State Watch: Long-Term Care News From Around the Nation (7/16/2012)

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 Times Union (New York)—Nursing Home Union Sees Privatized Future, Agrees to Pay Freeze

“Nearly 250 workers at the county-run nursing home have agreed to a contract that gives them no raises for 2010, 2011 and 2012 as the union that represents them is signaling publicly that it is open to the idea that the facility may one day be run by some entity other than the county,” reports the Times Union. “[County Executive Dan] McCoy, who took office in January, has offered several paths for the money-losing facility, the future of which has become one of the most controversial issues in a county that is likely headed toward a second consecutive year of exceeding the state’s property tax cap. One of the paths proposed by McCoy involves privatization of either the entire nursing home — through sale or lease — or just its management. Requests for proposals were issued for both earlier this year.” Read more


From the McCook Daily Gazette (Nebraska)—County Bails Out Nursing Home to Keep Doors Open

“Red Willow County, Nebraska, commissioners Monday morning authorized a $1 million bank loan to save the county-owned nursing home from financial woes that could threaten to close its doors,” reports the McCook Daily Gazette. “Commissioners declared the financial situation at Hillcrest Nursing Home an “emergency,” legally allowing the county to borrow money to make sure that obligations of the facility are paid, and that 82 residents won’t have to make other living arrangements.” Read more

From the Kansas City Star—Senior Center Uses Alzheimer’s Simulation Program to Train Employees


“[A]t Villa Ventura, a senior living community in south Kansas City, employees are at least getting a sense of what victims of [Alzheimer’s] can feel. A pretty good sense, too, apparently—because the experience can plop a perfectly stable person onto the edge of a bed, lost, mind racing and fretful about what to do next,” reports the Kansas City Star. “Villa Ventura thinks it is the first senior community in the Kansas City area to use the system developed by a geriatric specialist and gaining popularity around the country… [the] plan is to open it up to family members of its dementia patients.” Read more

From ABC3340 (Alabama)—Advocates Seek to Pass Bill Protecting Nursing Home Residents from Sex Offenders

“Hazel Kine [with Silver Haired Legislature] and others formed an organization, and will ask Alabama legislature to pass a bill that guarantees that residents of nursing homes and other care facilities receive notification when anyone with a sexual abuse history is admitted,” reports a local Alabama ABC affiliate. “State Representative Jeremy Oden drafted a bill addressing the issue back in 2010, the bill made its way through the house committee and into the senate, but it didn’t move forward. “The way in which the Senate operates, it just didn’t get into the committee and out onto the floor in a timely fashion capacity and neither session, so we’re trying to introduce it early in the house, carry it through and then get it into the senate so we can try to get it through at the end of the session,” says Ogden.” Read more

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From the Sun Chronicle (Rhode Island)—Local Couple Offering Twist on Assisted Living

“Paul and Virginia Kimani have both cared for the elderly at large institutional style nursing homes, but now they’re hoping to care for them in a smaller more home-like setting. The couple has applied for a special permit to run an assisted living facility—housing at most six seniors—at 71 Emory St. which is part of a residential neighborhood,” reports the Sun Chronicle. “The home [Kimani] and his wife—a registered nurse who works at Golden Living Center—envision would provide independence for the things the seniors can do on their own and help for things they can’t, but most importantly would provide a safe environment where someone is available to help or to talk.” Read more