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Articles re: Nursing Homes

  • 3 Steps to Finding the Right Nursing Home (Smart Money – 8/11/10)
    Choosing a nursing home ranks among the most painful and emotionally fraught decisions you or I will ever make, even if we are ultimately able to find satisfying environments for our loved ones. As a result, too many of us wait to talk with our parents about nursing homes until it’s already clear they can no longer safely live alone—when our elders are already falling repeatedly or chronically forgetting to take medication or leaving the stove burner on.
  • 5 Tips for Choosing a Nursing Home (Journal Sentinal – 6/13/12)
    Transitioning to life in a nursing home can be difficult, especially after living independently. When thinking about the next step for yourself or a loved one, it is important to consider how the quality of care you receive will affect your health and well-being. It's helpful to plan ahead, consider all your long-term-care options, and make good financial plans early.
  • An Overview on Medicaid Eligibility for Nursing Home Care and Payment (
    For starters, Medicare requires that a patient spend three midnights in the hospital before being admitted to a skilled nursing facility. With the push to get people in and out of hospitals, some doctors may be reluctant to keep the patient this long, so be prepared to play hardball.
  • Are You on the Hook for Mom's Nursing-Home Bill? (Wall Street Journal – 6/22/12)
    Thought you were immune from your parents' debts? Not so fast. Twenty-nine states have "filial support" laws that could be used to go after patients' adult children for unpaid long-term-care bills.
  • Ask the Legal Expert about involuntary discharge (McKnight's – 10/1/2016)
    The answer to the a question posed by the facility about how to legally move a resident out when the family has become hostile or combative.   
  • At Many Homes, More Profit and Less Nursing (New York Times – Sept. 23, 2007)
    Some families of residents say structures unjustly protect investors who profit while care declines.
  • Best Nursing Homes (US News – 2/7/11)
    The 18 nursing homes listed alphabetically make up the 2011 Honor Roll. They were the only homes, out of more than 15,500 in the latest U.S. News Best Nursing Homes rankings, to receive four straight quarters of perfect five-star ratings from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in health inspections, nurse staffing, and quality of care, the three areas in which CMS evaluates these facilities.
  • Clearing the Fog in Nursing Homes (Aging & Disability in America – 2/17/11)
    “What’s people’s biggest fear? Being a ‘zombie’ in a nursing home…” Even in quality nursing homes, some residents sit impassively in wheelchairs or nod off in front of televisions, apparently unable to interact with others or to summon much interest in their lives. Nursing home reformers and regulators have long believed that this disengagement results in part from the overuse of psychotropic medication to quell the troublesome behaviors that can accompany dementia — yelling, wandering, aggression, resisting care. 
  • CMS Releases New Nursing Facility Regulations Both Pluses and Minuses for Nursing Facility Residents (10/4/2016)
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has just released a comprehensive revision of federal nursing facility regulations. The regulations and explanatory material (over 700 pages total) are available here. The positives for nursing facility residents include expanded training requirements, and a new provision that an initial care plan be developed and implemented within 48 hours. The negatives include a failure to improve nurse staffing standards, and weakening the regulations limiting antipsychotic drug use. 
  • How to Fight a Nursing Home Discharge (Elder Law Answers)
    Once a resident is settled in a nursing home, being told to leave can be very traumatic. Nursing homes are required to follow certain procedures before discharging a resident, but a facility may occasionally attempt to "dump" an undesirable resident by transferring the resident to a hospital and then refusing to let the him or her back in. However, residents can fight back and challenge such discharges.  For related information, also see Resolving Disputes.
  • How to Protect Assets From Nursing Home Costs (USA Today – 9/12)
    Few things will wipe out an elderly person's estate faster than the costs of spending time in a nursing home. Costs vary based on quality and location, but the average cost of nursing home care is $73,000 a year and rising, says Genworth. At that clip, it wouldn't take long for a patient to spend down their assets, leaving nothing for heirs.
  • New Nursing Homes are Delightful (Smart Money – Feb. 28, 2008)
    Slowly but surely, far-flung revolutionaries are upending the nursing-home industry by transforming the culture of nursing homes themselves.
  • No Need for Nursing Home if PACE Handles Senior Care (USA Today – 11/17/08)
    "Families are feeling like we're failing our elders… so PACE tries to keep people who are eligible for nursing home care living independently in the community." 
  • Nursing Home Admission Contracts Deny Elders and Dependent Adults of Their Constitutional Rights (8/26/2015)
    The fine print buried in nursing home admissions contracts is depriving nursing home residents and their families of their constitutional rights.
  • Nursing Home Report Cards Offer Financial Incentives to Improve Quality (McKnight's – 11/2/10)
    It can be expensive for nursing homes to make big enough changes to improve their quality-of-care scores, so they can be tentative about doing so. Instead, they want to see evidence that ratings improve the bottom line before making such changes, Health Behavior News Service reported.
  • Nursing Home Residents Have Rights! (Elder Law Answers)
    Many people incorrectly believe that once someone enters a nursing home, their freedom is over. In fact, nursing home residents have many rights, and it is important to know those rights and to be able to enforce them.  For more information, also see Resident Rights.
  • Nursing Home Suits Face New Litigation Hurdles (Lawyers USA – 10/9/08)
    Plaintiffs' lawyers seeking to bring negligence cliams against nursing homes are seeing a number of new obstacles.
  • Nursing Homes Undertreat Dementia Patients' Pain (Reuters – April 30, 2008)
    Nursing home residents with dementia appear to be less likely to receive pain medication than other residents, even though they have just as many painful health conditions, a new study suggests.
  • On Elder Care – and Elder Law (US News – 3/11/09)
    Tips from the author of "20 Common Nursing Home Problems—and How to Resolve Them"
    All too commonly, the choice of a nursing home is made under duress—when a prospective resident and his or her family are already in difficult times. U.S. News asked Eric Carlson, a Los Angeles attorney with the National Senior Citizens Law Center, a nonprofit law firm that defends the interests of seniors, what to look for in a care provider and how to fight back if there's a problem.
  • One Way to Judge a Nursing Home (New York Times – 8/20/10)
    While looking at nursing homes for my mother, I always asked the tour guides if I could talk to the nurses’ aides. This seemed to me a logical request. After all, these were the women — and they were all women — who would spend the most time with my mother, who would notice small changes that raised big questions, who would make her feel cared for. Or not.
  • Resident Rights in a Nursing Home
    In 1987, Congress enacted the Nursing Home Reform Law that has been incorporated into the Medicare and Medicaid regulations. The law gives residents a number of specific rights, outlined here.
  • Senior Citizens Fear Nursing Home, Loss of Independence More than Death (Senior Journal – Oct. 2007)
    Results of a very enlightening research study that examines the attitudes and anxieties of the nation's elderly population and the baby boomers who care for them.
  • Selecting a Nursing Home – Creativity Can Make a World of Difference for Dementia Patients (Yakima Herald – 11/1/09)
    Picking a long-term care facility for an elderly parent or relative is a complicated consumer project, experts say. While there's plenty of advice and information to help with the decision, the work comes with wading through it all and advocating for your family member.
  • The Side Effects of Antipsychotics in Nursing Homes (KALW News – 5/10)
    In nursing homes across the country, men and women with dementia are struggling not only with memory loss, but with symptoms of the disease that cause them to act out, sometimes violently, threatening the safety of staff and other residents. One of the most common ways doctors treat the symptoms is with antipsychotics, a group of drugs originally developed to treat hallucinations and delusions in psychiatric patients. Today, nearly a quarter of nursing home residents are on antipsychotics, and some say the drugs are being overprescribed and misused.
  • Violent Nursing Home Attacks are on the Rise (Wisconsin Law Journal – 4/3/09)
    Criminal offenders and mentally ill residents are fueling an increase in patient-to-patient assaults at nursing homes, according to experts. 
  • What Nursing Homes Have in Common With Wells Fargo (9/28/16)
    While in light of the recent Well Fargo fraudulent accounts scandal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has proposed a rule banning “forced” arbitration clauses in financial services contracts—the ones that prevent class-action lawsuits, that customers are required to sign.  However, regulations are moving in the other direction in the nursing home industry.  The federal agency that manages the health-care systems for the elderly and the poor, is on the verge of finalizing a rule that will allow long-term care facilities to continue to use arbitration.

