State Newsbites: Empty Assisted Living Concepts Community Re-Opens

Assisted Living News

From the Times-News (Ida.)—Assisted Living Concepts Community Regains License, Opens Doors

“A year after Chaparelle House closed its doors, the assisted living facility received its license back and is reopening. In April 2012, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare revoked the license for the Twin Falls assisted living facility, which forced 18 residents to find new homes,” reports the Times-News. “State surveyors determined the facility wasn’t employing enough staff, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare spokesman Tom Shanahan told the Times-News last year. Prior to recent administrative changes, there were 10 complaints filed against parent company Assisted Living Concepts [NYSE:ALC] between 2009 and 2011.” Read more


Nursing Home News

From The Daily Republic (S.D.)—Rural Nursing Homes Struggling to Survive

“What’s the gap between breaking even and making money on the average patient in a rural South Dakota nursing home? About $30 to $40, according to many nursing home officials interviewed in The Daily Republic’s print circulation area. That’s the difference, they say, between Medicaid reimbursements and the actual cost to provide care for residents,” reports The Daily Republic. “Rural nursing homes in South Dakota are largely dependent on state and federal funding to provide care for residents, leaving little left left over to provide extra amenities and upgrades.” Read more


From the Hartford Courant (Conn.)—State Doubles Financial Penalties for Nursing Homes

According to a spokesman for the [Connecticut Department of Public Health], the department’s licensing and investigations unit “recently reviewed and updated the financial penalties it levies against nursing homes for the various classes of violations it issues.” The fines were generally doubled,” reports the Hartford Courant. “[Spokesman William] Gerrish said the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently updated their civil penalties, and ‘we felt it was also appropriate for us to review and update the penalties we had been levying under our state jurisdiction. Because the fines had remained at the same level for many years, DPH felt it was time to increase their level to bring them into alignment with today’s economy and make them a more effective regulatory tool, he said.” Read more

From the Herald Tribune (Fla.)—Lawmakers, Lobbyists Push for Nursing Home Tort Reform

“Florida lawmakers are pushing for sweeping deregulation of the nursing home industry that would protect owners and investors from financial penalties resulting from lax patient care,” reports the Herald Tribune. “The overhaul comes as advocates for seniors say loose government oversight has already weakened standards for care of the elderly in a state considered the nation’s nursing home capital. Lobbied for by nursing home investors, who have financially backed the campaigns of several GOP lawmakers, Senate Bill 1384 would stop all patient lawsuits at the direct management level.” Read more

From The Woonsocket Call (Mass.)—Health Inspectors Shut Down Nursing Home

“Town health officials Sunday abruptly closed the Blackstone Nursing & Rehabilitation Center and ordered the evacuation and relocation of the nursing home’s 25 residents after it was discovered the Butler Street facility had been without heat and hot water since Thursday afternoon. Town officials were tipped off about conditions at the facility after the daughter of one resident went to visit her mother Sunday and saw her and other residents sitting around wearing coats and eating off paper plates. The facility had no heat or hot water due to a cracked boiler plate,” reports The Woonsocket Call. “The 25 residents were brought to various nursing facilities owned and managed by the same company that owns the Blackstone facility—Norwood, Mass.-based Rehabilitation Associates, which operates nine small rehabilitation and skilled nursing centers, as well as an outpatient rehabilitation center.” Read more

From the St. Cloud Times (Minn.)—Health Bill Proposal Includes Wage Raise for Nursing Home Workers

“Minnesota’s nursing home and long-term care workers would get small salary increases in a health spending bill up in the Minnesota House,” reports the St. Cloud Times. “The raises are 3 percent for nursing home workers and 2 percent for long-term care workers. The Democratic-sponsored, $5 billion health and human services budget is on the House floor Monday.” Read more

From the Associated Press—Okla. House OKs Nursing Home Camera Proposal

“The Oklahoma House has approved a bill that says people can’t be denied residence or kicked out of nursing homes if they or their families place cameras in their rooms,” reports the Associated Press. “The bill passed without opposition Monday. It now goes back to the Senate for further consideration.” Read more

From the Sacramento Business Journal (Calif.)—Nursing Homes Reduce Antipsychotic Meds Use, But Don’t Reach Goal

“California nursing homes reduced unnecessary use of antipsychotic medications by 8.5 percent last year, making better progress on the initiative than 39 other states, but not meeting the targeted 15 percent drop,” reports the Sacramento Business Journal. “California nursing homes reported a 19.3 percent average use of antipsychotics, below the national average of 22.9 percent.” Read more


From the New York Times—State Suspends Managed Care Enrollment on Fraud Suspicions 

“State officials have suspended enrollment in New York’s largest managed long-term care plan for frail elderly and disabled people, and investigators have begun examining the relationships between such plans, which are financed by Medicaid, and the social adult day care centers that send them new customers,” reports The New York Times. “On Thursday, investigators from the Medicaid fraud control unit of the state attorney general’s office were in Brooklyn gathering evidence that some centers had persuaded seniors to sign up with incentives like free takeout food, casino visits and cash before steering them to managed care companies eager to enroll them in plans designed for older people with long-term needs like home health care and nursing.” Read more

From the TR Tribune (S.C.)—University-Affiliated Senior Community Annexed by S.C. City

“At its regularly scheduled meeting Thursday night, Travelers Rest City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to annex Furman University and Furman Foundation properties into its city limits. This was the second and final reading of the ordinance, which was approved on first reading in March,” reports the Travelers Rest Tribune. “Multiple properties—including the university campus, the golf course, the Vinings at Duncan Chapel apartments and the Woodlands at Furman retirement community—are included in the annexation. The annexation will increase the size of Travelers Rest by over 900 acres, about one-third of its current size.” Read more

From the Post-Gazette (Pa.)—State Looks to Develop Dementia Care Plan

“Twenty-eight states have adopted strategic Alzheimer’s plans to address what many view as the biggest scourge afflicting the elderly population, but Pennsylvania — the fourth-grayest state in the country — is not among them,” reports the Post-Gazette. “The Corbett administration is attempting to acknowledge the disease now with appointment of a broad Alzheimer’s Disease State Planning Committee charged with producing recommendations by February.” Read more...

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