Billions Of Government Dollars Are Flowing Into Assisted Living Industry, But It Has Very Little Oversight
States are supposed to keep track of cases involving the abuse, neglect, exploitation or unexplained death of Medicaid beneficiaries in assisted living facilities. But a report from the Government Accountability Office said more than half of the states were unable to provide information on the number or nature of such cases.
The New York Times:
U.S. Pays Billions For ‘Assisted Living,’ But What Does It Get?
Federal investigators say they have found huge gaps in the regulation of assisted living facilities, a shortfall that they say has potentially jeopardized the care of hundreds of thousands of people served by the booming industry. The federal government lacks even basic information about the quality of assisted living services provided to low-income people on Medicaid, the Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, says in a report to be issued on Sunday. (Pear, 2/3)
Meanwhile, advocates say overmedication remains a major problem in nursing homes and some people worry about how the crackdown on immigration will affect care of the elderly —
The Associated Press:
New Report Details Misuse Of Antipsychotics In Nursing Homes
U.S. nursing homes have significantly reduced the use of powerful antipsychotic drugs among their elderly residents, responding to pressure from many directions. Yet advocacy groups insist that overmedication remains a major problem, and want the pressure to intensify. According to the latest data from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, known as CMS, the percentage of long-term nursing home residents being given antipsychotic drugs dropped from about 24 percent in late 2011 to under 16 percent last year. Decreases were reported in all 50 states, with the biggest in Tennessee, California and Arkansas. (Crary, 2/5)
The New York Times:
If Immigrants Are Pushed Out, Who Will Care For The Elderly?
In Dallas, a 93-year-old is worried about the woman who, for years, has come to her house four days a week to help with shopping, laundry, housecleaning and driving. “She’s just a wonderful person, someone I feel I can trust completely,” said the older woman. But because her helper is an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, both women increasingly fear that she’ll be detained and deported. (Span, 2/2)
And in other news on aging —
Why Your Future Aches And Pains Are Killing GE
General Electric Co.’s shocking news -- billions of dollars in unexpected charges and a regulatory investigation of accounting practices -- can largely be traced to one product: long-term care insurance. The size of the charge raises questions not just about GE’s accounting but also about the stability of an industry that seems perpetually plagued. ... GE stopped selling long-term care policies in 2006, after spinning off its insurance unit, Genworth Financial Inc. To make a Genworth stock offering more attractive, GE’s former chief executive officer, Jeffrey Immelt, had agreed to keep the financial risk of some policies on GE’s balance sheet. Among those retained, the long-term care policies were the main cause of the surprising $6.2 billion charge in the fourth quarter of 2017. (Chiglinsky, 2/2)
San Jose Mercury News:
As Adults Get Older And Lonelier, Smart Devices Want To Help
From technology-assisted home-care services such as Honor to hardware products such as grandPad’s tablet for seniors, with a magnifying glass and simplified apps, businesses are seeking to tap into a booming population of older adults and help them tackle a critical challenge of modern aging: social isolation. More than 8 million Americans over 50 are affected by isolation, which is a “growing health epidemic,” according to Connect2Affect, an advocacy group launched by the American Association of Retired Persons to erase social isolation. (Lee, 2/4)
Kaiser Health News:
Skip The Rocking Chairs For These Rock Stars Of Aging
If people can age with class, then Harlene Goodrich, 80, and Dorothy Kelly, 91, should be considered aging’s rock stars. These women — two strangers from opposite ends of the country and the poles of politics — agree on the basics on how to age well. (Horovitz, 2/5)