A lot of headlines came through in the past 24 hours. Several were picked up by the mainstream media, including the 116 year old woman that passed away. Others, mostly negative, have more regional impacts, but they're all important news.
Steve Smith, the Director of Aging Services in Indiana, stayed overnight at WoodBridge Health Campus, a Trilogy facility. Smith is on a crusade to create and promote new State-funded alternatives to long term care, campaigning to create more assisted living Medicaid waiver beds and find new channels for in-home care. This was his 45th visit to a nursing facility this year, as well as a series of open forums soliciting feedback from the long term care professionals of Indiana. While some industry professionals may be concerned about this focus away from long term care, Smith has been careful to include this portion of the industry in both planning and implementation. Earlier this year, the offer was on the table in Indiana to convert empty wings in to potential adult day care beds or assisted living beds.
Here's the latest AARP report: Americans still have no clue how much long term care actually costs, leading to consumer disappointment, financial burden for families, and States stuggling to implement newer, more cost-effective services. Most disturbing fact: 29% of those polled 45 and over said they had long term care insurance, yet the insurance industry figures show that only 9% over 55 actually do. That means that a lot of baby boomers are probably confusing disability or other types of coverage with long term care. And who's usually left to deal with that when care is needed?
A Maine nurse is suing her former facility for wrongful termination. The allegation is that the nurse told facility administration that she had no choice but to report a concern to the State Department of Health. When they showed up several days later, she was fired. Read the complete story here.
New York State has implemented a new consumer website very similar to the Medicare Nursing Home Compare tool. New York has a much friendlier user interface, though the information is not as detailed. For example, under inspections, it lists the category and number of deficiencies but is not specific like the Federal website. Still a great resource for both consumers and professionals.