What may appear to be minor administrative problems in a nursing home - a fax machine locked away at night or no one designated to copy paperwork - can cause major headaches in care transitions, a geriatrician warned in a webinar Thursday. "The most minute things can ruin a good transition," said James Lett II, M.D., a geriatrician and past president of the American Medical Directors Association - The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.
Fourteen long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania dramatically increased their staff flu vaccination rate by having a regional pharmacy take over the process, according to a report issued Thursday by the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHQR).
Medicare Recovery Audit Contractors dramatically stepped up their overpayment recoveries last year, returning nearly $487 million more to the government than they did in 2012, according to a new report from a federal watchdog agency.
Two infectious conditions common in long-term care settings — septicemia and urinary tract infections — were among the top causes of hospital readmissions for Medicare beneficiaries in 2011, according to recently released data.
Long-term care pharmacy company PharMerica has agreed to pay about $213,000 to settle charges that it dispensed medications without prescriptions and committed other breaches of the Controlled Substances Act, federal authorities announced Wednesday.
Chronic underfunding of the Older Americans Act is leading to unnecessary long-term care facility admissions, Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT) and 26 of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate said in a recent letter to Appropriations Committee leaders.
The American Hospital Association and other hospital groups have sued the federal government over the so-called "two-midnight rule," which was designed in part to ease access to skilled nursing services. The rule undermines the judgments of physicians and other clinicians, the hospital associations stated in their complaint, filed Monday in U.S. District Court.
Medicare beneficiaries would be paid to create advance directives and store them in an easy-access system if a recently proposed Senate bill were to become law.
Nursing home residents with severe multiple sclerosis report being less tense and pessimistic than similar individuals receiving care at home, according to recently published research findings.
Long-term care facilities have reduced antipsychotic medication use by more than 15% through a large-scale initiative, according to a new report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. That means it's time to set a more ambitious goal, a subgroup says.
Updated fire safety regulations could encourage more home-like healthcare environments while increasing security to safeguard against wandering, according to a proposed rule announced Monday.
A woman visiting her mother at an assisted living facility in Kansas was gunned down in the parking lot Sunday, in what authorities are describing as a hate crime.
Advanced certified nursing assistants — with specialized skills in care transitions, dementia and other areas — could become important staff leaders in long-term care facilities through newly proposed federal legislation. The "Improving Care for Vulnerable Older Citizens through Workforce Advancement Act of 2014" was introduced Thursday by Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).
Skilled nursing facilities' occupancy rate continued to tick up in the first three months of 2014, while absorption flipped into positive territory for the first time in almost a decade, according to the latest quarterly figures from the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry.
Providers will have to report certain hospice quality measures to the federal government starting July 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services formally announced in a recent Federal Register notice.
Out of various quality measures, pressure ulcer prevalence in particular predicts whether a nursing home will readmit residents to the hospital, according to newly published findings in HSR: Health Services Research.
To meet an increasingly urgent need, Congress should earmark $200 million to expand the number of geriatric care workers. This was the case that 26 House members made in a recent letter Appropriations Committee leaders.
Nursing homes could do a better job of keeping residents with dementia out of the hospital during their last year of life, suggests recently published findings in Health Affairs.
Kathleen Sebelius is resigning as head of the Department of Health and Human Services, White House officials confirmed to news outlets Thursday.
The average price paid for a skilled nursing facility bed reached a record $73,300 in 2013, according to a recently released annual report published by Irving Levin Associates.
Long-term care providers and residents now can glean insights into where their local doctors stack up nationally by referring to newly released data on Medicare physician payments. For the first time ever, the government made this information publicly available Wednesday.
The U.S. national strategy for tackling dementia fails to address late-stage transitions into long-term care facilities from a person's home or the hospital, according to a recently published analysis in Health Affairs.
Providers cannot use an online service that involves money for referrals within its network, federal regulars now say, reversing course on an advisory opinion issued three years ago. The edict came from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.
The son of a nursing home resident says he found a photo of a male stripper gyrating above his 86-year-old mother, and was told it reflected part of an "entertainment event" for residents. That has led to a lawsuit against East Neck Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in West Bablyon, NY.
