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CMS proposal will target IT, staff competency protocols

CMS proposal will target IT, staff competency protocols

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Information technology and staff training are two key topics included in the proposed regulatory overhaul announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as part of the White House Conference on Aging in July.

Medicare pilot programs to begin this year

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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials are finalizing details for three Medicare pilot programs set to begin this year, agency officials announced.

A test plan that may cost some a bundle

A test plan that may cost some a bundle

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' "monumental" plan to test bundled payments for hip and knee replacements could spell trouble for skilled nursing facilities, experts warn.

Feds will focus on MDS 3.0

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has a new mission providers need to be keenly aware of, a prominent long-term care payment expert cautions.

Seizures also a dementia risk?

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Adults with frontotemporal dementia are at increased risk of seizures, per a study from the University of California, San Francisco.

Diabetes drug cuts dementia

Diabetes drug cuts dementia

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A frequently prescribed diabetes drug may reduce the risk of older adults developing dementia, researchers from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases found.

Obama's bombshell: More industry rules

Obama's bombshell: More industry rules

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The Obama administration said it is seeking to "modernize" the long-term care profession through hundreds of pages of regulatory revisions it unveiled at the White House Conference on Aging in July.

Plan will push care planning

Plan will push care planning

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A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposal to reimburse practitioners for discussing advance care planning drew praise of long-term care medical directors in July.

SNF bed total drops slightly

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The skilled care sector saw occupancy rates and bed supply dip slightly between March and June, new data shows.

Nursing groups outline ways to remedy staffing shortages

Nursing groups outline ways to remedy staffing shortages

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Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco found at least 2.5 million more long-term care workers will be needed by 2030 to keep pace with growing care demands.

Flu vaccine tweaks aim at more protection

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The flu vaccination for the upcoming season is being tweaked for broader protection, due to last year's inconsistent coverage of influenza strains, U.S. health officials announced in June.

Therapy claims, ED transfers: OIG focus

Therapy claims, ED transfers: OIG focus

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The Office of Inspector General will be taking a closer look at several important long-term care subject areas and practices, according to its Fiscal Year 2015 Mid-Year Update.

McKnight's wins Apex 'Grand'

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McKnight's Long-Term Care News has been recognized for its print magazine, columns and "McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes" in the 2015 APEX Awards for Publication Excellence program.

Workers often MRSA carriers

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About one in four nursing home residents are carriers of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

Bad sleep links to Alzheimer's

Bad sleep links to Alzheimer's

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Lack of sleep in old age may contribute to Alzheimer's disease, research suggests.

RAC overhaul bill approved

RAC overhaul bill approved

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The Senate Finance Committee has approved legislation aimed at changing how questionable Medicare payments are handled by Recovery Audit Contractors.

Nursing shortage to challenge operators

Nursing shortage to challenge operators

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In 15 years, at least 2.5 million more long-term care workers will be needed to keep pace with the resulting increase in caregiving demands, according to researchers at the University of California at San Francisco.

Providers fume over pay freeze

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Long-term care providers quickly fired back after a congressional advisory committee recommended no Medicare pay increase for the coming year.

AHCA announces ambitious new quality initiative goals

AHCA announces ambitious new quality initiative goals

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The largest nursing home association in the country has announced a campaign to significantly reduce poor outcomes and hospital readmission rates, and tackle other quality improvement areas.

Minnix: We have outdated views on aging

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Aging services over the next decade should be looking at redefining age, improving practices, innovating solutions and transforming policy, the leader of a top senior care association declared in April.

Providers cheer bill, but want cap relief

Providers cheer bill, but want cap relief

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Long-term care providers were among those cheering loudest when the Senate returned from its spring recess and promptly voted 92-8 to pass H.R. 2, ensuring that draconian Medicare pay rates for doctors wouldn't take hold.

Awards pile up for McKnight's

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Another May, another slew of awards for McKnight's Long-Term Care News.

Drug-resistant bacteria lurks

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A Boston-based study of 152 nursing home residents with advanced dementia found about 20% harbor strains of drug-resistant bacteria.

Exercise helps brain matter

Exercise helps brain matter

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Cardiorespiratory fitness can change seniors' brains, new research reveals.

Tech contest is open for entries

Tech contest is open for entries

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The 2015 McKnight's Excellence in Technology awards program has returned, giving long-term care facilities a place to shine.

