Back In Stock Blowout $1.99 New Stylus Pro

To Your Health,
Randy Kelley
Owner-Agent
License#6553301

Kelley Insurance
Home Page
www.123insurME.com
Email: Info

Toll Free. (855) 664-2771
Toll Free Fax. (866) 436-7420
Prayer for Decisions
The Serenity prayer
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
Amen

The information contained in this email message is confidential under federal law, and is intended only for the use of the individual or Entity named above. If the reader or recipient of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this confidential information is prohibited by federal law. If you have received this communication in error, immediately notify Kelley Insurance at the above number, and return all information that accompanies it to Kelley Insurance to the address given above.

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Deal of The Week

Life & Death in Assisted Living: The Emerald City | Life and Death in Assisted Living | FRONTLINE | PBS

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/social-issues/life-and-death-in-assisted-living/the-emerald-city/

Life & Death in Assisted Living: The Emerald City | Life and Death in Assisted Living | FRONTLINE | PBS

As more and more elderly Americans choose to spend their later years in assisted living facilities, FRONTLINE and ProPublica examine whether this loosely regulated, multi-billion dollar industry is putting seniors at risk? Our film, “Life and Death in Assisted Living” airs on PBS Tuesday night at 10 pm (check local listings).

Joan Boice needed help. Lots of it. Her physician had tallied the damage: Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, pain from a compression fracture of the spine. For Joan, an 81-year-old former schoolteacher, simply getting from her couch to the bathroom required the aid of a walker or wheelchair.

Joan’s family was forced to do the kind of hard reckoning that so many American families must do these days. It was clear that Joan could no longer live at home. Her husband, Myron, simply didn’t have the stamina to provide the constant care and supervision she needed. And moving in with any of their three children wasn’t an option.

The Alzheimer’s, of course, was the worst. The disease had gradually left Joan unable to dress, eat or bathe without assistance. It had destroyed much of the complex cerebral circuitry necessary for forming words. It was stealing her voice.

These were the circumstances that eventually led the Boice family to Emeritus at Emerald Hills, a sprawling, three-story assisted living facility off Highway 49 in Auburn, Calif. The handsome 110-bed complex was painted in shades of deep green and cream, reflecting its location on the western fringe of the craggy, coniferous Sierra Nevada mountain range. It was owned by the Emeritus Corp., a Seattle-based chain that was on its way to becoming the nation’s largest assisted living company, with some 500 facilities stretching across 45 states.

Emeritus at Emerald Hills promised state-of-the art care for Joan’s advancing dementia. Specially trained members of the staff would create an individual plan for Joan based on her life history. They would monitor her health, engage her in an array of physically and mentally stimulating activities, and pass out her 11 prescription medications, which included morphine (for pain) and the anti-psychotic drug Seroquel (given in hopes of curbing some of the symptoms of her Alzheimer’s). She would live in the “memory care” unit, a space designed specifically to keep people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia safe.

At Emerald Hills, the setting was more like an apartment complex than a traditional nursing home. It didn’t feel cold or clinical or sterile. Myron could move in as well, renting his own apartment on the other side of the building; after more than 50 years of marriage, the couple could remain together.

Sure, the place was expensive — the couple would be paying $7,125 per month — but it seemed ideal.

During a tour, a salesperson gave Myron and his two sons, Eric and Mark, a brochure. “Just because she’s confused at times,” the brochure reassured them, “doesn’t mean she has to lose her independence.”

Here are a few things the brochure didn’t mention:

Just months earlier, Emeritus supervisors had audited the operations of the memory care unit where Joan would be living. It had been found wanting in almost every important regard. In truth, those “specially trained” staffers hadn’t actually been trained to care for people with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, a violation of California law.

The facility relied on a single nurse to track the health of its scores of residents, and the few licensed medical professionals who worked there tended not to last long. During the three years prior to Joan’s arrival, Emerald Hills had cycled through three nurses and was now employing its fourth. At least one of those nurses was alarmed by what she saw, telling top Emeritus executives — in writing — that Emerald Hills suffered from “a huge shortage of staff” and was mired in “total dysfunction.”

emerald hills brochure

During some stretches, the facility went months without a full-time nurse on the payroll.

The paucity of workers led to neglect, according to a nurse who oversaw the facility before resigning in disgust. Calls for help went unanswered. Residents suffering from incontinence were left soaking in their own urine. One woman, addled by dementia, was allowed to urinate in the same spot in the hallway of the memory care wing over and over and over.

The brochure also made no mention of the company’s problems at its other facilities. State inspectors for years had cited Emeritus facilities across California, faulting them for failing to employ enough staff members or adequately train them, as well as for other basic shortcomings.

Emeritus officials have described any shortcomings as isolated, and insist that any problems that arise are promptly addressed. They cite the company’s growing popularity as evidence of consumer satisfaction. They say that 90 percent of people who take up residence in assisted living facilities across the country report being pleased with the experience.

Certainly, the Boice family, unaware of the true troubles at Emerald Hills, was set to be reassured.

“We were all impressed,” recalled Eric Boice, Joan’s son. “The first impression we had was very positive.”

And so on Sept. 12, 2008, Joan Boice moved into Room 101 at Emerald Hills. She would be sharing the room with another elderly woman. After a succession of tough years, it was a day of great optimism.

Measuring the dimensions of his mother’s new apartment, Eric Boice sought to recreate the feel of her bedroom back home. He arranged the furniture just as it had been. He hung her favorite pictures in the same spots on the wall. On her dresser, he set out her mirror and jewelry box and hairbrush.

Joan, 5-foot-2 and shrinking, had short snow-and-steel hair and wintry gray-blue eyes. Eric looked into those eyes that day at Emerald Hills. He thinks he might have seen a flicker of fear. Or maybe it was just confusion, his mom still uncertain where, exactly, she was.

The Emeritus Corp., the assisted living corporation now entrusted with Joan’s life, sat atop an exploding industry.

Two decades earlier, Keren Brown Wilson had opened the nation’s first licensed assisted living facility in Canby, Ore., a small town outside of Portland. Wilson was inspired by tragedy: A massive stroke had paralyzed her mother at the age of 55, forcing her into a nursing home, where she was miserable, spending the bulk of her days confined to a hospital bed.

Wilson aimed to create an alternative to nursing homes. She envisioned comfortable, apartment building-style facilities that would allow sick and fragile seniors to maintain as much personal autonomy as possible.

“I wanted a place where people could lock the door,” Wilson explained. “I wanted a place where they could bring their belongings. I wanted a place where they could go to bed when they wanted to. I wanted a place where they could eat what they wanted.”

These “assisted living” facilities would offer housing, meals and care to people who could no longer live on their own but didn’t need intensive, around-the-clock medical attention. The people living in these places would be called “residents” — not patients.

It took Wilson nine years to persuade Oregon legislators to rewrite the state’s laws, a crucial step toward establishing this new type of facility. After that, states across the country began adopting the “Oregon model.”

But what began as a reform movement quickly morphed into a lucrative industry. One of the early entrants was Emeritus, which got into the assisted living business in 1993, opening a single facility in Renton, Wash. The company’s leader, Daniel Baty, had his eyes on something much grander: He was, he declared, aiming to create a nationwide chain of assisted living facilities.

Emerald Hills suffered from a huge shortage of staff and was mired in total dysfunction.

Two years later, Baty took the corporation public, selling shares of Emeritus on the American Stock Exchange, and piling up the cash necessary to vastly enlarge the company’s footprint. Many of Emeritus’s competitors followed the same path.

