Medicaid Fraud Control Units recovered about $10.3 million from nursing facilities in fiscal year 2013, according to an annual report issued Friday. Civil fraud settlements and judgments accounted for the majority of nursing home recoveries last fiscal year, the report showed.
Long-term care stakeholders generally support proposed regulations on background checks of direct care workers, according to an informational memorandum issued Friday by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
A new blood test that predicts the onset of Alzheimer's disease and mild dementia could lead to more effective management and even prevention of these conditions, according to newly published research.
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission discussed equalizing reimbursements for different post-acute providers but did not issue a formal recommendation at a meeting last week. This was the second time in recent months that MedPAC has taken up the topic of reimbursing skilled nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation facilities at the same level for certain services.
People with complex needs could find themselves squeezed out of the most appropriate long-term care settings as Medicaid beneficiaries become enrolled in programs from private sector companies, The New York Times reported in a lengthy Page 1 examination of the subject Friday.
Long-term care providers seeking to leverage new technology are part of a much larger trend: 86% of global healthcare CEOs believe that tech will fundamentally transform the sector in the next five years, according to a new survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services sees the upcoming Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement guidelines, not harsher penalties, as the way to reduce adverse events in post-acute care, officials said on an Open Door Forum call Thursday.
Providers' complaints about the so-called "two-midnight rule" for determining hospital inpatient status have led to a new bipartisan bill in the U.S. Senate, which would create less rigid guidelines.
The West Virginia Supreme Court will consider the distinction between corporate negligence and medical negligence as it weighs a $90 million verdict against an HCR ManorCare facility, according to reports on oral arguments that took place Wednesday.
A resident and her daughter died of gunshot wounds in an apparent murder-suicide at a skilled nursing facility in San Francisco, according to local authorities.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case alleging that the nation's largest long-term care pharmacy, Omnicare, broke the law by keeping potential investors in the dark about kickbacks to nursing homes, the high court announced Monday.
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.
The White House's proposed 2015 budget includes sharp cuts to skilled nursing facility reimbursements, which has drawn strong criticism from the nation's largest long-term care provider group. To cut federal spending on healthcare by $402 billion, the White House seeks to "encourage efficient post-acute care by adjusting payment updates for certain post-acute providers."
The federal government is on the verge of tightening access to Vicodin and similar types of painkillers by moving the drugs from Schedule III to Schedule II classification. Long-term care providers have protested this change, saying it will make it more difficult to manage residents' pain.
A New York nursing home that accommodated a racist resident by barring black workers from certain areas of the facility has entered into a legal settlement, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday.
About 22% of Medicare beneficiaries experienced an adverse event during a post-hospitalization skilled nursing facility stay in fiscal year 2011, and the majority of these events were preventable, according to a newly released government report. Post-acute provider groups said many initiatives to lower this percentage already are underway.
Frontline staff in long-term care facilities generally do not have a firm grasp on Minimum Data Set Quality Indicators, largely due to a lack of involvement with the MDS, according to a recently published survey.
Long-term care facilities should have written plans for how they will track residents during evacuations, according to an updated emergency preparedness checklist from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
A bill in the House of Representatives would create a safe harbor system to reduce malpractice lawsuits against Medicare and Medicaid providers, and it would give providers the right to request state-level suits move to federal court.
Omnicare, the nation's largest long-term care pharmacy, has reached a $4 million settlement agreement over allegations that the company conspired with a pharmaceutical company to switch nursing home residents to the anemia drug Aranesp, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday.
Nursing home residents who have diabetes and chronic kidney disease are commonly given medications that are not in keeping with best practice guidelines or prescribing information, according to recently published research.
Diabetes is the co-morbid condition most strongly associated with the development of pressure ulcers in nursing home residents, according to a new analysis of existing research.
Q: How did senior housing perform in the last quarter of 2013? A: The numbers overall were good, in terms of continued recovery and strength of market fundamentals. In particular, occupancy was up again, with very strong absorption. It's especially strong in independent living, and that's been a trend in the last year or so.