SNF pay to rise by $500 million

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Medicare officials said they hope to increase skilled nursing facility reimbursements by $500 million in 2016 under a proposed new payment rate.

Budget plans target Medicare, Medicaid

Budget plans target Medicare, Medicaid

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The Senate has joined the House in passing an austere spending blueprint that trims support for Medicare, Medicaid and other social programs.

'Doc fix' legislation facing fewer hurdles

'Doc fix' legislation facing fewer hurdles

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Providers found themselves holding their breath again at press time over a potential "fix" to a Medicare doctor payment formula that officially triggered a 21% pay cut April 1.

'Cost of care' put at $91,250

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Providers may be under increased reimbursement restraints, but consumers might have a hard time believing it. The median charge for a private room in a skilled care facility exceeds $90,000 a year, a new survey finds.

Feds to target value, outlays

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Providers can kiss fee-for-service payments goodbye, says Kathleen Sebelius.

PAD treatment is 'palliative'

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Most nursing home residents with peripheral arterial disease (PAD) were not more mobile after lower extremity revascularization, according to a new analysis.

Education for opioids needed

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Patients need more information about pain control and opioid misuse, according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ventas SNF spin-off could be a template for other REITs

Ventas SNF spin-off could be a template for other REITs

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Ventas, the massive healthcare real estate investment trust may be on the path to becoming a long-term care trendsetter once again.

Final bill for rehab dispute: $1.2 million

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A Maine skilled nursing facility has agreed to pay $1.2 million to the federal government to settle allegations it did not prevent RehabCare Group East Inc. from providing unnecessary therapy.

Suit: SNF liable for overdose

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A nursing home owner whose former employee died of an overdose is being sued in San Luis Obispo (CA) Superior Court.

Medicare payment group changes name

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A Medicare payment watchdog group saddled with huge case backlogs and heavily criticized for causing delays in resolving reimbursement issues has changed its name and location on the web.

More changes ahead for the current ratings system: feds

More changes ahead for the current ratings system: feds

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Staffing and retention rates are expected to be added to the Nursing Home Compare website in 2016.

Feds praise newest ACO model

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Federal regulators recently unveiled a new accountable care organization model they feel will appeal to long-term care operators.

Providers pushing for death of therapy caps

Providers are seeking legislation to end old therapy cap rates and to see changes in manual medical review process for therapy claims.

Dehydration is hard to change

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A systematic review of 23 published research studies on the risk of dehydration in people 65 and older left researchers with little conclusive evidence about causes or a solution, investigators reported in the Annals of Long-Term Care.

CMS: Quality is improving

CMS: Quality is improving

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A comprehensive review of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' quality measurement efforts since 2006 paints a mostly positive picture of quality measurements in nursing homes.

Records reveal seller's market

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Operators selling properties saw their best year ever in 2014 — and 2015 could be even better.

5 Star is expanding as tweaks continue

5 Star is expanding as tweaks continue

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Nursing homes entered a new era of tougher government scrutiny on Feb. 23, when officials released rebased Five Star ratings.

Departing workers are outpacing arrivals

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Workers are continuing to leave the field faster than they arrive, a new study finds.

New rankings might wrongly show downturn, leaders fear

New rankings might wrongly show downturn, leaders fear

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Despite progress reducing off-label use of antipsychotics among nursing home residents, providers remained worried about a rebasing of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services system to rank nursing homes.

Drug combo can be deadly

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Spironolactone, a diuretic used to treat heart failure, can cause a risk of sudden death in seniors when given with the antibiotic trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, Toronto researchers have found.

Meds linked to dementia risk

Meds linked to dementia risk

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A high use of anticholinergic medications has been linked to an increased risk of developing dementia, according to a new study.

McKnight's Online Expo to tackle pressing issues

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Certain issues tend to weigh heavily on the minds of operators. Chief among them: reducing hospital readmissions, complying with ever-changing Medicare rules, finding needed capital, delivering optimal wound care and harnessing technology to improve resident outcomes.

Industry warily eyes funding adjustments

Industry warily eyes funding adjustments

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Long-term care leaders have mixed feelings about a first-ever federal timeline for more bundled and other alternative payments, calling it "a good thing" but also "aggressive."

Rate drops for antipsychotics

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Industry leaders were pleasantly surprised to learn that nursing home operators had exceeded goals for lowering unnecessary antipsychotics use. The level dropped by nearly 20% over a three-year span.

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