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

Guest Columns

What I did on summer vacation

We are all on the same voyage, one that took us through uncharted territory and into the Land of Payment Overhaul. We have made it safely ashore and are working hard to understand the society and adapt to their way of life.  Just over a month ago, we accepted and adapted to the new Medicare…

Five principles for residents’ families

Your staff may know how to help a new resident feel comfortable in their new surroundings. But families of new residents also need an orientation as they assume a new role in their loved one’s life. First, the sons, daughters and other relatives who have assumed responsibility for a family member must know how to…

Will a new ‘gig worker’ law drive contractors to extinction?

Earlier this year, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a bill reducing an employer’s ability to classify a worker as an independent contractor. The question everyone in senior care — those who run nursing homes and continuing care retirement communities, in particular — should be asking about this new “gig worker” law is, “How…

Giving residents their best shot at avoiding flu

The staff at Masonic Villages has upwards of 3,000 reasons to get vaccinated against the flu: one for each resident living in our five communities. In 2014, Masonic Villages, which includes locations in Dallas, Elizabethtown, Lafayette Hill, Sewickley and Warminster, PA, implemented a mandatory flu vaccine policy for all employees, with exemptions for those with…
Ryan Sparks

5 key factors for patient satisfaction success

During a recent public meeting, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) proposed a new program that would expand the value-based impact on payments for post-acute care providers.  According to MedPAC, the Value Incentive Program for Post-Acute Care will build upon previous commission work to create a uniform payment system across the four post-acute care settings:…

Identify YOUR rising stars

I was so inspired this summer as I read the biographies of all the McKnight’s Women of Distinction. Likewise, the incredibly talented Rising Star honorees sparked feelings of pride and optimism. Think about it: All of these women began their career journey somewhere. Many started as direct care and service providers or frontline supervisors in…

Monday morning quarterbacking and the art of the lookback

Fall is here, and football season has returned with much fanfare — quite like the eagerly anticipated arrival of the Patient-Driven Payment Model. Unless skilled nursing Interdisciplinary teams practice good clock management, huddle up often and catch missing information to ensure they beat the clock with a 100% MDS completion percentage, facilities won’t advance from…
Catherine B. Skinner

Nutrition and dignity, served up on a yellow plate

The key to weight maintenance goes way beyond menu planning, assistive devices and encouragement. A holistic team approach is a must. There is no bigger problem in nursing homes than trying to maintain the resident’s weight. Often, the major focus boils down to preventing weight loss. At each care plan meeting, the team hones in…

Asking too much of an icon

The good news: We are living longer. In 1919, the average life expectancy of an American was 53 years. Today, that number has increased by nearly 50% to 79. Aging, as we all know, brings changes. For some of us, that change may include living in a setting that provides 24/7 care.  Over 1 million…

Analysis: 2,800 nursing homes getting, or on the edge, for ‘abuse’ icon

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced last week that effective Oct. 23, it will add an “abuse” icon on Nursing Home Compare to identify skilled nursing facilities that have received recent abuse, neglect or exploitation citations. In addition, those facilities that receive the icon will have their CMS Five-Star health inspection rating limited to a…

Red for stop or green for go?

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, hoping to provide consumers with more usable information, is employing anachronistic thinking. If agency officials believe the threat of negative branding will scare facilities to do the “right thing,” the world may as well be flat. Last week brought the announcement that skilled nursing facilities with a single…

Light duty or new job?

Remember “light duty,” when your certified nursing assistant or nurse gets hurt during a patient transfer and they disappear into an eternally deep black hole? What is the definition of light duty? Many workers’ compensation boards don’t have a hard definition. According to the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation in my state of Ohio, “a light…

Take a look at PDPM through the patient’s eyes

Now that we are past last week’s transition to the Patient-Driven Payment Model, providers should stay focused on providing good quality care, in the right setting, with the right method, at the right time to position facilities and residents for optimal medical outcomes. These measures are key to maintaining and even improving resident and caregiver…

Non-invasive technology can halt liver disease in elderly patients

Given the nation’s aging population, skilled nursing clinicians must be prepared to make proper identification and management of liver disease. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is common in the elderly and common comorbid factors such as diabetes and obesity can create progression of more substantial liver disease, such as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and hepatocellular…

Ideology trumps rationality in Tennessee block grant proposal

Former House Speaker Paul Ryan once admitted he had been “dreaming” of cutting Medicaid since his college kegger days. But one person’s dream can be another’s nightmare. That’s now the case for Medicaid advocates in Tennessee. There Republican Gov. Bill Lee is seeking radical block grant authority from the federal government in which the state…
Jayne Warwick, PointClickCare

PDPM is looming: Here’s what to do if you’re not prepared

It isn’t coming anymore. It’s here. The Patient Driven Payment Model has finally arrived. And even though we have been talking about getting ready for it since April 2018, there’s still work to be done.  For providers who started preparing right away, there will be a learning curve as the new rules around coding, billing…

Patient-Driven Payment Model: What’s in the name?

Though it’s less than a week to go and many colleagues are jittery and restless, I also have seen a feeling of excitement that has been missing for years in the post-acute setting. The Patient-Driven Payment Model arrives on Oct. 1 and turns on its head the reimbursement philosophies in skilled nursing facilities as the…
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