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2018 Important Conferences for Senior Housing Professionals (Posted: 01/01/2018)

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Looking Back as We Move Ahead! (Posted: 02/01/2018)

As we head into 2018, we would like to take a moment to reflect on Pendulum’s 2017 accomplishments. Please share these achievements with us by clicking this link. Thank you in advance for your business going forward. We appreciate you very much!

Sincerely,
Ric Henry
President | Pendulum, LLC

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Coalition analysis shows 1 in 5 nursing home residents still getting antipsychotics (Posted: 06/15/2018)

In 2005 the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against the overuse of antipsychotic medication in nursing homes. That warning, however, did little to substantially reduce the use of antipsychotics, prompting Human Rights Watch this past February to condemn the practice of what many see as inappropriate drugging. 

With 20% of nursing home residents treated with antipsychotics, there is no doubt that the use of this medication is high. However, senior vice president of quality and regulatory affairs for the American Health Care Association (AHCA), David Gifford, prefers to remain optimistic. He has noted that an effort launched in 2012 "has resulted in a dramatic decline in the use of these medications, with more than half of our members achieving at least a 30% reduction." 

AHCA announced in March that it would push providers nationwide to participate in the effort to reduce the overuse of antipsychotics by 10%. 

Source: McKnight's Long-Term Care News

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Federal judge transfers negligence lawsuit against The Willough at Naples to Florida (Posted: 06/05/2018)

Derrick Lewis has filed a lawsuit against Oglethorpe, owner of The Willough at Naples nursing home. Lewis, a resident at the nursing home, claims to have suffered multiple, preventable injuries due to negligence.

One injury to the knee, brought about by a malfunctioning door, led to the next as Lewis slipped in a non-handicap-accesible bathroom. Despite these claims, however, Lewis' home state of Maryland will not hear the case since Oglethorpe does not own properties there. 

Source: Florida Record

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Happy National Nurses Week (Posted: 05/11/2018)

According to Nursing World, the public has rated nursing as the most honest and ethical profession 16 years in a row. Nurses have a commitment to protecting, promoting, and improving health care for all is well, and they serve the public in a wide range of roles and work settings. Therefore, it is important that everyone take one week to celebrate the vital role that nurses play. Happy National Nurses Week!

Source: Nursing World

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Health Benefits and Risks of Animal Interaction in Senior Care (Posted: 05/24/2018)

Pets provide many benefits to seniors, and they also pose some risks, according to an article by Reuters.

There are physical, social, and emotional benefits for residents of nursing homes who have pets or animal visitors, but facilities rarely construct thorough pet policies to mitigate potential hazards associated with animal interaction, according to the article.

While having pets present in a nursing home may relieve stress and anxiety and promote walking, animals can carry or spread disease and cause injury to this vulnerable population. Hand hygiene is just one of many precautions the article states that facilities must take to ensure the safety of its residents.

Source: Reuters

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There is a nursing shortage - and executives are worried it's getting worse (Posted: 05/01/2018)

There is an ongoing nurse shortage, and nursing executives are worried that it is hurting care quality and patient satisfaction, according to an article in Fierce Healthcare.

There were over 200 chief nursing officers surveyed by staffing firm AMN Healthcare who found that more than one-third (34%) fear that nursing shortages have a "considerable" or "great" impact on care quality. Furthermore, 41% said that these staffing problems negatively impact the patient experience. 

Among the nurses surveyed, many expressed concern that the shortages are getting worse. Over 70% said the shortage of nurses at their organizations was either "moderate," "significant" or "severe," with one in three calling it significant or severe, and many nurses only expect it to get worse.

Marcia Faller, Ph.D., R.N., chief clinical officer at AMN Healthcare said that "Nurse leaders are increasingly concerned about worsening staff shortages and their impact on patient and staff satisfaction, as well as nurse recruitment.” Labor costs are also increasing, and resources are being stretched thin, as there are fewer nurses available to do the same amount of job. The study also found that recruiting nurses is difficult, with location and lack of talent being a big problem  More than 80% of the surveyed CNOs said that their organizations have "moderate," "significant" or "severe" difficulty with recruiting nurses. 

