How Skilled Nursing Can Ride Out a Wave of Bad Press

For some, any press is good press. But this phrase isn’t true for the skilled nursing and senior care space, which is facing a wave of negative media attention — including a damning article in Time Magazine that brought to light major concerns of abusive behavior toward residents and binding arbitration contracts that left some […]

CMS Rolls Out New Bundled Payment Model

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Tuesday introduced a new alternative payment model, the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced). The model, coming out of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, is a voluntary bundled payment program that enables participants to earn additional payments for a beneficiary’s episode of care if quality is maintained […]

Kindred, About to Complete SNF Exit, Sold to Humana for $4.1B

Kindred Healthcare (NYSE: KND) on Tuesday announced a definitive agreement to be acquired by a group of three companies — TPG Capital; Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe (WCAS); and Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) — for approximately $4.1 billion in cash. The deal had been rumored over the weekend after the Wall Street Journal reported Kindred, […]

CMS Takes Steps to Improve Medicaid

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced several ways it plans to improve the Medicaid program — including new proposals for reforms and fewer regulatory burdens, increased efficiency, and more transparency and accountability, according to CMS Administrator Seema Verma.  “Our vision for the future of Medicaid is to reset the federal-state relationship and […]

Nursing Home Spending Grew 5.1% in 2017

Nursing care spending is on the rise, according to the latest data from the Altarum Institute’s Center for Sustainable Health Spending. National health spending reached $3.51 trillion in August 2017, 4.3% higher than spending in the same month in 2016, according to Center for Sustainable Health Spending from the Altarum Institute, a nonprofit health systems research and […]

SNFs Hit by Maria Are Granted Reporting Exceptions

SNFs affected by Hurricane Maria are getting some relief in their reporting duties from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency announced.  Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands on September 20 and had a devastating impact, cutting all power to Puerto Rico. CMS is granting exceptions for certain quality […]

CMS Proposal for Same-Sex Spousal Rights Withdrawn

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has withdrawn a proposed rule to extend spousal rights to same-sex married couples. The rule is no longer needed, as same-sex marriage became legal and recognized in all 50 states since it was proposed, the agency stated in its reasoning.  The rule was proposed in December 2014 as part […]

SNFs Affected by Irma Granted Quality Reporting Exceptions

Skilled nursing providers affected by Hurricane Irma are getting some relief. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has granted exceptions for some quality reporting for providers in affected areas. Hurricane Irma, which battered the state of Florida in early September prompted an unprecedented number of evacuations from SNFs. The storm came within just […]

Last-Ditch Obamacare Repeal Could See a Vote Next Week

After failing to pass health care reform earlier this year, Senate Republicans are at it again with a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The attempt has been dubbed “Zombie Trumpcare” as the effort to pass health care reform is back from the dead — and skilled nursing interest groups do not […]

Common Ownership of SNFs, Hospitals on the Rise Among Investors

Over the past decade, the behind-the-scenes relationship between hospitals and skilled nursing facilities has warmed through more common investors, and researchers from Harvard University are raising questions about competition and antitrust regulations. The percentage of acute care hospitals having common investor ties to the post-acute or hospice sectors increased from 24.6% in 2005 to 48.9% in […]

SNFs Could Benefit Under Bundled Payment Changes

Skilled nursing facilities are in for a short-term reprieve if a proposal to reduce some bundled payments by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is finalized, according to a recent Fitch Ratings report. CMS proposed reducing some bundled payment models and canceling mandatory programs yet to be implemented. The move, while largely unsurprising given the current […]

ACOs Saved $1 Billion, Reduced SNF Spending

With three years of data for accountable care organizations (ACOs), the shared savings program from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has demonstrated the potential to cut down on care costs. And the savings are frequently coming from skilled nursing facility (SNF) care, according to a recent report from the Office of Inspector General […]

How Community Workers Can Coordinate SNF Care, Improve Outcomes

When a patient moves through the health care continuum, they can sometimes fall into certain gaps and miss out on services that would otherwise be beneficial. While the system continues to strive for better care coordination centered on the patient, there is one emerging role that can ease transitions and better serve patients — the […]

America’s Best Places to Retire May Lure Seniors from SNFs

Retiring seniors may choose to relocate depending on the cost of living — and cost of care. Financial website WalletHub measured 40 key metrics in the 150 most populated U.S. cities across four dimensions — affordability, activities, quality of life and health care — to find which places were the best and worst for retirement. […]

Hospitals Provide Too Little Guidance in SNF Selection

Getting on a preferred provider list with a hospital as a skilled nursing partner is no easy feat, as it can require proving high-quality clinical outcomes. However, information about provider quality often never makes it to a patient who is discharged from a hospital, according to a recent study. This leaves the patient with a list […]

CMS Rolls Out State-by-State Skilled Nursing Stats

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released updated market saturation data, revealing the number of skilled nursing providers and fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries in each state. Texas, California, and Ohio had the highest number of providers, according to the data set period between October 2015 through September 2016. California and Texas lost some […]

No Medicaid Relief for SNFs in Amended Health Care Bill

Skilled nursing operators looking for relief in Senate Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) won’t find it in the latest version, released Thursday. Several major amendments have been made to the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA or Better Care), but the new draft bill still contains deep cuts to Medicaid funding over the next […]

Skilled Nursing Providers Team With Home Health For Better Outcomes

Skilled nursing facilities may want to ensure they have strong relationships with home health care partners, as a recent study finds home health care visits play a significant role in reducing readmissions after a SNF discharge. The study, “Transitions From Skilled Nursing Facility to Home: The Relationship of Early Outpatient Care to Hospital Readmission,” found […]

Illinois Must Pay $586 Million in Medicaid Per Month

Illinois has been ordered by a U.S. judge to pay its Medicaid bills — to the tune of more than half a billion dollars per month. Illinois must pay a staggering $586 million per month to Medicaid providers to ensure continued care for beneficiaries, a U.S. judge ruled on June 30. The ruling comes after […]