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ANOTHER VIEWPOINT: Nursing home reform is too late


The timing was wrong.

That was the explanation offered by state Sen. Ed Charbonneau after he effectively killed a bill that would have brought much-needed oversight to Indiana’s nursing home industry.

Charbonneau, a Republican from Valparaiso, is chairman of the Senate Committee on Health Services and Providers. That committee had scheduled a hearing on Senate Bill 405, a measure that would have revealed for the first time exactly how much federal money county hospitals are siphoning off from their nursing homes and how much hospital executives have personally. benefited.

The bill would also have required the Indiana Department of Health to establish new quality measures for nursing homes, and it would have prohibited retaliation against whistleblowers for exposing wrongdoing in healthcare facilities. .

It was, in other words, exactly the kind of legislative reform that the proponents of reform demanded of the Legislative Assembly.

But just before the scheduled hearing, Charbonneau took the bill off the schedule.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Fady Qaddoura, a Democrat from Indianapolis, said he learned of the president’s decision just moments before the hearing.

“I’m disappointed it was taken off the schedule because it’s a critical issue,” he told The Indianapolis Star. “In my view, if it’s public funds, we should mandate public disclosure.”

An Indianapolis Star investigation found that at least $1 billion in federal funds had been diverted from Indiana nursing homes for other purposes, such as hospital construction projects. The newspaper found that millions more had been lost to fraud.

The money came from a Medicaid program intended to improve care for nursing home residents, but The Star found that county hospitals had exploited loose state and federal rules that allowed them to use much of the money. money to optimize the results of their hospitals.

Meanwhile, Indiana nursing homes are among the least staffed in the country, and Qaddoura pointed out that they are also among the best funded. It makes sense that a fiscally conservative state like Indiana insists on knowing where all that money is going.

Could the legislature’s inaction have something to do with the fact that the industry trade group, the Indiana Health Care Association, is among the top five lobbying spenders in the General Assembly? Surely it’s just a coincidence. So have the millions of dollars that nursing home interests have spent on political campaigns.

Charbonneau made a telling comment after killing Bill.

“What they’re doing is perfectly legal,” he told The Indianapolis Star.

This, of course, is exactly why proponents of reform are calling for a change in Indiana law.

When will the timing finally be right? Hoosiers are tired of waiting.

New online training covers financial management for skilled nursing facilities

The American Health Care Association launched the Revenue Cycle Management Academy on Monday, offering an interdisciplinary approach to revenue management education for skilled nursing facilities.

The program is aimed at billing and accounts receivable staff, staff with revenue cycle management roles, and administrators.

“AHCA has developed Revenue Cycle Management Academy as a tool during this [workforce shortages and increasing operation costs] crisis,” AHCA/NCAL Senior Vice President of Reimbursement Policy Mike Cheek told AHCA’s Provider magazine.

Cheek said that “although the academy is not a silver bullet”, the Facility Revenue Management training provides information on financial management strategies such as how to create internal controls, policies and procedures to secure reimbursements. Students will learn how to submit claims, follow up with third parties, obtain pre-approval, and navigate managed care appeal processes. Lessons will also cover the attributes of high-performing teams, systems for ensuring correct and timely payment, and best practices for managing all sources of payment to maximize revenue and minimize avoidable losses.

Short videos will showcase the experiences of vendors running effective revenue cycle management programs, and webinars and additional resources will be developed throughout the year, according to the AHCA.
The course costs $350 for AHCA members and $650 for non-members. The course is approved by the National Association of Long Term Care Boards for 6.75 continuing education credits.

Lamont Proposes Legislation to Expand Access to Health Care and Address Staffing Shortages | Connecticut

(The Center Square) – Citing health care as a human right, Gov. Ned Lamont said he introduced a comprehensive set of laws aimed at improving the health of state residents while reducing costs.

The governor announcement the 72 million dollars package which is designed to expand access to health care while tackling the staffing shortage affecting the industry.

“Health care is a human right that too many Connecticut residents struggle to afford,” Lamont said in a press release. “Last year, our bipartisan budget created Covered Connecticut to provide nearly 40,000 more people with free health care through Access Health CT, which also offers great savings on health care for everyone. While subsidies are helpful, we also need to address the high and rising underlying costs of care.

“That’s why I’m proposing legislation to make pricing more transparent, safely re-import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada, and cap exorbitant prescription drug prices here at home.” Three in ten Americans say they are cutting pills in half, skipping doses, or swapping drugs to save money — with the help of the legislature, that’s stopping now.

According to the release, the legislation would aim to codify cost and quality criteria for health care by increasing price transparency and reducing prescription drug costs. The legislation would cap the manufacturer’s annual price increase at a maximum of inflation plus 2%. In addition, it would authorize the Ministry of Consumer Protection to supervise the importation of Canadian drugs at a lower cost.

The legislation, the statement said, would establish primary care spending targets by putting information about health care providers on insurance cards, and direct companies to adopt health improvement programs. Residents would then have access to health care that mirrors programs open to state employees that offer lower premiums and financial incentives to those who perform free screenings recommended by the U.S. Task Force on Preventive Services.

According to the release, the legislation would grant rate increases to adult dental and family planning services designed to expand the Medicaid network and adopt a pair of interstate professional licensing pacts to address paperwork issues for doctors and psychologists. .

The legislation would invest $35 million to expand education and training opportunities for nurses and mental health care providers and invest an additional $20 million in financial aid for nursing and mental health students. It would also include a $17 million investment in student loan forgiveness programs.

According to the release, the governor’s budget adjustments would allocate $100 million in federal taxpayer dollars to expand mental health services across the state to help adults and children cope with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 19.

CMS releases data on nursing home residents and staff reinforcements


As nursing homes work to update residents and staff on their COVID-19 vaccines, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Wednesday that it will post reminder data on its site. Web Care Compare.

In addition to resident and staff recall rates at the facility level, the site will offer insight into state and national averages, according to a news release.

According to CMS data as of Jan. 23, about 66.8% of nursing home residents nationwide have received their booster shots, compared to 31.8% of staff.

The percentage of boosted residents essentially matches the percentage of boosted adults over the age of 65 at 66%, according to the latest COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Immunization and booster data posted on Care Compare is updated every other Thursday with the most recent data available, according to the release.

The announcement follows the government agency’s decision to post staff turnover and weekend staffing levels for nursing homes on the same Medicare website.

CMS also said the squads would be used in its five-star rating system from July.

Along with these updates, nursing homes are also increasing their staff vaccination rates in line with the Biden administration’s healthcare worker mandate.

The mandate issued by CMS, initially focused only on nursing homes, requires any health care facility that receives reimbursement from Medicaid and Medicare to have fully immunized staff.

Nursing homes in states that have challenged the federal requirement in court have until March 15 to have their staff fully vaccinated, while facilities in states that were not part of the lawsuit to block the mandate have a deadline of February 28.

A memo later sent by the agency gave facilities increased flexibility for operators with widely varying vaccination statistics.

If care homes achieve the agency’s 80% and 90% staff vaccination rate milestones within 30 and 60 days, respectively, they effectively have 90 days to come into full compliance with the CMS mandate. .

Encourage vaccinations in skilled nursing facilities

Vaccination coverage is increasingly an obstacle around the world. From inequity to hesitation, we are working to get people vaccinated against COVID-19. The United States in particular has struggled with the COVID-19 vaccination despite strong major surges.

SNFs in particular are an extremely vulnerable space in which patients and employees have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, SNF residents and staff account for 4% of COVID-19 cases and 31% of deaths in the United States in June 2021.

Despite the impressive effectiveness of these vaccines, it often remains difficult to increase vaccination rates. To increase these rates, a randomized clinical trial of 133 SNFs was performed. The research team included 7,496 residents and nearly 18,000 staff. In this trial, over 81% of residents and 53.7% of staff were vaccinated in this trial, which included a 3-month campaign to encourage vaccination.

The research team shared that through the Pharmaceutical Partnership Program (PPP), they were able to collect data on 4 healthcare systems in 16 states. The interventions were each identified at the facility level and included “(1) educational materials and electronic messages for staff; (2) town hall meetings with front-line staff (nurses, orderlies, dietitian, housekeeping); (3) messages from community leaders; (4) giveaways (eg, t-shirts) with socially-concerned messages; (5) use of a specialist to facilitate consent with resident proxies; and (6) funds for additional staff/resident COVID-19 testing.

The goal, of course, of the study was to increase vaccination rates, but the research team referred to the study results as a proportion of residents and staff who received the vaccine, which means a binary result. A detailed breakdown of resident and facility staff noted that “most facilities were for-profit (95; 71.4%) and 1,973 (26.3%) of residents were black. Among residents, 82.5% (95% CI, 81.2% to 83.7%) were vaccinated in the intervention arm compared to 79.8% (95% CI, 78.5% to 81.0%) in the usual care arm (marginal difference 0.8%; 95% CI, -1.9% to 3.7%). Among staff, 49.5% (95% CI, 48.4% to 50.6%) were vaccinated in the intervention group, compared with 47.9% (95% CI, 46.9% to 48.9%) in the usual care group (marginal difference: -0.4%; 95% CI, -4.2% to 3.1%). There was no association of race with the outcome among residents.

Although this vaccination campaign did not quite have the desired result that the research team would have liked, fortunately vaccination rates were high among SNF residents. Vaccination rates among healthcare workers, however, remain a significant challenge. It was reported that just prior to this study (December 2021 to March 2021), approximately 1/3 of healthcare workers in the United States were fully vaccinated. This is deeply concerning and a likely indication of why many hospitals have chosen to mandate vaccines for their healthcare workers. Ultimately, however, we can learn a lot from this study – what works, what doesn’t, and the important work of addressing vaccine hesitancy among healthcare workers, in which we need to invest resources. Easily among the most exposed and vulnerable populations, healthcare workers need to be protected against vaccine-preventable diseases, which in part involves tackling hesitancy and access.

Health care staffing shortages are hurting everyone | Editorials

The shortage of healthcare workers has gone from a looming emergency to a full-fledged crisis, especially in states like New Mexico, where there were already understaffed.

Sustained intervention to recruit, train and retain the men and women who do the work of keeping others healthy is needed. Unfortunately, that is not what is happening in this session of the Legislative Assembly. The proposals being considered are well-intentioned but likely fall into the too little, too late category.

In a recent interview, Pamela Blackwell of the New Mexico Hospital Association said new mexican journalist Robert Nott, there are “no comprehensive bills that would effectively address the shortage of health professionals“.

And what a shortage.

A 2020 legislative report said New Mexico needed an additional 6,223 registered nurses. This number likely increased due to the pandemic, when nurses became overworked and overworked. Experts say it will take years to close the gap with current enrollment numbers.

Another report released in August showed that nursing is just one area where New Mexico lacks healthcare workers.

He cited a gap of 328 primary care physicians, 238 certified nurse practitioners, 249 physician assistants, 524 physicals, 2,510 emergency medical technicians, 521 pharmacists and 117 psychiatrists.

Anyone who’s tried to get an appointment for a routine checkup or find a new primary care doctor knows this to be true. A shortage of caregivers will make a state where people have many health complications – obesity, diabetes, heart problems – even sicker. Routine care helps prevent problems down the line. This care is suffering both from the pandemic and from the lack of doctors, nurses and other staff who are often just as important.

With more than half of the session over, it is likely that the overall plan to resolve the staffing crisis will be postponed for a year.

Rather than wasting months by 2023, we suggest developing solutions that legislation can address. Use the research expertise of the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, and community colleges. Ask local doctors what they need. Bring in hospital executives for their solutions.

It’s been done before: One of New Mexico’s great successes during the pandemic was the building of the team that brought together key medical institutions to triage the Covid-19 problem and act in a motivated and coordinated manner.

Everyone agrees that the state lacks training programs, facilities, and even the most basic need – nurse educators. Senate Bill 40, sponsored by State Sen. Liz Stefanics, D-Cerrillos, seeks $15 million to boost nursing school programs. The problem is that it takes years for such investments to pay off, however necessary they may be.

More immediate results could be achieved by allowing out-of-state registered nurses to work more quickly in New Mexico, streamlining a process that currently takes months. This legislation must pass this session.

Another bill would allocate $750,000 to help nurses pay student loans; other bills would extend a $5,000 tax credit for rural health professionals to chiropractors, midwives and practitioners of oriental medicine who work in remote communities.

None of these proposals are bad – but they are not bold enough to respond to the moment.

If there is a shortage of nurse educators, could retired or exhausted nurses leaving the profession find a new way to serve by teaching?

If public institutions cannot produce enough nurses, why not pay for out-of-state nursing education, with the requirement that new nurses return home or reimburse their tuition?

Can nurses be recruited from out of state, with student loan forgiveness, housing incentives, or bonuses designed to attract them?

How can federal dollars and dollars be used to help underwrite costs for travel or foreign nurses to work here, providing a more immediate but increasingly costly solution to the staffing crisis?

What other ideas might work? We need to hear from the medical community telling us what they need.

Solving this shortage of medical personnel will not happen overnight. But unless the state examines the situation comprehensively, the same shortages – only exacerbated – will return to us in five years.

Omicron wave devastates US nursing home residents and staff


COVID-19 infections and deaths among nursing home residents and staff took a terrible toll last month according to the latest health data. In the week ending Jan. 23, there were 42,584 resident cases, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That number surpassed the record set during last winter’s surge, when vaccines were just beginning to become available.

Retirement home in King County, Washington. (AP Photo/Ted Warren)

The number of resident deaths has been rising weekly for the past month, with 1,298 people dying from the virus in the week ending January 23. However, that figure is down from 4,100 deaths reported in the same week from a year ago, according to the CDC.

Nevertheless, the latest figures show how the highly contagious variant of Omicron has hit the at-risk group of nursing home residents and staff with another preventable wave of infections and deaths.

In the week ending Jan. 9, there were more than 32,000 cases of COVID-19 among nursing home residents, with 645 deaths, a sevenfold increase from just a month ago. earlier and a 47% increase in deaths. Among staff, there were 57,000 cases in the same week, a 10-fold increase from the previous month.

These figures follow a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which revealed that more than 200,000 residents and staff of long-term care facilities have died since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, representing at least least 23% of all COVID-19 deaths in the United States.

Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and senior fellow with the Federation of American Scientists, told The Associated Press as cases spiked in mid-January: “We need to build a Fort Knox around protecting homes from retire, but we don’t. this right now, and that’s why the cases are increasing,” adding, “We are going to have an exponential number of hospitalizations and deaths.

Vaccinations have saved lives and prevented even deadlier outbreaks in long-term care homes, with recent tolls dwarfed by horrific records set in December 2020, when 6,200 deaths were recorded in a week.

According to the CDC, 87% of nursing home residents have been fully vaccinated, with 63% receiving a booster shot. The number of fully vaccinated employees is 83%, of which 29% have their boosters. The US Supreme Court recently upheld a Biden administration mandate requiring most healthcare workers to get vaccinated.

Breakthrough infections are still happening, despite vaccines and safeguards such as social distancing and increased testing. The Webster at Rye nursing home in New Hampshire was hit by an outbreak in late November as its staff and residents were 100% vaccinated, although many were unboosted and awaiting their shots. Six residents died from it while dozens more were infected, including 20 staff members.

Nursing home residents are also facing longer wait times for COVID-19 test results. Slower response times for laboratory PCR tests and a shortage of rapid antigen tests have severely limited the ability to quickly identify outbreaks and quarantine individuals.

A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis of data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services found that 25% of nursing homes that sent tests to a lab waited an average of three days or more for results in January. A month earlier, this figure was only 12%.

Long waits for test results render them virtually useless according to health officials, forcing many nursing homes to rely on rapid antigen tests. However, these have been compounded by shortages that further strain efforts to contain Omicron in nursing homes. Experts point out that any delay in testing means outbreaks can appear undetected, and breakthrough infections in older people appear to cause more severe symptoms.

The Biden administration is sending 1 billion rapid COVID tests to households and 2.5 million more tests every week, but health experts say that’s not enough. A January survey by LeadingAge, which lobbies for nonprofit nursing homes and other care for the elderly, found that 76% of nursing homes had adequate testing supplies, but the replenishment of supplies was becoming more difficult. The American Health Care Association estimates nursing homes need 5 million tests a week.

Rising COVID-19 cases among nursing home residents and staff have also caused a shortage of admissions, creating a backlog of patients stuck in hospitals. Normally hospitals would offload patients into residential care, but the rise of Omicron has meant these facilities have seen many staff fall ill and unable to transfer new patients.

Staff shortages in nursing homes have included 234,000 carers leaving their profession during the pandemic, a reduction of 15%. At one point during the pandemic, health care work was listed as America’s most dangerous occupation, according to death rates. These working conditions and shortages led Wisconsin to train 200 National Guard members to work as health care aides.

Nursing homes have struggled with understaffing for decades even before the pandemic. Many workers rightly feared they could bring the coronavirus back to their families, while others struggled to care for children due to school and daycare closures. Many have fallen ill or died, or simply moved on to less dangerous and better paying jobs.

Nursing home admissions are still not at pre-pandemic levels, with some patients delaying procedures, such as hip replacements, because it would mean staying in a nursing home or in a declining facility. Many were also rightly concerned about the high rates of death and illness in nursing homes as well as the isolation and loneliness.

Residents also complain of substandard care in their facilities, such as not being changed or not receiving meals on time. Laurie Facciarossa Brewer, New Jersey’s long-term care ombudsman, told NPR that her office has received complaints that one nurse is caring for more than 50 residents at facilities, when the normal ratio should be one certified practical nurse for every eight residents. the day shift. New Jersey has also deployed National Guard units to assist nursing homes with labor shortages.

Many nursing homes have been forced to close or close wings of their facilities and reduce the number of new patients they accept, further exacerbating pressures on hospitals and key carers.

The average length of stay in a hospital for patients discharged to a nursing facility has increased by 21% in the past month compared to 2019, according to Careport, a company that connects patients from hospitals to long-term care facilities. duration. The average hospital stay for patients transferred to home care agencies, which also face labor shortages, also rose 14% over the same period.

Crowdfunding for health is not a real safety net

People in states with higher medical debt and lower insurance coverage rates are more likely to try to raise money for health care through crowdfunding, but less likely to be successful, the research found.

This so-called safety net is not really one, say the researchers.

“We tend to think that crowdfunding can help anyone in difficult times, but this data really indicates that where people need the most help paying for health care, crowdfunding provides the less help,” says Nora Kenworthy, associate professor of nursing. and health studies at the University of Washington, Bothell.

“Relying on market-based solutions only worsens already significant health inequalities.”

For study in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers collected data from more than 437,000 GoFundMe campaigns over a five-year period and analyzed county- and state-level crowdfunding usage and results. Using census data and other information, Kenworthy and co-author Mark Igra, a graduate student in sociology, estimated the number of campaigns launched, and the amount of money they raised, in areas with higher or lower income, with medical debt and health insurance coverage. .

The researchers explored different angles of crowdfunding: who uses it, where they live and how successful their campaigns are. Last year, Igra and Kenworthy focused on crowdfunding during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic and found that campaigns were more successful in wealthier, more educated communities, a trend they attributed not only to the financial resources available in these communities, but also to potentially broader and richer social networks. Igra and Kenworthy also found that 90% of campaigns, regardless of location, failed to achieve their goals.

For this study, the researchers wanted to examine medical crowdfunding and the extent to which it helps people who are struggling to pay for health care in the United States. On GoFundMe, which has the majority of the crowdfunding market in the United States, more than a third of the campaigns are related to health care. GoFundMe reports that more than 250,000 campaigns to fund medical needs are launched each year, raising more than $650 million. The study gathered one of the largest publicly available datasets of GoFundMe campaigns over the past few years, from 2016 to 2020, and demonstrated that more campaigns were launched in low-income and underprivileged communities. -insured, but campaigns in more affluent communities with higher rates of insurance coverage bring in significantly more money. Among other discoveries:

  • Over that five-year span, GoFundMe’s 437,596 campaigns in the medicine, disease, and cure category raised more than $2 billion, with the median campaign earning just under $2,000.
  • During this period, 16% of campaigns did not generate anything, while less than 12% reached their goal.
  • The median number of donations and returns has been declining over time, reaching its lowest level in 2020.
  • In 2020, just under 18% of campaigns were launched in areas with the highest household incomes (between $73,000 and $130,000), but accounted for more than a quarter of total money collection.
  • That same year, 20% of campaigns were launched in the lowest revenue bracket ($19,000 to $47,000), representing 12% of total revenue. This represents less than half of the income of the high income bracket.

Likewise, there were more campaigns in states with higher percentages of people with medical debt and no insurance. These campaigns raised less money than campaigns in other states. Mississippi, for example, has the highest percentage of the population with medical debt and is among the highest in percentage uninsured, but crowdfunding campaigns there have raised the least money of the 50 states.

Looking at data from 2020, the latest full year available, the researchers say one statistic stands out: 33.8% of campaigns went unfunded. The percentage varied so much from that of previous years, when the share ranged from 0 to 4%, that researchers believe the pandemic alone was not the cause. On the contrary, it seems that the most successful campaigns stay on the website longer, and data from previous years may therefore overrepresent successful campaigns. Additionally, unfunded campaigns appear to be removed from the site, either by the campaign creators or the website moderators, after one year, according to the researchers.

“Because the campaigns people see on social media are almost always the small, widely shared subset, audiences may feel like crowdfunding has a greater chance of succeeding than it actually does” , says Igra.

Greater transparency from all crowdfunding companies would allow for more research and policy-making that could help address the very needs that crowdfunding claims to address, the researchers say. As thousands of people turn to crowdfunding to pay their medical bills, the study’s findings point to a more equitable and comprehensive solution: better health insurance coverage and social assistance programs.

“Relying on market-based solutions only worsens already significant health inequalities. This research underscores the need for broader safety net programs that provide assistance to all who need it,” Kenworthy said.

Funding for the research came from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, through the Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology at UW.

Source: University of Washington

Status: More than 20 new coronavirus outbreaks in Guilford nursing facilities | News

Brookdale High Point North Assisted Living: three staff and three residents. A previous outbreak involving a staff member and a resident was declared over in Tuesday’s report.

Brookdale Lawndale Park: eight staff, two residents. A spokesperson for Brookdale Senior Living, which owns the High Point North and Lawndale Park facilities, said the state information was “a bit dated” and that there were no cases of COVID- 19 active in either community. “We continue to prioritize the health and well-being of our residents and associates as we persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic,” spokesperson Taylor Ellis said.

Guilford House: one staff member, three residents. In an email, Guilford House said residents tested positive between January 12 and January 26, and a member of staff tested positive on January 20. All were asymptomatic and the staff member has since returned to work.

“The community is continuing all prevention efforts, including weekly testing, screening, disinfecting and masking,” said executive director Barbara Woodard, noting that all staff and residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19. . “Our top priority will always be the health and well-being of our residents and staff.”

Harmony House: five staff, five residents. Harmony House officials said the facility’s last positive case was about three weeks ago. “Given what we’ve all been through over the past two years and given that we currently have no cases, I think that says a lot about our efforts,” spokesman Mark Hubbard said.

HSE steps up review of carer’s rape of care home resident


A review by the Health Service Executive (HSE) of the rape of a nursing home resident by a healthcare worker has been referred to the National Independent Review Panel (NIRP).

he victim, suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, was raped by the health worker at an HSE-run nursing home during the lockdown in April 2020.

A rally in support of healthcare workers takes place in London, Ontario. – London

Londoners had the opportunity to show their appreciation for healthcare workers on Saturday afternoon.

A Love is Better Than Hate rally was held on the sidewalks outside the Victoria Hospital campus from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“It was a good time to send some love to healthcare workers,” said rally organizer Dr. Abe Oudshoorn, associate professor of nursing at Western University.

Read more:

Internationally trained nurse shares her journey at London Health Sciences Center

Oudshoorn recalled watching the news last week about the truck convoy rolling through Ottawa.

“It’s too much, it’s too heavy… there’s something in the air and it’s not love, (so) now is the time,” he said. . “It’s been a while since we’ve shown this love, (so) let’s support our amazing healthcare workers.”

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Londoners were asked to sign to show their support and appreciation.

“We had a few nurses who came to thank us, (so) we had great support,” Oudshoorn said.

Londoners taking part in the Love is Better than Hate rally outside Victoria Hospital on February 5, 2022.

Scott Monich/980 CFPL

Read more:

Prince George Hospital drummers continue rally for health workers and COVID patients

Kristine, a retired healthcare worker, who did not reveal her last name, came to the rally to show her support.

“We are all tired, but we need to show them love as they continue to work on the front line under stressful health conditions.”

Attendees were asked to stay on sidewalks and not enter hospital property.

Masking and social distancing were in place.

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About 70 people attended the rally on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, London Police have closed Commissioners Road between Wellington Road and Adelaide Street due to a convoy which entered London early Saturday afternoon.

“It’s weird timing with the convoy,” Oudshoorn said. “We do our own thing, they do their own thing, and that’s not a problem I guess, it’s just weird,” he laughed.

Other road closures include Wellington Street between Dufferin and Central Avenues, and Dufferin Avenue between Wellington and Waterloo Streets.

– with files from Mike Stubbs of the 980 CFPL

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Vaccines have prevented deaths in nursing facilities

By Signals Staff

With high vaccination and booster rates of COVID-19, residents of skilled nursing facilities experienced a peak death rate that was more than five times lower during this winter surge compared to the previous winter surge, according to a statement released Friday by the LA County Public Health Department.

Also on Friday, public health reported 85 new deaths and 15,427 new positive cases of COVID-19, though 6,800 of those were attributed to late reporting by a single lab. And, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital reported three new deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths in hospital to 214 since the start of the pandemic.

HMNH reported that 43 patients remained hospitalized with COVID-19 and, to date, 2,085 patients have been treated and discharged.

On Friday, county officials attributed lower death rates at skilled nursing facilities to the effectiveness of vaccinations.

The latest public health data shows the seven-day average death rate for residents of skilled nursing facilities fell from 106 residents per 100,000 during the peak of the 2020-21 winter surge to 21 residents per 100,000 during the more recent Omicron peak – an 80% reduction, despite the peak seven-day average of new infections caused by the highly transmissible variant of Omicron, this surge was 15% higher than the peak infection rate during the previous winter outbreak.

“High levels of vaccination and booster coverage in skilled nursing facilities helped provide lifesaving protection,” public health officials said in a prepared statement.

For the week ending January 23, 91% of residents and 97% of staff were reported as fully vaccinated, and 85% of residents and 75% of staff were reported as both fully vaccinated and strengthened among people eligible. Since the call-back requirement for healthcare workers was announced at the end of December, the number of qualified staff in nursing facilities has increased by almost 50%.

“This essential layer of better coverage and protection with a booster dose has performed much better this surge compared to the previous winter,” the public health statement read.

The public health statement added that recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control showed that people who were both fully vaccinated and boosted had a 97 times lower death rate (0.1 individuals per 100,000) compared to compared to unvaccinated people (9.7 individuals per 100,000). .

“However, if we are to continue to bring our cases, hospitalizations and deaths closer to pre-surge levels, we will need to continue the common-sense protective measures that we know can slow the transmission of COVID-19.” , said the director of public health. said Barbara Ferrer. “These include wearing a mask when around other people until transmission is lower; test, if possible, before gathering with others, especially if gathering with high-risk people (including unvaccinated) or indoors or in a crowded outdoor location where masks are not always worn , and after being exposed to a positive case; stay home and away from others if you are sick or test positive; and get vaccinated and boosted if you’re not already up to date.

Of the 85 new deaths reported on Friday, one person was between the ages of 18 and 29, two were between the ages of 30 and 49, 17 were between the ages of 50 and 64, 27 were between the ages of 65 and 79, and 31 were 80 or older. Of the 85 newly reported deaths, 67 had underlying health conditions. To date, the total number of deaths in LA County is 29,280.

Public Health has reported a total of 2,710,362 positive cases of COVID-19 across all regions of LA County. As of Friday, 3,233 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized across the county. Test results are available for more than 11,148,900 people, including 22% of those who tested positive.

Nursing home group at odds with Pritzker over payments reform Capitolnewsillinois.com


Theresa Eagleson, director of the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services, speaks at an event in Springfield last year. The DHFS is proposing an overhaul of how nursing homes are funded in the state. (Capitol News Illinois photo by Jerry Nowicki)

Competing bills aim to improve staffing and quality of care

Illinois Capitol News

SPRINGFIELD — A political battle is brewing between Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration and a segment of the retirement home industry over a key part of the governor’s budget proposal, expanding the health care workforce of the condition, especially in long-term care facilities.

On Wednesday, Pritzker outlined a $45.4 billion budget plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1, which included several elements aimed at recruiting and retaining nurses and other healthcare workers, such as a increased funding for university scholarships and an increase in salaries.

But one of the biggest initiatives is a $500 million plan to overhaul how Medicaid pays for nursing home care to improve staffing levels and the quality of care residents receive.

The funding would come from an enhanced assessment of nursing facilities that would be used to leverage additional federal matching funds. The money would then be redistributed to these establishments in a way to reward those who increase their numbers to the recommended levels.

It’s called the “Patient-Oriented Payment Model,” or PDPM, and it was first developed in 2018 within Medicare, the federal healthcare program for seniors.

Now, the Illinois Department of Health and Family Services wants to adopt a similar model for the state’s Medicaid program, the joint state-federal program that provides health coverage to low-income individuals and families.

“For us, it’s all about access and quality of care for Medicaid recipients. That’s what it’s all about,” HFS Director Theresa Eagleson said in a recent interview.

Staffing incentives

Illinois stands out among all states for having the most understaffed nursing homes in the nation, according to the US Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This is measured by the federal government’s Personnel Time and Resource Intensity Verification System, or STRIVE. In 2021, 47 of the nation’s 100 least-staffed nursing facilities were located in Illinois.

The proposed new payment model would replace the current model known as the Resource Utilization Group System, or RUG. Under this system, facilities are reimbursed based on the level of care a resident requires. Medicaid pays more for residents who need higher levels of care, such as therapeutic services, than for those who don’t.

The problem, HFS officials say, is that nursing homes have found ways to categorize their residents as higher-need residents in order to get higher reimbursements without actually providing those higher levels of service, a a practice known as “overcoding”.

“Over time, facilities figure out how to maximize coding in these pricing methodology systems so they can get the most money for the residents they serve,” said Kelly Cunningham, Medicaid administrator for the facility. ‘State. “And so, in part, the feds moved to RUG’s PDPM because they recognized that this overcoding was happening, particularly on the side of medicare in therapy, which was very expensive, very lucrative for the facilities to code residents as requiring rehabilitation.

For the past two years, HFS has been negotiating with the nursing home industry and legislators on a new payment system and reached a conceptual agreement last fall. But they were unable to get it through the General Assembly in the fall veto session.

This year, HFS proposed Senate Bill 2995, sponsored by Sen. Ann Gillespie, D-Arlington Heights, who chairs a subcommittee on Medicaid funding.

He would ask HFS to develop a system of reimbursement through administrative rules in which residents of nursing homes would no longer be coded according to their level of acuity. Instead, facilities would receive a base rate of $85 to $90 per day for each patient, plus graduated “top-ups” as their staffing levels approach their STRIVE goals.

These add-ons would start at $9 per day for installs at 70% of their STRIVE goal and gradually increase to $38.68 for installs at 125% or more of their goal.

Industry opposition

Even combined with the higher ratings, most care homes would be winners under this plan. But the Health Care Council of Illinois, an association whose members are mostly for-profit nursing homes, says about 130 facilities would lose revenue under the plan, including 50 that would be at risk of having to close.

“And if that were the case, do we really want, as a state, to close 50 nursing homes, close the facility, move about 5,000 residents, maybe more, without any plan for where these residents would go,” HCCI Executive director Matt Pickering said in an interview.

In January, HCCI proposed an alternative plan, contained in Senate Bill 3116 and House Bill 4443.

It also calls for establishing a patient-centric payment model, but it would offer daily supplements even to facilities below 70% of the STRIVE target. It also calls for an “access to Medicaid” surcharge of $6 per additional day for large facilities where Medicaid residents make up 70% or more of their caseload.

Additionally, in developing this plan, HFS should report to a new Nursing Home Oversight Committee comprised of 12 members appointed by legislative leaders, with one member recommended by nursing home trade associations.

This committee should approve any changes to the payment system. The bill also provides for a two-year “exemption” period during which no EHPAD could see its reimbursements reduced.

Pickering said in an interview that HCCI members serve 60% of all Illinois Medicaid patients in long-term care, and in order for them to agree to pay a higher assessment rate, they insist on a higher extensive legislative oversight.

“We can’t agree to all of this unless it’s transparent, there’s accountability for everyone involved,” he said. “That’s what we can agree on. And you know, so far I have to say that I think the General Assembly, from the first indications, agrees with our position which should remain in the statute.

HFS Response

“I called this bill a distraction, and I think rightly so,” Eagleson said of the HCCI proposal. “On the one hand they say it’s critical, we’re at a critical stage, we need more money to pay staff, we need all those things. And on the other hand, they only delay.

HFS recently published an analysis of HCCI’s claim that 50 nursing homes would be pushed to the brink of closure under the agency’s plan and found that they were all for-profit facilities. with low staff and high percentages of Medicaid residents.

But comparing them to other for-profit facilities of a similar size, the analysis found that these 50 are currently “significantly more profitable” than other similar facilities and have significantly lower headcounts than their peers. peers.

“What we found was that the 50s were differentiated exactly by the goals of our reform, not by the Medicaid tax bracket that we’re offering, and really not by the use of Medicaid, because there’s a lot of higher Medicaid homes in the state that aren’t doing this,” said Andy Allison, director of HFS, who led the review.

Allison also said that HCCI’s prediction of the negative impacts of the reform was based on the assumption that these facilities would continue to operate as they are with low levels of staff and would not adapt to the new payment structure.

“We don’t think they will do anything. We think they’ll adapt like they always have,” Eagleson said. “They will either hire more staff or code appropriately or both, and thus have more revenue.”

Pickering said he couldn’t comment on the HFS analysis because he hadn’t seen the underlying data. But he said he believed a compromise would be reached during this session.

“We all know that this session is supposed to end on April 8,” he said. “I hope that compromise will come sooner rather than later. It’s hard for me to say, I don’t think anyone can say when that compromise might happen. But I think it will be sooner rather than later because really, the administration and all the nursing homes, not just HCCI, we are all under tremendous pressure to get this done.

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

GOP Reintroduces Crime Reduction Package; Pritzker touts public safety spending

US healthcare workers speak out as COVID-19 continues to fill ICUs and overwhelm hospitals

The unprecedented explosion of COVID-19 cases across the country this winter continues to strain all sectors of workers, including frontline healthcare workers. Overwhelmed by the cumulative toll of all previous outbreaks, exhausted healthcare workers talk about the conditions they face with the spread of the Omicron variant.

Registered nurse Kyanna Barboza, right, tends to a COVID-19 patient while Kobie Walsh, left, puts on his PPE at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Orange, California. [Credit: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, file]

The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States reached more than 75 million this week, with more than 18.6 million new infections reported in the past 28 days. According to Johns Hopkins University’s tally on Tuesday afternoon, the national death toll exceeded 888,000, while the Worldometer tracker shows deaths topped 920,000.

The number of patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 is just over 133,000, down from an all-time high of 159,400 on January 20, according to a seven-day average recorded by the Department of Health and Human Services. Social (HHS)

HHS data also shows that 80.32% of all intensive care beds in the United States were in use as of February 1. Of these beds, 29.18% were used for COVID-related patients. Oklahoma has the highest rate of intensive care beds in use, with 94.27%, with 45.06% of beds being used for COVID-19. ICU capacity is over 75% in 43 states.

That’s important, especially given a November Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report who used data from the delta surge to reveal that using intensive care beds at 75% capacity nationwide is associated with around 12,000 additional additional deaths two weeks later (with deaths four and six weeks later). Additionally, hospitals with 100% critical care bed capacity were associated with an additional 80,000 deaths over the following two weeks.

Although intensive care unit capacity is not a direct cause of excess deaths, it is an important indicator of overburdened hospitals. When intensive care beds are full, it affects every aspect of the hospital system, leading to ambulance diversion, supply limitations, staffing shortages, delays in care and overcrowding. For example, a lack of open critical care beds means that an entire hospital’s admissions process can slow down so much that emergency departments experience day-long waits.

Workers at Chicago’s Advocate Trinity Hospital recently described conditions in their emergency department (ED) to reporters at the Atlantic. The hospital’s emergency medical director, Michael Anderson, explained: ‘We had patients waiting with bacterial infections, surgical issues and so on. people who were sick to such a degree that we would never keep them waiting under normal conditions. He added that the hospital had never been so overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients at any other time during the pandemic.

In order to meet the needs of critically ill patients, the hospital’s emergency department has been forced to turn rooms into makeshift intensive care beds, further stretching the department’s staff and other resources. During one shift, Berenice Zavala, an emergency room nurse, told the Atlantic that they had a COVID patient go into cardiac arrest in the waiting room. She described how only four nurses were on duty that day, three of whom were traveling nurses on their first day on the job. Unable to properly resuscitate the patient, the patient died. Berenice said: “It really touched all of us. People blamed themselves. I have never worked under these conditions.

Studies have shown that high intensive care unit occupancy, ambulance diversions, and emergency room overcrowding all lead to worse outcomes such as medical errors, treatment delays, and increased mortality. ICU capacity is also affected by nursing shortages, as capacity is a measure of available staffed beds. It is common for hospitals to block beds across the hospital for staffing purposes.

An intensive care nurse at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio spoke anonymously to WSWS reporters. She has worked in a COVID intensive care unit since the start of the pandemic. “Right now we have three or four completely full intensive care units. It’s really bad. The nurses leave, just pouring out. Everyone is super burned. We are completely short-staffed. They bring [travel nurses] and close the beds.

She added: ‘And now they’re also bringing nurses back five days after a positive test, so it’s like we have a ton of sick nurses on the floor too! It’s becoming increasingly clear that they don’t care about us.

A Northern California nurse told the WSWS how overcrowding is affecting patients and workers in all areas of the hospital. “I don’t work on COVID soil but you can still feel the surge everywhere. On the one hand, we have sick nurses. One of my colleagues is in intensive care. The other aspect is that we are forced to keep really sick patients longer than we should because intensive care beds are hard to come by.