Source: Fierce Healthcare

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Jeff Mullins Joins Pendulum, LLC (Posted: 04/11/2018)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (PRWEB) APRIL 11, 2018

Pendulum, LLC is proud to announce the addition of Jeff Mullins as the company’s Senior Vice President, Claims and Risk Services.

Jeff brings more than 20 years of experience in risk management to the Albuquerque-based risk management consulting firm. In his new role as a member of the Executive Team, Jeff oversees all of Pendulum’s claims management programs and third-party administration operations. Pendulum recently announced its new claims management program, offering boutique claims management focusing solely on the aging services/post-acute continuum.

“I’m excited to join Pendulum, a company with a great reputation and high standard of customer service. I look forward to using my experience to help providers within the aging services industry navigate the challenges of claims and risk management.”

Before joining Pendulum, Jeff worked for Genesis HealthCare as the Vice President of Risk Management, overseeing all property and casualty insurance programs, executive and financial risk, occupational safety and health, and general and professional liability claims’ financing. He has also lead teams of specialists in the fields of clinical risk management, environmental safety, claims management, and insurance services.

For more information, call (888) 815-8250 or email info(at)WeArePendulum(dot)com.

For the full news story, please visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/04/prweb15402459.htm

Pendulum, LLC is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico and provides innovative assessment and risk-reduction protocols combined with software and loss-control tools. Visit https://www.wearependulum.com/ for a complete list of the company’s services.

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Pendulum, LLC Announces Claims Management Program (Posted: 04/10/2018)

Pendulum, LLC, a premier risk management consulting firm, is proud to announce its Professional and General Liability Claims Management program. Pendulum’s new business unit will offer boutique claims management focusing solely on the aging services/post-acute continuum, including Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), and assisted living facilities (ALFs).

To see this news release on the web, please visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/04/prweb15398321.htm.

Visit https://www.wearependulum.com/ for a complete list of the company’s services.

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Kansas Agency Seeks to Take Over 15 Nursing Homes That Cannot Make Payroll (Posted: 04/06/2018)

After nursing home operator Skyline Health Care told the state of Kansas it could not make payroll, a state agency has asked 13 district courts for emergency power to take over operations for 15 nursing homes, the Kansas City Star reported.

The Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) requested the action after New Jersey–based Skyline Health Care, which purchased the Kansas facilities in 2016, notified the state of the payroll situation, according to the article.

In a statement, KDADS Secretary Tim Keck said, “Our most pressing concern at this point is stability. We want to ensure the residents of these facilities continue to receive the care they need, and to make sure the staff, which provides that care, continues to be paid.”

There are approximately 845 residents in the 15 nursing homes, the article states.

Skyline owes roughly $500,000 in bed taxes to the state and has “had trouble paying its vendors recently,” according to the article—which adds that the state of Nebraska is seeking to take over 21 Skyline nursing homes due to payroll issues.

Five of the courts have granted KDADS’s request, but Skyline must also respond to the court filings.

Source: Kelsey Ryan, Kansas City Star

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Family Worries Water Leak at Texas Facility Could Pose Mold Danger (Posted: 03/28/2018)

The children of a Texas assisted living resident say that a water leak has been a persistent problem at the facility and is "getting worse," CBS DFW reported.

Ken Gentry and his wife Candy said they are worried the leak, which has been an issue for eight weeks, could lead to mold. "The air was starting to get a little foul. We are concerned, is there going to be black mold?" Candy Gentry said.

A reporter observed "(a) black and green substance near the refrigerator space and the closet space" in two rooms, according to the article. The Gentrys said the water has begun to seep into their mother's room and "getting her clothes and floor wet," the article notes.

