The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (“HHSC”) announced on August 6th that limited visitation would be allowed at certain nursing homes and long-term care facilities throughout the state. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities must submit a form to their LTCR Regional Director to be permitted to allow limited visitation. Permitted nursing facilities may allow outdoor visits, window visits, vehicle parades, and compassionate care visits. Permitted long-term care facilities may also allow plexiglass indoor visits, provided that their visitation booth is approved by HHSC. Conditions for approval are listed in the HHSC LTCR Provider Letter.
Continue Reading Limited Visitation in Nursing homes and Assisted Living Facilities in Texas

The United States Supreme Court has long upheld the validity and enforceability of arbitration agreements. Thus, it was no surprise when the Court reversed a decision from the Kentucky Supreme Court that declined to recognize arbitration agreements executed by individuals pursuant to powers of attorney. In Kindred Nursing Centers LP. v. Clark, the Court

Social network communityThe U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a memo (Ref:  S&C: 16-33-NH) Aug. 5, 2016, to state nursing home survey agency directors related to protecting resident privacy and prohibiting mental abuse related to photographs and audio/video recordings by nursing home staff. The memo is a response to recent media reports regarding inappropriate posting to social media of pictures of nursing home residents – namely a disconcerting report by ProPublica detailing 47 incidents in which workers shared photos or videos with friends or the public – these incidents involved both mistreatment of residents and inadvertent disclosure or patient health information. Within 30 days of the memo, surveyors are to implement changes to address these issues.
Continue Reading CMS targets inappropriate social media use in nursing homes

5StarOn Friday, February 20, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) unveiled its adjustments to Nursing Home Compare, a website many view as the premier tool for evaluating the nation’s nursing homes. CMS hopes the changes will cause nursing homes to make quality improvements, while critics warn that that the information is still unreliable and could confuse consumers who witness a sudden downward change in a facility’s rating. Nearly a third of the nation’s nursing homes experienced lower star ratings as a result of the changes. CMS stated that 1.4 million viewers access the website annually, with 85 percent of users reporting that they found the information they sought regarding nursing homes.
Continue Reading CMS Revises the 5-Star Quality Metrics System for Nursing Homes

Hopefully all of our nursing home clients know by now that CMS and the OIG have psychotropic drug use by nursing home residents on their radar.  A recent case filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ)  raises another concern that nursing homes may not have considered.  A Chicago psychiatrist was charged with violating the False