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2017 Important Conferences for Senior Housing Professionals (Posted: 12/01/2016)

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Suit Alleges Nursing Assistant Misread Chart, Failed to Perform CPR (Posted: 04/12/2017)

A recently filed lawsuit alleges a nursing assistant at an Illinois nursing home misread a resident’s chart and did not perform CPR on the unconscious woman, McKnight’s reported.

In March 2016, a nursing assistant at Warren Barr North Shore allegedly found Kimberly Cencula, 52, unconscious. Roughly 30 minutes later, a call was made to report the death of a resident who did not want to be resuscitated. However, 10 minutes after the first call, another call was placed to emergency services requesting that paramedics respond immediately, as the resident’s chart had been misread, according to the article.

Cencula’s family said she signed a form on admission noting she wished to be resuscitated if needed, according to the article. The family’s attorney added that the facility was fined $25,000 by the Illinois Department of Public Health as a result of Cencula’s death.

Facility staff said that while privacy laws and the ongoing investigation preclude them from commenting on the case’s specifics, they nonetheless “respectfully disagree with all of the allegations” made in the lawsuit, the article states.

Read the McKnight's article.

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CMS Encourages Providers to Not Procrastinate on Emergency PreparednessCMS Encourages Providers to Not Procrastinate on Emergency Preparedness (Posted: 04/03/2017)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is advising providers to begin implementing training exercises for emergency preparedness.

While the deadline for compliance is not until Nov. 2017, in a recently published memo, CMS encouraged “full-scale, community-based” exercises begin to be conducted now to ensure providers are ready.

CMS has created a website to assist providers with training; the site includes checklist, pertinent links, and templates. In addition, a national provider call regarding the rule/requirements is scheduled for April 27.

Read the McKnight's article.

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Article Outlines Changes to CMS Emergency Preparedness Rules (Posted: 03/22/2017)

New Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations regarding emergency preparedness are examined in an article published by iAdvance Senior Care. 

Stan Szpytek, president of consulting firm Fire and Life Safety, Inc., writes that the “highlights” of the new rules can be categorized in four specific areas of compliance, including developing an emergency plan using an all-hazards approach; policies and procedures; a communication plan; and training and testing.

All skilled nursing facilities, as well as any provider reimbursed by CMS, will be required to comply with the new rules by November 15, 2017, according to the article. Szpytek adds that compliance will be added to the survey process, and that any noncompliance issue will have to be addressed in the same manner as any other deficiency.

Read the iAdvance Senior Care article.

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House Committee Approves Med Mal Damages Cap (Posted: 03/09/2017)

Legislation that would cap medical malpractice damages for those covered under Medicare, Medicaid, veterans/military health plans, and the Affordable Care Act has passed a House committee, Advisen reported.

The recovery of economic damages would not be limited under the bill, but payments for pain and suffering would be capped at $250,000. The House Judiciary Committee narrowly passed the bill by an 18-17 vote, pleasing lobbyists for medical professionals. The legislation would also provide immunity to pharmaceutical companies in cases in which individuals are harmed by FDA-approved prescriptions, according to the article.

Several Democrats stated the bill would infringe on states' rights, and in the article, Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington noted her state’s Supreme Court ruled such caps were unconstitutional. "We should be protecting patients," she said, adding that under the legislation, "(health providers) can act irresponsibly perhaps to make more money and get away with it."

Read the Advisen article.

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Alabama AG Applauds Facility Management for Reporting Ant-Bite Incident (Posted: 03/02/2017)

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall lauded management of a skilled nursing facility in Centre for reporting neglect that led to a resident sustaining more than 100 ant bites, McKnight's reported.

As a result of the incident, three staff members at Cherokee County Health and Rehabilitation Center—one licensed practical nurse and two certified nursing assistants—were charged with second-degree Elder Abuse/Neglect, according to the article. They face a sentence of two to 20 years if convicted.