The problem was reported to the facility's executive director. The Gentrys were told that there have been three plumbers out to the facility using "technical high-dollar equipment," but none could find the source of the leak. In a statement, the facility's corporate office said staff has been working with the city, an engineer, and plumbing companies to identify the source and to rectify the matter, according to the article.

Source: CBS DFW

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Researchers Discover Bacteria Resistant to "Last-Resort" Antibiotic (Posted: 03/15/2018)

Bacteria highly resistant to a "last-resort" antibiotic have been discovered by Emory Health Sciences researchers, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reported.

Researchers found "heteroresistance" to the antibiotic colistin in Kiebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP), an already "highly resistant" bacteria. Their study notes that there are already few options available to treat CRKP, and colistin is often the final choice, as it is poisonous to the kidneys.

Researchers wrote that new diagnostics that quickly detect colistin heteroresistance are needed, as the bacterial isolates (taken from urine samples of two patients at Atlanta-area hospitals) were undetectable with current tests. While the isolates could be viewed after 24 hours, this time lapse presents problems, the article states.

The study notes that antibiotic-resistant infections are projected to lead to 10 million annual deaths worldwide by 2050, and that CKRP is "among the most significant threats," according to the article.

Source: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

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UChicago Medicine's Award-Winning Program Takes on Pressure Injuries and Succeeds (Posted: 03/08/2018)

University of Chicago Medicine's "Countdown to Zero" program is an award-winning program that has reduced pressure injuries at the facility more than 80 percent since its introduction in 2014, Fierce Healthcare reported.

The program "aims to reduce the number of pressure or skin injuries to zero and puts a strong focus on clinical education," according to the article. Training is conducted in a variety of settings, including at patient bedsides and via computer.

Susan Solmos leads the program, which received a 3M Award for Excellence in Skin Safety in May 2014. She said the hospital attempts to "integrate change into practice" and maintain consistency. The primary focus at current is reducing Stage I injuries as well as targeting friction injuries and other conditions that may lead to pressure injuries, the article states.

Source: Fierce Healthcare

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Peer-Reviewed, Journal Published Study Finds CRP Programs 'Sharply Reduce' Litigation Costs (Posted: 02/28/2018)

The first peer-reviewed, journal-published study in the U.S. on the impact of Communication-and-Resolution Programs (CRPs) on lawsuits and claims confirmed that such programs have a significant impact on lawsuit costs, legal expenses, and time to resolve claims, the Daily Telescope reported.

Published in the Journal of Patient Safety and Risk Management, the study examined 12 years of data from an “open” hospital system in Tennessee where physicians pay for their own insurance and are not employees of the hospital. Researchers found that the hospital’s CRP protocol “led to a 66 percent reduction in legal claims filed, 51 percent reduction in defense costs, and 53 percent reduction in the time required to close cases,” according to the article.

Earlier studies examined “closed” systems in which physicians are employees of, and insured by, hospitals.

The collection of CRP studies demonstrates that CRP can be beneficial to patients and physicians, lower healthcare costs, and improve the quality of healthcare, unlike the dominant “deny and defend” practice in the U.S.,” the article states.

Source: Jasmine Petters, Daily Telescope

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Presidents' Day Holiday (Posted: 02/16/2018)

To allow our employees the opportunity to enjoy the Presidents' Day holiday with their families, Pendulum will be closed Monday, February 19, 2018. Normal business office hours will resume at 8:00 a.m. MST on Tuesday, February 20, 2018.

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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Facility's Failure to Protect Staff Results in OSHA Fines of More Than $9K (Posted: 02/14/2018)

A Colorado nursing home where residents "grabbed, kicked, bit, and punched" staff has been fined more than $9,000 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), McKnight's reported.

To resolve the issues, Pioneer Health Care Center in Rocky Ford must install additional security cameras and alarms, remove dangerous items from the rooms of those patients deemed as violent, and improve training and staff levels, according to the article.

