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TekTone Elite Partner

We are excited to announce our new partnership with TekTone Sound and Signal®. TekTone® designs and manufactures all of their systems and products at their new factory in Franklin, North Carolina. They provide an Audio-Visual Nurse Call, Wander Management, Alert Integration, Tone-Visual Nurse Call, Tek-Care® iOS Apps, and the TekTone® Systems Integration that work together to insure facilities goals are met efficiently. All Tek-CARE®nurse call systems are UL® 1069 Listed and approved for skilled nursing facilities, hospitals and medical centers, and are scalable to meet a facility’s needs by integrating with pocket pagers, wireless phones, and management report software.

The Tek-Tone Tek-ALERT® Integration Manager allows a facility to seamlessly integrate calls and activities from all life safety systems and route those calls to the appropriate caregiver. By integrating hard-wired nurse call, wireless nurse call / emergency call, fire alarm, security and access control systems, Tek-ALERT® Integration Manager provides Assisted/Independent Living facilities a single point to manage staffing, patient safety and maintenance.

If you would like more information on this system or a demonstration please call our office at 316-263-7775. Our sales staff and technicians are trained and eager to show what TekTone® has to offer!

KDAD’s PEAK 2.0 PROGRAM

We’re proud to serve some of these KDAD PEAK 2.0 facilities that are working diligently to increase the quality of life for their residents! These “person centered” care homes have taken years to develop their programs and improve their facilities. Our goal is to support this process and make the implementation for these programs easier to achieve. Keep up the good work and striving to make lives better!

For more information about this article and more stories follow the link to KDAD’s News Release and Media Advisories page.

 

The 21st Century Curse Act, Verge of Approval

The 21st Century Cures Act has been in the works for three years. The most significant items on its agenda gives way to faster prescription and medical device approval. Party leaders on both sides are expecting this to pass the Senate. But will this new speed lower safety standards? Voting against this bill would be denying cancer research and help for opioid addiction. Voting for it can weaken the regulations on medical devices, allow drugs on the market with limited evidence of safety, and rush the use of new unapproved antibiotics. If passed the FDA will be allowed to consider real world evidence provided by companies which is a summary rather than the full evidence of a clinical trial. However its benefit to pharmaceutical, medical device, mental health, substance abuse advocates, patient advocacy groups, and National Institutes of Health may out weight those detrimental items. This bill was first denied due to lack of funding. The solution was found by cutting the budget for Prevention and Public Health by almost 30%. This caused some resentment with preventative medicine and consumer safety groups but was still supported and will likely pass because of its large amount of benefits.

For further reading on this article visit STAT News – House approves the 21st Century Cures Act, sending landmark bill to Senate. Kaiser Health News, a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, also explains more in depth the benefits and disadvantages of the act.

 

Medicare “Seamless Conversion” Not So Seamless?

The Seamless Conversion plan, part of the 1997 Balance Budget Act, allows insurers to transfer customers enrolled in the Affordable Care Act or other commercial plans to Medicare when they eligible. In 2005 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services established guidance and as of October 6, 2016 Medicare Advantage Programs submitted proposals and have been approved to use this seamless enrollment. Shortly after the federal government blocked more insurance companies from partaking in this practice.

These beneficiaries, typically 65 and over are sent notification with 60 days do opt-out of this automatic enrollment and often misses the notice or misinterprets it’s meaning. The issue is usually caught when the beneficiary goes to an out of network provider causing a large bill or received a new card with a new unknown physician. Mostly this comes as a shock to customers because they are not being properly informed or prepared. One solution put forward is that insurers should be required to obtain the customers signature before proceeding.

Read the full article at Kaiser Health News, a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Medicare Bars New ‘Seamless Conversion’ Efforts For Some Seniors by Susan Jaffe

Link

 

Skip The Math: Researchers Paint A Picture Of Health Benefits And Risks – Jay Hancock

Certain procedures and drugs maybe non-beneficial to patients or even more harmful. In eldercare unneeded procedures and prescriptions can hinder the patients recovery or keep them from returning home at all.

“An estimated 30% of health spending is unnecessary” – National Academy of Science

Dr. Andrew Lazris, a Maryland internist and environmental scientist Erik Rifkin are talking about the philosophy of shared decision making. They are approaching this with a pictorial showing the number of people who are actually helped by procedures in their video Risk-Benefit Characterization Theater. This is meant to spark beneficial patient and doctor conversations about their procedures, if they are needed, and if they can really help or prevent conditions.

 

Is Catastrophic Insurance for Long-Term Care Beneficial?

For some time, researchers have been studying the benefits of Catastrophic Insurance for Long-Term Care. These are plans that meet the requirements of Qualified Health Plans (QHP) but do not cover any other benefits other than 3 primary care visits per year until the deductible is met. The monthly premiums are lower, however the out of pocket is significantly more for deductibles, co-pays, and co-insurances. To be eligible applicants must be under 30 years old or qualify for “hardship exemption” (determined by the marketplace).

A Study funded by the SCAN Foundation, LeadingAge, and AARP and researched by The Urban Institute and Milliman, analyzed the impact of LTC policies using recent demographic data.  They modeled several insurance options giving policy makers and stakeholders the ability to look at the possibility of affordable options. LeadingAge published a report about these studies in November of 2015 explaining the impact of paying for LTC and possible outcomes of the new policies.