A lack of oversight into nursing home investigations in Los Angeles County has caused a backlog of thousands of complaints, including 945 complaints that have been open for more than two years, according to an audit from the Los Angeles County Auditor-Controller.
Skilled nursing facilities stand to lose substantial sums of money as they increasingly do business with managed care plans, unless a coordinator is on top of exclusions and other contract elements, a prominent healthcare consultant told an audience Monday at the American College of Health Care Administrators annual meeting.
The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General spent $75 million on Medicaid oversight during the last fiscal year, a 4% increase over fiscal 2012, according to a new report.
Operators in two regional areas in Connecticut as well as two areas in New York are among those with the highest charges in the country for a private nursing home room, according to a new study from New York Life.
Registered nurses who default on a student loan or fail to pay taxes could put a skilled nursing facility in the crosshairs of federal fraud investigators, a compliance expert told an audience Sunday at the American College of Health Care Administrators annual meeting in Las Vegas.
The skilled nursing facility survey process is failing to ensure resident safety and needs to be improved, two prominent senators said in a recent letter to the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Thousands of people receiving long-term care in Michigan have had their personal information compromised due to a laptop and flash drive theft, the state's Department of Community Health (MDCH) has announced.
The deadly tornado that destroyed a Missouri nursing home three years ago showed that long-term care facilities need to have specially designed shelter areas, says a recently released government report. The one-story, wood-frame Greenbriar Nursing Home structure — built in the mid-1960s — was totally leveled, the report states. Workers and residents followed protocol by sheltering in inner hallways to avoid flying glass, the NIST found. However, the attempt to remain safe was futile.
Negligent care resulted in a dramatic outbreak of hepatitis C at an HCR ManorCare nursing home in North Dakota last year, residents allege in a federal lawsuit filed Wednesday.
Seniors now are eligible to receive premium-free Medicare Part A coverage if they are married to someone of the same sex, the Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday.
The median annual cost of a private nursing home room in the United States has increased to $87,600, according to the latest annual survey from insurance company Genworth. This represents a 4.4% increase from a year ago.
A California nursing home is facing a federal lawsuit over charges that it did not pay workers overtime and fired an employee for cooperating with investigators, according to local news reports.
Seniors are completing advance directives in record numbers, but this is not having the expected effect of shifting people from hospitals to hospices in their last days, say researchers from the University of Michigan and the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System.
A Republican budget plan unveiled in the House of Representatives Tuesday would slash healthcare spending by $732 billion over the next decade, in part by reengineering Medicaid. The proposed changes could jeopardize benefits for a huge number of nursing home residents, critics said.
Long-term care facilities should have specified amounts of fuel and supplies on hand as part of a forthcoming regulation on disaster preparedness, a prominent consumer advocacy group argues.
Diabetic foot ulcers and other chronic wounds might heal more quickly if they are exposed to gentle vibrations, suggests new research from the University of Illinois-Chicago and Stony Brook University in New York.
A long-term care facility slapped with a civil monetary penalty has a chance for an independent informal dispute resolution, according to new manual guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Even with advance directives in place, family members making decisions for end-stage dementia patients struggle with the trajectory of the condition, suggests a small study out of Virginia Commonwealth University.
Everything Mary Leary needed to know about tenacity and resilience, she learned at home. Her father lived a full life despite injuries from World War II that left him fully disabled and forced him to relearn how to walk and talk.
Long-term care providers might want to get themselves an Acki to help locate residents who wander from the premises. No, Acki is not the name of a brand new electronic monitoring system. Acki is a German shepherd.
Cultivating motivation in the rehab therapy setting comes down to pushing the right buttons at the right time — and knowing when to stop pushing.
A tsunami of information has skilled nursing facilities searching for ways to shore up against the deluge that could wash over the long-term care industry
Sometimes in business — and particularly in the long-term care business — it can be useful to see things from a fresh, unexpected perspective.
A funny thing happened on the way to a semi-annual eye rolling about a MedPAC report. It contained some information that could make long-term care providers happy.
As my dear mother used to say, it's a rare cloud that doesn't offer some kind of silver lining.