Surveillance cameras showed that the bedridden resident had not been checked on for roughly 11 hours on the night she was bitten, the article states. Preferred Health Services (which manages the facility) self-reported the incident, leading to Marshall's praise.

Read the McKnight's article.

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Medical Marijuana Company Sets Sights on SNFs (Posted: 02/23/2017)

Finding it difficult to gain customers, a New York company that grows and sells medical marijuana is turning its attention to the skilled nursing industry, McKnight’s reported.

Etain, one of the companies that has been licensed by the state to grow and distribute marijuana, has contracted with one nursing home, according to the article, which adds that this partnership is believed to be the first such affiliation in New York.

Hillary Peckham, Etain’s founder, said such partnerships are key, as demand for medical marijuana isn’t currently high. She called working with nursing homes “a very vital [part] of our strategy for outreach and building a customer base.” Under the agreement, Etain’s staff will work with the facility’s staff to register those residents who will receive the drug. Etain will deliver the marijuana directly to the residents or their families for administration.

Some providers have balked at bringing medical marijuana into their facilities—mostly due to the state and federal regulations involved, the article notes.

Read the McKnight’s article.

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Presidents' Day Holiday (Posted: 02/20/2017)

To allow our employees the opportunity to enjoy the Presidents' Day holiday with their families, Pendulum will be closed Monday, February 20, 2017. Normal business office hours will resume at 8:00 a.m. MST on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.

While the office is closed, some employees will have limited access to e-mail and voice mail; however, if you require immediate attention please contact Ric Henry.

Pendulum would like to thank you for your loyalty and continued support!

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'Fake Doctor' Highlights Need for Strong Visitor/Volunteer Policies (Posted: 02/10/2017)

A woman who observed surgeries, attended rounds, and helped transport a patient at a Boston hospital while posing as a physician in training underscores the need for strong visitor and volunteer policies.

According to Fierce Healthcare, the woman engaged in the aforementioned activities at Brigham and Women's Hospital after forging recommendation letters. She reappeared in December and it took several days for staff to realize she did not have authorized access.

She also made an appearance at Massachusetts General Hospital before being caught on her way to Boston Children's Hospital, the article states.

"Though no one was physically harmed, the situation highlights how hard it can be for large facilities to monitor thousands of patients, family members, clinicians and other staff members on a daily basis," according to the article.

Read the FierceHealthcare article.

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CMS Notes 'Real Progress' Made in Fight Against Avoidable Hospitalizations in LTC (Posted: 01/26/2017)

In a recently published data brief, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a 31 percent drop in rates of hospitalizations for dual-eligible long-term care (LTC) residents caused by potentially avoidable conditions, McKnight's reported.

The data encompasses the years between 2010 and 2015. All 50 states saw a decrease in such potentially avoidable conditions as urinary tract infections and pressure sores, according to the article.

CMS credited the decrease to "committed work by those who directly serve older adults and people with disabilities" as well as the organization's own programs, including the Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents and the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program, the article notes.

Read the McKnight's article.

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Nurse Who Stole Morphine, Replaced it with Saline Pleads Guilty (Posted: 01/18/2017)

A Massachusetts nurse recently pleaded guilty to stealing morphine and replacing it with saline, McKnight's reported.

The incidents occurred at Holy Trinity Orthodox Nursing Rehabilitation Center in Worcester, where Lea Roberge worked as a registered nurse. She said she stole the morphine for someone else who was suffering from addiction—adding that she knew what it was like to "be sick in that way," as she had once been dependent on painkillers after being in a car accident, according to the article.

Roberge was fired in 2015 for violating facility protocols requiring staff to have a witness present when opening an emergency narcotic kit, the article states.

Read the McKnight's article.

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Failure to Report Heart Attack Results in $120K in Fines for Illinois SNF (Posted: 01/13/2017)

An Illinois skilled nursing facility (SNF) failed to report a heart attack suffered by a resident who staff termed a "known complainer," resulting in fines of almost $120,000, McKnight's reported.

