Friday, August 29, 2014

Labor Day Closure Reminder

Professional Medical will be closed Monday, September 1, 2014 in honor of Labor Day. All Monday deliveries will be made Tuesday, September 2.

Please call our Customer Care department at 800.648.5190 if you have any questions or concerns.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Congress: Get LTC Staffing Info Directly from Payroll Systems


The Congressional Seniors Task Force is recommending that federal regulators start collecting nursing home staffing information directly from payroll systems rather than relying on self-reported criteria from facilities.

The recommendation comes in the wake of a New York Times article that criticizes CMS's Five-Star Quality Rating System. Because the Five-Star data is self-reported, the article said, facilities can increase their staff numbers in the weeks before a survey (AKA "staffing up"), leading to artificially inflated figures. The article also noted that staffing data is not routinely audited.

A provision of the Affordable Care Act requires nursing home staffing information to be based on actual payroll data, but this requirement has yet to be implemented despite a March 2012 deadline. The Congressional Seniors Task Force is asking CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner to announce when the payroll data collection system will be available. 

To learn more, click here

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

10 Tips for Fighting Fungal Infections


Fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot, ringworm and jock itch, can be spread very easily from person to person, making them a challenge for long-term care and other healthcare settings. Below, we’ve assembled 10 strategies to help you fight back against fungal infections and the itching, cracking and other bothersome side effects they bring.

  1. Advise residents to not share towels, combs or other personal items. 
  2. Keep common areas clean. 
  3. Encourage residents to wash their hands frequently. 
  4. Apply an antifungal power or cream to residents after bathing, paying close attention to folds of skin where moisture might collect. 
  5. To avoid contracting athlete’s foot, wash residents’ feet daily, dry them well and put on clean socks.
  6. Encourage residents to remove their shoes while relaxing to expose their feet to air. 
  7. Ask residents to wear waterproof sandals or “shower shoes” in communal bathing areas. 
  8. Keep residents’ groin areas clean and dry, especially in warmer weather.
  9. If residents are sweaty following an activity or outing, help them change into dry, clean clothes and underwear. 
  10. Talk to residents and their family members about avoiding tight clothing and fabrics that do not “breathe.”

Professional Medical stocks a number of antifungal products that can help keep your residents comfortable and protected. To learn more, contact your ProMed territory manager, give us a call at (800) 648-5190 or visit us online at promedsupply.com.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Study: Good Neighbors are Good for Your Heart

According to a new study, having good neighbors can be good for your heart.

In the study, published in Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, neighborhood and social cohesion was associated with a reduced chance of suffering a heart attack. Neighborhood cohesion was based on trustworthiness, reliability and friendliness.

The results support earlier studies that found an association between living in a good neighborhood and a reduced chance of heart attack or stroke.

To learn more, click here.

Friday, August 22, 2014

CMS: Missing Certification, Recertification Statements Major Reason for Claim Denial

According to a new memo from CMS, a major reason for claims being denied is failure to obtain certification and recertification statements from physicians or NPPs.

The memo outlines the components of acceptable certification and recertification statements. It also includes information on how and when to document the certification and recertification statements. CMS encourages billing staff to be made aware of these requirements.

To read the memo, click here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Antipsychotic Use in Elderly Linked to Acute Kidney Injury


According to new research out of Canada, older people who take the antipsychotic drugs quetiapine (brand name Seroquel), risperidone (Risperdal) and olanzapine (Zyprexa) are about one-and-a-half times more likely to experience an acute kidney injury. These findings support ongoing efforts to reduce antispsychotic use in long-term care facilities.

Within 90 days of starting to take the drugs, about 1,000 of those studies were hospitalized for acute kidney injury, or AKI. By comparison, only 600 people in the group not taking antipsychotics were hospitalized for AKI.

Atypical antipsychotic use was also linked to higher rates of hospitalization for conditions such as pneumonia, heart attack and the inability to pass urine.

To learn more, click here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Are Your Gloves Really a Great Value?


If you’re choosing gloves based on price alone, you might not be saving as much money as you think. To get an accurate figure on how much you’re paying for a case of gloves, you also need to consider how many of those gloves fail, wasting money, product and staff time.

To get started, locate the average failure rate of the type of gloves you are using:1,2

  • Standard vinyl gloves: 41 percent
  • Stretch vinyl gloves: 20 percent 
  • Latex gloves: 10 percent
  • Nitrile gloves: 2 percent 

Next, determine how much you are spending for a case of gloves. Let’s say you currently pay $29 for a case of standard vinyl gloves. As seen above, standard vinyl gloves fail an average of 41 percent of the time. When we multiply $29 x .41, we get $11.89. This is the gloves’ cost in failure, or the extra money that must be spent to replace the gloves that failed. When $29 and $11.89 are added together, we get $40.89, which is the true cost of the case of gloves. Suddenly, the vinyl gloves don’t seem like such a cost-effective option.

Your ProMed territory manager is ready to help you determine if you are using the gloves that best fit your clinical and financial goals. We can also help you apply our exclusive savings strategies to other popular product categories. To get started, contact your ProMed territory manager, give us a call at (800) 648-5190 or visit us online at promedsupply.com.

References

  1. Kerr LN, Chaput MP, Cash LD et al. Assessment of the durability of medical examination gloves. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene. 2004;1:607-612.
  2. Rego A, Roley L. In –use Barrier Integrity of Gloves: Latex and Nitrile Superior to Vinyl. American Journal of Infection Control. 1999; 27 (5) 405-10.