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Obama budget cuts provider payments

Obama budget cuts provider payments

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Presidents usually release budgets for reasons that have less to do with spreadsheets than legacies. President Obama's fiscal year 2015 spending plan is no different. The $3.9 trillion proposal offers a partisan blueprint for improving jobs, the economy and the nation's long-term fiscal outlook.

CMS requests survey buildup

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is asking for $49 million more in its next budget, largely to expand long-term care inspection programs.

Audits paused, providers glad

Audits paused, providers glad

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Long-term care providers are applauding a pause in the Medicare recovery audit contractor program.

Feds looking to QAPI, not penalties, for help

Feds looking to QAPI, not penalties, for help

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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials said they consider the upcoming Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement guidelines, not harsher penalties, as the better way to reduce adverse events in post-acute care.

Staffing, quality link found shaky

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Nursing home staffing levels have not been definitively linked to better care, according to an analysis published in JAMDA.

New test for Alzheimer's

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A new blood test reveals with 90% accuracy which people will develop Alzheimer's disease or mild dementia within three years, according to study results in Nature Medicine.

White House spending plan less than industry hoped for

White House spending plan less than industry hoped for

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In every White House budget, there are winners and losers. Unfortunately for providers, long-term care again falls into the latter category. All told, President Obama's $3.9 trillion spending plan for fiscal year 2015 would cut funding for healthcare by $402 billion over the next decade.

22% of beneficiaries return to hospital

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A large number of rehabilitation patients seek hospital care shortly after being discharged from a nursing facility, according to recent research.

Meddling relatives harm end-of-life care

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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.

Guidance identifies clothing choices for infection control

Guidance identifies clothing choices for infection control

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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.

Eye injections trim SNF use

Eye injections trim SNF use

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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.

Video speeds stroke rehab

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Real-time video used in therapy sessions could help stroke survivors rehabilitate more quickly, according to researchers.

McKnight's 8th Expo is here

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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.

Home-based caring practices boost SNFs

Home-based caring practices boost SNFs

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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.

MDS staff face time crunches

MDS staff face time crunches

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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.

Part A claims under scrutiny

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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.

Cynical admins apt to leave jobs: study

Cynical admins apt to leave jobs: study

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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.

Flu shot cuts stroke risk 24%

Flu shot cuts stroke risk 24%

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People who are vaccinated against the flu are 24% less likely to suffer a stroke during that flu season, say British researchers who analyzed records of nearly 50,000 patients.

Delve into hot topics at the 2014 Expo

Delve into hot topics at the 2014 Expo

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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

Bookkeeper linked to long-term scheme

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A Wisconsin bookkeeper who worked at a nursing home for 31 years is suspected of garnering $850,000 in what authorities describe as a complex embezzlement scheme.

Jimmo guidance: Document goal before you provide care

Jimmo guidance: Document goal before you provide care

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Skilled nursing facilities should not claim that therapy was to maintain a patient's condition if documentation reflected only an improvement goal.

Hand washing might be moot

Hand washing might be moot

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Caregivers who wear gloves can likely save time and skip hand washing before putting them on without worrying about increasing nosocomial infection rates.

Glucose meters views sought

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Federal authorities are accepting comments through the first week of April on newly proposed stricter guidelines for blood glucose monitoring systems.

Inpatient admissions plummet

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A new admissions policy has driven hospital inpatient stays to record low levels, according to Citigroup analysts.

Dual eligibles moved out of LTC face risks

Dual eligibles moved out of LTC face risks

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Dual eligibles who move from a long-term care facility to home- and community-based services have a 40% increased risk of a potentially preventable hospital stay.

Newest wound care insights

Newest wound care insights

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Wound care continues to be a growing challenge in the long-term care sector. But many facilities are not doing enough to ensure success, according to Jeffrey M. Levine, M.D., a wound care and geriatrics specialist affiliated with Mount Sinai Beth Israel (formerly Beth Israel Medical Center) in New York.

Call to slash therapy caps

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The chairman of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has urged a House committee to set lower Medicare Part B therapy spending caps.

CMS wants tougher emergency prep rules

CMS wants tougher emergency prep rules

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Long-term care facilities would have to meet more comprehensive emergency preparedness guidelines if a newly proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is enacted.

