuesday that it was compensating nursing homes for excessive delays by the state in processing Medicaid applications.

Also in the News for Thursday, March 2

Trump picks Pence ally as Medicaid head ... Nearly half of nurses considering leaving profession, survey finds ... SNF fined $10,000 after resident beaten to death

New Hampshire ranks lowest in SNF citations, report finds

New Hampshire ranks lowest in SNF citations, report finds

New Hampshire ranked as the state with the fewest skilled nursing facilities to receive citations in 2014, according to data published Tuesday.

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