Feds tell Shkreli it's time to face the music

First he lost his freedom; now they're coming for his music. Once Martin Shkreli was the smirking "Pharma Bro" who induced outrage by jacking up the price of a life-saving drug and insulting his detractors on social media, now he's a prison inmate. more

12/16/2017

'Moonbeams' shine bright for young patients in Michigan

At bedtime in the pediatric unit at Beaumont Children's hospital, community members are invited to stand outside the hospital and shine flashlights up at the hospital windows, and pediatric patients shine lights back in a show of support. more

12/16/2017

Healthcare issues loom large as Congress tackles spending bills, tax reform

Lawmakers this week must overcome big differences on how to pay for CHIP and other healthcare programs in order to pass a spending bill. Debate on tax reform also looms large in Congress' final week of action. more

12/16/2017

As stakeholders debate organ allocation rules, courts may push change

Liver allocation policy pits U.S. regions and major medical centers against one another. After years of gridlock between stakeholders, will courts change the rules? more

12/16/2017

New accreditation approach could curtail growth of micro-hospitals

Surveyors that assess hospitals for compliance with federal and state laws are implementing a new policy that could lead to the closure of some so-called micro-hospitals. more

12/16/2017

Hospital execs remain wary of bitcoin as the currency goes mainstream

Bitcoin futures recently launched on a mainstream exchange. But the healthcare industry has been slow to adopt the cryptocurrency for anything more than paying ransom for breached data. more

12/16/2017

Editorial: An alcohol-free toast to 2018

'Tis the season of miracles. A year that began with lumps of coal for the healthcare industry ends with Christmas presents wrapped in ribbons of cautious optimism. more

12/16/2017

Guest Commentary: 'Repeal and replace' is now 'co-opt and confuse'

Congressional Republicans are still actively trying to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, most recently folding repeal of the individual mandate into the tax reform bill. Instead of "repeal and replace," the strategy appears to be "co-opt and... more

12/16/2017

Q&A with Dr. Jerry Penso: 'I want to make AMGA stronger, more powerful, more relevant'

Dr. Jerry Penso believes that group medical practices are ideally positioned to lead the nation in the migration from fee-for-service to a value-based payment and care environment. more

12/16/2017

OSF Medical Group adopts team-based approach across clinics

OSF Medical Group has adopted a new model in which a team of clinicians divvies up duties to see more patients and improve care. more

12/16/2017

Kansas suing nursing home that failed to protect privacy after closing

State of Kansas officials are suing a nursing home that's been closed for almost a year, alleging the owner did not remove personal information of former residents or employees from the subsequently pillaged premises. more

12/15/2017

Senator calls for closure of veterans home, site of 13 Legionnaire's deaths

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) is calling for the closure of an Illinois Veterans Home, where 13 residents have died of Legionnaire's disease since 2015. more

12/15/2017

Skilled nursing occupancy hits 5-year low

Occupancy at the nation's skilled nursing facilities dropped to a five-year low of 81.6% during the third quarter of 2017, according to a new report. more

12/15/2017

Elf solves LTC staffing crisis

November 28 is ruined for me now. Thanks, CMS. For years, I've been celebrating it as the fateful day in 1443 when Albanian George Kastriotis Skanderbeg and his forces liberated Kruja in Middle Albania from the Ottomans and raised the Albanian flag. Not anymore. more

12/14/2017

Nursing homes inflating self-assessments to improve Five-Star ratings, study claims

Investigators from the University of Connecticut report that at least 6% of nursing homes inflate their self-reported measures — "most often the larger and for-profit facilities that stand to gain most financially by improving their scores." more

12/14/2017

Tech execs guilty of conspiring to fill nursing home prescriptions with recycled drugs

A subsidiary of a pharmacy chain near Pittsburgh pleaded guilty Tuesday in a conspiracy scheme described by prosecutors as an attempt to recycle unused medications. more

12/14/2017

Five-Star is anything but frozen

The day after Thanksgiving, CMS further defined its intensions with the Five-Star Quality Rating System; more specifically how the new survey process and derivative data will be used in its calculation of the Health Inspection domain. Here's what that means — and doesn't mean. more

12/13/2017

Jury awards $5.2 million to nurse fired after reporting abuse

A Michigan nurse who claimed she was fired from her nursing home job after reporting alleged abuse has been awarded $5.2 million by a Livingston County jury. more

12/13/2017

Also in the news for Wednesday, Dec. 13

Former Alabama SNF employees convicted in ant bite case after video evidence... Missouri facility loses Medicare funding after dialysis patient bleeds to death... Johns Hopkins docs outline ways to decrease unneeded antibiotics more

12/13/2017

Beta testing for data elements of IMPACT Act underway; volunteers lacking

Officials acknowledged Tuesday that they had recruited only 172 providers, including 67 skilled nursing facilities — fewer than they had desired — for beta testing of data elements for the IMPACT Act. more

12/13/2017

A MRSA vaccine may be on the horizon

If a MRSA vaccine could be developed for adults, it could potentially save nursing homes a lot of money, not to mention reset some of our infection control protocols. more

12/13/2017

Not so fast: Some Republicans reluctant to pursue Medicare cuts in 2018

Some Senate Republicans are skeptical about cutting spending on social programs — Medicare included — in the months leading up to the 2018 elections. more

12/13/2017

When will we ever get good press?

You know, a lot of great stuff happens in the long-term and post-acute care setting. But nooooooo, no one ever wants to talk about the good stuff. One bad apple and the mainstream press go wild and we all get the black eye. more

12/12/2017

Nursing home to pay $250,000 in resident's wheelchair death

A Pennsylvania jury has found a nursing home at fault for the death of an 85-year-old resident who fell from a wheelchair and broke his neck. The jury decided the provider should pay the deceased's family $250,000. more

12/12/2017

Critics say pressure to lower hospital readmissions may be backfiring

Five years after financial penalties went into place for hospitals with high readmission rates, experts are questioning whether falling return rates mean patients actually are faring better. more

12/12/2017

Skilled nursing operators Ascension and St. Joseph exploring merger to become biggest hospital owner

Two major hospital operators with a significant stake in long-term care could combine to create the largest U.S. hospital owner. more

12/12/2017

Also in the News for Tuesday, Dec. 12

Owner of home health agency gets record 80-year sentence for $13 million Medicare fraud ... New model draws line between early dementia and normal aging ... PA to launch Medicaid changes aimed at cutting skilled nursing population and boosting savings more

12/12/2017

MedPAC members on board with incremental shift to new pay model starting in 2019

Medicare Payment Advisory Commission members reportedly expressed unanimous support for a plan to transition to a new post-acute payment system beginning in 2019 at a meeting last week. more

12/11/2017

Former long-term care ombudsman charged with stealing money from resident

An Illinois woman has been arrested after allegedly attempting to steal more than $15,000 from an assisted living resident while serving as a long-term care ombudsman. more

12/11/2017

A no-brainer plan for Medicare and Medicaid

But for those of you who think outrageous political trickery is dead, please let me point you in the direction of Capitol Hill. For we appear to be in the midst of one of the better con jobs to come along in quite some time, and it's threatening your supply of Medicare and Medicaid dollars. more

12/11/2017