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 Leading Age—White Paper: North Carolina CCRC Reserve Requirements
LeadingAge’s North Carolina chapter recently released a white paper on CCRC financial reserve requirements addressing issues that relate to the state’s regulatory environment. The topics discussed in the paper are relevant to many CCRCs in other states, though, says Steve Maag, director of residential communities at the non-profit senior living industry organization.
Highlights include overall health of care-continuum communities, which the white paper rates as “fundamentally strong and financially sound despite the economic downturn of 2008.” However, there are two uncontrollable factors that could affect communities’ overall economic health and occupancy levels: resident deaths and homeowner psychology.
“The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced [on Aug. 10] that Innovative Primary Senior Care LLC [in Skokie, Ill.] is one of three new consortia participating in the Independence at Home Demonstration. Through the Independence at Home Demonstration, CMS is partnering with health care providers to test the effectiveness of providing chronically ill Medicare beneficiaries with primary care services in the home.”
From USA Today—Ohio Medicaid Program Raises Stakes for Nursing Homes
“For years, states have struggled to raise the quality of care in nursing homes using a regulatory stick – citations, fines and other sanctions when serious problems are discovered. Last month Ohio began adopting a distinctly different, carrot-like approach – financial incentives that encourage better services for frail seniors,” reports USA Today in collaboration with Kaiser Health News. “Under Ohio’s new approach, almost 10 percent of the Medicaid payments to nursing homes will depend on factors including residents’ satisfaction, rates of medical complications and the number of nurses on staff. Seven other states have programs of this sort, but Ohio’s will be the largest.” Read more…
From The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio)—Nursing Home’s Behavioral-Problem Patients a Concern
“As the years went by, residents in this Licking County village began to notice a change in their local nursing home. The patients weren’t just elderly people anymore. Some were young. Some were loud. Some were angry,” writes The Columbus Dispatch. “It wasn’t just their imagination. In the past four years, Northview, operated by Zanesville-based Zandex Health Care Corp., has taken on an increasing number of residents with behavioral problems to fill its 58 beds. The shift has village residents worried about who might be living at the center, which is across N. Main Street from a day-care center and a public library. …a state investigation spurred by a complaint from Booher found that 22 of Northview’s 50 residents had behavioral issues – and that the center hadn’t adequately trained its staff to care for those residents.” Read more…
The national recession may be over, but local governments around the country are still hurting. Core services and programs are being scaled back, cut or privatized. In Upstate New York, county officials are scrambling to sell off nursing homes that have been taxpayer-funded for generations,” reports NPR. “[County supervisor Sue] Montgomery Corey says a corporation can operate more efficiently and can pay for things that cash-strapped Essex County just can’t afford, like training for staff and new equipment. The company will also hire workers for significantly less than the county paid its employees. But some county leaders say the belt tightening has gone too far.” Read more…