State officials didn't verify correction of more than half of SNF deficiencies: report

State officials didn't verify correction of more than half of SNF deficiencies: report

Health officials in Kansas failed to follow up on 52% of deficiencies identified during nursing home surveys, a federal watchdog said in a report released Monday.

Disinfectant exposure may increase nurses' COPD risk by nearly one-third

Nurses who regularly use disinfectants to clean surfaces could be at increased risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, researchers announced on Monday.

Even small rise in activity brings big impact on seniors' disability risk, study finds

Seniors who get an additional 48 minutes of exercise per week can significantly boost their physical function and reduce their risk of immobility, recent research shows.

Also in the News for Tuesday, Sept. 12

CMS releases corrections to final civil monetary penalty rule ... Man, 88, charged with attacking SNF-residing wife with hammer ... Ventas tops list of healthcare real estate owners

MedPAC considers giving hospital discharge planners bigger role in placing nursing home residents

MedPAC considers giving hospital discharge planners bigger role in placing nursing home residents

Almost half of skilled nursing facility residents had five or more higher-quality facilities available in their area that they were not directed to by a discharging hospital, a federal panel shared last week.

Nursing home staff were physically restrained as rogue volunteers 'forcibly evacuated' residents in Harvey aftermath, provider says

A Texas nursing home at the center of a volunteer-run evacuation that was broadcasted live during news coverage of Hurricane Harvey is speaking out to clear up media "misinformation" about the steps it took to protect residents after the facility flooded.

SNF reaches agreement to resolve claims it wrongfully discharged HIV-positive resident

An Oklahoma skilled nursing facility has reached an agreement with federal officials to remedy a complaint that it discharged a resident after finding out she was HIV positive, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights announced Friday.

Also in the News for Monday, Sept. 11

CMS should offer agencies more help in levying Medicaid payment suspensions, OIG says ... Staff, residents shocked as SNF abruptly closes 3 weeks earlier than told ... Some frail seniors may actually get stronger, less frail as they age, study shows

DACA rollback could hit healthcare workforce

DACA rollback could hit healthcare workforce

Nearly one-fifth of people covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program work in healthcare and education, potentially resulting in long-term care taking a workforce hit if the program stays on track to end, some experts say.

Majority of skilled nursing providers used EHRs in 2016, report shows

Majority of skilled nursing providers used EHRs in 2016, report shows

More than half of skilled nursing facilities used electronic health record technology last year, according to new federal data.

CNAs' failure to change gloves may be upping contamination, infection rates

CNAs' failure to change gloves may be upping contamination, infection rates

Certified nursing assistants frequently fail to change their gloves, leaving nearly half of the surfaces they touch within nursing homes contaminated, a new study shows.

Also in the News for Friday, Sept. 8

Resident beaten to death by roommate with piece of furniture ... New York court upholds ban on physician-assisted suicide ... Stroke prevention progress lagging in U.S., CDC says

Report: Nearly 20% of SNF nursing assistants live below poverty line

Report: Nearly 20% of SNF nursing assistants live below poverty line

Close to 20% of nursing home assistants are living below the federal poverty line, a result of low wages and part-time positions, according to a new report.

Preferred SNF networks help hospitals reduce readmissions faster, study finds

Hospitals that use a preferred skilled nursing facility network have been found to reduce their readmission rates faster than hospitals that don't, new research shows.

Federal court orders IL Medicaid program to process eligibility applications in LTC suit

Illinois' Medicaid program must process a backlog of eligibility applications by mid-October, bringing relief to long-term care consumers and providers, a federal court ruled last week.

Also in the News for Thursday, Sept. 7

Authorities investigating death of SNF resident found in ditch after fire alarm was pulled ... New Senate spending package gives Medicare $10 million boost to tackle appeals ... SNF QRP review and correct reports post-training resources released

Hospitals, SNFs don't agree on wounds

Hospitals and nursing homes agreed on the existence of a pressure wound just over one-third of the time, according to a new study, a finding that calls treatment into question.

Nursing home debridement shows promise for wounds

Nursing home debridement shows promise for wounds

Traditional surgical debridement helped reduce wound size for a majority of wound care patients in skilled nursing settings, but it didn't typically lead to full closure, according to a new study in Wounds.

Ask the Treatment Expert about ... creating a skin care team

Ask the Treatment Expert about ... creating a skin care team

I'm a wound care nurse new to long-term care, and I want to develop a skin care team. Whom should I consider for team members?

