SNF will have to hand over internal reports in negligence case, court rules

SNF will have to hand over internal reports in negligence case, court rules

An Illinois skilled nursing facility will have to produce internal documents in a negligence lawsuit filed by the family of a resident, an appeals court ruled last week.

Court paves way for fight over inpatient stays, SNF coverage

Court paves way for fight over inpatient stays, SNF coverage

Debate over Medicare beneficiaries' hospital stays being classified as inpatient — a designation crucial to receive skilled nursing coverage — will continue, thanks to a court's order last week.

Trump's pick for budget director plans crackdown on federal regulations

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Office of Management and Budget, has vowed to take "a hard look" at federal regulations if he's confirmed, according to published reports.

Also in the News for Wednesday, Feb. 15

CMS releases manual updated with new requirements of participation ... Quality improvement tracking most common barrier to reducing readmissions ... Telehealth program shown to halve hospital admissions

Demo projects need new safeguards, improvements, healthcare group says

Demo projects need new safeguards, improvements, healthcare group says

A coalition of healthcare groups is pushing lawmakers and the new head of the Department of Health and Human Services to consider strengthening the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation as they debate changes to federal health programs.

Bribery charges added to case against SNF owner accused of leading $1 billion fraud ring

An embattled SNF owner who has been accused of leading a $1 billion Medicare fraud ring also allegedly bribed a state regulator to find out when surveyors would be visiting his facilities, according to the Miami Herald.

Medical marijuana company looking to nursing homes as potential customers

A New York company that grows and sells medical marijuana is attempting to tap into the skilled nursing industry to find new customers.

Also in the News for Tuesday, Feb. 14

ACO participation cut post-acute spending by 9% ... Alternative payment model could boost palliative care, researchers say ... More seniors taking multiple 'brain-affecting' drugs, raising risk of falls

Price confirmed for HHS; Verma's CMS interview set for Thursday

Price confirmed for HHS; Verma's CMS interview set for Thursday

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) was confirmed by a 52-47 vote as the new secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Friday.

Bundled payment programs curbed unnecessary care, costs, over 4-year period, report asserts

Value-based care models, including bundled payments for hip and knee replacements, reduce costs and unnecessary care, according to a new analysis.

Researchers declare Parkinson's patients given too many antipsychotics

Canadian physicians are over-prescribing antipsychotics to Parkinson's disease patients in long-term care facilities, a new study finds.

Also in the News for Monday, Feb 13

Nurse aide to serve year in prison for beating resident ... Florida LeadingAge CEO says a new Medicaid plan would "reverse 30 years of progress" ... Footprints in snow lead police to New Hampshire nursing home robber

Supreme Court's arbitration decision could pose threat to SNF industry, insiders say

Supreme Court's arbitration decision could pose threat to SNF industry, insiders say

A nursing home arbitration lawsuit that's scheduled to be argued in the Supreme Court this month may change the future of the industry, according to those close to the case.

Lawmaker: Price's confirmation could lead to slashed Medicaid funding for SNFs

The confirmation of Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) as the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services poses grave danger to Medicaid recipients, a Democratic senator said Wednesday.

Nursing home denies hair styling contributed to resident's death

A New Hampshire skilled nursing facility refutes claims that a resident died due to complications from a perm at the facility's salon, according to new legal documents.

Also in the News for Friday, Feb. 10

Largest-ever survey finds 2.4% of U.S. seniors identify as LGBT ... Healthcare workers should embrace texting orders, expert says ... Intensive blood pressure control has little effect on seniors' mobility

Trump's 'one-in, two-out' order not sensible for health regs, lawsuit claims

Trump's 'one-in, two-out' order not sensible for health regs, lawsuit claims

President Donald Trump's executive order to slash two federal regulations for each new policy introduced may arbitrarily cut regulations focused on health and safety, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

Lawmakers OK Medicaid limits for LTC, lottery winners

House lawmakers on Tuesday gave the greenlight to two pieces of legislation that call for minor changes to the Medicaid program — but may signal the start of ramped up efforts to overhaul the program.

White House supporting law to give terminally ill patients access to non-approved drugs

A law that would allow terminally ill patients access to medicines not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration has earned support from President Donald Trump's administration.