In the state's report, the woman said she "knew something was going on" with her heart but "no one would listen." The resident was sent to the hospital the day after she notified three different nurses at Cumberland Rehab & Health Care Center of chest pains, according to the article. An emergency room physician said the "horrific" delay in treatment could have resulted in the woman's death, the article states. 

State officials were made aware of the incident via a confidential complaint, the article states.

In addition to the monetary penalties, Cumberland must also retrain its staff on changes in condition, pain assessments, and obtaining medications after hours.

Read the McKnight's article.

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Mother of Sex Assault Victim: Nursing Home Did Not Report Incident in Timely Manner (Posted: 01/05/2017)

The mother of a 13-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted by a Colorado nursing home worker claims the facility did not report the incident in a timely manner, McKnight's reported.

Certified nursing assistant Alex J. Martinez, 34, assaulted the girl while she was volunteering at Cherry Creek Nursing Center in Aurora, according to the article. While the facility's attorney says the nursing home suspended Martinez when police became involved in the case and conducted its own investigation that resulted in Martinez's firing. However, the girl's mother said she "repeatedly" asked Cherry Creek staff if they were going to report Martinez but was told that since (the girl) was "just a volunteer," they were not required to do so, the article states.

Martinez subsequently obtained employment at another nursing home, where he worked for several months after his arrest. Staff at that nursing home said they never would have hired Martinez had they known about the assault at Cherry Creek, according to the article.

Martinez was initially arrested on four counts of child sex assault; he pleaded guilty to lesser charges and was sentenced to two years in jail in October 2016.

Read the McKnight's article.

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Pendulum New Year's Schedule (Posted: 12/30/2016)

To allow our employees the opportunity to enjoy the New Year's holiday with their families, Pendulum will be closed Monday, January 2, 2017.  Normal business office hours will resume at 8:00 a.m. MST on Tuesday, January 3, 2017.

While the office is closed, some employees will have limited access to e-mail and voice mail; however, if you require immediate attention please contact Ric Henry.

Pendulum would like to thank you for your loyalty and continued support. Happy New Year to you and your family!

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Reuters Finds 'Dangerous Flaws' in U.S. Efforts to Control Spread of 'Superbugs' (Posted: 12/29/2016)

A Reuters investigation found "dangerous flaws" in the system designed prevent the spread of superbug infections. The organization found that the system instead protects facilities "where superbugs thrive" and leaves patients, families, and the community at large "ignorant of potentially deadly threats."

Reuters found that while most states require healthcare facilities to report suspected outbreaks of infectious diseases, many do not offer "an explicit definition of the term," leaving it up to the individual facility to determine if an outbreak is, in fact, an outbreak.

In the article, which highlights a Clostridium difficile outbreak at a Roswell, New Mexico nursing home that went unreported, Dr. Susan Huang, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of California at Irvine School of Medicine, said that no "real effort" has not been directed at addressing this issue. Huang says that the current system relies too heavily on a facility's staff's interpretation of what is deemed "unusual," and thus reportable, regarding the spread of infectious diseases.

Read the Reuters' article.

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Pendulum Holiday Schedule (Posted: 12/22/2016)

To allow our employees the opportunity to enjoy the holidays with their families, Pendulum will be closed Friday, December 23, 2016, and Monday, December 26, 2016.  Normal business office hours will resume at 8:00 a.m. MST on Tuesday, December 27, 2016.

While the office is closed, some employees will have limited access to e-mail and voice mail; however, if you require immediate attention please contact Ric Henry.

Pendulum would like to thank you for your loyalty and continued support. Happy holidays to you and your family!

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Survey: Number of Facility-acquired LTC Pressure Sores Rises (Posted: 12/21/2016)

While the rate of pressure sores across all care settings has fallen since 2006, the percentage of facility-acquired wounds has risen in long term care facilities over the past few years, McKnight's reported.