OSHA's investigation resulted from "incidents of violence" in 2017 that determined "certified nursing assistants suffered 'bites, sprains, broken skin, bruising, scratches, soft tissue trauma, and injuries to the head and torso from punches, kicks, and forceful grabs,'" per McKnight's.

The facility has three weeks to determine if it will contest or accept the penalties.

Source: McKnight's

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Arkansas Scabies Outbreak Attributed to Nursing Home Leadership's Inaction (Posted: 01/31/2018)

The scabies outbreak at an Arkansas nursing home in December 2017 that spread to the surrounding community has been linked to failure at the leadership level to properly address the situation—as well as the alleged direction to staff to not leave a paper trail, Arkansas Online reported.

Government records show that leadership at Longmeadow Nursing Care in Camden directed nurses to not document treatment of residents with scabies, a highly contagious skin condition caused by burrowing mites, according to the article. In addition, procedures to contain the outbreak—such as isolating those infected, requiring direct-care personnel to wear protective equipment, and implementing special cleaning techniques—were not utilized, causing it to spread to employees and, in turn, the outside community.

All 29 residents at the facility were infected, resulting in the citing of level "L" Immediate Jeopardy deficiencies—the highest level of severity, the article notes. Weeks before, Longmeadow had been cited by the state for failure to address a smaller scabies outbreak that was also not documented.

According to the article, state surveyor reports regarding the December outbreak document how the facility "failed to follow almost every scabies mitigation protocol."

Source: Hunter Field, Arkansas Online

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Bed Rail Leads to Resident's Suffocation Death; State Cites Facility's Neglect (Posted: 01/26/2018)

State of Minnesota officials squarely placed the blame on nursing home operators for the death of a resident who suffocated after her head was trapped between a mattress and a grab bar, McKnight's reported.

There was no "policy, procedure or system to ensure the proper sizing of mattresses, the fit of the grab bars [or the proper] space between the mattresses and the grab bar device to reduce the risk of entrapment" at Langton Place, per health department findings released by the Star Tribune.

The resident was observed sleeping on her back at roughly 4 a.m., but 90 minutes later, she was found face down and was unable to be resuscitated.

State officials recommended a fine and a correction plan to be submitted. The facility's staff said it is appealing the ruling and that the state's report did not take all facts into account, according to the article.

Click here to read the McKnight's article.

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Nurses Resuscitate Woman with DNR Bracelet; Facility Cited (Posted: 01/15/2018)

The state of New York cited a Syracuse facility after staff nurses resuscitated a woman who was wearing a special bracelet to denote she had a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order, McKnight's reported.

The nurse who found the woman unresponsive at what is now Bishop Rehabilitation & Nursing Center said she "had not been trained on identifying DNR residents," and when another nurse saw the DNR order in the woman's chart, the resident had already been taken to the hospital, according to the article.

The resident's records also indicated she did not want to be intubated, wanted "limited medical interventions," and that she should only be sent to the hospital "if it was necessary," the inspection report states.

Current Administrator Margaret Mary Wagner was not with the facility when the incident occurred but told Syracuse.com that "(t)his is a human business, and people are going to make mistakes...(w)hen something like that happens, you have to do a root-cause analysis [and] then change the process."

Read the McKnight's article.

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Happy New Year! (Posted: 12/29/2017)

To allow our employees the opportunity to enjoy the New Year's holiday with their families, Pendulum will be closed Monday, January 1, 2018. Normal business office hours will resume at 8:00 a.m. MST on Tuesday, January 2, 2018.

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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Controlling Legionnaires' in Long Term Care (Posted: 12/27/2017)

According to an article by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, the new CMS requirement for Legionnaires’ disease (LD) will provide direction for the preventative measures long term care (LTC) facilities can take.

