CMS Bans Most Visits to Nursing Homes, Waives Three-Day Stay Rule in Coronavirus Battle

The federal government late Friday formally issued new guidance prohibiting all non-essential visits to nursing homes, while also waiving the three-day hospital stay requirement for subsequent Medicare skilled nursing coverage, as officials look to blunt the effects of the novel coronavirus on elderly Americans. The strict ban allows exceptions for families to visit loved ones […]

Verma: CMS to Soon Ban All Nursing Home Visits ‘With a Few Exceptions’ Amid Coronavirus Fears [Updated]

UPDATE, Saturday, March 14: CMS formally issued its guidance late Friday, enacting a ban on most non-essential visits to nursing homes and also waiving the three-day stay rule for Medicare skilled nursing coverage. The federal government will soon issue guidance directing nursing home operators to ban the vast majority of visitors amid the spread of […]

How Focused Post Acute Balances Urban and Rural Markets to Thrive Amid Medicaid, Labor Stress

A skilled nursing operator or investor could be forgiven for running toward the exits when presented with the opportunity to take over buildings in rural West Texas. Between persistently low Medicaid rates in the Lone Star State and the general operational difficulties that rural buildings face in markets across the country, the combination may not […]

AHCA’s Parkinson: COVID-19 ‘Almost a Perfect Killing Machine’ for Elderly

The leader of the nation’s largest organization of post-acute and long-term care facilities didn’t mince words about the dangers of the novel coronavirus during a nationally televised interview. The mortality rate for the 84-and-older population that makes up the vast majority of nursing home residents is well north of 15%, American Health Care Association (AHCA) […]

Medicare Advantage Plans Attracting Lower-Income Seniors — While Saving Them $1,600 Per Year

Medicare Advantage plans have long been a thorn in skilled nursing facilities’ sides, with lower-per day rates and increased pressure to reduce lengths of stay than traditional fee-for-service Medicare. But a new report shines a light on why seniors are increasingly choosing the plans in the first place, reinforcing recent calls to embrace working with […]

Push to Suspend Visits at Nursing Homes Grows: Once Test Results Arrive, ‘It May Be Too Late’

Skilled nursing industry leaders on Tuesday doubled down on federal guidelines restricting visits to facilities amid the spread of novel coronavirus, emphasizing the potential for a rapid, severe impact among those most vulnerable to COVID-19. The American Health Care Association publicly advised operators not to allow visitors unless absolutely necessary, its leaders said on a […]

CMS Releases Updated Visitation, Citation Guidance for Nursing Homes Amid Coronavirus Spread

UPDATE, Saturday, March 14: Since this article was published, the federal government has implemented stricter guidance for nursing home visits, effectively banning all non-essential visitors with very limited exceptions. Read about the most up-to-date guidance here. The federal government late Monday released an updated set of guidelines for nursing home operators amid the growing spread […]

Diversicare ‘A Very Different Company’ After Kentucky Exit, Touts 7.5% Medicare Rate Boost

Despite a net loss for the quarter, skilled nursing operator Diversicare Healthcare Services (OTCQX: DVCR) touted its performance at the end of 2019, pointing to a 7.5% Medicare rate boost and generally positive performance under the new Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM). “With our portfolio changes behind us after the Kentucky exit and the implementation of the new […]

DOJ Forms Nursing Home Task Force, Promises Criminal and Civil Penalties for Owners and Operators

The Department of Justice this week announced the creation of a specialized task force targeting “grossly substandard care” in nursing homes, with both criminal and civil penalties on the table for owners and operators. About 30 individual facilities across nine states are already under investigation, the DOJ revealed in announcing its new National Nursing Home […]

‘I Would Take a SNF Operator With Me in a Dark Alley’: How Nursing Homes Can Prove Worth to a Skeptical Public

Nursing home providers have long suffered from a worse public image than their peers along the senior housing and care continuum, with just the phrase itself conjuring images of a place that few people would ever choose to call home. It’s a problem that leaders with decades of experience in the space acknowledge could become […]

CMS Confirms Some PDPM Claim-Processing Errors, Promises Fix by October

The federal government on Thursday acknowledged some errors in processing Medicare claims under the new payment system for nursing homes, promising to make a full correction by the start of its next fiscal year. The main issue has to do with the sequence of initial claim filings for Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) reimbursements, the Centers […]

Rise of Data Could Bring More False Claims Act Cases, CMS Scrutiny to Skilled Nursing

Attend any conference geared toward long-term and post-acute health care operators, and you’ll hear a common thread: Data is king. In a landscape defined by value-based payment models such as Medicare Advantage plans and accountable care organizations (ACOs), investing in data analytics has become almost a prerequisite for success. If a given operator can prove […]

Verma: CMS’s Nursing Home Oversight Push More ‘Internal’ Amid PDPM Shift

Seema Verma on Tuesday laid out a sweeping plan for data-driven oversight and enforcement across the health care spectrum, and took a similarly broad view of her agency’s regulatory plans when directly asked about potential changes to the new Medicare payment model for nursing homes. Specifically citing the early success of the agency’s recent push […]

I-SNPs vs. ACOs: Balancing the Skilled Nursing Risks, Rewards of Two Hot Payment Models

As the skilled nursing industry struggles to adapt to a new Medicare payment landscape, in-house Medicare Advantage plans have emerged as one of the hottest topics among leaders — while the space’s publicly traded behemoth has thrown its full support behind the separate accountable care organization (ACO) model. There may not be one set answer […]