Want to keep earning CE credits? The rules are about to change

If you are in the habit of obtaining continuing education credits from the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards, your world will be changing dramatically on April 1.

Why skilled care's pain could be senior living's gain

If you can deliver post-acute care at a lower cost than the skilled care joint down the street, you just might find yourself swimming in a very nice new revenue stream.

Medicaid, the Trojan horse of senior living

Like the citizens of Troy who failed to realize a hollow wooden horse contained something terrible, senior living operators have ignored the real threat Medicaid might unleash: federal rules and regulations.

Attention senior living operators: Analytics will not solve all your problems

When it comes to senior living, technology arguably is the most disruptive force in play. And within the technology sphere, no tool is making a bigger impact than analytics.

If this were an Olympic event, senior living would not medal

It's no secret that finding and keeping qualified employees can be a real challenge in the senior living field. But things may be even worse than many operators realize.

For senior living, a time bomb dressed as a good deed

We're learning that the folks over at the Department of Health and Human Services are cooking up new rules for caregivers. It might not take much for this apparent good deed to go completely haywire, however.

Senior living might want to reconsider its superiority complex

More operators are doing things that would have been heavily frowned upon in the past.

A teaching moment for senior living operators

Don't make the same mistake your skilled-care brethren are now making.

New signs that insurance companies might control senior living's destiny

It's starting to look like assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities simply may become spokes connected to a hub controlled by somebody else.

Want to be happier at work? Socialize more

One of the odd quirks of senior living is that it is full of happy workers and unhappy residents.

Why is senior living overlooking this golden opportunity?

To judge by many of the marketing materials the senior living field produces, a major benefit is not being touted.

It's time for senior living leaders to man up

Here's my advice to the many men out there running senior living firms.

Pill's approval could be a senior living game-changer

Something happened Monday that could greatly improve medication adherence among senior living residents and others.

These senior living rankings might change a few perceptions — including yours

New rankings may force many operators to stop describing their workplace environments in ways that are pure fiction.

Senior living operators may be in for a very unpleasant surprise

You may not be terribly concerned that federal lawmakers are looking into recent deaths in a Florida nursing home. But this inquiry could blossom into something that affects senior living operators in one of the worst ways imaginable.

Growing pains for hospice care

My impression was that hospice is one of the best things Medicare has to offer. Fast forward to this week.

What about your non-hiring policies?

When it comes to bringing on people with a criminal past, senior living organizations can find themselves in a real bind.

Senior living could take a lesson from this Nobel Laureate

What does the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences have to do with senior living? Not much, except that perhaps the way you go about trying to fill your units may be seriously flawed.

Four takeaways from the NIC meeting

While I have been attending NIC conferences for more than two decades, I marvel at how relevant and informative they continue to be. The 2017 event was no exception. Here are but four takeaways from last week's event.

A shift comes to senior living's great divide

Sooner or later, all discussions about the nature of senior living come down to this: Is this a real estate business with a healthcare component, or vice versa?

This isn't a horror flick; it's a lot more frightening

We've all seen those horror films where the villain appears to be terminated — only to return for more. A real-live version of this scenario may be playing out in Washington.

Please stop giving me bad advice on where to retire

It seems like hardly a month goes by without some organization posting a "best places to retire" list. Most of these scorecards have fallen victim to the same malady.

The real problem exposed by declining occupancy levels

It's getting tougher to keep assisted living buildings filled, but some explanations as to why seem to be ill-fitting.

Long after Harvey fades, this image will linger

Hurricane Harvey has caused never-before-seen flood damage across southeastern Texas. Unless you are physically there, it can hard to put your head around its impact. That is, unless you take a look at one hard-to-believe photo of assisted living residents.

Wait, the government wants to cut back on regulations?

If you feel that regulatory compliance has become the bane of your existence, you're hardly alone.

Barbarians at the firewall

Not to sound like an alarmist, but the chances of a cyberattack have never been greater.

