Drugmaker Romark Seeks Nursing Home Residents for COVID-19 Clinical Trial

A U.S. pharmaceutical company is attempting to build out a full clinical trial for a drug that could potentially prevent COVID-19 infections — among other viral ailments — in long-term care settings. The Tampa, Fla.-based Romark Laboratories has high hopes for its NT-300 drug, an existing oral medication that works by preventing a virus from […]

House Hammers Governors Over Nursing Home Admission Orders Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

As a leading House Democrat demands information about the response to COVID-19 in nursing homes from the federal government — and a quintet of top operators — his Republican counterparts have targeted governors whose states required facilities to take in patients with COVID-19. Rep. Steve Scalise, the Louisiana Republican who serves as the ranking member […]

Symphony COO: Stress on Nursing Homes ‘Not Getting Better Anytime Soon, But We’re Surely Not Getting Any Worse’

As the nursing home industry settles into the next uneasy phase of the COVID-19 crisis — an indefinite period in which the pandemic will dominate every decision until a vaccine becomes available — one leader emphasized the importance of finding the upside in stasis. “We’re not getting better anytime soon, but we’re surely not getting […]

House Launches Probe into CMS, Operator Response to COVID-19 in Nursing Homes

A House subcommittee on Tuesday launched an investigation into the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in nursing homes, demanding rafts of information from both the federal government and five prominent operators in the space. Rep. James Clyburn, the South Carolina Democrat who chairs the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, announced the probe in a statement. “The […]

CDC: Nursing Homes Should Test Residents for Flu, Other Respiratory Illnesses in Addition to COVID-19

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) updated its COVID-19 testing guidelines for nursing homes, advising operators to check for other respiratory aliments — including the more familiar flu — on top of the novel coronavirus. “Clinicians are encouraged to consider testing symptomatic residents for other causes of respiratory illness, for example influenza, in […]

NIC CEO Jurutka: COVID-19 Crisis ‘Burning Platform’ for Innovation in Skilled Nursing, Senior Living

Calls for systemic overhauls of long-term care and senior living are nothing new. From operators to government payers to resident advocates, a variety of voices has challenged the status quo with support for new reimbursement systems, creative partnerships, and the substantial redesign of care models over the last decade — with varying results. But with […]

OIG Expands Probes into Nursing Homes’ Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

The federal government’s top health care watchdog agency added a pair of new probes into the nation’s nursing homes to its already busy slate of long-term care investigations for the coming year. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) last week rolled out two long-term care investigations — […]

PDPM Boosts Medicare Rate 9% Early in COVID-19 Crisis: ‘RUGS-IV Would Have Been a Fiscal Disaster’

Skilled nursing facilities received a 9% Medicare reimbursement boost during the early days of the COVID-19 crisis under the new Patient-Driven Patient Model, a new analysis has determined — providing a crucial fiscal lifeline that may not have existed under the structure that PDPM replaced. “RUG-IV would have been a fiscal disaster for SNFs dealing […]

Backed with $60M, PatientPing Looks to Expand Care Transitions Network in a Post-COVID Landscape

Even before a global pandemic upended the post-acute care continuum, transitions between settings represented one of the biggest pain points for operators and patients. Fresh off a $60 million Series C funding round announced last week, PatientPing has its sights set on national coverage for its software network that connects hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home […]

CMS Warns Nursing Homes: Don’t Seize Residents’ Stimulus Checks, or Face Potential Termination

The federal government on Thursday addressed anecdotal reports that nursing homes have seized stimulus checks that residents received as part of the CARES Act coronavirus relief package, warning operators that such actions are illegal. “This practice is prohibited, and nursing homes that seize these payments from residents could be subject to federal enforcement actions, including […]

Signature HealthCARE Lays Off 100 Corporate Employees, Blaming Lack of Medicaid Support Amid COVID-19

Nursing home operator Signature HealthCARE on Wednesday announced 100 layoffs at its corporate headquarters in Louisville, Ky., with leaders blaming the action on a lack of temporary payment support during the COVID-19 crisis. “We are at a point where difficult decisions have to be made on how to survive,” CEO Joseph Steier said in a […]

Symphony Completes Caretel Takeover Despite COVID-19; Strawberry Fields Grows in Kentucky with $5.4M Pickup

Symphony Care Network this week announced the successful completion of a deal to take over three skilled nursing and assisted living properties — previously operated by the non-profit Caretel Inns — in Michigan. The Chicago-based Symphony had previously announced the deal last September, immediately assuming operations at a pair of former Caretel facilities and starting […]

Changemakers: Dr. Grace Terrell, CEO, Eventus WholeHealth

Some leaders embrace change at the core, and Dr. Grace Terrell is one of them. As CEO of skilled nursing-focused physician group Eventus WholeHealth, Dr. Terrell has been a driver of change and thought leadership throughout her career. A leader of health care innovation and delivery system reform — and believer in the study of […]

CMS Issues New Guidelines for Resuming Non-Emergency Surgeries as COVID-19 Restrictions Ease

The federal government on Tuesday unveiled a new set of guidelines for the safe resumption of non-emergency health care services, including surgeries and other inpatient procedures. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the updated recommendations as many states have begun tentatively lifting the strict stay-at-home orders that had been in place since […]

HHS to Release $15B in COVID-19 Relief Funds to Medicaid Providers

The federal government on Tuesday announced a long-awaited tranche of financial relief for providers that rely solely on Medicaid reimbursements, setting aside $15 billion. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will release the funds to Medicaid providers that did not receive payments from the initial $50 billion in general allocations from the Provider […]

As Officials Mull Stronger Nursing Home Enforcement, Restorative Justice Holds Key to True Reform

As the federal and state governments slowly start to flex their enforcement muscles on nursing homes in the wake of COVID-19, my mind keeps going back to a concept that’s traditionally been the domain of social scientists and prison-reform advocates: restorative justice. Unlike our current crime-and-punishment system, which typically focuses on punitive measures such as […]

As Just 3% of Surveys Reveal Infection Citations, Verma Says ‘Ultimate Responsibility’ Rests with Nursing Homes

Increasing the frequency of infection-control inspections during the pandemic — and imposing greater fines on facilities with a history of problems curbing the spread of disease — is vital because even the strictest surveys represent a single, point-in-time snapshot, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Seema Verma said last week. “At the end […]