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
Caregivers seeking a long-term facility for their loved ones often have little idea about how to evaluate certain issues that can’t be easily quantified. Are the aides kind and attentive? Do residents easily make friends? Are calls and queries handled promptly and efficiently? Will Mom or Dad really be OK?
Enter crowdsourcing. Continue reading
A nursing home demonstration project in Indiana has reduced avoidable hospitalizations among residents by a third, according to a recently released independent evaluation of OPTIMISTIC, (Optimizing Patient Transfers, Impacting Medical quality and Improving Symptoms: Transforming Institutional Care).
OPTIMISTIC is a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) demonstration program designed to improve chronic disease management and boost staff education and training.
A new medical specialty may be forming to meet a rising demand for care in nursing homes. A recent study found that physicians and advanced practitioners (nurse practitioners and physician assistants) who focus on nursing home-only care increased by a third between 2012 and 2015.
This apparent trend may be significantly affecting outcomes and continuity of care, concluded researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Continue reading
Photo: Matthew Paulson via FlickrDespite hurricane risks, Florida has been a popular retirement locale for senior citizens, who may eventually need to transition to skilled nursing facilities.
News on Wednesday that eight residents of a Hollywood, Fla. nursing home had died a few days after the facility lost power for its air conditioning unit during Hurricane Irma (see more coverage links below) has refocused attention on persistent weaknesses in nursing facility regulation and oversight.
A report released in late August (prior to the Harvey and Irma hurricanes) by the Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General (OIG) highlights problems with how incidents of potential abuse or neglect are reported and investigated. Separately, there has been pushback in Congress on a Trump administration effort to weaken Obama-era restrictions on the use of arbitration agreements to settle nursing home claims. Continue reading