Some days, it's best to let the music do the talking

Glen Campbell jumped into my life two times.

A great way to make good help harder to find

For a guy who claims to be a friend to business, President Trump sometimes expresses that affection in odd ways.

The new cutoff for overtime eligibility? It's a fair question

It's probably safe to make two predictions now that the Labor Department has asked for feedback as it prepares to rewrite the overtime rule.

For many operators, an old adversary may soon be a good friend

If you run a senior living organization and are beset by labor-related challenges, Wednesday was a good day.

Keep an eye on this arbitration ban

Forget about Obamacare's possible repeal. Or whether collusion took place in the White House. Or how many days of summer vacation the Senate might forfeit in August. The real story in Washington this week should be about arbitration.

Overtime is a touchy subject in senior living

Senior living owners and managers may welcome the news that a controversial overtime rule apparently has been shelved. It might be best to keep the celebrating to a minimum, however.

Look who's offering advice on tough labor questions

A new announcement from the Department of Labor comes as welcome news.

You'll never find a better investment opportunity than this

An event happening next week is worthy of your most valuable asset — your time.

An arbitration victory that raises trust issues

In a year already brimming with regulatory victories, Monday's win might prove to be the biggest of them all.

What separates senior living's best leaders from the rest? As it turns out, these four things

The harsh reality is that finding the right person to run any senior living organization is hardly an exact science.

A spending plan that just might put you out of business

With the Trump administration's proposed budget for fiscal year 2018, it's guns versus butter, and guns are now in the lead, right? Not exactly.

Seen the future of senior living? Actually, you probably haven't

If you are fairly certain about the road ahead for senior living, I have some troubling news to share. And it comes from just about the last place you'd expect.

You are using more tech than you might realize

A one-of-a-kind event recognizes providers that are harnessing technology to improve eldercare.

An Alzheimer's success story that defies the odds

I was heartened to see a recent study that actually seems to have generated measurable success in the fight against Alzheimer's disease.

An important 'connection' that senior living often overlooks

I am not a marketing director for an assisted living or independent living community. But if I were, my message would be simple and direct.

Don't feel bad about Grandma's new weed habit

Dubious reactions to marijuana use among seniors speak to two truths.

You may not like what the NIC's middle-market study reveals

It's very possible the real payoff of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care study of middle-market demand for seniors housing may be the reality check it delivers. And here, I'm afraid, the findings may not be so encouraging.

Too many senior living operators focused on the wrong benchmark

Talk to any operator, and it won't take long before you hear "quality" intoned in a highly reverential manner. Perhaps we should start using a different yardstick, however.

No need to trash this emerging senior living option

I have seen the future of senior living. And it looks a lot like a trailer park. Come to think of it, it just might be a trailer park.

Nothing magical about Disney's wage ruling

What does a recent Labor Department ruling against the Walt Disney Co. have to do with your senior living organization? Hopefully, not a thing.

Regulatory update: 'If it's not one thing, it's another'

President Trump already has issued an executive order mandating that two regulations must be removed for every new one that is introduced. But just as one door may be closing, others are beginning to open.

Why should Obamacare monopolize the Capitol Hill goofiness?

As a general rule, Senate confirmation hearings tend to be mind-numbingly boring affairs. Things got interesting recently, however.

Makes you wonder what the governors might be smoking

What if your boss made the following offer: Many of the resources you need to do your job will be reduced or removed. But in exchange, you can play a more central role in making the cuts.

Yes, thieves are coming for your data

Think your senior living community is exempt from data theft? Think again.

Want to keep your best employees? Then break these two bad habits

Most organizations would dramatically trim turnover overnight by adopting a coaching mindset and eliminating annual reviews.

I hate to bring up these senior living challenges ...

You don't have to be an expert to realize that many operators are not listening to the market. And as long-term strategies go, that's probably not a good one.

Pretending to revamp Medicaid

It appears some significant changes may be coming Medicaid's way. And the early betting is that these adjustments are not going to be of the payment-enhancement variety.

