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Drinking cuts                                            Ratings may factor in
dementia risk                                                                                                                                                  Publication of the YeaR

By John O’Connor
Moderate drinking may help
                                                         satisfaction results                                                                                McKnight’s Long-Term Care News

                                                                                                                                                             best online neWs sectioN
older adults reduce the onset                                                                                                                                            2008, 2009
of Alzheimer’s disease by up to
40%. Conversely, drinking may
accelerate cognitive decline among                                                                                                                           At Deadline
people with dementia, researchers
said at a Vienna conference.                                                                                                                                 » Salaries for nursing home
   Virtually all of the study’s 3,069                                                                                                                        administrators averaged
participants were white. All were                                                                                                                            $89,606 last year, according
subjected to initial testing to iden-                                                                                                                        to the Hospital & Healthcare
tify those who already had a mild                                                                                                                            Compensation Service. The
form of cognitive impairment. Par-                                                                                                                           4.8% increase was the high-
ticipants were divided into absti-                                                                                                                           est in three years.
nent, light (one to seven drinks
a week), moderate (eight to 14                                                                                                                               » The Medicare Payment

                                                                                                                                        Photo: iStockphoto
drinks a week), and heavy (more                                                                                                                              Advisory Commission would
than 14 drinks a week) alcohol-                                                                                                                              be replaced by White House
consumption groups. n                                                                                                                                        loyalists with greater author-
                                                         Providers have called for the inclusion of satisfaction surveys in the Five-                        ity, under a pending proposal.
                                                         Star Quality Ranking System since before it was rushed into use in December.
                                                                                                                                                             The five-person Independent
                                                         By James M. Berklan                                                                                 Medicare Advisory Council
                                                         Federal regulators are meeting         three possible levels of use for                             would set payment rates for
                                                         with nursing home operators            satisfaction surveys, noted Thomas                           both parts of the Medicare
                                                         and other key stakeholders to          Hamilton of the Centers for Medi-                            program.
                                    Photo: iStockphoto

                                                         discuss ways that resident and         care & Medicaid Services during a
                                                         family satisfaction surveys might      special CMS “Open Door Forum”                                » The nation’s governors
                                                         be factored into the new Five-Star     conference call July 9.                                      railed against new unfunded
Walkers and canes are linked to                          rating system.                            Hamilton said the three levels                            mandates during their recent
thousands of falls each year.                               The conferees also will exam-       are not mutually exclusive and                               meeting. They also warned
                                                         ine possibly using hard-number         could be phased in. They could                               that expanding Medicaid
Walkers, cane
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