What NOT to Expect From Skilled Nursing Homes

If you are placing a family member in a skilled nursing home, don’t expect your loved one to get personalized one-on-one care.  It just doesn’t work that way. Buzzers ring and residents wait, sometimes for long periods  of time. The administrators and staff will tell you all your loved one’s needs will be taken care…

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Living Long Doesn’t Mean Living Well

I recently read one of the best articles on aging and healthcare in our soceity by Micheal Wolff in The New Yorker.  The name of the article is “A Life Worth Ending”.  http://nymag.com/news/features/parent-health-care-2012-5/ .  It is the story of caring for an aging parent and how the dying process was drawn out without any input from family.…

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Is the Nursing Home Model The Best Option For The Future?

I often find myself wondering, while visiting a nursing home, how our healthcare system for the elderly ended up this way.  I have become very good at ignoring the smells, sounds, cries and staff’s freguent insensitivities and focusing on my client.  I also have to help  the family with the emotional, physical, psychological and financial…

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The Man Who Mistook His Catheter Bag For A Phone

This was a  spouse/caregiver’s call to me for help.  “He is trying to use his bag as a phone.” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  The caregiver was unhinged, scared and confused.  What had happened to make these sudden changes?  What happened was, my client had a minor procedure for back pain that…

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Nursing Homes and Patient Advocates

One of the areas I find the most resistance to a patient advocate is skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes.  I have become accustomed to the initial chill and suspicion of the staff.  My early on nursing home visits or phone calls had me befuddled.   It was very difficult to get information or access to…

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Health Insurance Alert: The New Tier Program for Payment

There are  new insurance plans on the market that are being advertised as a way to reduce healthcare cost and allow consumers to be in charge of their healthcare expenses. It is called a tiered program.  It is modeled after the prescription medication plans where generic medications have the lowest copays and brand name the…

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Family Frustration: Nursing Home Medical Care

Several of my clients are in skilled nursing facilities (SNF) or nursing homes.  One of the complaints I frequently hear is, why can’t I see my own doctor?  In order to be seen by your own MD/NP, they need to be credentialed with the facility.  This means the MD/NP have to submit their credentials for…

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How To Avoid Being Blind Sided By Rehab Staff on Discharge

There is no adequate way to explain to my clients why rehab/skilled nursing facilities staff do not communicate with them.  It seems to be endemic throughout the country.  There are many reasons why communication is essential for the family, foremost being the need to know if discharge is imminent. I tell my clients to be…

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The Confusing World Of Rehab: Insurance

As with all things in healthcare these days, it is driven by insurance.  This is the case with rehabs.  Most all insurances have hospital and rehab benefits. In private insurances, the covered varies as do coinsurances and copays.  The average fro rehab coverage is 100 days.  On admission, request the billing department or case management…

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