Tag Archives: staffing

How are nursing homes doing when it comes to staffing? This tool helps you find out

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: Pennsylvania DMVA via Flickr

Staffing is perhaps the most important factor in a nursing home resident’s quality of care and the ability to live with dignity. Unfortunately, inadequate nursing home staffing is a widespread and persistent problem. Some nursing homes provide proper care, ensuring that their facilities have enough qualified care staff. However, many nursing homes still fail to maintain safe and sufficient staffing.

You can get staffing information from CMS’ payroll-based journal data, but there’s another tool that makes it pretty simple for reporters and consumers to find out whether nursing homes in their state meet requirements. Continue reading

Data can help reporters investigate staffing levels in area nursing homes

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: Jason Dorn via Flickr

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

PR pro describes pitching health stories to reporters

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

Jessica Levco, of Ragan Communications, provides some insight into how at least one public relations professional is pitching health stories to reporters – and perhaps taking advantage of staffing shortages in newsrooms.

The article offers suggestions from Danielle Cass, the communications manager for Kaiser Permanente, that include creating videos, doing practice interviews with experts and putting news in proper context in press releases. She also that hospital communicators should write a press release just as they want to see it appear in the publication.

She gives the example of pitching Anderson Cooper’s producer about how extreme obesity is affecting more children at younger ages. When she tuned into an episode of Anderson Cooper 360, he used two of the three bullet points that she e-mailed.

“This is a reflection of what’s happening in the media,” Cass says. “A lot of media outlets are short-staffed. If you do your due diligence and put together a well-rounded piece, you could see your press release picked up word for word.”

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