Neal honored for nursing home advocacy

WALTHAM — Congressman Richard E. Neal has received the "A Better Life" award from the Massachusetts Senior Care Association for his tireless advocacy on behalf of nursing home residents and staff. He was honored for his commitment and leadership in protecting access to Medicaid and Medicare for vulnerable elderly residents and patients needing skilled nursing and rehabilitation services.
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As Trump targets immigrants, elderly and others brace to lose caregivers

By Melissa Bailey | Kaiser Health News BOSTON — The two women have been together since 2011, a 96-year-old originally from Italy and a Haitian immigrant who has helped her remain in her home — giving her showers, changing her clothes, taking her to her favorite parks and discount grocery stores. “Hello, bella,” Nirva greets Isolina Dicenso, using the Italian word for “beautiful.” “Hi, baby,” Dicenso replies. But changes to federal immigration policy are putting both at risk. Haitian caregivers
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Hillcrest Commons Promotes Concurrent Therapy To Neal

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Hillcrest Commons would like to expand its group and concurrent therapy programs, but a 7-year-old Medicaid and Medicare law prevent it from doing so. But, now there is legislation that could allow for those sessions to have greater coverage, which advocates say is a benefit to the patient, the health-care organization, and to the government. "There is pending legislation in Washington that would allow for greater therapy services for people access their Medicare benefit. Instead of one-on-one
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In special mural, joy and beauty come in pieces

STOUGHTON — Joy showed up in the lobby of the Copley at Stoughton nursing home on Sumner Street 12 days before Christmas. Music played. Eggnog and cookies were served. And while a mural of a scene from a Norman Rockwell illustration was unveiled, the nursing home administrator and activities director made congratulatory speeches. What had been 24 separate panels, each measuring 16 inches by 20 inches, was being revealed as a whole for the first time. Fifteen residents and almost
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Outside the Box: Advocacy on the edge of crisis

Tara Gregorio has had a busy first year. Since coming on to the Massachusetts Senior Care Association as its president in January, she has had to grapple with leading an organization representing approximately 400 nursing facilities and assisted living residences, caring for some of the most vulnerable people in the state. Of those facilities, stagnant reimbursements mean approximately half are operating in the red. The organization said 180 are at risk of closing, taking with them more than 25,000 jobs.
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Lawmakers restore Medicaid nursing home funding reduced by Gov. Baker

By Elisha Machado BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts nursing homes are getting more funding from the state this year than approved by Governor Charlie Baker in July. They say the money can help ensure their workers are paid a living wage. Nursing home facilities are the second largest health care employer in the state, providing jobs for 77,000 workers. But nursing facilities are underfunded by $37 per day, per patient, according to the Massachusetts Senior Care Association. “Since we’re so dependent
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Nursing homes struggling to make money

By Peter Jasinski, pjasinski@sentinelandenterprise.com LEOMINSTER -- Bill Reidt recalls that when he got his start in long-term nursing care more than 30 years ago, there were hundreds more facilities throughout the state than there are now. "There were over 600 nursing homes in Massachusetts, and a lot of them were the smaller ones that everyone loved. But they couldn't function and they closed," said Reidt, executive director of Life Care Center of Leominster. "Right now there are buildings that have
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Mass. Nursing Home Industry Facing Crisis, Industry Says

BOSTON -- Nursing home administrators and staff sounded the alarm on Monday, telling lawmakers their industry is underfunded and needs help. “There has never been more urgency in the need to stabilize the commonwealth’s nursing facilities,” Matt Salmon, the CEO of Salmon Health and Retirement and vice chairman of the Massachusetts Senior Care Association board, said at a Joint Committee on Elder Affairs hearing. “We’re facing an unprecedented financial crisis that is threatening the quality of care that we provide.
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Nursing homes hitting crisis point

Nursing homes hitting crisis point By Katie Lannan State House News Service BOSTON -- One out of every seven direct care staff positions in Massachusetts nursing homes is vacant, the number of deficiency-free homes has dropped since 2013, and half of the facilities have less than four days of cash on hand, according to advocates seeking more state support for nursing homes. "We are seeing an erosion of financial support for nursing facility care that is beginning to impact staffing
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A Crisis in Care

State Sen. Thomas M. McGee deserves praise for working to address large-scale financial problems plaguing Massachusetts’ nursing homes. McGee filed a budget amendment increasing the state Senate allocation for the nursing facility Medicaid rates account to $362.9 million from $345.1 million now budgeted by the Senate and Gov. Baker. Nursing home advocates are begging for help to close a $37 a day gap between the cost of care and the state MassHealth reimbursement rate. They say Massachusetts nursing homes are
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Industry: Nursing homes at "crisis point" due to state underpayments

By Katie Lannan 
 STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, MAY 22, 2017....One out of every seven direct care staff positions in Massachusetts nursing homes is vacant, the number of deficiency-free homes has dropped since 2013, and half of the facilities have less than four days of cash on hand, according to advocates seeking more state support for nursing homes. "We are seeing an erosion of financial support for nursing facility care that is beginning to impact staffing as well as quality resident
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Doctors want Trump to allow Haitians to stay in US

By Maria Cramer Hundreds of doctors signed a letter Tuesday calling on the Department of Homeland Security to allow about 58,000 Haitians affected by the country’s 2010 earthquake to stay in the United States for at least another year . The letter, signed by 552 doctors from across the country, asked Secretary John F. Kelly to extend their participation in a program known as temporary protected status for another 18 months. Under the program, immigrants living in the United States
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