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Antimicrobial Alternatives Help Improve Outcomes<p style="text-align&#58;left;"><strong class="ms-rteForeColor-8">ADVERTORIAL</strong></p><p style="text-align&#58;left;"></p><p><a href="http&#58;//www.essity.com/" target="_blank"><img src="/Topics/Special-Features/PublishingImages/2020/essity.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></a>Wounds are a pernicious threat in long term care, directly impacting quality of life, undermining health, and attacking the bottom line.</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">A recent study by the Healthcare Industry Distributors Association revealed that long term care providers see a direct correlation between achieving quality outcomes and medical product selection, including the area of wound care. In this rapidly evolving field, products are being introduced that can improve the rate of wound healing and help improve outcomes while maintaining costs.</p><p>One of these products is Cutimed Sorbact, a nonmedicated treatment for colonised and infected wounds. Sorbact® Technology uses a simple physical bonding process to slough away bacteria without disturbing the cells. </p><p>There's nothing else like it in today's wound care market, said Nancy Morgan, RN, WOC, co-founder of the Wound Care Education Institute. </p><p>“It is easy to use and remove. The bacteria cling to the product and are removed each time the dressing is changed,&quot; Morgan noted.</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">“I think it's fantastic technology, but too few people know about it, especially in post-acute settings.&quot;</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">Available in a variety of applications and sizes, Sorbact products are embedded with dialkylcarbamoyl chloride, or DACC.</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">They rest against a wound bed, displacing water and irreversibly binding bacteria through hydrophobic interaction.</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">Essentially, DACC's fatty acids attract and hold onto other fatty acids. Think of it like oil droplets clinging to other oil droplets in water, said Amy Gray, RN, BSN, CWS, a wound care clinical leader for Essity.</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">Bacteria adhere to the dressing, and all of the bonded microbes are easily removed from the wound along with the dressing.</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">“Unlike bacteriocidal products, Sorbact doesn't kill the bacteria, thereby leaving cellular debris in the wound bed,&quot; Gray said. “With Sorbact, we catch it and remove it. It's truly a physical mode of action.&quot;</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">That means Sorbact can improve the rate of wound healing over traditional methods—by as much as 40%, according to one randomized clinical study.1</p><h2>Antimicrobial Alternative</h2><p style="text-align&#58;left;">A 2019 study published in <em>Internal Drug Resistance</em> found silver-resistant bacterial isolates in 12.6% of samples—among them <em>klebsiella, Staphylococcus,</em> and <em>E. coli.</em>2</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">Many providers have been reticent to recognize the resistance threat associated with some care products, focusing their stewardship efforts largely on prescribing practices. Swapping antimicrobial-containing dressings for a physical barrier may be an effective alternative for those looking to reduce reliance on drugs and impact patient and regulatory outcomes.</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">Sorbact also may be a tool more providers want to consider as they ramp up antimicrobial stewardship efforts.</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">Its effective, alternative mechanism—proven safe for more than two decades in Europe—may help reduce reliance on common broad-spectrum antibiotics while still providing an effective means of removing bacteria from the wound.</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">Sorbact Technology can be an effective alternative to those dressings containing antimicrobials, which may exhibit resistance to common bacteria found in the wound.</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">“Sorbact has been demonstrated to be effective, and it's priced competitively,&quot; said Tony Forsberg, RN, WCC, Essity's national clinical director. “It only makes sense that skilled nursing providers would want to try it.&quot;</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">Sorbact products are available through all national suppliers and are now supported by Tena's wound care-certified nurse advisers, who can demonstrate use and efficacy onsite.</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">An extensive product line includes pads, swabs, ribbons, hydrogel, foam and super-absorbent dressings, and more.</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">Most have a seven-day wear time but can be replaced for prolonged treatment of chronic wounds.