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Expo returns bigger, better

Expo returns bigger, better

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Reducing unnecessary hospital readmissions will become increasingly important for long-term care providers in the year ahead, warns Elaine Healy, M.D., medical director and vice president of medical affairs at New York's United Hebrew of New Rochelle.

Year's top concerns: quality, arbitration

Year's top concerns: quality, arbitration

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Seven months after being surprised by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' release of a "mega rule," the nation's largest nursing home association said 2016 could be quiet on the policy front.

Slight drop for SNF occupancy

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The occupancy rate for skilled nursing facilities fell 0.1% during the fourth quarter of 2015, according to data released in January by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care.

Fall risk tied to vitamin overuse

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Despite previous studies highlighting the benefits of Vitamin D, too much could increase the risk of falls in seniors, per new research in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Opioids may darken mood

Opioids may darken mood

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Long-term use of opioids may trigger depression, a new study finds.

Speech mostly omits health-related issues

Speech mostly omits health-related issues

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Providers looking for President Barack Obama to tackle long-term care and other health-related issues in his final State of the Union address were left disappointed.

False claims to fuel lawsuits?

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Providers could be in store for a new, bigger wave of False Claims Act lawsuits, warn authors of a new report.

Efforts to restrict arbitration a growing industry concern

Efforts to restrict arbitration a growing industry concern

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' proposal to limit the use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements in skilled nursing facilities created the most angst for providers in 2015, according to the American Health Care Association's head of government affairs.

CMS discharge proposal draws criticism

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Despite showing general support, providers believe a recent discharge planning proposal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services needs additional clarification to it to ensure smooth patient transitions to post-acute care.

ACHCA names newest leader

ACHCA names newest leader

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Cecilia Sepp is the new president and CEO of the American College of Health Care Administrators. She was slated to start Jan. 4.

GAO calls for better SNF data, oversight

GAO calls for better SNF data, oversight

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The agency that oversees data collection and regulation of U.S. nursing homes needs to do much better, General Accountability Office investigators say.

MedPAC wants payment freeze

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The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission provoked the ire of skilled nursing providers after recommending once again that Congress freeze operator market-basket updates, this time for fiscal years 2017 and 2018.

Dementia test accuracy hailed

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A new computerized test is more than 82% accurate in diagnosing Alzheimer's disease, researchers have found.

Tylenol might not ease flu

Tylenol might not ease flu

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Using acetaminophen to treat the flu might not help improve symptoms, a new study shows.

Bundled pay model gets all wrapped up

Bundled pay model gets all wrapped up

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released its final bundled payment model for hip and knee replacement surgeries, which includes plans to waive the three-day stay rule for beneficiaries entering "qualified" skilled nursing facilities.

Bill to speed Medicare appeals

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-OR) formally introduced to the full Senate a bill that would provide more resources and funding to ease a glutted Medicare claims appeal process.

Report shows improvement, but agency has some doubts

Report shows improvement, but agency has some doubts

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Nursing home operators received good marks in a recent General Accountability Office report, if they're to be believed. The numbers, that is.

Forecast: Liability costs to top $215,000

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Long-term care facilities can expect their annual loss rate to increase by 5% over the course of 2016, according to a new report from the American Health Care Association and Aon Global Risk Consulting.

Active video games aid diabetes patients

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Older adults with type 2 diabetes might be able to meet activity guidelines using the Wii Fit Plus system, according to a Swiss study published in the fall.

Providers cite HIPAA wrongly

Providers cite HIPAA wrongly

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Care coordination is often stymied by incorrect understanding of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a former Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services official noted at LeadingAge's annual convention.

LeadingAge salutes Minnix, new leaders

LeadingAge salutes Minnix, new leaders

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A record number of LeadingAge attendees and eight past board chairmen honored outgoing President and CEO Larry Minnix in a polished "thank you" ceremony at the group's annual meeting and expo in November in Boston.

Penalties surge under new law

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The new federal budget could prove costly for accused providers.

Vaccine power hurt by statins

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Statins may reduce the efficacy of flu vaccinations in seniors, according to two new studies.

SNFs worst for job-tied injuries

SNFs worst for job-tied injuries

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Nursing facilities again rank among the industries with the highest amount of occupational injuries, according to the latest information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

AANAC making plans for DON organization

AANAC making plans for DON organization

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Long-term care nurse executives have announced they will be introducing an organization for directors of nursing in a few months.

