A new report from the AARP reveals that by the year 2030, America will be facing a shortage of caregivers for older people, due to the aging of the baby boomers, the fact that they themselves had fewer children than previous generations, increased longevity and other factors. Read the story
It’s a wake-up call for aging boomers...We’re really moving toward an uncertain future as . . . relying on our family and friends to provide long-term care isn’t going to be realistic anymore -- Lynn Feinberg, a senior strategic policy adviser at the AARP Public Policy Institute and an author of the report.
Accountable Care Organizations could play a huge role in healthcare reform, and though many have heard the acronym, they don't know exactly what an ACO is, how they are paid or why they could benefit the healthcare environment. Read the story
Kindred Healthcare Hospital Division’s Case Management mentoring program in the West Region follows these credos. The program began in 2010 for new MSN-level registered nurse case manager graduates from Samuel Merritt University in Oakland and Sacramento, CA, and has recently been extended to bedside nurses who wish to transition into the case management field. To foster the growth, development and mentoring of existing Kindred employees, academic partnerships with nursing training programs have also been developed between Kindred, the University of Phoenix and its nationwide campuses and online programs, and American Sentinel University online programs in Aurora, CO. These partnerships offer tuition reductions and other benefits to Kindred employees.
Both of these opportunities for mentoring facilitate a pipeline of eager students and recent grads, ready for the nurturing, growth, and development that strong mentoring supports.
A review of studies, published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, suggests that there are not enough doctors trained to treat chronic pain, despite the fact that pain is the most common reason patients see physicians. Read the story
...for every medical specialist in pain, there are 28,500 people who experience chronic pain -- Among Study Findings
A team of sociologists is reporting in the American Journal of Public Health that excess body weight may be to blame for almost 20 percent of premature deaths that took place between 1986 and 2006, and this trend may be countering another trend toward lengthening lifespans for younger Americans. Read the story
Some 88 percent of Massachusetts hospitals that accept Medicare payments were hit with penalties for CMS-deemed unnecessary readmissions in 2012, but some argue that the system is flawed and penalizes hospitals for some things that are out of their control. Read the story
In recent weeks, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued several final regulations that included Medicare payment updates for fiscal year 2014, which begins on October 1, 2013. Three of the final rules addressed updates to the long-term acute care hospital, inpatient rehabilitation facility and skilled nursing facility prospective payment systems (PPS).
Long-Term Acute Care Hospital FY 2014 Update
In the final LTAC hospital payment update, CMS announced that for fiscal year 2014 Medicare payments will increase by 1.3 percent, which includes a 2.5 percent market basket update offset by outlier payments, the second installment of the budget neutrality adjustment, and productivity adjustments.
The rule also included several regulatory changes including the full implementation of the 25% Rule beginning on October 1, 2013 and new measures that will be added to the LTAC hospital Quality Reporting program in FY 2017 and FY 2018.
A recent study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows a link between higher blood sugar levels and risk for developing dementia, even in the absence of diabetes, which is known to put people at higher risk for dementia. Read the story
The results of this study indicate that controlling blood sugar levels may be a means for lowering Alzheimer’s risk.
A new study, published in the journal Neurology, has found that two cups of hot cocoa per day may be just what the doctor ordered for aging brains. The chocolate appeared to increase blood flow in the brains of the study participants who had impaired blood flow to start, a risk factor for Alzheimer's.
USA Today, the National Council on Aging and United Healthcare have pulled together some data that provide insight into Americans' feelings about how prepared the country is for a booming population of seniors. See the data
In observance of Cataract Awareness Month, we wanted to create a blog post about, well, cataracts – what they are, who gets them, and how they are treated. It turns out there is a ton of information on the Web about cataracts, which is a good thing, and much of it comes from highly reputable sources, such as the doctors who treat cataracts. And quite a few other people have blogged about cataracts, so we decided we would share some of the interesting things we found.
First things first. What are cataracts? A cataract forms when the lens, which sits in the eye behind the iris (the colored part), gets cloudy, causing blurred vision. This happens as we age. Cataracts are also the most common cause of reversible blindness in the world.
Kindred Healthcare offers multiple resources for nurses to become stronger in their field.
“We are serious about developing our people. Part of our nurse leadership efforts includes bringing our Chief Clinical Officers and our Directors of Nursing Services to the Support Center. They spend an intensive week getting management and leadership training to bolster their skills,” said Matt Hennecke, Senior Director of Leadership Development at Kindred.
Kindred is training nurses in healthcare skills and preparing nurses for management roles as well. “We have recently launched and are continuing to develop Kindred University. It is an attempt to develop people throughout the organization not only with professional and technical skills but interpersonal, managerial and leadership skills as well,” said Hennecke.
Medicare is set to impose $227 million in fines against hospitals in every state but one as avoidable readmissions continue to be penalized. Read the story
A study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, has found that patients who take calcium-channel blockers to treat high blood pressure may be at increased risk for developing breast cancer. Other types of blood pressure medications did not appear to be linked. Read the story
The AARP has created two Web sites designed to provide seniors with information about the Affordable Care Act, how it works and what benefits it offers. Read the story
It's not about the politics...It's about my life and what this means to me -- AARP Vice President Nicole Duritz
Washington Post Wonkblogger Sarah Kliff draws a link between Republican votes against healthcare reform, and the media attention that follows. Read the blog
Kindred’s Transitional Care Hospitals play a vital role in the recovery process for the sickest and most medically complex patients who require aggressive medical care and rehabilitation over a longer period of time. For patients who have complex ventilator needs, multi-organ system failure or complicated medical problems that are very difficult to treat, transitional care hospitals may represent the first important step necessary to make recovery and return home possible.
These hospitals are licensed as general acute hospitals, often featuring such familiar elements as Intensive Care Units (ICUs), operating rooms and on-site laboratory and radiology services, but they also are distinguished by an additional Medicare certification that recognizes the need for extended recovery periods.
As Vice President of Physician and Medical Development for Kindred Healthcare’s Nursing Center Division, Dr. Sally Brooks is well versed in the challenges of caring for seniors. But when it came time to select a nursing center for her own parents, she found herself facing new challenges. She told her story recently in an article on caring.com, and here are some of the main points.
"Over the years I watched families being thrust suddenly into these decisions, so a couple of years before I moved my parents, I toured a few facilities and found one near my home," says Brooks. "However, my grand plan did not work perfectly, because when the time came to make the move, the facility I liked had no vacancies, so I still had to do research with the help of a social worker to find another place for them near me."
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