</p><h2>Dignity on Delivery</h2><p style="text-align&#58;left;">Wound care nurses are looking for proven products that do what they say they are going to do so they can provide residents with quality care. Sorbact offers a dependable solution that works throughout the dressing's assigned wear time.</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">As fatty acids build up on the dressing, they continue to attract other fatty acids, accommodating layer upon layer of removable bacteria.</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">“You're constantly removing bacteria with each dressing change while maintaining a moist wound environment,&quot; Gray said. “It really addresses dignity issues. Staff and residents love that—and the atraumatic removal.&quot;</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">With some 15% of Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with a wound each year—and mounting pressure to reduce the incidence rate in nursing homes—it's time more providers know about alternative approaches.</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">“We need to get this information out to all the clinicians so they can use the technology to help their patients heal and make a difference in their lives,&quot; Morgan said.</p><p style="text-align&#58;left;">For more information, email <a href="mailto&#58;woundcare@essity.com" target="_blank">woundcare@essity.com</a>.</p><ol><li><p><span class="ms-rteFontSize-1">Corsi, Alessandro. Comparison of a novel non-mediated bacteria-binding dressing to silver dressings in the management of acute and chronic skin lesions. Poster presentation SAWC 2012.</span></p></li><li><p><span class="ms-rteFontSize-1">Infection and Drug Resistance,&#160;July 8, 2019, pp. 1985-2001.</span><br></p></li></ol><p><img src="/Topics/Special-Features/PublishingImages/2020/Essity1.jpg" alt="" style="margin&#58;5px;" /><br></p><p><strong>Ljungh, A., Yanagisawa, N., and Wodstrom, T. Using the principle of hydrophobic interactions to bind and remove wound bacteria. </strong><em><strong>The Journal of Wound Care</strong></em><strong>, April 2006, Vol. 15, No. 4.</strong></p>2020-11-25T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Topics/Special-Features/PublishingImages/2020/Essity2.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />CaregivingWounds are a pernicious threat in long term care, directly impacting quality of life, undermining health, and attacking the bottom line.
Automating LTC Pharmacy Spend is the Future <style> p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin:0in; line-height:115%; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Arial",sans-serif; } .MsoChpDefault { font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Arial",sans-serif; } .MsoPapDefault { line-height:115%; } div.WordSection1 { } </style> <p class="MsoNormal"><span class="ms-rteForeColor-8" lang="EN" style=""><strong style="">ADVERTORIAL</strong></span></p><p>​</p><p>Pharmacy spend is the second largest cost center for skilled nursing and long term care operators, second only to overhead.<strong> </strong></p><p>The complexity involved in calculating and reviewing monthly pharmacy bills is significant. Combined with the amount most facilities are spending on medication for Medicare Part A residents, this represents an area ripe for errors, unnecessary costs, and waste. </p><p>SRX offers a software solution that automates the review of monthly pharmacy bills, reconciles pharmacy pricing and contract discrepancies, and identifies and submits all eligible rebates. As Scott Taylor, chief executive officer explains, “Technology and automation are the only way long term care operators can fully take control of their pharmacy spend. This is a critical cost-control opportunity for any operator interested in embracing innovation and having the tools needed for competing in this industry.&quot; At SRX, this is accomplished by integrating pharmacy invoices with pricing databases (AWP/WAC), electronic health and medical records (EHRs/EMRs), pharmacy contracts, facility formularies, and more. </p><p><img src="/Topics/Special-Features/PublishingImages/2020/SRX_Advertorial_2.png" alt="2019 Pharmacy Drug Spend" class="ms-rteImage-1 ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;612px;height&#58;439px;" />By using automation to manage this process, operators can realize significant cost savings, improve rebates, and save considerable time reconciling monthly bills. </p><p>On average, SRX customers are able to achieve 11 percent in cost savings. </p><p>Those savings represent valuable dollars that operators can use to improve patient care, compensate and hire staff, and upgrade facilities. In short, SRX software improves the bottom line for long term care operators. </p><p>Properly managing drug costs requires insight and management of the following areas&#58;</p><h2>Drug Utilization</h2><p>Many operators are unaware of the significant cost savings that result from carefully considering their drug utilization. </p><p>Helen Halchuck, director of client services at SRX, explains, “An effective DUR begins with a thoughtfully designed formulary that outlines the drugs that best meet the financial and clinical needs of facilities and patient populations. Once this formulary is in place, you can integrate additional rules to help contain costs and build accountability into the relationship with your pharmacy.