The International Pressure Ulcer Prevalence survey found that facility-acquired wounds rose from 3.8 percent in 2013 to 5.4 percent in 2015, according to the article. In addition, facility-acquired pressure injuries rose slightly (from two percent to 2.8 percent) in rehabilitation centers during the same time period.

Researchers found no "clear-cut directional trends" in the statistics, the article states.

Read the McKnight's article.

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Seasonal CDC Flu Awareness Campaign Underway (Posted: 12/16/2016)

Urging the elderly and their caregivers to protect themselves against the flu by getting vaccinated is at the heart of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) campaign, Long-Term Living magazine reported.

Flu season is typically at its most severe from December through February and can "escalate" during the holidays due to family gatherings, parties, etc., the article states. The CDC notes that seniors are at the highest risk for flu-related hospitalization and death. An "extra-strength" version of the vaccine is available for those 65 and older.

As flu viruses change, the CDC is recommending an injectable vaccine and not recommending the nasal spray version, according to the article.

Read the Long-Term Living magazine article.

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Yet Another University Attack: Be Prepared (Posted: 12/01/2016)

The recent attack at Ohio State University highlights the importance for facilities of all types to be ready for similar incidents.

A student at the university used his car to ram into other students and then attacked them with a butcher knife, CBS News reported. Eleven students were injured, one of whom was noted to be in critical condition; the attacker was shot and killed by a campus officer, according to the article.

Read the CBS News article.

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Pendulum Thanksgiving Schedule (Posted: 11/21/2016)

To allow our employees the opportunity to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with their families, Pendulum will be closed Thursday, November 24, 2016, and Friday, November 25, 2016.  Normal business office hours will resume at 8:00 a.m. MST on Monday, November 28, 2016.

While the office is closed, some employees will have limited access to e-mail and voice mail; however, if you require immediate attention please contact Ric Henry.

Pendulum would like to thank you for your loyalty and continued support. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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Hep C Outbreak Due to Infection Control Lapses, Study Finds (Posted: 11/17/2016)

Researchers have determined one of the largest outbreaks of hepatitis C in U.S. history was most likely related to lapses in infection control, McKnigh'’s reported.

The 2013 outbreak in Minot, North Dakota impacted more than 40 residents and was found likely to have been spread from patient to patient. "In an analysis researchers compared the Minot facility to a control nursing home, with both groups of residents receiving care at 'hospital X.' They found the control to have a low prevalence of hepatitis C infections, indicating the transmission to residents did not occur at the hospital," according to the article.

Read the McKnight's article.

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Oregon Nursing Home Owner Guilty of Groping, Fondling Residents, Employees (Posted: 11/08/2016)

Herbert "Howard" Sahnow, 73, pleaded guilty to 11 counts of sex abuse for fondling and groping residents and employees at the Oregon retirement community he owns, Long-Term Living Magazine reported.

A plea deal was brokered as most of the women wanted to avoid a trial. Sahnow will spend two days in jail and be on probation for five years, according to the article. Lawyers said he "targeted the most vulnerable women, including the elderly and financially insecure," the article states.

As part of the plea deal, Sahnow cannot enter the facility during his probationary period, have contact with developmentally delayed women and/or those over the age of 65, or contact the victims. He must also register as a sex offender, undergo a mental health evaluation, and financially compensate the victims, according to the article.

Read the Long-Term Living Magazine article.

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Study: Changes in Regulations Impact ALFs in 23 States (Posted: 10/27/2016)

A recent study found that between January 2015 and June 2016, regulatory changes in 23 states directly impacted assisted living facilities (ALFs), McKnight’s reported.

The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) report determined that the most common areas affected were staffing, training, dementia care, and medication management, the article states.

NCAL Executive Director Scott Tittle told McKnight’s that the findings show that changes to state requirements demonstrates assisted living’s “evolution” and the recognition by states that “assisted living can play an important and cost-effective role in caring for older adults.”

