Skilled Nursing

NJ physicians to face charges that they kept people as inpatients to qualify them for SNF coverage, judge rules

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A whistleblower can continue to pursue charges that a number of New Jersey physicians improperly designated Medicare beneficiaries as inpatients and sometimes prolonged their hospital stay to qualify them for skilled nursing care, a federal judge recently ruled.

Federal judge dismisses nursing home 'kickback' case; upholds large X-ray company's 'swapping' method of billing

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The way mobile x-ray company Mobilex bills nursing homes is acceptable, a federal judge recently determined. Mobilex is the nation's largest provider of mobile diagnostic services. It had been facing whistleblower charges that it effectively paid kickbacks to nursing homes through an arrangement known as "swapping."

Redoing readmissions

Redoing readmissions

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When people are discharged from the hospital following an illness, injury or surgery, that's often not the end of the story.

Pioneer ACO drops out of program, despite reductions in skilled nursing utilization

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A California healthcare system has become the latest dropout from the Pioneer Accountable Care Organization program, despite reducing skilled nursing facility utilization and improving its readmission rates. Sharp HealthCare announced its decision in a quarterly financial statement released Tuesday.

Hospitals need to give patients better guidance about post-acute facilities, experts argue

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Too many patients choose a post-acute care facility for the wrong reasons because hospitals do not give necessary and needed guidance, according to a paper forthcoming in the Annals of Long-Term Care.

Medicare Advantage organizations are unresponsive to provider questions, long-term care professionals tell CMS

Medicare Advantage organizations are unresponsive to provider questions, long-term care professionals tell CMS

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Several skilled nursing facility workers expressed frustration regarding communications with Medicare Advantage organizations during a public call with government officials Wednesday. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services representatives acknowledged that provider frustration in this area has been an ongoing issue, but they said that their hands essentially are tied.

Pre-hire medical exams and screenings broke law: judge

Pre-hire medical exams and screenings broke law: judge

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A provider who conducted pre-employment medical exams and screenings acted illegally, even when it hired some of the individuals, a federal judge has ruled.

Hospitals: Change SNF pay

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The government should adopt Medicare payment policies that better support hospital-based skilled nursing facilities, the American Hospital Association urged in a recent letter to a top healthcare official.

What are the scouts saying about your long-term care organization?

What are the scouts saying about your long-term care organization?

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There is no draft in senior living, nor really a need for one. But what if its three most dominant players were to be sized up? How might the scouts rate skilled care, assisted living and home care, respectively? My guess is their reports might look something like this:

It's not too late: Tech Awards deadline extended

It's not too late: Tech Awards deadline extended

The McKnight's Excellence in Technology Awards application deadline has been extended to July 30.

McKnight's Roundtable: Prescription for change

McKnight's Roundtable: Prescription for change

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When top long-term care executives and physicians meet, visions for a new future of longterm care technology, care processes and payment mechanisms soon follow

Pressure sore leads to false-advertising suit

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A resident who developed a serious pressure ulcer allegedly due to negligence at a Pennsylvania continuing care retirement community is suing the operator, claiming it purposely misrepresented its care capabilities.

Support for Medicare-style, government long-term care insurance program surges, large AP-University of Chicago poll finds

Support for Medicare-style, government long-term care insurance program surges, large AP-University of Chicago poll finds

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The idea of a government-run long-term care insurance program similar to Medicare has become much more popular in the last year, according to the findings of a large nationwide survey. Independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago and The Associated Press conducted the 1,400-person poll.

Kindred launches hostile takeover bid for home health company Gentiva, deal valued at $1.6 billion

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Kindred Healthcare has launched a hostile takeover to acquire home health company Gentiva, announcing a $533 million bid Thursday. The total deal would be valued at $1.6 billion, including assumed debt.

Nursing homes suffering from reimbursement shifts to home care, market analysis finds

Nursing homes suffering from reimbursement shifts to home care, market analysis finds

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Reimbursement is shifting to home health, hurting the finances of skilled nursing facilities, a newly released market analysis states.