According to the article, "nineteen percent of LD outbreaks are LTC related." Since a federal directive is not yet in place, LTC facilities have not had a clear approach for addressing LD, and facilities' current measures may be ineffective and confusing. The new CMS guidelines require facilities to develop policies and procedures that inhibit microbial growth, among other issues identified with the spread of the disease.

The risks of an outbreak are "real," and the costs may be "significant," the article notes. One of the reasons an outbreak may be more likely to occur in an LTC facility than in a hospital is water temperature. Water temperatures in LTC are generally required to be less hot than hospitals, and this may create a suitable bacterial environment for LD, according to the article.

The article also mentions a few Do's and Don'ts regarding LD, such as strict adherence to the policies and procedures set by the facility---so as to physically protect the residents from an outbreak and to protect the company from legal ramifications.

Source: McKnight's

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Holiday Schedule (Posted: 12/22/2017)

To allow our employees the opportunity to enjoy the holidays with their families, Pendulum will be closed Monday, December 25, 2017, and Tuesday, December 26, 2017. Normal business office hours will resume at 8:00 a.m. MST on Wednesday, December 27, 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 holidays to you and your family!

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When Done Right, Ridesharing Offers Residents Numerous Advantages - But Know The Risks (Posted: 12/18/2017)

An article in Senior Housing News offers advice to senior living providers that use ridesharing services to transport residents.

Accidents, injuries, driver misconduct, and insurance issues are areas on which providers need to keep a watchful eye, according to the article. If done right, however, using such companies as Lyft can offer a multitude of advantages. "While Brookdale manages a fleet of transportation services, Lyft is integral in giving our residents flexibility and independence at a moment’s notice," Dana Schroering, senior communications specialist at Brookdale, says in the article.

Lyft has sought out senior living providers and currently works with dozens nationwide. Gyre Renwick, vice president of Lyft Business, says the company's goal is to "supplement senior living providers' current capabilities with a better alternative and eventually work towards replacing all of their transportation needs over time as our capabilities grow."

Providers interested in working with a ridesharing company should enquire how the business vets its drivers and if background checks, vehicle inspections, and driving record checks are conducted—and if in-app photo identification of drivers are provided, says John Atkinson, a managing partner at the risk management firm of Willis Towers Watson. Atkinson also says that providers should ask to be listed as an additional insured on the company’s auto liability policy, along with documented evidence of this, according to the article.

Source: Tim Regan, Senior Housing News

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Wrongful Death Suit Filed after Elopement-related Death (Posted: 12/01/2017)

A resident of a Pennsylvania personal care facility who was found dead after eloping from the building did not have necessary precautions in place to prevent her from wandering, a wrongful death suit alleges.

The body of Audrey Penn, 77, was discovered in a roadside ditch three weeks after she wandered from Woodland Terrace at Oaks Senior Living Community, the article states. In addition to the allegations regarding the lack of preventative interventions, the suit claims facility staff waited for two hours to call police after discovering Penn was missing, according to the article. 

The suit alleges staff were not properly trained, and that the facility’s under-budgeting and understaffing” contributed to Penn’s death. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services pulled the facility’s operating license for “gross incompetence, negligence and misconduct,” the article notes. In a letter contesting that order, a member of the facility’s counsel said that the employee responsible for not reporting Penn’s disappearance was immediately terminated and that two days before the incident, the same employee had been trained on what to do in case a resident went missing, according to the article.

Read the Advisen article.

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Thanksgiving Holiday (Posted: 11/23/2017)

To allow our employees the opportunity to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with their families, Pendulum will be closed Thursday, November 23, and Friday, November 24, 2017.  Normal business office hours will resume at 8:00 a.m. MST on Monday, November 27, 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 Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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Hidden Camera Captures Staff Laughing as Resident Dies (Posted: 11/17/2017)

Video that shows the death of an 89-year-old resident at a Georgia nursing home contains what an expert in adult critical care calls "several violations of care"—as well as staff laughing as the man dies in front of them, 11Alive reported.

