State Newsbites: Indiana Bill Expands Senior Living Options

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. 

Nursing Home News

From—Indiana Senator Sponsors Bill to Expand Senior Living Options


“The Indiana Senate recently passed a House bill sponsored by State Senator John Broden (D-South Bend) to expand living options for active Hoosiers age 55 and older. Under House Bill (HB) 1359, cities and towns would have the option to create a program for age-restricted communities under a redevelopment commission. The program would allow developers to start up the new neighborhoods using the same resources and funding mechanisms used for developing blighted areas, such as by issuing bonds and creating special tax districts… HB 1359 unanimously passed out of the Senate Committee on Local Government and the full Senate by a vote of 41-7. The bill will now return to the House of Representatives where the author of the bill will have the opportunity to consider changes made in the Senate.” Read more… 

From The State Journal (W.V.)—Senate Bill Limits Nursing Home Liability

“The West Virginia Senate passed a bill limiting the amount of money that nursing homes would have to pay if they are sued,” reports The State Journal. “The bill passed Wednesday explicitly includes nursing homes under the protections of a 2003 law that places limits on medical malpractice suits. That law places a $500,000 cap on the non-economic damages that health care providers are liable for.” Read more


From the Star Beacon (Ohio)—Former Nursing Home Resident Headed to Prison for Meth Lab Fire

“A former Park Haven Nursing Home resident will spend eight years in prison for his part in the methamphetamine lab fire at the Ashtabula facility that killed a man on March 4, 2012. Kevin Bucci, 42, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to complicity to aggravated arson, a first-degree felony, in Ashtabula County Common Pleas Court,” reports the Star Beacon. “Ashtabula County Assistant Prosecutor Susan Thomas said Bucci bought Sudafed for Bilbrey and Warrens. She also said Bucci has cooked meth in the facility.” Read more

From the Centre Daily Times (Pa.)—County May Convert Nursing Home to Nonprofit Status

“The chairman of the Blair County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday in favor of the sale of Valley View Home, making Blair the ninth county across the state that has sold its nursing home since 2004,” reports the Centre Daily Times. “The sale comes at a time when Centre County officials still mull the possibility of giving up direct control of Centre Crest, but the county would buck the recent trend of counties selling the asset. The Centre County commissioners remain completely against the concept of a sale, and are looking at the option of turning the facility into a public nonprofit, run by a community-based board of directors.” Read more

From the Federal Register—Final Rule for Nursing Home Closure Requirements

“The requirements implemented section 6113 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to ensure that, among other things, in the case of an LTC facility closure, individuals serving as administrators of a SNF or NF provide written notification of the impending closure and a plan for the relocation of residents at least 60 days prior to the impending closure or, if the Secretary terminates the facility’s participation in Medicare or Medicaid, not later than the date the Secretary determines appropriate.”

From The Consumer Voice—Proposed Legislation Increases Minimum Staffing Standard

“Kansans for Better Care (KABC) has been actively campaigning to pass a bill, HB 2348, that would raise Kansas’s minimum staffing standard to 4.26 hour per resident per day over the course of three years,” says The Consumer Voice. “The current Kansas minimum standard is 1.85 average hours per resident per day, which was put in place roughly 30 years ago and is significantly below the minimum 4.1 hours per resident per day recommended by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) study. The legislation would also enact a civil monetary penalty for every subsequent day in which a nursing home fails to adhere to this standard following a correction order.” Read more

From The Intelligencer (Ill.)—Jury Rules Against Nursing Home in Overdose Case

“On Friday afternoon, jurors began deliberations in a case involving a fatal overdose of fentanyl administered seven years ago at Rosewood Care Center,” reports The Intelligencer. “In less than two hours they returned with a verdict of $273,607 against Rosewood and in favor of Diana Oberneufemann. She is the executor of the estate of Kathleen Adams, a 66-year-old woman who died shortly after a Rosewood employee mistakenly placed a second Duragesic narcotic patch, apparently without realizing that an earlier patch was still in place.” Read more

From (Okla.)—Nursing Home Admins Won’t Need College Degree if Bill Passes

“A bill making its way through the state Legislature would take away the requirement that nursing home administrators in the state have four-year college degrees. The bill has passed the Senate and will now be considered in the House of Representatives, where a similar bill has been introduced and has been assigned to a committee,” reports “[Sponsor Senator Greg] Treat said people who have worked in nursing homes for many years and learned the ins and outs of the industry, should get a chance at being an administrator. They would still have to pass the board’s certification test, he said.” Read more

