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Find books provided by the National Care Planning Council written to help the public plan for Long Term Care. From its inception, the goal of the National Care Planning Council has been to educate the public on the importance of planning for long term care.
Nursing homes provide a cost-effective way to enable patients with injuries, acute illnesses or postoperative care needs to recover in an environment outside a hospital.
In 2004, at any given time, only about 12.7% of nursing home residents were being covered for their stay by Medicare rehabilitation, and their average stay was only 23 days. For every 100 elderly patients in a nursing home in a given year, 38 will recover or stabilize so they can be discharged.
This book is a financial and legal guide to the ins and outs of the only government program that will pay for the long term nursing home care of your family member: MEDICAID.
About 88% of the 1,500,000 US nursing home residents (in 16,500 facilities) are over the age of 65. Many of these nursing home residents are considered long-term care patients -- they will never recover or stabilize to the point where they can take care of themselves and go back home. The first chart below shows that virtually all residents of nursing homes need assistance with activities of daily living.
From the second chart below, note that over half of all nursing home residents are 85 years and older.
The cost of a nursing home depends a great deal on where it is located in the country and whether it attaches a surcharge for private paying patients versus Medicaid and Medicare patients. State and Federal governments pay about 70% of nursing home costs and for about 85% of all residents the government pays part of or all of their costs. Government reimbursement is based on nursing hours and aide hours per patient, plant costs, wages, utilities, insurance, ancillary services, etc.
Prior to 1997, Medicare reimbursements to nursing homes were based on actual costs submitted on each patient. Many nursing homes also claim that Medicaid reimbursement is not paying their actual costs as well.
Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement have a direct impact on the daily bed rates of private-pay residents. Many states feel it is in their best interest to maintain a stable bed ratio by restricting the number of available beds region by region in order to keep occupancy high. One argument for restricting beds is States believe they need to have a financially strong nursing home industry to guarantee good quality care and to assure a future supply of beds. Medicare is the government health insurance plan for all eligible individuals age 65 and older.
Medicare will pay for 20 days of a skilled nursing care facility at full cost and the difference between $114 per day and the actual cost for another 80 days. To qualify for Medicare nursing home coverage, the individual must spend at least 3 full days in a hospital and must have a skilled nursing need and have a doctor order it. There is a misconception that Medicare automatically covers up to 100 days of all nursing home stays. Medicaid is a welfare program jointly funded by the federal government and the states and largely administered by the states. There are several bills now pending in Congress allowing full deduction of premiums and the pass-through of premiums in cafeteria plans. All hospitals have a discharge planning section, one responsibility of which is to assess and arrange for post-hospital care if necessary. Many nursing home admissions are not made directly from a hospital so the potential resident or most likely her family must choose a facility among perhaps dozens in their area. There are numerous checklists and evaluation helps on the internet to assist you in the selection of a nursing home.
For those homes that make profit, there's not margin enough for improving infrastructure or hiring more or better qualified staff to improve quality of care.
A recent report from the Government Accounting Office cites widespread understaffing by nursing homes both in levels of nurses and certified nurse's assistants. There's no question that tight labor markets over the past decade have made it difficult to recruit and retain workers. It shouldn't come as a surprise with the problems of funding and staffing that reported incidents of patient neglect and abuse are on the rise.
There is no requirement under these laws to show negligence, so something as routine as a change in how constraints are used might lead to a violation of rights. Overall, the number of nursing home lawsuits are rising but in the states of Florida and Texas , they are reaching crisis proportion especially for deep-pocketed national chains who seem to be the principal targets.
Nursing homes also complain that a major deterrent to the available time nurses can devote to care is the inordinate amount of time filling out Federal and state paperwork. With a growing trend for more and more elderly people to rely on Medicaid, states will have to deal with a future lack of funds to cover all Medicaid costs including long-term care . Another positive nonintervention incentive is a growing trend to publish deficiency ratings for nursing facilities.
Part of this first stage of Federal involvement might also be codifying national staffing ratios and providing work or study or benefit incentives for nursing home workers. A more involved stage of control might be actual Federal or State management of nursing facilities.
Another part of tighter government control could be implementation of a national nursing home insurance plan much like Medicare Part A.
