Regional Digest

• A former home health nurse pleaded guilty to fraudulently selling a 94-year-old woman’s home by forging legal documents. The woman told an Albany, NY, judge that she did it without the elderly woman’s knowledge, then pocketed part of the proceeds. Authorities say the nurse drained nearly $700,000 from the estate, reported the Times Union in Albany. She faces six to 20 years in prison and will probably lose her license.

• The Iowa Department of Human ServicesDivision of Medical Services has decided to not put limits on the number of hours it will pay for home health services for disabled children, reported the Des Moines Register. In early June, the department sent notices to 400 Iowa families that it was reducing the number of hours it would pay for the services. About 80 of those families protested and were featured on the front page of the newspaper a few weeks ago.

• Chicken Soup Plus, a home care provider in Sacramento, CA, is turning clients away because it does not have enough skilled and unskilled nurses to meet the demand. And the problem will only get worse, reported the Sacramento Bee. In 20 years, there will be about 2.6 million more retirees in California than there are today.

• Mercy Health Services (Farmington Hills, MI) is merging with Holy Cross Health System in Indiana to create one of the largest Catholic healthcare systems in the country, reported the Detroit News. When combined, the company will have $4 billion in revenue, operate 52 hospitals nationally, operate 30 home health offices, and employ more than 11,000 people in southeast Michigan. The system will focus on delivering quality and cost-effective services to communities with larger pockets of the poor and underserved. The two systems said they will choose a headquarters and a management team by January.