Infections may CMS rule alters MDS
speed decline PublICatIoN oF the Year
By Brett Bakshis
Even a minor infection can
assessment process McKnight’s Long-Term Care News
beSt oNlINe NewS SeCtIoN
increase the rate of memory loss 2008, 2009
in people with Alzheimer’s disease,
according to a new study.
Alzheimer’s patients who have At Deadline
infections, including bumps and
bruises, can have higher levels of » More governors were
tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF- expressing concern at press
a), in their blood, researchers time that Medicaid provisions
found. TNF is a protein linked in healthcare reform legisla-
to inflammation. It has been asso- tion would place additional
ciated with memory loss and other financial burdens on their
types of cognitive decline. respective states.
Vaccines should be encouraged
and early treatment of infections » Savings from tort reform
should take place before they can would be much less than
worsen, a lead researcher said. The advocates claim, according
study appeared in the Sept. 8 issue to Business Week magazine.
of Neurology. n The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is eliminating Section T from “Study after study shows that
the Minimum Data Set. The change will affect initial therapy allocations.
costs associated with mal-
By Brett Bakshis practice lawsuits make up 1%
A controversial new rule from the days of a stay in a skilled nursing to 2% of the nation’s $2.5 tril-
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid facility. CMS believes that projec- lion annual healthcare bill and
Services will recalibrate Medicare tions have been inaccurate and a that tort reform would barely
case mixes under the Resource Uti- large number of residents have not make a dent in the total,” the
lization Group (RUG) system. received the amount of therapy magazine noted.
The rule will, in part, eliminate they were forecast to receive.
Offering nurses three days at the a section of the Minimum Data Set CMS will implement an optional » Seniors who exercise
beach improved job satisfaction. and change the RUG classification start-of-therapy Other Medicare more than four hours per
for short-stay residents. Effective Required Assessment (OMRA) week significantly reduce
Surf and sand Oct. 1, 2010, the regulation elimi-