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 […]

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 […]