Tittle also notes that the changes show that “growing number of assisted living residents are facing increasing needs, whether living with dementia or dealing with multiple chronic diseases,” according to the article, which provides a link to the complete NCAL report.

Read the McKnight's article.

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Hurricane Matthew Stark Reminder of Importance of Disaster, Evacuation Plans (Posted: 10/07/2016)

With all eyes on Hurricane Matthew and more than 475,000 people without power, the importance of having a disaster and evacuation plan in place is critical. 

According to CNN, meteorologists have termed Matthew’s path "unpredictable," and that even the smallest change could make an "enormous difference." Experts say Matthew could make landfall as a Category 3 storm or "skirt the coast and head north before possibly heading back toward land." Storm surges in sections of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina could reach 11 feet, and up to 15 inches of rain is possible from central Florida to North Carolina, the article states. 

On Thursday, millions of Floridians were urged by Gov. Rick Scott to evacuate. Matthew has killed more than 275 people in the Caribbean—271 in Haiti.

Read the CNN article.

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Demand for SNF Nursing Assistants Expected to Rise Significantly (Posted: 09/30/2016)

Enormous growth is anticipated to take place in the nursing home industry, particularly a steep increase in the need for nursing assistants in the skilled nursing facility (SNF) over the next decade, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News reported.

In a report, the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute cited the predicted surge in "population growth among older adults," as well as the increased likelihood that these older adults will be "more likely than other age groups to receive care in nursing care facilities" as factors in this increase in demand. The accompanying surge in hiring rates to accommodate the growing resident population will create opportunities for proper orientation and training of nursing assistants.

Read the McKnight’s Long-Term Care News article.

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CMS Rule Establishes Emergency Preparedness Requirements (Posted: 09/16/2016)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently finalized a rule that aims to strengthen emergency preparedness programs in healthcare facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid, according to a press release. 

CMS believes the rule will increase patient safety during emergency situations and "establish a more coordinated response to natural and (human)-made disasters" by requiring "certain participating providers and suppliers to plan for disasters and coordinate with federal, state tribal, regional, and local emergency preparedness systems," the press release states.

The rule includes four best-practice standards: an emergency plan, policies and procedures, a communication plan, and a training and testing program.

Read the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services press release.

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CMS Directs States to Survey Nursing Home Policies Regarding Photography, Social Media (Posted: 09/08/2016)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently directed survey agency directors to examine "nursing home policies and procedures related to prohibiting nursing home staff from taking or using photographs or recordings in any manner that would demean or humiliate a resident(s)," including posting on social media, McKnight's reported.

The article states that as surveys are to begin this month, facilities would be wise to "be aware of potential legal implications of noncompliance and take steps now to prepare for the upcoming policy reviews." It is also noted that CMS includes consultants, contractors, volunteers, and other caregivers in its definition of "staff."

The key risk areas pertaining to photography, social media, and related implications are reviewed, including violation of conditions of participation, violation of (the) HIPAA privacy rule, violation of state laws, and "steps to take now."

Read the McKnight's article.

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Pendulum Holiday Schedule (Posted: 09/05/2016)

To allow our employees the opportunity to spend the Labor Day holiday with their families, Pendulum will be closed Monday, September 5, 2016.  Normal business office hours will resume at 8:00 a.m. MST on Tuesday, September 6, 2016.

While the office is closed, some employees will have limited access to e-mail and voice mail; however, if you require immediate attention please contact Ric Henry.

Pendulum would like to thank you for your loyalty and continued support.

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Local Governments Forced to 'Rob Peter to Pay Paul' in Zika Battle (Posted: 08/24/2016)

Many state and local governments have been forced reallocate money from other areas in order to battle the Zika virus outbreak, Fierce Healthcare reported. 

As a result, other needed programs could suffer from cutbacks as governments are forced to "(rob) Peter to pay Paul," LaMar Hasbrouck, executive director of the National Association of City and County Health Officials, said. According to the article, there have been more than 7,300 cases of Zika, 972 pregnant women with the virus, and 15 babies born with Zika-related defects in the U.S. 

