CMS lowers pay hike for skilled nursing facilities to 1.2%

Medicare skilled nursing facilities would get a net 1.2% pay increase — totaling $430 million — in fiscal 2016 under a final rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services late Thursday.

EEOC sues assisted living facility, claiming illegal firing of immigrants

A Denver assisted living facility is being sued for allegedly discriminating against employees who immigrated from African countries.

House legislation would bring change of PACE

Legislation that would allow for new changes to the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) program was introduced in the House this week.

Final hours to enter in McKnight's Tech Awards!

The final call is here: All entries for the 2015 McKnight's Excellence in Technology Awards must be in by 11:59 p.m. tonight.

Also in the News for July 31

Medicare Part D premiums to remain stable ... Seniors receive mental health prescriptions at twice the rate of others ... Insulin resistance may increase risk for Alzheimer's

Sunrise will go to trial on liability case

Sunrise will go to trial on liability case

Sunrise Senior Living Inc. will face trial on whether it can be held liable for the alleged negligence of its subsidiary.

Common medications inflate risks for serious falls in older men, study shows

Older men taking a particular group of commonly used medications have a higher risk of getting injured from a fall, according to a study published in the latest Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

McKnight's Tech Awards deadline is this Friday

Providers must submit their 2015 McKnight's Excellence in Technology Awards applications by the extended deadline of 11:59 p.m. Friday (July 31).

Also in the News for July 30

National Institutes of Health requests $1.06 billion for Alzheimer's research... Hospice owner given three years in prison for Medicare fraud... Seniors' coffee habits may increase cognitive impairment risk

Skilled nursing, CCRC spending being driven to new heights — moderately: report

Skilled nursing, CCRC spending being driven to new heights — moderately: report

The rapid growth of America's aging population will cause long-term care spending to continue to climb over the next 10 years, reaffirmed the latest Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service's National Health Expenditures report.

Senate unanimously passes NOTICE Act, president's signature next

Legislation that would change the appointment of "observation status" for hospital patients was passed by the Senate on Tuesday, and will now be sent to the president to be signed into law.

Michigan home healthcare owners convicted in $33M Medicare fraud

Two Michigan home healthcare agency owners were convicted of various offenses for their participation in a $33 million Medicare fraud scheme, government officials announced.

Also in the News for Wednesday, July 29

New FDA-approved cholesterol drug costs $14,600 a year ... Data shows drastic decline in PA nursing home enforcement actions ... FL woman arrested for running unlicensed AL facility in her home

McKnight's wins two national 'Azbee' awards

McKnight's wins two national 'Azbee' awards

McKnight's Long-Term Care News earned two national awards at the 2015 American Society of Business Publication Editors awards presentation on Friday in New York.

Alzheimer's misdiagnoses running up big Medicare bills

Medicare beneficiaries who receive a misdiagnosis of Alzheimer's could amass between $9,500 and $14,000 in additional medical costs each year until they are correctly diagnosed, according to a new study.

Healthcare workers rank selves high in 'most meaningful' jobs list

A majority of the jobs with both high annual pay and high job meaning are in the healthcare industry, according to an interactive chart from PayScale, a compensation data website.

Also in the News for Tuesday, July 28

Emergency transport times for stroke patients criticized ... AHCA/NCAL announces winners of 2015 LTC Awards ... Seniors who stop driving 'five times more likely' to be admitted to an LTC facility

Hospice care varies from assisted living, home settings: study

Assisted living residents starting hospice care may be closer to death than people receiving the same care at home, new research has found.

Eye drops could help clear cataracts without surgery

Eye drops containing a natural chemical could help seniors avoid cataract surgery, according to new research

Nursing assistant posers steal thousands from NC nursing homes: Police

Two North Carolina senior living facilities have turned over surveillance footage of women dressed as nursing assistants and then stealing residents' jewelry, a local news station reported.

Also in the News for Monday, July 27

Jeb Bush wants to "phase out" Medicare ... Dementia risk may decrease by generation ... Pharmacy owner pleads guilty to assisting in $1.8M Medicare fraud

Nursing home executive director salaries up 2.16%, report finds

Nursing home executive director salaries up 2.16%, report finds

Nursing supervisors saw the largest boost in salary among nursing home employees this year.

GAO: Improvements needed on CMS screening procedures

Enrollment screenings for Medicare beneficiaries are weak, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services needs to improve verifying provider practice locations and physician licensure statuses, according to a new federal report.

Hospitals need to improve delirium detection, research shows

Hospital emergency departments need to improve their delirium detection, according to researchers from the Indiana University Center for Aging Research.

Also in the News for Friday, July 24

Seniors are retiring to states where marijuana is legal... Antibiotics may lower effect of popular blood thinners... Three new Alzheimer's drugs show promise

Court dismisses lawsuit from imperiled nursing home

An Oklahoma nursing home can't appeal the termination of its Medicare and Medicaid provider services agreement without exhausting its administrative appeals, a federal court ruled this week.

