State Watch: Long-Term Care News from Around the Nation (7/9/2012)

As assisted living regulations evolve, 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 news bites from across the nation.

From the Detroit Free Press—Detroit Could Lose Half Its Nursing Homes Next Summer

“Nineteen of Detroit’s 32 nursing homes must upgrade or install sprinkler systems by next summer to be certified and continue to receive the funding they need to stay open, according to a new study on aging, long-term care and dying,” writes the Detroit Free Press. “The same study, as detailed in Sunday’s Free Press, portends an increasing need for nursing home care for city residents. The study, which will be released today by the Detroit Area Agency on Aging, is titled “Dying Before Their Time.” It shows that elderly people in Detroit and eight smaller, neighboring communities, are dying faster, being hospitalized more often and in need of nursing home care sooner than their counterparts in the rest of the state.” Read more

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From the Chicago Tribune—Illinois Struggles to Move Mentally Ill Adults Out of Nursing Homes

“Casting doubt on an ambitious state plan to move thousands of mentally ill adults out of nursing homes and into community-based programs, a federal court monitor reported this week that many of the patients don’t want to leave the facilities while others were found to be unfit for the community placements,” reports the Tribune. “As part of a sweeping package of nursing home reforms, state officials agreed in a 2010 federal court settlement to offer supportive housing and treatment to roughly 5,000 mentally ill adults who were living in two dozen large nursing homes designated as Institutions for Mental Diseases, or IMDs… But as of last week, only 45 patients have actually moved or signed a lease — far short of the first-year target of at least 256 people.” Read more

From NBC Connecticut—Hundreds of Nursing Home Workers on Strike

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“Seven hundred nurses, nursing assistants and other nursing home workers are striking across Connecticut on Tuesday. Workers at five nursing homes in Newington, Danbury, Milford, Stamford and Westport hit the picket line at 6 a.m.,” reports the local NBC station. “Workers say the Healthbridge Corporation is illegally cutting hours and making health care unaffordable. The company denies the claims and said it will have enough staff to handle the strike.” Read more

From The Philadelphia Inquirer—Pa.’s Budget Restores Nursing Home Funding

“Hospitals and nursing homes were happy to see millions in proposed cuts restored in the budget that Gov. Corbett signed Saturday. The $27.66 billion budget reversed Corbett’s proposed 4 percent cut in Medical Assistance payments to the 600 nursing homes that accept the state and federal insurance for the poor, which is called Medicaid on the federal level,” reports the Inquirer. “The restoration amounts to $46 million in state money, which translates into an additional $55 million in federal money, said Stuart Shapiro, president and chief executive of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, a trade group for nursing homes. But even with the level funding compared with the previous year, nursing homes will continue losing $20 per day on each resident, Shapiro said.” Read more

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From Go San Angelo (Texas)—Survey Finds Vast Differences in Quality of Senior Living Across City

“[In San Angelo,] Images and expectations about “senior living” run a gamut. Some folks plan and hope to retire as energetic country-clubbers spoiling grandchildren and traveling the world. Others see struggles making ends meet and fear a frail and isolated existence wracked by illness,” writes Go San Angelo. “The ASU Center for Community Wellness, Engagement, and Development developed the San Angelo Index of Elders to help see the real quality of life among the elderly population… The summary table of neighborhood-level scores and ranks for the index gives several interesting bits of information about the quality of life for seniors in San Angelo. For starters, only two neighborhoods—Santa Rita and Southland—bested the citywide scores on each of the five groups of indicators as well as the total Index of Elders.” Read more