Publications re: Nursing Homes

  • America's Best Nursing Homes
    As the American population ages at an unprecedented rate, the U.S. News Best Nursing Homes guide is a valuable resource for families facing the difficult process of looking for a nursing home.
  • ELDRS Update – Summer Edition (Elder Law & Disability Rights Section – State Bar of MI)
    Patti's Comment:  This edition provides legislative updates and also includes my thanks to Rep. Marilyn Lane, et al for introducting HB 5650, which proposes to amend the Social Welfare Act to require that a patient of a nursing home be automatically approved for medical assistance if DHS has not mailed the applicant a notice of Medicaid approval or denial within 45 days from the date the local office received the application.
  • Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home ( – 8/22/09)
    Designed to help you make informed decisions about nursing home care, whether you’re planning ahead or need to make an unexpected decision.
  • Malnutrition and Dehydration in Nursing Homes (Nat'l Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform – June, 2000)
    Researchers in the United States have found that malnutrition is epidemic in the elderly population in America.
  • New Medicare Regulations Regarding Pressure Ulcers in the Nursing Home (Medical Advisors, Inc.)
    Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has published new guidelines regarding pressure sores (decubitus ulcers).
  • Nursing Facilities' Employment of Individuals With Criminal Convictions (Dept. of Health & Human Services – March 2011)
    A report on the percentage of nursing home employees with criminal backgrounds.  The report found that “92 percent of nursing facilities employed at least one individual with at least one criminal conviction” and that “overall, 5 percent of nursing facility employees had at least one criminal conviction.”
  • Nursing Home List – Here's a list of all the nursing homes and the type of payment (medicare/medicaid) they accept and number of beds for each. This is really helpful information for folks looking to secure placement in a particular nursing home and they need to wait for a medicaid bed to open up.
  • Supporting Culture Change: Working Toward Smarter State Nursing Home Regulation
    The traditional nursing home regulatory approach, which uses survey and enforcement to achieve performance improvement, has created tensions between providers and surveyors. It has had limited success in improving quality overall and not necessarily allowed innovation to flourish. To move toward a new model of nursing home regulation, the states and federal government must strike a balance between the traditional regulatory approach to weed out substandard facilities and a partnership model aimed at promoting high performance. This issue brief highlights the importance of how such a model is structured, as well as the need to adequately train and educate regulatory staff and providers about culture change. Regulators, providers, consumer groups, residents, and their families also will need to commit to the principles of person-centered care to ensure the success of the new collaborative approach.
  • Your Guide to Choosing a Nursing Home – Revised May 2011 (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)
    This official government booklet explains how to find and compare nursing homes, how to pay for them, your rights, and alternatives.

Also see Organizations, Services and Resources related to Nursing Homes