» Gregory L. Alexander, Ph.D. will address “How tech tools are changing the face of LTC,” at an upcoming webinar. The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. (Eastern) on March 26. This presentation is part of the McKnight's Online Expo. Attendees will be eligible to earn up to five free NAB-approved continuing education credits at the expo. To register, visit www.mcknights.com/expo2014.
» A Georgia woman is facing 27 years behind bars for using the identities of nursing home residents to obtain fraudulent income tax refunds, the U.S. District Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia announced. Yolando Blount, also known as Yolanda King, had pleaded guilty to the charges in September. The 32-year-old admitted stealing the identities of nursing home residents, then filing fraudulent income tax returns to reap more than $460,000 in refunds, according to the district attorney's office. The scheme was carried out with the help of Raquel Hogan, an employee at Macon Management Health and Rehabilitation Center, the D.A.'s office told McKnight's.
» The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology will no longer offer certification for electronic health records systems, including those for long-term and post-acute care, the company announced. CCHIT has been the primary organization certifying which health records systems providers can adopt to receive incentive payments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
» Skilled nursing facilities that implement a telemedicine service and teach staff to use it could reduce their hospital readmissions, but current payment systems do not encourage this, according to a forthcoming study in Health Affairs. Researchers with Harvard Medical School and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at the Geisel School of Medicine analyzed the rollout of a telemedicine initiative at 11 Massachusetts long-term care facilities between 2009 and 2011. The videoconferencing service replaced off-hour phone consultations with physicians. The nursing homes that were more engaged in using the service achieved an 11% reduction, the researchers found.