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

Guest Columns

Dr. Arif Nazir, Chief Medical Officer at Signature HealthCARE

This too shall pass! PALTC is united

When a crisis hits, besides shedding light on the system gaps, it also highlights the strengths of a community. The stresses of the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) have clearly highlighted the many positive attributes of the post-acute and long-term care (PALTC) community. As the president of AMDA, The Society of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine,…

Waiver or not, here I come!

The immediate relief I felt when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued a blanket waiver 1135 on March 13 was soon replaced with confusion and anxiety.

Focus on life safety during the management of COVID-19

As skilled nursing facilities around the nation rise to the challenges of managing this current infectious disease outbreak, providers must remain focused on maintaining a safe environment of care within their buildings. Complying with Life Safety Code requirements is the first step in helping to promote safety for all building occupants. Here are some points…

My advice for life with coronavirus: Don’t forget to breathe

We are in crazy times. Actually, it’s a step beyond crazy times. The world has hunkered down and is watching this COVID-19 unravel. Nothing is the same. I never expected to receive a call from a close friend on Saturday night at 11 p.m. with the following question: “Are you ready for a wedding?” Not…

Why seniors need to be in the loop about technology 

In October 2019, a 28-year-old provided yet another reminder of technology’s potential implications for those age 65 and over — or, to be more accurate, his Apple watch did. As detailed by a New Jersey television station, that device called 911 on its own when it detected James Prudenciano and his date, Paige Paruso, had…

A mantra in wake of coronavirus: Stay home and save a life

The year was 1985. I was an intern in the cardiac intensive care unit at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. A man who was the well-known voice for several animated television characters was laying on a gurney. I remember it like it was yesterday. He was smiling and talking, despite the fact that he was having a heart attack.  Something…
Brendan W. Williams, M.A., J.D. President/CEO New Hampshire Health Care Association

Coronavirus sheds light on nursing home underfunding

Why should it take the COVID-19 outbreak for policymakers to pay attention to nursing homes? Last year in the state of Washington, when Medicaid underfunding forced the closure of Keiro Northwest — a 41-year-old nonprofit Seattle nursing home built to serve Japanese-Americans — many policymakers reacted with indifference.  The staff wept as longtime residents, including…

The five big trends affecting all skilled nursing facilities

Skilled nursing facilities across the United States continue to face daunting challenges. The average SNF is only able to break even, reflecting increased competition, upward wage pressure in a tight labor market, and the preponderance of low-paying Medicaid patients. In many regions, operating margins are negative, suggesting that more facilities will soon be forced to…

Quality: What are we measuring?

After spending three days in training as an examiner for a prestigious healthcare quality award, I came away with a better understanding and appreciation of how quality is measured and how it affects our facilities and our goals. The IMPACT Act of 2014 required the implementation of specific set of measures using standardized assessment data.…

How to reduce medication overload in long-term care

Over the past decade, the use of multiple medications (clinically known as “polypharmacy”) has skyrocketed among older adults. Aging brings ailments and chronic illnesses, and more illnesses generally lead to more prescriptions. But every additional medication taken by an older person increases the risk of a serious side effect. As medication use has dramatically increased,…

Facts, not anecdotes, must guide long-term care policy

An oft-repeated canard that bedevils advocates for facility-based care is the assertion, by an organization that peddles Medicare insurance products, that “90% of people don’t want to be in a nursing home.” We live in a post-factual world, where even facts are dismissed as “Fake News,” and people consume information through the biased filters of…
Alan Rosenbloom

To boost transparency, amend bills to require PBM disclosure data related to seniors residing in long-term care facilities

To better ensure consumers and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have access to drug pricing information relevant to seniors residing in long term care facilities, we believe the Senate Finance Committee-introduced Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act (PDPRA) and the Lower Cost, More Cures Act of 2019 (S. 3129/H.R. 19), introduced by Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and…
Herb Hildebrandt Ph.D., Hl.D. of Trinity Health’s Glacier Hill’s senior living facility

Do you have a silo mentality in your residential facility?

A generalization: Most groups, such as seniors living in retirement communities, have within them social, professional territories. That is, there is an assumption that groups, clusters, committees, political parties, leaders, followers and hundreds of other societal gatherings have concerted purposes, interests and beliefs — like grains in a silo.      Take a metaphorical leap: a…
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