Congress has been "deadlocked" on approving funding for treatments and research—including vaccine development, according to the article. "There must be some level of sustained investment. Congress cannot expect, and should not expect, local health departments to pull a rabbit out of a hat," Hasbrouck said.

Read the Fierce Healthcare article.

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Opinion Piece: Pot Safer then Opioids and Saves Money (Posted: 08/16/2016)

In a recently published piece, Fierce Healthcare Editor Ron Shinkman writes that not only is medical marijuana a safe alternative to opioid use, it would save Medicare almost half a billion dollars annually if it were legal in all 50 states.

The article quotes Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democrat who introduced an amendment passed by Congress that no longer restricts providers affiliated with the Veterans Administration from counseling patients regarding medical marijuana. "The death rate from opioids among VA healthcare is nearly double the national average. From what I hear from veterans is that medical marijuana has helped them deal with pain and PTSD, particularly as an alternative to opioids," Blumenauer says.

In addition to referencing the study that determined how much Medicare would save if each state legalized medical marijuana, Shinkman argues that treating those who have overdosed on opiates "a lot of money"—and that providers often have to write off the cost of treatment, as many of these victims do not have insurance. In comparison, marijuana is "relatively cheap and not at all deadly" and "virtually all" medical marijuana scripts are paid for out of pocket, Shinkman writes, adding that even those who smoke marijuana regularly do not engage in the kinds of property crimes opiate addicts use to maintain their habits, which would also save the legal system time and money.

Read the Fierce Healthcare article.

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Incident at Arizona Nursing Home Casts Importance of Preparedness in Sharp Relief (Posted: 08/05/2016)

As active shooter events become more prevalent, having an emergency preparedness plan in place is vital. This was highlighted by a recent incident at an Arizona nursing home, McKnight's reported. 

Westchester Senior Living developed its active shooter plan in 2015 after a shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado. The Tempe facility was forced to put its plan into motion when a 19-year-old male robbed a nearby Walgreens and went to the nursing home while fleeing police, according to the article. The receptionist managed to lock the front door before the man arrived, but he managed to find an open door to a maintenance room, where he barricaded himself. Per the facility's plan, employees put skilled nursing residents in wheelchairs and took them to a "safe harbor" area, where they were guarded by police. Memory care residents remained in their secured unit, and independent living and assisted living residents were evacuated to an optometry clinic across the street, the article stated. 

Deborah Perry, director of standards and policy for Volunteers of America, which owns and operates the facility, said that involving the interdisciplinary team and local law enforcement in developing an emergency preparedness/active shooter plan is vital—as is informing the residents' families that such a plan is in place. "We made the calls to the family members that afternoon, just letting them know that, 'This happened. Everything's fine. Nobody's been hurt. We wanted you to know.' It was a short message, but we thought it was important to give that outreach," Perry told McKnight's.

Read the McKnight's article.

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Study: 20% of Nursing Home Residents Victims of Resident-to-Resident Abuse (Posted: 07/29/2016)

Researchers have determined that roughly one in five nursing home residents have been abused by other facility residents, Long-Term Living reported.

In the study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers examined the number of resident-to-resident abuse among more than 2,000 residents at five urban and five suburban New York state nursing homes between 2009 and 2013, the article states. As only reported cases could be examined, the fear is that the reality is much worse than the numbers suggest.
 
Lead researcher Mark S. Lachs of Weill Cornell Medical College, said that the high number is due in large part to those with dementia and other cognitive disorders being "thrust into communal living environments for the first time in decades, if ever," according to the article. 
 
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Misread Chart Leads to Termination of Employee--and $25,000 Fine (Posted: 07/21/2016)

A nursing home employee who misread a resident's advance directive was fired after the resident died, McKnight's reported. 