State bill geared toward preventing healthcare workplace violence

The Massachusetts Nurses Association is advocating for a state bill that would require healthcare providers to develop and implement programs to prevent workplace violence.

Tempe joins the 'dementia-friendly' city project

A city in Arizona has been named "Alzheimer's and dementia-friendly" by the White House, The Arizona Republic reported Tuesday.

Also in the News for Thursday, July 23

The Board of Trustees for Medicare issues annual report ... Assisted living manager faces theft charges ... Pain assessment and management is crucial for SNF transition, researchers say ... Older Americans may face $140,000 in LTC costs

Nursing facility agrees to $97,500 Disability Act settlement

A Virginia long-term care provider reached a settlement this week after complaints that it discriminated against deaf relatives of one of its residents, the Department of Justice has announced.

Cognitive impairment progresses faster in women, study finds

Women with mild cognitive impairment that can lead to Alzheimer's disease appear to deteriorate faster than men, according to new research.

'Loophole' leaves Colorado assisted living facilities unregulated

A gap in Colorado's assisted living regulations could be leaving smaller senior care facilities unregulated and uninspected, according to a report from The Coloradoan.

Also in the News for Wednesday, July 22

Helen Holt, eldercare pioneer, dies at 101 ... CMS announces participants in hospice Care Choices Model pilot... Family awarded $10.2 million in California damages lawsuit

CMS considered prohibiting binding arbitration entirely, seeks comments

CMS considered prohibiting binding arbitration entirely, seeks comments

Facilities that present binding arbitration agreements to residents must ensure the residents fully understand the agreement, according to a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Study finds 'substantial' risk of suicide among LTC residents, cites staff influence

Suicide risk among residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities is "substantial," according to a study published in the July issue of The American Journal of Public Health.

Alzheimer's and Medicare spending to boom over next 25 years

Over the next 25 years, more than 28 million baby boomers will develop Alzheimer's disease, and the cost of care will consume nearly 25% of Medicare spending.

Also in the News for Tuesday, July 21

Better sleep could ease pain among osteoarthritis patients ... Medicare celebrates 50 years ... Saliva test used to diagnose Alzheimer's

CMS proposal includes mandatory antibiotic stewardship programs

Nursing home regulation changes announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last week includes a proposal that would require long-term care facilities to have an antibiotic stewardship program.

Seniors have worries, preferences about sharing health information: study

Sharing health information is a critical part of the decision-making process for elderly people and their friends and family, but it's not without consequences, a new study has found.

McKnight's wins three Azbee regional awards

McKnight's Long-Term Care News received three regional awards at the American Society of Business Publication Editors (Azbee) Upper Midwest awards luncheon, held Friday in Rosemont, IL.

Providers may harbor bias towards LGBT population: study

Healthcare workers may be biased regarding the sexual orientation of their patients, according to results of the first study to examine the issue.

Also in the News for Monday, July 20

Medicare, Medicaid popularity remain high, Kaiser survey finds ... DON sentenced to five years for failing to disclose $100K gift in bankruptcy filings .... County nursing home employees ponder future ...

'Safe staffing' legislation still needs work, state healthcare leader says

A bill requiring Washington nursing homes to provide each resident with more than three hours of direct care per day was signed into law earlier this month, but a long-term care leader involved with the legislation says there's still work to be done.

Change of nursing home ownership may hurt resident care, study says

Changes in nursing home ownership may cause patient-centered care to suffer, according to a study published in the Journal of Aging and Social Policy.

CCRC executive director salary averages $155,000, DONs $91,000, survey finds

Continuing care retirement community CCRC executive directors — who saw only a modest 0.21% salary increase last year — gained an average of 3% this year, according to results of a new salary survey released Thursday.

Also in the News for Friday, July 17

Racial differences found in Alzheimer progression ... CMS releases star ratings comparing home health for first time ... House passes Medicare home-care demonstration bill

CMS: Fraud prevention system saves $820M in improper Medicare payments

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Fraud Prevention System identified or prevented $820 million in improper payments in its first three years, the agency announced in a report.

Facilities misleading public about dementia care services, review claims

Nearly 60% of Massachusetts nursing homes that say they can handle residents with dementia are misleading the public about the extent of their services.

2 arrested, 8 more fired after hidden cameras catch alleged abuse at nursing home

Two nursing assistants have been arrested, and eight more fired, after hidden cameras allegedly revealed abuse at a Minnesota nursing home.

Also in the News for Thursday, July 16

Former head of CMS, Marilyn Tavenner, will lead AHIP board of directors ... Granite acquires five SNFs for $90M ... OHSA updates inspection procedures to protect employees from tuberculosis

MDS 3.0 accuracy needs attention, expert says

Surveyors scrutinizing database accuracy is "very new and very problematic" for facilities that may have inaccuracies, a leading payment expert said during a McKnight's Super Tuesday webinar.

Senators request GAO report on Medicaid oversight of care in assisted living facilities

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office requesting a report on Medicaid oversight and quality of care in assisted living facilities, according to Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

Rehab facility agrees to $55,000 settlement in EEOC suit

An Illinois rehabilitation and transitional care facility has agreed to pay $55,000 to settle a disability discrimination suit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

HHS awards $36M to support quality care for older adults

The Department of Health and Human Services awarded $35.7 million to the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program to support quality care for older adults, Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced Monday.

Also in the News for Wednesday, July 15

Infections with drug-resistant bacteria may be susceptible to antibiotics ... Rehab center resident dies from legionella infection ... Aging.gov launches as part of WHCOA

CMS proposes massive regulation revision for LTC

CMS proposes massive regulation revision for LTC

Individualized meal plans, antipsychotic use and staff training are among the hundreds of proposed changes to regulations released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Monday, which officials said they hope will "modernize" the long-term care industry.

Coumadin, warfarin errors put residents at risk

New research shows improper use and lack of monitoring of popular blood thinners can put residents at risk for hospitalization, life-threatening injury and death.

LINK recognizes Swallow Solutions as most innovative

A new system to help skilled nursing residents with swallowing disorders took the top honors at the LINK Innovation Competition Monday night.

Also in the News for Tuesday, July 14

Medicare fraud case could cost Alabama-based hospice company $202 million... House passes 21st Century Cures Bill... New Alzheimer's study reveals how spouse-caregivers sustain relationships

Bundled payments for hip, knee replacements would put pressure on SNFs

Bundled payments for hip, knee replacements would put pressure on SNFs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services plan to test bundled payments for hip and knee replacements could spell trouble for skilled nursing facilities, experts warn.

Deadline for 2015 McKnight's Tech Awards extended until July 31

The deadline to participate in the 4th Annual McKnight's Excellence in Technology Awards has been extended to the end of this month.

Audits reveal vast Medicare Advantage billing errors, overcharging

Privately run Medicare Advantage plans are plagued with widespread overcharging and billing errors, according to recently released government audits.

FDA warns of increased heart risk in popular pain relievers

Federal health regulators are strengthening labels on popular pain relievers, warning users about short-term risk for heart-related problems.

Also in the News for Monday, July 13

New Jersey allocates $10M for nursing homes buffeted by Medicaid changes... AHCA/NCAL welcomes Slavitt CMS nomination... "Sandwich generation" concerned about own long-term care.

LTC nursing organizations merge to develop unified certification, lobbying

LTC nursing organizations merge to develop unified certification, lobbying

The AANAC has purchased assets of the AALTCN and its publisher the Health Education Network, a move that long-term nursing leaders say will combine the best of the organizations and strengthen the nursing profession.

Last day to submit entries for the 2015 McKnight's Tech Awards!

All entries for the 2015 McKnight's Excellence in Technology Awards must be submitted by the end of today.

Providers applaud CMS proposal to cover advance care planning

Long-term care organizations are applauding a proposal released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that would reimburse healthcare practitioners for discussing advance care planning with patients.

Nursing home therapist found guilty in death of resident

A therapist has been found guilty by a jury in the death of a nursing home resident in New York Wednesday, according to local reports.

Also in the News for Friday, July 10

GAO identifies four issues with Medicaid program ... Healthy diets for seniors may depend on gender ... False Claims Act ruling alters whistleblower standards

Quality of care improving for minorities in nursing homes: study

The quality of care in nursing homes with higher populations of racial minority residents has improved, according to a study.

EEOC sues nursing home after it fires pregnant, disabled worker

A South Carolina skilled nursing facility fired an employee because of her disability and pregnancy, according to a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Judge rules in favor of residents of 'unlivable' assisted living community

A New York judge has ruled in favor of residents of an embattled assisted living facility who claim the facility's owner is forcing them out so he can convert the building into high-end condos.

Omnicare will settle with DOJ in Depakote kickback cases

Omnicare will settle with DOJ in Depakote kickback cases

Omnicare has announced it will settle with the Department of Justice in two federal suits accusing the pharmacy giant of taking kickbacks from Abbott Laboratories.

Also in the News for Thursday, July 9

AANAC purchases assets of Nursing Association and publisher ... CNAs have lower care knowledge scores than LPNs, RNs and SWs: study ... AHCA awards Silver National Quality Award to 126 LTC organizations ... New project to improve nursing homes' HIE communications

Merger of ABHOW and be.group will create nonprofit LTC giant

American Baptist Homes of the West and be.group have announced they will merge next year to create one of the largest nonprofit senior living organizations in the country.