Also in the News for Thursday, Feb. 9

Proposed policies could increase transparency for LTC pharmacies ... Working night shifts, heavy lifting may decrease women's fertility ... GAO calls for better oversight of managed LTSS payments

Troubled nursing home petitions Supreme Court to preserve its Medicare, Medicaid certifications

Troubled nursing home petitions Supreme Court to preserve its Medicare, Medicaid certifications

A Florida skilled nursing provider that filed for bankruptcy has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to save it from being excluded from the Medicaid and Medicare programs.

CNAs sue nursing home claiming retaliation, defamation in resident restraint case

Three former employees of a Virginia skilled nursing facility have sued the provider and its parent company, claiming they were fired after they raised concerns about residents being tied to wheelchairs using bedsheets.

Medicaid block grants could take $150 billion out of play, study shows

A recent proposal to fund the Medicaid program through block grants could result in $150 billion in savings for the federal government, according to a new study.

Also in the News for Wednesday, Feb. 8

Iowa to study SNF alternatives for aging sex offenders ... Obese patients receive worse quality end-of-life-care ... Providers not prepared for risk-based contracts

Mark your calendar: McKnight's Online Expo returns March 14-15!

Mark your calendar: McKnight's Online Expo returns March 14-15!

McKnight's Online Expo is back for its 11th year this spring, offering long-term care providers educational sessions, free continuing education credits and a virtual exhibit hall — all available from the comfort of their own home or office.

Golden LivingCenters sells facilities sued by PA attorney general

A New York-based healthcare provider has acquired the licenses of 10 Pennsylvania Golden LivingCenters facilities that were targeted in a lawsuit by the state's Attorney General.

Medicaid oversight stalled by inaccurate, incomplete data, report finds

The data used by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to oversee the Medicaid program is often incomplete and submitted late, according to a new federal report.

Also in the News for Tuesday, Feb. 7

Antibiotic commonly prescribed for C. diff may not be best treatment ... Trump: ACA replacement may not be ready until 2018 ... TeamHealth to pay $60 million to settle overbilling allegations

Judge approves HHS' plan to meet Jimmo mandate

Judge approves HHS' plan to meet Jimmo mandate

The Department of Health and Human Services' plan to better explain the concept of maintenance therapy has been approved, signaling the end of a legal battle stemming from the 2013 settlement of Jimmo v. Sebelius.

Advocates for LGBT seniors fear repercussions of possible 'religious freedom' executive order

A draft of an executive order being considered by President Donald Trump has raised concerns among advocates for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors for its possible consequences on long-term care facilities.

Start-ups to star at Argentum national leadership conference

Senior living leaders can catch a glimpse of the future by visiting the Start-Up Pavilion, a new offering at the 2017 Argentum Senior Living Executive Conference. The conference will be held May 1-3 in Nashville.

Also in the News for Monday, Feb. 6

CMS pushing for extension of dual eligible demos in three states ... Medicare beneficiaries' survival rates boosted by foreign-educated physicians, study finds ... Massachusetts lawmakers cry foul over state report on nursing home wages

Ultrasound, e-stim healing effects 'equal'

High-frequency ultrasound and high-voltage monophasic pulsed current are comparable approaches when treating pressure ulcers in older people, according to a study by Polish researchers.

Hydrogel showed 'staggering' results in diabetic cell study

Hydrogel showed 'staggering' results in diabetic cell study

A new hydrogel created by engineering researchers at the University of Toronto prompts skin cells to crawl toward one another, healing chronic wounds.

Ask the Treatment Expert about ... nutrition assessments

Ask the Treatment Expert about ... nutrition assessments

How do nutrition assessment and interventions support pressure injury prevention?

Agility Holdings buys VCPI, plans growth

Agility Holdings LLC has purchased VCPI from Extendicare Inc., the companies announced in January.

MatrixCare and Microsoft launch cloud-based system

MatrixCare and Microsoft launch cloud-based system

MatrixCare has launched a cloud-based EMR aggregation and care coordination system spanning the healthcare continuum in partnership with Microsoft.

Not getting your due — and liking it

Not getting your due — and liking it

It's just not fair. You're the one who sat at that traffic light forever, and then when it finally changed, some idiot in the lane beside roared through first, without even slowing down.

Where Are They Now: Brittany Manor

Where Are They Now: Brittany Manor

With the introduction of a new rehabilitation unit in 2016, Brittany Manor in Midland, MI, has continued to focus on using technology to track data and improve patient outcomes.

FDA publishes cybersecurity advice for medical devices

FDA publishes cybersecurity advice for medical devices

Thanks to significant technological advances in patient care over the past decade, many medical devices are now being designed to connect to a hospital or long-term care facility's network, or even a patient's home internet service.

State News for February 2017

State News for February 2017

MARYLAND — Attorney General Brian E. Frosh is suing a nursing home operator for allegedly expelling residents to free up higher-reimbursed Medicare beds. Frosh filed the suit in Montgomery County Circuit Court in late December.

Pigment in veggies linked to brain health

There's good news for fans of spinach omelets: Foods such as leafy greens and eggs may help stave off age-related cognitive declines, thanks to a pigment known as lutein.

Common drugs may increase ER, hospital visits for seniors

Common drugs may increase ER, hospital visits for seniors

Medications often used by seniors may increase their chances of visiting the emergency department or hospital, according to recently published research.

Ask the Care Expert about ... wound care programs

Ask the Care Expert about ... wound care programs

We are refurbishing our entire resident wound care program since we haven't achieved great results. Can you suggest any places to find some of the latest information?

Profile: Alise Ionashku

Profile: Alise Ionashku

If there's one aspect of Alise Ionashku's childhood that stands out, it's the desire of her and her three older brothers to make their immigrant parents proud.

OIG: Policy cut SNF care

Investigators with the Office of Inspector General are recommending a closer look at federal regulators' controversial "two-midnight" rule for Medicare beneficiaries.

A bundle of good pay news on joint replacement model

A bundle of good pay news on joint replacement model

Strong reviews for one of the most scrutinized bundled payment programs in the country indicate additional similar programs could be in providers' future.

Ask the Payment Expert about ... keeping finances in order for 2017

Ask the Payment Expert about ... keeping finances in order for 2017

With the first month of 2017 already behind us, what are some recommendations to keep your "financial house in order" the rest of the year?

60 Seconds with ... Steven Shill, CPA

60 Seconds with ... Steven Shill, CPA

Q: What should providers know about the new revenue recognition standard, ASC Topic 606 Revenue from Contracts and Customers?

HHS issues rule that speeds up appeals

A Department of Health and Human Services final rule may allow providers to move more quickly through the backlog of 700,000-plus Medicare-related appeals.

Value-based purchasing will likely continue, expert says

Value-based purchasing will likely continue, expert says

Value-based purchasing initiatives and a focus on post-acute partnerships are likely to persist in 2017, despite the possibility of "repeal and replace" of the Affordable Care Act, according to Avalere Health experts in a January webinar.

Occupancy rates at epic lows

The occupancy picture did not improve for skilled nursing or assisted living facilities in the fourth quarter of 2016.

CMS reveals cardio, ortho bundle models

CMS reveals cardio, ortho bundle models

New bundled payment models focused on cardiac care and orthopedics were finalized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at the end of December.

Directives not in good order

Directives not in good order

Many nursing home providers are missing chances to cut costs and reduce unnecessary care by not having residents' advance directives on file, or orderly, a recent study found.

Delirium often undiagnosed

Delirium among skilled nursing residents needs to be treated more seriously than it currently is by providers, according to authors of a recent research review.

CMS fights for arbitration ban

Federal officials struck back at providers in January, filing notice that they were challenging efforts to stop a ban of pre-dispute nursing home arbitration agreements.

Groups urge Trump to save some of ACA

Groups urge Trump to save some of ACA

LeadingAge, along with 71 other nonprofit aging organizations, sent a letter in mid-January urging then-President-elect Donald Trump to preserve some nursing-home related provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

Survey advice at Online Expo

Survey advice at Online Expo

Providers can make good use of some new strategies and tips to be prepared for surveyors around the clock, says Paula Sanders, principal and co-chairwoman of the Health Care Practice Group at law firm Post & Schell P.C.

An overtime quandary

An overtime quandary

Mick Jones allegedly wrote "Should I stay or should I go" in 1981 while contemplating whether to leave The Clash. The context may be different this time, but many long-term care operators can well relate to the song's sentiment.

Sleep deprivation doesn't discriminate

Investigators at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and their Canadian partners reported that cognitive impairment is the same among men and women who work shifts, despite the fact that women typically get less sleep and have more work-related stress.

