Verma Defends CMS Response to COVID-19 in Nursing Homes: Blaming Feds ‘Absolutely Ridiculous’

The top federal official in charge of nursing home regulations on Thursday defended the administration’s response to COVID-19 in long-term care facilities, asserting that outbreaks were frequently the result of poor infection control. “I think this idea of trying to finger-point, and blame the federal government, is absolutely ridiculous,” Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services […]

CMS Posts COVID-19 Data, Survey Reports on Nursing Home Compare as Death Count Approaches 32,000

The federal government on Thursday afternoon updated its Nursing Home Compare database to include individual building-level data on COVID-19 outbreaks, following through on a transparency pledge months in the making. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) incorporated its previously released COVID-19 case and death counts into the consumer-facing tool, allowing family members and […]

Nursing Home Size May Play Role in COVID-19 Infection Risk Along with Race, Location

Another study of early nursing home COVID-19 data has found that factors such as a facility’s racial demographics and location — as well as bed count — have a greater bearing on potential outbreaks than quality history. “Larger facility size, urban location, greater percentage of African-American residents, non-chain status, and state were significantly related to […]

Probe Finds Both Structural, Building-Level Problems Contributed to COVID-19 Outbreaks in Nursing Homes

A third-party analysis of the government and industry response to COVID-19 in nursing homes has found a host of intertwined issues on both the micro and macro levels, with reform recommendations that range from greater emergency collaboration to increased infection-control penalties. A wide range of problems endemic to both the industry and government oversight led […]

Changemakers: Tim Fields, CEO and Co-Founder, Ignite Medical Resorts

When it comes to the long-held traditional post-acute care model, significant change can be difficult to envision, let alone implement. Yet when Tim Fields set out to establish Ignite Medial Resorts, disrupting the tried-and-true is exactly what he did. After a career in health care including skilled nursing, Fields and his partner have successfully developed […]

CMS, CDC Again Ask States to Take Lead on Nursing Home COVID-19 Testing as Strategies Could Soon Shift

As part of the federal government’s push toward stricter infection control protocols in nursing homes, officials this week again called on states to take the lead on COVID-19 testing — while also acknowledging that blanket testing strategies may need to change as infection patterns continue to diverge. Each state must draw up its own testing […]

Introducing the 2020 Skilled Nursing News Changemakers Class

The post-acute and long-term care industry has been in a state of change for years now, with new payment models forcing operators to reassess their strategies while also taking on higher-acuity patients. And that was before a world-historic pandemic hit the nation’s nursing homes with unrelenting force. Across the country, leaders have stepped up to […]

CMS to Increase Penalties for Infection Control Violations in Nursing Homes, Reports 26,000 COVID-19 Deaths

Nearly 26,000. That’s the devastating number of people who have died of COVID-19 in nursing homes through around mid-May, according to the first set of complete federal data — which also found about 60,000 infections. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) on Monday announced the […]

‘Talk to Your Governor’ Not Enough to Support Nursing Homes as Value of One-Time Testing Comes into Question

Senior housing and care leaders again called on the federal government to more aggressively bankroll COVID-19 testing in the nation’s nursing homes, arguing that the burden will be ongoing — especially since an already expensive one-time testing strategy may not be an instant cure-all. Given recommendations from the White House and Centers for Medicare & […]

Post-COVID Inspections Reveal No Infection Control Violations at Hard-Hit Nursing Homes in N.Y.

A significant portion of infection control surveys conducted after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic found no deficiencies at New York City nursing homes — even those with substantial coronavirus death tolls, according to a new report. Local news publication The City analyzed 35 inspection reports from surveys performed under the Centers for Medicare & […]

RiverSpring Health CEO: COVID-19 Pandemic Will Affect Nursing Homes for ‘At Least Two Years’

While the COVID-19 crisis in nursing homes may feel like a lifetime for staffers and family members, the CEO of a major non-profit provider in New York City warned that the challenges are only beginning. Daniel Reingold, chief executive of the Bronx, N.Y.-based RiverSpring Health, described the first eight weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, dating […]

Plan to Reopen Nursing Homes ‘Virtually Impossible’ with Current Testing, PPE Capacity

The federal government last week cautiously began laying formal groundwork for reopening the nation’s nursing homes, which have been under COVID-19 lockdown orders since the middle of March. But many experts both inside and outside the industry have asserted that nursing facilities can’t even think about returning to normalcy without substantially more financial and material […]

OIG Launches Multiple Investigations into Nursing Home Response to COVID-19

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) watchdog arm added multiple probes of nursing homes’ response to COVID-19 to its list of top 2020 priorities, with a particular focus on infection control. The HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) last Friday announced two coronavirus-related investigations as part of its ongoing 2020 Work Plan […]