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      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

                                                                                                                                                 Photo: iStockphoto
      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
                                           Photo: iStockphoto

                                                                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-
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