Why Accountable Care is for You (and your residents)

Accountable Care Organizations (ACO’s) are groups of physicians, hospitals, insurers, and community-based organizations that come together to coordinate care for a defined population of patients.

Picture a healthcare system where people, even though living longer, are healthier than ever before; the quality of care is continually improving, and the cost of care is affordable for all Americans. (more…)

Website Can Be A Marketing System

Assisted living websites designGreat websites work 24 hours per day, no matter what distractions occur in a facility. When you incorporate “content marketing” systems into your website, you can attract seniors and their family members, inform (as if face-to-face), drive follow-up & keep-in-touch programs, and make it easy for those who like your facility to make referrals. (more…)

Being aware of Depression and Suicide during the holiday season

During the upcoming holiday time, we not only experience the joy of the season with our residents, but unfortunately it is also a time many of our residents experience depression and may even verbalize a desire to end their life. Suicide among elderly adults is a growing and serious concern. The highest rate of suicide in the U.S. is among older white men. Firearms were the most common means followed by hanging, strangulation or suffocation, poisoning and jumping from a high place. A general understanding of suicide in late life is often oversimplified to a single cause; the reality is a complex, interdependent network of numerous diverse circumstances including co-morbid medical conditions. This makes suicide risk identification difficult. (more…)

Rising Rates of Injury From Falls

Not a day goes by that an executive director isn’t dealing with or thinking about falls within the community. The dangers are real. The number of people over 65 who died after a fall reached nearly 24,000 in 2012, the most recent year for which fatality numbers are available — almost double the number 10 years earlier according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (more…)

Shingles (herpes zoster)

Shingles is a condition many assisted living providers are coping with as part of resident care. It is a painful, blistering skin rash due to the varicella-zoster virus – the same virus that causes chickenpox. It is most common among 60- to 80-year-olds. Fifty percent of all Americans will have had shingles by the time they are 80. Early signs of shingles include burning or shooting pain and tingling or itching, usually on one side of the body or face near the area where the rash is developing. This may happen anywhere from 1 to 5 days before the rash appears. The rash forms blisters that typically scab over in 7–10 days. The virus is spread through direct contact with the blister fluid itself. (more…)

Licensing thinks your understaffed?

From time to time, even the best communities may be accused of being “understaffed”. Sometimes it is families with unrealistic expectations of care, other times it can be a surveyor or even disgruntled employee making negative comments. It can be frustrating for good providers to “prove” staffing is adequate. Of course, there are formulas and most service planning programs will estimate FTEs, but often a surveyor may want more confirmation of adequate staffing. (more…)

Regulatory compliance implications with emar

The use of electronic MARs is growing exponentially in assisted living.   EMARs have demonstrated improvement in efficiency as well as medication safety.  Many providers are touting  17 percent or more improved efficiency when using EMAR.  While the benefits of moving away from paper mar are many, providers must take certain steps to ensure compliance. (more…)

Screening for Alcohol Abuse

It is a standard of care, before a resident moves into an Assisted Living Community to perform a variety of assessments.  Communities verify diagnosis, medications, ability to perform ADLs as well as review social interests.  Often overlooked is screening for alcohol abuse. (more…)

Action Steps for Change in Condition

Assisted Living communities are at high risk when a resident has a significant change in condition.  This change could include a pressure sore, cessation or decrease in eating or drinking,  immobility or weakness, change in mental status, just to name a few.  Calling the family to notify of a change in condition is important, but not enough. (more…)

Is your Med Program Ready for the October 6 Change?

Effective October 6, 2014 The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency is reclassifying  Hydrocodone combination products or HCPs from the more permissive Schedule III to a Schedule II drug.    Examples include Norco, Vicodin and Lortab. Hydrocodone plus acetaminophen is the most widely prescribed drug in the country since 2007.  This will impact assisting living.  As a schedule III, hydrocodone products could be faxed or orally communicated from the physician to the pharmacy.  This is no longer the case.  A written prescription must be presented to the pharmacy.  Refilling these meds is going to be more of a challenge.  What  can we do for this change? (more…)