Guest columns & blogs | McKnight's Long Term Care News

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Guest Columns

The coming crackdown: COVID-19 and beyond

For more than a year, America’s nursing homes have been besieged by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has tragically claimed the lives of more than 130,000 residents and 1,600 staff. While America’s nursing homes are no outlier compared to nursing homes globally, the pandemic has nevertheless reignited debate about the American elder care system and regulators’…

Vaccine mandates are legal, but not without their own risks

With the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program now complete, responsibility for COVID-19 vaccinations of new residents and staff has shifted to the long-term care facilities themselves.  This leaves operators with the dilemma of whether to mandate employee vaccinations.   First, all long-term care providers are presented with the question of whether to mandate covid-19…

The risks of ‘swapping’ for durable medical equipment

Skilled nursing facilities are to assume the cost of durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics and supplies (DMEPOS) under a bundled payment methodology for residents in Medicare Part A covered stays. If a beneficiary is not in a covered stay — usually because he or she has exhausted Part A covered days — DMEPOS is paid…

Is the doctor in? Improve nursing homes with one easy stroke

Many nursing home COVID-19 patients would have benefitted from daily, reimbursed-for physician visits in their skilled nursing facilities, but they were not entitled to them.  With an epic crisis still at hand, the quickest way to improve performance and public perception of nursing homes is to introduce daily covered visits. Astonishingly, Medicare and Medicaid suggest…

Want the media to work with you? Then work with them … the right way

As a marketing and public relations expert and educator in the healthcare industry for more decades than I care to admit, I’ve been struck by the “she said, he said” between the New York Times’ original reporting entitled “Maggots, Rape and Yet Five Stars: How U.S. Ratings of Nursing Homes Mislead” and Steven Littlehale, with…

The CNAs are coming: Are you ready?

It is doubtful that the framers of the constitution, when they drafted the First Amendment, had any idea that ensuring the “right of people to peaceably assemble” would include a virtual Zoom meeting where the assembly appears on hundreds of computer or phone screens. It is also equally doubtful the framers could have imagined that…

Pinpointing LTC enforcement trends as COVID-19 continues

The COVID-19 pandemic has left an indelible mark on long-term care and skilled-nursing facilities.  As COVID-19 cases continue to fall, regulatory and criminal enforcement agencies are now digesting data that has emerged from the pandemic’s darkest days, which will inform where those agencies will direct their enforcement efforts.  Here, I will discuss the regulatory and…

Ice cream and other ways to keep residents healthy post-pandemic

As nursing home residents and staff get vaccinated, it’s clear we still won’t be returning to crowded dining halls and ice cream parties anytime soon. But milkshakes, sundaes, bananas, soft pretzels and other snacks will be more than fun treats; they may be lifesaving. Being immobile and isolated for months isn’t conducive to healthy nutrition.…

Do not forget to grieve

Covid vaccines have provided the light at the end of the tunnel that we have been waiting for. Everyone cannot wait to “return to normal.” Not that “normal” was a day at the beach for those of us in long term care. Already some large nursing home companies have declared the pandemic is over and…

Manufacturing solutions to skilled nursing’s pandemic problems

I have been in the workplace a long time. To quote Steve Martin, “If I had saved better, I would not be here.” Over the past year, the long-term care industry has faced monumental challenges related to the pandemic. I hear our current situation described as unprecedented, and on the disease management front, that may…

How the COO’s role will continue to evolve

For years, there has been speculation that the role of the chief operating officer was being phased out in favor of a chief technology officer or chief information officer. Long known as the “CEO’s right hand,” COOs have held a wide range of responsibilities for the operational side of the business. But as more shareholders…

Don’t lose sight of senior loneliness now that some restrictions are lifted

As we move through 2021, the loneliness posed by social distancing will likely remain a challenge for seniors. Healthcare providers should take a more proactive role in helping seniors manage their mental health in a safe and healthy way.  With social activities and events consistently delayed or canceled for almost a full year, seniors have…

Where did person-directed care go?

As we mark the one-year anniversary of life-altering changes brought about by COVID-19, I think about those aspects of life that left me, and those that have arrived. What has left me?  Air travel, eating in a restaurant, sitting in a coffee shop, seeing my family; hugging my son. What’s come into my life? Masks,…
Marti Moore

When implicit bias harms the elderly

He says he stumbled. Others think that something happened in his brain to cause the fall. Whatever the cause, he fell and fell hard, hitting the bedroom dresser straight on. He was unconscious, but that was missed. He fractured his neck but that was missed several times. The cervical discs shifted from being fractured and…

Dear Texas: Please change your mind

The news that Gov. Greg Abbott (R) of Texas has lifted ALL precautions against COVID-19, dropped the state’s mask mandate, and opened EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE has me concerned. Depression, anxiety, ulcers and night terrors have coalesced into “concern.”  I like Texas. A lot. I have family in Texas and have visited Dallas, San Antonio and Austin…
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