The employee stopped other staff members who were trying to revive the resident, who was listed as "Full Code" and not "DNR" (do not resuscitate) on her advance directive. The resident died after efforts to save her were ended, the article states, adding that the employee was fired and the facility received a $25,000 fine as a result of the incident. 

In addition, while the facility uses different colored dots outside of resident rooms to identify their resuscitation wishes (green indicating CPR use is OK, red indicating DNR), the staff member told investigators that she was not aware of this system. The investigation also revealed that others had not been trained regarding "code status policy and advance directives," according to the article.

Read the McKnight's article.

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Attorney Clarifies New OSHA Anti-Retaliation Rules (Posted: 07/11/2016)

In an article published in Long-Term Living magazine, Steve Wilder, CHSP, STS shares some in-depth information provided by a labor law attorney colleague regarding recent new OSHA rules.

Mark Lies of Seyfarth Shaw in Chicago describes 81 Fed. Reg. 29624 in-depth, saying the "new anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation rule will come into force on August 10, 2016 for all employers … Employees must be informed about the requirements of the anti-retaliation rule relating to reporting injuries and illnesses by that date," adding that OSHA "interprets this rule broadly to prohibit mandatory post-accident drug testing, concluding that such tests discriminate against employees on the basis of injury and illness reporting."

In addition to drug testing, Lies discusses the rules as they pertain to incentive programs (which OSHA considers "a form of retaliation," Lies writes), electronic submission of injury and illness data, and online posting.

"Employers should take steps to ensure that they are in compliance with OSHA and local laws and regulations as quickly as possible. Proactive steps in the face of this regulatory scrutiny now may allow the employer to avoid costly enforcement and litigation in the future," Lies states.

Read the Long-Term Living article.

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Pendulum Holiday Schedule (Posted: 07/04/2016)

To allow our employees the opportunity to spend the Fourth of July holiday with their families, Pendulum will be closed Monday, July 4, 2016. Normal business office hours will resume at 8:00 a.m. MST on Tuesday, July 5, 2016.

While the office is closed, some employees will have limited access to e-mail and voice mail; however, if you require immediate attention please contact Ric Henry.

Pendulum would like to thank you for your loyalty and continued support.

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Legionnaires' Disease Reported at Two Nursing Homes; Bacteria found at a Third (Posted: 06/22/2016)

Cases of Legionnaires' disease were recently reported at two nursing homes—one in Maryland and one in New York—while the bacteria that causes the disease was discovered in the water system of another New York facility, Long-Term Living magazine reported.

Legionnaires’ is an airborne disease similar to pneumonia. It is caused by inhaling small water droplets containing the Legionella bacteria, the article notes. Most outbreaks occur in buildings with large water systems.

All three facilities shut off their water and flushed their systems in order to address the issue, according to the article. Two residents at the Maryland facility were diagnosed with the disease; one at a facility in Auburn, N.Y. was diagnosed. A low level of Legionella was discovered at a facility in Jamesville, N.Y., but no residents have been diagnosed with Legionnaires’, the article states.

Bottled water was provided to residents, and meal preparation and kitchen clean-up procedures had to be changed. Special filters were added to showerheads and bottled water was supplied for shaving, brushing teeth, etc.

Read the Long-Term Living article.

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Attorney Offers Advice on Full Disclosure of Medical Errors (Posted: 06/03/2016)

In an article published in Long-Term Living magazine, attorney Alan C. Horowitz discusses the advantages of full disclosure as it relates to medical errors, saying it can build trust, strengthen provider-resident relationships, and reduce the financial burden of malpractice suits and settlements.
 
In his piece, Horowitz addresses full disclosure as a policy, the "blame and shame" game, why medical errors should be reported, and balancing the fear of litigation with being honest. "Residents and their families are more likely to forgive providers who make full disclosure rather than attempt to shield unpleasant facts," Horowitz writes.
 