&quot; </p><p>Proper drug utilization planning plays a key role in managing costs and provides better therapeutic alternatives for patient conditions. SRX advisors work with facilities to assist in building out a formulary that achieves both these goals.</p><h2>Adjudication</h2><p>The sheer number of line items on a long term care pharmacy bill speaks to the heavy burden placed on administrators who are often charged with enforcing pharmacy contract terms and pricing. Some pharmacies can implement measures that prevent these rules from being broken in the first place. These “front-end&quot; adjudication options employ automation software to identify off-formulary drugs or establish quantity limits, for example, and prevent pharmacies from filling orders that violate these rules. With the right technology, alerts can also be sent to facilities, notifying clinicians when prescribing outside recommended parameters. </p><p>While front-end adjudication—or preventing unnecessary line items from ever appearing on a pharmacy bill—is considered best practice, this option is not always available. In this event, having robust reporting tools that provide reports that operators can use in recouping credits and holding pharmacies to account is the next best option. SRX reports analyze all drug claims, identify price discrepancies, prevent waste related to drug utilization, and detail transactions that need to be reconciled with the pharmacy.</p><h2>Identification of Credits, Errors</h2><p>To put some context behind the type of savings facilities and operators can expect in switching to an automated solution, SRX recently completed a case study of a 21-facility, multiregional operator with an average of 42 facility-billed (Medicare Part A) residents.</p><p>In 2019, after switching to SRX's solution, SRX identified over 18 percent in cost-saving opportunities through drug utilization improvements (formulary), contract-rate adherence, returns and credits, duplicate orders, orders filled after discharge, over-the-counter (OTC) opportunities, and orders refilled too soon. &#160;</p><p>Without accurate reporting, operators are left without the information needed to request credits that are rightfully theirs. The rate at which pricing fluctuates—combined with error potential on every bill—makes accountability and transparency a real challenge. Even when operators have good relationships with their pharmacy partners, there is a lot of room for error. Left unchecked, and without an automated solution to analyze every claim, those errors are likely to remain outstanding. </p><h2>Drug Manufacturer Rebates</h2><p>One of the easiest ways to impact the bottom line for facilities is to make sure they are correctly submitting manufacturer rebates. Due to the complexity of accurately analyzing bills and identifying rebate opportunities, many of these dollars go unrealized. SRX technology is designed to simplify this process, identify all eligible rebates, and submit them to the manufacturers so that these rebate dollars are guaranteed to be put back into facilities where they belong.</p><p>By implementing technology to manage the complexity of pharmacy spend, long term care operators have the insight required to make informed decisions and achieve greater control over this crucial aspect of operations. According to Taylor, “With all of the challenges long term care operators face, it will become increasingly critical to find the right technology partners and solutions that can add value. As one of the largest cost centers for operators, pharmacy spend represents a unique opportunity for facilities to take advantage of significant cost savings and rebates to impact their bottom line unequivocally.&quot; </p><p><em>SRX is a technology and advisory company that helps long term care operators realize the lowest net cost on pharmacy spend. We help our customers improve drug utilization, manage pharmacy relationships, reduce costs and waste, and maximize rebates. We are committed to transparency and accountability and guarantee our quarterly rebates are paid on time, every time. Contact us at 833-633-6833.</em></p><p><a href="https&#58;//srx-tech.com/#utm_source=AHCA&amp;utm_medium=advertorial&amp;utm_campaign=Automating%20LTC%20Pharmacy%20Spend" target="_blank"><em>Srx-tech.com</em></a></p><p><br></p>2020-11-23T05:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Topics/Special-Features/PublishingImages/2020/1120_SRX.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />CaregivingPharmacy spend is the second largest cost center for skilled nursing and long term care operators, second only to overhead.