Relatives of dying residents make it harder to provide high-quality end-of-life care, according to a majority of long-term care professionals surveyed.
Healthcare professionals should consider a "bare below the elbows" approach of short-sleeved tops and foregoing a wristwatch, jewelry or ties, according to guidance released in late January from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.
Injectable drugs ranibizumab (Lucentis) and bevacizumab (Avastin) help prevent nursing home admissions among those with age-related wet macular degeneration, according to findings in JAMA Ophthalmology.
Real-time video used in therapy sessions could help stroke survivors rehabilitate more quickly, according to researchers.
The universal problem of how providers can best prepare for regulator inspections will be one of five key topics covered in McKnight's Online Expo educational sessions March 26-27.
Nursing homes could improve the comfort and dignity of residents who are dying by following practices common in home-based hospice care, according to the results of a large-scale trial.
Each nursing home resident assessment takes five hours on average for a Minimum Data Set or nurse coordinator to finish, according to survey results from the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination.
Government investigators will issue a report on skilled nursing facilities' Medicare Part A billing practices later this year, according to the latest annual work plan from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General.
For those who work with Medicare beneficiaries, Judith Stein is a well-known powerhouse. Since founding the Center for Medicare Advocacy in 1986, she's led numerous major cases involving Medicare denials.
After chaplain Alex Treitler began leading services for people with dementia, he quickly realized things weren't going well. He says those with dementia found it hard to engage with the "traditional Lutheran communion service model"— and so Treitler, the organization director for spiritual care at AugustanaCare, went to work.
LTC laundry operations handle thousands of items each week; operations have to be right-sized to protect linens and machines — and the bottom line
Prompt treatment and novel therapies hasten wound healing, but steady (even if slow) is still the overall goal when it comes to keeping wounds free from infection
On a scale of A to 17, with one being "Always" and red being "Parsnips," how would you rate your experience with customer satisfaction surveys? I'm sure most of you use them, though I haven't done a survey to back that up.
As a parent looking at options for a high school student about to enter college, I know why it seems like everyone talks about the high cost of education. It is high.
Conventional wisdom can be a reassuring thing. But sometimes it can be flat-out wrong. Consider 94-year-old Olga Kotelko.
I always get a kick out of doing my year in review. Did I meet my personal and professional goals? Did our clients improve their outcomes? Were new relationships established and old ones strengthened?
French method used to enhance dining experiences, and menu choices, at south Florida continuing care retirement community
Cynicism and "emotional exhaustion" are the strongest predictors of nursing home administrator turnover, according to doctoral research by a former administrator. Misaligned personal and corporate values also lead to turnover.
Deciding on, preparing for and implementing electronic health records requires a great deal of time, patience and collaboration. But a carefully executed implementation will reap dividends years down the road. Experts offer providers their best personal advice for smooth, effective EHR acquisition, installation and use.
» American HealthTech has launched comprehensive ICD-10 educational and support resources, available to its customer base via its MyHealthTech portal. Resources include an ICD-10 training schedule, webinar series, monthly e-newsletter, spotlight website and personal support services, plus setting up meetings with customers.
Big pharmaceutical companies are exploring "brand personality" in their marketing strategies, according to new research.
Just like the markets for skilled nursing and assisted living, demand for sensors in home care is expected to jump in the next five years.
8th Annual McKnight's Online Expo brings national experts, continuing education credits, vendor booths and more straight to your desktop, or wherever you connect to the Internet
A family has accused one of our aides of abuse. We investigated the accusation and determined it's not true, but the family keeps making accusations and wants her arrested. What can we do to protect our employee and ourselves?
Despite meeting criteria for "irreparable injury," a Rochester, NY-based skilled nursing facility that is appealing Medicare and Medicaid termination can't qualify for a stay of termination, a federal judge has ruled.
An Illinois hospice company owner was charged with Medicare and Medicaid fraud after allegedly falsifying levels of care.
Allegheny Lutheran Social Ministries faced a challenge common to operators of continuing care retirement communities: How to offer emergency response services for independent living residents while maximizing their autonomy and dignity.
