NORTH DAKOTA — The state's 80 senior care centers faced a difficult choice when they agreed with a proposed 5% surcharge on the services they provide. In the end, it was either accept the fee or make deep staffing cuts to stay open.
MARYLAND — Attorney General Brian E. Frosh is suing a nursing home operator for allegedly expelling residents to free up higher-reimbursed Medicare beds. Frosh filed the suit in Montgomery County Circuit Court in late December.
The Obama administration approved a $52.5 billion Medicaid waiver deal for Massachusetts in December.
Vacancy levels nearly doubled at the state's top healthcare regulatory agency in 2015, shedding light on a staffing drain that goes far beyond Maryland's long-term care facilities.
A Texas Health Care Association commissioned report says the blame for what it calls historic employee turnover rates and more at-risk seniors lays squarely on declining reimbursement.
Louisiana's long-term care community was not unscathed from flooding that hit in mid-August, leaving thousands homeless and wreaking the worst damage in the country since Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
State officials should crack down on minimum staffing requirements for nursing homes, according to a new report.
A proposal that would have dramatically increased fines and oversight of Massachusetts nursing homes was rejected by state lawmakers in late June.
NEW YORK — A scathing indictment of the state's system for licensing, monitoring and disciplining nurses has caught the attention of key officials in Albany following an investigation by a group of independent journalists earlier this year.
KANSAS — Kansas nursing home operators will receive help paying for residents whose Medicaid applications or renewals are stuck in processing limbo, state agencies announced in late March.
NEW YORK — The New York State Department of Health has come under fire for its perceived soft enforcement of fines against nursing homes.
HAWAII — Hawaii legislators were slated at press time to introduce a bill that would create the first universal long-term care insurance program in the country.
NEW JERSEY — New Jersey provider organizations are raising concerns over a state bill that would create minimum staffing requirements for certified nursing assistants.
MINNESOTA — Nearly 600 nursing assistants will be required to retake a certification test due to "suspicious" patterns in the results.
Pennsylvania — A recent ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court could have "broad implications" for the future of nursing home arbitration agreements.
WASHINGTON D.C. — Pope Francis made an unscheduled visit to The Little Sisters of the Poor during his September trip to Washington D.C.
West Virginia — West Virginia has begun requiring a comprehensive background check program for long-term care employees. All skilled nursing providers will be required to use the program by the beginning of 2016.
MINNESOTA — Differences in the quality of life between white and minority nursing home residents are emerging as more people of color move into long-term care, a new study has found.
The nation's most populous state is also now home to the largest long-term care workers' union, which formally chartered in late June.
Long-term care providers are hailing a new state law that requires hospitals to inform seniors about their hospital-admission status.
Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) wants to reduce nursing home reimbursement rates by 3% and raise providers' bed tax ceiling by 0.5%. But she also hopes to sweeten the deal with an ambitious offer to earn lost funding back if providers make substantial efficiency and quality improvements.
ILLINOIS — The state's House of Representatives will soon debate a new bill that would allow nursing home residents and their families to place video or audio monitoring devices in facility rooms.
ARKANSAS — A former circuit court judge recently admitted that a campaign contribution induced him to lower a jury award in a negligent death lawsuit brought by a nursing home resident's family.
MASSACHUSETTS — Thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, the concept of palliative care has become more prominent in the national conversation about the end of life. Now these conversations are mandated for Bay State nursing homes, hospitals and other providers.
NEW JERSEY — Lawmakers here will soon debate the merits of a bill that would require the state to pay facilities up to half of the money owed for uncompensated care for residents whose Medicaid applications remain mired in limbo after three months.
FLORIDA - A nursing home building boom may be on the horizon following the end of a 12-year moratorium.
MISSISSIPPI — Postal inspectors allege nursing home employees here and in California may have unwittingly referred families and residents seeking help with Medicaid and veterans' benefits to an individual who allegedly filed troublesome paperwork and defrauded others of hundreds of thousands of dollars in what they described as a sophisticated Ponzi scheme.
ILLINOIS — Gov. Pat Quinn (D) has signed a new law making it easier for people to lodge complaints against nursing homes.
