nursing homes

Medicare Must Keep A Closer Eye On Hospices And Nursing Homes That Put Patients At Risk

Three reports in the past month have outlined serious problems with the way some nursing homes and hospices are caring for their patients.  The tales are similar: A relative handful of providers are delivering poor, even dangerous, care that is being hidden from consumers. But the real story is far more troubling:  Neither the federal government nor many states have [...]

By |2019-07-12T13:40:00-04:00July 12th, 2019|nursing homes|0 Comments

How Can We Keep Nursing Home Residents Out of Hospitals?

One-third of nursing homes residents are admitted to the hospital at least once each year, and half of those admissions could be avoided. Preventing them could protect hundreds of thousands of older adults from potential harm and save Medicare billions of dollars. The problem is neither new nor surprising. But it is tough to fix. Last week, the federal Centers [...]

By |2015-09-02T17:47:56-04:00September 2nd, 2015|Hospitals, Medicare, nursing homes|2 Comments

What Medicare and Medicaid’s Ratings Say About Nursing Homes

For all of its flaws, Medicare and Medicaid’s Nursing Home Compare five-star rating system gives consumers a head-start when searching for a facility. Now, the Kaiser Family Foundation has taken a closer look at the ratings, and reached some interesting conclusions: In a system that rates facilities from 1-5 stars, about one-third have low 1 or 2 star ratings, while [...]

By |2015-05-20T14:20:57-04:00May 20th, 2015|nursing homes|0 Comments

Nursing Homes Use Too Many Antibiotics, and Residents Are Dying

Infections are all-too-common in nursing homes. And all-too-often facilities treat these conditions with large doses of antibiotics. Now the Obama Administration has announced a major initiative aimed at dramatically reducing the use of these drugs. And the effort has the potential to fundamentally change the way nursing homes operate—and the way residents receive care. Today, antibiotic use is routine in nursing facilities. [...]

By |2014-10-22T13:23:48-04:00October 22nd, 2014|nursing homes|0 Comments

Looking Beyond Medicare’s Nursing Home Ratings: What You Really Should Know Before Picking a Facility

This week, The New York Times published an investigative report by Katie Thomas on Medicare’s five-star rating system for nursing homes.  Among its findings: Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare tool relies largely on self-reported data by the facilities themselves and is thus unreliable. On one hand, this is a bit odd, since Medicare’s website explicitly describes these very shortcomings.  On the [...]

By |2014-08-27T12:14:25-04:00August 27th, 2014|Medicare, nursing homes|4 Comments

Frail Seniors Want To Live At Home. But Is it More Dangerous?

Frail seniors getting supports and services at home are more likely to be hospitalized than those living in nursing homes, even though those in nursing facilities are often sicker than those in the community, according to a new study in the June issue of the journal Health Services Research (behind a paywall). The study finds that seniors receiving care at [...]

By |2014-07-09T13:54:56-04:00July 9th, 2014|aging in place, nursing homes|4 Comments

A Modest Step To Improve Medicare Post-Acute Care

Medicare has a huge and growing problem caring for patients after they have been discharged from the hospital. After years of talk, Congress may be about to take a modest but important first step toward cleaning up the mess, and making sure that patients get care that gives them the best chance to live a healthy and active life after a [...]

Where Can You Get the Best Nursing Home Value in America?

A new study by AARP, the Commonwealth Fund, and the SCAN Foundation ranks the quality and affordability of nursing homes by state. It finds wide variation in both cost and quality among states but, at least according to some indicators, you get what you pay for: The states with the most affordable facilities are plagued by many poor performers. This [...]

By |2014-06-25T15:51:21-04:00June 25th, 2014|Aging, nursing homes|2 Comments

Want To Know Where Senior Care Is Headed? Keep An Eye On Kindred Healthcare

For an important clue into the future of senior care in the U.S., watch Kindred Healthcare, a $5 billion company that operates in 47 states.  As recently as 2010, half of Kindred’s business was generated by its skilled nursing facilities. This year, only one-fifth of its revenues will come from its nursing and rehab centers. In a major strategic shift, [...]

Addressing the Dangers of Nursing Facilities

Earlier this month, the federal department of Health & Human Services concluded that more than one of every five skilled nursing facility (SNF) patients suffered serious harm from events such as medication errors, falls, or infections in 2011. Half were sent to the hospital as a result of these events. Six percent died. And 60 percent of these adverse events [...]

By |2014-03-14T14:17:16-04:00March 14th, 2014|Aging, Medicare, nursing homes|5 Comments