‘Completely Predictable’ Link Emerges Between College COVID-19 Outbreaks, Nursing Home Deaths

A preliminary study has found evidence of a link between COVID-19 cases at colleges and eventual outbreaks at nearby nursing homes, adding to mounting research showing the direct impact that community spread can have on vulnerable populations. Researchers tracked two specific strains of the novel coronavirus as they spread through the town of La Crosse, […]

SNN Survey: Most Providers Will Survive into 2021, But Capital Providers Remain Worried About Census

A recent Skilled Nursing News survey of nursing home operators found cautious optimism about the near-term future of the space, with a majority seeing a clear path to the future even without additional government support. At the same time, operators have largely been pouring that federal largesse — including CARES Act grants, Payroll Protection Program […]

Cold Storage, Medicaid Coverage: Inside the Walgreens, CVS Vaccination Deal for Nursing Homes

The federal government last week tapped a pair of retail pharmacy giants to distribute an eventual COVID-19 vaccine to nursing home residents across the country, and while there remain significant questions about the logistics of distributing an as-yet-unapproved vaccine, officials have continued to position the plan as the only workable solution to a massive public […]

Despite COVID Revenue Hit, Omnicare’s President Sees Stronger Future for Long-Term Care Pharmacies

James Love took the top post at one of the nation’s leading long-term care pharmacies in perhaps the most crucial and consequential month in the entire history of the sector: April 2020. In the six months since, the Omnicare president has had to navigate a post-acute and long-term care landscape forever changed by COVID-19, while […]

HHS Inks Deal with CVS, Walgreens to Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines to Nursing Homes [UPDATED]

Retail pharmacy heavyweights Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) and CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) have entered into agreements with the federal government to distribute the eventual COVID-19 vaccine to nursing home residents at no cost, President Trump and multiple government agencies announced on Friday. “Today, I’m thrilled to announce that we have just finalized a partnership […]

CMS to Relax Medicare Billing Rules to Speed COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution in Nursing Homes

The federal government on Friday announced its intention to relax restrictions around billing Medicare for immunization in nursing homes, with the stated goal of speeding the eventual distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. Skilled nursing facilities are typically required to bill Medicare directly for immunizations under the terms of the Social Security Act, even if the […]

Verma: Alternative Payment Model Performance ‘Deeply Concerning,’ More Mandatory Programs Ahead

The nation’s top Medicare official this week expressed serious disappointment in the performance of alternative Medicare payment models, citing key design flaws and promising more mandatory programs to come. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently completed an analysis of several early attempts at value-based payment structures, with administrator Seema Verma disappointed in […]

To Build the Next Generation of Nursing Homes, Players May Need to Live with Lower Profits

The COVID-19 crisis exposed countless vulnerabilities in the nation’s long-term care infrastructure, but the design of the buildings themselves might loom the largest: With multiple-person rooms the norm in aging physical plants across the country, today’s nursing homes simply weren’t built with infection control in mind. And as the industry and the government look ahead […]

Genesis’s LTC ACO Pulls in $18.8M in Shared Savings for 2019

LTC ACO, the accountable care organization (ACO) launched by Genesis HealthCare (NYSE: GEN), brought in $18.8 million for the nursing home operator under the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP) during the 2019 program year. The ACO achieved sufficient Medicare fee-for-service savings among its 5,800 beneficiaries to trigger the payment, which translates to $17 million in […]

How Lilly’s COVID-19 Nursing Home Trial Could Change the Future of Research in Long-Term Care

In normal times, setting up a clinical trial can take nine months or more, with the actual work going on for potentially years afterwards. But during COVID-19, researchers don’t have the benefit of time — especially when working to find therapeutic options for vulnerable seniors in nursing homes. *A phase-three clinical trial for a new […]

COVID Could Accelerate Skilled Nursing Consolidation as Smaller Operators Head for the Exits

In the months leading up to the implementation of a new Medicare payment model for skilled nursing facilities, various voices predicted an exodus of smaller, mom-and-pop operators who’d rather call it a career than adapt to a completely new reimbursement system. But only a few months after the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) took effect last […]

CMS Clarifies Quality Reporting Rules After COVID Pause, Nursing Home Compare Frozen Until ’22

The federal government waived several reporting requirements for nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while they have since been reinstated, the temporary pause will continue to have ripple effects on public data over the coming years. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) this week released an updated tip sheet explaining the agency’s […]

Medicare Advantage’s Strength During COVID-19 to Drive Expansion into New Markets, 50% Adoption by ’24

While the skilled nursing landscape continues to struggle both operationally and financially during the COVID-19 pandemic, those same negative forces have only served to strengthen private health plans — putting Medicare Advantage in an even better position to continue its growth. Cratering census and sharp declines in elective surgeries, while fiscally devastating for nursing homes, […]

AHCA’s Parkinson: Nursing Homes Must ‘Look in the Mirror’ to Improve Care, Infection Control Post-COVID

While emphasizing that the industry is much better prepared to weather a potential revival of large COVID-19 outbreaks in the fall and winter, a top nursing home leader on Tuesday called on operators to use the hard lessons learned during 2020 to improve from within. “You cannot ignore the fact that probably close to 100,000 […]

DeRosa Steps Down as Welltower CEO, Mitra Promoted as Replacement

Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL) on Monday announced that CEO Tom DeRosa will be stepping down, with top executive Shankh Mitra promoted as his replacement. “After careful thought and consideration of the Company’s current position and opportunities ahead, the Board and I have decided that now is the right time for me to hand the reins […]

Select Rehab to Acquire Kindred’s RehabCare, Expand Post-Acute Footprint

Kindred Healthcare on Monday announced the pending sale of its RehabCare business line to Select Rehabilitation, further putting distance between former skilled nursing heavyweight Kindred and the sector. The terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the Glenview, Ill.-based Select will emerge as an even larger player in the contract rehabilitation space, expanding its […]

Congress Gives Nursing Homes Two-Year Extension on Advance Medicare Repayments

A bill to fund the federal government and avert another shutdown also gave nursing home operators and other health care providers a significant extension on repaying advance Medicare payments offered through a COVID-19 stimulus program. The Senate passed and President Trump last week signed a continuing resolution that included a provision to delay recoupments from […]