CMS Proposes Permanent Extension of Some Telehealth, Therapy Waivers After COVID-19 Emergency

The federal government on Monday introduced a proposed rule that would, if finalized, make permanent at least some of the emergency telehealth flexibilities implemented during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, while potentially allowing a greater frequency of remote nursing home interventions. President Trump on Monday signed an executive order requiring the Department of Health and Human […]

How Empowering Nursing Home Staff to Take Risks Can Improve Care: ‘We Need to Pay for What We Value’

Through their work with consulting firm Copernicus Inc., CEO Claudia Blumenstock and consultant Ellen Bartoldus have heard countless firsthand stories of the strains that COVID-19 has put on nursing home staff across the country. And as former nursing home administrators themselves, the pair has a clear vision for how to fix the endemic problems that […]

Former Rosewood Executive Indicted in Nursing Home Equity Skimming Case

An executive associated with a portfolio of nursing facilities that saw a record-setting federal loan default has been indicted on a single count of equity skimming, the Department of Justice announced late last week. Mark Yampol of St. Louis faces up to five years in prison if convicted, according to the DOJ. A federal grand […]

Eli Lilly Launches COVID-19 Clinical Trial in Nursing Homes with Symphony as Partner

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) will soon begin a phase-three clinical trial of a potential coronavirus treatment in the long-term care setting, with nursing home operator Symphony Care Network as a partner. Up to 2,400 residents and staff of nursing homes and assisted living properties will participate in the on-site study, the […]

CMS Finalizes $750M Medicare Payment Boost for Nursing Homes in Fiscal 2021

The federal government on Friday finalized a previously proposed rule that will bring a 2.2% Medicare payment bump to the nation’s skilled nursing facilities. Under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 2021 payment rule, facilities will see a total increase of $750 million in Medicare reimbursements over the next fiscal year, which begins […]

LTC Properties’ Skilled Nursing Occupancy Slips to 71%, But Rent Deferrals Minimal

Occupancy at LTC Properties’ (NYSE: LTC) skilled nursing facilities slid from 80% at the end of March to 71% by mid-July, but the impact on operators’ ability to pay rent without deferrals has so far been minimal, leaders at the real estate investment trust (REIT) disclosed Friday. Those occupancy figures represent voluntarily submitted data covering […]

As Federal Government Rolls Out Point-of-Care Units, Not All States Allow Nursing Homes to Use Them

The federal government is in the midst of an aggressive plan to send point-of-care coronavirus tests to all of the nation’s more than 15,400 nursing homes — but individual state rules may prevent facilities from taking advantage of the program. “Due to the lower sensitivity and specificity of these test devices, not all state public […]

Testing Burdens for Essential Workers Could Strain Insurance Plans, Spike Premiums 70%

As more workers who require routine COVID-19 testing return to in-person settings, the strain on the private insurance system could cause premiums to spike and force workers off coverage altogether, a new analysis in the journal Health Affairs determined. Both the federal government and states have mandated varying levels of testing frequency for nursing home […]

Home Health Heavyweight Encompass Sees Potential to Replace Skilled Nursing with IRFs Post-COVID

Widespread outbreaks of COVID-19 at skilled nursing facilities have increased calls to accelerate the shift to in-home care whenever possible, but one major home health provider took things a step further by floating the potential for replacing SNF care with stays at inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs). Speaking on the company’s second-quarter earnings call this week, […]

Matros: Federal Aid Keeps Nursing Homes Afloat for Now, but Industry Facing ‘One Long Wave’

As the major publicly traded players in post-acute and long-term care prepare to reveal another set of post-COVID results over the coming weeks, Sabra Health Care REIT (Nasdaq: SBRA) CEO Rick Matros remains confident that the government’s response to COVID-19 has averted severe financial strains for its tenants — at least for now. The Irvine, […]

Berkadia’s $50M Skilled Nursing Summer; Cushman & Wakefield’s Portfolio Deal

Berkadia this week announced the completion of about $50 million in financing for skilled nursing facilities in four separate deals across the country. First up, the real estate investment firm’s Seniors Housing & Healthcare Group provided a $22.2 million loan — backed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) — for a 157-bed […]

Five Years in the Making, Thrive Sees Post-COVID Upside in Three New Skilled Nursing Facilities

Developing new post-acute and long-term care infrastructure during normal times isn’t always easy — in fact, for one Illinois company, the phased opening of three new skilled nursing facilities this year represented the culmination of more than five years of work. But as COVID-19 continues to reveal the fatal shortcomings of outdated nursing home design, […]

How a Nursing Home Developer Made Green Houses Work: ‘It’s Not Hard to Pencil Out’

COVID-19 has prompted the media and general public to consider the state of the standard nursing home more closely than ever, and many national outlets have turned to the Green House model as the prime example of the way forward. These “small-house” style developments eschew the traditional institutional nursing home structure for multiple cottages with […]

First Round of Point-of-Care Tests for Nursing Homes Drops to 600 as HHS Announces Additional Priority Criteria

The federal government on Wednesday revealed more details about the prioritization of nursing homes that will receive point-of-care testing kits for COVID-19 under an ambitious new plan, with 600 set to be sent this week. In addition to targeting facilities with at least three or more confirmed or suspected cases in the last week, as […]