A number of people in the nursing home industry feel that changing the caregiving environment is the right approach. It's not to say that administrators and workers don't care about the emotional and social needs of their charges and so all facilities have TVs, exercise activities, reading rooms, craft projects, field trips and so forth. In essence, the hospital model results in a facility where residents are simply waiting to recover and leave or they are being entertained in a day care environment awaiting their eventual death. The Eden Alternative had its beginnings in 1991 in Chase Memorial, a small-town nursing home in upstate New York . Administration of topical medication is quite simple but it requires your pet to remain still for a brief time. Try the following method: Hold the applicator upright and snap off the tip to allow the medication to flow out of the applicator.
The federal healthcare mandate will drive up Medicaid spending, restricting budget-writers’ ability to fund other programs. Source: Texas Legislative Budget Board, Texas Health and Human Services Commission and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Medicaid is a jointly funded state-federal program that pays for health care services delivered primarily to low-income families and children, pregnant women, the elderly and persons with disabilities. The federal share of Medicaid is determined annually, based on a comparison of average state and U.S. The Texas FMAP generally is about 60 percent, meaning that the federal government pays 60 percent of every dollar spent in Texas on Medicaid services. Due to federal health care reform, in 2014 all states will be required to provide Medicaid services for all citizens at or below 133 percent of FPL with Medicaid services.
This Spring, on the 4th World Rare Diseases Day, a Eurobarometer survey was published showing wide support for action on rare diseases at EU level. Registration has been opened for the Open Information Day and Partnering Event which the European Commission is organising on the 2012 Work Programme for the Health Theme in FP7.
The European Commission has opened a public consultation on the eHealth Action Plan 2012-2020.
The proposed eHealth Action Plan is due to run in parallel to the Digital Agenda for Europe and the Innovation Union flagship initiatives under the Europe 2020 strategy. Registered nurses (RNs) work in conjunction with other health-care professionals to provide complete care to patients. Specializations are divided into four general categories—the kind of care provided or work setting, diseases or medical conditions, organs or organ systems, and the age of treated patients.
Each article is written to help families recognize the need for long term care planning and to help implement that planning.
With that goal in mind, we have created the largest and most comprehensive source of long term care planning material available anywhere. But in any given year, a large number of acute-care Medicare patients as well as some private-pay and private insurance-pay will cycle through US nursing homes on their way to recovery. These people will either die in a nursing home or be discharged to a hospital where they will die or return to a nursing home or hospice to die.
In addition, many of these people, whether they are short-term or long-term residents, have medical needs as well.
The number of people who survive beyond age 85 is expected to increase dramatically over the next 20 years. Although analysis of the data to determine the average stay for a temporary rehabilitation patient versus a long term care patient is not entirely possible, we can get a good idea from the average length of stay for current residents versus length of stay for discharged residents during the year. The Internet is replete with nursing home search services and prices in any given area with specific nursing homes can easily be determined. For example, if family or friends were to help in the care of loved ones, these services could be deducted from the bill. Because the government pays such a large portion, nursing homes structure their care delivery system around the government payment system. The Veteran's Administration nursing home operations bring total government support of nursing home costs to about 70% of the total. The Balanced Budget Act of 1996, forced Medicare to phase in a prospective payment system of reimbursement which is currently now fully implemented. At least 2 states, Minnesota and North Dakota , prohibit nursing homes from charging more than the Medicaid reimbursement rate.
For most facilities, an occupancy ratio in the range of 90% to 95% would be considered fully occupied.
Nationally bed ratios are at about 60 beds per 1000 for age 65 to 84 and 453 beds per 1000 for 85+.

The most common way they do this is by forcing all new or expanding facilities to submit a certificate of need (CON).
They do this by artificially limiting supply thus increasing demand to insure profits for the industry. Because of its universal availability almost everyone over age 65 in this country is covered by Medicare. Private Medicare supplement insurance usually pays the 80 day deductible of $114 per day, if a person carries this insurance and the right policy form.
If the discharge planner determines a need for nursing home care, then he or she usually chooses the appropriate facility with consent of the patient and family.
Selection of the appropriate home is important especially in light of the proliferation of abuse and neglect problems.
Also ask about staff turnover, age of the facility, whether the rate includes extras such as diapers and personal items, whether it is a chain, locally owned or nonprofit and whether they offer the level of care you need. The industry claims that many of its nursing homes are losing money on government payments causing yearly net business losses. But turnover of qualified aides is so high, it's hard to even retain any experienced people at all.
With regard to nursing homes, 31 of these states' laws allow for bringing suit for violating patients rights. For example suppose a nursing home changed its policy to allow bed rails to be constraints for agitated patients. The Florida Bill of Rights allows for nursing homes to pay uncontained attorney's fees, it allows for unlimited punitive damages and it establishes a liberal statute of limitations.
