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A Modest Raise for Nursing Home Workers Could Save 15,000 Lives

According to new research, raising the minimum wage by as little as 10 percent would significantly improve the safety and health of nursing home residents. A visiting scholar at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, Krista Ruffini recently published her findings on the impact of increasing the minimum wage on nursing home quality and turnover. She compared facilities in hundreds of U.S. counties that increased their minimum wage between 1990 to 2017 with those that had not. In this article, we will summarize Ruffini’s findings and shed light on the suggested implications for nursing home residents.

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Medicare Launches Hospice Compare Website

Nurse consoling patient

Medicare launched its new Hospice Compare website last year in an effort to help patients find and evaluate hospice providers.

The only problem, medical experts say, is that the site may not be all that helpful.

Medicare covers any reasonable care that helps ease the course of a terminal illness through its comprehensive hospice benefit. In August, the agency launched the new website, aimed at improving transparency and giving patients more access to care.

The site provides information on how hospices handle treatment preferences and patient beliefs and values. It also tells patients how facilities assess and treat things like pain, shortness of breath.

But Hospice Compare, run by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) may not be that useful, argue a group of medical professionals in a recent paper published in Health Affairs.

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Medicare’s Part B Premium Will Be Unchanged in 2018, But Many Will Pay More. Got That?

medicare part b premium 2018

When it comes to the 2018 Medicare premium, there’s good news and bad news.

The good news? The standard monthly Part B premium, which is what roughly 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries pay, will stay at 2017’s rate of $134 next year.

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Four Legal Steps to Take After an Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

Consult with an elder law attorney after Alzheimer's diagnosis

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it is important to start planning immediately. There are several essential documents to help you once you become incapacitated, but if you don’t already have them in place you need to act quickly after a diagnosis. Consulting with an elder law attorney is an essential part of this process.

Having dementia does not mean that an individual is not mentally capable to make planning decisions.  Simply having a form of mental illness or disease does not mean that you automatically lack the required mental capacity. As long as you have periods of lucidity, you may still be competent to sign planning documents.

Here are some essential documents for a person diagnosed with dementia:

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