The video, which was captured by a hidden camera, shows Jack Dempsey—89 and a decorated World War II veteran—calling for help six times, gasping for air, and going unconscious, according to the article. Per state records, it took nursing home staff at Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation almost an hour to call 911 after finding Dempsey unresponsive.

While a nurse claimed she gave Dempsey continuous CPR, the video contradicts this. The video also shows nurses laughing when they had trouble operating Dempsey's oxygen machine.

Elaine Harris, a retired nursing professor and expert in adult critical care, was shown the film by 11Alive. She said she identified "failure to respond, failure to assess, and failure to act" on part of the staff, the article states. Harris also said the nurses erred when stopping and starting CPR on Dempsey. "That is absolutely inappropriate. You never stop compressions," she told the station.

The nurses were fired 10 months after they were made aware of the video, according to the article. Dempsey's family has filed a suit against the facility.

Source: Andy Pierrotti, 11Alive.com

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Woman's Death from Smoking While Unsupervised Leads to Lawsuit (Posted: 11/07/2017)

The son of a woman who died after catching fire while smoking has filed suit against the nursing home where she was a resident, Advisen Healthcare reported.

Donna Chapman, 83, died two days from fatal burns suffered after she was smoking while unsupervised at a Missouri nursing home. Chapman suffered from dementia and had limited use of her legs and left arm; the suit alleges staff left her alone without a special protective apron and that they "failed to adequately assess (Chapman's) ability to smoke unsupervised and detect changes in her mental and physical condition," according to the article.

After the incident, the nursing home changed its smoking policy.

Source: Advisen Healthcare

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Police, Facility Management Offer Differing Accounts on Residents Left in Nursing Home During Calif. Wildfires (Posted: 10/20/2017)

Contradictory versions were offered regarding residents found at a nursing home that was on fire as a result of northern California wildfires, WPVI reported.

Oakmont Management Group said that authorities did not allow staff to reenter Varenna Oakmont Senior Living Community due to the fire danger, and that they would "take responsibility for evacuating remaining residents." However, the Santa Rosa Police Department stated that it was "not stopping anybody from helping save lives that night," according to the article.

RJ Kisling went to the nursing home to check on his grandfather said he found several elderly residents in their rooms, many of which were locked. He added that he saw two women in the lobby who he "assumed were employees," but they were gone when he returned to the lobby, the article states.

Kisling said the residents asked "How come nobody came and got us? How come nobody told us we were evacuating?" He also said upon arriving, the firefighters asked where the staff was and the master key was, the article notes.

Oakmont staff said all 400 residents of the nursing home are "accounted for and safe."

Source: WPVI

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Nursing Shortage and the Influx of Millennials (Posted: 10/06/2017)

As baby boomers are retiring, millennials are flooding into the nursing field, Home Health Care News reported.

Though millennials are "186% more likely to become a registered nurse (RN) than the average baby boomer," the unexpected interest in nursing may not be enough to meet the growing demand, according to the article referencing a new study.

The article describes an alternating period of high and low statistical bulges to visualize the influx and outflow of nurses over three generations; millennials are the "second course," according to a statement by The College of Nursing at Montana State University Study Author David Auerbach when referencing the 'Pig in the Python' phenomenon.

In another statement by Auerbach, he postulates that millennials, who are known for their tendency to switch jobs, may be motivated towards nursing by "making a difference in people's lives day to day."

Source: Tim Regan, Home Health Care News

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Ohio Nursing Home Offers Family of Oxycodone Overdose Victim $375,000 (Posted: 09/27/2017)

An Ohio nursing home has offered the family of a woman who died after receiving 20 times her prescribed dose of oxycodone a $375,000 settlement, McKnight’s reported.

Nurses at Normandy Manor in Rocky River allegedly failed to read the medication label and did not dilute it before administering it to Susanne Lawrence, the article notes. She was prescribed 25 milligrams but was given 500 milligrams “over the span of several hours,” according to the article.

