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 and programs. Here is a collection of long-term care related stories from across the nation.

From the Journal Sentinel—Assisted Living Concepts, Under Scrutiny in Four States, Cancels Earnings Release

“Assisted Living Concepts, the Menomonee Falls chain of assisted living centers, has begun the year with a string of run-ins with state regulators. The company has clashed with regulators in Indiana and Idaho and faced the threat of losing its licenses to operate three centers in Georgia and Alabama,” reports the Journal Sentinel. “On Friday, Assisted Living Concepts disclosed that it had been sued by the landlord of eight of its centers in Georgia and Alabama because state regulators have threatened to revoke the permits for three of the centers. [The announcement] came one day after the company canceled without explanation its first-quarter earnings release and conference call with Wall Street analysts scheduled for Thursday.” Read more


From California Healthline—Senate Committee Approves Green House Nursing Home Model

“A new idea elbowed its way into the familiar pile of health care legislation in the Senate Committee on Health yesterday. A nursing home model—the “Green House Project”—bucks the cold, institutional feel of many long-term care facilities,” reports California Healthline. “‘SB 1228 is a transformative bill that will eliminate red tape and save money. It is a revolutionary model of care,’ Senate member Elaine Alquist (D-San Jose) said, presenting her bill to the committee yesterday.” Read more

From Kaiser Health News—Advocates Worry States are Moving Too Fast on Dual Eligibles


“Some states likely will begin testing new ways to care for people who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid early next year—a timeline that has some advocates urging officials to slow down,” reports Kaiser Health News. “Melanie Bella, the director of the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office, said Tuesday that more than half the states have expressed interest in testing new models of care for dual eligibles. Twenty-five states have posted their plans for public comment, and seven already have submitted their plans to the federal government. The first wave of states is expected to go live with their plans in January 2013, according to Bella, who spoke at a panel discussion on dual eligibles held by the American Enterprise Institute.” Read more

From Pittsburgh’s—Senior Citizens Worry Cutbacks Will Force Move to Nursing Home

“Several senior citizens have expressed their concerns about the possibility of being forced into nursing homes due to cutbacks in Medicaid subsidies,” reports WTAE. A Department of Public Welfare representative called the new rates “a prudent adjustment to rates that have been inconsistent across the commonwealth and even in local areas.” But 27,000 seniors benefit from the program, and if they end up in nursing homes, it will actually cost taxpayers even more money.” Read more

From Kennebec Journal—Maine Court Approves Giving Patients Alternatives to Nursing Homes

“A federal judge in Maine has approved a settlement in a class-action lawsuit on behalf of people with long-term disabilities who claimed that the state should create opportunities for them to live outside nursing homes,” reports Kennebec Journal. “U.S. District Judge Nancy Torreson approved the settlement Wednesday in a suit brought against the Maine Department of Health and Human Services in 2009…The settlement requires the state to offer home- and community-based services to those individuals who now reside in nursing homes or are at risk of having to move into nursing homes.” Read more


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