Communities Celebrate National Assisted Living Week<p>Held annually since 1995 and kicking off on Grandparents Day, National Assisted Living Week (NALW) was recognized during the week of Sept. 13-19 this year.<br></p><p>This annual observance, sponsored by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), provides a unique opportunity for residents, their loved ones, staff, and volunteers to recognize the role of assisted living in caring for America’s seniors and individuals with disabilities.<br></p><p>During NALW, assisted living communities around the country are encouraged to host events and activities to celebrate the residents they serve.<br></p><h2>Caring is Essential</h2><p>Along with their sister nursing homes, assisted Living communities have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis. Despite the devastating stories of loss and social isolation many residents have experienced due to COVID-19, there are also many heartwarming stories about the dedication and compassion of staff members devoted to protecting the residents in their care. &#160;<br></p><p><img src="/Monthly-Issue/2020/November/PublishingImages/1120NALW_BerthaBunny.jpg" alt="Betty Bunny" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;255px;height&#58;255px;" />To acknowledge this commitment, NCAL announced in June that this year’s theme for NALW would be Caring is Essential. Perhaps more relevant now than in any year before, this theme highlights the role of essential caregivers in assisted living—the certified nurse assistants, nurses, food service workers, volunteers, and others—for their unwavering commitment and hard work.<br></p><h2>Honoring Residents</h2><p>While not all senior living facilities were able to celebrate the week, many communities adapted activities and found new and creative ways to honor both staff and residents during NALW. <br></p><p>Through social media posts, pictures, and videos, they shared their NALW stories. Many events were imaginative and fun, such as facemask fashion shows, tattoo and dress-up activities, fall farmer’s markets and pie-throwing contests, window visits from dairy cows to owls, and ice cream truck deliveries.<br></p><p>Other events focused on community connections such as adopt-a-grandparent programs and special messages, posters, and videos from local school children.<br></p><h2>Ingenuity Reigns</h2><p>In previous years, residents of Somerby Franklin Senior Living, Franklin, Tenn., were invited to the Moore Elementary School for a performance. As this was not possible due to COVID, teacher Amber Anderson encouraged her second-graders to create messages of love on posters to “add cheer into the residents’ hallways, rooms, and hearts.”<br></p><p>Connections were also made via community caravans and window visits, in some cases through specially constructed transparent visiting booths. One family even brought a forklift to raise family members to the residents’ windows on the second floor.<br></p><p>Perhaps the most amazing of all were the innovative “hugging devices” constructed in several facilities. These specially designed plastic curtains enabled residents to safely receive a warm embrace from their loved ones.<br></p><h2>Recognizing Staff</h2><p>Honoring assisted living staff members also took many forms during NALW, from pizza parties and cook-outs to dress-up days, dance contests, and games. The week also offered an opportunity for residents to express their appreciation for staff members through notes, cards, and videos with heartfelt messages of gratitude.<br></p><p>At Chandler Park Assisted Living, caregivers received a special video from residents thanking them for their work and proclaiming staff members “a blessing” and “an essential part of their lives.” Similar messages of thanks for essential caregivers came from administrators, local leaders, and government officials.<br></p><p>In many communities, staff members were presented with special goody bags, fun treats, prizes, t-shirts, and other tokens of appreciation.<br></p><h2>Honoring Those Lost to COVID<span><span><img src="/Monthly-Issue/2020/November/PublishingImages/1120NALW_JulieScott.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="Julie Scott, Omni West" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;350px;" /></span></span></h2><p>NALW also provided an opportunity to honor the memory of those loved and lost to COVID. A display of 2,428 pinwheels, set up in a Youngstown, Ohio, meadow, was created by staff members at Omni West Assisted Living in memory of assisted living and nursing home residents who have died from the coronavirus in Ohio. <span></span></p><p>“I wanted to honor their memory in a way that would be touching; each pinwheel represents someone’s life,” Omni West Activity Director Julie Scott says.