Budget deal extends Medicare's 2% cuts

Budget deal extends Medicare's 2% cuts

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Long-term care providers face an additional two years of reduced Medicare reimbursements under a federal budget compromise hammered out in December.

I couldn't live without ... Pinnacle CareReview

I couldn't live without ... Pinnacle CareReview

Instant consumer feedback has become paramount in today's competitive long-term care industry, so comments offered by patients, residents and family members are invaluable in helping operators improve services.

Federal court upholds $10k fine for suicide

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A $10,000 fine levied against a skilled nursing facility that allowed a suicidal resident to leave the building and then kill himself will stand, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Providers take the long view on budget, doc pay formula

Providers take the long view on budget, doc pay formula

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Long-term care provider associations focused on the big picture and counted blessings in response to legislative action in the last Congressional session of 2013.

Drugs will kill CRE colonies

Drugs will kill CRE colonies

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Particular antibiotics are effective in eliminating colonies of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in asymptomatic carriers of the deadly bacteria, according to clinical research.

Big predictor for Alzheimer's

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Researchers have found a way to predict with 90% accuracy which mild cognitive impairment sufferers would develop Alzheimer's disease within two years.

OIG probes hospitalizations

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A fourth of the 3.3 million Medicare beneficiaries who lived in a nursing home in 2011 were hospitalized for at least one day. This came at a cost of $14.3 billion, according to a Nov. 18 report from the Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Bill eases 3-day rule for many operators

Bill eases 3-day rule for many operators

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Above-average skilled nursing facilities may become exempted from Medicare's prior hospitalization requirement, per legislation from Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH).

Proposal for full LTC coverage

Proposal for full LTC coverage

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Congressional lawmakers have introduced a bill to launch a single-payer healthcare system that would include universal long-term care coverage.

Liability costs will climb 5%

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Long-term care operators can expect a 5% increase in liability costs in 2014, according to a new analysis from Aon Global Risk Consulting and the American Health Care Association.

Docs, hospitals protest two-midnight rule

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A new policy meant to reduce the number of hospital observation stays should be delayed, and stakeholders should collaborate on a better way to achieve that goal, according to the American Medical Association and American Hospital Association.

Feds ease auditing reviews, anti-fraud efforts to surge

Feds ease auditing reviews, anti-fraud efforts to surge

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Providers likely will embrace House legislation that eases billing reviews for operators deemed a low fraud risk.

Drugs reduce dementia risk

Drugs reduce dementia risk

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Seniors who take certain blood pressure medications might be at a dramatically reduced risk for developing dementia associated with Alzheimer's disease, according to findings in Neurology.

Croon a tune to fight dementia

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Show-tune sing-alongs are an effective form of dementia care, new research suggests.

Chair-lift death might hit SNF

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A Colorado facility might have to pay punitive damages because a supervisor put the wrong safety clip on a lift that malfunctioned and led to a resident's death, a federal court recently ruled.

Managed care is here to stay, Minnix says

Managed care is here to stay, Minnix says

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Medicaid managed care systems have the potential to improve care outcomes, and providers' bottom lines, so operators should embrace them, said LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix.

Review targets stolen money

Review targets stolen money

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Leaders in the U.S. Senate have called for a government review of how nursing homes handle facility-managed trust funds.

SNF workers ill, hurt most often

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Nursing home workers own the worst rates of employee injuries and illnesses among U.S. workforces, notes a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Faster payments for 'trusted' providers?

Faster payments for 'trusted' providers?

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Rep. Roger W. Williams (R-TX) has introduced a "trusted provider" bill in the House of Representatives. The measure would give Medicare claim review protections for those who pose a lower risk of submitting fraudulent claims.

Providers embracing technology bring in honors in second Tech Awards program

Providers embracing technology bring in honors in second Tech Awards program

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The second annual McKnight's Long-Term Care News Excellence in Technology Awards begged the question: How can you compare to last year's storied winners?

Financing reform rift in LTC commission

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The Commission on Long-Term Care has released its full report to Congress, but some commissioners broke ranks, saying the bipartisan panel did not fulfill its mandate to offer recommendations for comprehensive reform.

Court nixes 3-day challenge, says doctors should decide

Court nixes 3-day challenge, says doctors should decide

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A federal district court in Connecticut has dismissed a case filed by more than a dozen beneficiaries who challenged Medicare's "three-day rule."

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