National Long-Term Care News Bites: Emeritus Launches Veteran Recruitment Program

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. 

Emeritus to Hire 1,000 Veterans, Military Spouses

Emeritus Senior Living has announced its plans to hire at least 1,000 former members of the military and military spouses in the next five years, prompted in part by unemployment rates being significantly for veterans than for the overall population. 

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In January 2013, the jobless rate for all post-9/11 veterans was 11.7%, with military spouses facing a 26% unemployment rate. As of February 2013, the national unemployment rate was 7.8%. 

Emeritus’ veteran recruiting program is the first in the nation’s senior living industry.

From WisconsinWatch.org—New State Law Conceals Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect Records

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The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has launched a project, called A Frail System, exploring issues surrounding “a recent change in state law that bars records of abuse and neglect from use in the courts” that may diminish families’ abilities to hold potentially negligible nursing facilities accountable, reports WisconsinWatch.org. While healthcare providers largely approve of the law, which was introduced by Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.) in a job-creation and retention effort, consumer advocates do not approve. “The law, which went into effect in February 2011, bars families from using state health investigation records in state civil suits filed against long-term providers, including nursing homes and hospices,” says the article. “It also makes such records inadmissible in criminal cases against health care providers accused of neglecting or abusing patients.” Read the latest installment

Wisconsin Nursing Home Inspection Reports Available Online

“In January, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services began publishing state inspection reports of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other health care providers on its website. Records are available from July 2012 onward,” writes the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. “To access the reports, click here and select Provider Search. A user may search by facility name, location and type.” 

From the DesMoinesRegister.com (Iowa)—Nursing Home Slaying Prompts New Legislation

“In the wake of a brutal homicide at a Fayette County care facility, state lawmakers are again examining the issue of violent criminals living in Iowa’s nursing homes. The Iowa House is considering a bill that would require care facility administrators to notify patients, visitors, workers and others when a registered sex offender moves into the home. But the bill is silent on violent offenders convicted of crimes that aren’t sexual in nature,” reports the DesMoinesRegister.com. “That’s one concern of the ACLU of Iowa, which opposes the bill in its current form. But the group’s main objection is that the bill doesn’t say where sex offenders will go for care if Iowa’s nursing homes turn them away.” Read more

From the Courier-Journal.com (Ky.)—Nursing Home Bill for Lawsuit-Review Panel Advances

“After a contentious debate, the Kentucky Senate approved a bill Wednesday to create a medical review panel to assess lawsuits alleging abuse at nursing homes,” reports the Courier-Journal.com. “Senate Bill 9 would allow for a panel of three doctors, mediated by an attorney, to review evidence in lawsuits being brought against long-term care centers. The panel would then issue an opinion on whether there was a legitimate claim of neglect or abuse that would be admissible in court. The bill would not prevent a case from going to trial, Denton said.” Read more

From Columbus Business First—Ohio State Seeks Partners for Possible ACO

“Rather than build its own hospice, nursing home and home health agency, Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center is turning to players in the industry for business relationships as Medicare and insurers increase pressure on hospitals to ensure patients stay home when sent home,” reports Columbus Business First. “Responses were due Feb. 13 from senior care organizations, nursing agencies, medical equipment dealers and others asked by Ohio State to provide credentials as the hospital system seeks to expand its “post-acute care continuum of services,” according to a document obtained by Columbus Business First through a public records request.” Read more

From Syracuse.com (N.Y.)—Labor Union Sues County Over Nursing Home Transfer

“True to its word, a labor union representing more than 400 employees at Van Duyn Home & Hospital has filed a lawsuit challenging Onondaga County’s transfer of the nursing home to a county-created development corporation. The lawsuit filed late last week in state Supreme Court in Syracuse also challenges budget cuts related to Van Duyn’s potential sale to a private operator, Rockland County-based Upstate Services Group,” reports Syracuse.com. “The union had previously threatened to sue the county over the legality of transferring ownership of the nursing home to what it calls a “nonregulated shell corporation that has little oversight and no accountability to taxpayers.'” Read more