Monitoring in caregiving is getting more "personal" than ever. We live in the age of watchers, pitting privacy issues against vested interests in security. Technological advances have greatly enhanced resident monitoring, but they have also added new challenges. Solutions call for a delicate balance between automation and personal freedom.
How can we make sure we don't have registered sex offenders working or volunteering for us? What if they lie to us about it?
A federal appeals court has ruled that a government contractor may justifiably calculate the amount a provider owes for Medicare overpayments by conducting a limited audit and then extrapolating from those findings.
A recent $4 million legal settlement over kickbacks for anemia drug Aranesp is small change compared to other recent deals Omnicare has made with federal authorities. News of these payouts hasn't escaped long-term care pharmacy investors, some of whom filed their own charges against the pharmacy provider, launching a case that is now set to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
PENNSYLVANIA - The state's nursing home operators say they are approaching fiscal disaster as facilities look at razor-thin margins half the national average.
» HIMSS Analytics alleged that too many providers rely on outdated and inefficient practices to back up and archive resident-related information. The organization surveyed 150 senior IT professionals nationwide. They found that processes tend to be inconsistent when it comes to safeguarding data and meeting long-term compliance requirements.
Leaders at Wellington Healthcare noticed that when residents needed a doctor, nurses were text messaging physicians to request a call. Security concerns prevented the long-term care staff from texting more detailed resident information.
The procrastination is over for the conversion to ICD-10 coding. After the third postponement of the start date last year, officials are adamant about starting the new format Oct. 1.
» Country Villa Health Services, which operates 19 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities in California, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Pending class-action lawsuits and cash flow problems led to the filing, chief executive Stephen Reissman told The Wall Street Journal. The company faces seven class action suits, some labor related and some alleging improper care. The company intends to keep its facilities open while it reorganizes.
The Ensign Group's annual results for 2013 came in just under management's guidance for the first time in the company's history, the provider announced.
Brookdale Senior Living is poised to become the largest senior living provider in the country, through a $2.8 billion acquisition of Seattle-based Emeritus Corp.
We were told we didn't meet technical requirements for Medicare. What does that mean?
Long-term care staffers' understanding of the Minimum Data Set and its Quality Indicators is "mediocre at best," according to recent survey results. Lack of exposure and involvement are key reasons why nurse aides especially feel they are out of the loop.
Federal investigators recovered more than $10 million in incorrect Medicaid payments made to nursing homes in 2013, an annual review shows.
What is ICD-10? What does this mean for nurses?
Certified nursing assistants who work in long-term care are put in severe postures for their shoulders and elbows at night, and for their neck during the day, according to a new study.
The American Medical Director's Association has a new name and will now allow nurse practitioners and physician's assistants full membership.
Can you give me some guidelines regarding when I should start negative pressure wound therapy and when it should be discontinued?
Diabetes is the co-morbid condition most strongly associated with the development of pressure ulcers in nursing home residents, according to an analysis of existing research.
A new drug nearly doubled the diabetic foot-ulcer healing rate in a recent clinical trial, which researchers are touting as a potential breakthrough in wound care.
We have quite a few residents on INRs (with a diagnosis of Atrial Fibrillation) that we cannot regulate as hard as we try. Do you have any suggestions we should look at?
Clinicians treating people older than 50 with HIV now have a new resource.
Men over 60 who self-report memory problems may be predicting later cognitive impairment, new research finds.
Q: What motivated the recent decision to extend AMDA membership to nurse practitioners? A: The last set of stats that I saw, about 25% of visits in nursing homes are done by nurse practitioners. This trend has been increasing over the last four to six years. We understand that in certain parts of the country, physicians might not be readily available. My take is it doesn't really matter who does the work, as long as someone qualified is providing the services.
A large number of rehabilitation patients seek hospital care shortly after being discharged from a nursing facility, according to recent research.
In every White House budget, there are winners and losers. Unfortunately for providers, long-term care again falls into the latter category. All told, President Obama's $3.9 trillion spending plan for fiscal year 2015 would cut funding for healthcare by $402 billion over the next decade.
A new blood test reveals with 90% accuracy which people will develop Alzheimer's disease or mild dementia within three years, according to study results in Nature Medicine.