<br></p><p>At Maple Pointe in Rockville Centre, N.Y., a special Rock Garden was created to honor community members lost to COVID. New York Assemblywoman Judy Griffin attended the unveiling of the garden and expressed her gratitude for the “compassionate, diligent, and dedicated staff who worked tirelessly during these challenging times to ensure the safety and well-being of residents,” noting that the new garden was a “beautiful way to honor each resident’s legacy and truly seemed to comfort the community in attendance.” <br></p><h2>Spirit Endures</h2><p>The week was recognized in many wonderful and deeply moving ways with the primary focus of honoring the commitment and dedication of caregiving staff and celebrating the lives of residents in their care.<br></p><p>Despite having opened its door five months into a pandemic, NALW activities at Evergreen Village in Fort Wayne, Ind., went full speed ahead. After a week of celebration,&#160; Administrator Amanda Palace noted that “…it takes a village to do just about anything these days, and the village being built here on a foundation of love, compassion, and dignity was solidified last week, and the happiness and positivity was palpable to all who helped us make it a success.” <br></p><p>To learn more or view the many ways that NALW was recognized this year, please visit #NALW, Facebook.com/#NALW, and <a href="http&#58;//nalw.org/" target="_blank">NALW.org</a>. <br><br><em>Lisa Hohenemser is marketing manager with the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living. She can be reached at <a href="mailto&#58;lhohenemser@ahca.org" target="_blank">lhohenemser@ahca.org.​</a></em></p>2020-11-01T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Monthly-Issue/2020/November/PublishingImages/1120NALW_MooreElem.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />Quality;CaregivingLisa HohenemserAcross the country, residents and staff honor each other and also have some good times.
NIC Says Senior Housing Occupancy Experiences Largest Decline on Record<p>New data from NIC MAP®&#160;Data Service (NIC MAP) provided by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing &amp; Care (NIC) show that senior housing occupancy declined 2.6 percentage points in the third quarter of 2020, from 84.7 percent to 82.1 percent.</p><p>NIC said the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on occupancy is profound, and the latest numbers mark the second quarter in a row where occupancy fell more than 2.5 percentage points, meaning the senior housing sector is now experiencing its largest drop in occupancy on record.</p><p>Assisted living and independent living facilities experienced their largest occupancy drop to date, falling 2.9 percentage points to 79.1 percent and 2.4 percentage points to 84.9 percent, respectively. Nursing care properties saw a steep decline to 76 percent occupancy in the third quarter, NIC said.</p><p>NIC MAP’s Intra-Quarterly data show that the occupancy rate for majority assisted living facilities was down 6.1 percentage points for NIC MAP’s Primary Markets since March 2020.</p><p>Independent living facilities saw a considerable increase in inventory, posting the largest gain since early 2009, NIC said.</p><p>“This reflects the relatively robust lending and development environment of 18 to 24 months ago that supported construction starts back then, and which now are completed properties entering the market,” said Chuck Harry, chief operating officer of NIC. </p><p>“Construction starts activity in the third quarter continued to be relatively weak, reflecting today’s more constrained capital markets.”</p><p>NIC said there are large disparities between occupancy rates across metro areas and properties. San Jose, Calif. (89.9 percent), San Francisco (87.0 percent), and Portland (85.5 percent) had the highest occupancy rates of the 31 metropolitan markets that encompass NIC MAP’s Primary Markets, while Houston (75.9 percent), Atlanta (77.4 percent), and Phoenix (78.6 percent) recorded the lowest. </p><p>Of note, the occupancy rate for senior housing in the Sacramento area fell 8.6 percentage points since the beginning of the pandemic to 80.6 percent in the third quarter, while the Washington, D.C., area saw a smaller 2.2 percentage point drop to 84.7 percent.</p><p>“What we’re seeing is a barbell effect, where 34 percent of senior housing properties in the NIC MAP Primary Markets reported occupancies above 90 percent in the third quarter, while 36 percent reported occupancies below 80 percent,” said NIC’s chief economist, Beth Burnham Mace. </p><p>“The operators with higher occupancy rates will be able to take on the stress of COVID-19, while those with lower occupancy rates will be more challenged.”</p><p>Read the full report at <a href="https&#58;//www.nic.org/news-press/senior-housing-occupancy-reaches-record-low-in-third-quarter/" target="_blank">https&#58;//www.nic.org/news-press/senior-housing-occupancy-reaches-record-low-in-third-quarter/</a>.</p>2020-10-16T04:00:00Z<img alt="" src="/Breaking-News/PublishingImages/740%20x%20740/housing.jpg" style="BORDER&#58;0px solid;" />CaregivingPatrick Connole​New NIC data show that senior housing occupancy declined 2.6 percentage points in the third quarter of 2020, from 84.7 percent to 82.1 percent.