From Lancaster Online (Pa.)—Statewide Shortage of Nursing Home Space

Local officials say that space is so tight in Lancaster County nursing homes that people have been placed at nursing homes in other counties. Nursing homes statewide have a 91.25 percent occupancy rate,” reports Lancaster Online. “Bob Burns, executive director of the Dauphin County Office of Aging, said that at any given time, up to 98 percent of nursing home beds are likely to be filled. Diane Benankin, director of the York County Office of Aging, says communities and the state could ease the pressure on nursing homes by putting more money into in-home care, but there just isn’t enough funding to do so.” Read more

Senior Housing News

From Lancaster Online (Pa.)—“Dire”Shortage of Assisted Living Beds for Low-Income Seniors

“Welsh Mountain Home is one of 53 personal care homes licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare in Lancaster County. The homes provide long-term care for some of society’s most vulnerable citizens, the elderly and people with physical and mental disabilities,” reports Lancaster Online. “But one thing they do have in common with nursing homes: There’s little room at the inn, particularly for people with little to no money. [If] you’re poor, relying on government help, your choices are far more constrained… That shortage of available beds for low-income residents was deemed “dire” by the Lancaster County Office of Aging in a report issued last year. And as the elderly population of the county grows, the situation could worsen.” Read more

From the (Neb.)—Assisted Living Facility Maintains License, Still on Probation

“The Hotel Pawnee will be placed back on probation until July, and will retain its assisted living facility license. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services issued that decision on the assisted living facility’s license on March 8. On Friday, DHHS released documents to the Telegraph detailing their decision,” reports the “DHHS was prepared to revoke the assisted living facility’s license in October 2012, after a follow-up inspection of the facility found that the Pawnee was still in violation of a number of regulations found in an initial inspection in May 2012.” Read more

From the Pharos Tribune (Ind.)—Demand Fueling Senior Housing Projects

“The Logansport planning department and a developer are saying current and predicted increases in demand are fueling the city’s senior housing development efforts,” reports the Pharos Tribune. “Arin Shaver, Logansport-Cass County planning director, said the need for senior housing was outlined in a comprehensive plan authored by the planning department in 2009. “The comprehensive plan said senior housing needs to be looked at because of the demand of baby boomers reaching retirement age,” Shaver said.” Read more

From Pacific Business News (Hawaii)—Lawmakers Considering Bill for Affordable Senior Housing

“A hearing on House Bill 276, which calls for issuing about $10 million in bonds to build what is being called the Senior Residence at Piikoi, was scheduled for Thursday afternoon. And that bill seems to be moving along in the Legislature,” reports Pacific Business News. “This housing project is the perfect example of smart planning because the 72-unit facility would be built near Ala Moana Center and a future Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation rail station, bus stops, medical facilities and other amenities that are important to seniors.” Read more


From Forbes—White House Finally Picks Long-Term Care Commission Members

“The White House finally appointed the last three members of the congressional long-term care commission, making it possible for the panel to get down to work,” reports Forbes. “The nominations, which were supposed to have been made by Feb 1, are Henry Claypool, Executive Vice President of the American Association of People with Disabilities and a top aide at the Department of Health and Human Services from 2009-2012; Dr. Julian Harris, a physician and the Massachusetts Medicaid director; and Carol Raphael, the Vice Chair of the AARP board and former CEO of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.” Read more

From Crain’s Chicago Business (Ill.)—Funds for Senior Home Care Program Almost Depleted

“Illinois warned that it will run out of money next week to pay for a program that allows 80,000 elderly and disabled people to live at home, the latest illustration of the state’s fiscal crisis,” reports Crain’s Chicago Business. “The Illinois agency that oversees home health care providers said in a letter on Thursday that the money was “projected to be exhausted by March 15,” 3.5 months before the fiscal year ends on June 30. ‘The state’s going to pay for this one way or another. If these seniors cannot be picked up by other in-home providers, they’re going to wind up in nursing homes, which will cost a lot more,’ said [Bob Thieman, executive director of the Illinois Association of Community Care Program Healthcare Providers].” Read more