Nursing home staffing levels have not been definitively linked to better care, according to an analysis published in JAMDA.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials said they consider the upcoming Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement guidelines, not harsher penalties, as the better way to reduce adverse events in post-acute care.
Long-term care providers are applauding a pause in the Medicare recovery audit contractor program.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is asking for $49 million more in its next budget, largely to expand long-term care inspection programs.
Presidents usually release budgets for reasons that have less to do with spreadsheets than legacies. President Obama's fiscal year 2015 spending plan is no different. The $3.9 trillion proposal offers a partisan blueprint for improving jobs, the economy and the nation's long-term fiscal outlook.
Both houses of Congress now have passed legislation to tie skilled nursing facility Medicare reimbursements to hospital readmissions, starting in 2018. The Senate approved the "Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014" in a 64 to 35 vote Monday evening. Prominent long-term care provider associations LeadingAge and the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living supported the bill.
An expert panel convened by federal regulators has offered recommendations for functional status quality measures in skilled nursing facilities. Released Friday was a summary of the experts' advice to create a functional status quality measure in SNFs, as well as inpatient rehabilitation facilities and long-term care hospitals.
Stroke survivors have "enormous" palliative care needs, and healthcare providers should ensure they can provide these services, according to a scientific statement released Friday by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.
A bill linking skilled nursing facilities' Medicare payments to hospital readmissions passed the House of Representatives Thursday, through a voting method that provoked outrage from some legislators. The measure also would extend the ICD-10 transition period and prevent a looming physician pay cut.
Nurses' job performance and health are better when they can work the shifts that they want, suggests recently published findings from a large European study.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services needs to do a better job of ensuring that terminated Medicaid providers in a particular state, including skilled nursing facilities, don't reappear in another state, according to a new government report.
Long-term care professionals are in for a second day of great insights at the McKnight's Online Expo. Attention will turn to finding capital and preparing for surveys, after the event kicked off Wednesday with informative sessions on MDS 3.0 changes, technology and wound care.
Skilled nursing facilities could see reimbursements tied to their number of hospital readmissions starting in 2018, under Medicare legislation announced by House and Senate leaders Wednesday. The bill also would delay the transition to the ICD-10 coding system for a year and prevent scheduled payment cuts to physicians.
Medicare recovery audit contractors collected about $8,000 in fiscal year 2012 through a skilled nursing facility claims review pilot, according to a recently released annual report to Congress.
Today's the day: Long-term care professionals, top vendors and subject matter experts are convening for the eighth annual McKnight's Online Expo. Minimum Data Set changes, technology adoption and wound care practices are the topics on tap in the virtual conference rooms, while the online exhibition hall will feature 15 vendor booths.
An updated quality measure would paint a fairer picture of nursing homes' antipsychotic prescribing practices, say researchers at Miami University in Ohio and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
Hidden camera footage has led to felony and misdemeanor charges against 10 caregivers at a skilled nursing facility in New York, the state's attorney general announced Monday. The accused caregivers work at a facility that recently took in a number of displaced residents from a nursing home under the same ownership, which is closing due to quality of care issues.
Post-acute providers now can refer to four new Minimum Data Set training videos from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which answer frequently asked questions and clarify tricky items related to a variety of codes.
Residents of long-term care facilities who are cognitively impaired and on feeding tubes have high numbers of potentially preventable emergency room visits and hospitalizations, according to newly published research findings.
Hospitals and post-acute facilities in Washington state have cut their rate of Clostridium difficile infections in half since 2012 by partnering with each other in a robust infection control program, according to local news reports.
The long-term care sector is poised to see better merger and acquisition activities than in past years thanks to a confluence of factors, according to a new report from professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Continuing care retirement communities don't create the same problem of isolation as skilled nursing facilities, according to new guidance on a recently finalized Medicaid regulation.
Federal authorities have agreed to a $1.2 million settlement that would bring a long and complex case of nursing home embezzlement to a close, according to news reports from Rhode Island.
Public reporting of physical restraint use in nursing homes caused a spike in the use of antipsychotic medications to control residents' dementia symptoms, according to a recently published analysis. These results suggest that policymakers should consider unintended negative consequences of publicly reporting quality measures, the researchers emphasized.