The Centers for Medicare & Medication Services dropped a pair of bombshell announcements concerning nursing homes late Tuesday afternoon, including a proposal to delay implementation of phase three of the Requirements of Participation one year until November 28, 2020.
The agency also issued a final rule allowing pre-dispute arbitration agreements, but it will prohibit nursing homes from requiring residents to sign them as a condition for receiving care. It also will require providers to inform residents or their representatives that they do not have to sign a binding arbitration agreement.
The federal website for information about nursing homes, Nursing Home Compare, reports information for each Medicare-certified and Medicaid-certified nursing facility in three categories – health inspections, staffing, and quality measures – as well as an overall score that combines the three domains.
Failure to pay 106 employees and furnish payroll records to Massachusetts have led the state’s attorney general to cite the owner-operators of the defunct Skyline Healthcare with $85,000 in citations.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The family of an 83-year-old woman has filed a lawsuit saying she suffered a heat stroke from being left in a assisted living facility’s van for six hours.
Source: WSFA News
The FDA alerted healthcare providers June 13 that at least one patient has died after receiving a fecal transplant containing drug-resistant bacteria.
Source: Becker's Hospital Review
As of now, a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease does not exist, but researchers at UNM believe they have found a way to prevent it. “I really wanted to take this as a challenge to see if we could develop any sort of treatment,” says Kiran Bhaskar.
Source: KRQE News
A bipartisan pair of U.S. senators on Monday released a previously undisclosed list of more than 400 nursing homes under consideration for placement on the federal government’s roster of properties with serious quality issues.
Source: Skilled Nursing News
Lawyers for an incapacitated woman who had a baby inside a Phoenix long-term care facility have filed a $45 million notice of claim against Arizona. The 55-page claim lays the groundwork for a lawsuit. The woman’s family cites medical records in arguments that she was “violently and repeatedly raped” and may have been pregnant before.
Chicago reported its first measles case — and the second confirmed in Cook County — May 19, reports the Chicago Tribune. The confirmed cases come less than two weeks after a study identified the county as most vulnerable for experiencing a measles outbreak.
As the senior population in the U.S. increases, so does the need for more and more senior living communities. And with more senior living communities come more claims and lawsuits raised against them, so when they lose – it’s down to insurers to pay for the damages.
One of these cases involves a 103-year-old resident of a Sunrise Senior Living facility in Willowbrook, Illinois – Ruth Smith, who gets by with the help of a walker. One year ago, she went on a field trip to see a movie when she fell down concrete steps in the theater, leading to her death six weeks later. Her estate filed a lawsuit against the Sunrise Senior Living facility, claiming that aides didn’t provide adequate attention.
A Connecticut nursing home is being sued over the strangling death of a 76-year-old patient who police say was killed by her 81-year-old boyfriend in November.
The Connecticut Law Tribune reports the lawsuit filed Monday by the estate of Patricia Ann Way says Autumn Lake Healthcare at Bucks Hill in Waterbury should have known about her boyfriend’s violent history and failed to protect her. The estate’s lawyer says the lawsuit seeks “at least seven figures” in damages.
Industry trade groups slammed changes to Nursing Home Compare that went into effect on Wednesday, concerned that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is “moving the goalposts” for providers.
CMS’s switches to the ratings system caused about one-third of skilled nursing facilities’ ratings to drop drastically overnight without any corresponding dip in quality or staffing levels, the American Health Care Association estimated.
When Larry Anders moved into the Bay at Burlington nursing home in late 2017, he wasn’t supposed to be there long. At 77, the stoic Wisconsin machinist had just endured the death of his wife of 51 years and a grim new diagnosis: throat cancer, stage 4.
His son and daughter expected him to stay two weeks, tops, before going home to begin chemotherapy. From the start, they were alarmed by the lack of care at the center, where, they said, staff seemed indifferent, if not incompetent — failing to check on him promptly, handing pills to a man who couldn’t swallow.
Assisted living communities in Minnesota would be licensed via a new multi-tiered system under a proposal that state Health Commissioner Jan Malcolm shared during a state senate hearing last week.
If passed, Minnesota reportedly would become the last state to license assisted living settings. Current state law classifies assisted living communities, where more than 60,000 state residents live, as “housing with services” and requires registration instead of licensure.
Source: McKnight's Senior Living
It's the stuff of nightmares: Your loved one, who you thought was being well cared for in a long-term care facility or nursing home, was physically abused, raped or even impregnated. And you had no idea it was happening.
A company that provides contracted physicians to hospitals and nursing homes will pay a $500,000 penalty related to a breach and not having a business associate agreement (BAA) in place, Healthcare Info Security reported.
In late 2011, Advanced Care Hospitalists (ACH) engaged an individual who “provided medical billing services using (Doctor's First Choice Billings Inc.)’s name and website, but allegedly without any knowledge or permission of First Choice's owner,” according to the article. In 2014, a Florida hospital notified ACH that confidential patient information, including names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers, was viewable on the First Choice website.
An investigation revealed that, in violation of HIPAA laws, ACH never entered into a BAA with the individual who provided the billing services. ACH filed a breach notification report with the Office for Civil Rights; after a supplemental report was made, it was determined that more than 9,200 patients could have been impacted by the breach, the article states.
