Signature’s PDPM Playbook: Data, Specialization, and 600 More Nurses

Therapy has taken center stage in the run-up to the new Medicare payment model for skilled nursing facilities, but a growing chorus has begun to frame the change as a return to the primacy of nurses in nursing homes — with a leading provider planning on adding 600 of them to meet the new priorities and expected demand.

As Signature HealthCARE’s senior vice president of data informatics and management information systems, Vinnie Barry and his team have taken the lead on preparing the provider for the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), set to take effect October 1. And as the Louisville, Ky.-based provider has crunched the numbers, a few clear trends have emerged: Moving forward, Signature plans to focus on honing its clinical capabilities and changing the way it markets its services to hospital partners in key regions.

While Barry expects Signature to see overall reimbursement gains as a result of the new incentives, he emphasized that the company is willing and ready to take a short-term earnings hit in order to properly staff up its facilities to eventually capture that new revenue.

Full story at Skilled Nursing News

What to Look for in a Geriatric Care Manager

WHEN OLDER ADULTS CAN no longer care for themselves, it’s usually up to their family members to take over the responsibility. But it’s hard to know where to begin managing the care of someone who has chronic health conditions, requires frequent doctor visits and needs assistance at home – which may be in another town. “Families are often overwhelmed and ask, ‘What do we do? How do we handle this?’” says Nancy Avitabile, president of the board of directors of the Aging Life Care Association.

Avitabile is an aging life care manager (also known as a geriatric care manager), a type of elder care professional trained to jump into these challenging situations and offer solutions, guidance and hands-on management.

“It’s not uncommon for adult children to involve a geriatric care manager when things are getting complicated with a new diagnosis or a change in function or cognition, especially when the family lives far away and they need guidance on which options are available,” says Dr. Christine Ritchie, a geriatrician, palliative care physician and professor at the University of California—San Francisco School of Medicine.

Full story at US News

Senate hearing examines ‘devastating’ nursing home abuse

The phone rang shortly before Christmas in 2014.

When Maya Fischer answered, a nurse from the nursing home where her mother had been staying for more than a decade was on the other end of the line. In her Minnesota home, Fischer braced herself for difficult news.
“When you receive a phone call from the nursing home, your first thought is that … my mother has passed,” Fischer said.
The news was indeed troubling, but it was not what she expected.
“I was not at all prepared for the call that I received. … The call that my mother had been a victim of a sexual assault in her nursing home,” Fischer said. “For me and my family, it’s been devastating.”

LTC Properties: Senior Care Centers Won’t Survive Bankruptcy, Transfer Ongoing

“As you know, Senior Care declared bankruptcy in December, and we don’t believe they have the ability to emerge from the process as a viable, ongoing concern,” CEO Wendy Simpson said Friday during the company’s fourth quarter 2018 earnings call.

The Dallas-based Senior Care Centers left landlord LTC without $1.8 million in rent for the month of December in the wake of its filing, which the provider blamed on prohibitively expensive lease payments. At the time, Simpson announced plans to re-tenant the 11 properties in its portfolio with an operator that had overseen the facilities prior to Senior Care Centers — a process that remained ongoing as of Friday.

Full story at Skilled Nursing News

Home Instead Senior Care Partners with GrandPad To Provide Enhanced Integrated Care Solution

Home Instead, Inc., the franchisor for the Home Instead Senior Care®  network, today announced a partnership with GrandPad®, the first tablet-based solution designed exclusively for seniors. The two organizations are coming together to offer innovation that will change the way we care for the growing number of older adults.

The partnership provides a platform for Home Instead franchise owners to offer integrated care solutions that will enhance the client experience while a Home Instead CAREGiverSM is in the home. It also sets the stage for Home Instead to offer new services, such as interactive remote care, which would create new opportunities for the delivery of technology-based home care across underserved populations and rural geographies.

The agreement includes an equity investment in GrandPad. Additionally, Jeff Huber, president and CEO of Home Instead, Inc., has been added to the GrandPad board of directors.

Full story at Home Instead

Boot camp after 60: 10 steps to turn around unhealthy habits

It takes moxie to flip an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one — particularly for folks over 60.

Most baby boomers approach retirement age unwilling to follow basic healthy lifestyle goals established by the American Heart Association, said Dr. Dana King, professor and chairman of the department of family medicine at West Virginia University, referencing his university’s 2017 study comparing the healthy lifestyle rates of retired late-middle-aged adults with rates among those still working.

Kaiser Health News interviewed three other prominent experts on aging and health about how seniors can find the will to adopt healthier habits.

“People do financial planning for retirement, but what about retirement health planning?” King said.

Full story at NBC News

Why Power of Attorney Can Be Key for Senior Health Care

IN THE VAST constellation of legal documents you could encounter over your lifetime, some are more critical than others. For older adults, a few legal instruments take on outsized importance, particularly in the context of ensuring adequate health care as we age. While some documents that older adults may need are focused on the financial side of your affairs, others concern how decisions will be made about your health care. The information that follows will focus on the documents related to health care that may come into play as you age.

As you navigate these legal waters for yourself or a loved one, some legal terms and documents you may encounter include:

  • Living will
  • Advance directive
  • Do not resuscitate order
  • Physician orders for life-sustaining treatment
  • Health care proxy
  • Power of attorney
  • Guardianship or conservatorship

Full story at US News

New Issue Brief from the Evaluation of the Nutrition Services Program: An Examination of Social Activities at Congregate Meals Sites and Their Role in Improving Socialization Outcomes of Participants

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) conducted a three-part evaluation of its Title III-C Nutrition Services Program (NSP). The Process Evaluation, Cost Study, and two reports from the Outcome Evaluation have previously been released.

ACL is now releasing an issue brief based on surveys of local service providers and participants at congregate meal sites: An Examination of Social Activities at Congregate Meal Sites and Their Role in Improving Socialization Outcomes of Participants.

This issue brief examines the types of congregate meal sites that offer social activities and whether the effect of congregate meal participation on socialization outcomes differs for participants who attend meal sites that offer social activities and those who attend meal sites that do not offer these activities.

Full story at acl.gov

Small Modular Houses May Offer Alternatives To Older Adults

Walk around the campus of the University of Southern Indiana, and you may notice a very small house. It’s part of an experiment to create houses of 600 square feet that can be built in days. These little homes could offer housing alternatives for elderly people. Isaiah Seibert of member station WNIN in Evansville has the story.

ISAIAH SEIBERT, BYLINE: The small, 600-square-foot modular house is called Minka. The name is derived from a simple and functional style of Japanese home. Bill Thomas is a geriatrician by training, but today he’s overseeing the construction of one of the first Minka prototypes on this university campus in southwestern Indiana, with his elderly patients in mind.

Full story at npr.org

Senior Care Centers Files for Bankruptcy, Blaming ‘Expensive Leases’

Senior Care Centers announced Tuesday that it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas.

The move will allow Senior Care Centers, which has almost 10,000 residents and nearly 11,000 employees, address “burdensome debt levels and expensive leases,” according to a press release announcing the bankruptcy filing.

Senior Care Centers will continue paying vendors for the goods and services provided during the Chapter 11 process, in addition to continuing to cover payroll, according to the company.

“After careful analysis, we determined that the protections afforded by the Chapter 11 process are the best way to address the company’s debt and costly leases while allowing us to continue to provide all the top-level care and support our residents deserve,” Kevin O’Halloran, Senior Care Centers’ chief restructuring officer, said in the release.

Full story at Skilled Nursing News