Talyst acquired by Swisslog

Swisslog Healthcare has acquired West Coast medication management company Talyst. Starting in 2018, the companies will begin integrating their pharmacy systems to address a large customer base in North America.

PharMerica to be acquired by KKR in $1.4B deal; Walgreens will a be minority investor

PharMerica to be acquired by KKR in $1.4B deal; Walgreens will a be minority investor

Global investment firm KKR will buy PharMerica Corporation in a $1.4 billion deal, the companies announced in August.

Insta-gratification next?

Insta-gratification next?

Here's a hypothetical for you. Let's say you're a busy nurse in a long-term care setting, and your supervisor wanders up and says, "Mrs. Jacobs in Room 203 really wants a cup of coffee. Could you take one to her?"

Where Are They Now: Colonial Park Care Center

Where Are They Now: Colonial Park Care Center

Since scooping up a Transitions Gold Award in McKnight's 2015 technology awards, officials at Colonial Park Care Center say their use of the InTouch Telehealth Network has continued to boost residents' clinical outcomes and reduce readmissions.

Study finds disconnect between Facebook and Five-Star ratings

Study finds disconnect between Facebook and Five-Star ratings

As social media becomes more prevalent, an increasing number of long-term care consumers are taking to the web to voice opinions — good and bad — about their experiences with local skilled nursing facilities.

State News for September 2017

State News for September 2017

After the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled in mid-August that a $1.50-per-pack "fee" on cigarettes was a tax, the state is facing a $215 million shortfall.

Caregiver trust linked to good outcomes

Healthcare professionals may improve palliative care for residents with advanced dementia by improving communication with residents' caregivers, a recent study found.

Diabetes self-management game reduces hemoglobin

Diabetes self-management game reduces hemoglobin

An online game designed to teach diabetes self-management significantly decreased hemoglobin A1c, a common marker for diabetes control, according to research published in Diabetes Care in August.

Ask the Care Expert about ... ordering antibiotics

Ask the Care Expert about ... ordering antibiotics

I am trying to train some of the staff on my floor to be aware before simply automatically ordering an antibiotic to get the resident feeling better. Can you help?

Profile: Brian Jurutka

Profile: Brian Jurutka

If there's a recurrent term for how people describe new National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care CEO, Brian Jurutka, it's curiosity.

Court drops backlog order

The Department of Health and Human Services will have another shot at explaining why it believes a four-year timeline for clearing the current Medicare appeals backlog is "impossible," thanks to an August court ruling.

Hospices earning high scores on newly released ratings

Hospices earning high scores on newly released ratings

Hospice providers are showing impressive scores on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' new Hospice Compare website — but those high grades have led some to question the site's efficacy.

Ask the Payment Expert about ... preparing for the new survey

Ask the Payment Expert about ... preparing for the new survey

How do we prepare for the new survey process?

Hospitals failing at discharge info: report

Hospital patients often don't receive quality information on skilled nursing facilities prior to their discharge and may choose a facility based on location, a new study shows.

CMS surprises — and doesn't — with pay model changes

CMS surprises — and doesn't — with pay model changes

There were surprises mixed with an utter lack of the unexpected in August when federal officials made bold moves away from certain mandatory care and payment models.

60 Seconds with ... William A. Dombi

60 Seconds with ... William A. Dombi

Q: Serving as interim president (after the death of NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris) what are your goals moving forward?

Thanks for 1% Medicare raise

If they hadn't known well in advance it would be that small, providers probably wouldn't have been so gracious about a mere 1% increase in Medicare reimbursements from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Academic serving up 'train wreck' forecast

Academic serving up 'train wreck' forecast

Low wages and a lack of respect for direct care workers are putting the long-term care industry on a dangerous path to worker shortages, a professor warned recently.

Low vitamin D ups heart risk

Low vitamin D ups heart risk

Seniors with vitamin D deficiency may face more than 12 times an increased risk of heart failure, according to a study published in August.

Flu shot firings leading to trial

A North Carolina hospital will have to go to trial over claims that it fired at least three employees who refused a flu shot on religious grounds.

Admins, DONs earning more

Salaries for nursing home administrators jumped 3% over the past year, to a national average of $97,401, while directors of nursing realized a 2.6% increase, to an average of $89,902.

CMS cancels, trims bundled pay models

CMS cancels, trims bundled pay models

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a proposal in mid-August to cancel its Episode Payment and Cardiac Rehabilitation bundled payment models, citing a need for "greater flexibility" in designing new models.

