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SNF, CCRC spending expected to rise 69%

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Spending on nursing homes and continuing care retirement communities is expected to roughly keep pace with total U.S. healthcare spending during the next decade, according to the annual "National Health Expenditures Projections" report released last month.

Lawmakers demand answers about rating system quirks

Lawmakers demand answers about rating system quirks

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After The New York Times noted that providers are apparently gaming the Five Star rating system by enhancing staffing and quality data, federal lawmakers quickly put an indignant pen to paper.

Flu-dose ally: higher antigen

Flu-dose ally: higher antigen

A high-dose flu vaccine with four times the amount of antigen in a standard vaccine was 24% more effective in protecting study subjects 65 and older against influenza complications.

Calming meds fuel dementia

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Long-term use of drugs commonly used to treat anxiety and insomnia increased the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by as much as 51%.

Reporting neglected, OIG says

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Slightly more than half of the nation's nursing facilities reported abuse or neglect allegations as required in 2012, a new report from the Office of Inspector General alleges. Such relatively low compliance indicates that more guidance and oversight is warranted, the report concludes.

AHCA: Managed care transparency needed

AHCA: Managed care transparency needed

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The government should collect and release more claims information from managed care plans, the nation's largest long-term care provider association stated in a recent letter to Senate leaders.

Regular chats avoid lawsuits

Regular chats avoid lawsuits

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To prevent lawsuits, long-term care leaders need to routinely communicate with difficult family members, a defense attorney told a McKnight's Fall Online Expo webcast audience last month.

Therapy buck stops at SNF

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A legal settlement involving two long-term care companies accused of not sufficiently controlling their contracted therapy provider's billing practices has created anxieties among skilled nursing operators.

Verify payroll totals for rankings: letter

Verify payroll totals for rankings: letter

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Federal regulators need to collect nursing home staffing data directly from payroll systems rather than from providers themselves, members of the Congressional Seniors Task Force said in a recent letter to a top healthcare official.

DOJ forces observation stay showdown

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Hospitals have been cast in a harsh light by long-term care advocates recently for allegedly over-using "observation stay" status. The practice can ultimately deny some patients subsequent Medicare coverage for nursing home admission.

Rate hike will be only a part of the new Medicare reality

Rate hike will be only a part of the new Medicare reality

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Many providers are relieved that Medicare rates are slated to go up by 2% in the next fiscal year. After all, who wants to turn down $750 million, especially in a rate-cutting climate?

Common soap may be culprit

Common soap may be culprit

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Healthcare facilities should avoid "heavily marketed" triclosan soaps, experts advise in updated hand hygiene guidelines.

MRSA often lurks in groin

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Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus colonization is common in groin and rectal areas, especially in men, new research shows.

McKnight's adds 8 more awards

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McKnight's added three national awards to its trophy case last month following the American Society of Business Publication Editors ceremony in Chicago.

Study: To boost care, empower nurse aides

Study: To boost care, empower nurse aides

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Long-term care managers would be wise to allow nursing assistants — and residents' family members — a greater say in managerial-type decision-making, authors of a new study assert.

Scrap hospital rule: experts

Scrap hospital rule: experts

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Medicare should cover people who go to a skilled nursing facility without a preceding hospital stay, experts recently told the Senate Special Committee on Aging.

Surveyor 'help' leads to chaos

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An Ohio nursing home says residents became defiant after speaking with a state inspector, leading the provider to file a lawsuit.

Medicare rates will increase 2% in 2015

Medicare rates will increase 2% in 2015

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When is a meager pay hike viewed as welcome news? When the source of that increase — namely, the federal government — seems intent on making cuts almost everywhere else.

Harkin: Divert funds from SNF settings

Harkin: Divert funds from SNF settings

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Medicaid funds would more easily flow toward people wanting home- and community-based services — and away from nursing homes — under a new bill unveiled by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA).

Gardens can ease dementia

Gardens can ease dementia

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Gardens in nursing homes can help patients with dementia, new research indicates.

Most residents are incontinent

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More than 75% of long-term residents are incontinent, as well as nearly half (46%) of short-term residents, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Feds: Tie ACO ratings to SNFs

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Accountable care organizations should be assessed on which patients bounce back to a member hospital within 30 days of being discharged to a skilled nursing facility, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services asserts in a proposed rule.

Congress grills top judge on appeals jam backlog

Congress grills top judge on appeals jam backlog

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There is no easy fix to the staggering backlog of Medicare appeals, a government official said during a July 10 Congressional hearing.

Heading toward a single payer?

Heading toward a single payer?

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Providers should expect to be paid exclusively through managed care systems by 2025, a former White House adviser said in July.

AL supply up, SNFs in decline

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Nursing home inventory is continuing its slow but steady downward trajectory, according to quarterly data released in July by the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry.