So far, aside from proposing tougher laws to penalize the industry, there appears to be little effort in finding a way to improve the nursing home system of care delivery. Medicaid is the fifth largest expenditure for the Federal Government behind national debt, defense, social security and Medicare. This may involve cutting back on services, tightening rules for access to Medicaid, asking the Feds for more money, raising taxes, changing rules and becoming tougher on recovery of recipient assets or more likely a combination of all of the foregoing tactics. First, The shift to Medicare prospective payment is causing temporary dislocation of funds as nursing homes adjust care around the new system.
A first stage might involve the Federal Government unifying the Medicaid reimbursement process by applying the same rules throughout the country. Some states have inadequate staff ratios or work related incentives for nursing homes while some states have stringent ratios and progressive worker incentives.
A friendlier, supportive environment between staff and residents produces happier employees, healthier residents, less worker turnover and overall generally better care. Quantitative measurement simplifies accounting because it allows cost and reimbursement to be tied to performance standards. But these activities are usually designed and implemented by staff with little or no input from residents. Nursing home residents lose the opportunity to be an influence on their environment which is so vital to our purpose as human beings. Thomas designed the program to defeat what he calls the three demons of nursing home care: loneliness, helplessness and boredom. The challenge is changing entrenched mindsets and eliciting a firm commitment from owners, administrators and staff to make it work. New flea and tick products are most commonly associated with topical application but other drugs are also available, such as antibiotic creams and ointments for wound care. For flea and tick products, once applied to the skin, the medication is absorbed by the skin, where it enters the bloodstream.
In Texas, Medicaid is administered by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC). Exhibit 2 shows the mandatory services all states must cover and the optional services Texas provides; the optional categories Texas offers are among those that states are allowed but not required to cover. Due to the size of Texas’ Medicaid program, even small changes in the FMAP can result in the loss or gain of millions of dollars in annual federal funding. In fiscal 2010, 55 percent of Texas’ Medicaid population was female and 77 percent was under age 21. For example, Texas has chosen to extend Medicaid eligibility to pregnant women and infants at up to 185 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). At present, Texas Medicaid does not cover childless adults, and has stiffer income requirements than 133 percent of FPL for some services.
The Information Day will take place on 9 June and is aimed at researchers interested in applying to the 2012 Work Programme. It will also support the objectives of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. As the health-care provider responsible for patients’ well-being, an RN assesses patients and develops care plans. Highly skilled RNs with graduate education can become advanced practice nurses (APNs) or advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs).
They can work in traditional health-care settings, such as hospitals or doctors’ offices, or for schools, insurance companies, lawyers, chemical companies, and others. If you’d like to share your own brain sheet with the Scrubs magazine community, or would like to have a Word version of any of these brain sheets, please contact us! For every 100 elderly patients in a nursing home in a given year, 35 will die and another 37 will be admitted to a hospital where they may die, recover or return.
Recent studies on nursing home populations reveal that both the age of residents and their need for medical help is increasing. It used to be a novelty for someone to survive to age 100 and oftentimes that person was recognized in the community. Since the majority of discharges during the year will be short-term patients we can assume that many of these were in care for rehabilitation.
A number of residents are also capable of helping with the care of fellow residents or they might help with the facility services such as cleaning, food preparation, social needs, laundry and so on.
Because government programs typically are burdened with massive stationery inertia, the current pricing model will be around for a long time. Such a large reliance on government support has made nursing homes vulnerable to vagaries in state and Federal reimbursement policies towards nursing homes. Payments are still made for each patient but are based on pricing formulas determined by the intensity of care needed (so-called case-mix ratio) as well as the number of anticipated days of care multiplied by a rate factor derived from 1998 historic costs in that geographic area.
Generally the States employ some rather convoluted and arcane rules to reimburse nursing homes.
They may be spending money from their own income and assets or their family may be pitching in as well.
Another goal in restricting the current supply of beds is to force money that would be spent on Medicaid nursing home beds to be spent instead on alternate care services for care recipients.
Not all nursing home admissions come from a hospital--a prerequisite for Medicare coverage. Although the bias is only to cover eligible patients in semiprivate rooms in nursing homes, a recent court decision is forcing the States to consider more Medicaid funding for home care and assisted living. A valuable resource is a good referral from a friend or relative who have had someone close to them in a nursing home.
You can eliminate a number of facilities before you take the next step of an inspection tour.