Poaching on the menu at many fast-food establishments

It's hardly a secret that many fast-food joints serve revenge-seeking grub. But lately, they've begun doing something else that may cause indigestion.

Under questioning, an Obamacare critic suddenly doesn't have much to say

Being on the business end of a Senate confirmation hearing can be a grueling, uncomfortable experience. That certainly was the case yesterday for the president-elect's choice to run the Department of Health and Human Services.

Going Dutch was never like this

Think some ideas for improving senior living services in the United States are out there? Take a gander at what's being proposed in Germany.

Court's decision a tough break for senior living employers

California's highest court has offered clarification on employee-break requirements. But this is hardly a limited dispute. In fact, the largely unfavorable ruling just might have implications for senior living operators nationwide.

About that hospital boom ahead ...

More than a few assisted living operators wouldn't mind snapping off a piece of the post-surgical transfer action, but it turns out that a huge battle is heating up.

Many senior living operators appear to have trouble connecting the dots

Perhaps senior living operators shouldn't laugh too loudly at Donald's Trump's expense. Although many think the next inhabitant of the Oval Office is tone deaf on certain socioeconomic issues, it's pretty clear that many providers also rightly might be accused of being out of touch.

Here's one way to make visits more rewarding

A senior living center in China's Jiangsu province has found a rather unique way to increase visitors.

Praise for Price might be short-lived

Businesses tend to be quite happy when elections put Republicans in charge of Congress and the White House. But senior living operators would be well advised to temper their giddiness this time, for two reasons.

Just when you were warming up to Medicaid ...

Medicaid as you have known it is probably going to be changed. And not for the better.

A sleeper issue that soon may affect more senior living organizations

Much continues to be written and said about Donald Trump's White House victory. And as so often happens at times like these, another notable development taking place at the same time largely is being ignored.

Careful with those good deeds, or you might get punished

In Joseph Heller's satirical novel "Catch-22," paradoxes keep getting in the in the way. It's a challenge many senior living operators can relate to.

Arbitration lawsuit presents a tough choice for many operators

The American Health Care Association is suing the government over a proposed rule that puts an end to arbitration clauses. Whether the lawsuit is a good idea remains to be seen.

The great divide appears to be narrowing

Like aging children who look more like their parents, many assisted living communities are beginning to resemble the operators who once spawned them.

Maybe it's true that the best is yet to come

Ever have one of those birthdays where you received the classic "old geezer" treatment? You know, the black balloons, sympathy cards, tombstone-shaped birthday cake, adult diapers and other assorted gag gifts?

This new 'opportunity' might have a bad aftertaste

If this field is not going to hold its bad actors accountable, then you can bet that it's just a matter of time until someone else steps in.

A more enlightened way to examine your value proposition?

One top-of-mind issue kept resurfacing at the recent National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care meeting: How do we deliver more value to our customers? A helpful resource recently surfaced.

Want to get into the C-suite? There's no substitute for (the right) experience

So you say you'd like to snap off a piece of that C-suite action? It turns out that varied experience might get you there a bit faster.

This absolutely needs to be on your to-do list

Given the many uncertainties each operator faces, it's surprising that more of them don't do something that's guaranteed to improve their odds for success.

The big question before every senior living operator

Sooner or later, operators in this sector will face a fork in the proverbial road. If you are not considering your future in this field, you must be extremely confident. Or foolish.

A tech breakthrough that shows how far we've come

A technological development could give operators the ability to markedly improve care delivery and coordination.

Why will operators struggle? Do the math

If you run a senior living organization, a new Fidelity report should give you ample reason for concern. Why? Because it helps reveal a math challenge that will only get worse.

They must have a chip on their shoulder

There is a very simple, effective way to prevent residents with dementia from wandering into harm's way. Unfortunately, it is also illegal in many places.

On the path to additional oversight?