Web program helps relieve nurse stress, researchers say

Web program helps relieve nurse stress, researchers say

An online support program helped nurses manage workplace challenges and reduce stress in a randomized study.

Ask the Nursing Expert about ... conducting round

Ask the Nursing Expert about ... conducting round

I struggle with staying in touch with what is happening at the bedside. Any suggestions?

Provider to pay $300k in vaccine dispute

A Pennsylvania-based healthcare provider has agreed to hand over $300,000 to settle allegations that it fired employees who requested religious exemptions from the organization's vaccination policy.

Provider claims purchaser's flip scheme expedited deaths

Provider claims purchaser's flip scheme expedited deaths

A New York nursing home provider claims a fellow operator's plans to purchase nursing homes and flip them into condominiums led to some residents' premature deaths, according to a lawsuit filed in late December.

Ask the Legal Expert about ... participating in an ACO

Ask the Legal Expert about ... participating in an ACO

What are your top tips for participating in an accountable care organization or other multi-provider arrangement?

How to do it ... Handwashing compliance

Simple handwashing is indisputably the easiest, most effective way of preventing the spread of germs and infections anywhere, including healthcare settings. Yet it is far from being a widespread practice. Here are some strategies that could help change that.

Progress denied

Progress denied

'Prior level of function' rule can complicate rehabilitation efforts, as providers wrestle with cost, quality of care and what a resident's goals are in maintaining quality of life

Winning the drug war

Winning the drug war

Often forgotten or glossed over, there is still one sure answer to questions about how to improve medication mismanagement: have better documentation

Design Decisions: Compassionate housing

Design Decisions: Compassionate housing

LTC operators and architects build memory care units as stand-alone structures within a campus so residents aren't segregated

Genesis CEO plots 2017

Genesis HealthCare CEO George Hager Jr. said in a recent interview that he hopes nursing homes will see "federal funding that is additive to the inadequate Medicaid funding" in 2017 — although it's still likely to be short.

CareTrust spends $96 million to purchase four Texas SNFs

CareTrust spends $96 million to purchase four Texas SNFs

CareTrust REIT Inc. acquired a portfolio of four Texas skilled nursing properties for $96 million, the company announced in early December.

Positive signs from teenager

Positive signs from teenager

The weekly American Sign Language classes at Sunny Hill Nursing Home in Joliet, IL, started as an idea from a high school volunteer.

Reader Poll: What's your favorite item on your desk or in your office?

"Pictures of my grandchildren, just because I can look at them when the rest of the world is in chaos. They're my port in the storm."

Socialized medicine — the way to save lives

Socialized medicine — the way to save lives

Chalk up another one for that famously disruptive New Yorker who crisscrossed the nation the last two years, speaking to big crowds, imploring change. His words are proving prophetic again.

Shuttered Iowa SNF to pay $100,000 to resolve claims of 'worthless' care

Shuttered Iowa SNF to pay $100,000 to resolve claims of 'worthless' care

The owners of a Iowa nursing home that closed this week have agreed to pay $100,000 to settle allegations that the facility provided "grossly substandard" care to residents.

Provider fines see slight uptick under HHS' updated civil monetary penalties

Out-of-compliance skilled nursing providers will experience slightly higher civil monetary penalties under an update released by the Department of Health and Human Services this week.

Serious health threats compel AMDA to issue pneumococcal vaccine guidance

Streptococcus pneumoniae persists as a major health threat to long-term care residents despite nation-wide efforts to encourage vaccinations, according to AMDA - The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

Also in the News for Friday, Feb. 3

Daughter's lack of authority leaves resident's arbitration agreement invalid ... Republican lawmakers swap ACA 'repeal' plan for 'repair' ... Ohio continues push to move LTC services to private managed care plans

Post-acute giants Genesis and Kindred announce partnership to tackle outcomes, care transitions

Post-acute giants Genesis and Kindred announce partnership to tackle outcomes, care transitions

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

Trump's Supreme Court pick may mean trouble for CMS, healthcare regs

Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald Trump's nominee for Supreme Court Justice, has a history of sparring with federal agencies over regulations, a tendency that could bring some relief to long-term care providers, observers say.

Geriatric medical associations criticize 'chilling effect' of immigration executive order

Two medical associations specializing in the care of older adults are raising red flags over how President Donald Trump's recent executive order halting or curtailing immigration could impact healthcare providers.