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Pendulum Holiday Schedule (Posted: 05/30/2016)

To allow our employees the opportunity to spend the Memorial Day holiday with their families, Pendulum will be closed Monday, May 30, 2016.  Normal business office hours will resume at 8:00 a.m. MST on Tuesday, May 31, 2016.

While the office is closed, some employees will have limited access to e-mail and voice mail; however, if you require immediate attention please contact Ric Henry.

Pendulum would like to thank you for your loyalty and continued support.

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Family Awarded $5.5 Million in Wrongful Death Suit Talk About Their Loved One (Posted: 05/27/2016)

A woman who suffered from bed sores, dehydration, and severe pain that led to her death at a Colorado nursing home was the family’s “inspiration,” KRDO reported.

Sophia Alcon was placed at Life Care Center of Pueblo in 2013 after suffering a pair of strokes, according to the article. Seven months later she died; the family filed suit and was awarded $5.5 million by a jury earlier this month. “We were pretty devastated. I know she had a lot of life left in her,” Jerry Alcon, Sophia’s son, told KRDO.

The article states that there have been more than 40 alleged incidents—including neglect, abuse, and death—at Life Care Center of Pueblo. The facility plans to appeal the decision but made no other comment, citing privacy laws.

Read the KRDO article.

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Woman in Fla. Facility Found Three Days after Fall; Negligence Suit Filed (Posted: 05/16/2016)

The family of a woman who fell in her senior living apartment and was not found until three days later has filed a negligence suit, WCTV reported.

Karma Gleason, 94, fell in October 2015 and was allegedly discovered by a housekeeper. Gleason died eight days later from extreme dehydration as well as acute kidney and liver damage, the article states-adding that each resident at Allegro senior living are required to pull a safety cord in their bathroom before 10 a.m. as an "I'm OK" check.

Read the WCTV article.

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Ga. Supreme Court Hears Case Regarding Law Firm's Ads Aimed at Specific Nursing Homes (Posted: 05/04/2016)

After being targeted in advertisements by Mississippi-based McHugh Fuller Law Group, PruittHealth, Inc.'s suit against the firm reached the Georgia Supreme Court, McKnight's reported.

PruittHealth, which operates 90 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities in the Southeast U.S., sued McHugh Fuller under the Georgia Deceptive Trade Practices Act, arguing that its name or trademark is being used without permission. The Act allows courts to "(authorize) injunctions if there is even a "likelihood" that use of a company's trademark or name will injure the reputation of the owner, or dilute its name or trademark," according to the article.
 
McHugh Fuller's campaign featured PruittHealth's logo and name, along with photos of one of its Georgia facilities, asking people to contact the firm if they "suspect that a loved one was neglected or abused" or experienced "bedsores," "unexplained injuries," and "death," the article states.
 
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Planning, Training, and Exercising are Key to Effective Disaster Management (Posted: 05/24/2013)

According to a disaster-planning expert, senior housing administrators and supervisors should focus on planning, training, and exercising when implementing a disaster plan at their facilities, McKnight’s reported.

“We would never expect an R.N. to walk into a job and nurse without any practice, but we do expect administrators and shift supervisors to be disaster managers with no training and one two-hour drill a year,” Keith F. Hansen, assistant director of the Center for Preparedness Education (CPE), told McKnight’s.

Hansen said that facilities should first ensure their plan addresses Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (SMC) and Joint Commission regulations. Staff should then be trained on the plan, and disaster drills should be conducted multiple times. Revisions should be made as necessary; if revisions are made, the aforementioned steps should be repeated, according to the article.

Hansen also said that while a plan to address a disaster is vital, just as important is a plan for post-disaster recovery—a process that can take up to three years. The key areas of focus for this plan are business continuity and behavioral health, the article stated.

“There's lots of psychological trauma that occurs in a disaster, especially if (a) facility has people with mental health or behavioral health issues. Disrupting that schedule can be very hard on people, so mental health is very important,” Hansen told McKnight’s.

Read the McKnight's article.