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State slammed in federal report

State slammed in federal report

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South Dakota "unnecessarily" uses nursing facilities to provide services to people with disabilities, according to a May report from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Medicare funding to rise by $800 million?

Medicare funding to rise by $800 million?

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While skilled nursing facilities could receive $800 million more in Medicare payment increases in fiscal year 2017, providers still must prepare for value-based purchasing incentives in two years.

Frequent sales raise a red flag

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A new study has shown that nursing facilities that are bought and sold frequently by corporate owners tend to continue poor care.

PAD diagnoses infections fast

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Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have created a point-of-care diagnosis system for healthcare-associated infection

Study supports 'family' dining

Study supports 'family' dining

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Eating meals family-style can boost nutrition, hydration and quality of life for people with dementia, scientists have found.

CMS has cooked up new fire safety rules

CMS has cooked up new fire safety rules

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The finalized rules relax some operational and construction requirements in order to give providers more flexibility and make the atmosphere more homelike, CMS officials said.

McKnight's earns accolades

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The McKnight's Long-Term Care News editorial staff kept up a streak, earning seven national awards in the month of May.

Pay proposal could deliver unintended consequences

Pay proposal could deliver unintended consequences

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Providers are pleased with a federal proposal to increase skilled nursing payments by 2.1% but remain wary about the four new quality measures that are attached.

Groups rating SNFs differently

Groups rating SNFs differently

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The government's ratings for nursing homes diverge wildly from consumers' personal ratings, new study results show.

Providers get new pay model for readmits

Providers get new pay model for readmits

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Skilled nursing facilities moving into a new Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services model will need to reduce avoidable hospitalizations through intensive staff training and new treatments.

CMS: Provider results rising

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A new release of data by federal regulators shows nursing home operators are improving.

FDA warning about opioids

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Labels for certain opioid pain medications will soon be required to carry a warning about the drugs' risks of misuse and death, the Food and Drug Administration said in March.

Dementia spur: lost body heat

Dementia spur: lost body heat

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A drop in body temperature may aggravate Alzheimer's symptoms, according to a new study.

New DOJ task forces  targeting worst SNFs

New DOJ task forces targeting worst SNFs

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The Department of Justice is forming 10 regional task forces to expose and improve nursing homes that are found to provide "grossly substandard" care.

Broader HIPAA audits underway

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New HIPAA audits are focusing on healthcare providers as well as their business associates, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights.

Operators need to make case on managed care, CEO says

Operators need to make case on managed care, CEO says

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Providers should be prepared for states with managed care programs to hit their Medicare Part A mix, a long-term care expert warned in April.

DOL finalizes anti-union 'persuader' rule

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Employers will be required to report any anti-union and collective bargaining activity to employees under the final version of a "persuader" rule issued by the Department of Labor in late March.

A site-neutral  PAC plan nears

A site-neutral PAC plan nears

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The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission has said it's close to completing a plan for unified, site-neutral post-acute payments.

Social media posts spur Senate interest

Social media posts spur Senate interest

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A surge of cases involving long-term care workers inappropriately posting video or photos of naked residents has led some U.S. senators to push for greater scrutiny.

New measures of quality here

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Six new quality measures for skilled nursing facilities will be rolled out by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services beginning in April.

Dementia tied to gum disease

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Gum disease has been linked to a greater rate in cognitive decline, a study following people with early-stage Alzheimer's disease has found.

Flu shots spike when required

Flu shots spike when required

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Mandatory flu vaccinations for healthcare workers increase the overall vaccination rate, per new research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

High therapy billings trigger audits: CMS

High therapy billings trigger audits: CMS

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Federal regulators say startling data about the amount of therapy given at the highest levels compelled them to call in recovery audit contractors.

CMS beats value-based pay goal

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reached its goal of having 30% of all Medicare payments tied to alternative payment models nearly a year ahead of schedule, the agency announced in March.

Facility hit with lawsuit after nude resident photos appear

Facility hit with lawsuit after nude resident photos appear

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The other shoe dropped when a lawsuit against a South Dakota nursing home was filed after an employee posted nude photos of a resident on social media.

Study: 27% of readmissions preventable

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Improved discharge directions and communication between patients and providers could prevent more than a fourth of hospital readmissions, according to a new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

'Value' outlays on pace: CMS

'Value' outlays on pace: CMS

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Healthcare providers should reach the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' goal of having 30% of all Medicare payments be value-based by the end of this year, one CMS official declared in early February.

Providers 'concerned' over post-acute plans

Providers 'concerned' over post-acute plans

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Worried provider groups have called for a slowdown in the development of Medicare cost measures for post-acute care.

States spotty on checkups

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An initiative that provides states with grants to implement background check programs is off to a slow-moving start, according to a recent report.

No 'benzo' link with dementia

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Seniors who take medications from a class of anti-anxiety drugs do not have an increased risk of dementia, research from the University of Washington has found.

Group's care policies may hurt, AHCA says

Group's care policies may hurt, AHCA says

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Chronic care proposals may have "unintended consequences," provider groups said in February.

New guidelines target diabetes

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For the first time ever, the American Diabetes Association has released guidelines on diabetes management in long-term care settings.

MedPAC remains bullish on site-neutral payment system

MedPAC remains bullish on site-neutral payment system

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Medicare Payment Advisory Commission members remained staunch supporters of a site-neutral payment system for post-acute care providers.

Camera snags abusive nursing home aide

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As cameras grow more prevalent in long-term care, one certified nursing assistant is headed behind bars.

10th Online Expo offers hot topics for 2016

10th Online Expo offers hot topics for 2016

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The annual McKnight's virtual trade show features another cast of national experts, free CE credits, vendor booths and more — and it's available wherever you and your computer are

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.

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