Assisted living operators increasingly are serving residents with severe physical and cognitive challenges, are accepting Medicaid dollars and are getting into trouble while doing so. In other words, they are doing many of the same things that landed nursing homes in trouble.

Meet your new foe, same as the old foe

Assisted living got where it is today largely by promising to do a better job than nursing homes. That same strategy — under admittedly different circumstances — also may be the key to future success.

Some vintage advice for your married residents

How can you help keep the married couples in your community as content as possible? One answer might be found in a surprising place.

New overtime rule a major concern — and rightfully so

Concerned about the new federal overtime rule? You have plenty of company.

Court's labor ruling averts possible catastrophe

A recent labor law ruling by Virginia's highest court should have most senior living operators breathing a bit easier. That's because an alternate decision could have launched a mountain of new wrongful-termination lawsuits.

The looming payment challenge few are talking about

If you are a senior living operator and your rents went up a bit last year, that's a good thing, right? As it turns out, the answer may not be so obvious.

Rising drug costs get a gut check

One of the biggest drivers of drug costs may be something you're not likely to see on a direct-to-consumer advertisement any time soon.

Senior living operators may soon need to make big plans

What exactly does a local hospital merger have to do with the fate of your organization in the years to come? As it turns out, perhaps plenty.

Drug changes could be painful for your residents

It is becoming more difficult for our oldest citizens — your residents — to get the pain relief they seek. And that challenge is likely to get worse before it gets better.

When department heads collide

This conflict management approach might seem onerous, but the researchers who propose it say it's a worthwhile investment for any team.

Veterans deserve more than lip service

Memorial Day is Monday. At many senior living communities, ceremonies will be held to honor military members who are residents or who have died. At baseball games and other public gatherings, veterans will be publicly thanked for their service. It's all well and good. But is it enough?

New overtime rules not much to cheer about

The new overtime mandates are going to be a bad deal, for everyone.

This helpful strategic tool is woefully underused

Most senior living organizations routinely ignore a people-related tool that can help them better understand their strengths and weaknesses, spot emerging trends — and generate valuable competitive intelligence.

Getting that elephant in the room to start dancing

While some senior living operators are cursing the darkness, other innovative ones are trying to light a candle to address the biggest challenge facing the industry.

Can worker retention really be this easy?

There's no getting around the fact that keeping your community fully staffed is a never-ending challenge, but there are some very simple and obvious things you can do.

Do you know what your enemies are up to?

You may or may not want to change the way you do business. That's your choice. But two undeniable realities are playing out.

A wealth of information for those looking to gain extra years

The second paragraph in the Declaration of Independence famously proclaims that "all men are created equal." But the available evidence seems to suggest that some members of the herd have their unique advantages.

'What we've got here is failure to communicate'

Wondering why it's so difficult getting prospects to move in? Here's my advice: Watch "Cool Hand Luke."

Can we please quit calling them Alzheimer's patients?

With all due respect to Alzheimer's, the brand needs an overhaul.

Getting the pink slip from Miss Daisy

One emerging technology could affect admissions and force your community to rethink how it handles one amenity.

No longer growing? The problem's probably not what you think

For years, your organization's growth has been steady if not spectacular. Then one day, you seem to have hit a wall.

Put this on your 'must attend' list

Any senior living operator who wants to borrow money, understand the big picture and get the latest scuttlebutt should be in Dallas right now.

Medicaid and senior living: A troubled marriage

The latest tectonic shift has three likely results for senior living operators.

Avoiding hospitalizations may be the next turf war

Decreases in hospital admissions and total costs are a win-win for everyone. Except maybe nursing homes.

A likely union defeat that's no longer likely

Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia's recent death will certainly make things far less predictable when it comes to several major pending matters — including one that was all-but-certain to weaken unions.

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In Focus

March 21

Hello, cello!

Corona, CA

Staff at Valencia Terrace, a Kisco Senior Living community, recently surprised residents with a visit from Grammy Award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma.