CMS going public with facility turnover, weekend staffing data
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that it will begin posting nursing home staff turnover rates and weekend staffing levels on the consumer-facing Medicare Compare site this month.The same information will then be incorporated into the public Five-Staring rating system in July.
I wrote about this and also did a TV segment regarding choosing a long-term care facility based on staffing.
Observation - The more transparency we have in senior living the better. Staffing is one the most indicators of quality.
Long-haul impacts on senior living — what to expect in 2022
Dwayne Clark, founder and CEO of Aegis Living, tells us what he thinks in McKnight’s.
Those who have a proven track record of effective, compassionate crisis management during the COVID-19 pandemic will gain a competitive edge.
To combat staffing, Aegis created their own staffing agency to ensure that high-quality caregivers get recruited into the positions where they are needed.
Companies need to be even more transparent across all fronts to show that their residents are not just surviving but thriving.
Observation - I can’t argue with these but would add that quality of life revolves around the experience of care and that is tied to the role of activities. This profession must be elevated, praised and given the resources they need. No comment on the systemic problems of a horribly broken health-care system.
Exercise may protect your brain even if you have signs of dementia, study finds
A new study finds exercise boosts levels of a protein known to strengthen communication between brain cells via synapses, which may be a key factor in keeping dementia at bay.
The protective effect was even found in active older people whose brains showed signs of plaques, tangles and other hallmarks of Alzheimer's and other cognitive diseases.
Observation - Well really what can you add to that!?.
Notes From the End of a Very Long Life
With the death of Ruth Willig at 98, a Times series on a set of the oldest New Yorkers — chronicled over seven years in 21 articles — offers their lessons on living with loss.
My friend. Times reporter John Leland, lost the last of the people he wrote about in his book: “Happiness Is a Choice You Make.” Life lessons-don’t brood about the things you can’t reach; live as if your time is limited; focus on the people you care about; enjoy the pleasures near at hand.
Observation - Follow these now; don’t wait until you’re old.
Why is the U.S. trying to export its flawed health-care policies around the world?
The United States famously spends more per capita on health care than any other country, even though the system performs far worse than that of many peer countries. Access is highly unequal, and sky-high prices push millions into poverty and discourage others from seeking care altogether. This heavily privatized system is indisputably excellent at one thing: generating profits. And powerful vested interests have blocked serious reforms for nearly a century. Interesting article in WAPO.
Observation - No argument here. Our health care system is horribly broken and greed is pervasive. We still operate in a fee for service environment in hospitals and long-term care continues to cry poor when assisted living residents pay $5-10k a month for care and these places further hide a string of for-profit companies under their wing who get paid from the main entity crying poor. Keep healthy. Stay out of the hospital. Do everything to age in place.
As an E.R. Doctor, I Fear Health Care Collapse More Than Omicron
From Dr. Craig Spencer, an emergency room doctor in New York City, writing in the NY TImes.
The harsh reality is this: Fewer providers means fewer available beds because there are only so many patients a team can treat at a time. This also means treatment is slower and people will spend more time in the E.R. And the longer these patients stay in the E.R., the longer others remain in the waiting room. The domino effect will affect all levels of the health care system, from short-staffed nursing homes to ambulances taking longer to respond to 911 calls.
It’s understandable that people are tired of Covid-19. Health workers are, too. But leaning too heavily on us and our hospital beds is foolhardy. A highly contagious variant like Omicron, even if it causes milder illness, can still risk precipitating the failure of our health care system. Collective actions over the coming weeks — the distribution and use of high-quality masks, staying home if not feeling well and getting vaccinated or a booster if eligible — could help prevent hospitals and health care workers from sliding into crisis. It’s not March 2020. But it shouldn’t have to be for us to take this seriously.
Observation - Bingo! Do your part people.
Medicare may cover cost of Aduhelm for clinical trial participants only; detractors say move is ‘unethical’
The FDA approved it in 2021 under a cloud of controversy over its efficacy, soaring cost and accessibility. Aduhelm costs $28,000 per patient per year, according to maker Biogen, which recently cut the cost from $56,000.
Observation - Not sure why people are up in arms. Offering this drug unilaterally would skyrocket the cost of healthcare and all Medicare enrollees would be subject to rate increases hinted by the introduction of this drug. I think clinical trials are absolutely a great way to introduce this into the system and then see what happens. Come on people.
NY nursing home owners may soon have to publicly disclose business partners
For-profit nursing home owners in New York may soon be required to publicly disclose when they hire certain companies to perform services at their facilities. Owners of nursing homes complain that state funding for their facilities is inadequate, and that doing business with related companies allows them to create economies of scale that eliminate redundancies and reduce costs at individual nursing homes. Yet consumer advocates claim that these types of business arrangements provide owners with a way to misdirect funds intended for resident improvements.
Observation - I choose not to rant or it would go on a bit. Suffice to say I side with the advocates on this one. Actually knowing ownership and ownership structure should be a point of choice when evaluating nursing homes. There have been enough studies showing the poorer quality of for-profit nursing homes versus not-for-profit.
COVID lit a digital fire under senior living operators.
Well maybe for some. As Darren Mathis notes in McKnight’s:
“Most of us realize that there is no snapping back to a pre-COVID-19 world. Those operators who attempt to do so will be quickly sidelined by those who are more agile and forward-thinking."
Observation: At least when it comes to social distancing solutions like Sage Stream, few operators are embracing what technology can do for resident engagement and quality of life.
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