A hearing on the proposed settlement is scheduled for Oct. 2.

Read the McKnight's article.

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Eight Nursing Home Residents Die After Irma-caused Power Outage (Posted: 09/18/2017)

Eight residents died after Hurricane Irma left a Florida nursing home without power or air conditioning, McKnight’s reported.

The residents’ deaths at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills were due to “heat-related causes,” according to the article. Three died at the facility; five died after being evacuated. Police have opened a criminal investigation, the article states.

In a statement, The Rehabilitation Center Administrator Jorge Carballo said that the facility’s administration is “cooperating fully with relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances that led to this unfortunate and tragic outcome.” Governor Rick Scott (R) tweeted that he would “aggressively demand answers” regarding the incident.

Source: Emily Mongan, McKnight’s

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Harvey Highlights Importance of Disaster Preparedness (Posted: 09/06/2017)

The devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey cast in sharp relief the need for strong disaster management plans.

Harvey's toll on hospitals was especially severe. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center closed nine locations due to flooding, while six other facilities were evacuated, the article states, adding that a public health emergency was declared, allowing hospitals and nursing homes to not be required to meet certain documentation requirements.

In the article, Chief executive of the Southeast Texas Regional Advisory Council Darrell Pile said that "no one was prepared for the 'epic level'" of Harvey.

Source: Fierce Healthcare

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Labor Day Holiday (Posted: 09/01/2017)

To allow our employees the opportunity to enjoy the Labor Day holiday with their families, Pendulum will be closed Monday, September 4, 2017.  Normal business office hours will resume at 8:00 a.m. MST on Tuesday, September 5, 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 Labor Day to you and your family!

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More Legionella Discovered at Syracuse Nursing Home (Posted: 08/24/2017)

Additional water restrictions have been implemented at a Syracuse nursing home where two residents have been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease since March, Syracuse.com reported.

Additional water restrictions have been implemented at a Syracuse nursing home where two residents have been diagnosed with Legionnaires' disease since March, Syracuse.com reported.

Recent test results showed that a second building at James Square Health and Rehabilitation Center contains low levels of Legionella, the bacteria that causes Legionnaires', according to the article. Restrictions were implemented in the first building when Legionella was found in the water on August 8.

While Legionella does not make most healthy people sick, the elderly are at risk due to their weakened immune systems, the article states, adding that one in 10 people who contract Legionnaires' disease die. The bacteria is "found naturally in lakes and streams," but it presents a health issue when it develops in water systems, including showers, faucets, and air-conditioning and plumbing systems, according to the article.

James Square staff has installed filters on shower heads and faucets and has provided residents with bottled water, the article notes.

Source: Syracuse.com

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'Peggy's Law' Goes in Effect for New Jersey LTC Facilities in October (Posted: 08/17/2017)

A new law regarding New Jersey long-term care (LTC) employees and the reporting of abuse goes into effect on October 6, 2017, Goldberg Segalla reported.

Under the new regulation—named "Peggy's Law" for an assisted living resident who was allegedly an abuse victim—LTC employees must contact police if there is "reasonable cause to suspect of believe (that an) elderly person is being or has been abused or exploited," according to the article.

Time requirements are part of the new law—e.g., if suspected abuse led to "serious bodily injury," it must be reported within two hours of the initiation of the "suspicion or belief," the article states. For non-serious bodily injury, the deadline for reporting is 24 hours.

Those who fail to follow the new law face monetary penalties; employees who do not report suspected abuse could be fined up to $500, while facilities could be fined up to $2,500, according to the article.

Source: Goldberg Segalla

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GAO Report: Court Reform Needed in Face of Abuse of Elderly by Legal Guardians (Posted: 08/08/2017)

A U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that state guardianship systems are “rife with exploitation” and recommended that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) look into evaluating the monitoring of guardians, the New York Times reported.