The company’s rapid growth was, at least in part, a reflection of two significant developments. Americans were living longer, with the number of those in the 65-plus age bracket ballooning further every year. And this growing population of older Americans was willing to spend serious money, often willing to drain their bank accounts completely to preserve some semblance of independence and dignity — in short, something of their former lives.

As the assisted living business flourished, the federal government, which oversees nursing homes, left the regulation of the new industry to the states, which were often unprepared for this torrent of expansion and development. Many states didn’t develop comprehensive regulations for assisted living, choosing instead to simply tweak existing laws governing boarding homes.

In this suddenly booming, but haphazardly regulated industry, no company expanded more aggressively than Emeritus. By 2006, it was operating more than 200 facilities in 35 states. The corporation’s strategy included buying up smaller chains, many of them distressed and financially troubled, with plans to turn them around.

Wall Street liked the model. Market analysts touted the virtues of the company and its stock price floated skyward. One of the corporation’s appeals was that its revenues flowed largely from private bank accounts; unlike hospitals or nursing homes, Emeritus wasn’t reliant on payments from the government insurance programs Medicare or Medicaid, whose reimbursement rates can be capped. As the company noted in its 2006 annual report, nearly 90 percent of its revenues came from “private pay residents.”

In filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission and in conference calls with investors, Emeritus highlighted many things: occupancy rates; increasing revenue; a constant stream of complex real estate deals and acquisitions; the favorable demographic trends of an aging America.

The target market for our services is generally persons 75 years and older who represent the fastest growing segments of the U.S. population,” Emeritus stated in a 2007 report filed with the SEC.

Today, the assisted living industry rivals the scale of the nursing home business, housing nearly three-quarters of a million people in more than 31,000 assisted living facilities, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Keren Brown Wilson, the early and earnest pioneer of assisted living, is happy that ailing seniors across the country now have the chance to spend their final years in assisted living facilities, rather than nursing homes. But in her view, the rise of assisted living corporations — with their pursuit of investment capital and their need to please shareholders — swept in “a whole new wave of people” more focused on “deals and mergers and acquisitions” than caring for the elderly.

She speaks from experience. After her modest start, Wilson went on to lead a company called Assisted Living Concepts, and took it onto the stock market. Wilson left the company in 2001, and it has encountered a raft of regulatory and financial problems over the last decade.

“I still have a lot of fervor,” said Wilson, who now runs a nonprofit foundation and teaches at Portland State University. “I believe passionately in what assisted living can do. And I’ve seen what it can do. But for some of the people, it’s just another job, or another business. It’s not a passion.”

Joan Boice, born Joan Elizabeth Wayne, grew up in Monmouth, Ill. It was a tiny farm belt community, not far from the Iowa border. Her father, a fixture in the local agriculture trade, owned a trio of riverfront grain elevators on the Mississippi and a fleet of barges. As a teenager, she spent her summers trudging through the fields, de-tasseling corn.

In 1952, accompanied by a friend, Joan packed up a car and followed the highway as far west as it would go. Then in her early 20s, she was propelled by little more than the notion that a different life awaited her in California. In a black-and-white snapshot taken shortly after she arrived, Joan is smiling, a luxuriant sweep of dark hair framing her pale face, gray waves curling in the background. It was the first time she’d seen the Pacific.

Joan had been a teacher for two years in Illinois, and she quickly found a job at an elementary school in Hayward, a suburb of San Francisco. In certain regards, her outlook presaged the progressive social movements that were to remake the country during the next two decades. She viewed education as a “great equalizing force” that could help to remake a society far too stratified by class, race and gender.

“She was just free-spirited and confident,” Eric, her son, said.

Joan met Myron Boice through a singles group at a Presbyterian church in Berkeley. On their wedding day, Joan flouted convention by showing up in a blue dress. The Boice children came along fairly quickly: Nancee, then Mark, then Eric.

Joan Boice

Courtesy of the Boice Family

Myron Boice was a dreamer. A chronic entrepreneur. He sold tools from a van. He made plans to open restaurants. He had one idea after another. Some worked; others didn’t.