Nursing home population tumbles 20%

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The number of Americans 65 or older residing in a nursing home fell from 1.6 million to 1.3 million during the decade ending in 2010, according to a new federal report.

Nursing home refused to let worker wear hijab, EEOC says

Nursing home refused to let worker wear hijab, EEOC says

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An Alabama nursing home faces a lawsuit for allegedly refusing to allow a Muslim employee to wear a hijab.

$11.6M to nurse paralyzed by flu vaccine

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A former nurse has received an $11.6 million government settlement to pay for future care after a flu vaccine paralyzed her.

Facility fined $16,000 after reviving resident with DNR

Facility fined $16,000 after reviving resident with DNR

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Authorities have fined a Florida nursing home $16,000 for reviving a resident who had a do-not-resuscitate order.

Special juice reduces UTIs

Special juice reduces UTIs

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Drinking black chokeberry juice may reduce the rate of urinary tract infections among nursing home residents, according to findings published in Nutrition Research in June.

Certain lights ease dementia

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Certain lights may improve quality of life for residents with Alzheimer's and other types of dementia, according to a new study.

McKnight's reaches APEX again

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McKnight's Long-Term Care News Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman earned a Grand Award for blog writing, and McKnight's staff pulled in four other Awards of Excellence in the 2014 APEX Awards for Publication Excellence program.

Lawmakers want pay that is risk-adjusted

Lawmakers want pay that is risk-adjusted

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Calculations for Medicare readmissions penalties should be risk-adjusted so that providers do not lose money for serving the sickest, poorest seniors, a group of Congressional lawmakers said in a letter to regulators. Long-term care is carefully monitoring how hospital readmissions penalties are calculated because nursing home reimbursements will be tied to readmissions starting in 2018.

QAPI on minds of leadership

QAPI on minds of leadership

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A critical decision in a Quality Assurance Performance Improvement plan is not what, but whom, to include, a former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services official said at the annual NADONA conference.

Report: QIOs are reducing ulcers

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Nursing homes that have partnered with Quality Improvement Organizations over the last three years have delivered drastically reduced pressure ulcer rates and restraint use, according to new government figures.

MedPAC urges rates blind to care setting

MedPAC urges rates blind to care setting

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Skilled nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation facilities should receive equal payments for treating some conditions, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission proposed in its latest report to Congress.

Administrators pan pay-for-performance

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Most nursing home administrators do not believe that pay-for-performance initiatives lead to improved resident care or stronger bottom lines, according to findings recently published in the Journal of Aging and Social Policy.

Feds: Without more funds, we are cutting provider oversight

Feds: Without more funds, we are cutting provider oversight

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Nursing providers could feel reduced heat from federal Medicare and Medicaid oversight activities — if an agency official's testimony is to be believed as more than just budget-request bluster.

Sorbet raises food intake

Sorbet raises food intake

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Nursing home residents who have a sorbet appetizer tend to eat more at mealtime and maintain their weight, according to findings from a small study.

Aspirin not best for wound care?

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Non-aspirin pain relievers may be best for residents with chronic wounds, according to new study results.

McKnight's wins 9 more awards

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The McKnight's editorial team earned four honors in the 2014 ASHPE national editorial awards program.

LTC nurses likeliest to want new setting

LTC nurses likeliest to want new setting

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Most nurses find their work rewarding and satisfying. But nurses in the long-term care sector appear to be the most likely to want employment in a different setting, according to a survey from CareerBuilder and Harris Poll.

SNF Medicare rate rises 2%

SNF Medicare rate rises 2%

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The government has proposed increasing skilled nursing facility Medicare payments by $750 million in fiscal 2015.

Readmission numbers drop

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Readmissions of seniors to a hospital within a month of discharge declined in 2013, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Ultra-High therapy keeps surging: CMS

Ultra-High therapy keeps surging: CMS

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Providers aren't just being accused of coding therapy patients in higher payment categories than ever before. The charge is being backed by hard numbers in a recent memorandum from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Providers' payments tied to readmissions

Providers' payments tied to readmissions

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President Barack Obama signed legislation that ties skilled nursing facility Medicare reimbursements to hospital readmissions, starting in 2018.

Pressure sore stats predict readmissions

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Compared with other quality measures, pressure ulcer prevalence is particularly good at predicting whether a nursing home will readmit residents to the hospital, according to findings published recently in HSR: Health Services Research.

Doc fix bill once again is less than LTC field had hoped for

Doc fix bill once again is less than LTC field had hoped for

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A measure President Barack Obama signed into law does a lot more for doctors than it does for long-term care operators.

Vitamin D as cognition clue?

Vitamin D as cognition clue?

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There appears to be a link between low vitamin D levels and cognitive decline over time, according to a new study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

New method for delirium

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There's a new method for measuring delirium severity in older adults from researchers at Harvard and Brown Universities and the University of Massachusetts.

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