She continued: “On my last shift I had a patient, an elderly man, who was collapsing, needed more and more oxygen because he had probably aspirated. I called the crisis team and an ICU doctor came and approved my patient for ICU. But when I called them for a report, they said they weren’t ready. They had to move another patient out first to make room for mine, then clean the room. This meant that I suddenly had to become an intensive care nurse for my patient, which I am not trained to do, neglecting all my other patients. It was only a 20-30 minute delay, but it could have been the difference between life and death for this man.

Many hospitals, like the ChristianCare Health System in Wilmington, Delaware, are still operating at 99% capacity despite patient numbers dropping 33% in recent weeks.

As Dr. Ken Silverstein, chief medical officer of ChristianCare, which has three hospitals and more than 1,200 beds, said. CNBC, “There is nothing benign about what is happening in our hospitals and in our intensive care units, especially if you are unvaccinated or unboosted.” For the first time in the hospital’s 130-year history, the ChristianCare Health System was forced to implement “crisis care standards.”

The so-called “crisis care standards” refer to an extreme set of measures that allow hospitals to ration staff and resources. These standards are essentially legal protection for hospitals to deal with overflow situations, including the suspension of surgeries and preventive care. Before the pandemic, their implementation was rare, now they are increasingly common.

In hard-hit states like Texas, there are currently only 259 staffed intensive care beds left, 11 fewer than the previous record set by the Delta variant, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. With more than 13,330 Texans hospitalized with the virus, the state is nearing numbers not seen since the last surges in early 2021 and fall and summer 2020.

Bryan Alsip, chief medical officer at University Health in San Antonio, told the Texas Grandstand, “Due to the high level of transmission and infectivity of the Omicron variant, a large number of our employees are testing positive,” adding “We have been doing this for a long time now, almost two years. We are now experiencing our fourth major wave of these patients. It can get tiring.

It’s not just hospital workers who are affected by Omicron’s surge. Louise, a pharmacy cashier in California’s Central Valley, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, spoke to WSWS reporters about conditions at her Walgreens pharmacy. Pharmacy workers across the United States staged a nationwide strike in December to protest chronic understaffing, low wages and working conditions that put employee and patient safety at risk.

“We only have one technician right now,” Louise said. “We still have pharmacists because they float from store to store. Workers come on their day off because there is work piling up and they can’t get there.

Illustrating the added burden of providing vaccinations when staff are already short-staffed, Louise continued: “The injections we have to constantly administer are overwhelming. You can’t always hit. We used to be a 24 hour store, but now we sometimes have to close at 5 or 9 p.m. because of the staff. Many workers have already started looking for other jobs and are considering early retirement. As soon as you walk through the door and see this whole line of people, you feel drained. People are exhausted, people are tired. Technicians quit. We had three resignations on the same day in a store.

At the same time, the Biden administration continues to downplay the danger of COVID-19, in an effort to disarm any public resistance against the escalating campaign to lift all remaining restrictions and declare the deadly virus “endemic.” , a lie refuted by scientists.

Consistent with that strategy, new HHS guidance has “retired” its requirement that hospitals report COVID-19 deaths to it daily. The new policy was released on January 6 and went into effect on February 2. Many states across the country are also halting their contract-finding efforts.

New CDC guidelines in December halved the recommended isolation period for people infected with COVID-19, from 10 days to 5 days or even less for healthcare facilities experiencing severe staff shortages – a description which applies to virtually all hospitals, clinics and nursing homes. . In line with these national guidelines, the California Department of Health issued emergency guidelines last month that allow COVID-19 positive healthcare workers to return to work without any quarantine.

Governor Polis submits additional budget package to financially assist nursing facilities – State of Reform

Governor Jared Polis’ Office of State Planning and Budgeting, with assistance from the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), recently submitted a budget request package to the Budget Committee joint (JBC) to financially stabilize nursing facilities and aid workforce retention efforts.

According to Colin Laughlin, deputy director of the office of the Office of Community Life at the HCPF, many nursing care facilities, especially those accepting Medicaid patients, continue to have solvency issues. Much of this concern stems from their increased reliance on traveling nurses and their increasingly high salaries.

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The package includes two supplementary budget requests. The first request is for $20 million, which would provide “temporary payments to nursing facilities in fiscal year 2021-22 to support workforce and industry sustainability” according to an HCPF Press release. The $20 million includes $10 million from the state General Fund and $10 million from federal matching funds.

The second request is for $7 million, which would provide more funds for Medicaid-funded facilities to increase the salaries of workers similar to the salaries of those providing home and community care services (HCBS).

Nursing homes are grappling with the impact of the COVID-19-induced economic downturn while struggling to find and retain workers due to the current shortage of healthcare personnel,” said Kim Bimestefer, Executive Director of the HCPF. “This funding would provide financial support to care homes to help them better care for our seniors and people with disabilities in these settings.”

These additional requests were forwarded by JBC. The first will be integrated into the current budget for the 2021-2022 financial year and the second will be integrated into the next State budget for the 2022-2023 financial year.

Laughlin said nursing facilities are losing their permanent workforce, forcing agency workers to supplement those lost workers. This growing demand for agency workers is causing their wages and rates to rise dramatically, putting additional financial strain on facilities.

“Fewer people are able to do these jobs, and then there are the recruiting agencies creating cost issues,” Laughlin said. “We have to go get that money…and try to make sure that we can allocate it specifically to our Medicaid facilities to try to help them stabilize some of their staffing patterns.”

In nursing homes and HCBS, 2-4% of workers were travellers. That number has grown to more than 20%, Laughlin said. This is about four to five times the amount seen before the pandemic. He said this has led to an increase of around 600% in costs for workers like certified practical nurses (CNAs).

These additional funding envelopes would prevent many of these nursing homes from closing and improve access to nursing home care.

Laughlin said the HCPF will continue to listen to nursing facilities and help them gain greater financial flexibility so they can focus on providing the best care for their residents.

Status: More than 20 new coronavirus outbreaks in Guilford nursing facilities | Local

GREENSBORO — The number of COVID-19 outbreaks has increased significantly in Guilford County nursing facilities, according to public health officials.

More than 20 new coronavirus outbreaks are included in the weekly report released Tuesday by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. In at least half of these outbreaks, positive cases involved more staff members than residents.

That’s more than double the new outbreaks reported in Guilford County between Oct. 5 and Jan. 25. And nationally, COVID-19 infections among nursing home staff and residents have surpassed numbers from last winter’s surge, according to a report from Kaiser Health News, when the first doses of the vaccine were becoming available.

The increase is not unexpected. Local health officials warned in December that the particularly infectious omicron variant would spread rapidly through the community.

Adam Sholar, president and CEO of the North Carolina Health Care Facilities Association, a nonprofit trade group of skilled nursing facilities in the state, said in a statement that COVID-19 infections had a “major impact” on the personnel of certain facilities.

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“Like everyone else, we’ve seen a surge of positive cases following an increase in family gatherings over the holidays,” Sholar said. “Fortunately, we see that the number of cases is starting to decrease. Most nursing home residents who contract the virus have relatively mild symptoms. »

A COVID-19 outbreak is defined by the state as two or more laboratory-confirmed cases. State report numbers generally lag behind real-time cases and are considered preliminary and may change as more information is obtained.

According to the state report, the number of new outbreaks in nursing homes include:

Accordius Health in Greensboro: 11 staff and 12 residents. A spokeswoman said the facility currently has two active cases of COVID-19 among residents and two involving staff members. A previous outbreak involving three staff members and eight residents – including the deaths of two residents – was also declared over in Tuesday’s report. An outbreak is considered over if there is no evidence of continued transmission for the previous 28 days.

Ashton Health and Rehabilitation: 15 staff and five residents. NCDHHS officials said Wednesday that a previous outbreak involving 13 staff members and six residents, including the death of one resident, had been declared over.

Camden Health and Rehabilitation: 15 staff, 11 residents.

Carolina Pines in Greensboro: eight staff members, 14 residents.

Countryside Village: 12 staff, eight residents.

Greenhaven Health and Rehabilitation Centre: 20 staff, 13 residents.

Maple Grove Nursing & Rehabilitation Centre: one staff member, four residents.

River Landing at Sandy Ridge: 25 employees. State health officials said Wednesday that a previous outbreak involving three staff members and four residents, including the death of one resident, had been declared over.

The Shannon Gray Rehabilitation and Recovery Center: 27 staff, two residents.

WhiteStone: five staff and four residents. “As we have seen in the past, there is a lag between when these numbers are reported to NCDHHS and when they are made public,” executive director Mark Lewis said in an email. “Currently at WhiteStone we have three active COVID cases and they are all employees. We remain committed to the safety procedures we have put in place at WhiteStone, including screening everyone before entering the community, requiring staff and residents to continue to wear masks, and social distancing. in public places and to limit the size of our group activities.

In residential care facilities, new outbreaks have been reported at:

Brighton Gardens of Greensboro: 12 staff, one resident.

Brookdale High Point North Assisted Living: three staff and three residents. A previous outbreak involving a staff member and a resident was declared over in Tuesday’s report.

Brookdale Lawndale Park: eight staff, two residents. A spokesperson for Brookdale Senior Living, which owns the High Point North and Lawndale Park facilities, said the state information was “a bit dated” and that there were no cases of COVID- 19 active in either community. “We continue to prioritize the health and well-being of our residents and associates as we persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic,” spokesperson Taylor Ellis said.

Guilford House: one staff member, three residents. In an email, Guilford House said residents tested positive between January 12 and January 26, and a member of staff tested positive on January 20. All were asymptomatic and the staff member has since returned to work.

“The community is continuing all prevention efforts, including weekly testing, screening, disinfecting and masking,” said executive director Barbara Woodard, noting that all staff and residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19. . “Our top priority will always be the health and well-being of our residents and staff.”

Harmony House: five staff, five residents. Harmony House officials said the facility’s last positive case was about three weeks ago. “Given what we’ve all been through over the past two years and given that we currently have no cases, I think that says a lot about our efforts,” spokesman Mark Hubbard said.

Richland Place: nine staff, 22 residents.

The Arboretum at Heritage Greens: six staff, eight residents.

Verra Springs at Heritage Greens: four staff, five residents.

Wellington Oaks: four staff members and two residents. A spokeswoman for the facility said the residents tested positive on Jan. 7 while three staff members tested positive the week of Jan. 10 and one staff member tested positive on Jan. 20. All were back or released to return to work this week. “The community is continuing with mitigation efforts, including weekly testing, screening, disinfecting and masking,” spokeswoman Cigi Sparks said.

Port of Westchester: The state report contained two sets of numbers for this facility, which the NCDHHS found to be incorrect. The agency was checking the numbers and said it would update its report.

Tuesday’s status report also noted that a previous outbreak at Friends Homes in Guilford involving two staff members has been declared over.

In some facilities, cases of previously reported outbreaks have increased. These include:

Clapp Nursing Center: 13 additional cases among staff, for a total of 15, and one case involving a resident.

Friends Homes West: Seven new cases among staff and two previous cases involving residents.

Six other facilities have ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks, but their numbers have not changed from the previous week.

Contact Kenwyn Caranna at 336-373-7082 and follow @kcaranna on Twitter.

Opponents of Cumberland County nursing home sale have new focus for its proceeds


CARLISLE — A group of Cumberland County residents who fought hard against the sale of the county-owned retirement home to a private operator last year have a new mission, literally. They want proceeds from the county’s ongoing $22.3 million sale of the Claremont Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to be converted into a trust fund to improve existing services for the most needy seniors in the city. county.

The proposed “Claremont Mission Fund” is envisioned as a county-run, community-focused trust whose proceeds would be used exclusively to pay for the type of missions Claremont has traditionally carried out over its 193-year history.

Proponents say it could have a huge impact in the 21st century, providing better services for Medicaid-covered patients upon discharge from hospital; improving community services that help seniors stay in their homes; new workforce development programs aimed at ensuring a strong and deep pool of caregivers in the region.

“It’s kind of a long-term strategic thinking concept for health and elder care,” said proponent Rick Coplen. “One of the things I like to say when we think about government decisions is to think about the impact not just on people today, but on their children, their grandchildren. This does that.

The concept originated with members of Citizens Saving Claremont, the citizens’ group that rallied against the sale last year. But the members said yesterday they thought their new accent would be a positive outcome for everyone, and they demonstrated on Wednesday that they had already won the backing of at least one supporter of the Claremont sale.

Their idea borrows from a similar conversion of proceeds from the sale of the nonprofit Carlisle Hospital into nonprofit Partnerships for Better Health a generation ago. Under this proposal, however, the mission fund would remain under county control, with an advisory committee created to review and recommend potential expenditures on which the commissioners would have final say.

In a concept paper presented to commissioners at a county finance meeting on Wednesday, proponents explained their goals as follows:

“The funds would be invested and only a standard percentage of the fund balance would be used for the needs of the citizens of Cumberland County, which aligns with Claremont’s historic and current mission: to assist the county’s indigent residents and those who are aged and have need long term help. care, including housing, home care and other personal support services.

“…The intent would not be to replace Medicaid-funded services and allow the principal fund balance to grow over time.”

At Wednesday’s meeting, Barb Forney, the current president of the Friends of Claremont volunteer auxiliary group, presented the plan; Coplen, a retired army officer and current member of the Carlisle School Board; and Theresa Myers, a resident of Upper Mifflin Township who indicated she supported the sale of Claremont.

“Cumberland County is special, and I think part of that reason is that the county government, with you three leaders, has been innovative as well as good stewards of county money. But this idea, I strongly support it and I hope you will be open to it,” Myers said.

Cumberland commissioners voted 2-1 last July to sell Claremont to New Jersey-based Allaire Health Services after 10 months of negotiations.

Majority commissioners Gary Eichelberger and Vince DiFilippo argued at the time that Claremont had been losing money for years, causing its reserve funds to steadily dwindle to zero. The tipping point to sell the home was a projected financial shortfall of more than $2 million for 2021, the cost of which would have fallen on county ratepayers, they said.

This sale should be completed in the coming weeks.

Proponents of the new Claremont Mission Fund concept argue that now is the time to create this type of safe from the proceeds of the sale given the strong financial position of the county government. They point out in their position paper that the county currently has the highest possible bond rating, AAA, from Standard & Poor’s, and that at the end of 2019, Cumberland had an unrestricted fund balance of $45.2 million. dollars, well above generally accepted target levels. .

“Cumberland County is not in bad shape financially,” Forney said.

This means, according to the group in its concept paper, “there are no urgent competing needs for the windfall of revenue that the sale of Claremont will bring. In fact, the fastest growing county in Pennsylvania seems able to afford to dedicate these funds to continue to benefit the indigent and elderly in Cumberland County.

Commissioners said Wednesday they would take the proposal under advisement, and Foschi went so far as to say she believed the plan had merit.

But Eichelberger noted after the meeting that the net proceeds the county makes from the sale to Allaire will likely be less than the published purchase price. This is due, he said, to a variety of issues ranging from paying off any remaining debt associated with the home, to final resolution with Allaire regarding a pending fire code upgrade and even payment. unpaid bills incurred under county ownership but due after the transfer of ownership.

As hotly debated as the sale of Claremont was, there has been relatively little public discussion about the use of the product.

“As a rule, we don’t spend money we don’t have, so there hasn’t been a detailed review of what would happen to the sale proceeds,” Eichelberger said.

In a state where long-term demographic trends point to an older population with ever-growing needs for health care and other services, supporters of the Claremont Mission Fund say their proposal is a good start. .

“It’s very important that there is a way to continue to care for people who don’t have the money to pay for their care,” Forney said.

Ensign Group adds two skilled nursing facilities to

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif., Feb. 02 Feb. 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Ensign Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENSG), the parent company of the EnsignMT group of companies, which invests in and provides skilled nursing and senior living services, physical, vocational and speech therapy, other rehabilitation and health care services and real estate, announced today have now acquired the operations of the following skilled nursing facilities in California:

The acquisitions became effective February 1, 2022. The acquisition of Arrowhead Springs Healthcare includes the facility’s real estate and operations. The Desert Mountain Care Center will be subject to a long-term triple net lease.

“We are very excited to add these facilities to our California operations, which will strengthen our local clusters and enhance our ability to provide top-notch care to the patients we serve,” said Barry Port, Ensign’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are also excited to continue adding to our ever-growing property portfolio,” he added.

“We are excited to work with caregivers at each of these facilities and local healthcare communities to meet and exceed the clinical, emotional and social needs of each patient and their family,” added Adam Willits, president of Flagstone. Healthcare Central LLC, Ensign’s California-based holding subsidiary.

These acquisitions bring Ensign’s growing portfolio to 248 healthcare operations, 22 of which also include senior living operations, in thirteen states. Ensign owns 101 real estate assets. Mr. Port reaffirmed that Ensign is actively seeking opportunities to acquire real estate and lease both skilled nursing, senior living facilities and other successful and struggling healthcare-related businesses across United States.

About the brandMT

Independent operating subsidiaries of Ensign Group, Inc. provide a wide range of skilled nursing and senior living services, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy and other rehabilitation and care services across 248 healthcare facilities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin. More information about Ensign is available at http://www.ensigngroup.net.

Contact details

The Ensign Group, Inc., (949) 487-9500, ir@ensigngroup.net

SOURCE: The Ensign Group, Inc.

New York National Guard members train to become paramedics to address healthcare worker shortages

For the first time ever, members of the New York National Guard are undergoing medical training at Hancock Field Air National Guard Base near Syracuse, as they prepare to help ease healthcare personnel shortages exacerbated by the pandemic.

During a training session, where members of the National Guard learn how to handle trauma cases, a soldier lies on the ground, pretending to be unconscious with several injuries, including a broken leg.

“We would put a splint on the whole leg and also the ankle, and you would do it quickly,” said an instructor.

In a large training hall, another group pumps fake blood into a fake limb to create a gaping bloody wound, simulating a gunshot wound to the leg or a deep puncture wound.

Staff Sgt. Terrance Locus is a volunteer from New York taking the crash course.

“You get a better picture when you do it yourself, and God forbid, you’re in the real world and it happens, and you don’t know what to do. So it’s perfect,” Locus said.

Members of the New York National Guard participate in EMS training at Hancock Air National Guard Base near Syracuse

This training stems from a partnership between the State Department of Health and the National Guard announced by Governor Kathy Hochul late last year, to train soldiers to become certified paramedics for deployment in health facilities in need of staff due to the pandemic.

“Graduates will be able to help wherever we need them. Medical capacity will be available from the beginning of February,” Hochul said. “So that’s a very short window of time for us to add more people to our support army for any health care facilities and nursing homes that need extra help.”

600 National Guard members are participating in training like this across the state, bypassing the usual six-month course required to become a licensed emergency medical technician. Douglas Sandbrook, director of EMS education at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, said the training was changed, with half in a classroom setting, the other half more hands-on experience.

“We’re still providing the same content that we would for our other course, it’s just in a very condensed time frame,” Sandbrook said.

NGTraining 3.JPG

Members of the New York National Guard participate in EMS training at Hancock Air National Guard Base near Syracuse

spec. Casim Coleman of Buffalo admitted it was a lot to take.

“I learned a lot of life-saving tips to a greater degree and at a faster pace,” Coleman said. “It’s a six-month course and we’ll do it in four weeks. And if you buckle up and do it, it’s possible.”

Once certified, members will be state-certified emergency medical technicians capable of supporting EMS and fire operations. Col. Richard Goldenberg, spokesman for the New York National Guard, said beyond the crises created by the pandemic, trained people will still be needed.

“Whether it’s a Sandy Superstorm or another severe storm that requires an increase in first responder capabilities, EMT training is one of those essentials that can be used for a wide range of needs,” Goldenberg said.

The Critical Need for Telehealth Services in Skilled Nursing Facilities


TapestryHealth recently created a simple yet powerful infographic that illustrates many of the compelling reasons for including a fully integrated telehealth program within the medical infrastructure of any skilled nursing facility. In some facilities this may be centered on on-site care providers, in others on remote care providers, and in most cases a combination of the two. But whatever your reason for considering this service – improving care, improving cost efficiency, improving CMS ranking, improving reputation, improving hospitalization rates or something else – you will find support for your argument here. .

TapestryHealth offers one of the most innovative, personalized and fully integrated telehealth programs in the country. In less than four years, we have grown from one facility to hundreds, representing thousands of total beds in over 35 states. Our track record speaks for itself, with documented reductions in hospitalizations of up to 90% and verified increases in reimbursements and profitability. If you would like to learn more about how telehealth can help transform your facility, please call me directly at (203) 666-8945 or email me at meisenberg@tapestryhealth.com.

Mordy Eisenberg is the co-founder and chief growth officer of TapestryHealth, one of the nation’s leading healthcare providers in skilled nursing facilities. Eisenberg is an LNHA and an EMT volunteer.

The source data for this infographic is available upon request.

County skilled nursing facilities aim to boost COVID vaccination rates amid outbreaks

February 1 – COVID-19 vaccination and booster rates are slowly rising at skilled nursing facilities in Santa Barbara County as the surge of the omicron variant leads to a new wave of outbreaks among their staff and more adult residents aged.

Leaders at several facilities said that while they continue to work to expand access to boosters, some residents have refused a booster shot or can only receive one after recovering from COVID-19, and that some staff have applied for exemptions to vaccination mandates or are not yet. eligible.

Twelve of the county’s 14 skilled nursing facilities had active cases among staff as of last week, according to county public health data. The largest outbreaks were at Lompoc Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation with 38 active cases among staff and 12 among residents, and at the Marian Regional Medical Center extended care facility with 18 staff cases.

Lompoc Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Director Mark Hall said staff active cases fell to six on Wednesday, with 14 active cases among residents. Thanks to vaccinations as well as experience navigating past outbreaks, current cases have been easier to manage, he said.

“Part of it is the experience of dealing with it repeatedly. A lot of them are doing very well and not having a lot of symptoms,” Hall said. “You’re not dealing with such a sick patient population as before.”

As of mid-January, about 88% of the facility’s residents were fully immunized, and of those, 92% had received a booster shot, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Hall said they offer near-weekly vaccination clinics in partnership with PharMerica.

The full vaccination rate was lower among the approximately 140 staff at the facility, at around 85%. According to Hall, those not fully vaccinated all received exemptions based on religion or personal beliefs.

At Marian Extended Care, federal data indicates that 80% of residents were fully immunized by mid-January, and of those, 60% had received a booster.

However, post-acute care vice president Kathleen Sullivan distinguished between the facility’s long-term residents and its new patients coming into rehab after surgery, both of which are included in the data. federal.

“We have worked diligently with our resident population on primary vaccinations against COVID-19 and are actively engaged in providing boosters to those who are eligible. Of this population, 89% are currently vaccinated and 80% of this population has now their reminders like The immunization status of our patient population continually changes based on admissions and discharges from the facility,” Sullivan said Thursday.

Expanded Access and New Requirements

Santa Barbara County public health officials expect vaccination rates at skilled nursing centers to continue to rise, with mobile vaccination programs underway and a state mandate requiring reminders for healthcare workers taking effect in March.

“County Public Health works closely with local skilled nursing facilities. Our department has developed a Mobile Immunization Team that travels to skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and other residential care facilities. seniors since October 2021 to provide reminders to residents and staff,” Public Health Department spokeswoman Jackie Ruiz said.

All healthcare workers – except those with medical or religious exemptions – were required to complete their original vaccine series by September, with eligibility available for a booster two months after a one-dose series and six months after the second dose in a two-dose series.

While the mandate originally set February 1 as the deadline for recalls, state officials extended it through March to ensure those who were not yet eligible for a recall would be able to meet the deadline.

“We expect to see an increase in vaccination rates, including boosters, as the requirement for healthcare workers for vaccination (including boosters) begins March 1,” Ruiz said.

COVID-19 Vaccinations for Florida Nursing Home Residents, Staffing Increase, AARP States


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Four of seven COVID-19 metrics used to assess the impact of the virus on Florida nursing homes improved over a four-week period in November and December, the latest dashboard update shows. from AARP.

Vaccinations among staff and the number of residents and staff receiving boosters have also increased, according to the report.

“This new report shows that Florida nursing home residents and healthcare workers are taking steps to protect themselves with booster shots,” said AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson, in a press release. “As the omicron variant continues to spread, we hope to see this positive recall trend increase in future reports. The data also shows that other indicators, such as cases and deaths of nursing home residents, have decreased during this period.

However, all seven measures are below the national average.

Using data published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services – which is self-reported by nursing homes – the AARP Public Policy Institute, in collaboration with the Scripps Gerontology Center at the University of Miami in Ohio, created the AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard to provide four-week snapshots of the impact of the virus on nursing home residents and staff.

Federal data does not include coronavirus cases among residents or staff of assisted living facilities, group homes and other senior care facilities.

Report from last month: COVID case, death and vaccination rates are improving in Florida nursing homes, AARP reports

The subscribers: Volusia teacher and school tutor ask for help after her one-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer

COVID-19 cases and deaths

In the report, which covers Nov. 22 through Dec. 19, the latest numbers analyzed by AARP, the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths among Florida nursing home residents fell again from the previous reference period.

Florida nursing homes reported seven new deaths, down from 52 deaths reported between Oct. 18 and Nov. 21, according to AARP. Nationally, 1,667 new resident deaths from COVID-19 have been reported.

Statewide, nursing homes reported 0.2 COVID-19 cases per 100 residents, down from 0.4 last reporting period, according to AARP.

Cases among staff remained stable compared to the previous reporting period at 0.3 cases per 100 staff.

Vaccines: Health care industry faces conflicting vaccine policies and will follow federal state ban law

Remember : Share your stories of family members who died of coronavirus in a nursing home until the end of 2021

Vaccinations and boosters

According to the AARP report, Florida has the second-worst rate of nursing home residents who received a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccine and the third-worst rate of vaccinations.

“AARP Florida is working hard to raise awareness of the value of boosters for vulnerable people,” Johnson said. “Even with the substantial increases in this report, Florida lags the nation in providing boosters to nursing home residents and staff.”

While 80.6% of nursing home residents were fully vaccinated, only 31.2% received a booster shot. The national average for booster injections is almost 50%.

And only 13.1% of staff received a booster dose of the vaccine, also below the national average of 20.5%.

“At the time of this report, only 31% of residents had received reminders. That’s an increase of nearly 8% since our last report, but the national average is 50%,” Johnson said. “Nursing home staff receiving recalls has increased from 9% to 13%, which is good news, but it is still in the bottom third when compared across the country.

But overall staff vaccination rates have risen from 63% in the last report to 73%.

About 50%, or 350, of Florida nursing homes have met the industry standard and vaccinated at least 75% of their staff, up 18% since last month’s report.

Florida nursing homes reporting staffing shortages have remained steady at 20% since last month’s report.

The percentage of nursing homes in urgent need of personal protective equipment has increased from 3.4% to 4.1%.

Nikki Ross covers K-12 education, health and COVID-19 for the Daytona Beach News-Journal. She can be reached at nikki.ross@news-jrnl.com or follow her on Twitter @nikkiinreallife.

This article originally appeared in The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Florida Nursing Homes: Increased COVID Vaccines for Residents and Staff

County Skilled Nursing Facilities Aim to Boost COVID Vaccination Rates Amid Outbreaks | Local News

COVID-19 vaccination and booster rates are slowly rising at Santa Barbara County skilled nursing facilities as the surge of the omicron variant leads to a new wave of outbreaks among their staff and older adult residents.

Leaders at several facilities said that while they continue to work to expand access to boosters, some residents have refused a booster shot or can only receive one after recovering from COVID-19, and that some staff have applied for exemptions to vaccination mandates or are not yet. eligible.

Twelve of the county’s 14 skilled nursing facilities had active cases among staff as of last week, according to county public health data. The largest outbreaks were at Lompoc Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation with 38 active cases among staff and 12 among residents, and at the Marian Regional Medical Center extended care facility with 18 staff cases.

Lompoc Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Director Mark Hall said staff active cases fell to six on Wednesday, with 14 active cases among residents. Thanks to vaccinations as well as experience navigating past outbreaks, current cases have been easier to manage, he said.

“Part of it is down to the experiences of dealing with it repeatedly. A lot of them are doing very well and not having a lot of symptoms,” Hall said. “You’re not dealing with such a sick patient population as before.”

As of mid-January, about 88% of the facility’s residents were fully immunized, and of those, 92% had received a booster shot, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Hall said they offer near-weekly vaccination clinics in partnership with PharMerica.

The full vaccination rate was lower among the approximately 140 staff at the facility, at around 85%. According to Hall, those not fully vaccinated all received exemptions based on religion or personal beliefs.

At Marian Extended Care, federal data indicates that 80% of residents were fully immunized by mid-January, and of those, 60% had received a booster.

However, post-acute care vice president Kathleen Sullivan distinguished between the facility’s long-term residents and its new patients coming into rehab after surgery, both of which are included in the data. federal.

“We have worked diligently with our resident population on primary vaccinations against COVID-19 and are actively engaged in providing boosters to those who are eligible. Of this population, 89% are currently vaccinated and 80% of this population has now their reminders like The immunization status of our patient population continually changes based on admissions and discharges from the facility,” Sullivan said Thursday.

Expanded Access and New Requirements

Santa Barbara County public health officials expect vaccination rates at skilled nursing centers to continue to rise, with mobile vaccination programs underway and a state mandate requiring reminders for healthcare workers taking effect in March.

“County Public Health works closely with local skilled nursing facilities. Our department has developed a Mobile Immunization Team that travels to skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities and other residential care facilities. seniors since October 2021 to provide reminders to residents and staff,” Public Health Department spokeswoman Jackie Ruiz said.

All healthcare workers – except those with medical or religious exemptions – were required to complete their original vaccine series by September, with eligibility available for a booster two months after a one-dose series and six months after the second dose in a two-dose series.

While the mandate originally set February 1 as the deadline for recalls, state officials extended it through March to ensure those who were not yet eligible for a recall would be able to meet the deadline.

“We expect to see an increase in vaccination rates, including boosters, as the requirement for healthcare workers for vaccination (including boosters) begins March 1,” Ruiz said.

California could offer statewide health care for all

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Everyone in California could soon be eligible for state-funded health care.

On Monday, the state legislature is expected to vote on AB 1400a bill to create “CalCare” – a statewide, single-payer health care plan to cover all California residents.

“The reality is that our health care system has far too many loopholes, even for those who have insurance,” says Assemblyman Ash Kalra (D-27), who drafted the bill.

In addition to primary health care, CalCare would cover prescription drugs, medical devices, mental health services, dentistry, vision care, emergency services and transportation, palliative care, and nursing. trained, dialysis and pre/postnatal care.

Recent studies show that 7% of the state’s residents do not have health care. And Kalra says the current form of health insurance still has significant shortcomings for those covered.

“We want to get rid of that,” he says. “Let’s get rid of bonuses, copayments and completely detach health care from employment, which is an incredibly inefficient and archaic way to do it.

But an analysis of the bill shows CalCare would cost the state about $400 billion. And AB 1400 only provides the system framework.

To get the money, Kalra and other lawmakers proposed AAFC 11, a separate constitutional amendment bill that would give the state control of all Medi-Cal and Medicare funds. It would also create a handful of new taxes.

According to the ACA 11, every company with a turnover of more than two million dollars would pay an excise tax of 2.3% on its gross receipts.

Any business with more than 50 employees would also pay a 1.5% payroll tax.

Companies would face another 1% payroll tax for every employee earning more than $49,900.

And people earning more than $149,509 would be subject to progressive income tax. It would start at 0.5% and go up to 2.5% for anyone earning around $2.5 million or more.

Because it creates new taxes, voters are expected to approve ACA 11 with a 2/3 majority in a future election.

“It’s a shame,” said MP Marie Waldron (R-75). “Because high taxes are going to result, and we’re going to see less care.”

Waldron points out that the $400 billion prize is greater than the entire state budget Governor Gavin Newsom just proposed.

“Bureaucrats like those who run the DMV and the employment development department known as EDD will be in charge of people’s health care,” Waldron said. “The problem is that the system is broken. But instead of creating this larger bureaucratic system based on the existing problems that we have, we should go back and look at a few things.”

Waldron says it would be best to find out why 7% of Californians are still uninsured and fix that problem. She also says streamlining the current system while adding more transparency and accountability will help.

She and other Republicans in the Legislative Assembly launched an online petition for those who oppose the bill.

Kalra believes CalCare will declare state money on health care by eliminating industry profits and reducing administrative costs and fraud.

“We’re already being ripped off,” Kalra says. “We are already spending a fortune right now on the current system which is inefficient and immoral in many ways. And we can do better.”

AB 1400 still has a long way to go before CalCare can begin.

Because AB 1400 was introduced in the 2021 legislative session, it must be passed by the Assembly by January 31, 2022, or the bill will be considered “dead” for the session.

If passed, the Senate must also approve it and the governor must sign the bill.

Next, voters will need to pass ACA 11. If any of these do not occur, CalCare will fail.

Community College Rotational Nursing Course in Arborg in September – PortageOnline.com

A rotational nursing course is gearing up to come to Arborg this fall.

It’s hosted by Assiniboine Community College, and president Mark Frison gives the details.

Marc Frison“The college provides hands-on nursing in a number of ways,” says Frison. “We have permanent sites in Winnipeg, Portage, Brandon and Dauphin. And then we have the ability to offer rotating sites. These go to various places in the province.

He explains that this current offer of the nursing program was announced last week and will start at Arborg in September.

“This is a contribution, which essentially represents 25 students”, explains Frison. “They last two years. We’re working with the health regions to help find locations, so we’re currently working with Southern Health and Prairie Mountain Health for other locations at the same time. So there will actually be four of those sites rotary in motion at all times once they are all operational.”

He notes that venues are announced as they are confirmed.

“Usually the health authority helps identify locations that they think would be good, based on their labor needs and then facility availability,” Frison continues. “Facilities are one of the key things to make sure we have a place where the nursing program can be delivered appropriately. In the other places we are still working on that, and hopefully we will make some announcements on other locations in the coming weeks.”

Frison explains all about accessibility for those who want to take the training.

“One of the things you want to make sure is that we have programs offered close to where people are needed,” adds Frison. “By offering it in rural communities, it helps people who might be tied to a place to be able to attend the programs. And then, too, they are much more likely to go to work in the local health care facilities. So usually with rotating sites, we’ve actually imposed a location preference for people who live a certain distance from the site so that locals can access it.”

He says applications are being taken for the Arborg site from January 31 to April 18.

“We do it by competition, so people will apply and then be notified of the decisions,” says Frison.

Rotating Nursing Course at Community College in Arborg in September – PortageOnline.com

A rotational nursing course is gearing up to come to Arborg this fall.

It’s hosted by Assiniboine Community College, and president Mark Frison gives the details.

Marc Frison“The college provides hands-on nursing in a number of ways,” says Frison. “We have permanent sites in Winnipeg, Portage, Brandon and Dauphin. And then we have the ability to offer rotating sites. These go to various places in the province.

He explains that this current offer of the nursing program was announced last week and will start at Arborg in September.

“It’s an intake, which is basically 25 students,” says Frison. “They last two years. We’re working with the health regions to help find locations, so we’re currently working with Southern Health and Prairie Mountain Health for other locations at the same time. So there will actually be four of those sites rotary in motion at all times once they are all operational.”

He notes that venues are announced as they are confirmed.

“Usually the health authority helps identify locations that they think would be good, based on their labor needs and then facility availability,” Frison continues. “Facilities are one of the key things to make sure we have a place where the nursing program can be delivered appropriately. In the other places we are still working on that, and hopefully we will make some announcements on other locations in the coming weeks.”

Frison explains all about accessibility for those who want to take the training.

“One of the things you want to make sure is that we have programs running close to where people are needed,” adds Frison. “By offering it in rural communities, it helps people who might be tied to a place to be able to attend the programs. And then, too, they are much more likely to go to work in the local health care facilities. So usually with rotating sites, we’ve actually imposed a location preference for people who live a certain distance from the site so that locals can access it.”

He says applications are being taken for the Arborg site from January 31 to April 18.

“We do it by competition, so people will apply and then be notified of the decisions,” says Frison.

PA deploys long-term care sites to support nursing facilities

PENNSYLVANIA – Four skilled nursing facilities currently caring for large numbers of COVID-19 patients will soon receive help from new regional long-term care support sites, the Pennsylvania Department of Health announced Monday. .

The aim is to ease the pressure on hospitals and skilled nursing facilities that are under heavy load during the pandemic.

“COVID-19 hospitalizations remain at historically high levels and healthcare workers need some support to get through this current surge,” Acting Health Secretary Keara Klinepeter said.

Depending on demand, personnel resources at these sites should be deployed for up to 90 days.

“Creating these long-term care support sites will benefit hospitals and nursing homes caring for large numbers of COVID-19 patients,” Klinepeter said. “This collaborative effort between state agencies and the healthcare community is the next step in the Wolf administration’s multi-tiered approach to relieving pressure on healthcare workers and facilities.”

Klinepeter was joined by representatives from the Departments of Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, to announce this next step in the state’s healthcare support initiatives.

“Our agency regularly works at all levels of government and across the public and private sectors to lead collaborative planning efforts to respond to complex situations that present unique challenges such as the ongoing pandemic,” said the director of PEMA, Randy Padfield. “We are pleased to continue to participate in the planning and execution of this new initiative.”

Over the next seven to ten days, regional support sites will open at the following skilled nursing facilities:

  • Vincentian Home in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County
  • Lutheran home in Holidaysburg, Blair County
  • Springs at the Watermark in Philadelphia, Philadelphia County
  • Clarview Nursing Home and Rehabilitation in Sligo, County Clarion

The health department will assess the hospitals’ needs for regional support throughout the process.

Each facility will receive clinical and non-clinical support staff to open up to 30 beds to enable faster discharge of patients from hospitals, when clinically safe, freeing up additional acute care space to meet COVID demands -19.

“These missions are successful through our partnership with the Department of Health and PEMA and our collaborative efforts demonstrate how the government is working together, to serve and support our communities, especially residents and staff of healthcare facilities. long-term,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Adjutant General of Pennsylvania and head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

The Health Department hires clinical staff through General Healthcare Resources, which focuses its staff hiring and recruiting on healthcare professionals outside of Pennsylvania to avoid increasing costs. current staffing limits in the state.

General Healthcare Resources will provide clinical staff, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified practical nurses. The Pennsylvania National Guard will provide non-clinical personnel to support the facility’s existing staff, and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency will help with coordination.