Many older facilities have lower fixed costs and they may be able to give quality care at lower rates even if the surroundings are not so spiffy.
As an example, in 2000, 10 national chains sought chapter 11 restructuring, citing inadequate government payments as the reason for seeking bankruptcy protection. On the other hand, critics contend the current revelations of poor care with many nursing homes across the country stem not from lack of income but from greedy owners not willing to apply profits to improvement in care. Recently states such as California have mandated higher staffing ratios for hospitals and skilled nursing homes.
After all, why would anyone pay for a 6 week CNA course, then hire on for $8.50 an hour with no benefits, in order to empty bed pans and change diapers or risk permanent back injury from lifting patients. Nursing homes are willing to pay the salary to attract nurses but in many areas there aren't enough nurses to meet demand. Abuse is not only just physical assault or threats but it can also be such things as improper use of restraints, failure to feed or give water, failure to bathe, improper care resulting in pressure sores or allowing a patient to lie too long in a soiled diaper or bed linen. Rates have increased in some cases 1000% and might cost as much as $6,000 per bed per year. And, Federal Medicaid grants are growing so fast, they will soon surpass Medicare spending. Quality of long term care and access to Medicaid will likely suffer as demand for Medicaid increases.
Eventually as the dust settles, facilities will learn how to make money with PPS without sacrificing care. Despite the possibility for the problem self-correcting, many critics are not willing to wait nor are they optimistic for the future of nursing home care. Some states do a poor job of handling Medicaid reimbursement, other states do a fair job and others do a good job. Federal equalization could help with deficient states and help raise levels of care in those states. The advantage of this approach would be central management for all facilities, standard labor policies with employees able to transfer from unit to unit to help equalize misallocation of labor and one pool of money to allow redirection of funds to deficient areas of the system.
So-called case-mix pricing is based on measures of the time aides and nurses spend per patient. These activities are planned so that they can be measured in time spent per resident in order to remain consistent with the hospital model.
Studies show that this outcome is indeed the case with nursing homes that have tried to introduce this kind of care system. Bill Thomas and his wife Judy, felt they had a better vision of what a nursing home should be and they set about to put their plan in action.

By empowering residents to care for animals, plants, children and even each other he gave these people dignity and purpose. If it were easy, we would probably have many more than 250 facilities doing it after 10 years.
The reason for this is that government funding does not reward the facility for residents improving in health or taking fewer medications.
If the medication is intended to treat a wound, your pet may need an Elizabethan collar to prevent licking the wound and medication. The federal share is called the federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP), and each state’s FMAP is different.
While non-disabled children made up the majority (66 percent) of all Texas Medicaid clients in that year, they accounted for a relatively small portion (32 percent) of spending on direct health-care services. Exhibit 4 show current Medicaid eligibility categories as well as required changes for 2014. CHIP covers health care services for children from low-income families earning up to 200 percent of FPL that are not covered by Medicaid. It will consist of plenary sessions and several parallel sessions on participation issues, such as a targeted session on international co-operation and one on clinical trials. Types of APNs are certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), certified nurse midwife (CNM), clinical nurse specialist (CNS), and nurse practitioner (NP). Although most nurses work directly with patients, some RNs work as case managers or in forensics, among other fields. It seems that the elderly are finding alternatives to the nursing home until their health gets to a point where the nursing home is the only option for care. Many of the patients who are currently in care have probably been there at least a year or more and are most likely to be long-term care patients.
Most states reimburse with a prospective payment system like Medicare but a few states reimburse actual costs up to certain predetermined statewide maximum amounts. Many of these people are going through Medicaid spend-down--depleting assets until they qualify for Medicaid. Some states have occupancy ratios in the 70s while others like New York are in the high 90s. Note from the chart below that less than half of all nursing home admissions are from the hospital. To receive a Medicaid waiver for alternative community services, the patient must first be evaluated for 90 days in a nursing home.
If the healthy spouse eventually needs Medicaid, after she dies, Medicaid recovery is supposed to recover its costs by establishing claim against equity in the home. The government is also sending a clear message it wants private insurance to play a larger role. As a prospective purchaser you do not have agree with or accept the planner's decision and you can offer an alternative location if you feel more comfortable. Make sure they are familiar with the quality of care in the facility they are recommending. The staff and administration are key to a quality nursing home stay, not the physical surroundings. The national chains, in particular, are accused of retaining profits to bolster stock prices in an effort to fund acquisitions. Nursing homes claim they can't afford to pay for the higher level of wages and benefits necessary to retain aides who will stay around for a while.
