National Long-Term Care News Bites: “Worst Yet to Come” for NJ County-Run Nursing Homes

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 CBS Philly—NJ County Nursing Homes Band Together to Avoid Privatization

“County-run nursing homes across New Jersey are banding together in hopes of getting extra help to stay in business as government funding continues to be reduced,” reports CBS Philly.  “The state Association of Counties decided to set up a separate entity called County Nursing Homes of New Jersey. Executive Director John Donnadio says Medicaid subsidies have been getting cut and the worst is yet to come. “We’re phasing into what’s called ‘Managed Long Term Care’ at some point in 2013, probably in July. And that will reduce the Medicaid reimbursement rates, even less to our county operated nursing homes,” says Donnadio. That could prompt some to sell to private operators, like Burlington and Cumberland Counties did recently.” Read more


From The Dickinson Press (N.D.)—Oil Patch Nursing Homes Struggling to Maintain Staffing, 2 Closing

“Nursing homes in western North Dakota are struggling to maintain staffing in the face of a bidding war for workers that is rippling from the booming Oil Patch. Two facilities—one in Williston and another in Underwood—are casualties of the high cost of labor and the problems in keeping staff to care for residents,” reports The Dickinson Press. “Last year, 14 percent of nursing facilities stopped admissions because of insufficient staffing, and 68 nursing facilities reported 751 openings as of July, according to figures from the North Dakota Long Term Care Association.” Read more

From (Pa.)—Lottery Privatization Not Cure-All for Senior Funding Needs


“Advocates for senior programs say more money alone isn’t going to solve structural problems with Pennsylvania’s services for the elderly. Ron Barth, CEO of LeadingAge PA, says if privatizing the Pennsylvania Lottery will guarantee additional funding for senior programs, that’s a plus. The most in-demand programs, however, will still need more, he said Tuesday during a hearing before state lawmakers,” reports “Legislators were seeking more information about senior programs supported by lottery profits and a pending contract with Camelot Global Services to take over the lottery’s operations. The British firm is promising higher profits for the lottery over a 20-year period, $34 billion altogether, if it’s also able to expand gambling.” Read more

From The Palm Beach Post (Fla.)—Judge Denies Nursing Home Appeal in Wrongful Death Case

“A judge has denied a new trial for the owners of a Lake Worth nursing home who late last year were ordered to pay nearly $2 million to the family of a former patient — marking one of the largest jury awards statewide for a wrongful death case involving a nursing home,” reports The Palm Beach Post. “Former Boynton Beach resident George Dahmer, who for more than 32 years was a professional wrestler under the stage name “Chief White Owl”, died in May 2008 after family members and their attorney Joe Landy say Lake Worth Manor nursing home employees thoroughly neglected him. Lake Worth Enterprises, which has since changed Lake Worth Manor’s name to Oasis, said Dahmer had suffered from multiple diseases and had been treated at four different facilities by the time he died.” Read more

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From KHQA (Ill.) Senior Care Providers Bracing for Budget Cuts

“Senior care services in Illinois are holding onto what little money they’ve received from the state. It’s caused concern for both employees and their clients who rely on them in their retirement years. “We’ve had to borrow money to make ends meet. The state is behind on some programs approximately six months behind, on elder abuse, they’re six months behind. On the community care program, they’re three or four months behind which is a huge part of our budget,” Brenda Fleming said,” reports KHQA. “Fleming says she’s asking all of her senior care providers to reevaluate the needs of their clients. It’s the hope they’ll be able to cut back some areas of care to save on funding.” Read more

From (Tex.)—Nursing Home to Close, “Victim of Economics”

“[Hilltop Haven, the] long-time nursing home in the Grayson County community of Gunter, has become a victim of economics. It is scheduled to close mid-March. “We were unable to find a sustainable financial model for Hilltop,” said Senior V.P. Teresa Scott,” reports “Ninety percent of Hilltop Haven’s patients are on Medicaid. “Had the cuts not occurred, we would not be closing,” Scott said. “This was our mission.” This would have been the 66th year for Hilltop Haven. Close to 113 residents would need to find new homes. As of Friday, 25 or so are still in the facility and will need to move out by March 16.” Read more