Fifth Fall Expo to offer free CE

Fifth Fall Expo to offer free CE

As providers prepare for Phase 2 requirements under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' mega-rule, many are balancing how to stay compliant while affirming residents' rights.Attorney Sean Fahey, of Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman P.C., will give guidance on this and more during the Quality session of the McKnight's Fall Online Expo.

A Trump success story

A Trump success story

President Trump may have struggled mightily to kill Obamacare. But he is clearly enjoying early success in at least one area: labor policy.

Health literacy low for Medigap seniors

Health literacy is lacking for individuals with Medigap coverage compared to other elderly populations, new research has found.

Assertiveness training called key to improving nursing care

Assertiveness training called key to improving nursing care

Nurses showed short- and long-term benefits after just three hours of an assertiveness training program, according to results from a University of Miyazaki study.

Ask the Nursing Expert about ... the new survey process

Ask the Nursing Expert about ... the new survey process

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. Do you have any tips to assist with the new survey process?

Florida SNFs sue over Medicaid pay delay

Ten Florida skilled nursing facilities have filed a class-action lawsuit against several insurance companies over their alleged failure to pay interest on overdue Medicaid payments.

Court: SNFs allowed to fight delayed Medicaid payments

Court: SNFs allowed to fight delayed Medicaid payments

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled in August that 10 operators of Illinois long-term care facilities can move forward with a lawsuit against the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (IDHFS), the organization that administers the state's Medicaid program.

Ask the Legal Expert about ... 24/7 visitor policies

Ask the Legal Expert about ... 24/7 visitor policies

We adopted a 24/7 visitor policy after much encouragement. Unfortunately, we occasionally get disruptive visitors. What can we do to restrict this without receiving complaints?

How to do it ... choosing the best bath lifts

Lifts and other transfer equipment often get a bad rap with residents and reluctant staff. Misinformation can be rife, initial encounters uncomfortable. Yet these devices can be invaluable for staff and residents. Experts offer advice on how to convert combative or reluctant residents to ensure safe and efficient use.

Customers come first

Customers come first

With the help of customer relationship management tools, providers and sales reps can manage their referrals, improve census and track missed opportunities

Helping the assessors

Helping the assessors

Minimum Data Set coordinators serve vital functions in today's skilled nursing facilities — their ability to dig deep is so critical that one software executive likens it to navigating the Andromeda galaxy.

Design Decisions: Celebrating car culture

Design Decisions: Celebrating car culture

A few years ago, the United Auto Workers eyed the Packard Proving Grounds in Shelby Township, MI, north of Detroit, as the potential site for a community center. Given the property's history and the rich car culture of the region, it seemed like a place to park it.

ManorCare receivership

Quality Care Properties kept the heat on HCR ManorCare top managers, announcing in mid-August that it had begun the process of appointing an independent receiver to oversee the provider's skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.

Shareholders sign off on deal linking Sabra, CCP

Shareholders sign off on deal linking Sabra, CCP

A giant new skilled nursing-assisted living chain was given birth in August, when shareholders of Sabra Health Care REIT and Care Capital Properties voted to approve a deal that would combine the two into one real estate investment trust.

Ready for anything

Ready for anything

With implementation of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' new emergency preparedness rules on the horizon, United Hebrew of New Rochelle took its disaster drills up a notch.

Reader Poll: What do you do at the start of each work day to set yourself up for success?

"Usually I'll go over my planner and peruse that. I just got into bullet journaling. The idea is that if you write something down and you didn't do it, is it worth it to move it forward to the next month or should you just forget it?"

Person-centered care pushing aside nonsense

Person-centered care pushing aside nonsense

I found it stunning when I recently read that more than a half million people had taken advantage of new Medicare coverage that pays for end-of-life discussions with their doctors. And there was hardly a peep about it.

Warning comes with sharp rise in hospitals holding ownership links to post-acute care

Warning comes with sharp rise in hospitals holding ownership links to post-acute care

The percentage of hospitals with shared ownership or investor links to a post-acute care provider jumped from 25% in 2005 to nearly 50% in 2015, a new Health Affairs study shows. That sharp increase could have policy- and care-related implications, according to the study's authors.

Sepsis beats out joint replacements as costliest, most common hospital discharge

Sepsis cost the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services $6 billion in fiscal 2015, making it the most expensive condition or procedure among inpatient discharges, according to new data.

CMS suspends surveys, allows providers to exceed bed capacity in states hit by Hurricane Harvey

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is extending some flexibilities for Medicare providers in Texas and Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Administrator Seema Verma said on Saturday.

