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

Note: McKnight’s Long-Term Care News accepts columns representing a variety of viewpoints. Columns do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or organization. Learn more about guidelines for submitting a guest column.

Guest Columns

David Barmak, Esq.

An effective approach to addressing sexual harassment

In 1986, the Supreme Court held that workplace harassment constitutes sex discrimination and is unlawful under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 1991, the Supreme Court nomination hearings for Clarence Thomas transfixed the public’s attention, when Anita Hill accused Thomas of sexual harassment at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, prompting many women to come…

Vaccine hesitancy? Or vaccine denial?

Spring has sprung and I am finally seeing my neighbors in their yards again. We’re washing cars,  watering seedlings, rototilling and playing with our dogs. I have a neighbor who is a very smart and enterprising nurse who works in a local emergency room. We recently finally got a chance to talk after all these…

Long-term care needs your help!

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested our nation. For long-term care providers, including nursing facilities and assisted living centers, the pandemic has exacerbated our chronic challenges of a severe caregiver shortage, inadequate government payment and for some, an antiquated building infrastructure. Through it all, our courageous, devoted and hardworking caregivers showed up for work every day…
Rachel Shearer

Building staff confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines

Six months after the COVID-19 vaccines first became available, just 55% of the CNAs, nurses and therapists who work at our 50-bed skilled nursing facility have chosen to get vaccinated. It’s a challenge, as I’m sure many other nursing facility administrators agree. We know how important it is for our staff members, especially direct care…

The truth in the stars

Can a one-star skilled nursing facility be the same as a five-star facility?  It depends on your zip code.   When the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services assigns the health inspection rating domain, which drives the overall star rating calculation, it stratifies performance within each state before giving one to five stars based on percentiles. …

Pebble in your shoe

I will admit that I am a fair-weather flip-flop type of walker. My toes are the happiest when they can wave at the sky and the ground with each step I take. Yet, the other day, each step was uncomfortable. I did the regular shaking of the foot, thinking I had sent the causation of…
Lisa Grabert

Biden Medicare regulations favor hospitals over skilled nursing facilities

On an annual basis, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services updates various payment systems within the Traditional (fee-for-service) Medicare program. This regulatory season is more entertaining than most because it offers insight into the first concrete policy positions on Medicare from the new Biden administration. Of particular interest is how the new administration intends…

COVID vaccines for LTC employees: To mandate or not?

After a year that has required long term care facilities to manage various, often competing, considerations while making a series of difficult decisions, they now are grappling with the question of whether they can require employees to get vaccinated. Understandably, in the wake of the pandemic’s devastating effects on both residents and staff, LTC facilities…

Don’t sleep on HIPAA and cybersecurity

The recent events of the Colonial Pipeline gas shortage in the Southeast have highlighted a very real concern for our nation’s cybersecurity. Cyber criminals are still out there, and seemingly stronger than ever — and long-term care remains one of the biggest targets.

One interview away from infection control CMPs?

With the roll out of vaccines and slowing rates of COVID-19 infections, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has not shifted its survey focus away from infection control. Instead, the agency released new guidance to surveyors continuing focus on infection control during annual and complaint surveys, including additional F-tags. This focus, while timely, will…

The social contract for long-term care

America has a social contract for long-term care. It’s rarely acknowledged, but here it is. If you are stricken by a need for long-term care that you cannot afford, we help you even if you are not poor. Assuming you’re eligible medically, you’ll qualify for Medicaid as long as your income is (1) less than…

The significance of on-site medical staff and timely communication during COVID and beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic, which initially affected the long-term care community disproportionately, led to significant changes within skilled nursing centers. As we continue to emerge from COVID and the overall number of cases continues to decrease, we have an opportunity to reflect on how our experiences may influence the future.  Although the workforce within post-acute and…

Renovations roll on through COVID-19

Here at Shaker Place Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, we had no idea when our $80 million renovation project began that we would soon need every resource our new facility provided to face obstacles imposed by COVID-19. It wasn’t easy to get to this point, but with courage, strength and the will to succeed, Shaker Place…
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