Former resident with pressure ulcer sues retirement community for falsely advertising skilled nursing services

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A retirement community in Pennsylvania does not provide the skilled nursing services it claims to offer in promotional materials, according to charges filed by a former resident who developed a serious pressure ulcer.

Nursing home nurses most likely to want other work setting, survey finds

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Long-term care nurses are more likely than their colleagues in other settings to be looking to transfer into a different healthcare realm, a recent poll showed.

McKnight's calls for 2014 Tech Awards submissions

McKnight's calls for 2014 Tech Awards submissions

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The third annual McKnight's Excellence in Technology awards officially is underway, with submissions now being accepted from the realms of skilled nursing, assisted living and continuing care retirement communities.

McKnight's awards open

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The entry period is now open for McKnight's 3rd annual Excellence in Technology program.

Jimmo implementation is troubled, long-term care expert says

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Skilled nursing providers remain confused about Medicare changes related to the Jimmo v. Sebelius legal settlement, and many beneficiaries are not aware that their therapy might now be eligible for coverage, according to prominent long-term care expert Judith Stein. Stein is an attorney and director of the Center for Medicare Advocacy, which along with Vermont Legal Aid filed the Jimmo case.

Septicemia, urinary tract infections rank high on latest list of hospital readmissions causes

Septicemia, urinary tract infections rank high on latest list of hospital readmissions causes

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Two infectious conditions common in long-term care settings — septicemia and urinary tract infections — were among the top causes of hospital readmissions for Medicare beneficiaries in 2011, according to recently released data.

Visitor shot and killed on the grounds of an assisted living community in Kansas

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A woman visiting her mother at an assisted living facility in Kansas was gunned down in the parking lot Sunday, in what authorities are describing as a hate crime.

Skilled nursing facilities could lose big money if they don't hire a managed care coordinator, expert says

Skilled nursing facilities could lose big money if they don't hire a managed care coordinator, expert says

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Skilled nursing facilities stand to lose substantial sums of money as they increasingly do business with managed care plans, unless a coordinator is on top of exclusions and other contract elements, a prominent healthcare consultant told an audience Monday at the American College of Health Care Administrators annual meeting.

End-of-life decisions may cause confusion, anger

End-of-life decisions may cause confusion, anger

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When I lived in Baltimore, a stray, mangy cat adopted us. I am not trying to equate my cat with someone's parent, but I was reminded of Minou's last days when reading the dissertation of Mariette Klein on dementia caregivers. Specifically, how hard it can be to know what healthcare decisions to make for a loved one.

Brookdale, Emeritus merger upends status quo, CEO says

Brookdale, Emeritus merger upends status quo, CEO says

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Brookdale Senior Living is poised to become the largest senior living provider in the country, through a $2.8 billion acquisition of Seattle-based Emeritus Corp.

Acute, post-acute partnerships reduce C. diff about 50% in Washington state

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Hospitals and post-acute facilities in Washington state have cut their rate of Clostridium difficile infections in half since 2012 by partnering with each other in a robust infection control program, according to local news reports.

3 strategies for improved medication management communications in SNFs

3 strategies for improved medication management communications in SNFs

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One area where many SNFs have room to improve is medication management. Optimizing medication management services during care transitions will position SNFs as high-value partners in the preferred referral networks of hospitals and health systems.

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.

Real-time video enhances post-stroke therapy, researchers say

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Therapists in skilled nursing facilities might help stroke survivors achieve faster progress by incorporating real-time video in sessions, suggests recently published research.

Bipartisan bill proposes new provider networks to serve chronically ill seniors

Bipartisan bill proposes new provider networks to serve chronically ill seniors

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Skilled nursing and rehabilitation providers would be able to join networks dedicated to treating chronically ill Medicare patients, under a new bipartisan bill introduced Wednesday in both houses of Congress. The "Better Care, Lower Cost Act" seeks to establish the Better Care Program, which would enable healthcare providers to form networks similar to accountable care organizations, but with a special focus on coordinating care for those with chronic conditions.

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