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)
In other national health care news —
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. (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)
The Wall Street Journal:
Paul Ryan Pushes To Keep Overhaul Of Safety-Net Programs On GOP Agenda
House Speaker Paul Ryan, speaking at a GOP policy retreat, called for overhauling government-aid programs to be a legislative priority in 2018, though his plan is likely to face difficulties getting through the Senate and to be delayed by fights over government spending, the nation’s debt limit and immigration. Mr. Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, focused on tightening workforce requirements for welfare and food-stamp programs in his presentation Wednesday to GOP lawmakers and “getting people the skills and opportunities to get into the workforce,” as a measure of helping people, not as a budget-cutting exercise, according to a person in the room. A follow-up discussion on Thursday echoed some of the speaker’s ideas. (Andrews, 2/4)
The Associated Press:
Not Just Boy And Girl; More Teens Identify As Transgender
Far more U.S. teens than previously thought are transgender or identify themselves using other nontraditional gender terms, with many rejecting the idea that girl and boy are the only options, new research suggests. The study looked at students in ninth and 11th grade and estimated that nearly 3 percent are transgender or gender nonconforming, meaning they don't always self-identify as the sex they were assigned at birth. That includes kids who refer to themselves using neutral pronouns like "them" instead of "he" or "she." (2/5)
As Opioid Overdoses Rise, Colleges Supply Reversal Drug
Colleges are increasingly stocking up on an easy-to-use opioid overdose antidote as the number of incidents keeps rising with young adults among those most at risk. Opioids killed nearly 4,000 Americans ages 15 to 24 in 2016, nearly a third more than the year before. And while over 30 percent of college students said they knew someone who had overdosed on pain pills or heroin, even more — over 37 percent — reported not knowing what to do if they were present, a survey by the Hazelden Betty Ford Institute for Recovery Advocacy and The Christie Foundation found. (Sanchez, 2/2)