White House budget includes $4 billion pilot to 'streamline' LTC

White House budget includes $4 billion pilot to 'streamline' LTC

A pilot program to improve long-term care access and quality is among the healthcare proposals in President Barack Obama's $4.1 trillion budget plan for 2017.

Antipsychotic use in SNFs down 30%, AHCA says

American Health Care Association member facilities lowered their off-label use of antipsychotics nearly 30% over the past four years, the group announced Tuesday.

Bill requires all D.C. healthcare workers to have cultural competency training

A bill approved Tuesday by the Council of the District of Columbia would require all healthcare professionals to receive training on health issues facing the LGBT community.

Also in the News for Wednesday, February 10

Brookdale mulls stock repurchasing... OMB clears way for Medicare overpayment rule passage ... Senate committee passes health IT overhaul bill

Judge bars SNF physicians from making end-of-life decisions for residents

Judge bars SNF physicians from making end-of-life decisions for residents

A California judge has ordered nursing home physicians to stop making end-of-life decisions and administering psychiatric drugs to residents deemed mentally incompetent.

Injured nursing home workers more likely to lose jobs, study finds

Nursing home workers who are injured on the job are twice as likely to be fired within six months, according to new research.

Hospice patients in SNFs less likely to get staff visits in last 2 days of life

Medicare patients who received hospice care in a nursing home setting were less likely to be visited by professional staff in the last two days of life, according to a new study.

Also in the News for Tuesday, February 9

Center for Medicare Advocacy concerned over chronic care proposal ... Program to cut back on ambulance fraud hurting patients, families say ... Prescription drug payment "donut hole" to be closed by 2020

Genworth to separate, stabilize struggling LTC unit

Insurance provider Genworth Financial halted sales of its traditional life insurance and fixed annuity products in order to shift its focus to its struggling long-term care unit, the company announced Thursday.

Court upholds $84,000 fine for SNF that failed to report, investigate abuse

Fines imposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid on a skilled nursing facility that failed to report alleged abuse and neglect was "reasonable," a federal court ruled last week.

SNF administrator pleads not guilty to charges of stealing $10,000

The former administrator of a Pennsylvania nursing home has pleaded not guilty to charges that he allegedly stole more than $10,000 from the facility.

Also in the News for Monday, February 8

Exposure to certain antibiotics linked to C. diff development... Death of nursing home resident pushed by fellow resident ruled a homicide... FDA releases opioid abuse action plan

CMS urges providers to look at 'big picture' of IMPACT Act, health data

CMS urges providers to look at 'big picture' of IMPACT Act, health data

Although providers are rightfully preoccupied with the requirements of the Improving Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014, they should also be paying attention to widespread changes in data standardization and exchange, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid officials emphasized Thursday.

Labor shortage raising costs of CCRC construction

A skilled labor shortage in the construction industry is forcing some contractors to be increasingly selective in the senior housing projects they take on, driving up construction costs in the process.

CMS optimistic about reaching 30% value-based purchasing goal this year

Healthcare providers should reach the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services' goal of having 30% of all Medicare payment be value-based by the end of this year, one CMS official shared Tuesday.

Also in the News for Friday, February 5

CMS post-acute data systems will shut down for 5 days in March ... Scabies discovery leads to probe at MA nursing home ... Flu may hit Super Bowl home-team fans harder

Pilot shows promise in healing skin tears

A new program for acute treatment of skin tears may help reduce wound healing times and healthcare costs.

Age, antibiotics factors for infected diabetic foot ulcers

Age, antibiotics factors for infected diabetic foot ulcers

Older diabetes patients who receive prolonged courses of antibiotics are at the highest risk of having infected diabetic foot ulcers, a new study shows.

Ask the Treatment Expert about... palliative ulcer care

Ask the Treatment Expert about... palliative ulcer care

I am treating a resident who is receiving palliative care with a Stage III pressure ulcer on the right trochanter and a Stage IV pressure ulcer on the sacrum. How should I treat these pressure ulcers?

naviHealth acquires RightCare Solutions

naviHealth, an awardee convener under Medicare's Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative, has acquired RightCare Solutions Inc., which has developed a hospital discharge planning software system.

Incontinence pilot program brings PSL facilities success

Incontinence pilot program brings PSL facilities success

With pressure on continence care mounting for long-term care providers, Presbyterian Senior Living said it recently was able to cut its continence care product cost by more than 52% in just three months.

Happy Now Years

Happy Now Years

It's suddenly 2016, and I'm uneasy. Perhaps you know that vague apprehension. Like maybe you left your newly stocked phosphorescent med cart unlocked in the parking lot overnight, or ran off to work with the hot iron resting face down on a pile of tinder-dry copies of McKnight's.

I couldn't live without... CareConnection

I couldn't live without... CareConnection

By using Constant Care's CareConnection™ platform, certified nursing assistants at Kentwood Manor in Kentwood, LA, have been able to upload vital signs from residents automatically into electronic health records.

Dementia patients helped by art-based tablet application

Dementia patients helped by art-based tablet application

Previous research has shown that spending time together viewing art at a gallery can lead to cognitive improvements and enhanced quality of life among patients with dementia, as well as reduce caregiver burden.

State News for February 2016

State News for February 2016

NEW JERSEY — New Jersey provider organizations are raising concerns over a state bill that would create minimum staffing requirements for certified nursing assistants.

Drugs can provoke urinary incontinence

A review of prior studies found that nursing home patients, already prone to overactive bladder or urinary incontinence, are often given medications that exacerbate those conditions.

Music gives second wind to many with breathing issues

Music gives second wind to many with breathing issues

Patients with chronic respiratory disorders who received music therapy in conjunction with standard rehabilitation saw a marked improvement in symptoms, psychological wellbeing and quality of life, according to New York researchers.

Ask the Care Expert about... Payroll Based Journaling

Ask the Care Expert about... Payroll Based Journaling

As a new charge nurse, I hear the administrator and director of nursing talking more often recently about the Payroll Based Journaling and I need to know more about it. What's the overview?

Profile: Fred Benjamin

Profile: Fred Benjamin

Whether it's representing the American Health Care Association, Medicalodges, or another of his interests, there's a frequent comment about Fred Benjamin: "That man is everywhere."

CMS releases DMEPOS rule

Providers will face new rules in March that change the way they're reimbursed for certain types of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS).

Agencies seek feedback on quality measure reporting

Agencies seek feedback on quality measure reporting

Nursing homes were allowed a 30-day window last month to give the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services a piece of their mind about the way the agency certifies and tests electronic health record products.

Ask the Payment Expert about... data interoperability

Ask the Payment Expert about... data interoperability

he SNF Final Rule indicates that interoperability of data will be important. What do we need to do about this issue?

CMS discharge proposal draws criticism

Despite showing general support, providers believe a recent discharge planning proposal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services needs additional clarification to it to ensure smooth patient transitions to post-acute care.

Efforts to restrict arbitration a growing industry concern

Efforts to restrict arbitration a growing industry concern

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' proposal to limit the use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements in skilled nursing facilities created the most angst for providers in 2015, according to the American Health Care Association's head of government affairs.

60 Seconds with... Sue Peschin

60 Seconds with... Sue Peschin

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is making a push for better infection control in SNFs, but what's the concern?

False claims to fuel lawsuits?

Providers could be in store for a new, bigger wave of False Claims Act lawsuits, warn authors of a new report.

Speech mostly omits health-related issues

Speech mostly omits health-related issues

Providers looking for President Barack Obama to tackle long-term care and other health-related issues in his final State of the Union address were left disappointed.

Opioids may darken mood

Opioids may darken mood

Long-term use of opioids may trigger depression, a new study finds.

Fall risk tied to vitamin overuse

Despite previous studies highlighting the benefits of Vitamin D, too much could increase the risk of falls in seniors, per new research in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Slight drop for SNF occupancy

The occupancy rate for skilled nursing facilities fell 0.1% during the fourth quarter of 2015, according to data released in January by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care.

Year's top concerns: quality, arbitration

Year's top concerns: quality, arbitration

Seven months after being surprised by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' release of a "mega rule," the nation's largest nursing home association said 2016 could be quiet on the policy front.

Expo returns bigger, better

Expo returns bigger, better

Reducing unnecessary hospital readmissions will become increasingly important for long-term care providers in the year ahead, warns Elaine Healy, M.D., medical director and vice president of medical affairs at New York's United Hebrew of New Rochelle.

Time to make a change

Time to make a change

Let's face it: None of us really wants to change. We sort of like ourselves the way we are.

Shift workers could be accident prone

More than a third of night-shift workers were involved in near-crashes in an after-work test drive, researchers reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Nursing home nurses seek hospital transfers guidance

Nursing home nurses seek hospital transfers guidance

A comprehensive review of nursing homes nurses' perceptions about emergency room transfers shows nurses want more resources and more guidance to determine who goes and who stays.

Ask the Nursing Expert about... resolutions for 2016

Ask the Nursing Expert about... resolutions for 2016

What are good 2016 resolutions for nurses even if they're started late?

Scorned nuns brew up a NIMBY lawsuit

Even nuns are not safe from being victims of the "not in my backyard" syndrome.

A lifetime employment ban goes too far, court decides

A lifetime employment ban goes too far, court decides

A Pennsylvania court has ruled that individuals who have committed certain crimes cannot be banned from working in long-term care facilities. The ruling overturns a current law that "defies logic," according to judges on the case.

Ask the Legal Expert about... defamation

Ask the Legal Expert about... defamation

A former resident's family member is bad-mouthing us on social media and in the press. While it is likely driven by grief, most of the information is false. What can we do? What should we not do?

How to do it... Choosing hand sanitizers

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers have long been widely accepted by leading healthcare organizations as an effective method for disinfection. Experts here tell how to ensure staff members understand how and when to use them, as well as how to boost hand hygiene compliance.

The red glare

The red glare

Providers are looking for lessons how to bill therapy right and avoid the hot regulatory spotlight after the occurrence of numerous crackdowns

Evaluating good drugs

Evaluating good drugs

The long-term care profession wrestles with medication management challenges, including opioid abuse, polypharmacy and overdosing

Design Decisions: Visionary improvements

Design Decisions: Visionary improvements

If the top three points of emphasis for real estate are "location, location and location," The Residence at Cedar Dell certainly meets the criteria. Located in the coastal Massachusetts town of Dartmouth, the campus is close to the waterfront. Sea breezes add to an atmosphere of tranquility.

Outlook strong for 2016 deals

Mergers and acquisitions in the healthcare sector are set for a robust 2016, according to a new report.

Mid-Atlantic expands skilled care portfolio in Maryland

Mid-Atlantic expands skilled care portfolio in Maryland

Mid-Atlantic Health Care LLC has acquired a portfolio of four skilled nursing facilities that will spread its presence in Western Maryland.

Hopping house guests

Hopping house guests

Therapy animals and nursing homes seem to go hand in hand — or hand in paw. But a Utah veterans home has been making headlines for its practice of bringing some incredibly bouncy buddies into its halls.

Reader poll: What have you stopped doing since starting in long-term care?

"I no longer get old. I work with people 80, 90, 100 years old that are young at heart. It teaches you that you can have a vibrant and young perspective no matter what your age."

McKnight's Online Expo: 'Virtual' success is reality

McKnight's Online Expo: 'Virtual' success is reality

Think back to when you were 10 years old. You still had a big future ahead of you, but you had already seen a lot, you were on a roll and, wow, were you full of energy!

Results of rehospitalization reduction efforts 'promising', CMS says

Results of rehospitalization reduction efforts 'promising', CMS says

Early results of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' initiative to reduce hospitalizations among nursing home residents indicates a promising start to the program, CMS officials say.