Nursing homes, as well as hospitals are using innovative work schedules to meet staffing requirements but in many cases, nurses are overloaded with too many patients. In 2002, Florida 's 700 nursing homes collectively faced $1 billion in lawsuits from claims totaling 4 times the number of claims in all other states. Likely, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement will not keep pace with these extraordinary costs and nursing homes will have to face new cost restraints in addition to the problems they already face.
At the state level, after applying state funds to Federal matching funds, Medicaid is usually the second biggest chunk of state budgets after education. Next, State Medicaid programs will continue to tweak bed ratios and payment systems to help strengthen the industry.
Nonprofit nursing homes would be exempt from this plan since they are currently less dependent on government funding and because much of their support comes from their church or nonprofit organization. Beneficiaries could also purchase additional, private, supplemental, long-term care insurance plans much as with Medicare supplement plans.
The amount of time spent caring for and assisting residents and dispensing medication is carefully documented for each resident. The staff is patronizing and centered on a day care philosophy of keeping people busy but ignoring their needs for self direction and self worth. But to make the system work requires employees to accept nontraditional work roles not learned under the hospital care model. On the contrary, government reimbursement is based on sicker residents receiving more care and lots of medications. Some, like antibiotic creams and ointments, are intended to work primarily at the site of injury, although a small amount does get absorbed into the system.
For flea and tick treatments, the best recommendation is to place the medication on the skin between the shoulder blades.
We think the RX is nurse cartoons – the perfect way to poke fun at the lighter side of nursing (yes, there is one!)! By contrast, the aged, blind and disabled made up just 25 percent of clients but accounted for 58 percent of estimated expenditures (Exhibit 3). The federal match rate for CHIP is higher than for Medicaid, generally with an FMAP of 72 percent. Other RN duties can include running medical machinery, performing laboratory tests and analyzing the results, and administering medication. These usually require students to take science classes at an affiliated university before enrolling in nursing courses. This trend probably explains why the number of nursing home residents has not increased significantly over the past 10 years whereas the number of elderly has increased remarkably over the last decade. It is not so rare to survive beyond age 100 now and so few people are being recognized for that event. Residents are charged daily flat rates for semiprivate or private rooms just like a hospital. Some states pay directly, others pay through privately-contracted managed care administrators.
If the nursing home is losing money on government reimbursement it may be charging private-pay residents higher daily rates to make up the difference.
Finally, although most states prohibit nursing homes from charging private-pay less than the Medicaid reimbursement rate, in those states that allow it, private-pay residents may be paying less than with Medicaid. As expected, New York has very high private-pay room rates whereas the low-ratio states have lower private-pay rates.
Also, a hospital stay resulting in nursing home care does not automatically qualify for Medicare coverage. This began with the recommendation of the Pepper Commission in 1992 and continued with the HIPAA legislation in 1996 and on to the offering in 2003 of long-term care insurance for federal workers, military, retirees and their families. The facility however has to be a skilled nursing provider and the doctor providing care must be available on a 24 hour emergency basis.
So mandated staffing ratios will probably have little effect on the problems facing nursing homes and may actually increase their problems.
The General accounting office estimated in 2004 that 35% of Medicaid payments went for long-term care services.
And like Medicare, these supplements could fill holes with deductibles, co-pays and benefit ceilings. Under this system, sometimes patients are regarded as a commodity rather than a human being.
The need for restraints declined, drug bills diminished, death rates and incidence of illness declined and formerly stoic patients began to communicate. Surveys are finding that the older nursing home residents require a significant amount of care for help with activities of daily living and with severe medical problems. If beds are in demand, as with high occupancy, the nursing home can refuse the fixed payment, government reimbursed residents in favor of private-pay patients. Supplements could also extend coverage to include home care, assisted living, adult day care and hospice.
Additional staff meetings, encounter groups and training sessions are a necessary requirement. Workers as well were given new freedom to set their own schedules and to specialize in newfound activities such as caring for pets. Some state nursing home associations claim that 85% of their member nursing homes are not meeting costs with Medicaid. And as has already been pointed out, even when a person qualifies for Medicare coverage it is likely to be much less than 100 days. These people probably enjoy working with residents and are likely to have a good rapport with their charges and dispense high quality care. On the other hand in areas of low occupancy, nursing homes have to accept more low-paying Medicaid residents and private-pay rates will be competitive because buyers will bid one facility against another for their services.
Upon successful completion of an RN program, a student can take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to obtain licensure.

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