Also in the News for Wednesday, Sept. 6

CMS releases new nursing home facility assessment tool ahead of provider call ... 2 indicted for posting inappropriate photos of nursing home residents ... Alzheimer's, dementia rates dropping among seniors over 70

Fall Online Expo just weeks away — register now for free CEs

Fall Online Expo just weeks away — register now for free CEs

McKnight's fifth annual Fall Online Expo is back in just over two weeks, allowing long-term care providers the chance to earn three free continuing education credits.

Neighbors, provider locked in legal battle over nursing home for inmates

A nursing home for paroled inmates that recently received approval for federal funding is now locked in a legal battle with its neighbors, who argue the facility is hurting their property values and putting their families at risk.

Kindred scores $519 million in first closing of skilled nursing exit

Kindred Healthcare has sold off the first batch of skilled nursing facilities as part of its exit from the sector, the company announced on Thursday.

Also in the News for Tuesday, Sept. 5

Researchers identify compounds that delay age-related symptoms ... Study finds link between oral health, risk of mortality for nursing home residents ... Coroner rules heat the primary factor in death of resident found in facility courtyard

AG seeks to revive lawsuit against Golden LivingCenters in state Supreme Court

AG seeks to revive lawsuit against Golden LivingCenters in state Supreme Court

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has launched an attempt at reinstating a lawsuit against 25 Golden LivingCenters locations, arguing that leaving it dormant would have "unintended consequences" for the state's residents.

Former SNF employee sentenced to 13 years for resident's murder

A former employee of an Illinois skilled nursing facility was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years in prison, but is expected to serve only about half that time, after pleading guilty to murder in the death of a 79-year-old resident.

New tool finds 15 connections to increased fractures in SNF residents

A new risk assessment has shown promise in predicting fracture risk among institutionalized long-term care residents, according to new research published Thursday.

Also in the News for Friday, Sept. 1

Court dumps Obama-era pay rule that made millions more eligible for overtime ... Painkillers may increase blood pressure in arthritis patients ... AHRQ reissues hurricane recovery resources for healthcare providers ... Higher sense of purpose may boost seniors' walking speeds, hand grip

Nursing Home Compare not good enough, Harvard experts say

Nursing Home Compare not good enough, Harvard experts say

The Nursing Home Compare website is suffering from "considerable" knowledge gaps that may make it harder for consumers to make informed decisions about their post-acute care, according to some experts.

Nonprofit providers fare worse in staff training, communication, study finds

Perceptions of safety culture within nursing homes vary greatly among staff and provider types, with nonprofit providers linked to worse staff training, a new study shows.

Texas could seek Medicaid expansion during Harvey recovery

Hurricane Harvey's impact on Texas may spur the state to pursue Medicaid expansion as a way to receive public funding in the storm's aftermath, some observers say.

Also in the News for Thursday, Aug. 31

DOJ to fund law enforcement training on fighting elder financial exploitation ... Seniors who watch more TV have higher risk of walking disabilities ... FDA approves new antibacterial drug for UTI treatment

LeadingAge urges lawmakers to delay phases of mega-rule as part of Red-Tape Relief Project

LeadingAge urges lawmakers to delay phases of mega-rule as part of Red-Tape Relief Project

The next phases of the new federal requirements of participation for long-term care should be delayed in order to make implementation less burdensome and costly, the nation's largest non-profit provider organization told lawmakers last week.

Researchers advocate changing POLST term to more accurately describe end-of-life wishes

Updating the name of forms used to document nursing home residents' end-of-life wishes may help make them more accurate, according to researchers.

SNF resident charged with murder in fellow resident's death

A North Carolina nursing home resident has been charged with first-degree murder after allegedly fatally beating his roommate.

Also in the News for Wednesday, Aug. 30

High-performing ACOs cut nursing home spending by $287 per person, OIG says ... Kaiser Permanente hit with $2.2 million fine for not providing Medicaid patient data to state ... Woman charged with threatening to blow up healthcare facility

Report: More than 25% of potential abuse incidents in SNFs go unreported to police

Report: More than 25% of potential abuse incidents in SNFs go unreported to police

More than a quarter of incidents of possible abuse or neglect against nursing home residents go unreported to authorities despite mandatory reporting laws, according to a new federal report.

Short stays may be driving up Americans' nursing home needs, study finds

Recent increases in the percentage of short nursing home stays may lead to a higher amount of Americans requiring skilled nursing care than previously estimated, a new study shows.

Harvey declared public health emergency: HHS waives documentation requirements for healthcare facilities

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., declared a public health emergency in Texas on Saturday in response to Hurricane Harvey and the resulting floods.

