Regulatory Compliance

Challenges to EHR implementation

A new study on implementation of electronic health records (EHR) has identified several obstacles for doctors, chief among them poor user experience. Read More »

MDS Update: Gearing up for Section GG charting

The new section, which documents a resident's functional ability and assistance levels, has a compliance date of October 1, 2016. Read More »

SCOTUS says no to challenge on labor law for home care

The U.S. Supreme Court has decided not to hear a case that would have challenged the Department of Labor’s ruling on labor protections for home care workers. Read More »

CMS gives hospitals extension to meet new fire safety codes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced it will not begin surveying for compliance with the 2012 fire safety codes until November. The July 5 ruling still applies when considering which code chapters facilities must comply with.  Read More »

New Life Safety Code requirements begin July 5

Stay compliant with CMS requirements by using the proper editions of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Codes and Standards. Read More »

Federal judge dismisses CA nursing home suit

A U.S. district judge ruled the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act doesn’t give individuals the right to sue states, thereby dismissing a lawsuit alleging California nursing homes denied Medi-Cal patients readmission. Read More »

GAO report: Provider Medicare appeals still in logjam

Despite efforts to ease the backlog of appeals, no relief is in sight for the backlog of appeals from facilities that choose to appeal Medicare claims denials and deficiency citations. Read More »

How chart audits affect your reimbursement

The pressure is on for skilled nursing facilities: Compliance for CMS reimbursement means proper charting, documentation of therapy minutes and shaking out those RUGs. Read More »

Extreme honesty: Medical errors and full disclosure

Mistakes and “near misses” can and will happen. But, how a facility discloses an error can affect everything from the CMS response to the family’s reaction. Read More »

La. VA nurse jailed for faking care documents in resident’s death

An OIG investigation determined the LPN had falsified charting records stating she had performed neuro checks after the resident had fallen out of his wheelchair. Read More »

The fate of your stars: CMS and the new quality measures

As the opening keynote at the Memory Care Forum in Philadelphia, NASL policy guru Cynthia Morton discusses what’s coming next from CMS on long-term care quality measures and how that data might affect your five-star quality rating. Read More »

A legislative roundup of LTC in Hawaii

Hawaii state lawmakers reviewed several proposals before their legislative session ended, including some related to the oversight and inspection of long-term care facilities.  Read More »

DOJ to South Dakota: Stop sticking people with disabilities in SNFs

The Department of Justice is cracking down on South Dakota, accusing the state of putting people with disabilities in nursing homes unecessarily rather than providing community-based services. Read More »

CMS adds quality measures to 5-star rating system

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services adds six new quality measures to the Nursing Home Compare system, including data on short-stay residents' trips to the emergency room. Read More »

Are you ready for PBJ transactions?

With the new CMS reporting requirements looming, skilled nursing facilities are gearing up for the mandatory Payroll-Based Journal data transactions for direct-care workers. Read More »

CMS proposes payment boost, new reporting system for hospice

Hospice may see a 2 percent increase in reimbursements in 2017, but new reporting requirements could go into effect as well, according to a new CMS proposal. Read More »

UnitedHealthcare pulls out of most state health marketplaces

The largest private insurer in the country has announced it will be ending its participation in most state healthcare marketplace exchanges, but it has some new plans for the future. Read More »

OSHA gives whistleblower status for employee food safety complaints

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released the final rule that gives protection to employees who serve as whistleblowers on food safety violations. Read More »

CMS imposes fines of more than $278k for Woodbriar Health Center

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has imposed steep fines and threatened to terminate Woodbriar Health Center from its programs if serious problems are not resolved by next week. Read More »

Focused Dementia Care Surveys: What You Need to Know

CMS is moving forward with new surveyor tools for facilities that offer dementia care. does your staff know how to document for the new survey? Read More »

Calif. agrees to $15 minimum wage

The state of California legislature has passed a bill to raise the hourly minimum wage to $15 gradually over the next six years. Read More »

Watch your back

As OSHA rules become more stringent, senior living organizations are giving more attention to healthy habits to avoid staff back injuries—and not just when lifting a resident. Read More »

Preparing residents for emergencies

All long-term living communities need protocols for managing a wide range of incidents whether the law requires it or not, and residents need to be part of the annual practice drills, says safety expert Stan Szpytek. Read More »

Harness the MDS for dementia care

The federally mandated minimum data set (MDS) is a documentation tool caregivers use every day that can help ensure quality dementia care. Read More »

Washington state votes to oversee CCRCs

The state is one of the first to pass legislature to bulk up consumer protections relating to continuing care retirement communities. Could your CCRC meet their new requirements? Read More »

F-Tag 309 and the compliance domino effect

Poor training in dementia care documentation can get a facility a pile of deficiencies in a big hurry, explains a national consultant in survey-related regulatory issues. Read More »

CDC, NCIPC launch first national definitions of elder abuse

What constitutes elder abuse? Until now, the answers have depended on what state you live in. Read More »

3-day waiver rule on the way out?

The 3-day hospital stay rule might be waving goodbye, but the American Health Care Association warns the new CMS proposal would put some nursing homes—and their residents—at a disadvantage. Read More »

NJ governor vetoes staffing minimums

Gov. Chris Christie rejected legislation to set patient quotas for certified nursing assistants who work in nursing homes. The legislation was intended to improve residentsafety and quality of life. Read More »

New bill aims to eliminate manual lifting

Many in the long-term care industry applaud the proposed legislation to require assistive devices in all lifting cases, but no one is sure how compliance will be enforced—or who's going to pay for all the equipment. Read More »