Bill would expand civil monetary penalties related to HHS

The newest version of the House's 21st Century Cures bill would expand civil monetary penalties to cover false claims related to contracts and grants funded by Medicare and Medicaid, as well as other programs within the Department of Health and Human Services.

CMS won't deny claims for first year of ICD-10 transition

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced it will work with the American Medical Association to ease the transition to ICD-10, including a 12-month grace period when claims won't be denied for unintentional code errors.

Also in the News for Wednesday, July 8

Healthcare workers continue to work while sick, despite risks... Not all states reporting required Medicaid data... New blood pressure guidelines may lead to undertreatment of older adults... Nursing home worker charged with attempted rape of co-worker...

Aetna's $37 billion Humana deal driven by value-based care push

Value-based care and increased enrollment in Aetna's Medicare Advantage program figure to be two of the biggest winners thanks to the insurance giant's recently announced $37 billion acquisition of competitor Humana.

CMS lessens pressure over improper Medicaid payments and House committee balks

Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee are investigating why the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has raised its Medicaid improper payment rate target for fiscal year 2015.

Extendicare closes $870 million sale of its U.S. facilities

Extendicare has closed the $870 million sale of its U.S. operations to an investor group led by private equity firm Formation Capital LLC.

Also in the News for Tuesday, July 7

New bill would allow cameras in Illinois nursing homes... Pennsylvania backs off plan to change nursing home payments... Researchers develop world's most sensitive test for infectious disease, superbugs... CMS announces new value-based home healthcare model...

After Omnicare deal, all eyes turn to PharMerica

After Omnicare deal, all eyes turn to PharMerica

It's an odd thing to see the king of the jungle become the hunted instead of the hunter. But that's what happened when CVS announced it was buying Omnicare.

Sailing through 'Wish of Lifetime'

Sailing through 'Wish of Lifetime'

As a little girl, Rhode Island resident Shirley Payne loved to be on the water.

NorthStar adding 15 CCRCs: Portfolio now tops $2 billion

NorthStar adding 15 CCRCs: Portfolio now tops $2 billion

NorthStar Healthcare Income Inc. closed on a $639.3 million portfolio of continuing care retirement communities in mid-June.

Continuum is complete

Continuum is complete

Edgewood Summit builds a new memory care addition in order to fully round out its healthcare mission for West Virginia residents.

Skin in the MDS game

Skin in the MDS game

Skin care and continence assessment are two of the most challenging sections of the Minimum Data Set. Here's how to generate positive outcomes

Personal furniture

Personal furniture

Not too hard, not too soft: Future selections for seniors will emphasize choice and style while embracing function to a higher degree than ever before, experts say

How to do it ... Wound care staff education

Few issues confronting long-term care administrators are more thoroughly vetted and researched than proper wound care techniques.

Ask the legal expert ... about Medicaid reimbursements

Ask the legal expert ... about Medicaid reimbursements

Our state is continually late with Medicaid reimbursements, for whatever reason. Can we sue to get some satisfaction? What can we do to help ourselves?

Largest SNF settlement payment: $17M

A Florida skilled nursing facility chain will pay $17 million to settle Medicare fraud allegations, the largest amount ever paid, according to the Department of Justice.

Court: HCR ManorCare QAPI reports must be turned over

Court: HCR ManorCare QAPI reports must be turned over

A ruling by the West Virginia Supreme Court as to which nursing home internal documents are fair game in lawsuits has providers around the country sitting up and taking notice.

Ask the nursing expert ... narcotic destruction

Ask the nursing expert ... narcotic destruction

Long-term care facilities all seem to do narcotic destruction a little differently. Could you tell me how to do it to make sure I protect myself?

Bill would require RN on duty at all times

The American Nurses Association recently announced its support for a bill that could require nursing homes to have a registered nurse on duty around the clock, every day of the week.

Study sheds light on dangers of working second, third shifts

Study sheds light on dangers of working second, third shifts

Workers whose hours fall outside of a traditional 9-to-5 schedule may be more susceptible to sleep- and weight-related health issues, according to a new study from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Reasons to lawyer up

Reasons to lawyer up

When you provide long-term care services, lawsuits pretty much come with the territory.

Providers fume over pay freeze

Long-term care providers quickly fired back after a congressional advisory committee recommended no Medicare pay increase for the coming year.

Nursing shortage to challenge operators

Nursing shortage to challenge operators

In 15 years, at least 2.5 million more long-term care workers will be needed to keep pace with the resulting increase in caregiving demands, according to researchers at the University of California at San Francisco.

RAC overhaul bill approved

RAC overhaul bill approved

The Senate Finance Committee has approved legislation aimed at changing how questionable Medicare payments are handled by Recovery Audit Contractors.

Bad sleep links to Alzheimer's

Bad sleep links to Alzheimer's

Lack of sleep in old age may contribute to Alzheimer's disease, research suggests.

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