Reviews of nursing homes help families choose

It is important to research any facility that you are considering for a loved one. A recent study by gerontologists at the University of Southern California concluded that Yelp and other online platform reviews of nursing homes are an additional tool families may use when making decisions for their family member. Yelp uses software to weed out fake reviews and has partnered with ProPublica which created the tool, Nursing Home Inspect which uses federal data. Another online place to research is Nursing Home Compare which is administered by the federal government and uses a 5 star rating system. Its ratings Continue Reading

Five tips for choosing a reliable nursing home

Five tips for choosing a reliable nursing home for a family member are: 1 Slow down. 2 Do your homework. 3 Visit all the facilities you are considering ideally at night or the weekend. 4 Ask for the facility’s emergency management plan. 5 Ask for help. For the complete NYT article follow our link. Five Tips for Choosing a Reliable Nursing Home By Katie Thomas | New York Times The news that eight Florida nursing home residents died in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma has prompted a criminal investigation and spurred widespread outrage. But it also poses unsettling, difficult questions Continue Reading

New Protections for Nursing Home Residents

New Obama-era rules designed to give nursing home residents more control of their care are gradually going into effect. The rules give residents more options regarding meals and visitation as well as make changes to discharge and grievance procedures. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid finalized the rules — the first comprehensive update to nursing home regulations since 1991 — in November 2016. The first group of new rules took effect in November; the rest will be phased in over the next two years. Here are some of the new rules now in effect: Visitors. The new rules allow residents Continue Reading

Nursing Home Residents Win Back Right to Sue

In recent years, nursing homes have increasingly asked — or forced — patients and their families to sign arbitration agreements prior to admission. By signing these agreements, patients or family members give up their right to sue if they believe the nursing home was responsible for injuries or the patient’s death. Now, in an unexpected move, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is forbidding nursing homes from entering into binding arbitration agreements with a resident or their representative before a dispute arises.  The agency has issued a final rule prohibiting so-called pre-dispute arbitration agreements in facilities that Continue Reading

Inadequate Nursing Home Care In Massachusetts

The Department of Public Health (DPH), which provides nursing home oversight in Massachusetts, received approximately 11,000 complaints from consumers last year related to inadequate nursing home care. The backlog created by that many complaints has forced the DPH to rethink how it manages complaints and how it penalizes suspect facilities that are repeat offenders. Read the Boston Globe article below to learn more about the DPH’s new approach to nursing home oversight, which includes surprise inspections and a new online portal that will process and manage complaints more effectively. State officials move to tighten oversight of nursing homes By Kay Continue Reading

Nursing Home Assessed Damages for Failing to Honor Patients Living Will

A Florida jury has found that in trying to keep a 92-year-old Alzheimer’s patient alive, a nursing home failed to honor the patient’s living will and advance directive and must pay damages. The jury found that the nursing home, the Joseph L. Morse Geriatric Center in West Palm Beach, had breached its contract with the patient, Madeline Neumann, by not honoring her wish that she not be sustained by artificial means. The jury awarded $150,000 in damages. "This is a big deal," said Dr. Kenneth Goodman, director of the University of Miami’s bioethics program and the Florida Bioethics Network. "It’s Continue Reading

Nursing Report: Medicare Advantage Plans Can Be Too Good To Be True

Medicare Advantage plans have serious disadvantages over original Medicare, according to a new report by the Medicare Rights Center, Too Good To Be True: The Fine Print in Medicare Private Health Care Benefits. Medicare Advantage plans are provided by private insurers, unlike original Medicare, which is provided by the government. The government pays Medicare Advantage plans (formerly called Medicare managed care plans) a fixed monthly fee to provide services to each Medicare beneficiary under their care. The plans often look attractive because they the offer the same basic coverage as original Medicare plus some additional benefits and services that original Continue Reading