Report: Succession planning, incentive compensation crucial as execs retire

A coming retirement wave among healthcare executives means organizations should focus on succession plans and incentive compensation, according to a new report.

American Diabetes Association releases first-ever guidelines for managing diabetes in LTC

Hypoglycemia and care transitions are among the topics in the first-ever guidelines relating to diabetes management in long-term care facilities.

Former SNF employee sentenced to 4 years for $170,000 resident theft

A former employee of a Massachusetts nursing home will serve up to four years in jail for stealing $170,000 from resident accounts.

Also in the News for Thursday, February 4

Medicare would pay more for telehealth services under new bill... New standard guides hazardous drug handling... Valium, Xanax won't increase seniors' dementia risk: study

California nursing home nurses DO win big in Powerball jackpot

California nursing home nurses DO win big in Powerball jackpot

It's not a prank: Thirteen nurses from a California nursing home were one number away from winning last month's record-setting $1.5 billion Powerball jackpot, but will still take home nearly $50,000 each. The news was confirmed by lottery officials.

Boosting Medicaid benefits, insurance attractiveness key in new LTC financing plan

Increasing Medicaid benefits for long-term services and making private long-term care insurance more attractive to consumers are among the changes proposed in a new plan for LTC financing.

Administrators sued, computer malfunction cited in nursing home resident death

A Minnesota county-owned nursing home, two administrators and an unidentified employee are being sued by the family of a former resident who say a lapse in care caused her aspiration and death.

Also in the News for Wednesday, February 3

AHCA urges Supreme Court to reject False Claims theory... New blood pressure guidelines dangerous for seniors, study says... Popular COPD drug criticized as ineffective

Providers wary of pay, care coordination aspects of chronic care proposal

Providers wary of pay, care coordination aspects of chronic care proposal

A set of proposed policies for chronic care may have "unintended consequences" on payment systems and create barriers to care coordination, say provider groups.

Jury awards $1.6 million to families in second round of nursing home abuse suits

A federal jury has recommended the former operator of an Oklahoma nursing home pay nearly $1.6 million to two families who say that he dodged paying the damages last year.

Fired employee sues SNF, claims race, sexual orientation discrimination

A former receptionist for a New York nursing home is suing the provider for $1.2 million, claiming he was fired from his job for being gay and Hispanic.

Also in the News for Tuesday, February 2

LTC workers have highest risk of workplace injury ... Infections cause more emergency room visits for seniors than heart attacks and heart failure combined ... CMS extends comment period for PAC spending draft again

State nursing homes receive money to raise wages

State nursing homes receive money to raise wages

The Massachusetts nursing home industry has pledged to raise worker wages as part of receiving an extra $30 million in state funding — but union officials want assurance the funds will hit front-line workers.

Groups urge Supreme Court to reject FCA provider liability theory

Professional associations are pushing for the Supreme Court to reject a "one-size-fits-all" liability theory under the False Claims Act when the court reviews the issue this year.

ACO evaluation should be based on region, not history, CMS says

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is considering changing its evaluation of accountable care organizations to be based on regional spending fee-for-service costs.

Also in the News for Monday, February 1

New bill targets healthcare-associated infections... Too few seniors tell doctors about memory loss... Nursing home resident dies after being attacked by fellow resident

State AG can use private law firms against nursing homes, court rules

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's office may continue using private law firms in consumer protection lawsuits against nursing homes, a state court ruled earlier this month.

Family of SNF resident who died after being found in trash bin sues facility

The family of a 73-year-old nursing home resident found near death in a garbage bin last week has now filed a lawsuit against the facility.

SNF reaches $50k settlement in disability discrimination suit

A South Carolina skilled nursing facility has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle claims that it fired a licensed practical nurse due to a disability that complicated her pregnancy.

Also in the News for Friday, January 29

Incontinence, depression medications may be overprescribed to residents with dementia ... Social worker charged with knocking down, kicking SNF resident on camera... New Medicaid rule: In-person physician visit required for home health services

Comment period extended for Medicare PAC spending draft

Comment period extended for Medicare PAC spending draft

The harshly criticized comment period for proposed Medicare post-acute spending measures has been extended through Friday, January 29.