Joan’s passion for education never dissipated. Even in her late 60s, she continued to work as a substitute teacher in public schools. After retirement, she began volunteering with a childhood literacy program.

But age eventually tightened its grip, and hints of a mental decline began surfacing around 2005. Eric grew worried when she couldn’t figure out how to turn on her computer twice in the span of a few months. Then she forgot to include a key ingredient while baking a batch of Christmas cookies. The cookies were inedible.

The elderly couple was still living in the San Francisco suburbs, when, in late 2006, a doctor diagnosed Joan with Alzheimer’s. As her mind deteriorated, Myron struggled to meet her needs. The situation was worsened by the fact that none of the children lived nearby. Mark was in Ohio. Nancee was about an hour away in Santa Cruz. And Eric and his wife, Kathleen, were roughly two hours away in the foothills of the Sierra.

“We offered my parents to come and live with us,” Eric recalled. But Myron said no. He and Joan wouldn’t move in with any of the kids. The family patriarch refused to become a burden.

A physician encouraged Joan and Myron to consider assisted living. It made sense. And so Myron sold their home in 2007 and the couple moved into a facility called The Palms, near Sacramento. The move put them approximately 40 minutes away from Eric and Kathleen.

“They were very attentive to every single thing she needed,” Kathleen Boice said of the staff at The Palms. “They actually re-taught her to eat with a fork and a knife.”

By 2008, however, Myron wanted a change. He wanted to be closer to his son and daughter-in-law and grandkids. He wanted different meals, a new environment. Myron began hunting for a new place to live, a search that led to Emeritus at Emerald Hills in Auburn.

Emeritus opened the Emerald Hills complex in 1998. It was, in many ways, a classic Emeritus facility, situated in a middle-class locale that was neither impoverished nor especially affluent. It was a sizable property, capable of housing more than 100 people.

In part because of its appetite for expansion, Emeritus was in the early stages of what proved to be a period of enormous stress. In 2007, the company had made its biggest acquisition to date, buying Summerville Senior Living Inc., a California-based chain with 81 facilities scattered across 13 states.

The purchase — which expanded Emeritus’s size by roughly one-third — helped the company make another major leap, bouncing from the low-profile American Stock Exchange into the big leagues of commerce, the New York Stock Exchange. News of the Summerville deal propelled the company’s stock to a new high. Emeritus was poised to become the nation’s No. 1 assisted living chain.

But the timing for this bold move turned out to be wretched. The real estate market was freezing up, and it would soon collapse, plunging the nation into an epochal recession. For Emeritus, the economic slowdown and then the housing crash posed direct challenges. Its services didn’t come cheap, so many people needed to sell their homes before they could afford to move into the company’s facilities. With the real estate market calcified, Emeritus’s customer pool shrank.

“Our stock price plummeted,” recalled Granger Cobb, Emeritus’s chief executive officer, who joined the company as part of the Summerville deal. The company’s occupancy rates had been trending skywards. Now they went flat.

At Emerald Hills, the economic slowdown that summer was making life tough for Melissa Gratiot, the lead sales agent.

“It was way harder to move residents in,” she remembered.

But there was some good news. She was close to a significant sale, this one to a couple. Gratiot worked the pitch. She talked with the family. She emailed. She gave them a tour of the facility’s memory care unit, called The Emerald City. She told the family she’d received approval from higher ups to offer the family “a phenomenal deal.”

Gratiot closed the sale. On Aug. 29, 2008, Myron and Eric signed the contract, and the family opened its wallet: A $2,500 initial move-in fee; $4,625 for Joan’s first month in Room 101; another $2,500 for Myron.

There had been one oversight, though. No one at Emeritus with any medical training had ever even met Joan, much less determined whether Emerald Hills could safely care for her.

