Older Adults Open To Robots in Home Care

Robot technology is making inroads into home care, and a new study suggests that older adults will embrace the innovations.

The findings, published in the journal Assistive Technology, examined the attitudes regarding robotic technologies among people in the age ranges of 18-44, 45-64, and 65+ and found general agreement on their perceptions of the value of robotic technologies that could provide assistance in personal care, give medical advice and take vital signs.

Published by Home Health Care News

SNF Apprenticeship Program Will Take CNAs Beyond Book Learning

Apprenticeship programs are often associated with skilled laborers, such as carpenters or electricians. Now Marion County, Indiana, is going to test the concept in skilled nursing and other long-term care settings.

The Indiana Health Care Association/Indiana Center for Assisted Living (IHCA/INCAL), a trade association representing the state’s long-term care facilities, and EmployIndy, a workforce development nonprofit in Marion County, have partnered to establish a registered apprenticeship program for skilled nursing and assisted living centers in the county.

Published by Skilled Nursing News

Saber Healthcare Makes Major Telehealth Push at 88 Facilities

Saber Healthcare Group has implemented its first telemedicine program, in partnership with TeleCare Partners Group (TPG). The program will be rolled out to Saber’s 88 skilled nursing facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia.

The program launch started in the first week of October, with a total of 28 facilities folded into the program so far, Mike Demagall, vice president of population health at Saber Healthcare, told Skilled Nursing News. All Saber’s SNFs will be part of the program by the end of the first quarter of the company’s fiscal 2018, if everything goes as planned, he said.

Published by Skilled Nursing News

CMS-Backed Clinical Program Drastically Lowers Avoidable Hospitalizations at SNFs

Potentially avoidable hospitalizations for long-stay nursing facility residents can be significantly reduced by embedding nurses and nurse practitioners, according to a new analysis. In turn, the strategy could substantially slash Medicare spending.

That’s according to an independent evaluation of the OPTIMISTIC program prepared at the request of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). OPTIMISTIC was developed and implemented by clinician-researchers from Indiana University and their partners, and has received more than $30 million in total funding from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Published by Skilled Nursing News

More Doctors Specialize in Nursing Home Care, Study Shows

Increasing numbers of doctors and advanced practitioners in the U.S. are focusing on nursing home care, which could indicate a trend toward the specialty as the U.S. population ages.

Of all the doctors and advance practitioners who do any work in nursing homes, 21% specialize in nursing home care, a new study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows.

Published by Skilled Nursing News

Home Care Registry Becomes Law in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker signed a law to establish a registry for home care workers employed by state-contracted in-home care agencies on Nov. 24.

The registry has drawn controversy over whether it sufficiently protects worker privacy. The law requires state-contracted home care workers to include their name, gender, home and mailing addresses, job title and training or certifications. Advocates for the law say it will empower workers and provide industry oversight, according to the Boston Herald.

Published by Home Health Care News

SNF Residency Gives Nurses ‘Ownership’ in Long-Term Care

Nurse residencies have long been associated with hospitals and the resources they provide, but long-term care facilities are starting to see their potential as they focus on hiring and retaining the best nurses.

When the University of Wisconsin realized new nurses were also starting to expect, or at least ask about, residency programs in long-term settings, that was a factor in the formation of the Geri-Res long-term care nurse residency programs, according to Kimberly Nolet, manager of the program and research manager for UW’s Center for Aging Research and Education.

Published by Skilled Nursing News

Why Value-Based Care Could Improve SNF Care, Lower Costs

Value-based programs can lead to lower costs of care and better quality of care for seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, according to an internal study from Louisville, Kentucky-based health insurance provider Humana.

The study found total health care costs for practices in Humana’s value-based arrangements were 15% lower than original fee-for-service Medicare. Compared with standard MA settings, total health care costs were 4% lower.

Published by Skilled Nursing News

Home Helpers Aims to Hire 3,000 Veterans

Home care franchisor Home Helpers has pledged to add 3,000 veterans and military dependents to its employee ranks by Veterans Day 2018. Home Helpers, which has more than 325 offices and is based in Cincinnati, has approximately 8,000 employees.

Serving veterans and their families is an issue close to Home Helpers CEO Emma Dickison, whose father was a World War II combat veteran.

“We’re finding ourselves taking care of more and more veterans, and we know through our work with [veterans] that it’s not just the vets but the military families that are then left behind in deployment struggle with under- or unemployment,” she told Home Health Care News.

Published in Home Health Care News

Care Collaboration-Focused Tech Company Raises $47.5M

Care collaboration between providers on the continuum remains a top priority for skilled nursing facilities and other providers, especially as new payment models such as bundled payments require operators to work together.

One Utah-based firm sees potential in capturing emergency-room data that follows a patient outside the hospital — and investors have given the idea a $47.5 million vote of confidence.

The Salt Lake City, Utah-based Collective Medical, which provides care collaboration technology, raised $47.5 million in a round of Series A funding, with the investment led by Kleiner Perkins.

Published by Skilled Nursing News

[Updated] $75 Million FCA Settlement is Largest-Ever for a Hospice

The largest for-profit hospice chain in the nation and its parent company have agreed to pay $75 million to resolve false claims allegations for hospice services, the Department of Justice announced. The resolution is the largest amount recovered from a provider of hospice services under the False Claims Act, according to the DOJ.

Chemed Corporation (NYSE: CHE) and wholly owned subsidiaries, including Vitas Hospice Services and Vitas Healthcare—the nation’s largest for-profit hospice chain—settled with the Justice Department. Cincinati-based Chemed acquired Vitas in 2004.

Published by Home Health Care News

University-Based SNF to ‘Cross the Generations’

A new skilled nursing facility in Jacksonville, Florida seeks to expose students to the world of elder care — by bringing the residents right to their campus.

Dolphin Pointe Landing, a skilled nursing facility that will be operated by Clear Choice Health Care, is under construction beside Jacksonville University (JU), with the goal of introducing students of every level to a potential career in SNFs.

It is part of a collaboration that aims to expose students of every level to work in elder care.

Published by Skilled Nursing News

As Nursing Crunch Looms, Kindred Offers $10k Signing Bonus

Louisville, Kentucky-based Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND) is attempting to draw registered nurses (RN) with cash, offering a $10,000 signing bonus for each of five RN positions in the Louisville area.  

The high signing bonus, first reported by Louisville Business First on Nov. 3, is also available to RNs in California, New Mexico, Missouri, Colorado and Georgia, Kindred’s job site indicates. The bonuses for RNs range between $2,000 and $10,000 in multiple markets.

The bonus is one example of how some providers are luring care staff in an increasingly tight labor market, but not all stakeholders see the offering as an advantage.

Published by Home Health Care News

RNs Tops at Preventing Costly Medicine Problems in SNFs

Registered nurses (RNs) are better equipped than licensed practical nurses (LPNs) to identify medication order discrepancies that could lead to major problems, according to a new study from the University of Missouri.

“If we’re not managing these medications appropriately and not identifying what the potential problems are, these residents may end up back in the hospital,” lead researcher Dr. Amy Vogelsmeier told Skilled Nursing News. “It’s costly in terms of time and it’s unnecessary. It’s something that could have been avoidable.”

Published by Skilled Nursing News

Nashville Home Care Provider Expands to Texas

Bluebird Homecare, a Nashville, Tennessee-based home care company, has acquired Champion Caregivers in Fort Worth, Texas, and is looking to keep expanding. The company has five locations, including the addition in Fort Worth, and has been in operation since 2015.

“I expect that we will be in three more markets by March 2018,” CEO Stuart Brunson told Home Health Care News.

Published by Home Health Care News