» Gregory L. Alexander, Ph.D. will address "How tech tools are changing the face of LTC," at an upcoming webinar. The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. (Eastern) on March 26. This presentation is part of the McKnight's Online Expo. Attendees will be eligible to earn up to five free NAB-approved continuing education credits at the expo. To register, visit www.mcknights.com/expo2014.
In the 10 years since the Bush Administration launched its healthcare interoperability initiative by creating the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, a lot of progress has been made toward the goal of an interconnected healthcare continuum.
HAWAII — One of the most expensive states in the country for long-term care is staring down the barrel of dwindling budgets and a rapidly growing elderly population. Officials are taking proactive measures to ensure adequate funding and better engage aging residents.
» Catholic Health will sell three of its seven long-term care facilities to Comprehensive Healthcare Management, according to local reports. A price has not been finalized for the three facilities in the area around Buffalo, NY. Catholic Health's remaining LTC facilities will be aligned more closely with the company's hospitals, reports stated. CHM is based on Long Island, NY.
Brookdale Senior Living is revisiting its benefits policies for same-sex couples after an employee filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in January. The worker alleged that Brookdale denied health benefits to her wife after the couple got married in Connecticut.
Companies in the post-acute sector have been seeking deals to diversify their services and limit their reliance on Medicare, according to a recent analysis from investment banking firm TripleTree.
What are the financial benefits to implementing CMS's Quality Assurance Performance Improvement program?
A long-term care provider that requested clearance for a system of paying an agency to refer patients is in the clear.
Providers who want to have an administrative law judge consider a Medicare claim appeal can save their breath and memos for now.
What are some of the things we can do to prevent infections?
As long-term caregivers wind down winter and its accompanying illnesses, a new review indicates that hand washing and zinc might help prevent the common cold.
Newly licensed registered nurses are less likely to work in hospitals and more likely to be hired in a nursing home, says a new analysis in the American Journal of Nursing.
I am a registered nurse and very interested in wound care. I understand that there are some general "wound healing principles." Can you explain?
While people of color appear less likely to develop skin conditions such as foot ulcers and cancers, they are far from immune, experts insist. A new study provides recommendations for the prevention and early detection of skin cancer in people of color based on a review of available data.
Poor wound healing can lead to amputations, or worse. New findings have helped unearth what happens to tiny blood vessels in the body to slow wound healing in diabetics.
I heard there was communication to surveyors on being required to cite the regulation and not the interpretive guidance. Where can I find this?
Female long-term care residents at a high risk for urinary tract infections who took cranberry capsules twice a day substantially lowered their risk, according to a new study.
Nearly half of hospitalized seniors facing a major treatment decision require help from family members, a new study finds.
Clinicians should prescribe cholinesterase inhibitors very cautiously and suspend use if dementia symptoms aren't reduced within 12 weeks, according to new "Choosing Wisely" recommendations from the American Geriatrics Society.
Long-term care providers can refer to newly released materials about looming ICD-10 testing and the overall transition to the new coding system, but they should not expect any delay in the Oct. 1 transition date, according to the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Federal investigators have been looking into Medicaid billing practices at senior living giant Emeritus Corp. for more than a year. Investigative journalism outlet ProPublica first reported the story Thursday, and an Emeritus spokeswoman confirmed to McKnight's that the probe is occurring.
Devastating out-of-pocket costs for long-term dementia care are likely to hit a relatively small proportion of families in the coming years, but many families will experience minor costs, an expert told a Senate committee Wednesday.
Of the nation's five most populous metropolitan areas, Houston has by far the fewest top quality nursing homes, according to new rankings released by U.S. News and World Report.
Elderly patients taking antipsychotics should be carefully monitored, especially after they first start taking the medication, due to a higher risk of hospitalization, a new study finds.
A Catholic long-term care provider is claiming freedom of speech and religious freedom violations in a much-anticipated legal appeal over the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate.