To Your Health,
Randy Kelley
Owner-Agent
License#6553301

Kelley Insurance
Home Page
www.123insurME.com
Email: Info

Toll Free. (855) 664-2771
Toll Free Fax. (866) 436-7420
Prayer for Decisions
The Serenity prayer
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
Amen

The information contained in this email message is confidential under federal law, and is intended only for the use of the individual or Entity named above. If the reader or recipient of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this confidential information is prohibited by federal law. If you have received this communication in error, immediately notify Kelley Insurance at the above number, and return all information that accompanies it to Kelley Insurance to the address given above.

People For Quality Care July News letter

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People for Quality Care:
Protecting Access to Quality Medical Equipment and Service
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In This Issue
Hundreds of Beneficiary Calls – Let Their Voices Be Heard…
Do You Have a Complaint?…
More Beneficiary Stories…
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What is the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program?

July 2013 Newsletter
Hundreds of Beneficiary Calls – Let Their Voices Be Heard
Beneficiaries, caregivers and health care professionals from around the country are calling our Complaint Hotline to discuss the issues they are experiencing as a result of the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program. We have fielded more than 900 calls, which have resulted in more than 400 complaints that are categorized and sent to Congress and Medicare Ombudsmen every two weeks. Despite the multiple complaints we receive daily, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services still reports only 30 complaints since July 1.

The most frequent complaint heard by staffers (141 of 409 complaints as of July 14) is general disgust over the need to change providers. We think it’s important to elaborate on this topic and include it as a valid complaint and here’s why.

It’s common that those who call in are extremely frustrated by the process of calling multiple providers for multiple medical equipment needs. They feel it is an undeserved inconvenience that is difficult to accomplish because of age, lack of understanding of technology and poor understanding of the process. Most callers mention that they started working at a very young age and paid into the Social Security system for too many years to be treated in this way. They feel they are being disrespected, and many times repeated the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Senior citizens (and people with disabilities) have expressed such great emotion and frustration for the Medicare Competitive Bidding Program that we feel it disrespectful and disingenuous to not include these records as complaints. This is why it’s important that their voices are heard by policymakers, both appointed and elected.

Take a look our current complaint tally and a few brief summaries below.

(Click images below to read full-size.)

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Do You Have a Complaint?
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The most powerful weapon in the fight against the recent changes to home medical equipment policies for Medicare beneficiaries is you.

Are you a Medicare beneficiary, caregiver or medical professional who works with senior citizens or people with disabilities? Do you have a Medicare complaint that needs to be heard?

The Medicare Complaint Hotline was created so you can share your concerns and complaints with Congress and important Medicare officials. Our Medicare complaint reports will be sent biweekly to those officials who have the power to amend the program and return choice and access to better equipment and service to those who need it most.

Elected officials continue to ask how beneficiaries feel about the new Medicare program, and this is our way of providing them with this important information. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services claim that few complaints have been made, but our countless conversations with beneficiaries show otherwise.

With your permission, we will share your Medicare complaint with Congress and patch your call to the congressional switchboard where you can tell your congressional staff members just how you feel. If you’d rather make a complaint without connecting to the switchboard, we welcome those calls as well.

If you have a Medicare complaint, please call the Medicare Complaint Hotline at 800-404-8702 today and make your voice heard.

Resources for You
Do you want to get friends, family, colleagues or patients involved? Here are a couple of resources to help you.

  1. Print, cut and distribute our beth.cox with the quantity you need and your address.
We welcome your questions and comments. We would love to hear stories of how these changes in health care have impacted you or a loved one. We will be sending a newsletter like this every month as we continue to fight for the rights of health care equipment users everywhere.

