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

Senior care facility closures mark this week’s State Watch, along with a clear national trend toward moving care out of institutions and into home- and community-based settings. 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 and programs. Here is a collection of long-term care related stories from across the nation.

From the Providence Journal—Rhode Island Nursing Home to Close After Years of Care Lapses

“Pawtuxet Village Care and Rehabilitation Center, a Warwick nursing home, has agreed to shut its doors after determining that the home’s persistent quality problems could not be fixed,” reports the Providence Journal. “The home has until Friday to file a closure plan. Its 78 residents will gradually move to other facilities, with the assistance of the state’s long-term-care ombudsman.” Read more

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From the Huffington Post—Nursing Home Trade Group Aiding Senator Orrin Hatch’s Re-Election Bid

“A trade group [The Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care] representing nursing homes has given the Utah Republican Party $175,000 over the past year, money that could help Sen. Orrin Hatch stave off a tea party challenge and win re-election,” reports the Huffington Post. “Such support could be particularly important next year if Republicans take control of the Senate. The Finance Committee has jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid spending, which is critical to both nursing homes and radiologists trying to fend off spending cuts in the coming fiscal year.” Read more

From the Kansas City Star—Critics Wonder About Oversight of Kansas Nursing Homes

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“When it comes to providing sufficient nursing staff, preventing bedsores or even doing basic housekeeping, Kansas nursing homes rank among the worst in the nation,” reports the Kansas City Start. “That situation has state and national advocates for the elderly up in arms. They fear industry interests may hold sway over the needs of nursing home residents, with potentially critical consequences. “I’m not overstating it, it’s life or death,” said Mitzi McFatrich, executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care.” Read more

From the Associated Press—Under-Occupied Campbell Nursing Home to Close

“A Nebraska village has decided to stanch the financial bleeding and close a nursing home,” reports the Associated Press. “Grandview Manor nursing home in Campbell will close at the end of May, ending the losses that have reached up to $25,000 a month.” Read more

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Iowa Senate’s HHS Budget Looks to Decrease Dependence on Institutional Care

The Iowa Senate’s Health and Human Services Budget seeks to help seniors living independently by providing seniors with greater access to community-based services and reducing unnecessary dependence on institutional care.

Specific measures include increasing access to assisted living facilities by raising the Elderly Waiver cap to $3.1 million; allotting an additional $761,000 for in-home health care; budgeting more than $4.34 million of additional funds for home- and community-based services; and providing $5 million to eliminate waiting lists for these types of services. View Senate File 2336.

Georgia Department of Community Health—No More Certificate of Need Applications for Skilled Nursing

The Georgia Department of Community Health, Healthcare Facility Regulation Division recently gave notice that it won’t accept or review any Certificate-of-Need applications for new or expanded Skilled Nursing Facilities or Intermediate Care Facilities during the current batching review cycle.  The next assessment of needs for new or expanded Skilled Nursing Facilities/Intermediate Care Facilities will occur no later than September 23, 2012. Read more

From the Chicago Tribune—Troubled South Side Nursing Home Expels 2 State Monitors

“Two years into the state’s fight to close a troubled South Side nursing home, the facility remains open and even has successfully booted out two state-appointed monitors who were installed to ensure patient safety,” reports the Chicago Tribune. “Police reports and state health department inspections allege a pattern of patient-on-patient violence at the Rainbow Beach Care Center, a 200-bed facility that houses and treats indigent adults with mental illness.” Read more

From the Times-News: Magic Valley—Idaho Assisted Living Home Loses License, Forcing Residents Out

“The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has revoked the license of a local assisted living facility, forcing 18 residents to find new homes immediately,” reports Magic Valley. “The Twin Falls Chaparelle House lost its license after state surveyors determined the facility wasn’t employing enough staff, said Tom Shanahan, spokesman for Health and Welfare.” Read more