Also in the News for Thursday, Feb. 2

Senate committee OKs Price nomination in 'unprecedented' move ... Healthcare data breaches put nearly 16 million patient records at risk ... Seniors taking more than five medications at higher risk of frailty

GAO: Despite efforts, Medicaid still vulnerable to improper payments

GAO: Despite efforts, Medicaid still vulnerable to improper payments

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has taken steps to prevent improper Medicaid payments, but gaps still remain in making sure providers are properly vetted, according to a federal report released Tuesday.

Democrats boycott Senate committee vote on HHS nominee

A vote expected to solidify Rep. Tom Price's (R-GA) position as the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services was delayed Tuesday after Democratic senators boycotted it.

CMS rule on 'risky' provider affiliations withdrawn by Trump administration

A rule that would have placed more scrutiny on providers' partnerships has been put on hold by President Donald Trump's administration.

Also in the News for Wednesday, Feb. 1

Efforts to curb opioid epidemic may discriminate against seniors ... Missouri lawmaker proposes law to allow cameras in nursing home resident rooms ... Hospitalizations, deaths due to flu on the rise, CDC says

Study: Risks of unvaccinated LTC workers spreading flu are 'exaggerated'

Study: Risks of unvaccinated LTC workers spreading flu are 'exaggerated'

Mandatory flu vaccine policies for healthcare workers may be based on inadequate data that exaggerates the risks unvaccinated employees pose to patients, according to a study published Friday.

End to Jimmo legal battle between CMS, patient advocates in sight

A decision in the fight over how federal health officials should educate people about maintenance therapy coverage may be on the horizon, according to a new report.

Antipsychotic interactions may raise risk of death in SNF residents, study finds

Nursing home residents with cognitive impairment may face an increased risk of death if they receive an antipsychotic medication along with other drugs, new research shows.

Also in the News for Tuesday, Jan. 31

Trump issues order: cut costs of new regs by eliminating others ... Senate Finance Committee to vote today on Price nomination for HHS ... Researchers at work on 'culturally aware' robots to help care for seniors

LeadingAge to lawmakers: Final rule places 'impossible burdens' on providers

LeadingAge to lawmakers: Final rule places 'impossible burdens' on providers

Providers are "gravely concerned" and need regulatory relief because of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services's recent issuance of a final rule for nursing homes, LeadingAge said in a letter to the Senate Finance Committee.

Trump administration expected to keep cracking down on nursing home fraud

Fraud within the skilled nursing sector is expected to remain a focus of the Department of Justice under President Donald Trump, according to experts.

Former SNF employee awarded $69,000 in pregnancy discrimination case

A Kentucky skilled nursing facility will have to pay more than $69,000 to a former employee who claims the provider fired her because she was pregnant, authorities announced last week.

Also in the News for Monday, Jan. 30

Researchers find low staff ratios, occupancy may increase antipsychotic use ... Former HHS head Burwell named president of American University ... Healthcare tops list of Americans' policy priorities for 2017, survey finds

Mother-son duo convicted in $25 million SNF psychology scheme

Mother-son duo convicted in $25 million SNF psychology scheme

The owners of companies that provided psychological services to nursing home residents were convicted on Wednesday for their role in a scheme that authorities say bilked millions of dollars from the Medicare program.

NQF endorses first hospitalization measure for long-stay residents

A first-of-its-kind measure to gauge hospitalization rates among long-stay skilled nursing residents has been endorsed by the National Quality Forum, the American Health Care Association announced Thursday.

Man arrested after threatening to shoot SNF employees

A Kentucky man was arrested after he entered a skilled nursing facility on Tuesday and made threats to shoot employees. His son's mother works at the facility.

Also in the News for Friday, Jan. 27

Report: SNF quality in Texas 'shamefully poor' compared to most other states ... New drug cuts risk of C. diff return by 40% ... Opinions on who qualifies for work disability benefits vary, study shows

Ultra High therapy tops utilization list for second year, CMS data shows

Ultra High therapy tops utilization list for second year, CMS data shows

Ultra High therapy billing accounted for the highest total number of therapy days in skilled nursing facilities in 2014, according to data recently released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Study finds 'no way' to predict readmission risk in joint replacement cases

Healthcare providers are lacking a way to accurately predict readmission among joint replacement patients, despite growing federal scrutiny on the issue, a new study shows.

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