  • $182,000 – the average amount a woman can expect to pay in LTSS as she ages ($91,000 for men).
  • 52% of Americans who reach age 65 will someday need a high level of help with everyday activities.
  • Families are spending over 100 billion dollars a year, covering about half of paid care directly.

 

“We are excited and optimistic about what the results from this study reveal: there are options that can help the family pocketbook, help the taxpayer, and relieve the Medicaid financial burden,” said LeadingAge President and CEO Larry Minnix. “The bad news is that our aging society will have problems they don’t know they will encounter. But the good news is that there are solutions to help people plan better and relieve financial pressure.” —  LeadingAGE

Michelle Andrews published an article, Catastrophic Insurance Could Help With Long-Term Care Expenses: Studies on Kaiser Health News that explains the two programs and the impact they could have.

“The first would pay at the beginning — 90 days after someone needed help with at least two “activities of daily living” — for up to two years, while the second would pay at the end — for an indefinite period — after someone had needed assistance for at least two years.” — Michelle Andrews

These models both present benefits but costs and political differences have prevented any progress. The Urban researchers stated that more research is needed but these models “could reduce Medicaid spending, providing financial relief to hard-pressed states” and “reduce out-of-pocket spending for families.”

 

Could 2010 health overhaul widen the gap between rural and urban healthcare?

In an article about Medicaid expansion, Shefali Luthra talks about the effects it has on different hospitals. Researchers at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill found that rural hospitals showed financial improvement when the state expanded Medicaid. It is clear that the financial impact will differ between urban and rural areas who have claim to always have been hurt by the lack of Medicaid. The results have been positive however, there is also caution to be taken. How does this affect consumers and do the states that enrolled have other factors at play?

This article was published on Kaiser Health News, a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

OSHA’s “nudging” for safer environments

Effective August 10, 2016 employers of high hazard industries are now required to electronically log injuries and illnesses. Next to construction, the nursing industry is presented as one of the most dangerous job environments in America. It is also one of the fastest growing occupations. According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, 35,000 back and neck injuries cause loss of work every year. OSHA is requiring records to be kept that identify the hazards, and the action that is taken to fix the issues. This information will then be made public, after removing any personal items. These steps are meant to provide OSHA with a better understanding of the work environment and promote better guide lines to make the job safer. Martie Moore talks about OSHA’s ruling in her article, What OSHA’s new ruling means for you found at www.mcknights.com . To see the Final Rule you can visit The Daily Journal of the United States Government.

 

 

Less Means More

In an article recently posted on Kaiser Health News, Anna Gorman talks about the fact that less means more in the cases of elderly patients admitted into hospitals. The less an elderly patient is assisted in their daily tasks the easier it will be for them to return to their normal lives. A study from 2011 found that about one third of the patients over 70 and half over 85 where unable to leave the hospital in the same independent state that they were in before. Hospitals focus on healing the illness or injury but tend to not focus on the proper nutrition and mobility to keep their strength.

“Nurses at other hospitals are often so busy administering medications and tending to wounds that they don’t make time to walk with their charges. The emphasis on patient mobility is “a culture change” for most hospitals.”

– Andres Viles, a nurse coordinator

This is where ACE (Acute Care for Elders) Unit comes into place. It consists of a specialized environment, patient centered care, prevention protocols, an interdisciplinary team, and discharge planning from the day of admission. Independence is the focus of ACE with less procedures, fewer checking vitals in the middle of the night, and quieter rooms. There is also activities for the patients to participate in. These are ordered by the doctor so they really don’t have the choice to lay comfortably in bed.

However, majority of hospitals are turned away from this program for liability reasons. Families can sue if their loved one falls but not so much when they just come home weak. The All-Call® Fall Management System was designed for a very similar purpose. If a patient is still at a high risk for falling it allows the staff to monitor from a distance, promoting independence with stability.

You can read Anna Gorman’s full article about Elderly Patients In The Hospital Need To Keep Moving at Kaiser Health News.org, a national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

LTC Costs Elevating

Wichita, KS: August 9, 2016

According to Modern Healthcare, long-term care costs rose yet again this year. The only adult care cost that fell was adult day care. This is leaving the average family in a tight spot without any cheaper options, especially those without long-term care insurance. For families in this situation not even Medicare can provide as a solution.

“Medicare doesn’t cover long-term stays, so a large swath of people who need that coverage wind up spending down their assets until they qualify for the government’s health insurance program for the poor, Medicaid.” – Associated Press

With this being said there is no cheaper option without long-term care insurance. Greg Crist, a spokesman for the American Health Care Association, stated that nursing home costs are on the rise because the residents arriving are in chronic conditions.

The challenge of a patient with a chronic condition can be a daunting feet for a facility requiring more medical attention and time, driving up the price of long-term care. The All-Call® Nurse Call System alerts the resident’s assigned staff immediately from anywhere in the facility while complying with the current HIPPA regulations. The system was created to enhance the communication between residents and staff providing a less costly, more efficient facility.

Follow the link you would like to read the whole article:

Long-term care costs continue to rise