Hundreds of nursing homes and other assisted living facilities in Kansas will be required to participate in a fund meant to spread the risk of malpractice lawsuits starting next month. Advocates for those facilities say the change is a plus, but it has insurance agents scrambling to find liability coverage for their assisted living clients in a limited market.
Jodi Buckmeier, a licensed practical nurse, checks medication information for residents at Brewster Place in Topeka. Brewster Place ranks among Kansas nursing homes with the lowest rates of use of antipsychotic medication for its residents - at 7.8 percent for the last quarter of 2013 or the first quarter of 2014 - although the state's overall rate ranks 47th worst.
Experts say powerful antipsychotic drugs — sometimes given in combination — are used too much and often inappropriately as “chemical restraints” or sedatives to control the behavior of Kansas nursing home residents suffering from Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and that efforts to curb the practice so far are showing weak results compared with other states.
Providers of home and community-based (HCBS) Medicaid services and their state overseers are preparing for a raft of new federal rules that are intended to assure that the people who receive the services have more say in how they are helped and that their living conditions are “non-institutional.”
The regulations could have major consequences for many beneficiaries and the businesses and organizations that help them, particularly for some senior care providers who operate assisted living facilities attached to or in near proximity to nursing homes.
As the parents of baby boomers move into their twilight years, an elephant enters the room: when should we start to talk about long-term care?
With 12 million Americans already in need of attention and a further 15 million just around the corner, that question of how to best look after ourselves and loved ones is becoming more important by the day.
The non-profit Kansas Advocates for Better Care is out with its annual list of nursing homes cited by state inspectors for the fewest deficiencies. The facility at the top of the list is in Atchison, Kan.
The Dooley Center, in Atchison, has not been cited for a single violation the past three years. Mitzi McFatrich, who heads Kansas Advocates for Better Care (KABC), says 20 nursing homes in the state have had five or fewer deficiencies in the last three years.
A nursing home watchdog group says Kansas nursing home residents would benefit from increased requirements for direct care from nurses and nurse-aides in nursing homes. Current regulations require adequate staffing to provide each resident a minimum of two hours of direct care daily.
The state is recognizing eight nursing home facilities for offering innovative ways of caring for older Kansans. The PEAK awards recognize facilities that focus on providing better quality of life for seniors.
“For the longest times, nursing homes and senior living communities have been patterned after hospitals and warehousing-type structures that were very rigid and very structured environments and gave very few limited number of choices to those that live there,” said Shawn Sullivan, secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services.
Prairie Village, KS – For more than a decade, the non-profit Kansas Advocates for Better Care, or KABC, has released an annual report detailing the best and worst performing nursing homes in the state. The findings are based on state inspections over a three year period (the inspections occur once every 12 to 15 months).