A whistleblower exposed disturbing drug packaging practices being used by long-term care pharmacy Omnicare Inc., but the charges don't fall under the False Claims Act, a federal appeals court recently ruled.
For-profit hospices serve more extended-stay hospice patients than nonprofits, and are much more likely to file claims that exceed Medicare's aggregate annual cap for the hospice benefit, according to newly published findings.
As part of a generally mishandled response after an aide raped a resident, a director at a Minnesota senior living facility defended the rapist and tarred the victim as a "flirt," according to allegations in court documents obtained by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Consistently assigning nursing home aides to particular residents could cause the aides to feel isolated and overburdened, suggests a study forthcoming in the Western Journal of Nursing Research. However, a prominent voice in the nursing home culture change movement says the study simply shows that providers must adhere to best practices to see the benefits of consistent assignment.
Nursing homes could save money by utilizing multi-disciplinary teams for pressure ulcer treatment, although these teams may not improve clinical outcomes, according to recently published research.
Nursing home residents do not eat much more when their family members are present at mealtimes, even though caregivers provide more assistance, according to recently published study results.
A jury recently slapped Kindred Healthcare with a $2 million verdict in a resident abuse case that turned on testimony from medical experts, attorneys announced Thursday.
People who are vaccinated against the seasonal influenza are 24% less likely to suffer a stroke during that flu season, according to recently published research out of the United Kingdom.
A Seattle physician has admitted that he filed hundreds of fraudulent Medicare claims for nursing home services, including some claims for residents who were deceased, according to news reports.
Brookdale Senior Living and Emeritus Senior Living will merge through a $2.8 billion deal, in a move that Brookdale CEO T. Andrew Smith said will be "transformative for the industry." The expanded Brookdale will consist of more than 1,100 communities in 46 states, making it the nation's largest senior living company, executives said.
Long-term care stakeholders are praising the government's decision to temporarily pause the recovery audit contractor program, which is associated with a huge backlog of Medicare claims appeals.
Brookdale Senior Living and Emeritus Senior Living will merge in a $2.8 billion deal, creating a new behemoth in the long-term care sector, the companies announced today.
Among people eligible for Medicaid but not Medicare, long-term care residents are most likely to be among the costliest beneficiaries for a state, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) requested the report, noting that much research has focused on those eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare, but has largely overlooked the Medicaid-only group.
An antidepressant drug could help relieve agitation symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, reducing reliance on antipsychotic medications, according to recently published study results.
A new transmittal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services provides details about its four-part approach to implementing ICD-10 codes for Medicare fee-for-service claims. Medicare providers will be required to use these codes for dates of service on and after Oct. 1, 2014.
For the eighth year, the McKnight's Online Expo is set to deliver practical, timely information to long-term care providers at an unbeatable price point. The 2014 Expo, taking place March 26 and 27, will include five webcasts from LTC leaders.
A large number of rehabilitation patients seek hospital care shortly after being discharged from a nursing facility, according to recently published research.
Documents posted to a file-sharing website could have been used to steal medical record and credit card information from three nursing homes in New York state, according to a Tuesday report in the Wall Street Journal.
Despite some high-profile reports, nursing home staffing levels have not been definitively linked to better care, according to a recently published analysis of research on the topic.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has issued a call for additional providers to take part in a bundled payment program that involves post-acute care.
A government contractor can calculate how much money a provider owes for Medicare overpayments by doing a limited audit and then extrapolating from those findings, a federal appeals court recently affirmed.
Long-term care advocates anxious about the stalled Medicare claim appeals process were not soothed after a forum with government officials Wednesday. Last month, providers learned that new appeals to administrative law judges would not be heard for at least two years.
Nearly half of post-acute providers anticipate they will be acquired by an organization with better technological capabilities in 2015, according to survey results released today.
The Senate has passed a bill to extend 2% cuts to Medicare reimbursements for an additional year, and the measure now is headed to the White House for President Obama's signature.
McKnight's will not publish its Daily Update on Monday, Feb. 17, in honor of Presidents Day. We will resume our regular publishing schedule on Tuesday, Feb. 18.