National Long-Term Care News Bites: Ky. Nursing Homes Seek Liability Reform

Here’s a collection of news bites pertaining to the senior housing and long-term care industries, gathered from around the nation. Many of the articles are state-specific, but could eventually have national implications or influence senior care trends. Click the links to access the full article.

From Business First—Medical Panel to Review Skilled-Nursing Home Lawsuits

“Advocates for nursing and assisted-living homes in Kentucky hope the Kentucky General Assembly again will consider legislation that would establish a medical panel to review lawsuits against skilled-nursing facilities,” reports Business First. “Nursing home operators in the state backed such a law during the 2012 legislative session. That bill got a hearing in the House of Representatives’ Health and Welfare Committee but never came to a vote.” “Some industry officials, including Lubarsky, have said Kentucky being a high-cost state for liability claims could undermine Louisville’s efforts to cast itself as a hub for aging care companies.” Read more


From Leading Age (N.Y. Chapter)—Managed Care Shift Too Speedy for Medicaid Beneficiaries 

“[The New York Department of Health] has already published an aggressive timeframe for the transition to mandatory managed care enrollment [for Medicaid beneficiaries] across the geographic areas of the state. LeadingAge New York emphasizes again that the potential negative consequences of not managing these transition issues properly are such that they could undermine the entire process,” said James W. Clyne, Jr., President/CEO of New York’s Leading Age chapter during his testimony for a Public Hearing on Medicaid Transition to Care Management for Long Term Care. “The availability of an array of high quality home and community based services is absolutely critical to the success of the managed care model. Leading Age New York believes that the speed and unpredictability with which the state is seeking to implement major change raises a cautionary note over how the transition process could evolve, and what it could mean for services in the community.” Read more

From WTTW (Ill.)—Shortage of LGBT Senior Housing


“They’re a minority that are often on the sidelines of society. And when it comes to affordable housing, their struggles can be overwhelming,” reports WTTW’s Chicago Tonight. “They are low-income lesbian, gay and transgendered senior citizens. There’s an estimated 40,000 of them in the Chicago area, and now, for the first time in the Midwest, a housing development geared toward the LGBT community is going up in Chicago. While discrimination based on sexual identity is illegal in Chicago, some LGBTQ seniors say they believe it still happens — but often it’s not blatant.” Read more

From The Seattle Times (Wash.)—Seattle Nursing Home Permanently Closes

Local nursing home Life Care Center of West Seattle closed for good last week after 16 years in operation, causing 99 employees to be laid off. Corporate parent Life Care Centers of America, a national company based in Cleveland, Tenn., said it transfered about 70 residents to other facilities in the region,” reports The Seattle Times. “Todd Fletcher, vice president for Life Care’s Northwest division, said the company was unable to continue operating the West Seattle facility, at 4700 SW Admiral Way, because of the difficult economic environment and steep maintenance requirements.” Read more

From the Associated Press for The Wall Street Journal—Nursing Home Evacuees of Hurricane Sandy in Grim Limbo

“Hundreds of elderly and disabled New Yorkers who were hurriedly evacuated from seaside nursing homes and assisted living residences after Superstorm Sandy are still in a grim limbo two months later, sleeping on cots in temporary quarters without such comforts as private bathrooms or even regular changes of clothes,” reports the Associated Press. “For eight weeks, close to 190 patients forced out of the flooded Rockaway Care Center in Queens have been shoehorned into every available space at the 240-bed Bishop Hucles. Most still didn’t have beds last week. Instead, they bunked on rows of narrow, increasingly filthy Red Cross cots in rooms previously used for physical therapy or community activities. More than a dozen slept nightly in the nursing home’s tiny chapel.” Read more

From NIC (Md.)—Delta Between AL & IL Occupancy Rates in Baltimore Market

“As of the third quarter of 2012, Baltimore’s seniors housing occupancy was 91.0%, which is 110 basis points above its cyclical low,” says NIC. “Somewhat unique to Baltimore is the large delta between independent living and assisted living occupancy rates. As of the third quarter of 2012, independent living occupancy was 93.2%, compared to 86.5% in assisted living, a difference of 670 basis points.” Read more

From Grand Forks Herald (N.D.)—Community Support Aids North Dakota Nursing Home Re-opening 

“Osnabrock, N.D., will get its community cornerstone back when the Osnabrock Nursing Home opens, probably by spring,” reports the Grand Forks Herald. “The tiny Cavalier County community of 134 lost its nursing home in July, with the closing of the Osnabrock Good Samaritan Center. A local advisory board, which formed immediately after the closing was announced by Sioux Falls, S.D.,-based Good Samaritan, expects to have an administrator hired in early January, according to Tim Seavey, interim administrator and a registered nurse who lives in Osnabrock.” “‘We had a fund-raiser two weekends ago and brought in over $25,000,’ Seavey said. ‘We just continue to have great community support.'” Read more