For more information on HIPAA breaches, visit your online resource center. And please share this news with your Administrator and Billing Office Manager.
Source: Healthcare Info Security
After a deadly shooting at a Chicago hospital on Nov. 21, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) urged healthcare providers to review their preparation plans for active shooter events, McKnight’s reported.
The ASPR specifically encouraged providers to review the organization’s planning and response guide as well as a bevy of other resources, according to the article.
In an email, the ASPR stated that the while such an event can’t be predicted, awareness can be improved. “It is critical for you to prepare your facility and staff as thoroughly as possible for the threat of an active shooter through your emergency response planning,” the email states.
For more information on active shooter training, visit your online resource center. And please share this news with your Administrator, Plant Services/Maintenance Director, and Director of Nursing/Resident Services Director.
Source: McKnight's Long-Term Care News
A lawsuit alleges that the Housing Act and Missouri Human Rights Act were violated when a St. Louis retirement community denied admission to an elderly lesbian couple, the Windy City Times reported.
Mary Walsh and Beverly Nance, who have been a couple for 40 years, were refused admission to Friendship Village Sunset Hills, which cited the “Biblical definition” of marriage for its decision.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR), ACLU of Missouri, and Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC filed the suit on the couple’s behalf, the article states.
Michael Adams, CEO of SAGE, the oldest and largest organization in the country dedicated to improving the lives of LGBT older adults, told the Times that the “horrible discrimination experienced by this older lesbian couple—for something as basic as senior housing—is a stark reminder of the challenges that many LGBT elders face.” Adams further stated that 45 percent of same-sex couples who apply for senior housing in Missouri are discriminated against.
While religious exemptions are often cited as reasons for denying service to the LGBT community, Friendship Village Sunset Hills “is not affiliated with or operated by any religion or religious order; it is open to the public and does not inquire about the religious beliefs or affiliations of residents,” according to the suit.
For more information on Fair Housing, visit your online resource center. And please share this news with your Administrator.
Source: Chicago Sun Times
The family of a 76-year-old resident of an Illinois nursing home has filed a lawsuit claiming facility staff forced the man to expose himself on Facebook Live, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The suit claims that on July 15, four employees of Holland Home entered the room of Reggie Doe “for the purpose of bullying and abusing (him),” according to the article. Doe, who was a stroke victim suffering from dementia, was coerced into removing his pants and exposing his genitals as the employees streamed the act online, the article states. Per the suit, an employee can be heard taunting Doe, and it is alleged the abuse continued after the streaming stopped.
The suit claims Doe was targeted for being “vulnerable, disabled, and easily manipulated.” Doe’s family seeks $50,000 in punitive damages, according to the article.
For more information on social media, visit your online resource center. And please share this news with your Executive Director and/or Administrator.
Source: Chicago Sun Times
Language in an arbitration agreement was cited by a Kentucky judge in his ruling that an unsigned agreement was not enforceable, McKnight’s reported.
Judge David Hale ultimately did not agree with Golden LivingCenter Hillcreek’s contention that two previous arbitration agreements with a resident took precedence over a 2016 agreement that was not signed, according to the article. In his decision, Hale noted that the 2016 agreement includes language that the document “supersedes any prior admission contracts.”
Robert Bramer allegedly fell from his bed at the nursing home and suffered a severe head injury that led to his death a few weeks later, the article states. As a result, Bramer’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
For more information on arbitration agreements, visit your online resource center. And please share this news with your Executive Director and/or Administrator.
Source: McKnight's Long-Term Care News
Non-profits have felt particularly squeezed by recent skilled nursing pressures on multiple fronts, prompting them to sell off their skilled facilities — typically to for-profit entities.
Many of them are feeling the pressures of staffing, Luann Gutierrez, Greystone & Co.’s managing director for bridge finance, told SNN. In addition, the non-profits that have just one or two facilities are having trouble securing the kinds of vendor contracts that they need to survive in the space.
But the sell-off isn’t limited to standalone skilled nursing facilities run by non-profits, according to Lisa McCracken, who serves as director of senior living research and development at the Chicago-based investment firm Ziegler.
Source: Skilled Nursing News
The American Hospital Association (AHA) recently offered 12 items for hospitals to discuss with their information technology teams regarding cyber vulnerability, Health Data Management reported.
“One of the most important things senior executives can do is to ask the right questions of their information technology teams,” the article states. Each area of discussion includes key questions to ask of IT workers.
The areas of discussion include patient safety and critical mission systems, tactical cyber risk profile, capabilities, cyber security culture, risk mitigation implementation plan, and cyber insurance.
For more information on cyber security, visit your online resource center. And please share this news with your Administrator and IT Director.
Source: Health Data Management
CLEVELAND, Ohio - A company providing primary care to low-income seniors soon will open three health care centers in Cleveland.
Chicago-based Oak Street Health plans to open three 9,000-square-foot community-based centers in the Glenville, West Boulevard and Lee-Harvard neighborhoods by the end of the year. The centers will serve those on Medicare.
