Health Highlights: April 17, 2012

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The bags of salad were distributed in Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin, the AP reported.


U.S. Nursing Homes' Disaster Plans Fall Short: Report

U.S. nursing homes' plans to protect frail residents in the event of a natural disaster such as a tornado, flood or hurricane are inadequate, according to a report by federal government investigators being released Monday.

For example, federal government-mandated emergency plans often fail to list specific measures such as coordinating with local officials, notifying relatives, or pinning name tags and medication lists to residents in an evacuation, the Associated Press reported.

"We identified many of the same gaps in nursing home preparedness and response," the investigators from the inspector general's office of the Health and Human Services Department wrote. "Emergency plans lacked relevant information. ... Nursing homes faced challenges with unreliable transportation contracts, lack of collaboration with local emergency management, and residents who developed health problems."

The investigators said Medicare and Medicaid should add specific emergency planning and training steps to the existing requirement that nursing homes have a disaster plan, the AP reported.


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