The report found “hundreds” of examples of physical and financial abuse in addition to negligence, according to the article. The organization has determined that guardians in six states stole more than $600,000 from their wards and that guardians in 20 cases stole $5.4 million between 1990 and 2010.

Lack of oversight funding is cited as a primary factor in this abuse; another is that judges rarely have the “time or expertise” to make a more than brief review of a guardianship petition, the article notes, adding that guardians’ fees also help “sap or erase” an individual’s savings.

Click here to read the New York Times article.

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Medicare Fraud Scheme Lands Mother, Son in Prison (Posted: 07/25/2017)

A psychological-testing scheme that swindled $25 million from Medicare has resulted in prison sentences for a mother and son, McKnight’s reported.
 
Gertrude Parker, 63, and Rodney Hesson, 47, received sentences of seven and 15 years, respectively, for conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and conspiracy to make false statements related to healthcare matters, according to the article. In addition, the pair will have to pay more than $20 million in restitution.
 
Parker and Hesson submitted fraudulent—unnecessary or, in some cases, not provided—Medicare claims for psychological testing in nursing homes in four states, the article notes.
 
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SNF Employees Lauded for Saving Residents During Fire (Posted: 07/12/2017)

A pair of maintenance workers who pulled two residents to safety during a fire at a New Hampshire nursing home are being praised as heroes, McKnight's reported.

The fire at Courville at Nashua was contained to a second-floor room. The two workers (who declined to be identified) entered "heavy smoke conditions" to save the residents, according to the article. Fire officials said sprinklers contained the fire and that the cause was being investigated.

Read the McKnight's article.

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Independence Day Holiday (Posted: 07/04/2017)

To allow our employees the opportunity to enjoy the Independence Day holiday with their families, Pendulum will be closed Tuesday, July 4, 2017. Normal business office hours will resume at 8:00 a.m. MST on Wednesday, July 5, 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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Iowa Facility Gets Social Media-related Fine Halved, IJ Citation Downgraded (Posted: 06/28/2017)

A Continuing Care Retirement Center in Lone Tree, Iowa fought back against a fine and Immediate Jeopardy deficiency related to a photo posted to Snapchat by staff, McKnight's reported.

Chris Wolfe, administrator of Lone Tree Health Care Center, said, "As far as I'm concerned, the whole thing is pretty ridiculous. Nobody in an agency capacity has even seen the picture nor can they see the picture, so how can you write a deficiency let alone a fine when there isn't a picture to substantiate the accusation?"

Snapchat posts typically expire after 10 seconds or less. The $68,000 fine was cut in half, and the IJ deficiency was downgraded, according to the article. 

The deficiency and fine were imposed after the facility allegedly failed to conduct a "timely investigation" and "separate the alleged abusers from residents," the article notes. Wolf said the photos did not contain nudity or abuse, or "put residents or others at risk," and that staff received related training and were told not to bring their phones into the workplace.

Read the McKnight's article.

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Workers: Ohio Nursing Home Gunman Shot Out Facility's Alarm System (Posted: 06/22/2017)

The man who murdered two Ohio nursing home employees and a police officer in May shot out the facility’s alarm system, McKnight's reported.

Thomas Hartless came to Pine Kirk Care Center on May 12 to kill his estranged girlfriend, Marlina Medrano, who was one of his victims. He shot the alarm system in order to keep workers unaware that he was in the building, according to nurses' aides who are raising money to cover counseling sessions for facility employees. The aides also said Hartless spoke with a male resident as Hartless "shot his way inside," according to the article.

The aides said they were in the basement when they were told a coworker had been shot. They called 911 and hid in a resident's room, keeping the door closed with their body weight. They said at one point that Hartless "wiggled the doorknob" and "pushed on the door" but did not open it, the article notes.

Source: Emily Mongan, McKnight’s

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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.