At each facility, patients will be provided with transportation to and from appointments, longer visits and around-the-clock access to doctors.
Source: Cleveland Metro News
Issues related to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) are one way a SNF could be liable because of an errant social media post by an employee, but there are other considerations for liability.
The cases of explicit and exploitative postings make the news, but those cases are outliers in terms of how intentional they are; according to Pitman, the most common issues with employee social media use don’t stem from an intention to abuse. They stem from people using social media the way they do in their everyday lives.
Since it’s so easy for facilities to become liable based on actions that are second nature to most people with a Facebook account, Pitman had some suggestions for SNFs to mitigate the chance of this happening. The first is to have policies and procedures in place to address HIPAA requirements on privacy and security, as well as the resident’s rights to have information maintained confidentially and “to be in an environment that’s free of abuse and exploitation,” Pitman said.
Source: Skilled Nursing News
A recent study found that explaining, apologizing for, and resolving adverse medical events can “significantly reduce” legal and liability costs, Georgia State University reported.
Researchers studied 12 years of data at Erlanger, a five-hospital system where physicians purchase their own liability insurance, per the article. In the period after Erlanger implemented a Communication and Resolution Program (CRP), there was a 66 percent reduction in legal claims filed, a 51 percent drop in defense costs, and a 53 percent reduction in reporting of adverse events.
The findings led to the American Medical Association to adopt a resolution supporting CRP, according to the article.
“Following CRP protocol, when medical errors were explained to the patients and their families, 43 percent were resolved by apology alone, even though 60 percent of those patients had legal representation,” lead researcher Dr. Florence R. LeCraw stated.
For more information on use of apologies, visit your online resource center. And please share this news with your Administrator and Director of Nursing.
It is with great honor that we announce the graduating class of the 2018 Long Term Care Power Lawyers. We are extremely proud of their commitment to the program and their service to the long-term care industry.
Pendulum, in partnership with the Long Term Care Risk/Legal Forum, puts on this program annually for young defense attorneys in the long term care industry. Ric Henry (Pendulum, LLC President) is a Program Leader, and Erika Casebier (Client & Data Services Coordinator) is the Administrative Liaison. This year marks the second year of the program.
Source: Cision PRWeb
An “often overlooked” state statute is cited in several lawsuits filed by North Dakota nursing homes seeking payment for unpaid bills, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
The “filial support” statute requires children to support their indigent parents. Shelly Peterson, executive director of the North Dakota Long Term Care Association, told the Tribune that the statute is only used to pursue payment from adult children when parents transfer income or assets to their children, and the parents don't qualify for Medicaid. Peterson added that, under Medicaid, nursing homes are “legally obligated” to pursue all options in collecting debt.
But families say the statute is unfair. In the article, Becky Pedersen, who is being sued (along with her three siblings) for her father’s outstanding bill of more than $43,000, said, "(The bill) might as well be $500,000, because it's just not something that we had a chance to prepare for.”
The filial support law was adopted in 1877---12 years before North Dakota was granted statehood. Two state lawmakers have said they are “considering modifying or possibly repealing the statute” in the next legislative session, according to the article.
At least 24 states have a filial support law, the article notes.
Source: Blair Emerson, Bismarck Tribune
Medicare paid $16.7 billion for services in 2016—an 81 percent rise from 2006, according to the article. A recent government report reveals that “poor and/or unnecessary care” and a lack of information shared by providers to help residents and families to make informed decisions are among the issues facing the hospice industry.
The report includes recommendations by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to strengthen the hospice industry, including improving the survey process, providing the federal government “more authority to address poor-performing hospice providers,” educating residents and families, and improving oversight of billing processes.
For more information on hospice vulnerabilities, visit your online resource center. And please share this news with your Agency Director.
Source: McKnight's Long-Term Care News
According to a pair of recent studies, “severe gaps” in staffing infection preventionists (IPs) have resulted from outdated coverage benchmarks, McKnight’s reported.
In one study, IP staffing needs across the Providence Health & Services healthcare system were 31 percent to 66 percent higher than benchmarks currently in place, the article states. Both studies offer a new benchmark of 1.0 IP full-time equivalent per 69 beds and “support the view that IP staffing recommendations should be based on the care and services provided by a healthcare institution, rather than on a single, static ratio, which might not be appropriate for all models,” according to the article.
Source: McKnight's Long-Term Care News
Following the alleged abuse of an elderly Alzheimer’s patient at the hands of caregiver and convicted felon, Gwendolyn Kentris, Ralston Creek, a nursing home operated by Haverland Carter LifeStyle Group, has begun to use a new background check resource.
Ralston Creek did not reveal how Kentris passed her background check but stated they will run all current staff through the new system and retrain “key management staff.”
Haverland Carter Director of Marketing and Sales, Dave Walbright, stated that “We have changed to a different service for Ralston Creek Neighborhood to have more stringent background checks similar to what we already do in New Mexico and Oklahoma.”
To put families at ease, Ralston Creek additionally hosted an open forum to answer questions and address concerns.
Kentris currently faces arrest for her alleged abuse of the patient. The family of the patient is pursuing litigation against Ralston Creek.
Source: The Dever Channel
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.