This staffing assistance is separate from the state-led strike teams currently deployed to Grand View Health in Bucks County and Crozer Health in the Southeast, as well as federal strike teams deployed at Scranton and York hospitals.

Additionally, Governor Tom Wolf signed legislation last week providing $225 million in federal funding under the U.S. Bailout Act to support healthcare workers in Pennsylvania.

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California bill seeks more state authority over retirement home ownership


Nursing home operators looking to buy more facilities in California may need to obtain state Department of Public Health (CDPH) approval and meet certain qualifications, according to the proposed guidelines presented. in a bill set to move forward in the state legislature this week.

The state Assembly is expected to vote on the bill as early as Monday, according to a report by The Times of San Diego, before sending the bill to the Senate later in the week.

The Skilled Nursing Facilities Ownership and Management Act, or Assembly Bill 1502, would allow the CRPD to prohibit “unqualified” entities from owning and operating facilities.

Notably absent from the proposed bill are acute care hospitals operating an SNF as a “separate part” of the hospital system, or a temporary “receiver or manager” appointed to manage a facility “in accordance with other laws”.

Currently, the Department of Public Health does not have the authority to prevent nursing home operators from buying more nursing homes in the state if they are already operating facilities, despite their quality track records. .

License applicants would have to provide Medicare and Medicaid cost reports for all facilities owned or operated by the applicant over the past five years in California as well as in other states, according to the bill.

Applicants who are part of a nursing home chain would have to provide a “diagram showing the relationship between the applicant and the persons or entities, as defined, who are part of the chain,” the bill says.

The CDPH would then post all nominations – and supporting documents – for public comment. The agency could refuse an application or revoke a license in certain circumstances, according to the bill.

Entities that continue to operate without a state-approved license could be barred from further admissions, suspended Medi-Cal payments, and could be subject to a civil penalty of $10,000 for violating licensing requirements.

The CRPD would establish regulations and procedures for license applicants, associated individuals and entities by January 1, 2024.

The California Association of Healthcare Facilities (CAHF) opposes the bill in its current form, CAHF public affairs director Deb Pacyna told Skilled Nursing News.

“Bottom line, if this goes into effect, it will prohibit most people from running nursing homes in the state, because there are so many restrictions it says,” Pacyna noted.

The California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) sponsored the bill. The organization sees this as a way to fight against what it calls “zombie licensing”.

Tony Chicotel, senior counsel for CANHR, said the term refers to the ownership or operations that are transferred, but the license remains in the name of the vendor who, in some cases, exits the industry altogether or declares bankruptcy.

“The entity or person to whom the license is issued no longer really exists or has anything to do with the facility or building,” Chicotel said. “It’s run by someone who doesn’t have state approval and in some cases hasn’t even asked for approval or been denied approval, but they continue to operate. Nevertheless.”

The bill closes that “loophole,” CANHR said in a December press release; the loophole allows most state nursing homes to change hands without state approval.

“Entire chains of retirement homes can be bought and sold without state approval due to the CDPH’s position that it has no authority to review ownership changes at the chain level” , CANHR said in a December op-ed.

CAHF agreed in a December letter to Assemblyman Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) that the state’s change of ownership process for SNFs needed reform, but the state also has the ” longest and most unenforceable permit process in the country”.

AB 1502 was originally introduced in February 2021 by Wood and Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance).

“[Licensure] requires that transactions of ownership of nursing facilities and interim managers take place before an application is processed by the Department of Public Health. Nursing facilities did not create this process backwards. It has been perpetuated by the state – and it must end,” CAHF said in the letter.

Potential action on AB 1502 follows five of six nursing home PROTECT plan reform bills signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom in October.

The bill includes the Corporate Transparency in Aged Care Act (SB 650), which requires nursing homes to submit consolidated annual financial reports for public view.

“We felt, especially this year, that the political climate was such that people could actually listen to our story, as the spotlight was on skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes, and perhaps could we get some political traction,” the Democratic senator said. Henry Stern of Los Angeles, who introduced the measure in February.

Skilled Nursing News interviewed Stern after the SB 650 passed last year.

“Generally, this stuff tends to crumble like a bit of a blow in recent years – we have momentum on our side; we have to go big here,” Stern said.

Four other PROTECT bills have been signed by Newsom: AB 849, which restores liability to nursing homes up to $500 per violation; AB 323, which increases nursing home citation penalties to account for inflation and updates Class AA citations for violations contributing to a resident’s death; AB 1042, establishing shared responsibility for nursing home entities that share ownership or control of a facility; and AB 749, requiring nursing home medical directors to be certified by the American Board of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine within five years of the date of hire.

At the time, AB 1502 was turned into a two-year bill to be heard by the Assembly Health Committee in the new year, CANHR noted in an October statement.

Inside the University of Suffolk nursing course

4:00 PM January 29, 2022

Seeing television images of healthcare workers trying to save Covid patients and be on the front lines of the pandemic has inspired many to take up nursing.

Jamie Steele, a second-year nursing student at the University of Suffolk, never considered a career in healthcare until caring for a loved one dying of cancer.

Two days after the death of his grandfather, Mr Steele was accommodated by the jobcentre for care work in Hadleigh.

He was promoted to team leader and later responsible for recruiting people into care during his 11 years working in healthcare.

When he saw nurses needing help battling the pandemic, he began to feel “stuck” behind his desk.

“The pandemic had a huge effect on me,” he said. “I wanted to help.”

Mr Steele is not alone, a record 28,815 students in England of all ages chose a nursing course in 2021 as their first choice when applying to university.

The number of 18-year-olds choosing to study nursing has increased by 38% to 7,105 since 2019, resulting in a 43% increase in the number of people with a confirmed place.

nursing and midwifery at the University of Suffolk. Photo: UNIVERSITY OF SU” class=”” loading=”lazy” title=””/>

Sam Chenery-Morris, head of nursing and midwifery at the University of Suffolk. Photo: UNIVERSITY OF SUFFOLK
– Credit: Archant

Sam Chenery-Morris, head of nursing and midwifery at the University of Suffolk, said: “Part of this increase can be attributed to greater public awareness of the importance of the professional role that nurses play.”

These students have often been better prepared as the pandemic has brought home the realities of nursing, she claimed, which keeps them from dropping out.

The rest of UOS had the highest dropout rate in the country before the pandemic, which has since improved, the university said.

Mr Steele said nursing is not without its challenges and dyslexia and home learning have been difficult.

“It was really tough and a struggle,” he said. “I didn’t know if I was going to make it.

“The University of Suffolk was absolutely behind me and really, really great.”

“Now here I am, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.”

He now hopes to enter community nursing when he graduates in 2023.

Jamie Steele, a second year nursing student at the University of Suffolk,

Jamie Steele, second year nursing student at the University of Suffolk
– Credit: Jamie Steele

He said nursing students considering the high-stress profession should be aware that it’s like a “roller coaster”.

There are “ups and downs,” Steel said, but you get used to it and start “expecting” the challenges.

“It’s going to be tough and it’s going to completely challenge you,” he added.

Preparing the healthcare heroes of tomorrow | Columns

In mid-December, as the omicron variant of COVID-19 began to spread through Frederick County, something wonderful happened at Frederick Community College: a pinning ceremony to celebrate 36 graduating students from our medical care. Candles lit, these new graduates took a solemn oath to place the safety and well-being of their patients at the center of their careers as new healthcare professionals.

Over the past year, we have all heard of the severe staffing shortages facing many hospitals and clinics. Our colleges and universities have a clear and current responsibility to help provide professionals to fill these essential roles.

As I celebrated the successes of our new nurses, I wondered, “What kind of person comes into health care? It has always been a field marked by years of educational demands, followed by long hours and rotations. Now healthcare providers must put their own safety at risk, responding to a pandemic that seems to have no end in sight. This is clearly a career only for our best and brightest who have a fierce commitment to serving humanity.

One of my heroes is Dr. Albert Schweitzer, known for his work as a physician serving people in remote parts of Africa. He wrote: “Life becomes more difficult for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier.” I believe that our new nursing graduates have discovered or will soon discover Dr. Schweitzer’s formula for a life well lived.

One of our recent graduates, Greer Garcia, is a labor and delivery nurse at Frederick Health Hospital. Motivated by her experiences with her sister, she began earning her nursing degree at FCC while being a mother to a son and working as a certified practical nurse at the hospital.

Now being able to work as a labor and delivery nurse is a privilege, says Greer.

“Almost every day I see life coming into the world and I see the reaction of parents,” Greer says. “It really is humanity in its raw state and I feel honored that others allow me to share these intimate moments with them.”

The fact that FCC offered a challenging nursing program nearby meant that Greer could hone her skills and achieve her dream of becoming a nurse without having to leave Frederick. Being able to serve the community she fell in love with was essential for Greer, who immigrated to the United States from Trinidad and Tobago when she was 11 years old. She settled in Montgomery County and later moved to Frederick to raise her son.

Greer is just one of many graduate students from many healthcare programs at FCC. These programs prepare students for careers in nursing as well as surgical technology, respiratory therapy, medical assisting and more.

FCC Professor Nancy Dankanich and a team of highly qualified faculty have been training students to become surgical technology specialists for over 25 years. Many of us are fortunate enough not to have first-hand knowledge of what is going on in an operating room, even though we trust an invisible team of professionals if we need surgery. Members of a surgical team need thorough and rigorous preparation to ensure that everything goes well for each patient. For local students, this preparation begins at FCC. Students in our Surgical Technology program join surgical teams at Frederick Health Hospital and Maryland Hospitals and Surgical Centers. They then work in general surgery, as well as many specialties, including robotics, orthopedics, cardiovascular disease, transplants, labor and delivery, and pediatric surgery.

Our respiratory therapy program is especially important to our community now. Professor Rhonda Patterson recently told me that during this pandemic, not only are our graduates working on the front lines, but we have been able to loan much-needed ventilators to Frederick Health Hospital and donate masks, gloves, gowns and other supplies. medical.

As a college committed to serving its community, we continually seek ways to grow based on the wants and needs of those we serve.

This fall, we plan to enroll our first students in our new physiotherapy assistant program.

With funding from Frederick County and the State of Maryland, we are currently engaged in major renovations to our health sciences educational facility. When completed this summer, this academic building will rival any health education institution in the United States. Our teaching rooms will simulate hospital, operation, recovery, home care and various therapy clinic rooms. Using state-of-the-art high and low fidelity simulation mannequins, students learn to provide care and treatment to lifelike “patients” while gaining experience in a collaborative healthcare environment.

Our healthcare students come from all sectors of our society. Some are traditional-age college students, while others are parents juggling many responsibilities to pursue their dream of becoming a medical professional. The variety of students Professor Kyla Newbould, Director of Nursing Education, sees in our courses often reminds her that it’s never too late to join the healthcare profession.

Especially now, when job opportunities in healthcare have never been better, in part due to current staffing shortages. Graduates can literally work anywhere in the world. And not just in hospitals, but also in schools, elderly care centers and in local practices and clinics.

Back at our nursing pinning ceremony in December, as our graduates came forward to receive their pins, a youngster in the audience shouted with pride and joy shouting “Hey, that’s my mom! ” Yes it is. And she sacrificed herself not just for you, but for all of us in Frederick County. Go ahead mom, we need you!

Thomas H. Powell is acting president of Frederick Community College. He is President Emeritus of Mount St. Mary’s University and Saint John’s Catholic Prep.

Cuomo’s health department admits New York nursing home deaths top 12,743


The disgraced administration of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed on Thursday that thousands more nursing home residents have died of COVID-19 than official state tallies had previously acknowledged, bringing a new blow to his image as a hero of the pandemic.

The surprise development, after months of the state refusing to release its true numbers, showed at least 12,743 long-term care residents have died from the virus as of Jan. 19, far more than the official tally of 8,505. that day, a 49 percent jump, cementing New York’s toll as one of the highest in the nation.

Those numbers are consistent with a report released hours earlier by state Attorney General Letitia James blaming nursing home deaths at 49% lower, largely because New York is one of the only states to count only those who died on the grounds of the facility. , not those who died later in the hospital.

The report also said James was putting 20 state nursing homes under closer scrutiny as the investigation continues.

“While we cannot bring back the people we have lost in this crisis, this report seeks to provide the transparency the public deserves,” James said in a statement.

The 76-page report from a fellow Democrat undermined Cuomo’s frequent argument that criticism of his handling of the virus in nursing homes was part of a political ‘blame game’, and it was a vindication for thousands of families who believed their loved ones were being omitted from the counts to further the governor’s image as a pandemic hero.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo underestimated deaths in nursing homes during the pandemic

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo underestimated deaths in nursing homes during the pandemic

The report was authored by New York Attorney General Letitia James, long considered a Cuomo antagonist.

The report was authored by New York Attorney General Letitia James, long considered a Cuomo antagonist.

“It’s important to me that my mother be counted,” said Vivian Zayas, whose 78-year-old mother died in April after contracting COVID-19 at a nursing home in West Islip, New York. “Families like mine knew those numbers weren’t correct.”

Cuomo’s office referred all questions to the state health department. Several hours after the report, State Department of Health Commissioner Howard Zucker issued a lengthy statement attempting to refute James’ report but essentially confirming its central conclusion.

Zucker’s figure of 12,743 nursing home resident deaths included for the first time 3,829 confirmed COVID-19 deaths among residents who had been transported to hospitals.

Those numbers could be even higher, but the health department said its audit was ongoing, did not report deaths suspected but not confirmed to be caused by the virus, and omitted those in assisted living facilities. or other types of long-term care facilities.

Zucker, however, has always disputed James’ characterization of his department’s official tally as an “undercount.” He said “the DOH has always been clear that the data on its website relates to facility deaths.”

“The word ‘undercount’ implies that there are more deaths than have been reported; this is factually false. In fact, the OAG report itself rejects the suggestion that there was an ‘undercount’ of the total number of deaths,” he said.

New York Republicans have called on Zucker to step down in the past.

Andrew Cuomo, alleged sexual harasser, abuser and former New York state governor, was ordered to repay all the money, totaling approximately $5 million, he earned from writing and selling of

Andrew Cuomo, alleged sexual harasser, abuser and former New York state governor, was ordered to repay all the money, totaling approximately $5 million, he earned from writing and selling from “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic”. ‘

Cuomo was replaced by his lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, after a sexual harassment scandal in August 2021

Cuomo was replaced by his lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, after a sexual harassment scandal in August 2021

James has been looking for months at discrepancies between the number of deaths reported by the state Department of Health and the number of deaths reported by homes themselves.

Its investigators looked at a sample of 62 of the state’s roughly 600 nursing homes. They reported 1,914 resident deaths from COVID-19, while the state Department of Health recorded only 1,229 deaths at those same facilities.

Thursday’s publication confirmed the findings of an Associated Press investigation last year that found the state may be underreporting deaths by up to 65 percent.

State Sen. Gustavo Rivera, a Democrat who has criticized the Cuomo administration for its incomplete death count, said he was “unfortunately not surprised” by the report.

“Families who have lost loved ones deserve honest answers,” Rivera said. “For their sake, I hope this report helps us uncover the truth and put policies in place to prevent such tragedies in the future.”

At least 12,743 long-term care residents have died from the virus as of January 19, far more than the official tally of 8,505 that day

At least 12,743 long-term care residents have died from the virus as of January 19, far more than the official tally of 8,505 that day

Dr. Howard A. Zucker, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health

Dr. Howard A. Zucker, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health

Cuomo, who published a book last fall touting his leadership in the fight against the virus, was quick to use New York’s lower nursing home death toll to argue that his state is doing better. than others to care for those in these facilities.

The ex-governor was ordered to repay all the money, totaling about $5 million, that he made from writing and selling “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Cuomo’s book touted his supposed leadership in the early days of the pandemic, as chief executive of the Empire State.

The hugely profitable New York Times bestseller stuck in the croak of many as Cuomo is also accused of rampant and worse sexual harassment as governor, as well as allegedly covering up the full extent of nursing home deaths related to the pandemic under his supervision.

“There’s no doubt that we’re in this hyper-political environment, so everybody wants to point fingers,” Cuomo told CBS’ This Morning in October. “New York, in fact, we’re number 46 out of 50 in terms of the percentage of deaths in nursing homes…it’s not a primarily New York issue.”

The attorney general’s report also took aim at New York’s controversial March 25 policy that sought to create more space in hospitals by releasing recovering COVID-19 patients to nursing homes, which critics say , was a driving factor in nursing home outbreaks.

James’ report said these admissions “may have contributed to an increased risk of nursing home residents becoming infected and subsequently dying,” noting that at least 4,000 nursing home residents with COVID- 19 died after this orientation. But James’ report says the matter would require further study to conclusively prove such a link.

New York’s health department released a much-criticized report last summer that said the March 25 policy, which was rescinded in May, was “not a significant factor” in deaths.

James’ review also found that a lack of infection control in nursing homes put residents at increased risk of harm, that homes with lower federal staff scores had higher death rates. and that a sweeping measure Cuomo signed in April protecting nursing homes and other health care providers from lawsuits may actually have encouraged homes to withhold hiring and training.

“As the pandemic and our investigations continue,” she wrote, “it is imperative that we understand why New York City nursing home residents have suffered unnecessarily at such an alarming rate.”

Nurse practitioner asks Mainers to support healthcare workers

A frontline healthcare worker hopes more tokens of appreciation from community members can help lift morale amid burnout.

MAINE, Maine – Although hospitalizations are down a bit in Maine, they remain high.

Nearly two years into the pandemic, healthcare workers in Maine have been stretched and pushed to new limits. That’s why nurse practitioner Emily O’Connell is taking to social media, asking Mainers to support healthcare workers with tokens of appreciation to help boost morale and prevent burnout.

O’Connell said the sentiment would be welcome and thinks it could have a ripple effect.

“To try to give each other more hope and kindness to each other which then brings unity as a community. We’re working and living through covid but it’s also other things in the world going on that have compounded the stress that we all feel,” O’Connell said.

O’Connell works in both primary care and inpatient settings.

“My personal challenge, I think, is just trying to have the patience and tolerance for the discomfort that we all feel and the exhaustion that we all feel,” she said.

The nurse practitioner said she cut her primary care hours because of burnout.

“I’ve never done that in my career, but I had to defend myself,” she said. “If I have to go see my patient and I need something, you stick your head out and there aren’t many people around to help me. [because] we’re all very busy.”

Busy, tired, stressed, exhausted and for many on the ground, the COVID pandemic seems and seems endless.

“We have more patients than we see, but the same number of providers,” O’Connell said.

O’Connell added that one of the most important things healthcare workers need right now is kindness.

“Just the simple kindness coming from the community and the patients we see. We’re doing our best to provide the care that patients are used to, and it’s falling behind,” she said.

I am writing this message for my colleagues and healthcare teammates here in Maine but across the United States. We need a choice…

Posted by Emily O’Connell on Thursday, January 13, 2022

“I really try to help my colleagues who are struggling, but it’s hard when I see nurses in the hallway or respiratory therapists running around. And it’s hard to support people who are exhausted themselves. “, O’Connell said.

Jeff Barkin is a psychiatrist and president of the Maine Medical Association. He said the healthcare industry in Maine is currently going through a dire and frightening situation.

“Everything has changed with COVID. People are really overwhelmed. The system is really thin. Wait times are really long. So it’s really difficult for everyone in healthcare,” Barkin said.

Barkin said anxiety and depression rates increased by 40%.

“Rates of substance use disorders and alcohol use disorders are up about 50%, and overdose deaths are up from pre-COVID. So we’re seeing a real crisis of mental health and addiction issues,” he said.

“Forty percent of nurses are considering leaving nursing, and 1 in 5, 20% of physicians, are considering leaving the profession. It’s terrifying if you or someone you know can get sick, that’s- i.e. all of us. So, all of us need to do our part to support our healthcare workforce,” Barkin said.

Barkin added that the most effective way to take care of yourself is to get vaccinated.

“That’s how you can support healthcare workers who are really there to support you,” Barkin said.

O’Connell said any pick-me-up is appreciated.

“What does a healthcare worker need? It’s hand lotion, comfortable shoes and socks for their long shifts, it’s healthy food,” she said. declared. “Physical health counseling services, massages, acupuncture, activities in the community that help get out of ourselves to get just [some] relaxing.”

the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce recently announced the delivery of healthy meals to Maine Medical Center and Northern Light Mercy as a token of appreciation.

“Part of our thought process was, ‘We want to help take care of them. We want to provide them with healthy meals. We want to make sure they take care of themselves,” Quincy Hentzel, CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber, mentioned.

“I think those tokens of appreciation have pretty much stopped. I think morale is probably very low. We wanted to make sure they know we appreciate them,” Quincy Hentzel said.

Hentzel said the Portland Regional Chamber is working with local businesses to purchase meals for frontline workers, for example:

  • Bernstein Chour partners with El Rayo restaurant to offer authentic Mexican cuisine.
  • MEMIC pledged to donate 100 meals a week for the next two months.
  • Hannaford is giving back to essential workers by donating Hannaford gift cards.
  • cPort Credit Union will participate in a food drive by partnering with local sports bar Rivalries to bring lunches to Maine Medical Center and Northern Light Mercy Hospital over the next two weeks.

“If you know someone who is a healthcare worker, listen to their specific needs. If they have kids and you are friends, maybe take care of their kids for an afternoon Maybe you can babysit. Of course you want to be aware of COVID,” Barker said.

If a business or organization would like to partner with the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce to provide food for essential workers, they can contact Tommy Johnson at tjohnson@portlandregion.com or (207) 772-2811, ext. 226.

If anyone wants to support healthcare workers with some of the items O’Connel said many need, they can contact the hospital (or hospitals) they’d like to help. They can contact hospitals and speak to the provider’s wellness manager or a communications specialist.

More articles about NEWS CENTER Maine

Nursing home workers face federal vaccination deadline Thursday – InForum


ROCHESTER — According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, just under 80% of nursing home workers in Minnesota are vaccinated against COVID-19. North Dakota and South Dakota are close behind, with staff vaccination rates just over 78%.

While these are higher than the percentages of healthcare workers vaccinated in Oklahoma and Missouri, they are 10 points lower than staff vaccination rates of 90% and above in California, New York, Colorado and Alaska.

Thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling allowing vaccination mandates in health care, Minnesota and the Dakotas having 20% ​​of nursing home workers unvaccinated could soon become a staffing issue.

On Thursday, Jan. 27, the nation hits the first of three federal deadlines en route to 100% vaccination of nursing home workers in order for a facility to receive Medicare and Medicaid payments. All nursing home staff must have received a dose or filed an exemption request by Thursday.

In a concession, the policy allows homes with 80% staff at one dose to continue, as long as they have a plan to achieve full vaccination or exemption within 60 days.

A deadline for 100% to have received a second dose falls on February 28, and by March 30 the rule allows enforcement action to begin, using compliance investigations by sub- contractors.

“We think that number is low,” said Patty Cullen, CEO of Care Providers MN, of Minnesota’s 80% overall vaccination rate for nursing home staff. “We think there is a higher number of people who have been vaccinated or who have received an exemption.”

Cullen says his research shows that many poorly vaccinated facilities in the state entered inaccurate data, which skewed the state’s data overall.

“I’m pretty confident that we’re top of the class when it comes to vaccinations,” she said.

Because of this discrepancy, it’s unclear how many Minnesota nursing home workers could be laid off due to the looming deadline.

Nursing homes have had strict restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

CS Hagen File Photo / Forum News Service

At the high end, there are about 40,000 nursing home workers in Minnesota, according to Cullen. If, as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services report, 20% of this group is unvaccinated, that would mean 8,000 Minnesota nursing home workers must either get a medical or religious disqualification or get vaccinated. in the coming weeks.

Cullen counters that the federal percentages lag two weeks behind the actual vaccination numbers in each state and do not reflect the number of those who received a religious or medical exemption.

She said a recent survey of care providers estimated that 6% of nursing homes in the state are worried about not meeting the threshold, which means the number of facilities in the state that don’t will not reach 80% on Thursday is “less than 10%”.

There are about 360 nursing homes in Minnesota, Cullen said. “Of this group, there are maybe 30 to 35 who could have problems on January 27, (where) they will struggle to reach at least that 80% threshold,” she said.

With an average facility of around 100 employees, “if they have 15 or 20 of their employees who are unvaccinated, that’s really a few hundred (dropped workers) total…that would be our guess.”

“We have supported vaccination in our circles because we know it makes a difference,” she said. “The only concern right now is that our workforce is so short of resources that even one or two employees who have to leave put us in a real staffing crisis.”

Religious exemption means more PPE

Nursing homes are now using federal legal advice to determine religious exemptions.

“You can’t just endorse everyone because they come,” Cullen said. “If everyone has the same exemption language, you want to challenge it.”

Cullen adds that staff who have exemptions and are not vaccinated will be required to wear a greater level of PPE.

“They’ll have to wear N-95s all day. They’ll have to be tested…Just because someone is exempt doesn’t mean the facility doesn’t have to do something to strengthen infection control practices. “

$225 million in federal COVID-19 aid planned for Pennsylvania healthcare workers

(*This developing story will be updated)

Nurses, hospital staff and other frontline workers at Pennsylvania health care facilities could get a bonus in the coming months paid with federal dollars under a quiet deal struck between Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the Republican-controlled legislature.

the proposalrevealed in the Senate on Tuesday and expected to pass the House on Wednesday afternoon, will allocate $210 million in federal pandemic relief funds directly to hospitals and mental health treatment centers, including centers for drug treatment.

The bill also offers $15 million in student debt relief for nurses, an additional funding allocation to what was initially a $5 million program created by Wolf and legislative Democrats last year to provide up to $7,500 student loan forgiveness for nurses.

The program, which is accepting applications through March, has already received more than 6,000, Sen. Maria Collett, D-Montgomery, a former nurse who led the program, said Tuesday.

An additional $25 million in federal funds will be allocated to local EMS services, Republican lawmakers said. That money will be passed into a separate bill at a later date, bringing total spending to $250 million.

But billions more in unspent federal funds and excess tax revenue remain. How to use those dollars will lead to closed-door negotiations in the coming months as Wolf and the General Assembly negotiate a budget for the next fiscal year.

Funds intended for hospitals must be spent on retention and recruitment payments – made within three months and six months, respectively – to workers “involved in direct patient care activities, environmental services or services of clinical care”.

Under the agreement, executives, directors and doctors are not eligible for retention or recruitment payments. Cash payments cannot replace beneficiary salaries, and health systems must provide the state with a report on how the money was spent.

In one declaration released on Tuesday evening, Wolf applauded the legislation, saying it “is vitally important in supporting our most critical assets, our healthcare workers”.

He added: “They deserve this needed relief and our support at this time.”

Healthcare workers, especially nurseshave long a high turnover rate due to work stress, a problem that has only worsened amid the COVID-19 pandemic. These hospital staffing issues have also led to higher personnel coststhus affecting their results.

‘Rise’ in COVID-19 cases contributing to longer waits at Pennsylvania hospitals

Healthcare workers need our collective support at this time, and we are grateful to the General Assembly for recognizing the incredible challenges they continue to face at this time, two years into this pandemic. deadly, providing assistance when our healthcare heroes need it most,” said Janet Tomcavage, executive vice president and chief nursing officer at Geisinger, in a statement.

Pa. to allocate $6.5 million in federal aid to support and retain nursing industry

The nurses also lobbied for the state to adopt regulations limiting the workload of nurses in hospitals, arguing that it could also reduce turnover. These efforts are sponsored by a majority of House lawmakers and a near majority in the Senate.

Senate Pro Tempore Chairman Jake Corman, R-Center, did not say whether such a policy could be included in future negotiations.

“We always try to be flexible in what we need to do to deal with the pandemic,” Corman said.

Finally, the bill creates a task force focused on the opioid epidemic and its effects on children, a crisis that worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 11-member group would be tasked with making recommendations to prevent infants exposed to the substance and improve outcomes for pregnant women and parents recovering from addiction.

Overall, Corman argued that the proposal showed that the General Assembly listened to the needs of voters.

“We represent all the hospitals; we wanted to step up,” he said.

New nursing course aims to educate Penn State students about climate change through storytelling | University Park Campus News

Penn State professor Erin Kitt-Lewis has teamed up with College of Medicine student Natasha Sood to create a course through the Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing focused on teaching students about climate change and its health impacts through storytelling.

The class titled Climate Change and Storytelling, NURS 497D, strives to teach students how to tell the stories of the real effects of climate change through artistic means – including videos, plays, graphic novels and news.

To create a connection between students who may not have seen the effects of climate change first hand and the course content, Kitt-Lewis said she tries to instill a level of empathy in her students. – while showing them that the effects are already there because “there really isn’t a place” that isn’t affected by climate change.

“Our goal is to really look at the science and get them thinking about things like severe weather,” Kitt-Lewis said. “There is no place in the United States that has not been affected by the weather problem.”

Professor and director of the Arts and Design Research Incubator at Penn State, Bill Doan, said he was working with other nursing staff to set up a course like this.

When recommended to help on the theater side of teaching “climate change and storytelling,” he said he immediately jumped on board as a co-teacher.

Although it is a 400-level nursing course, students of any major are welcome to enroll, according to course instructors, who said diversity in the classroom is beneficial.

“To me, it’s the best that Penn State and a university can be,” Doan said. “When you have different voices in the room, different perspectives, that cross-disciplinary perspective — I get excited because I think that’s what a college education should be.”

The course is part of Penn State’s Think Tank Project, which, according to the organization’s website, “offers students the opportunity to embody the true essence of the phrase ‘we are…’ by investigating them. themselves and their identity at Penn State through engagements in the arts.”

Cheri Jehu, Project Reflection coordinator at Penn State, said she is currently creating five cross-curricular courses involving the performing arts.

As someone who facilitates the approval process, Jehu said that when the idea of ​​”Climate Change and Storytelling” came to his attention, “It blew my mind. [her] a way.”


Evangelos Manias, a Penn State professor, who was indicted on December 10, 2021, for allegedly assaulting…

Since the course focuses on climate change, students are also exposed to current artists who are using their voices and activism in their personal communities, according to Jehu.

“We work with the artists and instructors to create unique engagements specific to these classes,” Jehu said. “The artists will enter [‘Climate Change and Storytelling’ classes] to talk about their role as artists in climate change activism.

Classroom education on climate change and drama culminates in a final project in which students create and share their own stories about health and climate change.

Anthony Jefferson, a student in the class who hopes to become a real estate developer, said he hopes the class will help him “create new structures that are positive or beneficial to the environment.”

Jefferson (Senior Integrative Arts) said he thinks “climate change and storytelling” is a “gateway class for understanding the complexities of the environment.”

Jefferson said storytelling is a core tenet of the class. On the first day of class, Kitt-Lewis asked students to introduce themselves by telling their life stories and how the class might relate to where they want to go.

The course appealed to Isaac Brackbill because he needed general education credits and was interested in the topics of the class. He heard about the class from his mother, who is a professor in the biology department at Penn State.

To Brackbill (a sophomore in psychology), Kitt-Lewis and Doan seem “really nice” and know both climate change and storytelling.

Even before the course, Brackbill said he had always been interested in climate change and sustainability.

“In the end, that’s what matters.”


For the 27th Annual Mark Luchinsky Memorial Lecture, Schreyer Honors College at Penn State, we…

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Kern County protects its skilled nursing facilities during the pandemic

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Protecting those most vulnerable. That was the message at the start of the pandemicand the data shows Kern County listened.

Although skilled nursing facilities are primarily state-regulated, they were hit hard when the pandemic began.

Public health department data revealed that SNF patients made up more than 20% of hospitalized patients, but after department interventions, they never exceeded 15% and generally remained around 5%.

In an update from the oversight board on Tuesday, those working with the facilities said the system they had built was working, but there was still more work to be done.

“I am pleased to report that compared to the first wave of COVID-19 at Kern County Skilled Nursing Facilities, residents and skilled nursing staff are safer and better protected in all waves. following,” said Jared Leavitt, Aspire Healthcare Consulting, LLC.

Immunocompromised, underlying health conditions and our elderly population. These are the groups most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Many of these people reside in Skilled Nursing Facilities, or SNFs. That’s why the county has placed particular emphasis on protecting homes.

The light blue line in the graph below shows cases in the general population and the dark blue line shows cases in SNF. You can clearly see the fall.

“At the start of the pandemic, SNFs were hit hard, with cases increasing at a much higher rate than the rest of the community. During the second surge, we saw a similar increase to the general population, but with a faster return to pre-surge levels. During the third surge, SNF saw a slight increase in cases but never reached first sage levels when community rates were almost as high as the first surge,” said Brynn Carrigan, director of Kern County Public Health.

– California Department of Public Health

Leavitt, with Aspire Healthcare Consulting, said this was due to actions taken by the county with the services.

“The reason for the improved results is multiple. This includes increased availability of personal protective equipment, or PPE, improved training and use of PPE, and infection control standards. Additionally, improved staffing levels have increased the availability of testing resources, a highly effective vaccination effort, and state and county government oversight and accountability.

The state also provided more funding last year to the Ombudsperson program, which works to resolve issues related to the health, safety, well-being and rights of people who live in residential facilities. long-term care.

But Kern County SNF Accountability Manager Georgianna Armstrong said the program still needs more state support: “We believe increased funding for the program is critically important given the number of programs, the number of constituents, the size of Kern County. , the ombudsman program operates at full capacity all the time. »

Leavitt said it was the quick action that produced the results seen today.

“The insight and progressively creative thinking of this council and Kern County public health officials resulted in aggressive action that protected the highly vulnerable population.”

If you want to track trends in skilled nursing facilities, you can find the COVID breakdown on the California Department of Public Health website, which breaks it down by county.

Nursing home: Resident deaths amid ‘poorly characterised’ storm


The owner of a North Carolina nursing home fears the deaths of two residents amid a winter storm have been ‘misinterpreted’ and said the deaths were not related to staffing issues.

Principle LTC, the owner of Pine Ridge Health & Rehabilitation Center, said in a statement Monday that staff notified families of residents at the time of death and began making arrangements, but road conditions were preventing the funeral home to reach the nursing home, according to media reports. reported. Principle’s medical director said the deaths were “medically unrelated” to staffing issues caused by the winter storm, according to the statement. Thomasville police said last week that two residents were found dead and two others were in critical condition when residents requested social checks on Jan. 16.

The police report said the patients in critical condition were taken to hospital. Residents demanded control, saying staff members had not been seen by some residents and could not be reached by phone, police said.

The report said officers determined there were not enough staff, with three staff members for every 98 patients. A combination of hazardous road conditions and the rampant spread of COVID created the disruption to staff, Principle said.

Health care provider calls for help as region’s transmission rate leads state | Latest titles

As the rate of new COVID-19 cases continues to rise, a Southwest Virginia healthcare provider is actively seeking help.

The Health Wagon, which serves residents of Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott and Wise counties, issued an urgent email appeal Sunday for health care volunteers to supplement its staff.

“The Health Wagon is calling for emergency general and medical volunteers. We are in immediate need of Nurse Practitioners, RNs, RPNs, Nursing Assistants, Physician Assistants, Physicians, Paramedics and Office Support. Both short-term and long-term commitments are needed,” according to the email. They also explore state and federal resource options.

Contacted on Monday, CEO Dr. Teresa Tyson said the needs are on multiple fronts.

“Twenty percent of our staff are (COVID) positive. We are overwhelmed and need nurses to support testing and healthcare providers to help treat in person and via telehealth. These are our greatest needs,” Tyson said, adding that his staff were exhausted.

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The Health Wagon employs around 50 people and has a large volunteer base who it hopes will respond.

As a region, Southwest Virginia has the highest community transmission rate in the state, with 37.6% of all patients testing positive for COVID-19 in the past seven days. Many localities recorded their highest weekly average since the pandemic began in March 2020, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Community transmission levels were above 41% in six localities, with the cities of Bristol and Norton and Wythe County having among the highest rates in Virginia.

Bristol’s seven-day average test positivity rate is 46.4%, meaning almost half of those tested for COVID-19 were positive. In the past seven days, the city has diagnosed 286 new cases of COVID-19 and its total for 2022 is 815. During this time, the city’s positivity rate has more than doubled since January 1, while it was 21%, according to VDH.

The City of Norton’s rate is 47.6% and the County of Wythe’s is 45.2%. Scott, Washington, and Wise counties are all at or above 41%. On January 1, the regional rate was 26.2%. On Monday, the statewide average rate was 27.9%.

Tyson said even more testing was crucial.

“The need for testing exceeds what we can currently provide. The healthcare system is under strain from rising COVID rates. We are doing our best to do more testing to avoid an increase in illness from the disease,” Tyson said in a text message. “We are working with the health department, planning additional testing sites in Coeburn and Wise – approximately 400 additional tests for the region next week – due to COVID demand.”

And those numbers are probably not the whole story.

“There’s been a lot of home testing in the area that isn’t reflected in those numbers and that number at 41% – that’s high,” Tyson said.

Tyson said it’s important people know if they’re positive, so they can isolate and not pass the virus on to others.

More than 4,300 new cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the 10 counties and two cities in far southwest Virginia in the past seven days — maintaining a trend that began in early January. More than 11,500 cases of COVID have been diagnosed in Southwest Virginia so far in January.

These record rates are also translating into hospitalizations. Ballad Health System reported 381 hospitalized patients Monday at its northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia facilities, the most this year and the most since mid-September. Seventy-six patients are being treated in intensive care units and 48 are on ventilators. There are eight pediatric patients at Niswonger Children’s Hospital.

Ballad’s single-day record is 413 hospitalized COVID patients, set last September 8. They expect totals to approach that number in the coming days.

“The rapid rate of growth in omicron cases is expected to peak in the region in about a week, likely keeping hospitalizations in the 400 range,” according to forecast information released last week by Ballad Health. “However, depending on how the growth of cases this week evolves, we could potentially top 400 for a few days over the coming week.”

Trends show that omicron is generally a milder disease than the delta variant that preceded it.

“Ballad Health’s initial comparison of hospitalizations during the omicron period versus delta hospitalizations indicates a 25% reduction in intensive care utilization and a 30% shorter overall hospital stay,” according to the document. .

Last week, Ballad treated an average of 349 hospitalized patients per day, plus nearly 300 additional COVID patients per day through its Safe at Home monitoring program.

dmcgee@bristolnews.com | 276-645-2532 | Twitter: @DMcGeeBHC | Facebook.com/david.mcgee.127

Tammy Slaton’s nursing home stay is the result of carbon monoxide poisoning and pneumonia


The Slaton family vacation resulted in a lot of drama on 1000 pound sisters, leading some fans to believe that Tammy Slaton’s stay in rehab might be related to Amy buying a house and moving away from her sister. But thanks to Tammy’s TikTok posts, we know what’s really going on with the TLC star.

Tammy Slaton | CCM

Tammy Slaton hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning in November 2021

In season 3 of 1000 pound sisters, Tammy faces challenges in her weight loss journey. Now we have more clarity on the environment of these challenges.

“Around July of this year, I had a nervous breakdown,” Tammy explained in a November 2021 TikTok post. “I got lost…until the end of August. Tammy also explains how she took a break from filming the TLC series in September 2021 and resumed a month later in October.

“I ended up in the hospital with carbon dioxide poisoning… which resulted in pneumonia and I was septic,” Tammy continues on her TikTok, explaining why her voice sounds the way it does. “After I got off life support they put a trachea in, so I’m trying to get used to it.” Tammy also mentions that she has to go to rehab and “get her strength back” every time the hospital releases her.

‘1000-lb Sisters’ star Tammy Slaton is still in rehab

According to Tammy’s TikTok posts from January 2022, she is still in a rehab facility. Fans of the TLC series discovered Tammy’s most recent posts, and some speculated that her stay at the facility had something to do with Amy’s new home.

“Is Tammy in a nursing home now until she can live on her own because Amy moved out?” a fan wrote on Reddit. In the Season 3 episode of the TLC series “Moving on Up and Partying on Down”, Amy and Michael learn that the sellers have accepted the offer they made on a house. Additionally, Amy told Tammy about her family’s plan to move out of the home they once shared. This all took place before Tammy was hospitalized with pneumonia or transferred to rehab.

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Other fans were quick to correct the original poster’s speculation that Amy’s move resulted in Tammy’s hospitalization, citing Tammy’s trachea and a previous pneumonia diagnosis as the reason for her attendance at a facility. . “I believe she is now in a nursing home due to the trachea,” they wrote in a comment.

“She is now in a nursing home because of her trachea, and I strongly believe the trachea is here to stay,” another Reddit user said. “As long as the windpipe is there, an independent life will never be a possibility for Tammy.”

How long will Tammy Slaton be in rehab?

At this time, it’s unclear how long the TLC star will have to stay in a rehab facility. Despite her activity on TikTok, Tammy hasn’t shared a health update for some time. Additionally, his YouTube channel hasn’t been live since February 2021.

Amy also hasn’t posted about her sister on social media. She’s more active on YouTube and Instagram than Tammy, but most of her posts are about unboxings or her and Michael’s son, Gage.

Stay tuned to Showbiz Cheat Sheet for updates on Tammy. Watch new episodes of 1000 pound sisters every Monday at 10 p.m. ET on TLC.

RELATED: ‘1000 Pound Sisters’: Slaton Sister Amanda Has Same Married Name As Amy

Ken Health Care: a second home for seniors | News


“Having a place to live is home. Having someone to live with is family. Having both is a wonderful life” Ali Bassam

For the past 16 years, Registered Nurse Lyn Kennedy-McKenzie has created a home for seniors who, once inducted, automatically become members of her own extended family.

The idea, which was born from an encounter with a stranger at the bank, who expressed his wish for a home away from home, saw Kennedy-McKenzie transform part of his house to allow for an establishment of 25 beds with 24 nursing staff. .

“The original intention was to provide supported and independent living, but seniors age and their needs change over time. We used to have short stays for people who needed respite, people recovering from surgery and not ready to go home, but we also have residents with total health needs and residents who have been here for up to 12 years…” says Kennedy-McKenzie

From birthday parties to mini-musicals, special excursions, nature walks and gardening activities, residents can be seen at Ken Health Care Home living and loving it despite whatever ailments they may have.

But among holistic home care activities, there is an emphasis on spirituality.

“We try to offer as comprehensive a care approach as possible[…]. We use talk therapy, reminiscence therapy, dance therapy and worship. Even though some residents are not Christians or belong to any faith group, they enjoy worship time, which is an integral part of our ritual here. Every day at a quarter to six is ​​worship time, and we pull out our tambourines and we pull out our maracas and we tell them to bring their voicemail when they come in,” she said. laughing.

Kennedy-McKenzie said that through their participation, harmony is further maintained in the home and that residents, even in advanced stages of dementia, have the opportunity to experience renewed conviction and express their faith with lucidity.

“…When we ask them to pray, they remember the act of prayer, they remember that they are talking to God and that they are not doing it alone but in community, and they are asking God to bless people who take care of them and the people who are with them. Adoration leaves you deeply touched. I’ve seen people reconcile their own accounts with God here…” she said.

Kennedy-McKenzie said not only was her home blessed with seniors whose presence and fun spirit uplifted the space, but she was blessed to have had three centenarians, including her late father, who was up and about three months before his death.

“Our youngest resident is 65, and has been with us for three years, and our oldest client, Winnifred Hendricks, turned 105 on December 23, 2021, and has been with us since 2010. Miss Winnifred was the postwoman from the Spalding Post Office … . She is very charming, very refined and very convincing and always shares her stories mainly on the post.

House manager Beryl Gordon says she remembers Hendricks’ spirit quite often and is always happy to engage with the other residents.

“When we serve meals, we normally tell them to pray. I remember one day Miss Winni didn’t want to eat, and she said, ‘Lord, thank you for this food that I won’t get’…” Gordon said with hearty laughter.

“Seniors are really like children. They’ll tell you that’s how it is, and you really just have to laugh…. I remember a nurse wearing a wig for the first time, and one of the residents said, “Nurse, the wig doesn’t suit you…. Dem nuh you say?’ They’re going to tell you as is,” Gordon added, laughing even more.

In addition to the laughter medicine that often fills wards, Kennedy-McKenzie said there was also a physical therapist, an in-house massage therapist, and organic foods were prepared whenever possible and used as medicine.

“We raise our own chickens, so we have our own eggs. We produce our own honey. I prepare all the seasonings for the herbs we plant…. I imagine that one of these days I may need care, and human dignity is very important to me. It’s not just the length of life, it’s the quality of life. They should feel loved, pampered, [be] well fed, nourished. The environment must enrich them.

Pennsylvania Nursing Home Staffing Shortages Hurting Admissions, Leading to Longer Hospital Stays | Coronavirus


Pennsylvania nursing homes are having to turn people away due, in large part, to a staffing shortage and it’s having a widespread impact, health experts say.

A survey last fall of 64 of the 450 nursing facilities represented by the Pennsylvania Health Care Association found that there had been a loss of nearly 20% of staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve had calls with three care home administrators and they tell me they’ve been cooking for residents, tilling the floors and taking laundry shifts. The crisis is so severe,” said Zach Shamberg, president and CEO of the association.

To help cover the shortage, he said, some facilities are hiring staff from contract agencies at a higher and unsustainable cost.

Most alarming, Shamberg said, is that the majority of nursing facilities are restricting new admissions and 48% of survey respondents said they have a waiting list.

“They’re turning away vulnerable people who need care” and that’s leading to longer stays in hospitals, he said.

Holly Kyle, administrator of the Snyder-Union Regional Agency on Aging, who also serves as chair of the state’s Regional Agency on Aging, said the shortage of nursing homes and health care workers at home is at a critical stage and is contributing to the capacity of hospitals. .

“The issue of direct care work is a crisis in Pennsylvania. We can’t take care of people,” she said.

Since January 11, the National Guard Reserve has been providing additional coverage in Scranton and York counties due to worker shortages.

At this time, in Union and Snyder counties alone, Kyle staff have been unable to provide in-home services to 14 seniors.

“People end up in the emergency room because they can’t stay home safely,” she said.

Shira Vergauwen, director of care coordination at Evangelical Community Hospital Lewisburg, said staffing shortages and strict COVID-related isolation requirements in long-term care facilities have prevented the hospital from being able to discharge more patients.

“We see it daily,” Vergauwen said. Prior to the pandemic, the hospital routinely referred patients to nursing homes for further care or recovery. “Since COVID, care homes are being asked to follow a lot more guidelines.

“It had a huge ripple effect. Everyone is in trouble. There just aren’t enough hands to take care of people.

While Mark Monahan, executive director of nursing and rehabilitation at Sunbury Manor for the past 20 years, said he was fortunate to have long-term management staff on the job during the health crisis world, “The reality is that everyone has lost a lot of staff.

Adding to the challenge of labor shortages, Monohan said, the nursing home industry must take extra precautions to keep residents safe, which means it can’t fill every bed. available.

“We get a lot of referrals, but we need to have beds” available in case current residents need them.

To address the shortage of healthcare workers and help residents access the care they need, the Pennsylvania Health Care Association last week presented a proposal – the Care Capacity Crisis Plan – to elected state leaders. Recommendations include generating targeted personnel resources from groups like FEMA and the National Guard; provide incentive compensation to help providers recruit and retain staff and develop plans to distribute COVID-19 tools, such as testing support and vaccination awareness.

Shamberg said Pennsylvania should also look to other states that are getting creative with the crisis, like Minnesota where state colleges and long-term care providers are working together to recruit and train. 1,000 certified practical nurses.

Financial incentives and loan forgiveness programs for nursing students could help attract more people to the profession, Kyle said.

“We have to do something,” she said.

Consolidating Private or Federal Student Loans: What’s the Difference?


If you have student loans, you may have heard of loan consolidation. This means combining several loans into one.

People do this because they might be able to get a better interest rate on a single loan, and also because it’s easier to keep up with one monthly payment rather than several. Consolidation may seem like an attractive option when you think about these potential benefits.

What you may not realize, however, is that there is a difference between private student loan consolidation and federal loans. We will talk about it in this article.

Private vs Federal Student Loans

Before going into student loan details debt consolidation, let’s make sure we understand the difference between a federal student loan and a private student loan. Private student loans are issued by private loan companies. Federal student loans are issued by the US Department of Education.

A private student loan is not necessarily easier to obtain than a federal loan. Federal student loans are often attractive due to deferral options, low fixed interest rates, and income-contingent repayment.

Federal Student Loan Consolidation

Let’s start by talking about federal student loan consolidation. If you have subscribed to several, grouping them together via a Direct Consolidation Credit is sometimes possible. The federal government offers this type of loan. If you have private loans, this is not an option.

You can apply for any of these consolidated loans for free. You can easily do this online without a credit check. When you do, you can choose new repayment terms. For example, you can choose a longer term loan. This will lower your monthly payments, but you’ll end up paying more interest due to the longer term of the loan.

A federal student loan consolidation loan will cause your interest rate to increase slightly. However, you can still go this route because you will now have lower monthly payments and only one bill to pay each cycle.

Consolidation of private student loans

Now let’s move on to consolidating private student loans. If you have private student loans that you want to consolidate, you can do business with a private company instead of the federal government. Like federal student loan consolidation, this option can mean lower monthly payments.

There are, however, some differences. For example, a private company will review how worthy a candidate you are based on your credit report. If you are considering a federal student loan consolidation, you will not have to go through this credit check.

The other crucial difference is that some entities through which you can obtain private student loan consolidation will charge you something they call an origination fee. It is a percentage of the loan for the treatment of the existing loan in its new consolidated version.

You might feel like this is a reason not to consolidate your private student loans if these origination fees are too high. However, you can always research lending companies to see if they don’t charge this fee or if you can find a cheaper one.

Consolidation often makes sense

Consolidation may be a logical decision if you have multiple federal or private student loans. With either option, you can extend the term of the loan, giving you more time to pay it back. You can also go from having several bills to pay each month to just one.

Remember that if you opt for a direct federal consolidation loan, you can apply for it for free and there will be no credit check. If you try to consolidate private loans with a non-federal lending entity, they will check your credit. You will also have to pay attention to any assembly costs.

Everyone with student loans must weigh the pros and cons of private or federal consolidation. A careful review of your finances will often reveal if this is a prudent option.

How a milder COVID variant is creating a health care crisis

“Give up hope,” the Buddhist nun Pema Chödrön tells us, in her book “When things fall apart», from 1996. It is not a message of despair but of clarity. What she means is that hope can sometimes distract us from what is really going on. “We cling to hope, and hope robs us of the present moment,” she explains. Chödrön wants us to see things and deal with them as they really are, even if it’s difficult.

Right now, the pull of hope is powerful and understandable. After two years of disruption, people are waiting for good news. The emergence of the Omicron variant in Botswana and South Africa seemed to signal another dark winter, but then doctors began to report that Omicron infections may be less likely to result in hospitalization than was the case for Delta. As the variant spread to Europe, the UK, and the United States, other studies have suggested it may be less dangerous. The rise of Omicron in South Africa ended almost as soon as it started, with relatively few associated deaths, and the UK surge has since peaked (although there the number of cases has plateaued rather than fallen). Several US cities with early Omicron waves may also have sharp.

All this is cause for justified hope. And yet, that hope seems to distract us from another disturbing reality: American hospitals have been quietly in crisis for months. I work in a small emergency room in rural New Mexico, and our hospital has long been near or at full capacity. In December, I wrote that a colleague of mine had to call thirty-eight other hospitals looking for a bed for one of our patients. Now we regularly call forty, fifty, even sixty hospitals without success. The problem is not only covid but the price it has taken on the health care system as a whole. Many claimants quit their jobs, exhausted; those who remain are now contracting the virus at a higher rate than ever. This is happening across the country, straining many parts of the system simultaneously.

Even when they walk through the door, I can tell if the patients are going to need a transfer. There may not be room for them or they may need care that we cannot provide. I immediately think of the dozens of phone calls I’m going to have to make, while the waiting room fills with new patients requiring my attention. Some may spend hours or even days in our ER as their condition steadily worsens. A no-covid patient with liver and kidney failure was recently stuck in our ward for three days. Our staff called over sixty hospitals as they deteriorated; eventually, he had to be intubated. Last week, I turned over a patient with internal bleeding to the doctor overnight. I explained that we had called forty-five hospitals looking for a bed, including those in Georgia, California and Wyoming, and found none. He shook his head and said, “That really should be in the news.”

The word ‘endemic’, which descends from the Greek words meaning ‘in’ or ‘among’ and ‘people’, means that a pathogen exists in some sort of permanent equilibrium with its host. Malaria is endemic in parts of Africa; seasonal flu is rampant everywhere. Omicron’s contagiousness has people wondering if it grows covid to the threshold of endemicity. Bill Gates and the Prime Minister of Spain both raised the possibility; the BBC reported that “there is growing confidence that Omicron could usher the UK into the final stage of the pandemic”. Earlier this month, three public health experts, all former advisers to President Biden, called for a change in national strategy support a “new normal” of life with covid. Reports “Omicron parties” even make the headlines. The attitude seems to be that since Omicron is softer and will be with us forever, why not end it?

The possibility that a milder variant will propel us towards the end of the pandemic by spreading widespread immunity is also encouraging. But the reality is not so sunny. In fact, some of us – the unvaccinated or otherwise vulnerable – may be in a very dangerous phase of the crisis. Most of the data showing that Omicron is less likely to cause serious symptoms or hospitalization compares it to Delta. But Delta was on point twice as virulent as the first iteration of the virus. This means Omicron can be about as dangerous as the original Wuhan strain. SARS-CoV-2, but much more infectious.

It is entirely possible that early studies showing reduced hospitalization rates with Omicron may not apply equally everywhere. The severity of any infectious disease is always affected by the characteristics of the population it infects. Today, billions of people have some degree of immunity to the coronavirus from previous infections and vaccinations. But this immunity is unequally distributed. South Africa’s population is relatively young and believed to have a high level of general immunity to coronavirus; in the UK, vaccination rates are higher than in the US. For large segments of the US population – the elderly, the unvaccinated, or those with multiple medical comorbidities – Omicron could prove anything but mild.

The sheer contagiousness of the new variant has an importance that is easy to underestimate. Delta peaked in the United States on August 6, at around two hundred and fifty-five thousand new daily cases. If an estimate two percent Delta cases required hospitalization, these new infections would have created about five thousand new patients. Compare that to Omicron. On January 10, there was 1.37 million new cases in the United States. Even though the hospitalization rate for Omicron is half of what it was for Delta, that still represents 13,700 new patients in a single day of new infections. And, according to the Surgeon General of the United States, the peak of Omicron is still in front of us.

Beyond a certain threshold, the health system becomes overwhelmed. The problem is that patients have nowhere to go. At the start of the pandemic, hospitals and health care providers mobilized to increase the capacity of people with the virus; the system staggered under the pressure but did not break. Now the situation is different. Many hospitals are already overwhelmed. After two years, exhausted healthcare workers quit their jobs in droves. A quarter of all hospitals are reports severe staff shortages. Thousands of hospital beds across the country are empty because there are no nurses to take care of them. Many hospitals now keep employees who test positive at work if their symptoms are mild, because there is no one to replace them. The problem goes beyond the hospital: in Washington State, hospitals are in trouble to discharge patients due to understaffing in nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. Recently a friend of mine who works in New York told me that it took him four hours to transfer a heart attack patient to a larger facility a few miles away – there was no enough ambulance crews.

Along with the exodus of health care workers, another mass movement has taken place. Regular patients – those with kidney disease, cancer or heart problems – have started to return to the emergency room. Many stayed away for the first year of the pandemic and their condition has now worsened. Cancers are more advanced; chest pain turned into heart failure; and people with kidney disease now need dialysis. In short, hospitals are overwhelmed with more patients, with more serious problems, in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, with fewer staff members than ever before.

The situation inside our hospital is grim, and has been for months. Patients fill our waiting rooms, each labeled with a complaint on the computer dashboard: cough, fever, shortness of breath. We lack even basic supplies, including endotracheal tubes for intubation and blood. A few days ago we ran out of covid trials. A courier had to fetch over from another hospital. Ultimately, if you come to our emergency room for care, you may not receive it. This is true not only for covid patients but for all patients. We may simply not be able to get you to an intensive care bed, a neurosurgeon or a cardiologist. The system has become distorted; in many ways, and for many patients, it has already failed. I don’t know how we’re going to take care of the patients who inevitably seem to come our way.

Last week, the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association released a declaration. “We have never been so afraid of what is to come,” it read. “Every corner of our healthcare system is stretched thin.” The situation may be invisible to most people, the authors wrote; it is revealed only when “they are the ones who need care and bear witness to it”.

Nor is it a message of despair but of clarity. We have to see things and deal with them as they really are, even if it is difficult. We have come a long way and the end of the pandemic may very well be in sight. But we are not there yet and in many places the situation is bad. We have the tools to keep ourselves and others safe, and we must continue to use them. Stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated. Flatten the curve, for yourself and for everyone else.

Aberystwyth University’s new nursing facilities get a financial boost

A £500,000 grant from the Welsh Government will fund new facilities at Aberystwyth University for its nursing courses which start in September this year.

The announcement comes six months after the University’s plan to offer nursing qualifications for the first time received the green light from Health Education and Improvement Wales.

The money will be used to invest in facilities at the university’s new health education centre, located opposite Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth.

Plans include capital works and the purchase of equipment to create a suite of high-quality clinical practice rooms, part of the University’s £1.7million investment in the site .

The new center will include a clinical skills unit with high-fidelity simulation areas that reflect the patient journey from home and community services through assessment, planned and acute care.

Work on the facilities is due to be completed in March this year, in time for the first nursing students to start their studies in September.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan MS said:

“The people who work in the NHS are its lifeblood. Investing in training and the future workforce is a priority for us. I am delighted that our funding is helping to support a new phase for Aberystwyth University in nursing education.

“The new facility provides students with invaluable rural education and builds on the work of the Community and Rural Education Route (CARER) program, giving them experience working closely with clinicians and patients in community settings. .

“Over the last five years training places for nurses have increased by 72% in Wales and we are pleased to have retained the NHS Scholarship for Female Nursing Students to support people in a career in nursing. .

“I look forward to visiting the new center when it opens in the spring and meeting those who are starting the journey to become a nurse.

Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, added:

“During the pandemic, the work of our nurses and that of other NHS workers and caregivers has been nothing short of extraordinary. It is a great honor that we will be training nurses here in Aberystwyth for the first time in September.

“We are very grateful to the Welsh Government for this significant investment to support development. The funding will help ensure new students have access to the best resources and a high-quality education when they start in September.

“The healthcare training center will benefit the local recruitment and retention of nurses in Mid Wales and provide wider benefits to the region. It also has the potential to inspire new models of healthcare delivery. Supporting the needs of the community, in close collaboration with our partners, is at the heart of our civic mission; and the establishment of nursing education here is an important part of that. Our plans will also make an important contribution to improving mental health and Welsh language provision locally and beyond.

“Many thanks to everyone who has been involved in shaping our plans to provide nursing education here – including the Welsh Government, local health boards and Ceredigion County Council – without whom these exciting developments would not be possible.”

Proposals to establish nursing education have been developed by Aberystwyth University in cooperation with a number of partners, including the local health boards of Hywel Dda, Betsi Cadwaladr and Powys, as well as service users and caregivers.

The new courses will also offer students the opportunity to study up to half of their course in Welsh.

January 26 this year is the deadline to apply to study as part of the first cohort of nursing students at Aberystwyth University.

On-site reminders will be required in nursing facilities | News, Sports, Jobs

ELIZABETH HERTEL, DIRECTOR of the state Department of Health, addresses the state in February 2021. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP, File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s health director on Thursday ordered nursing homes to offer on-site reminders to residents who are not up to date on the COVID-19 vaccine in a lagging state compared to others in vaccinating people in long-term care settings.

Facilities must comply within 30 days.

Nearly 75% of eligible nursing home residents received a booster dose. In December, Governor Gretchen Whitmer set a goal of getting a recall of 95% of eligible nursing home residents by the end of January.

The average percentages of fully immunized residents and staff among Michigan nursing homes reporting are around 85% and 70%, the 13th and fifth lowest averages in the United States, according to the federal government. The number of vaccinated healthcare workers in nursing homes may soon increase due to a federal mandate – upheld by the Supreme Court – requiring vaccinations for most US healthcare workers.

The deadlines for the first and second shots are January 27 and February 28.

Elizabeth Hertel, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services, said vaccinations are even more important because the fast-spreading omicron variant can more easily evade people’s immunity to past vaccines and infections. .

“We want to make sure our most vulnerable Michiganders are protected from the virus,” she said in a written statement.

The ordinance does not require nursing home residents to be vaccinated.

It’s the same day that Republican-led legislative committees held a joint hearing to consider the state’s recent auditors’ report that found nearly 2,400 more COVID-19 deaths linked to healthcare facilities. longer than the 5,675 reported by the state in July, including 1,335 tied to facilities that must report such deaths. GOP lawmakers cited the numbers while again criticizing the Democratic governor’s orders, which his administration says have not been enforced, requiring nursing homes to admit or readmit recovering coronavirus patients. at the start of the pandemic. Democrats have accused Republicans of making partisan attacks.

Hertel, as she has done before, disputed the accuracy of the review — saying she believed the facilities were accurately reporting deaths to the state because they could otherwise lose their license.

“Without someone coming in and doing a standardized facility audit, I’m afraid we can’t rely on the numbers you rely on,” he added. said Sen. Ed McBroom, a Vulcan Republican who chairs the Senate Oversight Committee.

Hertel questioned the auditors’ use of a disease surveillance system to tally deaths, saying the addresses are unreliable.

“We need…additional information on most of these cases to verify the claim the Auditor General is making with their numbers,” she said.

But the auditors defended their work and agreed when lawmakers asked if they could share the audit information with the health department. They said they corroborated the addresses by also cross-checking them with Medicaid registration and payment systems confirming that the deceased were living in the facilities.

“It was tied to a long-term care facility,” said Auditor General Doug Ringler, whose review revealed some limitations to the data analysis.

Auditors did not say the health department underreported deaths, he said, because his office’s review also included thousands of small adult placement facilities and nursing homes. elderly who were not required to report to the state. This added 923 deaths. The facility type for another 128 deaths was undetermined because the facilities share the same name or address.

In July, auditors identified 8,061 total deaths in long-term care facilities since the start of the pandemic.

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Portage County nursing home referendum calls for $4.5 million a year


STEVENS POINT — Portage County voters will, once again, decide whether they will pay to keep his retirement home open.

Portage County Council voted unanimously to send a referendum to voters on April 5 that would allow it to exceed property tax levy limits by $4.5 million for 20 years, in part so that the county could replace the Whiting Avenue facility built in 1931 with a more compact and energy-efficient building.

Voters in 2018 authorized the county to raise taxes by up to $1.4 million a year for four years to give county leaders time to plan a future for the facility, which was bleeding mostly cash due to low Medicaid reimbursement rates in Wisconsin.

A portion of the $4.5 million each year would be used to continue paying the operating deficit, and it would also be used to build a new 57,000 square foot facility to help make the center more financially viable.

As with the 2018 referendum, the county cannot levy the full amount approved by voters. The amount of county levies will depend on state Medicaid reimbursement rates, the number of private insurance patients the facility attracts, and the amount of government grants the center receives.

If the referendum fails, it will be up to the next county council elected in April to decide whether to try again for a November referendum or begin the process of closing the facility. The retirement home has enough money to operate until the summer of 2023, Portage County Executive Chris Holman said.

The county’s current overrun of the drawdown limit is approximately $21 per $100,000 of equalized land value. The new referendum before the voters would bring this amount to approximately $67 per $100,000 of equalized property value.

Building a new facility would take about two years as the county slowly tears down the old facility wing by wing and replaces it with a new modular facility that would allow for expansions down the road, said board member Meleesa Johnson. county administration and president of health care. central committee.

Phasing out the old nursing home allows the county to keep current and future patients in the area without sending them to Wausau or further afield while a new facility is built. Johnson said the county could save more money in the long run by constructing a modern building, since many of the underlying infrastructure elements of the current retirement home are well past their useful life.

A new facility would also allow patients to have rooms to themselves without having to share bathrooms and have better air circulation to prevent the spread of disease. The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the facility to stop doubling the number of patients in rooms.

Johnson said a new facility with more amenities will help attract more private insurance patients, which will be key to the center’s financial viability. Private insurance pays facilities more, and Wisconsin is one of the worst states for reimbursing facilities caring for Medicaid patients, according to a 2017 national study by the American Health Care Association. Moving to attract more paying patients means the county can operate a facility that serves the most vulnerable, she said.

“It sounds cold, but that’s kind of the way this world is,” she said.

RELATED:Portage County’s 2022 budget paints a critical year for the health center‘s future

RELATED:Nursing home advocates see more at stake than money as Portage County referendum looms

The health care center currently consists of approximately 66% Medicaid patients and 23% private patients.

Johnson said the plan for the new facility also includes diversifying the center’s offerings. The center will provide assisted living services to help retain qualified nurses in Portage County. The new business model also involves building on the centre’s existing memory care and rehabilitation services.

Contact reporter Alan Hovorka at 715-345-2252 or ahovorka@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ajhovorka.

VA Exposed for ‘cutting corners’ when screening health care providers for veterans, again

A new report shows that VA was caught referring veterans to ineligible health care providers with suspended or revoked medical licenses — two of whom had criminal records.

A government survey showed that many providers were ineligible to participate in the VA Community Care Program. Ineligible providers are not meant to be included in the referral system and therefore do not qualify for the role for one reason or another.

But they were included anyway. Approximately 1,600 ineligible providers have been identified.

This problem of VA inappropriately using certain providers to provide care to veterans is not new.

In 2019, VA was caught using unqualified doctors to treat veterans at its facilities. In 2015, VA was caught using unqualified doctors and nurses to diagnose traumatic brain injury.

Now, in 2022, this newly released report shows that VA was using ineligible providers to treat veterans outside of VA in the community care program – – little has been learned from past failures, apparently.

What was happening?

GAO Community Care Provider Report

An investigation by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that VA wrongly approved 1,600 doctors to refer them to the community care program.

The Community Care Program allows veterans to seek care in the community when difficulties are encountered obtaining care at a VA facility.

RELATED: VA Fails to Flag 90% of Bad Physicians or Other Healthcare Workers

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is responsible for overseeing the program officially known as the VA Community Care Program (VACCP). The VCCP program falls under the Office of Community Care. This office maintains a database created by contractors that is meant to include only eligible healthcare providers.

But, as the report showed, at least 1,600 vendors in the database are not eligible. They are ineligible in many cases due to revoked or suspended licenses. In a few cases, the provider has been charged with abuse, fraud, or other participation-preventing crimes. Many of the ineligible had died.

A provider was found to have previously been convicted of abuse and neglect of patients with an expired medical license. The provider has already been arrested for assault and barred from other federal health care programs.

Another supplier previously posed a “clear and immediate danger to public health and safety”. This doctor’s medical license has been revoked.

RELATED: Veterans’ Psychiatric Care Neglected For Years

The report, released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), showed that VA was “cutting corners” when approving providers who are not legally eligible to be paid under the VA Community Care Scheme.

“Our work … basically revealed that they were really taking shortcuts,” said Seto Bagdoyan, director of audits at GAO. “They didn’t do monthly checks, for example. And even when they flagged someone as ineligible, that individual…wasn’t removed in a timely manner.

Excerpt from the GAO report

The GAO provided the following summary in italics:

Of more than 800,000 providers assessed, GAO identified approximately 1,600 VCCP providers who had died, were ineligible to work with the federal government, or had revoked or suspended medical licenses. VHA and its contractors had controls in place to identify these suppliers. However, existing controls omitted some vendors that could have been identified with stronger controls and more consistent implementation of standard operating procedures. For example, the GAO found the following:

A provider had a nursing license that expired in April 2016 and was arrested for assault in October 2018. This provider was barred from working in federally funded health care programs. The provider was found guilty of patient abuse and neglect in July 2019. The provider entered the VCCP in November 2019. VHA officials said this provider was uploaded into the system in error.

A vendor was eligible for referrals in the VHA system, but had their medical license revoked in 2019. The licensing documents indicated that the vendor posed a clear and immediate danger to public health and safety.

The GAO also identified weaknesses in the monitoring of vendor address data. Some VCCP vendors used commercial mail receiving addresses as the only service address. Such addresses have been disguised as business addresses in the past by individuals intending to commit fraud. VHA has not assessed the risk of fraud that invalid address data poses to the program.

These vulnerabilities potentially put veterans at risk of receiving care from unqualified providers. Additionally, VHA is at risk for fraudulent activity, as some of the vendors identified by the GAO have previous convictions for healthcare fraud. VA has an opportunity to address these limitations as it continues to refine the controls, policies, and procedures of this 2-year-old program.

Lawmakers demand responsibility for community care

Lawmakers on the House Veterans Affairs Committee sent a letter to the current acting head of the VHA, a strongly worded letter on the findings of the investigation:

The GAO report found that VHA and the third-party administrators responsible for developing and managing its Community Care Network failed to conduct adequate and comprehensive audits using multiple proprietary data sources as required. federal law and the VHA Office of Community Care’s own standard operating procedures. . As a result, GAO has identified examples of healthcare providers remaining active in the community care network, and therefore able to receive referrals from VA patients, despite strong evidence of ineligibility. This included ineligibility based on prior convictions for health care fraud, loss of medical licenses, and instances where providers appeared in the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File (i.e. they were deceased).

The letter was addressed to Steven Lieberman, MD, the Deputy Under Secretary of Health performing delegated duties of the Under Secretary of Health.

Boy, that’s a mouthful of a title. Why is that?

Word soup titles with no leadership confirmed by Senate

Lieberman is the deputy undersecretary of health. But there is no Senate-confirmed undersecretary of health.

Lieberman also performs the delegated duties of Undersecretary of Health and apparently his own duties, one way or another.

The VHA has not had a Senate-confirmed Undersecretary of Health since Confirmed Undersecretary David Shulkin, MD, was selected to serve as Secretary of Veterans Affairs.

Dr. Shulkin was the last confirmed person in this role. Since then, the post has been vacant. Instead, we saw a soup of title words used by the White House to explain the role of the decision-maker in charge of the Veterans Health Administration.

Some might say the absence of a confirmed head of the health agency is being used as a way to limit political scrutiny.

But to what end?

Lieberman isn’t the only senior VA official to hold a similar title.

The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) also does not have a Senate-confirmed Undersecretary for Benefits.

The top spot is currently held by an official who previously served in the interim role under President Barack Obama.

Thomas Murphy, Northeast District Manager, currently uses the delegated duties performance title of Undersecretary of Benefits to lead VBA. In 2016, Murphy did not receive the political support needed for a No. 1 nomination.

But, Murphy is now back in the same role after a long hiatus from VA central office operations managing various field offices.

It’s unclear how long Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough won’t tolerate any Senate-confirmed heads of those agencies. With the White House and the majority in the Senate and House, the lack of political leadership in either role is puzzling.

Nursing home operators in New Jersey will face greater scrutiny under law signed by Murphy


New Jersey nursing homes will be required to disclose more detailed financial information about their operations, under new mandates signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy on Tuesday.

Measure A4478/S2759 will also impose stiffer penalties on nursing homes for repeated violations of state and federal codes — particularly if a facility is cited multiple times for the same failures — requiring the Department of Health to establish a “system of scaling up” of actions and sanctions.

Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, chair of the Senate Health, Human Services and Seniors Committee and one of the bill’s sponsors, said nursing homes and those who run them must be held accountable .

The new law had been long delayed.

In 2020, the administration retained the services of health care consultant Manatt Health as the death toll in New Jersey nursing homes spiraled out of control. The consultants concluded that long-term care facilities were underprepared and understaffed to deal with the pandemic, and called for more rigorous state scrutiny.

The new regulations promulgated by the Governor had been adopted by the Assembly more than a year ago. Former MP Valerie Vainieri Huttle, D-Bergen, one of the sponsors there, had questioned whether non-compliance was accurately reported or whether facilities were not penalized enough to make improvements. She complained that in the last three inspection cycles, fewer than 100 nursing homes in New Jersey have been fined for deficiencies. Yet only about 41% of establishments — about 150 — had “much below average” or “below average” health inspection ratings.

The Senate, however, did not pass its version of the legislation until the last day of the lame duck’s legislative session.

The measure requires nursing homes to report additional financial information, electronically publish annual owner-certified financial statements — or IRS Form 990, in the case of nonprofit operators — and make available their most recent cost reports submitted to the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services. State health officials would also be required to assess staffing levels.

In addition, nursing homes will be required to participate in the National Health Care Safety Network’s Long-Term Care Facility Survey, reporting information monthly and annually on certain hospital-acquired infections and prevention process measures.

Since the start of the pandemic, at least 8,255 nursing home residents have died of COVID-19 in New Jersey, according to the latest data from the Department of Health. There are currently 555 facilities with active outbreaks – a number that has been skyrocketing since December, amid the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant of the virus.


Local journalism needs your support. Subscribe to nj.com/supporter.

Ted Sherman can be reached at tsherman@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @TedShermanSL

Amid COVID-19 surge, Texas nursing facilities face worsening staffing shortages

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As COVID-19 cases surge in Texas nursing homes, another crisis is plaguing those facilities: staffing shortages.

Industry leaders estimate a 15% reduction in the skilled nursing workforce during the pandemic. Kevin Warren, president and CEO of the Texas Health Care Association, said he fears the industry faces greater pressure due to the rise of the omicron variant.

“It becomes the roller coaster that we can’t get off of,” he said. “We need to stay on this because residents and families rely on these providers to protect the health and safety of residents. It was a challenge.

Figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show 3,371,800 workers in nursing and residential care facilities in March 2020. By May, that number had fallen to 3,192,400. Preliminary figures for December 2021 show a workforce of 2,958,700.

Leaders of the national nursing home advocacy group American Health Care Association have pointed out that the skilled nursing industry has been hit harder by labor shortages than other health care sectors.

The American Health Care Association points to labor shortages among health professions. (Graphic: AHCA)

“What it causes is – the staff who are always there – it’s longer shifts, it’s more doubles, it’s more days without leave. It also increases costs, as the cost of hiring traveling nurses, traveling staff, or placement agencies is significant compared to what they typically pay. So all of these things have a cumulative effect,” he said. “It’s easily the number one cost driver within the vendor framework.”

That’s why his association and AHCA leaders were urging public health officials to extend the public health emergency, and the Department of Health and Human Services eventually renewed it, effective January 16. .

Warren said the extension was “crucial” to allowing facilities to continue to access financial resources and other public health protections. For example, he pointed to the “temporary supplement,” which gives homes an additional $19.63 per resident per day to cover increased costs associated with the pandemic.

KXAN asked Warren if Texas facilities have used these payments or other programs to incentivize staff to stay. He didn’t know how many facilities had taken these steps, but said he had heard of everything from base salary increases to “hero” or hazard bonuses.

Lori Porter, co-founder and CEO of the National Association of Health Care Assistants, said she was pleased to see base pay slowly increasing for certified practical nurses (CNAs). However, “what happens in one doesn’t have to happen in another,” she said.

She defends the CNAs, after having worked as such for years.

“You are the first line of information, the first line of care,” she said. “You often feel like you’re the most important in the room, but you’re rarely seen as such.”

She said in addition to better pay, the industry should focus on more education and support to not only fill vacancies but also retain workers for the long term.

She estimates that a minimum of 12,000 CNAs are needed in Texas to fill current shortages.

This week, his association launched NICE, the AIIC National Institute of Excellence. The free online training program will connect interested students with facilities for their clinical and post-graduation work, as well as a mentor to support them during their early years of work.

Porter launched NICE in Texas this week, before rolling it out nationwide. She said 100 facilities across the state have already signed up to partner with them.

“Don’t just pair them, prepare them,” she said. “Preparing CNAs for Skilled Nursing? It’s different. Caring for the elderly and people living in long-term care facilities is different from working in the hospital. It’s different from home health, and we have to be prepared.

Samaritan Skilled Nursing Facilities Update Visitation Guidelines | Health issues

WATERTOWN – Highlights of changes to Samaritan Health visit guidelines include negative COVID test required prior to visit; a surgical mask that must be worn at all times rather than a simple cloth mask; and limited family visiting hours now from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., seven days a week.

Samaritan Summit Village and Keep Home Skilled Nursing will use a variety of methods to ensure residents receive the visitor interaction to which they are entitled and adhere to the Centers for Disease Control’s Basic COVID-19 Infection Prevention Principles and Prevention.

