State Watch: Long-Term Care News from Around the Nation

As assisted living regulations evolve and tighten, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements fluctuate, and healthcare reform begins to take effect, many states are facing their own challenges as they continue to develop, operate, and implement new rules. Here is a collection of long-term care related stories from across the nation.

From The Des Moines Register: Nursing Home Warning Bill Taken Up by Subcommittee

“Legislation aimed at informing and protecting residents of nursing homes and residential care facilities from sex offenders living among them got its first hearing in a House subcommittee Wednesday [Feb. 1],” reports The Des Moines Register. “The proposal would require nursing homes, residential care facilities and assisted-living programs to check newly admitted residents against the state’s sex-offender registry and to notify facility residents, residents’ families, employees, visitors and the county sheriff if a registered offender was moving in.” Read more

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From the Miami Herald: Scott Wants to Renew Effort to Reform ALFs

“As Florida lawmakers debate the biggest overhaul of assisted living facilities in a generation, Gov. Rick Scott has sent a clear signal: He wants the reform movement to stay alive,” reports the Herald. “In a brief statement Tuesday [Jan. 31], Scott said he’ll ask members of his Assisted Living Work Group to convene again this year to come up with more ways to improve conditions in the state’s 2,850 assisted living facilities, where someone dies nearly once a month from abuse or neglect.” Read more

From the Providence Journal: Governor Seeks to Overturn Court Ruling Preventing Medicare Enrollment

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“Governor Chafee is filing a legal brief with the state Supreme Court in support of Providence’s efforts to overturn a lower court’s ruling preventing the city from moving its retirees into Medicare,” reports the Providence Journal. “The city had hoped to save $8 million this fiscal year from the move but in a ruling last week Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter prohibited the city from breaking its contractual arrangement with the retirees.” Read more

From the Rome News-Tribune: Administrator Offers Tales of Nursing Home Deficiencies in Houser Trial

“Another administrator of a nursing home formerly owned by George House was on the stand all day Monday, Feb. 6, testifying on deficiencies cited by state regulators and bills for food and other items that were not being paid,” reports the Rome News-Tribune. “According to the federal indictment, residents of Housers’ nursing homes lived in substandard conditions, with broken air-conditions and leaky roofs, while the couple raked in millions of dollars, purchasing homes, property and expensive cars.” Read more

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From the Philadelphia Inquirer: Pa. Nursing Homes Brace for Another Round of State Cuts

“Pennsylvania nursing-home operators, already hit hard by last year’s cuts in federal and state funding, face another revenue loss in Gov. Corbett’s proposed budget for the fiscal year starting July 1,” reports Philly.com. “The budget proposal, released Tuesday, calls for a 4 percent cut in the Medicaid reimbursement rate for nursing homes. The total revenue loss for nursing homes is projected by the Pennsylvania Health Care Association to be $46.5 million.” Read more

From Aberdeen News: Nursing Home Beds Moratorium Could be Relaxed

“Nursing homes should be able to seek additional beds despite the state’s moratorium against increasing the total number of beds in South Dakota, the state Senate decided Friday,” reports Aberdeen News. “Sen. Jean Hunhoff, R-Yankton, said the moratorium has worked well in spurring the availability of other types of long-term care. Enough nursing beds remain statewide, but additional beds are needed in some parts of South Dakota, Hunhoff said.” Read more