MAINE - The state's nursing homes will get their first Medicaid rate increase in six years after a breathtaking display of mid-summer political brinksmanship. But dark days still loom in a state beset with closures and an over-65 population ratio that's second only to Florida's.
KANSAS — The state no longer will publicly release survey results for nursing homes going through the informal dispute resolution process, the Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) recently announced. Long-term care associations and consumer advocacy groups have protested the new system, the Kansas Health Institute News Service reported.
ILLINOIS — Democratic Gov. Patrick Quinn was expected to sign legislation designed to reverse decades of race-based disparities in the care provided in all types of long-term care settings.
WASHINGTON - A proposal for a sorely needed veteran's nursing home in Walla Walla remains mired in red tape and declining federal funding while elected officials continue pushing the Veterans Administration for answers.
PENNSYLVANIA - The state's nursing home operators say they are approaching fiscal disaster as facilities look at razor-thin margins half the national average.
HAWAII — One of the most expensive states in the country for long-term care is staring down the barrel of dwindling budgets and a rapidly growing elderly population. Officials are taking proactive measures to ensure adequate funding and better engage aging residents.
MINNESOTA — Residents of rural long-term care facilities have been scrambling to find rides to medical appointments due to a change enacted by Blue Cross/Blue Shield.
NEW JERSEY - Untold amounts of money have been pilfered from nursing home residents' funds by those entrusted to protect them, and little government oversight exists to prevent it. This is one reason the state decided to intervene under a new law requiring the New Jersey Health Commissioner to routinely audit residents' accounts, officials said.
NORTH CAROLINA — A citizen advocacy group called the N.C. Senior Tar Heel Legislature wants state lawmakers to address the number of certified nursing assistants in long-term care facilities.
ARIZONA — U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) has put forward a bill that would allow government funding for veteran nursing homes built on Native American tribal land.
NEW JERSEY — A "bill of rights" for independent living residents of continuing care retirement communities hit the governor's desk after passing out of the Senate in August. Sens. Robert Singer (R-30) and Jennifer Beck (R-11) sponsored the measure.
MASSACHUSETTS — An ongoing debate over nursing homes' use of antipsychotics flared in July during a meeting of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs.
Ohio — State nursing home investigations have spiked, raising questions about how the attorney general's office is utilizing surveillance cameras.
Connecticut — The National Labor Relations Board has sued HealthBridge Management for contempt of court, marking the latest development in a long-running dispute.
A bill requiring nursing home workers to report elder abuse cleared both houses of the legislature and was sent to Gov. John Hickenlooper (D). SB 111 was developed by an elder abuse task force convened in 2012 and sponsored by Sen. Evie Hudak (D-Westminster). Colorado is currently one of three states that do not have an elder abuse reporting requirement for senior care professionals.
A four-person review panel would have to approve civil malpractice lawsuits against long-term care providers before the claims could go to court, under a bill that recently passed the state senate in Kentucky.
Virginia — State Sen. Bill Stanley (R) has introduced a bill requiring that nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other certified nursing facilities obtain minimum levels of insurance. If SB70 becomes law, affected facilities would have to maintain liability coverage of at least $1 million, and have levels of professional liability insurance defined by the state's medical malpractice caps.
The Florida Health Care Association (FHA) criticized a report that one in five Florida nursing homes appears on the state's watch list for failing to meet minimum care standards or correct violations within a specified time frame.
A pending bill would prohibit unauthorized provider reimbursement rate decreases by other managed care organizations, as well as Medicaid and NJ FamilyCare.
It could be months before New York and New Jersey long-term care facilities and their residents fully recover from the double whammy of Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent nor'easter winter storm in early November.
ALABAMA - Voters in mid-September overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment to use more than $400 million from a rarely tapped source to shore up the Medicaid program and avoid a 12% cut.
OHIO - A plan to incentivize providers for better care with financial rewards instead of penalties is gaining traction among the state's 970 nursing homes. Advocates say the pay-for-performance model could eventually improve quality, while opponents claim some incentives are either too weak or unattainable.