Compelling, heartbreaking stories of abuse and neglect from the daughters of two elderly women drove home a call for tighter regulations, better oversight and more careful screening of nursing home staff during a Senate Committee on Finance hearing on March 6. The hearing comes in the wake of another horrific story, when a woman in a 14-year coma at a long-term care facility in Arizona gave birth after being raped.
Legislators from both sides of the aisle expressed outrage over mistreatment, neglect and other serious violations at nursing homes, despite years of efforts to enact additional reforms and more government supervision. Continue reading
Photo : Kelsey Kremer, Des Moines RegisterLinnea and Gailen Clausen share a moment outside the central Iowa nursing home where he lives, three hours away from their northwest Iowa home. Other nursing homes rejected Gailen Clausen, 55, because his early onset dementia caused confusion and anxiety, which sometimes led him to be aggressive toward staff.
Nursing homes are supposed to be places that care for ill, frail adults — many of whom also suffer from Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The disease takes a terrible toll on those who have it, whether it’s forgetting who their loved ones are, forgetting how to eat or use the toilet, or sliding into a state of agitation and violence. That’s the time when more nursing homes are saying “enough.”
And, as Tony Leys writes in this article for the Des Moines Register last fall, they’re kicking them out, sometimes even if there’s nowhere else for them to go. Continue reading
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services does not have adequate procedures in place to ensure potential abuse or neglect of Medicare beneficiaries in nursing homes are identified and reported, according to recent testimony from the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
While the agency has taken some action, based on earlier OIG recommendations, it has not yet acted on the other suggestions to help consumers better understand nursing home quality and make distinctions between nursing homes. Continue reading
Photo: Ann via Flickr
It seems to make sense intuitively that creating a smaller, more home-like atmosphere would foster improvements in nursing home residents’ psychosocial outlook.
But, there’s been little hard data to support the time and effort needed to implement culture change in institutional care. Most efforts have come from qualitative research. However, qualitative results from a 2017 study confirm that widespread adoption of a person-centered care approach makes a difference. Continue reading
PBJ stands for Payroll-Based Journal, a new data set for nursing home staffing from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). It turns out it’s a goldmine for reporters trying to figure out whether skilled nursing facilities are fulfilling care and quality requirements under the Affordable Care Act.
It took time, effort, and knowledge gained from a prior class in SQL, but Kaiser Health News reporter Jordan Rau crunched the data to determine whether nursing homes might be inflating their staffing reports — a move that directly impacts the star quality ratings at Nursing Home Compare. Continue reading
Despite efforts to curb the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes, about 20 percent of residents – more than 250,000 vulnerable individuals – are still given these potent medications, according to a new report from the Long Term Care Community Coalition (LTCCC).
While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) estimates that only a very small percentage of the senior population will ever have a condition warranting use of these powerful medications, psychotropic drugs still are being overused among the elderly, especially for those suffering from dementia, the report concluded. Continue reading