Also in the News for Tuesday, Aug. 29

Kindred to donate $50,000 to support Harvey recovery efforts ... Family involvement, individualized activities high on SNF residents' list of preferences ... End-of-life care 'ripe for transformation' by ACOs ... AHA sounds off on possible new nursing home payment system

Americans' likelihood of requiring SNF care 'substantially' higher than thought, study finds

The average American's risk of needing skilled nursing care at some point in their life is 60% greater than previous studies have shown, according to new research.

SNF turns therapy gym into makeshift bedroom to house residents evacuated by Hurricane Harvey

SNF turns therapy gym into makeshift bedroom to house residents evacuated by Hurricane Harvey

A Texas skilled nursing facility jumped from 80 beds to 150 late last week as it welcomed residents from a sister facility evacuating ahead of Hurricane Harvey.

Labor contracts show little impact on SNF employees' job satisfaction, study finds

Workplace culture and teamwork may play a bigger role in keeping nursing home employees satisfied than collective labor contracts, a new study shows.

Nursing home employees score $50,000 Powerball prize

The Massachusetts hospital employee who scored last week's record-setting $759 million Powerball jackpot wasn't the only healthcare worker who got lucky in the lottery drawing.

Also in the News for Monday, Aug. 28

Iowa ombudsman's office to stop AL, SNF visits due to budget cuts ... FDA approves first drug for Parkinson's dyskinesia ... HHS creating chronic pain management task force

Variation exists in hospitals' use of SNFs, IRFs for stroke post-acute care, study shows

Variation exists in hospitals' use of SNFs, IRFs for stroke post-acute care, study shows

Hospitals vary in whether they send patients to inpatient rehabilitation or skilled nursing facilities to receive treatment after a stroke, and the reasons why aren't exactly clear, according to a new study.

CMS launches webpage mandated by Jimmo settlement

The educational webpage mandated as part of the federal government's settlement of the Jimmo case is now live, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced this week.

Opioid crisis may lead to increased elder abuse in rural areas, report says

The nationwide opioid crisis may cause a rise in elder abuse in rural areas, according to a report published Thursday by Grantmakers in Aging.

Also in the News for Friday, Aug. 25

LGBT seniors more likely to have chronic health conditions, sleep issues ... Joint effort aims to educate senior living execs about financial fraud ... Avocados may help boost seniors' cognitive function ... Will Ferrell to play centenarian who escapes from nursing home in The 100 Year-Old Man

Bariatric patient-handling conference returns

The second National Bariatric Safe Patient Handling and Mobility Conference will take place Sept. 14-15 in Austin, TX.

Federal court upholds Immediate Jeopardy penalty for SNF that failed to protect resident from potential abuse

Federal court upholds Immediate Jeopardy penalty for SNF that failed to protect resident from potential abuse

An Illinois skilled nursing facility that was penalized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will have to pay more than $60,000 in Immediate Jeopardy fines despite its argument that no residents were harmed as a result of its noncompliance, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.

Advanced practice nurses key to improving SNF care, researchers say

Training an advanced practice nurse to lead a nursing home care team has shown promise for improving staff communication and the way facilities handle mobility, hydration and end-of-life care issues, a new study shows.

CMS pushes back QRP data submission deadline due to coding issues

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services is extending the deadline for skilled nursing facilities to submit assessment measure data due to coding issues discovered this week, the agency announced on Wednesday.

Also in the News for Thursday, Aug. 24

Court tells EEOC to reconsider wellness plan incentives ... CMS launches new healthcare quality and certification data website ... Irish nursing homes under fire for allegedly charging residents to attend Mass

'Unnecessarily time-consuming' documentation may be on chopping block, CMS admin suggests

'Unnecessarily time-consuming' documentation may be on chopping block, CMS admin suggests

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is working on initiatives aimed at alleviating providers' burden and simplifying federal regulations, Administrator Seema Verma said in a blog post published Tuesday.

Sepp out, ACHCA announces search for new CEO

The American College of Health Care Administrators has begun the process of looking for a new CEO, the group said in an announcement sent Tuesday.

VA to propose easier funding access for rural nursing homes

Rural veterans may soon have easier access to long-term care under a future proposal being considered by Veterans Affairs officials.

Also in the News for Wednesday, Aug. 23

CCRC employee charged with murder after resident dies from beating injuries ... Opioid crisis posing drug theft challenges for hospice providers ... Retinal scans may help detect signs of Alzheimer's