State Watch: Long-Term Care News from Around the Nation (5/14/2012)

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 that are worth reading.

From the Sun Sentinel (Florida)—Assisted Living Evictions Have Few Rules in Florida

“Assisted living facilities often market themselves as “just like home,” cozy places where people will live just like they did in their houses or condos. But many don’t realize their new lifestyle has the equivalent of a month-to-month lease,” reports the Sun Sentinel. “Under Florida regulations, assisted living operators need give residents little more than a 45-day written notice in order to evict them. The discharge rules are among the least restrictive in the nation, according to the National Senior Citizens Law Center.” Read more


From Enterprise News (Massachusetts)—Battle Looming at Statehouse Over Nursing Home ‘Bed  Holds’

“Senior advocates are calling on state lawmakers to preserve a program that allows nursing home residents to keep their rooms after brief absences, such as hospitalizations,” reports Enterprise News. “Bed holds were the center of a funding battle last year, when Patrick vetoed $6 million for the program from a supplemental budget. Defying the governor, lawmakers put the money back into a final version of the budget and Patrick ultimately signed it in the fall. Without the bed hold program, the [nursing] home receives nothing, giving some little choice but to fill a bed with another patient in order to keep funding operations, said [W. Scott Plumb, senior vice president of the Massachusetts Senior Care Association].” Read more

From the Health Care Council of Illinois—Nursing Home Supporters Rally in Chicago to Fight Medicaid Cuts


Pending cuts to Illinois’ Medicaid system would costs thousands of jobs and threaten care at nursing homes across the state, according to nursing home administrators, health care leaders and elected officials who rallied at the Thompson Center in Chicago on Monday in an event organized by the Health Care Council of Illinois (HCCI), which represents more than 500 nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities across the state of Illinois. “Legislators are considering Governor Quinn’s proposal to slash Medicaid spending by $2.7 billion. The proposed cuts to nursing homes could drastically jeopardize the quality of care for the more than 50,000 people residing in Illinois nursing homes who pay with Medicaid,” says HCCI. “These cuts put nursing homes at risk for closing, especially some Chicago nursing homes where Medicaid recipients make up more than 90 percent of the resident population.” Find out more

From Mainline Media News—Pa. Gets First Look at Voter IDs for Nursing Home Residents

“Pennsylvania Secretary of State Carole Aichele came to Rosemont Presbyterian Village Friday to tout the state’s efforts to get approved identification for residents of retirement and nursing centers for voting in November. Aichele appeared with Radnor State Rep. William Adolph to answer questions about the new law. At the meeting Aichele unveiled a new identification paper, provided by the care facility, which is acceptable for voting,” reports Mainline Media News. “Aichele said that the identifications would be provided by the health-care facilities. The ID will include the name of the facility, the picture, the person’s name and an expiration date. The nursing home then needs to send the Department of State a copy of names on the IDs.” Read more

Assisted Living Today Ranks Top 20 Massachusetts Assisted Living Facilities

The list of senior care facilities—which was compiled by the research staff at Assisted Living Today—features 20 of Massachusetts’ finest assisted living facilities that were evaluated on a range of factors, including operational excellence, quality of the residences, range of amenities and access to 24-hour care, among others. View the list.

From News and Sentinel—Ohio Program Helps Seniors Age at Home

“While nursing and rehabilitation facilities may be the right option for some people, programs like the Housing Assistance Grant Program through the Area Agency on Aging 8 aim to help seniors “age in place,” since remaining in one’s home can be beneficial to seniors—and the state’s coffers,” reports the News and Sentinel. “A year in an Ohio nursing home costs an average of $60,000 for someone covered by state Medicaid funds, according to figures from the Area Agency on Aging 8. Even people who start out spending their own money could wind up being supported by public dollars once their assets are depleted. Meanwhile, the annual care plan for [one Ohio resident] who is covered by the Medicaid-funded PASSPORT program, costs $8,497.” Read more

From the Missourian—Veterans’ Nursing Home Funding Bill Sent to Missouri Governor

“Missouri lawmakers have sent the governor a measure providing a dedicated funding source to veterans’ nursing homes,” reports the Missourian. “The bill given final approval Thursday by the House would earmark most of the state’s fees from casinos to a trust fund for the Missouri Veterans Commission. The intent is to provide a permanent, predictable funding stream for the state’s seven nursing homes that serve more than 1,300 military veterans.” Read more