HHS: Financial Stalemate Factored Into Fiasco of St. Louis’ Largest Nursing Home Closing

Following the abrupt closure in December of Northview Village, St. Louis’ largest skilled nursing facility, federal agencies issued a scathing 59-page report detailing the failures of leadership immediately before and after the facility shut its doors. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) found the facility failed to follow its emergency preparedness plan, […]

Iowa Might Join 14 States in Allowing Room Cameras in Nursing Homes

Iowa nursing homes may see cameras in resident rooms – with state legislators progressing a bill on the matter. The legislation will allow the use of “granny cams” despite many operator misgivings, providing families with a video feed of activity inside a resident’s room, according to a report published in the Iowa Capital Dispatch. Fourteen […]

‘Heartwarming and Heartbreaking’: What Linn Health’s Nursing Home Restructuring Says About State of Sector

Recent nursing home restructurings have often involved additions of other segments of the care continuum. The example of Linn Health & Rehabilitation bears this out. The Rhode Island-based provider of skilled nursing, therapy services and long-term care has opted to shift its operating structure, adding assisted living and memory care, after suffering enormous financial losses […]

OIG Plans To Audit Nursing Home Survey Practices This Year – With Results Expected in 2025

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will be auditing nursing home survey practices this year with results expected in 2025, following concerns that third-party contractors may not have sufficient oversight in the space. OIG suggested closer scrutiny of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulatory practices when it came to surveys, given […]

Why the Proposed Medicare Advantage Plan and Part D Rule Is Favorable for the Nursing Home Space

The federal government’s Medicare Advantage and Part D proposed rule offers nursing home operators several favorable updates, including those related to the appeals process for terminating SNF services as well as alleviating burdens posed by choice and multiple plans for dual eligible residents. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been working on […]

Nursing Home Operators Feel There’s a Lot to Learn From Hospice Surveys Despite Regulatory Differences

Many nursing home operators that also have hospice operations can’t help but notice that the survey process on the hospice end is generally a more positive experience than in the nursing home world. And some say the collaborative nature – between facilities and the federal government – of hospice surveys can and should be replicated […]

‘Concerning’ Link Found Between Reduced Nursing Home Staffing Hours and Hospitalizations

There were more hospitalizations for residents in Florida nursing homes, following legislation which lowered the number of nursing hours per resident. That’s according to a report from AARP Florida, the third report the advocacy group for older adults has released since staffing hours were changed in 2022. Between 2019 to 2020 and 2022 to 2023, […]

Why Immigrant CNAs Are Crucial as the Nursing Home Space Faces A Staffing Mandate, Quality Measures

Given that nursing homes increased their reliance on immigrant certified nursing assistants (CNAs) with positive outcomes for care quality during the pandemic, researchers in the space are reiterating the need for a policy change to get more immigrant CNAs into skilled nursing.  The most effective policy solution that could help nursing homes get more immigrant […]

CMS Focuses on Resident Mood Interviews in Newly-Issued Nursing Home MDS Draft

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday issued its draft Minimum Data Set (MDS) — earlier than the federal agency’s typical timeline and with less sweeping changes compared to past years. Changes, effective Oct. 1, include an update to the list of state RAI coordinators, MDS automation coordinators, CMS locations and contacts, […]

Nursing Home Operators Optimistic About CMS Survey Testing, But Devil Lies in the Details

Potential changes to the nursing home survey process being mulled over by federal authorities – and aimed at standardization across states – have many operators feeling optimistic for the years ahead, especially given that regional differences in implementation can lead to extra administrative burdens and survey backlogs. Toward the end of 2023, the Centers for […]

As a ‘Better Advisor’ to Congress, MedPAC Mulls CMS Staffing Mandate Effects But Proposes 3% Medicare Cut

The majority of MedPAC board members voted Thursday to recommend reducing Medicare-based payment rates for skilled nursing spending by 3% for 2025, despite voicing concerns about the federal minimum staffing proposed rule. MedPAC, which stands for the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, is made up of health care professionals who make recommendations to Congress in terms […]

DOL Alleges Back Wages Owed to Over 600 Next Step Healthcare Staff in 25 Nursing Homes

More than 600 skilled nursing workers may be owed back wages across 25 Massachusetts facilities in 21 communities, owned by local operator Next Step Healthcare. The Department of Labor (DOL) filed a complaint in federal court alleging that various nursing home organizations intentionally withheld overtime wages for at least 624 employees, and failed to maintain […]

DOL’s Final Rule on Worker Classification To Increase Legal Woes, Administrative Burdens for Nursing Homes

Many skilled nursing operators will need to reclassify their existing relationships with independent contractors and rethink future ones in the wake of a final rule issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) on Tuesday. The DOL’s new rule revises guidance on how to determine who is an employee and who is an independent contractor under […]

Missouri Rep. Calls Abrupt Northview Nursing Home Closure ‘Appalling,’ Demands Formal HHS Investigation

Following the sudden closure of Northview Village, St. Louis’ largest nursing home, Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) is calling for a formal investigation into the finances, provision of care and use of Medicaid and Medicare funds of the facility. Bush sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra […]

KFF: Nursing Home Deficiencies Jumped Almost 10% Since 2015 and Staffing Levels Are To Blame

Deficiencies in nursing homes, both on average and those deemed more serious, have increased over time – partly as a result of decreasing staffing levels. Between 2015 and 2023, facilities with serious deficiencies, or violations of federal regulations, increased from 17% to 26%, according to a data note published on Friday by KFF. The average […]

Nursing Home Associations: HHS Needs To Do Its Part to Boost Vaccine Uptake as Latest CDC Data Shows Lags

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Secretary, Xavier Becerra, need to “do its part” to increase Covid vaccination rates among nursing home residents, starting with easing logistical issues that continue to be barriers to uptake. That’s according to LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan, who also cited the benefits of […]

When Disparities and Differences in Resources Abound, Medicaid Acts as Stopgap

The need for Medicaid as stopgap coverage for long-term care is more apparent when looking at differences in race, gender and ethnicity, and rural versus urban status of the residents. This is according to an analysis conducted by ATI Advisory, which identified the impact of disparities and differences in resources – finances, insurance and social […]

Legislation That Mattered to Long-Term Care in 2023: A State and National List

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of nursing home legislation introduced or passed this year had to do with staffing. At the national level, Congressional efforts to block the federal minimum staffing proposal gained steam at the end of the year. State legislation ran the gamut, with California raising the minimum wage to $25 per hour for […]