Visitors who have a positive viral test for COVID-19, symptoms of COVID, or who currently meet quarantine criteria should not enter the facility. Samaritan will screen everyone who enters.

All qualified nursing visitors must each receive a negative COVID-19 test result within 24 hours of visiting residents at the facility. The facility may provide testing materials on a limited basis depending on Department of Health supplies. Compassionate care visitors and end-of-life related visits are not required to provide a negative COVID-19 test result prior to the visit. Visitors who visit three or more times per week are only required to provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the visit.

Regardless of community transmission of COVID-19, all visitors are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Upon arrival for a visit, visitors will be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, interactions with people known or potentially positive for COVID-19, and their temperature will be taken. The visit will be refused if the person shows symptoms of COVID-19 or does not answer the screening questions.

Outdoor visits generally pose a lower risk of COVID-19 transmission due to the increased space and air circulation. However, weather considerations or a resident’s state of health may hamper outdoor visits. During indoor visits, visitors should go directly to the visitor’s room or designated visitation area. If a resident’s roommate is unvaccinated or immunocompromised, visits should not take place in the resident’s room, if possible.

Visitors must wear surgical masks at all times throughout the facility. Cloth masks will not be permitted unless they cover a surgical mask.

Before visiting a resident on the basis of Transmission Precautions, visitors should understand the risks associated with visiting with the resident and understand that they may be reported to local or state health departments as exhibition, as required by the services.

When a new case of COVID-19 is identified among staff or residents, outbreak testing is triggered in accordance with current guidelines. Although it is safer for visitors not to enter the facility during an outbreak investigation, they may choose to do so knowing that they are assuming risk.

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Unions and regulators are unclear in Saskatchewan. plans for international healthcare workers

Unions and health regulators in Saskatchewan say they know little about the government’s ideas to bring in international workers to deal with staffing shortages caused by the Omicron variant.

During a provincial COVID-19 update on Jan. 12, Premier Scott Moe said the government has inquired about the number of international healthcare providers currently in Saskatchewan and how many who applied in the province.

“And is there an opportunity for us in this province to allow these people, who have applied to work as nurses, as [licensed practical nurse], like a [continuing care assistant], to bring them to our health facilities? said Moe.

“Because we will need them in the coming weeks as their applications are being processed by their respective governing bodies.”

Health Ministry says consultations ‘continue’

In an email to CBC News on Monday, the Department of Health said it was working with the provincial health authority and public safety agency to ensure “appropriate staffing levels” during the Omicron wave.

It lists initiatives to strengthen staffing, including “working with deans, colleges, employers and regulators to encourage recruitment and provide information on available training and employment opportunities in care.” healthcare, including how to apply for nursing and other hard-to-recruit positions”.

The ministry said efforts are also underway to “explore opportunities” for foreign health providers to work in “non-regulated positions pending licensing in a regulated health profession.”

“Consultations with unions, regulators and other stakeholders will continue over the coming weeks,” the email said, without indicating which groups are currently involved in the discussions.

No discussions yet: unions, regulators

The College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan confirmed Friday that the government has inquired about the number of internationally trained nurses the group works with.

However, “no further discussions have taken place at this time”.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan said it had “no recent contact or discussion with” the provincial government about “the potential licensing of foreign-trained physicians.”

Saskatchewan Polytechnic offers a bridging program for internationally educated nurses, which provides credit for prior experience to facilitate their transition into the provincial workforce.

I dare say we waited way too long to do that. We waited until we were exhausted, almost dry. And people are suffering a lot,– Tracy Zambory, President of the Saskatchewan Nurses Union

The school’s president and CEO, Dr. Larry Rosia, told CBC News on Monday that there have been no discussions with the provincial government about international recruitment.

Barbara Cape, president of Service Employees International Union-West, said the union had not been consulted, adding that SEIU-West had sought clarification from the Department of Health, “but no one has an answer.”

“They don’t look locally, then act globally,” Cape said. “There is currently no partnership with First Nations and Métis communities around improving education, creating opportunities here at home.

Cape’s view is shared by the head of the Saskatchewan Nurses Union. Tracy Zambory told CBC News that international workers are a great resource, but cannot be the only focus.

“Recruiting nurses is only part of what needs to be a comprehensive and actionable health human resources strategy,” Zambory said.

“We have to ensure that we retain what we have, our registered nurses who are here. We need to make sure that we have conversations with the indigenous community.

Zambory said SUN has also not been consulted by the provincial government, despite the union’s willingness to be at the table.

She added that the challenges are going to be “extreme” when it comes to properly supporting international healthcare workers in an already short-staffed and exhausted working environment.

“I dare say we’ve waited far too long to do this. We’ve waited until we’re exhausted, almost dry. And people are suffering tremendously,” she said.

“It’s going to be really difficult to bring in new people, to find mentors who aren’t themselves overworked, or a facility, unit and agency that isn’t.”

Nursing home industry CEO reacts to Supreme Court decision on vaccine mandate | Investigator’s Log


WASHINGTON, DC – The American Health Care Association (AHCA), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released a statement in response to US Supreme Court upholding vaccination mandate for healthcare workers.

The statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of the AHCA:

“We respect the U.S. Supreme Court decision, but remain concerned that the repercussions of the vaccination mandate among healthcare workers will be devastating for an already decimated long-term care workforce. amid another COVID surge, caregivers in vaccine-hesitant communities may leave work because of this policy, further threatening access to care for thousands of our country’s senior members to prevent worsening illnesses. staff shortages.

“Long-term care providers have relentlessly encouraged staff to get vaccinated, and we have made tremendous progress with 83% of nursing home staff now fully vaccinated. However, widespread misinformation has sown doubt and concern among many on the front lines. We must collectively address the root cause of vaccine hesitancy rather than penalizing providers who make valiant efforts.

UL Lafayette creates online opportunities to specialize in healthcare | Sponsored: University of Louisiana

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette meets the needs of healthcare professionals and the communities they serve through several online degree and certificate programs.

The programs, offered through the university’s College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, aim to help current healthcare professionals expand their knowledge base and skills to improve patient outcomes. Programs include the Graduate Certificate in Cardiovascular Nursing, the Graduate Certificate in Population Health, and the Master of Science in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing program.

“A considerable portion of Louisiana is designated as a health professional shortage area or a medically underserved area,” says Dr. Melinda Oberleitner, dean of the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions. “We designed these online degree and certificate programs to meet not only the urgent health care needs in our state, but also the personal and professional needs of our students.”

Graduate Certificate in Cardiovascular Nursing

UL Lafayette began offering Louisiana’s only graduate certificate in cardiovascular nursing program in 2019. The program is currently accepting applications for its fourth cohort, with classes beginning in March and ending in August.

Jennifer Lemoine, DNP, APRN, NNP-BC, Graduate Studies Coordinator and Associate Professor within the University of Louisiana at Lafayette College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions.

Dr. Jennifer Lemoine, graduate studies coordinator, said health care institutions that employ graduates of the program have expressed tremendous satisfaction with the knowledge, skills and abilities acquired by students who have completed the program. Additionally, Dr. Lemoine said students who have earned the certificate often remark on how much they learned and how the program emphasizes the use of evidence-based practice guidelines.

“We believe this program not only advances the nursing profession, but also helps Louisiana residents, especially those who live in underserved areas and cannot necessarily travel to the nearest major city to specialized care,” said Dr. Lemoine.

During the six-month program, students receive extensive training in diagnosis, medication management, cardiac monitoring, and the responsibilities of advanced practice nurses in the clinical care of cardiac patients.

The program is aimed at advanced practice nurses who wish to specialize their skills. Applicants must be certified as a nurse practitioner or currently enrolled in a family nurse practitioner program. Scholarships are available for qualified applicants. The application deadline for the six-month program is Friday, February 4. Classes are delivered entirely online. During the final term of the program, students gain experience with techniques and best practices through a clinical practicum coordinated with faculty and preceptorship institutions such as the Cardiovascular Institute of the South.

“It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” said Dr. Lemoine. “There are only three programs in the country that offer this, and UL Lafayette is one of them. It’s wonderful for those with experience who want to learn more, those new to the field, and those interested in a job in the cardiovascular field.

Graduate Certificate in Population Health

This certificate is the college’s newest offering and is now enrolling its first cohort, with classes beginning in March. Dr. Rachel Ellison, program coordinator, said the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in awareness and interest in health outcomes and disparities between different populations – whether students are preparing to embark on this six-month program.

“The main topics we will be discussing are health outcomes, determinants of health, health policies and populations that do not receive adequate access to health care,” Dr. Ellison said. “We’re going to talk a lot about data and how they can use data to help those in need by improving population-level health outcomes. Students will learn innovative techniques to identify people with particular health determinants and how to provide them with better care.

The program is designed for practicing health professionals, including clinicians, administrators, managers, and analysts in health care and public health. Students must have a bachelor’s degree in a related discipline to enroll in the 100% online certificate program. The deadline for applications is Friday, February 4.


Rachel Ellison, Ph.D., associate professor and program coordinator at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions.

Dr. Ellison said the certificate program will focus on issues that have been longstanding problems in Louisiana, especially in rural areas. The ultimate goal is to equip students with the knowledge to impact population health.

“The pandemic has really highlighted health issues and made more people pay attention to them,” she said. “I hope this program will bring together people who have a common interest in learning how to bring about positive change in healthcare standards.”

MSN, Nurse Practitioner Concentration in Psychiatry/Mental Health

Dr. Lemoine said this concentration was once offered several years ago and is being reinstated.

“With the increasing number of mental health cases in the state and country, especially with COVID-19, we saw the need to bring the program back,” Dr. Lemoine said. “In Louisiana, 100% of the state is a psychiatric mental health provider shortage area, so the demand for care is significant.”

Applications are now being accepted for classes to begin this summer. Students will enroll with their cohort in the program in the fall semester of 2022.

Dr. Lemoine said that students who choose this concentration will learn about the diagnosis and treatment of various psychiatric disorders. Courses will focus on how to make a correct diagnosis, develop care plans, medication management, and more for psychiatric patients across the lifespan in a variety of settings.

Students will also complete 600 direct patient care clinical hours as part of the concentration. Upon graduation, they will be prepared to work with other health care providers or lead a team of psychiatric and mental health care providers.

Many courses will be taught by award-winning faculty members and scholarships are available for qualified applicants.

“We have seen a real increase in both the need for mental health care and the interest of nurses and clinicians wanting to offer these services in communities,” said Dr. Lemoine. “I’ve seen more people asking about it and getting interested in it, especially over the last three to five years. The need is still there, so we’re happy to have the interest to bring that focus back.

The concentration consists of 48 credit hours and cohorts are enrolled in the fall and spring semesters. Applications are accepted and reviewed year-round for the next available admission cycle.

UL Lafayette also offers a Bachelor of Health Services Administration, an RN to BSN program, two additional concentrations as part of its Master of Science in Nursing program, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice program – all including online courses. Learn more about these and other online degree programs at online.louisiana.edu.

New COVID cases, doubling of infections in nursing homes | Local News


New COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and infections in congregate housing all soared this week as the highly contagious variant of omicron continued to spread across the Eight Counties Health District.

New cases rose by more than 2,260 this week, more than double the number of new cases reported last week. Nearly 26,000 cases of COVID-19 have now been reported across the eight counties since the pandemic began.

Two counties in the district – Pasquotank and Hertford – reported more than 400 new cases in a week, the first time this has happened. Two others – Bertie and Chowan – have reported more than 300 new cases. Two others – Currituck and Perquimans – reported more than 200 new cases. Gates reported 156 new cases and Camden reported 86.

Active COVID cases actually fell by 143 from last week. Every county in the district except two — Gates, which saw active cases increase by 47, and Bertie, which saw an increase of one case — reported fewer active cases.

New hospitalizations at area hospitals rose to 44 in the past seven days, with Sentara Albemarle Medical Center reporting the bulk of it. As of Friday, the Elizabeth City-based hospital was treating 28 patients for COVID-19 in about a third of its inpatient beds.

COVID cases in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and the Albemarle District Jail more than doubled from last week. Albemarle Regional Health Services reported 114 COVID cases across 10 facilities last week. This week, the count was 275 cases in 16 establishments.

A quarter of the cases (69) were at the Elizabeth City Health and Rehabilitation Center. Accordius at Creekside reported the second highest number (45). Currituck House was third (25) and Windsor’s Brian Center and Chowan River Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (23) had the fourth highest total.

ARHS also reported four new COVID-related deaths in the region this week. Three were Bertie County residents and one lived in Chowan County. All were over 65, ARHS said.

The eight-county region’s positivity rate — the percentage of COVID tests that come back with a positive result — rose to 33.6% for the week ending Jan. 8, an increase of nearly 5% from the previous test report.

“We’re definitely seeing record numbers right now,” ARHS Director R. Battle Betts Jr. said in a news release with Friday’s report. “Our hope is that this wave will be relatively short-lived, with the decrease in cases occurring as quickly as the increase.”

But exactly when that will be remains unknown, he said.

“What we do know is that vaccines prevent serious diseases,” Betts said.

He said about 87% of all intensive care admissions to North Carolina hospitals are people who haven’t been vaccinated.

ARHS released data on Friday showing it administered 479 more booster or third doses of vaccine this week. However, he only administered 127 first and 94 second doses.

According to data from the Centers of Disease Control, more than 107,200 first doses of the vaccine have now been administered to residents ages 5 and older in the eight counties. Nearly 81,600 residents are fully immunized with either two doses of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or one dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The percentage of people fully vaccinated now exceeds 50% in six of the eight counties, with Camden (59.6%) and Currituck (57.4%) reporting the highest percentages. Only Perquimans (48.9%) and Hertford (48.4%) counties are still below the 50% vaccinated threshold. The percentages of people age 5 and older fully vaccinated in the other four counties are 56.3% in Chowan, 55.1% in Pasquotank, 52.3% in Gates and 51.5% in Bertie.

By comparison, only 20,082 residents 18 and older across the eight counties are fully vaccinated and have received a booster dose. Gates (30.5%) has the highest percentage of residents who received a booster injection. Chowan and Perquimans follow with 29.5%, followed by Hertford with 27.1%, Bertie (25.5%), Pasquotank (22.9%) and Currituck (22.8%). Camden has the lowest percentage: 19.3%.

Betts also said the region was starting to see cases of the flu, and he urged residents to continue taking precautions to protect themselves from it — wearing a face mask, staying home when sick, and washing frequently. the hands – which are similar to guard against micron.

Princeton Health Care Center pays $270,984 in back wages for 166 workers | State and region

PRINCETON — A federal investigation has recovered $270,984 in back wages and damages for 166 workers at a Princeton skilled nursing facility.

The employer did not pay overtime as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division determined that Princeton Memorial Company — doing business as Princeton Health Care Center — failed to pay the appropriate overtime premium to employees working 12-hour shifts.

Specifically, the employer failed to pay required overtime when employees worked more than eight hours in a workday and more than 80 hours in a set 14-day period, an authorized practice for hospitals and residential care facilities, under certain conditions.

Princeton Health also failed to include on-call pay and other bonuses in calculating overtime pay. The employer paid pandemic-related longevity, recruiting, vacation deferral and hero pay bonuses.

To resolve its violations, the Princeton Health Care Center paid $270,984 in back wages and damages to affected workers, including registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified practical nurses as well as workers dietetics, maintenance and housekeeping/laundry.

Healthcare workers have been and continue to be among our country’s most essential workers. We rely on them to take care of us and our families, and they deserve our appreciation, respect and protection,” John DuMont, district wage and hour manager, said in a press release issued from his office. of Pittsburgh.

“The Wage and Hour Division is committed to ensuring that these essential workers, and all workers, receive all the wages they have earned.”

Under the FLSA, hospitals and residential care facilities can use a fixed work period of 14 consecutive days instead of the 40-hour work week for the purpose of calculating overtime.

To use this exception, an employer must have entered into a prior agreement or understanding with the affected employees before the work is performed. The Wages and Hours Division’s Health Care Industry and Calculation of Overtime Pay Fact Sheet provides guidance to employers on accurately determining overtime wages.

Some nursing facilities struggle to accept new patients due to staff shortages | Coronavirus in Arizona

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Arizona’s hospital resources are stretched, with intensive care beds 95% full. Hospitals need to free up patients to open more beds, and many of those patients require ongoing care. Often they visit a qualified nursing facility before returning home.

The surge of COVID-19 is causing many of these secondary care units to refuse new admissions. “A lot of that is down to staffing, because there’s an understaffing across the workforce here, and that’s affecting skilled nursing even more,” said Dave Voepel, CEO of the Arizona Health Care Association.

Arizona hits grim pandemic milestone with 25,000 COVID-19 deaths

The Department of Health Services reported 10 more deaths related to COVID-19, bringing the death toll from the pandemic to 25,002.

When they say no to new admissions, it leaves patients waiting days or even weeks in intensive care, and hospitals cannot open those beds. “If they don’t have enough staff, they can’t open a bed, which complicates things even more,” Voepel said. “We can’t help hospitals decompress.”

“Now staff have to take the time to manage their patients who could have been treated on an outpatient basis if they were ready to go, and that only adds to the problem we are having right now,” said Dr Arya Chowdhury, an independent contractor who works in several Phoenix Metro emergency rooms.

Only 5% of our state’s critical care beds are open right now, and with skilled nursing facilities not taking care of patients, that’s a huge bottleneck. “I see multiple cases where a patient was discharged to a facility and then literally turned around in the ambulance back to the ER,” Chowdhury said. “I see the same patient again, and I ask, ‘Why?’ The patient just got out. Why is the patient back?’ They’ll say, ‘Oh, we just didn’t have the capacity to take care of that patient.’

In these secondary care units, nurses, already in short supply, are calling more, having to be quarantined due to the fast-spreading omicron variant. On top of that, some facilities feel pressured to protect current patients from COVID-19. “Because they don’t have COVID in the building and maybe they don’t have enough energized residents yet where they feel capable of caring for a COVID patient safely, so they are unable to take them.” said Voepel. “They shouldn’t take them.”

19 states, including Arizona, have less than 15% critical care beds remaining

As record numbers of Americans become infected with Covid-19, largely due to the rapid spread…

In an email, a spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Health Services said, “ADHS is in close contact with qualified nursing facilities to facilitate transfers of COVID-19 patients to care. post-acute.”

“We just have to work our way through it,” Voepel said. “We know that omicron is probably going to run out of steam very soon. Hope this helps.”

Copyright 2022 Gray Media Group, Inc.

Wisconsin Troops to Staff Nursing Facilities to Free Up Hospital Beds – Twin Cities

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin National Guard troops will help fill staffing shortages at skilled nursing facilities over the next few weeks in hopes of opening more beds and relieving pressure on overwhelmed hospitals of COVID-19 patients, Gov. Tony Evers announced Thursday.

The governor said the troops were being trained as certified nursing assistants. About 50 soldiers have been deployed to six nursing homes over the past week. Another 80 soldiers who began training this week will deploy at the end of January. And a group of 80 troops will begin training in early February and deploy by the end of this month.

The additional staff is expected to allow nursing facilities to open hundreds of additional beds that can accommodate recovering patients. That in turn should free up hospital capacity, according to the Evers administration.

A surge of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks has left hospitals facing staffing shortages amid a deluge of patients. The seven-day average of daily cases stood at 9,915 cases on Thursday, nearly double from two weeks ago.

The outbreak has put a record 488 people in intensive care units. Nearly 2,278 people were hospitalized Thursday, an increase of 276 patients over the past week, according to the Evers administration.

The administration noted that as of Wednesday, it had helped recruit 626 nurses and other healthcare workers to support 76 healthcare facilities in the state.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the state Department of Corrections announced it was suspending all in-person visits to its facilities, except for religious volunteers, emergency workers and those working on necessary screenings of facilities. These people will have to take a rapid COVID-19 test at the entrance to the buildings from Tuesday and will have to wear masks and social distance.


This story has been updated to correct that troops will be staffing skilled nursing facilities, not hospitals.

Whitmer administrator challenges pending nursing home death report | Health, Medicine and Fitness


By DAVID EGGERT – Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration has challenged the methodology and findings of a pending report that is expected to say there have been nearly 30% of coronavirus-related deaths in addition to homes nursing and other long-term care facilities in Michigan as reported by the state health department.

Auditors plan to publish their review next week. But to a rare extent, the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has sought to publicly anticipate it by questioning how the data was compiled.

In a letter written Sunday and published Wednesday, Elizabeth Hertel referred to “serious concerns” at the state’s auditor general – including with her plan to combine deaths from COVID-19 at facilities subject to the requirements state or federal government reporting and those that are not. That would add 1,036 deaths to the 5,675 long-term care facilities reported in early July, nearly half of the 1,700 more deaths to be disclosed.

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Hertel also said auditors would define reportable deaths differently from a federal standard. They count residents who were released before their deaths, including those who have recovered from COVID-19 and returned home or been to the hospice. Also added are residents who were hospitalized for a non-viral reason such as a fall but were infected in hospital, and residents who lived in independent or assisted living residences who share a campus with a nursing home, she declared.

“To state that long-term care facilities that did not report deaths in the above categories are just plain inaccurate,” Hertel wrote.

She also questioned the use by auditors of a disease surveillance system to help count deaths, citing limitations and saying it was not a reliable way to verify whether a death should be counted as a death in a long-term care facility.

The state is requiring nursing homes, as well as adult homes and homes for the aged licensed to serve at least 13 residents, to report deaths and cases of COVID-19. Thousands of small adult homes and institutions for the elderly are exempt. The same goes for autonomous and assisted living communities.

The review was conducted at the behest of a Republican lawmaker who in part asked that it consider “all” deaths in long-term care facilities. Representative Steve Johnson of Wayland said the “undercoverage” was “significant and shocking”.

“This was important information to collect for those across our state who have loved ones and relatives in nursing homes and who are afraid, and sadly for those who have lost friends and family to it. of COVID-19 while inside a nursing home or other long-term care facilities. Johnson said, saying the House Oversight Committee would continue to investigate.

GOP lawmakers criticized the Democratic governor for allowing hospitalized virus-infected patients no longer in need of acute care, but still in quarantine, to return to designated units in nursing homes, as some hospitals have been shut down. faced with an increase in cases at the onset of the pandemic.

There is no evidence that the policy led to infections. Whitmer said he was following federal guidelines.

Almost a year ago in New York, then governor. Andrew Cuomo’s administration was forced to recognize a significant undercoverage of deceased nursing home residents, as it only counted those who died on facility grounds, not later in hospital . Michigan understands both.

Long-term care facilities have reported the deaths of 6,216 infected residents and 93 staff to the state during the pandemic. They represent 22% of Michigan’s more than 28,200 confirmed deaths.

Follow David Eggert on https://twitter.com/DavidEggert00

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

to staff nursing facilities to free up hospital beds | Wisconsin News

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin National Guard troops will help fill staffing shortages at skilled nursing facilities over the next few weeks in hopes of opening more beds and relieving pressure on overwhelmed hospitals of COVID-19 patients, Gov. Tony Evers announced Thursday.

The governor said the troops were being trained as certified nursing assistants. About 50 soldiers have been deployed to six nursing homes over the past week. Another 80 soldiers who began training this week will deploy at the end of January. And a group of 80 troops will begin training in early February and deploy by the end of this month.

The additional staff is expected to allow nursing facilities to open hundreds of additional beds that can accommodate recovering patients. That in turn should free up hospital capacity, according to the Evers administration.

A surge of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks has left hospitals facing staffing shortages amid a deluge of patients. The seven-day average of daily cases stood at 9,915 cases on Thursday, nearly double from two weeks ago.

The outbreak has put a record 488 people in intensive care units. Nearly 2,278 people were hospitalized Thursday, an increase of 276 patients over the past week, according to the Evers administration.

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The administration noted that as of Wednesday, it had helped recruit 626 nurses and other healthcare workers to support 76 healthcare facilities in the state.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the state Department of Corrections announced it was suspending all in-person visits to its facilities, except for religious volunteers, emergency workers and those working on necessary facility screenings. . These people will have to take a rapid COVID-19 test at the entrance to the buildings from Tuesday and will have to wear masks and social distance.

This story has been updated to correct that troops will be staffing skilled nursing facilities, not hospitals.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Troops to staff nursing facilities to free up hospital beds

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin National Guard troops will help fill staffing shortages at skilled nursing facilities over the next few weeks in hopes of opening more beds and relieving pressure on overwhelmed hospitals of COVID-19 patients, Gov. Tony Evers announced Thursday.

The governor said the troops were being trained as certified nursing assistants. About 50 soldiers have been deployed to six nursing homes over the past week. Another 80 soldiers who began training this week will deploy at the end of January. And a group of 80 troops will begin training in early February and deploy by the end of this month.

The additional staff is expected to allow nursing facilities to open hundreds of additional beds that can accommodate recovering patients. That in turn should free up hospital capacity, according to the Evers administration.

A surge of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks has left hospitals facing staffing shortages amid a deluge of patients. The seven-day average of daily cases stood at 9,915 cases on Thursday, nearly double from two weeks ago.

The outbreak has put a record 488 people in intensive care units. Nearly 2,278 people were hospitalized Thursday, an increase of 276 patients over the past week, according to the Evers administration.

The administration noted that as of Wednesday, it had helped recruit 626 nurses and other healthcare workers to support 76 healthcare facilities in the state.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the state Department of Corrections announced it was suspending all in-person visits to its facilities, except for religious volunteers, emergency workers and those working on necessary facility screenings. . These people will have to take a rapid COVID-19 test at the entrance to the buildings from Tuesday and will have to wear masks and social distance.


This story has been updated to correct that troops will be staffing skilled nursing facilities, not hospitals.

Troops to staff nursing facilities to free up hospital beds | Wisconsin News

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin National Guard troops will help fill staffing shortages at skilled nursing facilities over the next few weeks in hopes of opening more beds and relieving pressure on hospitals overwhelmed with COVID patients -19, Governor Tony Evers announced Thursday.

The governor said the troops were being trained as certified nursing assistants. About 50 soldiers have been deployed to six nursing homes over the past week. Another 80 soldiers who began training this week will deploy at the end of January. And a group of 80 troops will begin training in early February and deploy by the end of this month.

The additional staff is expected to allow nursing facilities to open hundreds of additional beds that can accommodate recovering patients. That in turn should free up hospital capacity, according to the Evers administration.

A surge of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks has left hospitals facing staff shortages amid a deluge of patients. The seven-day average of daily cases stood at 9,915 cases on Thursday, nearly double from two weeks ago.

The outbreak has put a record 488 people in intensive care units. Nearly 2,278 people were hospitalized Thursday, an increase of 276 patients over the past week, according to the Evers administration.

The administration noted that as of Wednesday, it had helped recruit 626 nurses and other healthcare workers to support 76 healthcare facilities in the state.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the state Department of Corrections announced it was suspending all in-person visits to its facilities, except for religious volunteers, emergency workers and those working on necessary facility screenings. . These people will have to take a rapid COVID-19 test at the entrance to the buildings from Tuesday and will have to wear masks and social distance.

This story has been updated to correct that troops will be staffing skilled nursing facilities, not hospitals.

Hundreds of healthcare workers deployed to Illinois hospitals this month – NBC Chicago

More than 2,000 health workers have already been sent to ailing hospitals in Illinois this month, but hundreds more are expected to be deployed in the coming weeks, Governor JB Pritzker said on Wednesday.

The governor, in a COVID-19 update, announced that an additional 552 workers are expected to arrive at public hospitals by next Friday. In addition, the state is sending another 340 workers from so-called “COVID response teams” to “respond quickly to emerging crises in hospitals and other health facilities” within the next 10 days.

“I can’t say enough about the extraordinary of our hospitals and health heroes throughout the pandemic, but more specifically in the present moment, where exhaustion and long hours greet them every day.” , said Pritzker. “From Chicago to Marion, East St. Louis to Rockford, healthcare professionals and staff are looking after our families, neighbors and friends at this time of need. They need help and I am doing everything I can to support them as they face this latest wave. “

Pritzker said the goal is to give workers a break during the omicron wave sweeping the country and to create more hospital beds in the state.

“With an unprecedented number of hospital patients, we must do everything
we can keep our healthcare workers and institutions in business and
accessible to all who need medical assistance, ”he said.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said Wednesday that 7,219 patients are currently hospitalized in the state, a drop of more than 100 patients from Tuesday’s record.

Officials say data is starting to show a slowdown in statewide hospitalizations, but warn residents should not let their guard down and should continue to adhere to new mitigation measures and existing regulations as Illinois is working to reverse the surge caused by the omicron.

According to IDPH data, 1,131 of those patients are currently in intensive care units, down from Tuesday and continuing a recent trend of flattening the metric.

“This wave of COVID is making more people sick than ever in this pandemic, and the vast majority of serious illnesses and deaths are among the unvaccinated,” Pritzker said. “As difficult as this moment is, there will be an end. We have all the tools necessary for prevention, and we are closer than ever to having everything we need to detect and treat disease to even maintain the diseases. most vulnerable people alive. ”

With the state of Illinois setting new records for patients hospitalized with COVID-19, there has been some setback on how these hospitalizations are defined.

While the state of Illinois does not distinguish between people hospitalized specifically for COVID and those who test positive for COVID while receiving care for another illness, Dr. Allison Arwady, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, said the distinction does not change the fact. that COVID poses the same problems for healthcare professionals, whether or not it is the cause of a person’s admission to hospital.

“If someone has COVID and they’re in the hospital, they occupy the same hospital bed, they need the same PPE and the same infection control and extra care, extra nursing support,” etc. So when someone is in the hospital with or for COVID, they have the same added burden. “

Arwady said the number of patients with COVID but hospitalized for something else does not represent “the majority” of hospitalization numbers.

“I wish it was, (but) that’s not what determines our hospital numbers,” she said.

Illinois Department of Public Health director Dr Ngozi Ezike said it was too early to say whether the state was peaking in omicron cases, but that hospitals continued to “put up with it. weight ”of the outbreak, with 9% of ICU beds currently available.

“It’s an intensive care bed for anything COVID or not COVID,” she said. “These beds are not designated. Every hospital bed occupied by a person with COVID, who has not been vaccinated, could potentially have avoided that hospitalization. And we are making it difficult for people who have a heart attack, who end up in a car accident, have their appendix burst, have a cancer-related complication – any kind of medical emergency, we threaten the ability of these people to get the care they need. “

January 12 deadline for rural hospitals and nursing facilities to apply for ARPA COVID-19 funding

AUSTIN – The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is reminding rural hospitals and nursing facilities in Texas to apply for $128 million in federal funding under the US Bailout Act to help pay for critical needs in staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, January 12.

“We encourage healthcare providers who have worked so hard to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic to take advantage of this opportunity and apply for these funds that can help address critical workforce shortages or pay bonuses to retain employees,” HHSC said. Chief Financial Officer Trey Wood.

HHSC is distributing approximately $90 million in direct grants to nursing facilities in Texas with an active license as of November 8, 2021 under the COVID-19 Nursing Facilities Relief Grant Program in Healthcare (NF-CHRG). Each eligible institution will receive $75,000. The grant can be used for critical staffing needs, such as bonuses and the hiring of contract staff.

The agency is also distributing approximately $38 million or $250,000 to each eligible rural hospital under the Rural Hospital COVID-19 in Healthcare Relief Grant (RH-CHRG) program. The funds are discretionary and can be used by rural hospitals to support staffing, infrastructure, or pandemic-related revenue losses.

HHSC administers grant agreements to legally authorized representatives of approximately 1,200 eligible nursing facilities and approximately 150 eligible rural hospitals in January 2022. The application deadline is Wednesday, January 12. Six months after the award, recipients must submit documentation to HHSC regarding how they used the funds.

Funds for the grant programs were authorized under Senate Bill 8, 87th Legislature, 3rd Convened Session, 2021. The money comes from the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund (42 USC Section 802) established under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Pub .L. No. A117-2).

For more information on the COVID-19 Nursing Facilities Relief Grant Program in Health Care and the COVID-19 Rural Hospital Relief Grant Program in Health Care, including listings eligible rural nursing facilities and hospitals in Texas, visit: https://www.hhs.texas.gov/business/grants/covid-19-healthcare-relief-grants.


Deaths linked to nursing home outbreaks in Oxford and Elgin counties


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Public health officials have confirmed that the three COVID-related deaths reported in the Oxford and Elgin counties area on Tuesday were linked to outbreaks at three nursing homes in the region.

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The deaths included a woman in her 80s who resided at Caressing Care Bonnie Place in St. Thomas, a man in her 80s who resided at Secord Trails in Ingersoll and a woman in her 90s who resided at Terrace Lodge in Aylmer.

Currently, 13 of the region’s 34 long-term care homes are in some degree of epidemic, South West public health officials said.

The outbreak at Secord Trails in Ingersoll – the worst in the region – had reached 29 resident cases and nine staff cases as of Tuesday. The outbreak at Valleyview Nursing Home in St. Thomas had also spread to 15 resident cases and 19 staff cases. There were also a high number of cases at Woodingford Lodge in Woodstock, Chartwell Oxford Gardens in Woodstock and Caressant Care Bonnie Place in St. Thomas.

The three resident deaths brought the local number to 122 since the start of the pandemic.

Southwest Public Health‘s Tuesday morning update also confirmed 78 new cases and 146 recoveries, increasing the active count from 1,459 to 1,382.

This number of active cases, however, is becoming increasingly meaningless during the recent surge caused by Omicron, public health officials have warned. With testing and contact tracing capacity being overwhelmed by the number of cases, officials in the province say the numbers are now a significant underestimate of the true number of active infections.

The number of area residents hospitalized with the virus increased slightly from Monday, from 22 to 23 patients, including eight in intensive care.

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Outbreaks at Alexandra Hospital in Ingersoll, with nine patients and two staff cases, and St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital, with one staff case and two patients, remained active.

There are now 8,616 cumulative confirmed cases in the region and 7,112 recoveries since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

The region’s two largest urban communities – Woodstock and St. Thomas – continued to have the most cases in the region, at 406 and 389 respectively.

The majority of local cases of COVID have been confirmed in residents under the age of 50, who accounted for about 65% of active infections.

As of January 10, 86 percent of area residents aged 12 and older had received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine while 84 percent had received two doses. For residents five years and older, local immunization coverage rates fell to 81.6% with one dose and 76.6% with two.

Southwestern Public Health has planned an upcoming pop-up clinic that will welcome walk-in people interested in a first, second or third dose of a vaccine. This clinic offers Pfizer vaccines for residents 29 years of age and under and Moderna for people 30 years and over.

The clinic is scheduled for Thursday, January 13 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Straffordville Community Center at 56169 Heritage Line in Straffordville.

Healthcare facilities adjust safety protocols as COVID-19 cases increase

CARMICHAEL, Calif. (KTXL) – Seniors have been considered among those at high risk for COVID-19, and with the rise of omicron, there are many mandates in place to ensure safety at various facilities skilled care.

At Mountain Manor, they say that aside from the safety protocols to keep everyone healthy, they’ve also had some luck.

“There’s a lot of luck I think playing there,” said general manager Darrell Price.

Price says the data shows that when COVID rises in the community, it is difficult to keep it out of hospitals and care facilities.

“Anyone can be in the wrong place at the wrong time and test positive for the virus,” Price said. “With the last variant, everything is fine. We had cases of COVID last year, at the very end of the year when everything was exploding. ”

He said that after living with this pandemic for almost two years, they have learned to adapt as the virus continues to evolve.

“Everyone wears the appropriate masks. We have encouraged vaccination. We have encouraged booster injections. In addition to encouraging all of our employees to take precautions when they are not at work so that we do not introduce it to our residents who are the most vulnerable, ”said Price.

He said the biggest game changer has been the vaccine. When surges do occur, personnel wear only N-95 masks to mitigate the risk of spread.

“As well as making sure everyone who enters the building is screened,” Price said.

And as of Friday, hospitals and facilities, just like Mountain Manor, have required proof of vaccination and negative test results for COVID within the past 24 hours.

Price said since the start of the pandemic, it has been tested up to 80 times, as all workers are tested regularly.

“We provide excellent quality care. These are our patients. These are our clinical results. It’s what we do here that sets us apart from any other post-acute care facility, ”said Kimberly Keller, Director of Business Development.

Staff understaffing plagues state health care system during pandemic

JACKSON, Mississippi (WLBT) – With COVID-19 hospitalizations tripling in Mississippi in the past two weeks, administrators at four of these facilities remain concerned about the lack of adequate staff during the pandemic that has already compromised care to patients.

Susan Russell, chief nurse at Singing River Health Systems, said 15-20% of her nurses can call on any day, largely because they can be infected with COVID-19.

These staff reductions also affect the number of beds – including the intensive care unit – that can be staffed.

“Most importantly, we continue to have fewer individuals and staff who can open more beds. And that wasn’t the case in previous outbreaks, ”Russel said. “It started to be more pronounced in Delta. “

Russell describes the community spread that inevitably leads to infected nurses and doctors as a double-edged sword.

“We’re cut off on both sides,” Russell said.

On Friday, the state’s health department said Mississippi has 47 intensive care beds, a number that nearly doubled on Monday to more than 80.

Neshoba County General Hospital General Manager Lee McCall said these numbers can be very misleading to the public.

“This is incorrect. Twice last week I contacted several hospitals, several administrators myself and asked them, “Do they have an intensive care bed available? “And all of them said no,” McCall said. “We transported a patient to Pensacola, Florida the other night. It was the only accepting facility in a multi-state area where we could bring the ventilated patient. It’s crisis mode right now.

If a hospital doesn’t have the staff to open beds, it can’t transfer intensive care patients to those beds, which means even those who don’t have COVID-19-related illnesses have already been affected.

“It could be a brain hemorrhage, it could be a heart attack. It can be any ongoing series of illnesses that require you to get a higher standard of care, ”McCall said. “And we can’t get you there.”

Singing River has around 70 intensive care beds spread across the three hospitals in its network, but fewer nurses and healthcare workers mean they are also less likely to accept transfers.

“During the Delta wave, our hospitals accepted over 100 patients from other parts of this state,” Russell said. “We are not able to start over. And given the fact that there will be more people affected, that’s a cause for concern. I am a permanent resident of the state, I am concerned about the citizens of this state. And we are in a very worrying situation.

Mississippi Department of Health director of health protection Jim Craig on Friday told reporters there were limited resources across the country for additional staff, especially in nursing.

“I’m not sure if we’ll be able to attract the type of staffing levels that we’ve seen in Delta from anywhere in the country right now, including some of these federal resources,” Craig said.