Sincerely,

Kelly Turner

Director of Advocacy

People for Quality Care

www.peopleforqualitycare.org

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To Your Health,
Randy Kelley
Owner-Agent
License#6553301

Kelley Insurance
Home Page
www.123insurME.com
Email: Info

Toll Free. (855) 664-2771
Toll Free Fax. (866) 436-7420
Prayer for Decisions
The Serenity prayer
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
Amen

The information contained in this email message is confidential under federal law, and is intended only for the use of the individual or Entity named above. If the reader or recipient of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this confidential information is prohibited by federal law. If you have received this communication in error, immediately notify Kelley Insurance at the above number, and return all information that accompanies it to Kelley Insurance to the address given above.

House to weigh legislation to limit surveillance programs | Fox News

House to weigh legislation to limit surveillance programs

Published July 23, 2013

FoxNews.com

  • nsameade12.jpg
    June 6, 2013: In this file photo National Security Agency plaques are seen at the compound at Fort Meade, Md. (AP)

The House will consider legislation that would cut off funds for the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs and impose limits on its operations.

The Rules Committee voted late Monday to allow the NSA amendments to the $598.3 billion defense bill to be voted on after the House begins consideration of the sweeping measure on Tuesday.

One amendment would bar the NSA from collecting records, including telephone call records, unless the individual is the subject of an ongoing investigation.

Another amendment prohibits funds to the NSA to target a U.S. individual or acquire and store the content of that person’s communications, including phone calls and emails.

Tea Party conservatives and liberal Democrats had pushed to include the amendments. Republicans leaders had raised concerns about any attempt to undercut anti-terrorism efforts.

The White House in June threatened to veto the House version of the bill, arguing that the legislation rejects the Pentagon’s cost-saving efforts to close domestic military bases and raise enrollment fees for health care.

Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., who sponsored the amendment that limits the government’s ability to collect information on Americans who are not connected to an investigation thanked House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, for allowing open debate on the amendments.

“I want to thank Speaker Boehner for working diligently toward resolving significant concerns over the amendment process with respect to ‪#‎NSA,” Amash said in a Facebook post.

Amash said his measure would allow the NSA to collect data and records, but only if the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said in a statement that the collection of data pertains to an individual under investigation. Otherwise, the NSA would lose its funding.

Former NSA systems analyst Edward Snowden leaked documents last month that revealed that the NSA had collected phone records, while a second NSA program forced major Internet companies to turn over contents of communications to the government.

Leaders in Congress, such as Boehner and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., have strongly defended the programs, but libertarian lawmakers and liberals have expressed serious concerns about the government’s surveillance in a fierce debate over privacy and national security.

The Rules Committee also voted to allow amendments dealing with the use of funds for Syria and Egypt and the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

On Syria, the House will vote on a proposal from Florida Republican Rep. Trey Radel, who is seeking to block funding for military operations in Syria inconsistent with the War Powers Resolution.

The United States has been providing humanitarian assistance to the opposition seeking to overthrow the Assad government. The administration has recently taken steps to arm rebels with weapons and ammunition, a move welcomed by some in Congress but troubling to other lawmakers.

The House will also consider an amendment introduced by Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Amash that prohibits the use of funding for military or paramilitary operations in Egypt.

On Guantanamo Bay, members will vote on a proposal by Reps. Jim Moran, D-Va, and Adam Smith, D-Wash., that would permit the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the United States or elsewhere.

A similar measure introduced by Smith allowing the transfer of detainees was rejected last month by the House Armed Services Committee.

The Associated Press and Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

To Your Health,
Randy Kelley
Owner-Agent
License#6553301

Kelley Insurance
Home Page
www.123insurME.com
Email: Info

Toll Free. (855) 664-2771
Toll Free Fax. (866) 436-7420
Prayer for Decisions
The Serenity prayer
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can, And the wisdom to know the difference.
Amen

The information contained in this email message is confidential under federal law, and is intended only for the use of the individual or Entity named above. If the reader or recipient of this message is not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution or copying of this confidential information is prohibited by federal law. If you have received this communication in error, immediately notify Kelley Insurance at the above number, and return all information that accompanies it to Kelley Insurance to the address given above.