• The Sorrow of Suicide – National Institute of Health

    Wednesday July 11, 2012

    Suicide is tragic. It cuts a life short, and it devastates the family, friends and loved ones left behind. Those who survive a suicide attempt might end up with severe disability or other injuries. The children of people who die by suicide are more likely to later die by suicide themselves. With such extreme consequences, why would anyone make the dire decision to choose death over life?

    That's a question scientists have been struggling to answer for decades. "When you're in a suicidal state, you're kind of closing down your options. You see it as the only solution. You're not really able to entertain other ideas," says Dr. Jane Pearson, who heads a suicide research consortium at NIH. "What's the science behind that? What's happening in the brain that leads people to think so dysfunctionally?"

     Recognizing those at risk is essential. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death nationwide, and it's the 3rd leading cause of death among adolescents. Nearly 37,000 Americans died by suicide in 2009, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than half of those deaths were from firearms.

    People of all genders, ages and ethnicities are at risk for suicide. Women are more likely than men to attempt suicide, but men are more likely to die by suicide. That's because men often choose deadlier methods, such as firearms or suffocation.

    "The highest risk groups are older men," says Pearson. "In fact, white men who are 85 and older have a rate of suicide that's 4 times the national average."

    To read the entire NIH report in this attachment.

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  • QAPI CMS Survey and Certification Letter – June 2012

    Monday July 9, 2012

    Memorandum Summary

    • Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) Activities:  Section 6102(c) of the Affordable Care Act mandates the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to establish standards and provide technical assistance to nursing homes on the development of best practices relating to QAPI. The CMS put forth several initiatives to implement these provisions that include:
    • Refinement of QAPI Tools and Resources:  Ongoing development of QAPI tools and resources that nursing homes may use to design and implement an effective QAPI program.
    • Launch of a QAPI Demonstration:  Demonstration project in 17 nursing homes in 4 States to test tools and resources and provide technical assistance to nursing homes in QAPI implementation.
    • Rollout of QAPI materials:  CMS will release materials later this calendar year that will support nursing homes in QAPI implementation.
    • Draft of the QAPI Regulation:  CMS is in the process of drafting a new QAPI regulation.
    • Launch of the Nursing Home Quality Improvement Questionnaire:  The CMS has launched a nursing home quality improvement questionnaire using an independent contractor. The data collection period is from June 25 through September 28, 2012.
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  • Nursing Facility Assessments and Care Plans for Residents Receiving Atypical Antipsychotics Drugs

    Tuesday July 24, 2012

    This study used a random sample of records from a previous Office of Inspector General (OIG) study of elderly nursing facility residents with Medicare claims for atypical antipsychotic drugs between January and June 2007. They reviewed the records for evidence of compliance with Federal requirements for resident assessments and documentation of decision-making. They also reviewed the records for evidence of compliance with Federal requirements for care plan development and implementation.

    Nearly all records reviewed (99 percent) failed to meet one or more Federal requirements for resident assessments and/or care plans. The resident assessment and care plan process involves four steps. One-third of records reviewed did not contain evidence of compliance with Federal requirements regarding resident assessments, the first step. Further, for 4 percent of records, nursing facility staff did not document consideration of the Resident Assessment Protocol for psychotropic drug use as required, the second step. Ninety-nine percent of records did not contain evidence of compliance with Federal requirements for care plan development, the third step. Finally, 18 percent of records reviewed did not contain evidence to indicate that planned interventions for antipsychotic drug use-the fourth step-actually occurred.

    Please read the following attachments for more details and CMS response to the report.

    OIG Report Care Plans for Residents Receiving Atypical Anitpsychotic Drugs

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