Archdiocese of Philadelphia settles claims of substandard nursing home care

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has agreed to pay $80,000 and improve one of its skilled nursing facilities to settle allegations of poor resident care.

Zinc boosts immunity in seniors in nursing homes, study finds

A zinc supplement may help improve immunity for older adults living in nursing homes, according to a new study.

Also in the News for Thursday, January 28

Healthcare mergers, acquisitions hit all-time highs in 2015... Depression, diabetes have "J-shaped" relationship... Task force urges depression screenings for all adults

Dual eligible pilots proving pricey, time-consuming for states

Dual eligible pilots proving pricey, time-consuming for states

Many states are finding the "nuts and bolts" of coordinating care for dual eligible beneficiaries to be more costly and time consuming than they anticipated, according to a new report.

Care transitions, health literacy among leading readmission causes for minorities

Lack of communication about care transitions and limited health literacy are among the primary reasons minority patients are readmitted to the hospital, according to a new federal guide.

Officials urge state to support nursing homes if minimum wage reaches $15

A $15 minimum wage could force New York nursing homes and other providers to close, and officials are asking the state for help.

Also in the News for Wednesday, January 27

Obama proposal would relax rules for small business 401(k) plans... Drunk visitor charged with sexually abusing nursing home resident... Little evidence exists on how to stop elder abuse, review finds

Federal law doesn't override state decree: Family not bound by dead relative's OK for arbitration

Family members aren't compelled to arbitrate wrongful death cases in Kentucky when the deceased person alone signed the agreement, a court of appeals has ruled.

No 'midnight regulations' in last year of administration, feds say

There should not be any last-minute regulations in the last year of the Obama administration, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

New nurse walks through historic blizzard to get to work

A nurse who has been employed at a New York nursing home for six months fought her way on foot through a blizzard Saturday to make it to work.

Also in the News for Tuesday, Jan. 26

MN reports positive difference after nursing home salary boost ... Fines, provisional licenses for nursing homes spiked in PA in 2015, report finds .... Widespread flu activity reported in MD, MA and NC

'Messy' proposal for Medicare PAC spending alarms providers

The development of Medicare cost measures for post-acute care is moving too quickly to account for the complex nature of the issues, worried provider groups say.

CenterLight Healthcare will pay $47 million for Medicaid managed care fraud

New York-based managed long-term care organization CenterLight Healthcare has agreed to pay $47 million to settle claims that it fraudulently enrolled more than 1,200 Medicaid beneficiaries in a managed care plan they didn't qualify for.

Investigation launched after nursing home resident found dead in trash bin

Authorities are investigating the death of a Michigan nursing home resident found dead in a garbage bin behind the facility last week.

Also in the News for Monday, January 25

Extendicare dodges looming proxy battle with board shakeup... Controversial Medicaid drug rule may save CMS $2.7 billion... Boston SNF closure beats deadline for increased sale scrutiny

Senate committee releases EHR overhaul draft bill

Senate committee releases EHR overhaul draft bill

A star-rating system and Interoperability improvements for electronic health records are among the proposals in a draft bill released Wednesday by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Abuse caught on hidden camera nets nursing assistant 5-month sentence

A former certified nursing assistant was sentenced this week to five months in jail and five years of probation for the abuse of a nursing home resident that was captured by a hidden camera.

Number of Americans living past 100 jumps 44%

The number of American centenarians — people who live past 100 years old — has increased by 44% since 2000, according to federal health officials.

Also in the News for Friday, January 22

Blood test may predict when antibiotics won't help... Death risk for frail seniors increases after surgery... Pharma companies call for help in fight against 'superbugs'

Long-term care background check program off to slow start, OIG says

Long-term care background check program off to slow start, OIG says

A federal initiative that provides states with grants to implement background check programs is off to a sluggish start, according to a new government report.

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