'CCRC' is out, LeadingAge says

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After two years of study, LeadingAge has said continuing care retirement communities should be retitled "life plan community" as a category.

Sloan, former LeadingAge COO, named to top position

Sloan, former LeadingAge COO, named to top position

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The former chief operating officer of LeadingAge, Katie Smith Sloan, has been named its new president and CEO — the first woman to hold the top posts at the association.

Updated LTC safety rules are on the way

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Two new rules that would update fire safety and emergency preparedness standards for healthcare facilities arrived at the White House's Office of Management and Budget for review in November.

Audit program lacking: GAO

Audit program lacking: GAO

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The government's Recovery Audit Contractor program needs to be improved, asserts a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

Democrats seek end to arbitration options

Democrats seek end to arbitration options

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A group of U.S. Senators is urging an outright ban of nursing home arbitration agreement clauses in pre-admission documents.

OIG calls for crackdown

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The government has renewed criticism of provider billing methods for therapy and says it will be re-evaluating the entire process.

Many choose to bypass flu shots

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Long-term care workers have the lowest rate of influenza vaccine coverage, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found.

New approach to depression

New approach to depression

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Antipsychotic medications may help those over age 60 who have been diagnosed with depression, according to results of a clinical trial published in The Lancet.

CMS: Don't wait on submitting staff data

CMS: Don't wait on submitting staff data

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Skilled nursing facilities should start submitting electronic staffing data as soon as possible for the best results, federal officials said during a September conference call.

CCRC ratings outlook is stable

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It will be smooth sailing for continuing care retirement communities for the end of this year and through 2016, according to a new report by Fitch Ratings.

CMS showing its discomfort with arbitration arrangement

CMS showing its discomfort with arbitration arrangement

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Residents should fully understand binding arbitration agreements, and know that they have the option to contact federal, state or local healthcare officials about them, according to a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

AHCA pushing toward payment reform

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The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living will soon face their "most formidable challenge of all," in delivering a proposal for payment reform to Congress, chairman of the AHCA board of governors Leonard Russ told attendees at the organization's annual convention in October in San Antonio.

Providers balk at reform bid

Providers balk at reform bid

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LeadingAge gave the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services a long list of concerns with recently proposed regulator's reforms, a lead lobbyist said in an August letter.

More scrutiny ahead for Five-Star ratings

More scrutiny ahead for Five-Star ratings

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In a move that top nursing home lobbyists privately hoped wouldn't come to pass, the Government Accountability Office announced in late August it will be investigating the federal nursing home rating system again.

SNF occupancy sees a decline

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A drop in occupancy rates and an increase in days cash-on-hand are among the findings in CliftonLarsonAllen's 30th Annual Skilled Nursing Facility Cost Comparison Report.

Check memory sooner: group

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More than 30% of those over age 70 have memory problems, and a panel of aging experts said this population should have memory and reasoning ability evaluated annually by a healthcare provider.

Thumbs failed in sanitizing

Thumbs failed in sanitizing

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Healthcare workers applying hand sanitizer miss their thumbs 37% of the time, according to new research.

CMS extends model that pays docs more

CMS extends model that pays docs more

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will extend its initiative to improve care in nursing facilities, the agency announced in late August.

Senior living gets a news outlet

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McKnight's recently unveiled a dedicated website just for senior living professionals: McKnightsSeniorLiving.com.

Senators want to know more about nursing home ratings

Senators want to know more about nursing home ratings

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The Government Accountability Office is becoming well-versed at digging into the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' nursing home ratings system.

Post-acute push saves $411 million: feds

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Medicare accountable care organizations saved the federal government more than $411 million in 2014, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Facing the music: Providers learning new moves so they can stay in step with new dance partners

Facing the music: Providers learning new moves so they can stay in step with new dance partners

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There's no doubt today's long-term care provider must be able to dance with managed care and accountable care organizations. But while many are proving they can tango with transitions or rumba with readmissions, some are still looking for acute care partners with similar rhythm.

Tool addresses LGBT residents

Tool addresses LGBT residents

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released a tool to help long-term care providers address the needs of older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults.

Meds are tied to weight loss

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Cholinesterase inhibitors, commonly used to treat dementia, could cause older adults to lose a "harmful" amount of weight, new research suggests.

Study doubts 3-day waivers

Study doubts 3-day waivers

Skilled nursing facility admissions don't increase when Medicare Advantage plans waive the three-day stay rule, new research asserts.

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