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 WRDW-TV (Augusta, Ga.)—Georgia Nursing Home for Veterans to Start Charging for Service

“A service that was free will now go to at least $700 a month for the close to 200 veterans living at the Georgia War Veterans Nursing Home,” reports WRDW-TV. “It has been a free service for the men and women who served our country for more than 40 years, but now veterans will have to pay to stay there—all thanks to House Bill 535. The fee is expected to start this fall. It will be used for operations. Building managers say they hope the new fee will allow them to make renovations and house more veterans.” Read more


From the Baltimore Sun—Maryland Long-Term Care Facility Positioning Itself for Future of Healthcare

A Roland Park, Md. long-term and memory care facility is positioning itself toward community-based care with an eye toward the future of health care, reports the Baltimore Sun.

“Keswick “will refocus on community-based health services,”[Carmel] Roques [CEO of Keswick Multi-Care Center] said in an interview May 16. One of the most noteworthy aspects of that new approach is that Keswick plans to take in some former heart patients from Union Memorial Hospital for rehabilitative care. 


Roques is also planning to institute a program in which each outpatient at Keswick would be assigned a “wellness coach,” who would be the point person for that client’s needs, she said.

And she plans to expand the role of Keswick’s subsidiary, Keswick at Home, to provide non-nursing services such as providing meals, shopping assistance, transportation and housekeeping, as well as nursing supervision.” 

Read more

From—Massachusetts Proposal Sets Standards for Memory Care in Nursing Homes

“A loophole in Massachusetts law that allows nursing homes to advertise specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care units, even though their workers may have no training in caring for such residents, is one step closer to being closed,” reports “A proposal that would establish minimum standards for such units was approved by the House of Representatives Wednesday, and is headed for the state Senate. The bill would require the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, which regulates nursing homes, to establish minimum standards for facilities with dementia care units.” Read more

From the Associated Press—Missouri Governor to Sign Legislation for Veterans Nursing Homes

“Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is preparing to sign legislation that will provide a dedicated funding source for Missouri’s veterans nursing homes,” reports the Associated Press. “The legislation redirects casino fees that now benefit early childhood programs to a trust fund for the Missouri Veterans’ Commission.” Read more

From—Nursing Home Chain Pulls Out of Kentucky

A major nursing home chain said it no longer will operate in Kentucky because of increased litigation and the 2012 General Assembly’s failure to pass a law making it more difficult to file lawsuits against nursing homes,” reports the Lexington Herald-Leader. “Extendicare Health Services Inc. has entered into an agreement to lease all 21 of its skilled nursing centers in Kentucky — representing 1,762 beds — to an unidentified long-term care operator based in Texas. Extendicare is based in Ontario, Canada, with U.S. headquarters in Milwaukee.” Read more

From The Columbus Dispatch—Ohio Governor Will Veto $30 Million Nursing Home Budget

“Republican governor [John Kasich] is preparing to veto the $30 million for nursing homes that GOP lawmakers added to the mid-biennium review, according to several sources close to him who spoke to The Dispatch this week,” reports The Columbus Dispatch. “Such a move would hardly be a surprise: Kasich said “that’s not going to happen” when House Republicans first added the $30 million to the budget bill in April for nursing homes meeting additional quality standards. And last year, Kasich withstood a brief negative ad campaign by the nursing-home industry in leading the charge to reduce the industry’s state funding by $360 million in the current two-year budget.” Read more

From—New Jersey Nursing Home Workers Picketing for Contracts

“Nursing home workers represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East picketed yesterday for a new contract at three facilities in New Jersey, including at the Manhattanview Health Care Center on Hudson Avenue,” reports “Our first bargaining session took place in May 2011, we’ve had six sessions since then, and there hasn’t been any progress,” said James Canonge, a union spokesman, noting the union represents roughly 85 employees at Manhattanview. Three facilities that were picketed yesterday Manhattanview, Teaneck Nursing Center, and Amboy Care in Perth Amboy are all owned by Hackensack-based Broadway Healthcare Management.” Read more

(PR Newswire)—Pa. to Require Electronic Fingerprinting for Long-Term Care Workplace Applicants

“The Pennsylvania Department of Aging will soon begin using an electronic fingerprinting process to screen people applying to work in a long-term care facility or home health care agency.  As of June 4, manually submitted background check requests will no longer be accepted by the department. Previously, the department processed fingerprints manually. It is moving toward a more efficient and effective method that will be compatible with law enforcement and other screening processes.” Read more