Still, Russell said they had to try.

The first step, according to the two administrators, is for Governor Tate Reeves to declare a state of emergency so that these resources can be more easily obtained.

Reeves allowed the original emergency order to expire in November.

“We’ve been dealing with these flare-ups for two years, and it’s taken its toll. I know that more state aid in the form of funding would be appreciated. Every hospital I have spoken to is in major financial disarray as a result of COVID, ”said Russell. “COVID doesn’t pay well, there are times we have had to not do the procedures we need to do. And certainly more federal help would be appreciated. But if it doesn’t make it to hospitals, where they can turn it into resources, that’s a problem. “

Copyright 2022 WLBT. All rights reserved.

Five States Now Require COVID-19 Boosters for Nursing Home Staff



Amid the latest wave of COVID-19, Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut became the last states this week to require healthcare workers, including nursing home staff, to be vaccinated.

They join California and New Mexico, bringing the total number to five so far.

Massachusetts elderly healthcare workers must receive their booster injection by February 28, according to an emergency order issued by Gov. Charlie Baker.

The order is part of other measures to reduce a bottleneck in public hospitals – patients in need of post-acute care or a long-term care bed had to wait weeks for available places , facilities freezing admissions amid omicron outbreaks and a staff shortage, according to a report by the Boston Globe on Friday night.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul at a press conference described the state’s recall mandate for healthcare workers – staff will have two weeks to be reinforced once eligible, media reported local. The warrant does not include a testing option, but leaves space for medical exemptions.

State Planning and Public Health Council must approve requirement before it goes into effect, local CNY Central outlet reported. Governor Hochul told the press conference that she was “confident” that the order would be approved.

Meanwhile, in Connecticut, operators must reinforce their staff by February 11, according to a declaration issued by the office of Governor Ned Lamont, or face a civil fine of $ 20,000 per day. Lamont appears to be the only state governor at the moment to tie monetary penalties to recall non-compliance.

The terms of reference specify that long-term care facilities include nursing homes, residential care homes, developmental intermediate care facilities, managed residential communities, chronic disease hospitals, and development agencies. assisted living services.

“We know for a fact that the initial vaccinations dramatically and immediately reduced the rate of hospitalizations and deaths that occurred in these establishments,” Governor Lamont said in a statement. “Now we have to fight the impacts of diminishing immunity, and that is why all who are capable of it should be reminded.”

Another decree issued on the same day also applies this requirement to public hospitals.

New Mexico and California issued similar orders late last year, with deadlines Jan. 17 and Feb. 1, respectively, or as soon as they became eligible.

Eligibility for the booster was update January 4 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), five months after the first round of vaccination for the Pfizer vaccine – the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) make the same call for the Moderna vaccine on January 7.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham was the first to issue the recall order on December 2, citing concerns expressed by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international governments over the variant. omicron. All hospital workers, workers in collective care facilities and employees of the governor’s office should be given the reminder, unless they are eligible for an exemption, the order States.

The state’s recall requirement applies to workers in “high-risk environments,” including staff in all health and collective care settings. Public school and state employees are required to test for the virus weekly if they are not vaccinated.

Governor of California Gavin Newsom announcement the new state requirement on December 22.

California was a leader among states by requiring the vaccination of all health care workers in August. The state aims to administer the booster to approximately 2 million healthcare workers and nursing home staff.

Stimulus rates for nursing home staff are only 27.6%, well below the national average of 35%, said Dr Janell Routh of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during ” a call to nursing home responders on January 6. Resident recall efforts have fared better, Routh added during Thursday’s appeal, noting that the statistic rose to 62%.

The CDC reports more than 490,000 cases on average each day, a 98% increase from last week, added Dr. Lauri Hicks, medical epidemiologist with the CDC’s Respiratory Disease Branch, during the appeal. Omicron is responsible for about 93% to 97% of all new cases across the country, according to Hicks.

“The extremely rapid spread of omicron underscores the fact that booster vaccinations are absolutely essential to protect our dedicated long-term care staff and, by extension, the most vulnerable Connecticut residents in skilled nursing and other facilities. long-term care facilities, “Connecticut Social Services Commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford, whose agency administers Medicaid in the state, said in a statement.

Connecticut’s recall orders are similar to state employee immunization requirements – initial doses had a September 27 deadline.

At the federal level, the recalls were neither included in the mandate of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) nor in the vaccination or testing requirement issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), despite the current increase in cases.

Arguments over the constitutionality of federal vaccine mandates were heard in the Supreme Court on Friday, after government agencies appealed lower court rulings to issue injunctions temporarily blocking CMS’s mandate in half of the country .

SCOTUS is not yet determining whether the vaccine’s mandate is constitutional, instead it could decide whether either mandate should remain in place while cases unfold in court.


‘It’s gonna get worse’: Omicron surge hits Colorado healthcare workers | Subscriber content


The unprecedented push for the omicron variant is straining Colorado’s already depleted healthcare workforce, and a doctor who helped draft hospital emergency triage plans late last year said Friday that the state would benefit from adopting them now.

“From a staff perspective, it’s going to get worse,” said Anuj Mehta, researcher and intensive care physician at Denver Health. “We might start to see some units closed.… Closure of emergency care, closure of labor and delivery (departments). There is great potential for this in the coming weeks. It will be much more difficult to do. ‘access health care. “

Omicron has led to staggering case and positivity rates statewide, setting and resetting records in successive days. COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide are increasing after a month-long reprieve, and Colorado’s top epidemiologist told reporters on Wednesday that this wave will not peak for weeks. The wave’s impact on hospital staff may be more urgent: The wildfire-like spread of the variant, coupled with its ability to evade immunity, leads to an increase in cases of rupture among staff. health, whose ranks have already been thinned by exhaustion and burnout.

“Omicron did something that I think we all hoped would never happen but which unfortunately happens,” Mehta said. “Omicron has decimated the ranks of healthcare workers because we see so many people testing positive.”

With omicron infecting ambulance crews, Colorado gives dispatchers the chance to track down who needs a ride

In Denver Health, 40% of health workers who have reported recently tested positive for the virus, said Mehta and hospital spokesperson Rachel Hirsch. Fortunately, because these workers are vaccinated and because omicron usually causes less severe illness, Mehta said he was unaware that none of his recently infected colleagues became seriously ill.

But continued waves of infection mean providers routinely give up to self-isolate for at least five days, further compounding a critical staff shortage. Mehta’s wife, a primary care doctor, volunteered to work a shift in an emergency department due to understaffing; State systems and hospitals are increasingly turning to outpatient care providers, such as those in emergency or primary care clinics, to replace infected hospital workers.

Colorado Hospital Association spokesperson Cara Welch said she couldn’t say for sure the virus was infecting more providers now than in previous waves, “but it does look like it would be likely, just given the transmissibility of omicron “. As of Friday afternoon, more than half of the state’s hospitals said they anticipate a staff shortage over the next week. Welch said that number is likely an undercoverage.

Colorado epidemiologist Rachel Herlihy said this week that the virus is spreading so widely that patients hospitalized for reasons other than COVID-19 test positive at higher rates, increasing the risk of exposure for workers of health.

In November, hospital capacity was strained by the pandemic. The crisis has been centralized in hospitals but worsened by understaffing in long-term care facilities, which can serve as reduction facilities for recovering patients. Governor Jared Polis injected dozens of new beds in hospitals and long-term care facilities, which helped stabilize the situation. But long-term care staff are also falling ill now, Mehta said, and several nursing homes have recently refused admissions because they are understaffed.

“We were already operating on very thin margins,” he continued. “… We see the wait times in emergency departments and waiting rooms stretching for several hours for low-severity issues, and then the waiting rooms are kind of packed. “

Crisis care standards for staff – which typically allow fewer staff to cover more space and beds than they would otherwise be – have been in place since November. But the state has not promulgated its triage standards, which dictate how hospitals should deploy their resources if they are overwhelmed.

Mehta led the effort in November to rewrite the yard standards. At the time, COVID-19 hospitalizations were at their highest level in a year. Even more pressing was the spiraling staff crisis, coupled with an influx of typical hospital patients who were sicker than patients before the pandemic.

The state has not had to activate its crisis care standards for triage, which many providers say would be the worst-case scenario and a sign of the extreme and near fracking pressure being placed on hospitals here. But Mehta said on Friday that many hospitals were already using the strategies outlined in the plan.

“I mean, I think we are there,” he said when asked if the state should institute the rest of the crisis standards. Anecdotally, he said, he has heard of providers who either discharge patients early or refer patients from emergency rooms to outpatient care elsewhere, instead of admitting them, as long as it is safe. These two strategies are key elements of the crisis standards.

But the problem, Mehta continued, is that these decisions don’t happen consistently. Crisis Standards, if activated by Polis statewide, would give detailed guidance on how to ration resources fairly and consistently, in a way that could be followed.

Welch said that adopting the standards is “certainly the end of the road that we are trying not to reach.” She said hospitals were still able to transfer patients between themselves, which meant there was still some flexibility within the Colorado hospital system.

“But I think the crisis standards are still there as the last major lever that we have to pull,” she said. “It looks like we are still moving in this direction as the number of cases and hospitalizations continues to rise and our staffing issues continue.”

Mehta said Colorado’s hospital system would benefit from activating crisis standards, for several reasons: it would provide liability protection to hospitals that make those decisions; it would centralize decision-making about patients away from providers who treat them directly; and it would ensure that common inequalities in health care do not perpetuate.

It would also serve as a wake-up call to the state, he said, and help healthcare providers who are already past the point of exhaustion.

“It’s hard to imagine mental health getting worse, but it will obviously get worse,” he said. “I have no doubts about it. I couldn’t imagine it getting worse (six weeks ago) and worse (now). We don’t know what the floor is for workers’ mental health at health. It’s gonna be lousy soil because my God, the people who keep showing up for their jobs every day – how do you define that as anything other than a hero? ”





HYDE PARK, NY – As Governor Kathy Hochul prepares to demand visitors to New York nursing homes test negative for COVID-19 within 24 hours of their visit, Senator Sue Serino announced today that she will use her allocation of COVID-19 test kits. to ensure that local residents can continue to visit loved ones.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been a powerful reminder of the dangerousness of isolation for all of us, but especially for our seniors living in nursing homes and residential health care facilities” Senator Serino said. “We need to do everything we can to ensure that safe visits can continue, and that starts by ensuring that these facilities have priority access to the tests they need to keep COVID out, while still allowing loved ones to enter. “

Senator Sue Serino is the senior member of the state’s Senate Committee on Aging and has been a frank voice for nursing home residents and their loved ones throughout the pandemic. Like all members of the State Senate, Senator Serino has been told that she will receive 1,000 test kits from the state, which she plans to provide on a priority basis to nursing homes in Senate District 41 who express the need to continue their visits in safety.

With tests due for delivery in the coming days, Senator Serino will announce a distribution plan after they arrive.

“Too often, these residents and their relatives have been treated after the fact by the state”, Senator Serino continued. “We have a duty to ensure that these facilities are a top priority and have access to the resources they need, such as testing, to ensure the health and safety of their vulnerable residents.”



Medicare Program That Promotes Rural Health Care Generates Net Savings of $ 381.5 Million | News


ROCKVILLE, MD., January 7, 2022 / PRNewswire-PRWeb / – A new study by Abt Associates and its partners published in Health Affairs found that a program to support rural health care providers $ 381.5 million in net savings for Medicare. The savings accumulated over three years, mainly due to the decrease in hospitalizations and other institutional care services. This study expands on the results of the evaluation of the responsible organization of care (ACO) investment model (AIM) to improve health care delivery in rural and underserved areas while maintaining quality care for people. the patients. ACOs are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers who participate in Medicare’s shared savings program. As part of the AIM, ACOs received upfront payments that were clawed back from subsequent savings shared by ACOs and Medicare.

The downside risk must be taken into account

While Medicare, participating healthcare providers and patients benefited from AIM, nearly two-thirds of the 41 AIM ACOs left the program at the end of their three-year tenure. Continuing with the shared savings program would have required ACOs to assume downside risk (i.e. the potential for financial losses in addition to receiving upfront payments), and many ACOs cited this requirement as the reason for their exit. Abt’s study found no difference in the estimated savings provided by existing ACOs compared to the remaining ACOs. These results, coupled with the large net savings to Medicare attributable to the model before ACOs even assume the downside risk, suggest that the insistence on including downside risk for ACOs can dramatically reduce the opportunities for Medicare to save. money.

Overall, therefore, AIM has had mixed success. On the one hand, the reductions in total Medicare spending have been substantial and greater than those of a similar previous model. On the other hand, the initial investments in AIM ACOs were not sufficient to maintain participation in the face of downside risk, even though they were successful in encouraging ACO participation in more rural and underserved markets.

Implications for CMS GRAPHICS

CMS’s recently announced Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) model, in which there are two prongs, a hospital-driven model and an ACO transformation model similar to AIM, aims to help stabilize the income of hospitals in rural areas. Our findings from the AIM assessment have several implications for CHART. First, policymakers may find it beneficial to allow rural providers of the ACO transformation pathway to follow a slower path to take on downside risk. This could encourage sustained participation, which could potentially generate greater long-term savings for Medicare.

Second, while preventing unnecessary stays in hospitals or skilled nursing facilities is beneficial for beneficiaries, these efforts are associated with reductions in Medicare revenues for rural inpatient facilities. This reduction in services can exacerbate financial pressures on facilities, potentially contributing to additional closures and further reducing access to health care providers in underserved areas. Our results suggest that policymakers should carefully consider how much Medicare savings to keep for Medicare and how much to reinvest in supporting providers in underserved areas.

“At a high level, the significant savings tell us that ACOs can be successful without risk of loss,” says Matt trombley, the principal investigator of Abt. “The question that needs to be answered in subsequent models like CHART is whether Medicare can strike the right balance to continue to encourage and maintain COA participation because, in those first three years, everyone takes advantage.”


About Abt Associates

Abt Associates is a global consulting and research firm that combines data and bold thinking to improve the quality of people’s lives. We work in partnership with clients and communities to advance equity and innovation, from creating scalable digital solutions and combating infectious diseases, to climate change mitigation and assessment of programs for measurable social impact, and more.


Media contact

Eric Tischler, Abt Associates, 301-347-5492, eric_tischler@abtassoc.com

SOURCE Abt Associates


Approval of nursing care establishments (216-RICR-40-10-1)


Objective and reason:

The Rhode Island Department of Health is proposing changes to the Licenses of Nursing Homes by-law to incorporate new references, add definitions for disaster emergency declaration, direct care nurses, direct caregivers, essential caregivers, direct nursing hours, occupational therapist, physiotherapist, physiotherapist assistant, speech language pathologist and vaccinee. The regulations also provide procedures for COVID-19 testing for residents and staff; provides procedures for essential caregivers during a declared emergency; create minimum staff in accordance with the law; and requires the establishment of an Alzheimer’s disease plan.


Triple W Delivers Next Generation Bladder Sensors to Healthcare Facilities Ecumen – Nonwoven Industry Magazine


Triple W, an innovator of connected health devices, has announced delivery of the next-generation DFree wireless bladder sensor for urinary incontinence to Foam. The advanced compact sensor provides users with digital health technology to improve the quality of life and allow them to enjoy more freedom, independence and control over their health care needs.

Ecumen is one of the largest non-profit providers, developers and operators of living spaces and innovative technologies and services for the elderly. Ecumen will use DFree with residents of six of the organization’s skilled nursing communities as part of an effort to reduce incontinence. Ecumen received a grant from the Minnesota Department of Social Services for Performance-Based Incentive Payment Programs (PIPP) aimed at improving the quality of life for the residents they serve in skilled nursing facilities. Funding should be used to improve the quality of care and the quality of residents in skilled nursing facilities in measurable ways and increase the capacity to provide quality care more effectively.

The non-invasive DFree device monitors the bladder using ultrasound technology and notifies users or caregivers via smartphone or tablet when it’s time to go. The device is attached to the lower abdomen and monitors the user’s bladder by securely relaying data to a web portal or mobile device. Caregivers can proactively manage residents with incontinence more effectively while improving the quality of care.

Commenting on the deployment of the DFree product, Quality Improvement Project Manager Margo Paplow said, “We are delighted to adopt this next generation technology to provide superior care to our residents. Innovation is at the heart of our ability to carry out our mission of advocating for the elderly and providing compassionate healthcare and services to support fulfilling lives. Adopting this latest technology from Triple W is another way to demonstrate our value in honoring those we serve by treating them with dignity and respect, while improving their quality of life.

“We are delighted to bring our cutting edge technology to Ecumen and provide their teams with an easy-to-use monitoring device. The DFree device allows more freedom and mobility, not to mention the confidence needed to live a more active daily life, ”comments Triple W CEO Atsushi Nakanishi.

Triple W launched the world’s first portable bladder sensor in 2018, which gives people managing incontinence greater peace of mind in the event of an accidental leak. Seniors and people with disabilities who need to manage loss of bladder control have an alternative to disposable diapers or pads and medication with the DFree line of ultrasonic incontinence sensors.

The latest device weighs just 0.9 oz. and it can be tied discreetly under clothing. It is also an environmentally friendly alternative to disposable diapers providing users with improved freedom of movement and quality of life.


Nursing Beds Market Size Analysis 2021 by Major Key Players



New Jersey, United States, – The global Nursing Beds market report comprises an in-depth analysis that covers core regional trends, market dynamics, and provides the market size at the national level of the market industry. Some major aspects considered during the research included product description, product classification, industry structure, various players in the Nursing Beds market, etc. The market report provides the values ​​for the historical period along with the forecast period and% CAGR measured for individual segments and regional markets.

The report focuses on the global companies operating in the Nursing Home Beds market providing data points such as company profiles, product picture and description, capacity, production, value, revenue and contact details. This research provides key statistics on the state of the industry and is an important source of direction and direction for companies and individuals involved in the market. In addition to CAGR forecast, various other parameters such as year-over-year market growth, qualitative and quantitative information are presented. Key points such as market size, value, volume, product portfolio, market explanation and classification are shown. In addition, current trends, technological advancements in the nursing beds market are explained.

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The Major Players Covered By The Retirement Home Beds Markets:

  • Savion Industries
  • Favero health projects
  • Master transfer
  • LINET Group
  • Deserving health products
  • Sidhil
  • ArjoHuntleigh
  • NOA Medical Industries
  • Roscoe Medical
  • Hill-Rom

Market segmentation of automated drug delivery systems:

The Automated Drug Delivery Systems market report has categorized the market into segments comprising by product type and application. Each segment is evaluated based on share and growth rate. Meanwhile, analysts looked at potential areas that could prove rewarding for builders in the years to come. The regional analysis includes reliable forecast on value and volume, thereby helping market players to acquire in-depth insights into the entire industry.

Breakdown of the retirement home beds market by type:

  • Semiconductor
  • Electrochemistry
  • Photochemistry (IR etc.)
  • PID (photo ionization detector)
  • Catalytic combustion

Nursing Home Beds Market Split By Application:

  • Civilian household domain
  • Business domain ? Cold storage / building etc. ?
  • Area of ​​environmental monitoring
  • Chemical domain
  • Automotive field
  • Medical domain
  • Others

Based on geography: North America (United States, Canada and Mexico), Europe (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Russia and Italy), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asia), South America (Brazil, Argentina and Colombia, etc.), Middle East and Africa (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa).

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Scope of the Nursing Home Beds Market Report

Report attribute Details
Market size available for years 2021 – 2028
Reference year considered 2021
Historical data 2015 – 2019
Forecast period 2021 – 2028
Quantitative units Revenue in millions of USD and CAGR from 2021 to 2027
Covered segments Types, applications, end users, etc.
Cover of the report Revenue forecast, company ranking, competitive landscape, growth factors and trends
Regional scope North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East and Africa
Scope of customization Free customization of reports (equivalent to 8 working days for analysts) with purchase. Add or change the scope of country, region and segment.
Price and purchase options Take advantage of custom shopping options to meet your exact research needs. Explore purchasing options

Key questions answered in the report:

  • What is the growth potential of the Retirement Home Beds markets?
  • Which product segment will take the lion’s share?
  • Which regional market will emerge as a precursor in the years to come?
  • Which application segment will grow at a sustained rate?
  • What are the growth opportunities that could emerge in the lock washer industry in the years to come?
  • What are the main challenges that the global nursing beds markets could face in the future?
  • Who are the leading companies in the global nursing beds market?
  • What are the main trends that are positively impacting the growth of the market?
  • What are the growth strategies considered by the players to maintain their grip on the global Nursing Beds market?

For more information or a query or a personalization before purchasing, visit @ https://www.marketresearchintellect.com/product/global-nursing-home-beds-market-size-forecast/

The study thoroughly explores the profiles of the major market players and their main financial aspects. This comprehensive business analyst report is useful for all existing and new entrants when designing their business strategies. This report covers the production, revenue, market share and growth rate of the Nursing Home Beds market for each key company, and covers the breakdown data (production, consumption, revenue and market share) by regions, type and applications. Historical nursing home beds distribution data from 2016 to 2020 and forecast to 2021-2029.

About Us: Market Research Intelligence

Market Research Intellect provides syndicated and personalized research reports to clients from various industries and organizations in addition to the goal of providing personalized and in-depth research studies. range of industries, including energy, technology, manufacturing and construction, chemicals and materials, food and beverage. Etc. Our research studies help our clients make more data-driven decisions, admit push predictions, grossly capitalize on opportunities, and maximize efficiency by acting as their criminal belt to adopt accurate mention and essential without compromise. clients, we have provided expertly-behaved affirmation research facilities to over 100 Global Fortune 500 companies such as Amazon, Dell, IBM, Shell, Exxon Mobil, General Electric, Siemens, Microsoft, Sony and Hitachi.

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Gambia: Freeman Health Care Foundation, Crawah donate medical items to public health facilities


The Freeman Health Care Foundation (FHCF), based in America in collaboration with the Center for Research and Advocacy on Women and Adolescent Health (CRAWAH) The Gambia last Wednesday donated medical items to various public health institutions in the country.

Beneficiaries included Bundung Maternal Hospital, Fajikunda Health Center, Serekunda Health Center, Kanifing General Hospital and Small Edward Francis Teaching Hospital (EFSTH), Nursing School and the Tanka Tanka psychiatric hospital.

The items included vital signs devices, personal protective equipment (PPE), diabetic kits, reusable sanitary napkins, among others.

Receiving boxes of gloves which were among the items donated to Kanifing General Hospital, Baboucar Saine, hospital administrator thanked the donors for the gesture, declaring: “Valuable items are very important for the hospital. “.

He added that they use PPE when providing services to patients to avoid cross-contamination that can be transmitted by the patient or the service provider.

He called the gesture very timely given the Covid-19 and other diseases. He said they spend between D300,000 and D500,000 per month on gloves. “This will save us costs and ensure that the money is used to buy other valuables,” he added.

The hospital administrator assured donors that the items will be put to good use. He said Kanifing General Hospital is one of the largest and busiest hospitals in the country. On the statistics at the maternity ward, every day on average, “25 babies give birth here in our maternity ward. And on average we perform no less than three to four Caesarean sections. Thus, you cannot give birth with bare hands without wearing gloves. . “

Mr. Saine therefore urged other Gambians in the country and in the diaspora to unite to help the country’s public health institutions change the discourse and move the country forward.

Jerome Freeman, founder of the Massachusetts, US-based Freeman Health Care Foundation (FHCF) revealed the donation was made possible by family and friends.

He said it was his intention that the foundation and his partner donate annually or quarterly.

He revealed that his goal is not only to donate medical supplies and consumables, but also to volunteer at some public health facilities and exchange ideas with health workers and patients.

He stressed that the goal of the donation is to make patients and healthcare workers safer and healthier.

Mr Freeman revealed that they have distributed more than 24,000 gloves to some public health facilities, while pending vital signs devices and PPE, diabetic kit supplies, reusable sanitary napkins, model of Cardiovascular practice for nursing students, the digestive practice model for nursing students, among other medical items will be distributed upon arrival in the first week of January 2022.

Kebbah Sanneh, public relations manager at EFSTH, expressed his gratitude on behalf of the hospital when he took donors on a brief tour of the hospital.

Phebian Ina Grant-Sagnia, founder of CRAWAH, also praised the efforts of the FHCF and assured the grantees to get the pending articles.

Community development ends good governance training


Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. Acquires Eight Qualified Nursing Facilities in Georgia | News


LAKE FOREST, California, January 4, 2022 / PRNewswire / – Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. (“Mountain peak“or the” Company “) announced that it has acquired, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, eight qualified nursing facilities located at various locations in Georgia to December 30, 2021. The installations, acquired for a purchase price of approximately $ 130 million, consist of a total of 826 approved beds and will be re-let to the operator on a triple net basis. Summit partnered with CIBC and Oxford Finance to fund the debt associated with the transaction. Combined with an acquisition earlier in 2021, Mountain peak closed on more $ 150 million in portfolio acquisitions of qualified nursing facilities last year as the Company continues to partner with strong regional operators.

“We really like this transaction as the operator has a proven track record in Georgia. We look forward to continued growth in the state.” general manager of Summit, Kent Eikanas, said.

Elisabeth pagliarini, Summit The COO and CFO added: “We are delighted to have had a spectacular year in terms of adding assets to Summit overall portfolio. “

About Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc.

Mountain peak is an unlisted REIT currently focused on investing in senior residential real estate located across United States. The current portfolio includes interests in 54 retirement homes in 14 states. Please visit our website at: http://www.summithealthcarereit.com

This document does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy from Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements regarding the business and financial prospects of Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. which are based on our current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections and are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on such statements. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. These factors include those described in the Risk Factors sections of the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended. December 31, 2020, and quarterly reports for completed periods March 31, 2021, June 30, 2021, and September 30, 2021. The forward-looking statements contained in this document speak only as of the date on which such statements were made, and we assume no obligation to update any such statements which may become false as a result of subsequent events. We claim safe-haven protection for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.


Chris Kavanagh

(800) 978-8136


View original content to download multimedia:https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/summit-healthcare-reit-inc-acquires-eight-skilled-nursing-facilities-in-georgia-301452845.html

SOURCE Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc.


Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. acquires eight qualified nursing facilities in Georgia


LAKE FOREST, California, January 4, 2022 / PRNewswire / – Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. (“Mountain peak“or the” Company “) announced that it has acquired, through a wholly-owned subsidiary, eight qualified nursing facilities located at various locations in Georgia to December 30, 2021. The installations, acquired for a purchase price of approximately $ 130 million, consist of a total of 826 approved beds and will be re-let to the operator on a triple net basis. Summit partnered with CIBC and Oxford Finance to fund the debt associated with the transaction. Combined with an acquisition earlier in 2021, Mountain peak closed on more $ 150 million in portfolio acquisitions of qualified nursing facilities last year as the Company continues to partner with strong regional operators.

“We really like this transaction as the operator has a proven track record in Georgia. We look forward to continued growth in the state.” general manager of Summit, Kent Eikanas, said.

Elisabeth pagliarini, Summit The COO and CFO added: “We are delighted to have had a spectacular year in terms of adding assets to Summit overall portfolio. “

About Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc.
Mountain peak is an unlisted REIT currently focused on investing in senior residential real estate located across United States. The current portfolio includes interests in 54 retirement homes in 14 states. Please visit our website at: http://www.summithealthcarereit.com

This document does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy from Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements regarding the business and financial prospects of Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc. which are based on our current expectations, estimates, forecasts and projections and are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on such statements. A number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. These factors include those described in the Risk Factors sections of the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended. December 31, 2020, and quarterly reports for completed periods March 31, 2021, June 30, 2021, and September 30, 2021. The forward-looking statements contained in this document speak only as of the date on which such statements were made, and we assume no obligation to update any such statements which may become false as a result of subsequent events. We claim safe haven protection for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Chris Kavanagh
(800) 978-8136
[email protected]

SOURCE Summit Healthcare REIT, Inc.


Former Legal Advisor: Manhattan DA Nursing Home Investigation Finds No Evidence Cuomo Administrator Broke Law



The statement reads as follows:

“I was contacted today by the head of the Elderly Care Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office who informed me that they have closed his investigation involving the Executive Chamber and the nursing homes. nurses. I was told that after a full investigation – as we have always said – there was no evidence to suggest any laws were broken. “

The Cuomo administration is accused of having aides withhold the actual number of nursing home residents who died during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic through the summer of 2020, after his book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the COVID-19 Pandemic, ”came out.

A report from the New York State Attorney General’s office released last January found nursing home deaths to be underestimated by up to 50% and initial data from the Department of Health’s New York State did not reflect nursing home residents who had been transferred to a hospital before they died.

The State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) retroactively withdrew its approval of Cuomo’s book in November.

JCOPE also tried to seize the $ 5.1 million it took from the book in December, but New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office said the commission should take more action before it s’ involve in collecting the money.

James’s office said JCOPE should produce an investigation report, outlining the laws that were broken and the amounts and penalties he was seeking and documenting any communications he had with Cuomo or his attorneys regarding the order, then show that he had exhausted his efforts to collect the debt.

Cuomo had obtained approval of his book contract in July 2020 from commission staff, after his attorney said he would not use any state staff or resources to produce his book and that he would write it “entirely on its own time”.

There are also allegations that Cuomo made assistants work on the Paid Time book that were described in the New York State Assembly Judiciary Committee’s impeachment report. Cuomo’s legal team denied the allegations, saying assistants had volunteered their time to work on the book.

Cuomo is due in court in Albany on Friday. A summons to appear for the offense of forced touching was filed in October. This accusation stems from accusations by a former aide that Cuomo reached under his shirt and grabbed his chest in the governor’s mansion.

Cuomo and his legal team have repeatedly denied that the former governor did this.

The governor was originally scheduled to appear in court in November, but was pushed back to January 7.


Fake vaccination card offense, nursing home audits shed light on new laws for the new year



New laws are now officially in effect in the Hudson Valley and across New York State.

Scarsdale now has a ban on smoking both cigarettes and cannabis on public property.

Police will start with warnings only for a 60-day transition period.

Effective March 1, those who smoke in public will be fined $ 100.

New York is addressing issues in nursing homes that have come to light during the pandemic.

New York is also banning styrofoam and peanut packaging this year. It does not apply to prepackaged foods.

The aim is to reduce products made from non-biodegradable materials.

The state will also work to eliminate fake vaccination cards in 2022.

New York is establishing a COVID-19 vaccination fraud task force that includes Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Roach.

The misdemeanor covers the creation, possession or sale of a fraudulent vaccination card and is punishable by up to one year in prison.

All nursing facilities will also be required to undergo an audit and comply with a new set of standards.

The assessment covers infection control, personal protective equipment, personnel and communication.

If a facility does not meet the standards, the Ministry of Health will audit continuously until the facility is in compliance.


“How the government can improve health care for pregnant women”


Adesua Oni is a registered nurse and midwife. In this interview with ADEOLA OTEMADE, she discusses the issues facing pregnant women, the factors responsible for maternal mortality and how the government can provide a better health system to the population.

Who is Adesua Oni?

Adesua Oni is a registered nurse and midwife, wife and mother of two. I am the founder of Pregnancy Support Foundation, a non-governmental organization with a vision to contribute its quota to reduce maternal mortality by providing physical, psychological, social and spiritual support to pregnant women and women trying to conceive. I am also the founder of the Stepped-up Nurse Academy with a vision to train nurses for extraordinary impact.

How did you manage to reconcile family, work and management of the foundation?

Reconciling family, work and managing the foundation was very difficult. I have to work three times harder than the average nurse to make it all right. I maximize my nighttime hours and have a great ability to multitask. This ability has actually kept Mega-woman’s name stuck in my DNA to this day.

What do you think are the challenges that Nigerian pregnant women face?

The challenges that the average pregnant woman faces are many. Based on my years of experience and my closer relationship with them this year, I have discovered that ignorance is the biggest challenge facing the average pregnant woman in Nigeria. Many of them do not have the information regarding the health of the pregnancy, while a few others have partial or incorrect information. They also choose to look for health solutions in the wrong places because they ignore the far-reaching effect that a simple wrong turn can mean in the near future. This is why Pregnancy Support teaches daily (using posts, live videos, YouTube videos, podcasts and e-books) on social media to enlighten more and more women and children. men. Our Facebook groups include men because we know that husbands and fathers need to know these things as well, in order to adequately support their wives during and after pregnancy.

Another major challenge that the average pregnant woman in Nigeria faces is that of inadequate funding or low socio-economic status. So many pregnant women do not even have a job or gainful employment to support themselves during pregnancy. They depend solely on their husbands who may be more focused on other projects than investing in his wife’s health. If he has more than one wife, the man has more mouths to feed and therefore may not provide his wife with access to optimal health care. Because I have discovered that some important decisions rest with the husband, I have written extensively on the husband’s involvement in maternal health in my book Pregnancy Support published in April of this year. For financial reasons, too, many women prefer to risk their lives and say no to a Caesarean section because they cannot afford the extra bills for the surgery. This challenge is a strong reason why I wrote and published my second book, CAESARIAN to enlighten women and their husbands on the pros and cons of saying yes or no to Caesarean section.

How do you think the government can improve the health system for pregnant women?

The government should invest more in midwifery compensation as this is the only specialty where two lives are directly involved and both can be lost if the midwife is not able. They should provide our public and university hospitals with better facilities so that optimal care can be provided. Ambulances in these hospitals should also be sufficiently equipped to safely transport pregnant women living in places far from their homes to the hospital. Many die due to a lack of accessibility or a delay in accessing health services. The hospital labor room should be equipped with facilities to ensure privacy during labor. Booths or screens can be provided so that each woman can feel comfortable exposing herself and their husbands are allowed to stay with them during labor and delivery.

When did you create the Pregnancy Support Foundation?

Pregnancy Support started on February 12, 2021 and was 100 people online and so far we have been able to impact an increasing number of pregnant women on social media, mainly Facebook. Currently, our Facebook community is made up of approximately 2,600 women and men of reproductive age. We also educate women and indirectly their men on Whatsapp, Instagram and Linkedin. On Whatsapp, I launched the VIP-MUMS Academy in March for which women pay a token of 500-2,000 per month for more in-depth training and education on topics related to pregnancy. I have faced challenges, many of which are rooted in the workforce and finances. So far I have run the whole business with my salary.

What are the challenges encountered by the foundation since its creation?

Finance has been the biggest challenge since its inception. Managing the social media pages where teaching takes place on a daily basis is very expensive. Currently, we are planning to launch a medical intervention with the local government of Ifaka, in Mando, Kaduna state, but the main constraints have been funding. For a month, we reached out to people to sponsor this outreach, but responses were weak. Everyone complains about the socio-economic situation of the country. We also have the challenge of encouraging pregnant women to listen to and use the teachings given on our social media platforms, namely: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and WhatsApp. Our VIP Mums Academy and our Facebook community also need funding to function properly. So far I have run the foundation with my paycheck as a nurse. As we speak, my salary can no longer conveniently run the NGO.

Can you give statistics on the mortality rate of pregnant women recorded this year?

The maternal mortality rate recorded in Nigeria in 2020 was 814 per 100,000 live births according to the World Health Organization (WHO). I don’t have the statistics for 2021 yet but I think it would have gone down further. The maternal mortality rate (MMR) in several low- and middle-income countries is alarming, with around 34% of maternal deaths worldwide occurring in Nigeria and India alone. A Nigerian woman’s lifetime risk of dying during pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, or after an abortion is 1 in 22, unlike the lifetime risk in developed countries estimated at 1 in 4,900.

Why nursing and midwifery?

Nursing was chosen for me by my parents. But before the end of my first year, I started to find meaning in it and I learned to love the job despite its many challenges. I chose midwifery because I was always thrilled and excited about each new life I gave birth to while working in a private hospital as a new registered nurse.

What advice do you give women to stay healthy during pregnancy?

Staying healthy during pregnancy is quite a lesson. But in summary, I would advise every pregnant woman to have a pregnancy support coach or an executive midwife. This midwife will be a referral physician whenever she has complaints and questions. This service can be provided on social media using the cheapest platform which is Whatsapp. Pregnant women can connect to their obstetricians and midwives online and ask for help faster, just like I do for my Pregnancy Support Foundation clients. If that happens, she would have access to all the information she needs to stay healthy during pregnancy.


Shortage of retirement homes



LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Nursing homes in Kentucky are facing a staffing shortage that is leaving some concerned about the future of their facilities. A poll conducted last month by the Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities (KAHCF) and the Kentucky Center for Assisted Living (KCAL) showed that 57% of those polled fear they will have to shut down if workforce issues persist.

What would you like to know

  • Kentucky nursing homes face staff shortages and some worry about the facility’s future
  • Prior to the pandemic, Kentucky was already losing trained nurses on a regular basis, the pandemic exacerbated this decline.
  • A poll last month showed 57% of those surveyed fear they will have to shut down if labor issues persist
  • Nazareth Home Highlands in Louisville doesn’t care about closing facilities, but focuses on promoting the careers of its staff.

In 1989 Kim Hobson began her career at Nazareth Home Highlands, a retirement home in Louisville.

“I think I walk past the front door of 62 people every day, so this is a great opportunity for me,” Hobson told Spectrum News 1.

Hobson started out as a certified drug technician. Then she said she graduated from a licensed practical nurse school or LPN and looked for other opportunities.

“I really enjoyed working with the Ursuline sisters, I ended up working, I went back to school in Spalding [University], and when I graduated I had my bachelor’s degree in nursing and came back here in 2002, ”Hobson explained.

After several other roles, Hobson added Director of Nursing to her resume in 2009.

Currently, she manages over 150 employees, from certified medical technicians to registered nurses. All roles ensure that someone’s loved one in the facility is taken care of.

The pandemic has wreaked havoc among residents of nursing homes, but it has also hit staff hard.

“We’ve had some really tough days over the past 24 months, and many nights I was here until midnight, but it wasn’t just me. I would be here with my administrator. I have an amazing assistant director of nursing, you know it took a village… we all came together, ”Hobson said.

Kentucky was already losing trained nursing staff on a regular basis before the pandemic. However, the pandemic has exacerbated this decline, for the Commonwealth and across the United States.

Since February 2020, healthcare has shrunk by 450,000 jobs, with nursing and residential facilities accounting for almost all of the loss, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Hobson said more than half of his staff before the pandemic were still working. However, Nazareth Home Highlands has lost many great employees due to circumstances caused by the pandemic, such as the closure of daycare centers and virtual learning for students.

Nazareth Home President Mary Haynes also said a contributing factor to the shortage of trained nurses is the bureaucracy that has escalated as COVID-19 has hit nursing homes hard.

“If you haven’t been here for a while, and then had some perspective and some understanding of all the federal rules that we have to follow on a daily basis, then you’re like, ‘You know, this is a little difficult, “” Haynes mentioned.

Two Kentucky associations that advocate for Commonwealth health care and assisted living facilities, the Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities (KAHCF) and the Kentucky Center for Assisted Living (KCAL), surveyed its members last month. Comments show that employees left long-term care due to a number of factors, such as a lack of competitive salaries.

Other reasons employees have left long-term care include recruiting agencies, which offer more flexibility and higher salaries, hiring career employees for short-term contracts, the eventual COVID-19 vaccination mandate and staff burnout and stress.

“What we started to see is that healthcare facilities are no longer accepting applications or closing wings due to understaffing,” said KAHCF / KCAL President Betsy Johnson .

To address staff shortages, Kentucky care facilities need to get creative since Johnson and Haynes told Spectrum News 1 that simply raising wages to be competitive was not an option, as nursing homes are funded by the government through Medicaid and Medicare.

For example, Nazareth Home Highlands is flexible with employee schedules and focuses on creating an environment where employees enjoy working. The organization is also focused on building employee wages over the long term by offering career advancement, such as an in-house certified nursing assistant program.

“It opened the door for people who really wanted to be here but couldn’t afford to go to school or couldn’t go Monday through Friday,” Hobson said. “They were able to come, and they were also able to work and learn as they went along, and that was a huge success for us.”

While Haynes of Nazareth Home has said his facilities are doing well with their current roster, there are still a number of positions to be filled. When hiring for Nazareth Home Highlands, Hobson said she focuses more on quality than quantity.

“If I could just wave a magic wand,” said Hobson, “it would be right to have people who are just engaged.”

Hobson further explained that if Nazareth Home Highlands, hypothetically, could get 20 new hires tomorrow, it wouldn’t matter if they didn’t have the passion for this career.

“If I could have a magic wand it would be for people to know the value of being in the long term care industry and how rewarding it is.”

Team members, said Hobson, who would see this career as a calling, not just a job.

“I have one CNA in particular, she came over to me and said, ‘Hey, I’m going to work second shift for you for a little while because we’re going to go through this,’ Hobson said. are the kind of people I want. “

There are approximately 3,000 openings in Kentucky long-term care facilities, according to the KAHCF / KCAL survey.

If you are interested in resources to learn more about a career in long-term nursing or if you are looking for employment in the field Click here.

In addition, you can browse Nazareth Home in progress career opportunities.


OC’s healthcare agency announces updates on COVID-19


Between December 23 and 29, the average seven-day COVID-19 case rate in Orange County fell from 10.8 to 19 per 100,000 population, and the average daily number of COVID-19 cases is from 348 to 614. The positivity rate also fell from 3.3 to 5.4 percent, hospitalizations from 229 to 376, and intensive care admissions from 54 to 72 per day.

“As we expected, Orange County COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are increasing sharply due to the increase in gatherings and travel during the holidays,” said Dr Clayton Chau, director of the HCA and County Health Officer. “The risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 is extremely high during this time as more and more people come into close contact with each other. We ask that you continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including limiting or avoiding meeting with others if possible. As always, get the vaccine, get a boost, get tested if you have symptoms or 3 to 5 days after being exposed, wear your mask indoors, and stay home if you are sick. “

COVID-19 test kits available to order online

To support the early detection of COVID-19 and contain the spread of the disease, the OC Health Care Agency (HCA) continues to offer free at-home COVID-19 test kits to people who work or live in Orange. County. Test kits can be ordered online by visiting ochealthinfo.com/covidtest.

The Self-Collection Test Kit is acceptable for use by persons 18 years of age and older when self-collected, for use by persons 15 years of age and older when self-collected under the adult supervision, and for use by persons 4 years of age. and older when retrieved with the help of an adult. This is a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that can be administered from the comfort of an individual’s home. Each kit comes with a prepaid return shipping label and results are provided within 24-48 hours of sample receipt. An email address is required for each person requesting a test kit.

“It is not rapid antigenic tests which are currently scarce across the country,” said Dr Margaret Bredehoft, chief of public health services. “PCR test results typically take up to 48 hours, but are very reliable for people with or without symptoms, which means you’re less likely to get false negatives or positives. Please keep in mind that you are strongly encouraged to stay home if you are feeling sick and to test for COVID-19 3-5 days after assembly or travel, which should allow sufficient time to order a kit test and receive the results. While we do not encourage gatherings or travel during this time of high COVID-19 transmission, if you need results sooner, we encourage you to check with your health care provider or pharmacy. local retail. Testing providers can be on-site at airports for those who choose to travel. Some additional testing resources are listed at ochealthinfo.com/covidtest. “

CDC shortens period of isolation and quarantine

On December 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued new recommendations to shorten isolation time due to COVID-19 infection and quarantine due to exposure to a person infected with COVID-19. Recommendations include:

  1. Regardless of the vaccination status, if your test is positive or if you have symptoms of COVID-19, you must now stay at home (isolate) for 5 days since the onset of symptoms (or on the day of the blood collection. tests) and wear a well-fitting mask around others for at least 5 additional days. If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever goes away without medication to reduce the fever.
  2. If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and:
    • You have received an eligible booster, completed your primary Pfizer or Moderna vaccine series within the past 6 months, or completed your Johnson & Johnson primary series within the past 2 months, you do not need to stay home (quarantine) but you must wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days. Please test on day 5; and, if your result is positive on this test or if you develop symptoms, stay home (isolate) and follow the instructions as in # 1 above.
    • You have not yet received an eligible booster for a vaccine or are not vaccinated, you must stay home (quarantine) for 5 days, get tested for COVID-19 five days after exposure and wear a mask that fits tightly around others for an additional 5 days. days. People unable to self-quarantine must wear a properly fitted mask for 10 days.

The CDC has also updated its guidelines for the management of healthcare workers infected or exposed to SARS-CoV-2 to improve the protection of healthcare workers, patients and visitors, and to ensure adequate staff in health facilities.

State issues updated health orders

On December 22, the state issued three health orders updating the vaccination requirement for healthcare workers and all employees in high-risk collective settings, including nursing homes. According to the orders, all affected workers currently eligible for recalls must be “fully vaccinated and boosted” for COVID-19 by receiving all recommended doses of the primary series of vaccines and a booster dose of vaccine by February 1 at the latest. 2022. The ordinances apply to workers of:

Workers not yet eligible for the booster must be in compliance no later than 15 days after the time recommended above to receive the booster dose. In the meantime, all healthcare workers who have not received their booster should be tested for COVID-19 twice a week until they are up to date on their vaccines. The exemptions apply only for religious beliefs or for qualifying medical reasons. Affected workers who received all of the recommended doses of a vaccine authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization would be considered fully immunized and eligible for a single booster dose of Pfizer 6 months after receiving all the recommended doses.

FDA clears COVID-19 antiviral treatments

On December 22 and 23, the United States Food and Drug Administration issued emergency use authorizations for two oral antivirals, Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s molnupiravir, to treat COVID-19 in certain adults and pediatric patients with positive direct test results for SARS-CoV-2, and who are at high risk of progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization and death. People should see their healthcare provider, as both treatments should be limited in supply, available by prescription only, and should be started as soon as possible after being diagnosed with COVID-19 and within five days of onset of symptoms. .

For more information on COVID-19 information and resources, including the number of cases, vaccination and testing in Orange County, visit ochealthinfo.com/covid.


Some nursing home residents to ring in 2022 with rent increase – Santa Cruz Sentinel



SANTA CRUZ – COVID-19 has created new costs for owners of skilled nursing and residential care facilities, such as funding regular testing for residents or protective equipment for staff. As a result, residents of many of these Santa Cruz County properties will absorb some of the costs with an annual increase in rents.

For example, Ray Spencer will pay Brookdale Scotts Valley about 10% more for his two-bedroom apartment he shares with another resident starting January 1. That means he and his roommate will have to share an additional $ 700 per month. Spencer has learned that, on average, all residents are facing an 8.5% rent increase.

While Spencer can afford the higher rate because of his retirement savings, he worries about his fixed-income peers who will have nowhere to turn.

“COVID has definitely hurt their business, but it’s not cheap,” Spencer said of the Tennessee-based Brookdale Senior Living Solutions offerings. “My roommate and I pay (around) $ 7,000 a month… They increase the price every year. Last year it was around 5%. They think we have no alternative.

Data Sharing Santa Cruz County Estimates that more than 3,200 people aged 65 and over live below the poverty line in the region. This figure has only increased in the last decade.

The Texas native called an ombudsman who will visit the facility next week to speak to the principal, but said he was not sure the visit would create a significant change. After all, in his four years at Brookdale Scotts Valley, Spencer has dealt with four directors. Each, he said, offered corporate leadership excuses around a worsening experience.

“Nothing is ever done,” Spencer said. “It’s like four years ago except that now we don’t have tablecloths, not enough help to take care of people… The problem is the increase in rents when services fall.

Spencer said he understands that every institution has to downsize many industries due to COVID-19. After all, the restaurants he visited recently have fewer servers and the same number of customers to serve. What he doesn’t understand, he said, is that he feels older residents like him are not listened to or treated with respect.

“I was in one apartment and it was $ 4,500. Damn, I could buy a house for that price, ”Spencer said. “The food they provide you can probably buy for $ 1,000 a month. Where does the rest go? They really hold us by the short hair… My roommate tells me I’m too blunt, but that’s how I am. I want the world to know how they treat the elderly.

Brookdale Senior Living Inc. spokesperson Heather Hunter said this week that the concept of an annual rent increase comes as no surprise. This year, the rate of increase is higher, Hunter said, as the cost of labor and goods increased during the pandemic.

“As a business, we have absorbed millions of dollars in costs related to COVID until recently. We need to start passing some of that on in the form of an increase… We’re still taking most of it, ”said Hunter, discussing precautionary measures taken to protect residents such as the creation of COVID-19 wings. when the units were full. in local hospitals.

Spencer, a 90-year-old man, is legally blind but can see well enough to regularly check the company’s stock balance sheet.

“Their stock is in bad shape, it’s down. I find out that they are refinancing and trying to pay off a debt they borrowed, $ 100 million, this month, ”the resident said. “(The company) doesn’t make money on the services it provides. They make money with real estate.

Spencer’s allegations are verified by NASDAQ, which shows that Brookdale shares have fallen by $ 10 per share over the past five years with a continued decline through 2021. The company announced in a press release shared by Yahoo News that he got a loan of $ 100 million. Shares of Brookdale Senior Living Inc. closed at $ 5.08 per share on Wednesday, from $ 5.13 earlier today.

Hunter says the company is not in financial difficulty.

“In order not to be in a situation where negative things could happen to the business, part of the costs must be (shared),” she said. “We cannot continue to cover everything. “

No more rent increases

Brookdale Senior Living Solutions isn’t the only company that will need to communicate to residents that rent is going up.

Kevin Kimbrough, spokesperson for the Dominican Oaks skilled nursing facility, said the rates for the Santa Cruz home would increase slightly.

“Rent increases occur regularly (usually annually) in the living space of the elderly. Dominican Oaks, like other vendors, looks at a variety of operational expenses, the rate of inflation, the census, and more. At the end of the spring, when we analyzed the variables, we decided that our rate would increase by 2.5% this fiscal year (July 2021 – June 2022), ”he said in an email.

It is not just the houses owned by businesses that will seek to recover their costs. Tryg Thorensen, owner of De Un Amor in Corralitos, said he would increase his rent for new residents entering by at least 4% or 5%. This will translate to around $ 500 per month.

“Without a doubt, I have suffered a lot of losses this year,” he said. “But I have a small installation here and I charge a flat rate per month. There are no different levels of care… One thing I tell residents when they move in is that their price will stay the same… I’ve been in business for 27 years, periodically increasing (the rent).

Others will not experience any increases. That, according to spokesperson Dan Kramer, includes Santa Cruz Post Acute.

With the Omicron variant, Thorensen added, owners and managers of retirement homes will need to continually review their income and expenses in order to keep their doors open, staff supported and residents happy. He may need to exceed 5% if his accountant agrees that it is a good idea to give increases to staff, who regularly work overtime, to compensate for difficult circumstances and ongoing inflation issues.

“I’ve been in contact with a county nurse and it’s here, it’s spreading like wildfire,” Thorensen said of the latest strain of the virus. “The biggest issue that worries me is staffing. It’s a nationwide problem, but it’s so difficult to get people to work in this industry. It’s also about having the right people, not just anyone. He must be the kind of person who can do this job.

The Sentinel attempted to contact the county’s five remaining qualified nursing facilities recognized by its licensing body, the California Department of Public Health, but did not receive a response. The publication also contacted all 26 residential care facilities certified by the California Department of Social Services. He only heard from Brookdale Scotts Valley and De Un Amor.


Some infected Quebec healthcare workers may continue to work


Quebec, which battles the highest infection levels in Canada, announced on Tuesday that health care workers in the province who tested positive for the coronavirus will continue to work under certain circumstances.

All essential workers in the province, including those working in medicine, will be subject to the new rules, said Christian Dubé, Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services, during a press briefing. He said workers who test positive will continue to work “according to a list of priorities and risk management.” He did not provide details but said more information would be released in the coming days.

In previous waves, Dubé said, the goal had been “to identify and remove at-risk employees as quickly as possible.” But given the highly contagious nature of the Omicron variant and the number of people infected and forced to withdraw from work, he said, “we have to do it differently. We have no choice. “

The average number of new cases per day in Quebec has increased by 376% in the past two weeks, and the seven-day average of daily new cases in the province is over 8,000, according to data compiled by the University. Johns Hopkins. This number represents more than half of new cases in Canada every day, on average.

Pressure on healthcare workers around the world has increased since the start of the pandemic, and experts have warned they are approaching a tipping point. In October, the World Health Organization estimated that more than 100,000 health workers had died from Covid and urged countries to do more to protect them.

In the United States, some states have called in the National Guard this month to help manage hospitals and nursing homes that have been hit hard by staff shortages and illness among their employees.


No residents of Gracedale Nursing Home are currently testing positive for COVID, but precautions continue | Regional News from Lehigh Valley



The Gracedale Nursing Home in Northampton County provides long term care to some of the community’s most valued residents.

No one could have predicted that long-term care here would turn into such a long struggle in the worst pandemic in modern history.

In June 2020, Gracedale saw staggering numbers. There had been 71 deaths and 422 residents had tested positive, along with 50 employees. The National Guard was called in to help test.

A year later, omicron is sweeping the country. But, remarkably, that doesn’t sweep away Gracedale.

Northampton County Director Lamont McClure said that to date not a single resident has tested positive for COVID-19, and there have been no COVID-related deaths since April.

McClure points out their vaccination rates. He says 92% of their residents are vaccinated, 71% are boosted and 87% of their health workers are vaccinated.

“And we couldn’t be more grateful to these health heroes for being vaccinated at Gracedale,” McClure said.

But while they are glad they won this battle, the war against COVID-19 at the nursing home continues. McClure says 14 of their employees at Gracedale have tested positive and are in quarantine.

And while they’re proud of everything they’ve accomplished, McClure says, they know things can change quickly.

“We have to be honest with everyone. These coming days and weeks are going to be critical for the health and safety of our residents. So we have to keep wearing these N95 and K95 masks, we have to keep washing our hands and we need to get vaccinated, vaccinated and boosted everyone who can be vaccinated, ”said McClure.


2021 in the health news


Behind the massive efforts to get the community vaccinated lies a network of partnerships forged and / or deepened during the pandemic.

One of the most notable collaborations of the year was the Cleveland Innovation District, a research and education partnership between five anchor institutions (Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth, University Hospitals, Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University ) who say they are already making progress in hiring, education and research.

The public-private partnership is supported by $ 565 million in seed funding, with $ 110 million from JobsOhio and about $ 155 million paid to the Cleveland Clinic from the state.

The clinic is committed to spending $ 300 million on projects for the district, which are designed to drive job growth and innovation in Northeast Ohio. Although the collaboration was underway before the pandemic, the public health crisis has helped unify and accelerate its formation.

Another key partnership formed during COVID was that between the clinic and the UH. The pandemic has required collaboration between Cleveland’s health juggernauts, historical competitors, as well as other regional hospitals and systems, including MetroHealth, St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, Firelands Regional Medical Center and Southwest General Medical Center.

The UH and the clinic reflected on the commonalities and lessons learned in a joint white paper, establishing a roadmap for future collaborations to meet public health needs in the region.

This year has also started to show more firmly how the pandemic has permanently altered healthcare.

The health crisis has shown more than ever the link between public health and education, providing an opportunity to deepen relationships and expand the role of school health programs.

Plus, virtual caregiving is here to stay after COVID forced a seismic shift from in-person visits to telehealth appointments. Suppliers are now navigating her new role. The pandemic has also highlighted how essential digital equity is in the fight for health equity.


City health department pushes for recalls and vaccines at healthcare facilities – Pasadena Now


[UPDATED] Each of the city’s 13 skilled nursing facilities has more than 70% of its residents fully immunized according to a facility audit.

However, the city’s health department audit also found that the percentage of residents who were fully vaccinated and received a booster varies widely across all facilities.

“A single facility reported more than 80% of its residents with booster doses, most facilities have around 50-60% of their residents with a booster dose. The remaining five establishments with a recall rate of less than 40% are contacted to discuss their progress, ”according to a note released last week.

“While PPHD would like to see high rates of increase and will continue to facilitate booster doses, there may be a number of valid medical or other reasons why residents have not yet received a booster, so PPHD will continue to facilitate booster doses. to collect information to help assess which may include people who are medically ineligible, fully vaccinated residents who are not yet eligible for their booster dose, or people who have recently started their first dose and are not still eligible for their recall, ”according to the note.

Since COVID-19 vaccines became available, the city’s health department has asked long-term care facilities to provide weekly updates on vaccination and booster rates among staff and residents. In anticipation of Omicron, the city’s health department worked after hours and over weekends to audit facility-reported vaccinations and reminders to compare facility self-reported information with the facility’s records system. state vaccination to estimate actual, fully vaccinated and increased rates at these facilities.

Nursing facilities for the elderly are required by the state to provide booster doses to their residents and staff.

The city health department has the capacity to offer an on-site vaccination clinic when absolutely necessary if other avenues for reminders are not available.

The state has contracted pharmacies, including CVS and Rite Aid, to administer booster doses to skilled nursing facilities in need of assistance.

The city health department has confirmed that every local senior nursing facility in Pasadena has been offered this resource.

“To our knowledge, Pasadena is the only jurisdiction in the state to take this detailed approach that verifies the facility’s self-assessment, which we believe will help us focus resources where they are most needed. and to ensure that establishments report as required, ”according to the memo signed by Deputy Director General Nick Rodriguez.

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Nursing home calls 911 for help on Christmas morning due to understaffing – CBS Denver



DENVER (CBS4) – It was a tense situation in Denver on Christmas morning when a staff shortage caused the Autumn Heights Care Center to call 911 for help. Saturday morning paramedics were called to the nursing home located at 3131 S Federal Blvd.

(credit: CBS)

A source close to the case says there was 1 nurse for 50 patients. The Denver Department of Health and Environment could not confirm these figures but said there was a staff shortage.

According to the source, the nurse has requested that residents be transferred to local hospitals due to COVID. Signs on the door to the health center say they have an outbreak of COVID, and the Colorado State Joint Information Center confirmed that an outbreak was first reported at that facility on December 18. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment outbreak team worked with the to mitigate and treat the outbreak.

(credit: CBS)

The DDPHE says they are aware of a COVID outbreak but did not believe the call for help was related to it. They say that after talking to paramedics on site, evacuating patients would not be a solution. The Denver Health Paramedic Division provided medical assistance at the facility.

Working through a recruiting agency, DDPHE and the facility called staff to arrive at 2 p.m. Saturday. An ambulance remained on site until early afternoon to help until the arrival of emergency nurses.

(credit: CBS)

The Colorado Joint Information Center said it has been in contact with Autumn Heights to ensure it has sufficient staff and is providing staff through the State Staffing Fusion Center. They say the state’s Staffing Shortage Fusion Center will continue to work with the facility to determine next steps.

No patient was taken to hospital. CBS 4 contacted the retirement home but received no response.


Rural health Pt. 4: Health care gaps hamper some rural areas


Part 4 of a special report

Echols County in Georgia, which borders Florida, could be called a health desert.

There is no hospital, no local ambulances. A medical provider comes to treat patients at a clinic for migrant farm workers but, aside from a small public health department with two full-time employees, that’s roughly the extent of medical care in rural county 4. 000 people.

In an emergency, a patient must wait for an ambulance from Valdosta and be taken to a hospital there, or call in a medical helicopter. Ambulances from Valdosta can take up to 20 minutes to arrive, said Bobby Walker, chairman of the county committee. “It’s a pretty good wait for an ambulance,” he added.

Walker tried to establish an ambulance service based in Statenville, the county seat of one-stop fire in Echols, but the cost of providing the service was estimated at $ 280,000 per year. Without the industry to support the tax base, the county could not find that kind of money.

In many ways, Echols reflects the healthcare challenges faced in rural areas nationwide, such as limited insurance coverage among residents, gaps in medical services, and provider shortages.

Dr Jacqueline Fincher, an internal medicine doctor who practices in rural Thomson, eastern Georgia, said these communities have a higher proportion of people 65 and over who need medical services. comprehensive, and a much higher incidence of poverty, including extreme poverty, than the rest of the country.

For example, about 1 in 4 Echols residents do not have health insurance, and nearly a third of children live in poverty, according to the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps program of the Population Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin.

Echols County

Like Echols, several counties in Georgia do not have a doctor at all.

It is difficult to recruit doctors in a rural area if they have never lived in such an environment before, said Dr Tom Fausett, a family doctor who grew up and still lives in Adel, a town in the south of. Georgia.

About 20% of the nation lives in rural America, but only about 10% of American physicians practice in these areas, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And 77% of the country’s rural counties are designated as areas of health worker shortage. About 4,000 additional primary care practitioners are needed to meet current rural health care needs, the Health Resources and Services Administration has estimated.

“A lot of doctors haven’t lived in a rural area,” said Dr Samuel Church, a family doctor who helps train medical students and residents in the town of Hiawassee in northern Georgia, in the mountains. “Some of them thought we were in Alaska or something. I assure them that Amazon delivers here.

Rural hospitals are also struggling to recruit nurses and other medical staff to fill vacant positions. “We are all competing for the same nurses,” said Jay Carmichael, COO of Southwell Medical, which operates Adel Hospital.


MORE: Georgia Health News

Even in rural areas that have doctors and hospitals, it can be difficult to put a patient in contact with a specialist.

“When you have a trauma or cardiac patient, you don’t have a trauma or cardiology team to take care of that patient,” said Rose Keller, chief nurse at Appling Healthcare in Baxley, South East. from Georgia.


Access to mental health care is also a major problem, said Dr Zita Magloire, a family doctor in Cairo, a city in southern Georgia with a population of around 10,000. “It’s almost non-existent here.”

A map created at Georgia Tech shows vast swathes of rural counties without access to autism services, for example.

One of the factors behind this shortage of health care providers is what rural hospital officials call the “payers mix”.

Many patients cannot pay their medical bills. Swainsboro Medical Center CEO Damien Scott said 37% of hospital emergency room patients did not have insurance.

And a large portion of rural hospital patients are enrolled in Medicaid or Medicare. Medicaid generally pays less than the cost of care, and although Medicare reimbursements are a bit higher, they are lower than private insurance.

“The problem with rural hospitals is the reimbursement mechanisms,” said Kirk Olsen, managing partner of ERH Healthcare, a company that operates four hospitals in rural Georgia.

Georgia is one of 12 states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act. This would make other low-income people eligible for the public insurance program. Would that help? “Absolutely,” Olsen said, echoing comments from nearly everyone interviewed during a months-long survey by Georgia Health News.

“If Medicaid were expanded, hospitals could become more viable,” said Dr. Joe Stubbs, internist in Albany, Georgia. “So many people go to the hospital without being able to pay.”

Echols County isn’t the only place where ambulance service is spotty.

Ambulance teams in some rural areas have ceased to function, leaving the remaining providers to cover greater distances with limited resources, said Brock Slabach, director of operations for the National Rural Health Association. It is difficult for a local government to pay the cost of the service when patient volumes in sparsely populated rural areas are very low, he said.

“If people are not careful they will wake up and there will be no rural health care,” said Richard Stokes, financial director of Taylor Regional Hospital in Hawkinsville, Georgia. “This is my great concern.”


The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation provided funding for the writing of this article.

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Yolo County skilled nursing facilities require COVID-19 testing for workers and visitors – Daily Democrat


People in Yolo County working in skilled nursing facilities will now need to be tested for COVID-19 twice a week, regardless of their vaccination status.

With the rapid increase in the Omicron variant, Dr Aimee, the Yolo County health official, has issued an official health ordinance to protect skilled residents of nursing facilities who are vulnerable to serious illness, according to a statement. county press release.

Visitors to these facilities will also need to provide proof of a negative COVID test, regardless of their vaccination status. Visitors will need to present proof of a negative test one day before the visit for antigen testing or within two days for molecular testing (including PCR).

A printed document or electronic test result from a test provider or laboratory or a test performed in the presence of SNF personnel will all be accepted. Exceptions to the testing requirements will be made for compassionate care visits, such as for a dying resident.

The order will come into effect on December 27 and will remain in effect until January 31, unless Sisson orders otherwise.

The local health decree is being issued in addition to the update Order of the state public health officer announced on Dec. 22 that requires skilled workers in nursing facilities who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster dose to receive a booster by Feb. 1, 2022.

“We have a responsibility to protect vulnerable residents of skilled nursing facilities from COVID-19,” Sisson said. “The highly transmissible variant of Omicron will be difficult to stop once it is introduced to a skilled nursing facility, so we need to take additional steps to prevent the virus from entering those facilities in the first place. Requiring everyone entering a facility to pass a recent negative test for COVID-19 is an essential step in ensuring the safety of residents. “

Of the 266 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in Yolo County, 72 or 27% have occurred among skilled residents of care facilities.

The order will affect six Yolo County facilities located in Davis, West Sacramento and Woodland, including Alderson Convalescent Hospital, Cottonwood Post Acute Rehabilitation, Courtyard Health Care Center, River Bend Nursing Center , University Retirement Community and Woodland Skilled Nursing.

“Testing everyone entering SNFs will reduce the introduction of the virus into facilities,” the press release said. “Because even fully immunized and stimulated individuals can be infected with the Omicron variant, checking the immunization status of staff and visitors is not sufficient to protect vulnerable residents. “

To find more COVID-19 information from Yolo County, visit yolocounty.org/covid.


Christmas Memories: Nursing Home Residents Share Stories From Their Favorite Vacation Past | Local



David Bullock, a resident of the Slate Valley Center in Granville, has spent many years playing Santa Claus for children over Christmas.

Gretta Hochsprung

GRANVILLE – David Bullock was shopping at Colonie Center 41 years ago with his 5-year-old son.

“I took my 5 year old son to see Santa Claus and he wasn’t there,” Bullock said.

The sign said Santa Claus would be back in an hour. Bullock returned an hour later, but the merry bearded man still wasn’t there.

“Back at 1, back at 2 and around 2:30 am I see two young women dressed as elves pointing at me and talking,” he said, “and I walked over to them. and said to them, “Can I help you? “

They told Bullock that the man who normally plays Santa Claus had passed away in the family and would not be returning that day.

Just two days before Christmas and the mall closed for the day, Bullock volunteered.

On that day, Bullock became Santa Claus and played the role for years until his health prevented him from portraying the plump and cheerful old elf.

Now a resident of the Slate Valley Center retirement home in Granville, Bullock is in a wheelchair and his hands are shaking, but he still treats everyone with a loud greeting and hands out handwritten Christmas cards to other residents and staff.

People also read …

The 74-year-old still calls himself “Santa’s helper”.

“I thought to myself it was a one-time deal,” he said. “They put me in a costume and everything and I said, ‘I’m going to have fun. “”

There weren’t many kids in line that day, so he decided to spend time with each child on his lap or next to him in a stroller.

He would talk to them, ask them what they wanted from him for Christmas, sing a few Christmas songs with them, hand them a candy and return them to their parents.

His wife bought him a Santa Claus costume in a failed Montgomery neighborhood. He visited shopping malls and daycares, elementary schools and colleges, and dressed in the red costume for his neighbors’ children, ringing bells attached to a leather bracelet.

“The kids have gone crazy,” Bullock said. “It was so much fun.”

And he never charged a dime.

“I did that for a long time until my knee deteriorated and I couldn’t lift the kids anymore, it hurt too much,” Bullock said.

But playing Santa Claus has become a family tradition. Bullock’s eldest son David has been Santa Claus in malls for many years, and his youngest son Tim also wears a Santa outfit and represents the saint giving gifts to his friends and family. family.

“I loved making people happy,” Bullock said. “I really did.”

A pair of roller skates

Christmas memories

Dorathy Devoe, 100, a resident of Glens Falls Center, recalled having a traditional Christmas morning breakfast of scrambled eggs and pancakes with her six siblings.

Gretta Hochsprung

Dorathy Devoe, who turned 100 in July, grew up in a large family on Long Island and remembers their traditional pancake and scrambled egg breakfasts on Christmas morning. She and her siblings had to eat before they could open any presents.

“Then we were allowed to go, and sure enough it was a mad rush to find your name,” said Devoe, who resides at Glens Falls Center. Devoe came to the area when her son opened an ice cream shop in Lake George.

The greatest gift she ever received was a pair of roller skates, the kind made of metal that attached to the bottom of your shoes and could be adjusted with a wrench.

“We had black paved roads,” she recalls, “and there was a hill just beyond our house where the cars were going down, and someone was stopping the cars as you were going down the hill.”

In winter, they sleighed down the same hill.

Winter was “good times” in Whitehall

Christmas memories

Glens Falls Center resident John Spizzo, 89, recalled his winters rolling down a hill on Second Avenue in Whitehall with his two friends John Affinito and John Sparano.

Gretta Hochsprung

John Spizzo, 89, grew up in the village of Whitehall and remembers the great pleasure of sledding down the steep hill on the Second Avenue side.

“We were all friends. Everyone there were friends, because we were all Italians, ”said Spizzo, who now lives at the Glens Falls Center.

Spizzo was raised by his grandfather because his mother worked in the garment factory. His father worked for 50 years in the railroad. He was still looking forward to Christmas.

“You know we weren’t rich,” he said, “but the things that we had, we really felt a lot for them no matter what we got. “

“We weren’t rich, but we ate well”

Christmas memories

Jerry Sacco, a resident of Glens Falls Center, remembers celebrating Christmas with his five siblings and eating a big Italian Christmas dinner.

Gretta Hochsprung

Spizzo’s roommate at Glens Falls Center, Jerry Sacco, 85, was born in Whitehall. He moved when he was 4, but still visited family in Whitehall and often played basketball in the playground.

“There were six boys and two girls in our family,” Sacco said. “We weren’t rich, but we ate well, had good food, Italian cuisine.

At midnight on Christmas Eve, her father would wake up all the children and allow them to open a present. Then he was back in bed until morning.

The best gift he had ever received was a basketball. He and his brothers continued to play in high school and graduate school.

Living in Vermont at the time, Sacco remembers playing a tournament in Whitehall, and his brother contracted pneumonia. He received a $ 25 penicillin injection, which saved his life.

Remembering the family at Christmas

Christmas memories

Penny Baker, a resident of the Slate Valley Center in Granville, decorated her white Christmas tree in memory of her mother and sisters, who have passed away in the past three years. Hummingbirds are for her mother and butterflies are for her sisters.

Gretta Hochsprung

Penny Baker, 62, grew up in South Glens Falls with her two sisters. They had pizza parties on Christmas Eve and her parents would have 30 to 40 people in their home on Christmas Day.

“When my mom was home she loved it,” Baker said. “The more, the happier. “

Baker has lost his mother and two sisters in the past three years. Next to her bed at the Slate Valley Center in Granville is a white Christmas tree decorated with hummingbirds for her mother and butterflies for her sisters.

A special family photo

Christmas memories

Barb Yedlowski, a resident of Glens Falls Center, recalled her father putting her and her siblings in a big box and let them out for Christmas.

Gretta Hochsprung

Barb Yedlowski, 73, has a memory of Christmas when she was a little girl on Long Island.

“I remember when we were little my dad would take pictures,” Yedlowski said. “And he put us all in the box, and he closed the box and we got out of it.”

She always loved receiving dolls for Christmas, said Yedlowski, who now lives at Glens Falls Center.

“I once had a big doll. It was a walking doll. She was a great thing. I was surprised to have it. She was almost as tall as me, ”she said. “It was fun.”

She found out on Monday that her son, wife and their four children would be visiting her from Rhode Island this Christmas. She was only able to communicate with her son by video.

“I haven’t seen him in real life for a long time,” she said. “It’s going to be awesome.”

Gretta Hochsprung writes articles and news from her hometown. She can be reached at 518-742-3206 or ghochsprung @ poststar.com.


Nursing Programs | VA Tennessee Valley Health Care


Our nursing team is the backbone of delivering world-class healthcare. One of the many benefits of working at TVHS are our tailored nursing residency and education programs.

VALUE program

The aim of the VA Learning Opportunities Residency (VALOR) program is to provide an opportunity for exceptional students to develop clinical skills at a VA accredited medical facility.

For over 20 years, the VA has offered this exciting one-year clinical residency to BSN students between their junior and senior years. VALUE is a paid nursing internship designed to increase participants’ clinical skills, clinical judgment and critical thinking while caring for our country’s veterans. This program provides learning opportunities including didactic or classroom experiences and clinical practice with a qualified AI preceptor.

Students recruited for the program must have completed the last semester or last trimester of their junior year in an accredited Bachelor of Nursing program by the start date of the program. Students are appointed during the summer months for 400 hours. This experience can continue into their final year of university part-time / intermittent for no more than 800 hours in total.

The VALOR program begins with 10 weeks of full-time paid work during the summer months (June-August). Candidates must be available to work 40 hours per week during this period. The summer program includes:

  • Orientation of the new nurse
  • Clinical practice with a preceptor in an assigned unit
  • Possibility of rotation to other units / specialties for observational experiences
  • Other educational experiences planned (nursing boot camp, code blue management, telemetry course, interview essentials, etc.).

After completing the first 10 weeks of full-time work, VALOR students can continue to work throughout the academic year until graduation (within the limits of the program guidelines for the total number of students). ‘hours and income).

RN Transition-to-Practice Residency Program

The Transition to Practice Registered Nurse Residency Program (RNTTP) is a comprehensive 12-month program based on standards related to clinical, leadership and professional dimensions. Residency programs provide a supervised transition to independent and competent clinical practice.

Clinical settings offer a range of experiences in the application of the science and practice of nursing, provide exposure to veterans of diverse backgrounds and cultures, and encourage gradual responsibility in the performance of professional duties. Your support network includes a dedicated group of nurse leaders made up of participating peers, RNTTP professors, clinical educators, qualified preceptors and support mentors.

Improve your knowledge by working with the healthcare team to ensure the best care is provided for Veterans. You will discover an environment marked by commitment, excellence, mutual respect and professionalism. Highlights of the program include:

  • Monthly structured educational sessions
  • Group meetings with the cohort and coordinators
  • State-of-the-art simulation lab to enhance clinical learning with patient-centered ‘real’ case scenarios and practice skills
  • Exploration of evidence-based practice and development of research projects
  • Variety of experiential learning opportunities including clinical placements
  • Advanced leadership and role development
  • Preceptor-Guided Transition to Competent Independent Practice
  • Mentorship for continued professional growth

Post-baccalaureate residency program in registered nurses

The Post-Baccalaureate Registered Nurses Residency Program (PB-RNR) is a premier residency program for the education and training of registered nurses. PB-RNR is designed to improve the quality of care by providing additional training and support to new graduates of the entry-level Bachelor of Nursing or Master of Nursing degree.

Residency programs provide a supervised transition to independent and competent clinical practice. Clinical settings offer a range of experiences in the application of the science and practice of nursing, provide exposure to veterans of diverse backgrounds and cultures, and encourage gradual responsibility in the performance of professional duties. Veteran-centered continuity of care is emphasized in inpatient and outpatient care, acute and long-term care, spinal cord injury / disease and mental health programs. You will be an integral part of interdisciplinary teams that will enhance clinical and leadership skills in various clinical settings.

Your support network includes a dedicated group of nurse leaders made up of participating peers, PB-RNR professors, clinical educators, qualified preceptors and support mentors. Improve your knowledge by working with the healthcare team to ensure the best care is provided to our Veterans. You will discover an environment marked by commitment, excellence, mutual respect and professionalism.

  • State-of-the-art simulation lab to enhance clinical learning with patient-centered ‘real’ case scenarios and practice skills.
  • Advanced leadership and role development.
  • Preceptor-guided practice to prepare for your transition to a competent nurse.
  • Mentorship for continued professional growth.
  • Exploration of evidence-based practice and development of research projects.


The application requires a portfolio consisting of a curriculum vitae, personal statements, examples of academic work, an unofficial transcript and letters of support. Detailed instructions are available in the forms below.

Application portfolios are owed by Saturday February 12, 2022. Interviews will take place at the end of February / early March 2022 and selections will be made by the end of March 2022.

For more information, contact:

Amanda Docktor, MSN, IA
PB-RNR Program Director


‘Back to where we were’: restrictions on nursing home visits lifted in time for the holidays, but also in the midst of Omicron’s soaring



Hamburg’s Anne Kuczkowski has seen all the starts and stops of nursing home visits in New York State over the past 21 months.

There was the initial visitation ban at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the smooth reopening with outside visits in July 2020, as well as the old rule that nursing homes must interrupt visits for two weeks if they have done so. only one positive case.

“It was a back and forth, and we never knew from day to day how it was going to turn out,” said Kuczkowski, whose 92-year-old mother, Mary Jane Meinzer, is a resident of the Schofield Residence, a 120 bed retirement home in Kenmore.

More recently, limited visiting hours and the requirement to call ahead have become the norm.

“And then all of a sudden I call to make an appointment and [the nursing home says], ‘Oh, well, you can come anytime you want. Now you don’t need to make an appointment anymore, ”Kuczkowski said.

Indeed, last month, the United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which regulates nursing homes federally, revised their advice require nursing homes to allow visits at all times. The guidelines were released on November 12 and subsequently adopted by the New York State Department of Health four days later.

The guide prohibits limiting the duration of visits, the frequency of visits and the number of visitors. It also prohibits requiring programming in advance.

Anne Kuczkowski and her sister, Mary Lou Plesac, stand outside the Schofield Residence nursing home after visiting their mother in July 2020.

“There are no more scenarios related to COVID-19 where visits should be limited,” the guide said.

Kuczkowski said her visits with her mother were “essentially back to where we were” before the pandemic, aside from wearing the mask and temperature checks, which she doesn’t mind. Now she can’t wait to see her mom on Christmas Day.

“Last year we all had to put our gifts in the hallway in a laundry basket and hope they got through to him,” Kuczkowski said. “So being able to hand her the presents and help her open it, watch her open it and see her appreciation, make sure she gets what we bring… I’m very happy it’s open for the holidays. . “

Yet the lifting of restrictions also comes amid the emergence of a new strain of coronavirus. The Omicron variant became the dominant strain in the United States this week and may be four times more contagious than the previous Delta strain.

West New York, already hard hit by Delta, has a positivity rate of 9% and a rate of new cases of 56.6 per 100,000 people, according to state data. There are currently nearly 500 people in the area hospitalized with COVID, including more than 100 in the intensive care unit.

“I think people need to be extremely careful and judicious during these visits,” said Dr. Thomas Russo, head of infectious diseases at the University of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Buffalo.

Although 89% of New York City nursing home residents are vaccinated, they often have co-morbidities and weakened immune systems, which can reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, Russo noted.

New York nursing homes saw 30 residents die from COVID last week, a death rate of 0.35 per 1,000 weeks of nursing home residency, according to The data from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That was well below a high death rate of 4.44 in January, but up from the low death rate of 0.1 in July.

Russo said he strongly recommends visitors to nursing homes get vaccinated and given a booster dose, wear a properly fitted mask and cancel the visit altogether if they have symptoms. If a visitor is not vaccinated, perhaps a grandchild under five, he recommends getting tested on the day of the visit.

Dr Thomas Russo

Dr Thomas Russo, head of infectious diseases at the University of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in Buffalo, speaks with the WBFO during a Zoom call on December 17, 2021.

“Vaccines are imperfect, our masks are imperfect,” he said, “but if you use all the measures together – optimal vaccination, high-quality mask used correctly, testing if any, and if you have symptoms , stay at home – this will minimize the risk.

But while masking and screening for symptoms is part of CMS’s new guidelines, vaccines and testing are not. The guidelines say nursing homes should encourage visitors to get vaccinated and tested, but cannot require it.

CMS could certainly reconsider that, Russo said, especially if Omicron proves to be problematic. Notably, the CMS guidelines were released on November 12, exactly two weeks before the World Health Organization identified Omicron as a variant of concern.

“If we’ve learned anything during this pandemic: Information is dynamic and we’ve had to adapt on the fly and be very fluid with our recommendations,” Russo said.

Nursing homes aren’t asking for a vaccine or testing warrant for visitors yet, but they would like to see some adjustments to the guidelines.

The American Health Care Association (AHCA), a trade group representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living facilities across the country, sent a letter to CMS last week, asking that facilities be allowed to temporarily restrict visits if they feel it is necessary for the safety of residents.

“We are concerned that outright and unconditional language may pose a risk to nursing homes and their residents, placing skilled nursing facilities in precarious situations when epidemics occur,” the letter said.

Beth Martino, AHCA’s senior vice president of public affairs, said in an email that “we need to carefully balance the risks to our vulnerable residents with the need to make sure they are able to see their loved ones. “.

Regarding a potential vaccine mandate for visitors, Martino said the association at the moment is simply urging members of the public to get vaccinated.

Currently, nursing homes could be subject to citation and enforcement action if they do not follow CMS visiting guidelines. A spokesperson for the state Department of Health did not respond directly to an investigation into whether New York nursing homes have been fined for failing to follow the new guidelines. The latest state and federal data on nursing home penalties dates from before the guidelines came into effect.

If a resident or family member suspects their nursing home is not following the guidelines, they can file a complaint with the state Department of Health online or by calling their hotline, Bria Lewis said, lawyer at the Center for Elder Law and Justice, a non-profit Buffalo law firm that represents residents of nursing homes.

Bria Lewis, CELJ lawyer

Center for Elder Law and Justice


Bria Lewis, a lawyer at the Center for Elder Law and Justice, says residents of nursing homes have the right to have visitation.

Lewis noted that residents of nursing homes are entitled to have visitors under federal law.

“Even if a resident lives in a retirement home, it is still their home. They should always be allowed to receive visitors and see their family members, ”she said. “It shouldn’t be limited just because they live in a nursing home. “

Kuczkowski is concerned that visitation restrictions will return. The new focus has made things easier, as she can now visit her mother on weekends instead of just weekday evenings after work. She also likes being able to walk into her mother’s room again, as it makes conversation easier. In addition, she can organize her things.

“I’m still on the edge of my seat waiting for a message [that] it is closed, ”she said. “Today is the day they’re going to say, ‘No, we’re not doing it that way anymore, we’re going to go back to the old way. But I hope it stays that way.

As for the Omicron threat, Kuczkowski said she had been vaccinated and boosted, and even avoided going out in some places, so she could visit her mother safely, but the fear of COVID is still at the back of his mind.

Still, she said not visiting her mother would also be detrimental to her health.

“It’s a question of quality of life. If we stopped visiting her just because we were worried about making her sick then she might as well not be there, I’ll be honest, ”she said. “If we stopped going to see her, it would be devastating, it would be worse than getting sick, I think. We are careful, but not to the point of never seeing her.


As the health crisis looms, health facilities are understaffed


(NewsNation Now) – Only 4.3% of patients at a North Carolina hospital currently have COVID-19, but if cases increase, there may be nowhere to go for non-patients COVID, officials said.

The remaining beds at Duke Raleigh Hospital are occupied by people who are otherwise ill and “in need of a lot of care”, as well as patients who have not yet been placed in a qualified nursing facility, said the Dr Duke University Hospital, chief medical officer of the hospital. Lisa Pickett.

People sometimes stay in the hospital for weeks or months awaiting appropriate placement, Pickett said.

Qualified nursing facilities “have the same staffing challenges as everyone else,” Pickett said. “There is also a dearth in our state of the facilities that meet the needs of the patients that we have. “

The North Carolina Health Care Facilities Association reports that the average nursing home has more than 21 unfilled nursing positions. A total of 12,000 nurses are needed at these facilities statewide.

The lengthy insurance process also compounded the problem, with approval sometimes only arriving after the bed is no longer available, Pickett said.

“It’s kind of a double whammy of a very contagious variant and everyone is going to be traveling or in groups and with people they don’t live with, so we expect this to spread a lot,” Pickett said.

In the meantime, the hospital could save space by postponing elective procedures – a move Pickett said she didn’t want to do “unless we absolutely have to.”


The 100 “most influential” people in healthcare, according to Modern Healthcare


Modern healthcare last week released its list of the ‘100 most influential people in health’ for 2021, awarding the top two spots to vaccine innovators for their role in producing effective Covid-19 vaccines .

How? ‘Or’ What Modern healthcare make the list

For the list, Modern healthcare applications accepted from June. Each candidate had to answer three questions:

  1. What steps has the candidate taken throughout 2021 to help improve their organization’s clinical, operational and financial goals?
  2. How has the candidate contributed to a culture of innovation?
  3. How has the nominee helped shape health policy at the local or national level?

The publication then asked readers to vote for their favorite candidates out of 300 finalists. Modern healthcareThe editors of made the final decisions on who made the list, based on readers’ votes.

Vaccine innovators at the top of the list

In this year’s ranking, Modern healthcare selected Pfizer chair and CEO Albert Bourla and Modern CEO Stéphane Bancel tops his 2021 list in recognition of his work in developing “vaccines against the deadliest global epidemic of the last century”. According to Modern healthcare, Bourla got the top spot because Pfizer’s “influence and reach” gave him an “advantage” over Bancel.

The Pfizer-BioNTech The Covid-19 vaccine became the first to receive an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), in December 2020, and the first Covid-19 vaccine to be full FDA approval for persons 16 years of age and over in August 2021.

“This experience taught me not to fear failure,” Bourla said. “In science, failure comes with the land. In science, failure doesn’t set us back – it actually moves us forward.”

Shortly after the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was granted EUA, Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine was also cleared. Moderna’s vaccine is currently under review by the FDA for full approval. Responding to vaccine development, Bancel said, “It is promising to see clinical and real-world evidence added to the growing body of data on the effectiveness of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. “

The best hospital leaders on the list

Modern healthcare also included several hospital leaders among the top 25 winners for 2021, recognized in part for their role in tackling the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and efforts to create “a more health care delivery system. safe and more efficient ‘, in particular:

  1. Michael Dowling, President and CEO of Northwell Health
  2. Eugene Woods, President and CEO of Atrium health
  3. Marc Harrison, President and CEO of Intermountain health care
  4. Greg Adams, President and CEO of Kaiser Permanente
  5. Samuel Hazen, CEO of HCA Health
  6. Rod Hochman, President and CEO of Providence

Other laureates

Modern Healthcare’s latest ranking also included several infectious disease experts, industry leaders, and federal and other officials who have focused on fighting the pandemic or played otherwise notable roles in shaping the pandemic. America’s response to the pandemic, including an industry-wide campaign towards digitalization and a focus on diversity and inclusion. For example, the list included:

  1. Rosalind Brewer, CEO of Alliance of Walgreens boots
  2. Karen Lynch, President and CEO of CVS Health
  3. David Fialkow, co-founder and CEO of General catalyst
  4. Andrew Witty, CEO of UnitedHealth Group
  5. Judith Faulkner, Founder and CEO of Epic systems
  6. Annie Lamont, co-founder and managing partner of Oak HC / FT
  7. Gail McGovern, President and CEO of American Red Cross
  8. Bonnie Castillo, Executive Director of United national nurses
  9. Ernest Grant, President of American Nurses Association
  10. Beverly Malone, CEO of National Nursing League
  11. Mary Kay Henry, International President of the International Union of Service Employees
  12. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the Chamber, United States House of Representatives
  13. Anthony Fauci, director of National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases
  14. Alex Gorsky, President and CEO of Johnson & johnson
  15. Stephen Ubl, President and CEO of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
  16. Brian Thompson, CEO of UnitedHealthcare
  17. Andy Slavitt, co-founder and general partner of Town hall businesses

(The daily briefing is published by Advisory Board Research, a division of Optum, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group. UnitedHealth Group separately owns UnitedHealthcare) (Modern healthcare, list “100 most influential people in the field of health 2021”; Modern healthcare, 12/18; Modern healthcare list methodology, 12/18)


Nursing Home Staff Who Loses Husband To COVID-19 Urges Kansans To Get Vaccinated



It was too late for Robert Kidd by the time the COVID-19 vaccine first arrived in Kansas last December.

The 49-year-old McPherson was already on a ventilator battling the disease at Newton Medical Center, where he would die early the following month.

His widow, Kelli Kidd, is the director of nursing at the Bethesda Home & Retirement Center in Goessel. Ten residents have died from COVID during the pandemic.

Kelli Kidd will appear from Monday in the latest in a series of public service announcements sponsored by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment encouraging people to get vaccinated.

“I don’t want people to have to go through what I did, to have my husband in the hospital on a ventilator and not have him with me anymore,” she told Capital-Journal on Friday.

“You won’t get so sick”

Kelli Kidd, director of nursing at Bethesda Home, stands outside her workplace on Saturday morning in Goessels.

Kelli Kidd has seen a lot of COVID at her job, she said.

The Marion County facility is a rural facility and the loss of 10 residents to COVID has been difficult.

“It hit us pretty hard and the staff too, because you build these relationships with the residents,” Kidd said. “Watching them go through the process of dying with COVID has been very heartbreaking for staff and their families. “

Following: Kansas’ second confirmed omicron COVID case is adult vaccinated in Douglas County

Kidd said she knew from experience that people who have been vaccinated are much better protected against COVID than those who have not.

“If you get the vaccine and you get COVID, you won’t get as sick as if you didn’t get the vaccine,” she said.

Kidd received both doses of the vaccine as well as the booster, she said.

She said she received her first injection on January 4, two days after her husband died.

The husband “wasn’t really sick at all” at the start

Bethesda Home Director of Nursing Kelli Kidd greets a resident on her morning rounds on Friday.

Bethesda Home Director of Nursing Kelli Kidd greets a resident on her morning rounds on Friday.

Robert Kidd was director of intake services at NMC Health, a Newtonian hospital. They got married in 2012.

Robert Kidd was diagnosed with COVID in October 2020 after feeling “sore and tired,” his wife said.

Kelli Kidd was diagnosed the next day, but felt “almost no symptoms” and was back to work after 14 days, she said.

Following: “This is a warning to all of you: we have problems,” says Kansas hospital chief as COVID rises

During this time, she said, Robert Kidd “wasn’t really sick at all” during his first 14 days after diagnosis, but the disease then got worse and he started to have breathing problems.

Robert Kidd spent 55 days in hospital, was put on a ventilator on December 11 and died on January 2, Kelli Kidd said.

“Please go out and get vaccinated”

Kelli Kidd, director of nursing at Bethesda Home, works in her office on Friday.

Kelli Kidd, director of nursing at Bethesda Home, works in her office on Friday.

She said she agreed to be included in the KDHE PSA after being asked to do so by Debra Harmon Zehr, CEO of LeadingAge Kansas, an advocacy group for nursing homes and residents of nursing homes. retirement.

The PSA is expected to begin airing on radio, TV and online Monday, KDHE spokesman Matt Lara said.

“With the continued presence of the Delta variant in Kansas – and the first case of the Omicron variant detected in Kansas this week – KDHE continues to urge the Kansans to protect themselves, their families and their communities by obtaining free COVID-19 vaccines and safe, “he said on Friday.

Following: Kansas hospitals are bracing for a “long and harsh winter” of COVID. Here’s what experts fear in the event of an omicron power surge.

Lara said 52.8% of Kansans received a dose of the vaccine while 50.6% completed the COVID-19 vaccination round.

The PSA Kellie Kidd appears in was produced in partnership with Washington-based BPI Media, Lara said.

Kelli Kidd said her appearance in the PSA allowed her to publicly convey the message she wanted to share with everyone.

That message, she said, is, “Please go out and get the shot.”

This article originally appeared on Topeka Capital-Journal: Widow of COVID-19 victim urges Kansans to get vaccinated in PSA


Support and collaboration with health care providers can help people make health decisions


Janet Jull, Queen’s University, Ontario; Dawn Stacey, University of Ottawa / University of Ottawa, and Sascha Köpke, University of Cologne

The COVID-19 pandemic sparked unprecedented interest in science as people all over the world were faced with decisions that affected their health. These included decisions such as compliance with public health protection measures, immunization and access to health services.

All of this has happened in rapidly changing uncertain environments. Events related to the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the importance of what constitutes credible information or evidence (research-based information) and how evidence is communicated and used to make decisions. At the start of the pandemic, little was known about COVID-19, and making health decisions was a challenge.

The ongoing pandemic has given rise to what is characterized as an “infodemic” due to the large amount of information available, including the rapid spread of disinformation or false science reporting. From media reporting in a 24/7 news cycle to reliance on social media influencers, in many cases with strong editorial bias, the media environment information is confusing and difficult to navigate.

The sheer amount of information can pose daunting challenges for those seeking information to make informed healthcare decisions. For example, it has been found that misinformation negatively affects people’s willingness to get vaccinated and can lead to risky behavior.

Making decisions that impact health was an almost universal experience during the pandemic – it affected everyone. Often, these decisions were made without the support of health care providers. Our health systems have been challenged to better help people make health care decisions, for example by exploring options for determining how to support informed, values-based COVID-19 vaccination decisions.

We are members of an international interdisciplinary team of patient partners, healthcare providers, educators and researchers who include patient perspectives in a leadership capacity. We have sought to understand and advance an approach to preparing patients for health decisions called shared decision making.

Support for people in taking charge of their health

“Shared decision making” occurs when a person with a health problem works together with their health care providers to make decisions about chronic disease screening, treatment or management. Shared decision making supports person-centered care and helps people take an active role in their health care decisions.

Standard care provides patients with evidence-based information about health choices. However, with shared decision making, a person’s individual preferences, beliefs and values ​​are factored into health decision making, as well as clinical evidence.

Shared decision making supports person-centered care and helps people take charge of their health. (Shutterstock)

Importantly, shared decision making is a process that helps people understand the risks and benefits of different options through discussion and information sharing with their healthcare providers.

In fact, shared decision making has been called “the pinnacle” of person-centered care. A key feature of shared decision making is the exploration of patient values ​​and priorities and it can be facilitated using evidence-based decision support tools and approaches.

Decision coaching

Patient decision aids and decision coaching help people take an active role in decision making. Decision aids include booklets, videos, and online tools that clarify the decision, provide options, pros and cons, and help people clarify what matters to them.

They can be used by patients alone or in consultation with a health care provider. They have been shown to help people feel better informed, better informed and clearer about their values. In addition, people probably have a more active role in decision-making and a more precise perception of risks.

Our team believed it was important to determine the unique contribution of decision coaching, an intervention with great potential to help people prepare for healthcare decisions. Decision coaching is delivered by qualified healthcare providers to support people facing decisions, with or without the use of an evidence-based tool (such as a decision support tool for patients) .

We conducted a systematic review to assess the effects of decision coaching. The review included 28 studies that covered a range of medical conditions with treatment and screening decisions.

While more research is needed on many outcomes, we have found that decision coaching can improve participants’ knowledge (related to their condition, options, outcomes, personal values, preferences) when used with factual information. Our results do not indicate any significant adverse effects (eg, decision regret, anxiety) with the use of decision coaching. https://www.youtube.com/embed/egJlW4vkb1Y?wmode=transparent&start=0

Although we began our systematic review before the COVID-19 pandemic, our exploration of decision coaching is even more relevant given the decision-making demands of the pandemic and the difficulty of decisions that accompany it.

Experiences with the COVID-19 pandemic have shown that, in complex and rapidly changing healthcare environments, strategies that keep healthcare focused on the person are essential. Shared decision-making tools and approaches, ideally using decision support tools and decision coaching, can help shape people-centered health services that put people first and uphold the principle of ‘no. decision about me, without me ”. To make the best health decisions for themselves and their families, people need the support and opportunities to work with trusted health care providers.

Maureen Smith, President of the Cochrane Consumer Network Executive, is co-author of this article.

Janet Jull, Assistant Professor, School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Queen’s University, Ontario; Dawn Stacey, Full Professor, School of Nursing, University of Ottawa / University of Ottawa, and Sascha Köpke, Professor, Institute of Nursing, University of Cologne

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


HHC Takes Steps To Increase Nursing Home Staffing, But Challenges Remain



One year after a IndyStar survey, Indiana’s largest nursing home owner, has taken further steps to increase staffing and the quality of its facilities statewide.

Paul Babcock, who took the lead of the Health & Hospital Corp. from Marion County last year, said the public health agency planned to nearly double the amount of money it was spending on its system of 78 nursing homes across the state.

HHC also added two new provisions to its contract with the private company that operates the homes.

The first introduces performance incentives to improve quality in nursing homes. The second requires the company, American Senior Communities, to hire a compliance officer to respond to allegations of illegal or unethical behavior.

The Health & Hospital Corp.  County of Marion appointed Paul Babcock, currently director of public health and safety for the city of Indianapolis, as the acting CEO of the county health agency.

Yet these changes do not respond to recommendations from an audit the agency commissioned last year following IndyStar’s investigation and the rise in coronavirus deaths at its facilities.

“Obviously, it’s going to take a while,” Babcock told IndyStar. “It’s not something that happens overnight.”

What the IndyStar investigation found

An IndyStar survey last year, titled “Careless,” revealed how dismal staffing levels have left the state’s roughly 530 nursing homes woefully unprepared for the coronavirus pandemic, despite Indiana’s status as the nation’s largest recipient of additional Medicaid funding for nursing homes.

Indiana is eligible for these additional funds due to a mysterious program that provides enhanced Medicaid funds to nursing homes owned by local government agencies.

Negligent:Nursing home residents suffer as county hospitals rack up millions

County hospitals across the state have acquired more than 90% of Indiana nursing homes – at least on paper – to access the extra money. But IndyStar found that state and federal authorities had allowed these hospitals to divert much of the money for other purposes such as building hospitals.

More than 20 public hospitals across the state – including HHC, which operates Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis – participate in the program. Together, they embezzle hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

The practice has raised concerns because even before the pandemic, Indiana ranked 48th in the country in total nursing hours. This includes highly trained nurses as well as practical nurses who provide much of the practical work in nursing homes. Staffing is widely viewed as a top quality indicator.

Lack of staff, failed reforms:How Indiana Failed Nursing Home Residents

The human toll has been detailed in inspection reports and malpractice claims involving injuries or deaths that could have been avoided with adequate staff: bed sores left to rot until limbs had to be amputated, repeated falls that left residents with broken bones or fatal head injuries; and violent attacks among unsupervised residents.

And that was before the pandemic. As the virus swept across the country, it killed residents of Indiana nursing homes at higher rates than in most other states, the IndyStar survey found.

The system also enabled widespread fraud. IndyStar investigation revealed a secret report which detailed previously unknown fraud charges involving former American Senior Communities executives and their associates.

Negligent:5 were prosecuted for US Senior Communities fraud. A secret report accuses 20 others.

The report, compiled by American Senior Communities in 2016, claimed that 25 people in nearly two dozen programs defrauded HHC’s nursing home system by at least $ 35 million. Only five of those people were prosecuted and $ 15.5 million recovered on behalf of taxpayers.

Investigation requires review

IndyStar’s investigation and rising death toll from COVID-19 led HHC’s board of directors to order an external review of its nursing homes in May 2020. The agency’s longtime chief, Matthew Gutwein, also resigned in September under pressure from the board of directors.

HHC paid $ 865,000 to the Atlanta law firm Constangy, Brooks, Smith and Prophete LLP to perform the nursing home review. It was completed in April, but HHC did not provide a copy of the review findings to IndyStar until October, despite repeated requests.

Auditors found that HHC had not fully developed or implemented policies and procedures to enforce its contract with American Senior Communities.

“Consistent compliance with all contractual provisions is of crucial importance when one considers that 78 nursing facilities represent a large and multifaceted business operation within a complex and heavily regulated industry,” the 27 report states. pages.

The report also found that pre-pandemic staffing levels at HHC nursing homes were below state and national averages.

“This created operational challenges during the sudden onset of the pandemic, both in terms of access to available employees and the significant financial obligation to immediately adjust staffing patterns due to COVID-19,” indicates the report.

Staffing issues were not unique to HHC, the report notes, “as the entire health sector nationwide has been plunged into crisis management.”

The report recommends that HHC set regulatory compliance and workforce ratio expectations for U.S. senior communities and require the company to notify HHC when these staffing targets are not met.

The report also suggests that HHC should consider spending a larger portion of its nursing homes’ Medicaid funds on staff upgrades.

“An incalculable loss”

Babcock, who replaced Gutwein in September last year, said he was aware of the stakes.

His office at HHC Headquarters at 38th and Rural Streets is relatively unadorned with one exception: a framed copy of the Front page of the New York Times from May 24, 2020.

“Almost 100,000 deaths in the United States, an untold loss,” says the headline.

It’s a reminder of the importance of HHC’s public health mission, Babcock said.

Today, more than 800,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States. Over 1,100 of these were residents of HHC nursing homes.

A person is loaded into an ambulance outside Cardinal Nursing and Rehabilitation on Tuesday April 14, 2020, in South Bend, Ind.

Babcock said he can relate the devastation felt by these families. He lost his own grandmother to COVID-19 last year. She was a resident of a dementia unit at a non-HHC facility.

“The mission, personally, means a lot,” he said.

“I think what this report just shows is that there is always more to be done to improve it,” he said. “And that’s what we’re working on. That’s our goal. It’s our mission. And, you know, patient care is paramount to me and the team.”

More money for retirement homes

But when Babcock took over at HHC last year, the agency was spending less, not more, on nursing home care.

As the coronavirus ravaged nursing homes across the country in 2020, HHC actually slashed the amount of money it was spending on its nursing homes, according to spending information IndyStar obtained via a request for public records.

Although HHC nursing homes generated about $ 186 million in additional Medicaid funds, the agency spent just $ 47 million, or about 25%, on its nursing homes in 2020. The 139 millions of dollars left went to the hospital.

This was a significant decrease from the previous year, HHC spent around $ 65 million on its nursing homes in 2019. It was also a much smaller amount than what the agency had. told Indianapolis city council she would spend on nursing homes in 2020.

Babcock said he couldn’t comment on what the previous HHC administration told the city-county council. He attributed the reduction in spending for nursing homes to an influx of funding from the federal government’s CARES Act.

But he said HHC plans to spend significantly more on its nursing homes this year and in 2020, in a bid to attract and retain more staff.

“In 2022, we plan to put in around $ 80 million to try to make sure we have the right levels in this tough market,” he said.

Recruitment remains a challenge

Raising staff levels will be an uphill battle. Employers in all sectors are struggling to fill vacant positions. This is especially true in healthcare settings. And it’s an even bigger problem in nursing homes in particular, Babcock said.

Average salaries for registered nurses and practical nurses have increased by about 30% at HHC facilities over the past two years, according to information provided by the agency.

However, the numbers continued to decline. HHC did not provide comparable system-wide numbers, but for the agency’s 14 nursing homes in Marion County, the number of nursing home employees rose from 2,138 in 2019 to 1,674 currently.

American Senior Communities is trying to increase those numbers with employees from contracted agencies, according to HHC.

Babcock hopes the continued investment will pay off.

“We are looking at increasing salaries to try to retain staff, potential incentive programs – we are doing everything we can to maintain high staffing levels,” he said. “But it’s just a challenge in the industry at all levels.”

There remains one key audit recommendation that HHC has yet to attempt: establish the required staffing ratios for America’s senior communities.

“Unfortunately,” Babcock said, “due to the difficulty of finding staff, we are not able to do this.”

IndyStar reporters Emily Hopkins and Tim Evans contributed to this story.

Contact IndyStar reporter Tony Cook at 317-444-6081 or tony.cook@indystar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @IndyStarTony.


December 17, 2021 Washington, DC Healthcare Policy


This week’s dose

Congress completed its measures on its last “to-pass” legislation in 2021, including a bill to increase the debt ceiling and the National Defense Authorization Act. Negotiations continued on the Build Back Better (BBB) ​​law. Senate Democrats continued to push for a resolution before the end of the year, although at the end of the week President Biden and Senate leaders acknowledged that the Senate would not consider the draft. law before January 2022.


Senate committees release BBB text, as negotiations and meetings with parliamentarians and are continuing. This week, Congress completed its actions on its final “to-pass” items of the year, including raising the debt limit and finalizing the annual defense clearance bill. At the same time, all eyes were on the Senate to see if Democrats would act on the Build Back Better (BBB) ​​law before the end of the year.

Since the House approved its version of the BBB on November 19, Senate Democrats have worked with the Senate Parliamentarian on issues related to the so-called “Byrd Rule,” which dictates the types of provisions that can move forward in legislation. considered as part of the budget reconciliation process. . In addition, negotiations are underway between the president, Democratic leaders and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) regarding his concerns about the size and scope of the legislation as well as specific provisions.

On December 11, the main Senate committees unveiled their draft BBB texts, including the Finance Committee and the Health, Education, Work and Pensions Committee (HELP) (drafts found here and here, respectively). Compared to the bill passed by the House, there have been notable health-related changes in the finance and AID projects. Some highlights of the changes to healthcare include, but are not limited to:

  • Remove the 12.5% ​​reduction from the House bill to disproportionately distribute hospital payments (DSH) to hospitals in non-Medicaid expansion states.

  • Eliminate regulatory requirements related to skilled nursing facility (SNF) staff-to-patient ratios that were included in the House bill.

  • On Home and Community Services (HCBS) in Medicaid, removing many of the cited limitations for the use of funds and amending the improvement plan requirements to be defined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS ) and adding an additional $ 3 million in funds to the $ 22 million already allocated by the Chamber for the development of HCBS quality measures.

  • The change to the permanent expansion of the Money Follows the Person event is scheduled to begin in 2022, rather than 2023 as passed by the House.

  • With respect to postpartum Medicaid coverage, several of the state’s reporting requirements have been removed from the version adopted by the House.

  • Protect low-income people who get coverage in 2025 (and had no other coverage for their health expenses) by requiring qualified health plans to cover up to three months of service before enrollment and requiring HHS to reimburse plans for these costs.

  • Notable drug pricing provisions are as follows: Regarding the negotiation of the price of Medicare drugs, the Senate Finance Committee text clarifies how the maximum fair price of a prescription drug covered by Part B or Medicare D will be determined, with additional specifications for calculating the maximum fair price of insulin products. The updated text also makes changes to the timeline and baseline to determine how the inflation-based discounts for prescription drugs under Parts B and D will be calculated. Finally, it clarifies that generic prescription drugs could be exempt from inflation-based rebates if they experience supply chain disruptions or create access problems.

It is important to note that the Senate draft text is subject to further changes before a BBB package reaches the Senate floor, given the aforementioned negotiations with Senator Manchin – or any other Democratic senator who raises concerns about specific provisions – as well as upcoming decisions of the Parliamentarian.

Negotiations are ongoing, although President Biden and Democratic leaders conceded on the evening of Dec. 16 that the Senate would not act on BBB until the end of the year, following a decision by the parliamentarian according to which an immigration proposal in the package would violate the Byrd rule. . The Senate is expected to resume its sessions on January 3, 2022, with the House not returning until January 10.


Updates on the challenges of the Biden administration’s immunization mandates. On December 15, two federal courts issued orders that together have a significant impact on the authority of the Biden administration to implement and enforce the COVID-19 vaccine mandate issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS).

The first order, issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, has the effect of allowing the federal government to continue its efforts to implement the COVID-19 vaccine mandate issued by CMS in more than two dozens of states. The second order, issued by a federal court in Texas, prohibits the federal government from implementing CMS’s vaccination mandate in the state of Texas. The combined effect of yesterday’s orders, as well as recent actions by other federal courts, is that the Biden administration is currently authorized to implement the CMS vaccine mandate in 25 states, but has failed to do so. not done in 25 states, creating a patchwork approach to the mandate.

It’s still unclear how CMS will progress with the mandate, especially given the first initial compliance date of December 6. For more information, please see this Insight article.

HHS frees up $ 9 billion in relief fund payments for providers. On December 14, HHS announced the distribution of approximately $ 9 billion in Phase 4 payments from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) to health care providers who suffered lost income and expenses related to the pandemic of COVID-19.

According to the agency’s press release, the average payment for small vendors is $ 58,000, for average vendors is $ 289,000, and for large vendors is $ 1.7 million. Phase 4 payments, which are distributed through HHS ‘Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), were scheduled to begin Dec. 16 for more than 69,000 providers in all 50 states, Washington, DC and eight territories (a state by state breakdown can be found here).

The remaining Phase 4 applications are currently under review by the HRSA and these payments will be made in 2022.

President Biden issues executive order reducing administrative burden and improving customer experience. On December 13, the President issued an executive order directing federal agencies to take action in six broad categories to reduce administrative burden and improve the customer experience for organizations and the public.

Quick shots

  • The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) held a hearing to consider the appointment of Dr. Robert Califf as commissioner of the FDA.

  • The special House subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis held a hearing to consider the need to accelerate global COVID-19 vaccination efforts.

  • The Unified Fall 2021 Agenda, which details pending and upcoming regulatory measures that federal agencies plan to release in the short and long term, has been released by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which is part of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

  • CMS announced the availability of new Research Identification Files (RIFs) containing Next Generation ACO Model (NGACO) data for Performance Year 4.

  • 2022 House and Senate calendars (House, Senate).


Nursing facilities, CPABs account for $ 196.8 billion in spending in 2020: report – Business Daily News


Nursing facilities and continuing care retirement communities accounted for $ 196.8 billion in spending in 2020, driven by COVID-19, according to an office of the actuary of the Centers for Medicare & and Medicaid Services report published by the journal Health affairs. The amount is $ 22.6 billion more than in 2019.

Overall, national health spending changed dramatically in 2020, driven by funding associated with the pandemic, according to the report’s authors. Overall health spending rose 9.7% to $ 4.1 trillion, which is a much faster rate than the 4.3% increase seen in 2019.

“Federal spending grew rapidly in 2020 as the government increased public health spending to fight the pandemic and provided significant assistance to health care providers,” Micah Hartman, statistician in the Office of the United Nations, told reporters. the CMS actuary, at a press conference on Wednesday.

“To give an idea of ​​the magnitude of this funding, if we exclude spending on other federal programs and federal public health spending, the increase in total national health spending would be only 1.9% in 2020, against 9.7% when it is included, ”he added.

Health insurance spending has slowed year over year, with the exception of nursing home care.

“This is explained by the increase in use and expenditure resulting mainly from an exemption which allowed the coverage of qualified nursing services without prior hospital stay,” said Anne B. Martin, economist at the National Health Statistics Group from the Office of the Actuary to CMS.

Primary payers spending in 2020 increased between Medicaid and Medicare, 3.5% and 9.2% respectively, while private spending and direct spending decreased 1.2% and 3.7%, respectively, according to the report.


Michigan Bill seeks more “consistency” in quotes from nursing homes



As frustration grows over how the nursing home industry has been regulated and cited during the pandemic, some lawmakers question why the fines and civil monetary penalties imposed do not appear to reflect the quality of care provided. .

In Michigan, for example, there appears to be little correlation between the number of citations received by nursing homes and quality outcomes that are trying to improve.

At least, that’s how Michigan State Rep. Bronna Kahle, Adrian, sees it, and why she introduced Bill 5609, which was referred to the health policy committee. of the House for consideration last week.

The law project seeks to establish clearer and more consistent standards for Michigan health care investigators going forward.

“Why do we need this bill? Because we need to make sure that clear, concise and consistent standards are set and followed, when it comes to those state-employed health care experts who come to our nursing homes, ”said Kahle at Skilled Nursing News.

Kahle would like to see a regulatory process that recognizes the difficulties and successes of individual providers and offers support and guidance throughout the pandemic, rather than simply creating more barriers through unfair regulatory practices.

Kahle referred to a 2020 report comparing citations to results in major metropolitan areas which showed how consistent the investigative and regulatory process has become.

“In Michigan, we were cited at more than four times the national average for staffing ratios,” she explained. “The point is, we are way above comparable national endowment ratios. “

Kahle said the bill is not intended to downplay the importance of oversight of skilled nursing facilities, but she wants to bring some consistency to the quotes for nursing homes across the state, which appear be an “outlier” in both frequency, scope and severity of citations. .

“Another example is that we want our establishments to reduce their use of psychotropic drugs,” she explained. Michigan is a leader in reducing the use of this drug in our skilled nursing facilities, yet more than a fifth, 21.8%, were cited for this, compared to the national average of 17.8%. “

These numbers show that citation patterns do not support the common goal of a quality outcome, according to Kahle.

“These facilities have struggled and adapted and eventually became more nimble and innovative through the pandemic and it seems rather than the state acknowledging the struggles they went through … it seems the state, through the process regulation, gives a big stick which does not lead to a better result of the care ”, she added.


Struggling Texas rural hospitals and nursing homes to receive $ 128 million lifeline – CBS Dallas / Fort Worth


AUSTIN, Texas (CBSFW.COM) – Rural hospitals and nursing homes that experienced staff shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic are receiving much needed financial assistance.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission is providing $ 128 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to rural hospitals and nursing homes to support healthcare providers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the COVID-19 pandemic said. Governor Greg Abbott’s office on Thursday, December 16.

Funds for the grant programs were authorized under Senate Bill 8 during the Third Special Session of Texas.

The funds will cover critical staffing needs in rural hospitals and nursing homes across the state.

“This funding will provide vital support to rural hospitals, nursing homes and other state health care providers who continue to work tirelessly to fight COVID-19,” Governor Abbott said in a statement. communicated. “We are grateful for the continued efforts of our healthcare professionals who compassionately serve their fellow Texans.”

“Healthcare providers have worked tirelessly to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and these grant programs will help them fill critical gaps in their workforce while continuing to serve vulnerable Texans,” the CFO said of HHSC, Trey Wood, in a statement.

HHSC is distributing approximately $ 90 million to nursing facilities in Texas with an active license as of November 8, 2021 under the Nursing Facility COVID-19 in Healthcare Relief Grant (NF-CHRG) program.

Each eligible facility will receive $ 75,000. The grant can be used for critical staffing needs, such as bonuses and hiring contract staff.

The agency is also distributing approximately $ 38 million or $ 250,000 to each eligible rural hospital under the Rural Hospital COVID-19 in Healthcare Relief Grant (RH-CHRG) program.

The funds are discretionary and can be used by rural hospitals to support losses of staff, infrastructure or revenue related to the pandemic.


Colorado State Board of Health Expands Emergency Vaccination Rule for Healthcare Workers


DENVER (KDVR) – Colorado healthcare workers are required to get vaccinated under an emergency rule passed in August, and that rule has been extended for an additional 120 days.

The State Health Council made the announcement on Wednesday, which requires all licensed health facilities to impose COVID vaccination on all staff, including employees, direct contractors, and interacting support staff. with people receiving or requesting medical care.

“I’m glad the Board of Health adopted this rule a second time. This rule protects not only the most vulnerable people, but also the healthcare workers themselves, ”said Randy Kuykendall, director of healthcare facilities and the EMS division of the Department of Public Health and the Environment. Colorado.

“I am so proud of the way the healthcare community has responded to the pandemic in general; another example of their commitment to public health is how well they responded to immunization requirements. Healthcare workers have overwhelmingly accepted the vaccine and followed the rule. More than 92% of Colorado healthcare workers are vaccinated. This is a huge plus for anyone looking for healthcare in Colorado, ”Kuykendall said.

The rule has been followed for the most part, as Colorado nursing home staff are over 93% vaccinated.

CDPHE will continue to monitor local trends to de