As Nursing Homes with Cases Reach 400, AHCA Advises Operators to Assume All Untested Patients Positive for COVID-19

One of the country’s major nursing home trade groups is advising its members to assume that unless a person has tested negative for COVID-19 prior to admission, that patient has the virus. This is regardless of whether or not they have symptoms, according to guidance from the American Health Care Association (AHCA) released on Monday. […]

Salmon Health Begins Transferring Residents to Create Dedicated COVID-19 Skilled Nursing Facility

The office of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday announced several initiatives to combat the COVID-19 crisis in the Bay State — one of which includes setting up skilled nursing facilities dedicated to caring for patients who have the disease. The first of these facilities, Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Worcester, Mass., operated […]

Some Managed Care Plans Lift Restrictions on Skilled Nursing Coverage Amid COVID-19 — But Not All

Multiple managed care plans have made changes to their procedures for admissions to the skilled nursing setting amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with several major companies suspending prior authorization requirements for admissions to a skilled nursing facility. The changes, however, are not uniform — and that’s if the managed care organization (MCO) chooses to make […]

While Recognizing Dangers, California Tells Nursing Homes to Prepare for COVID-19 Patients [UPDATED]

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued recommendations for skilled nursing facilities on preparing for COVID-19 — and told them to prepare to receive and care for residents with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infections. The all-facilities letter (AFL) sent on March 19 tells SNFs to prepare for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel […]

CMS Move to Delay Elective Surgeries Could Create Lasting Strain on Skilled Nursing Facilities

Skilled nursing facilities, and post-acute providers in general, will feel pain even beyond the immediate short-term challenges of protecting residents and staff from the spread of the novel coronavirus, several experts predicted Thursday. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services late on Wednesday recommended the delay of “all elective surgeries, non-essential medical, surgical, and dental […]

Post-Acute Bed Capacity Concerns Loom as COVID-19 Cases Grow

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. mounts, concerns about hospital bed capacity are rising in proportion — and skilled nursing facilities need to be ready to help ease the stress on the acute care system, according to multiple providers. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) seemed to confirm this […]

CMS Expands Nursing Home Telehealth Coverage, Waives HIPAA Penalties During COVID-19 Outbreak

The Trump administration on Tuesday announced an emergency expansion of telehealth coverage for Medicare beneficiaries amid the COVID-19 outbreak, removing multiple regulatory barriers to doctors providing remote care for nursing home residents. Retroactive to March 6, Medicare can pay for virtual consultations provided through telehealth platforms across the country, including those conducted in a patient’s […]

Genesis Reports One COVID-19 Case, Confirms Hospital Demand for Overflow Beds at Nursing Homes

Genesis HealthCare (NYSE: GEN), one of the largest post-acute operators in the U.S., reported one confirmed case of the COVID-19 disease at one of its facilities, in an otherwise optimistic fourth-quarter and year-end earnings call for 2019. The Kennett Square, Pa.-based operator, which has hundreds of skilled nursing facilities and assisted and senior living centers […]

As Admission Holds Loom, Skilled Nursing Facilities and Hospitals Must Stay in Constant COVID-19 Contact

The residents and patients at skilled nursing facilities are uniquely imperiled by COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that’s rapidly altering the routines of everyday life worldwide. As a result, SNFs across the country have gone into lockdown, with the federal government on Friday issuing a blanket ban of non-essential visits. Their hospital […]

$1B in Supplemental Nursing Home Funds Diverted to County Health Systems in Indiana

Hospital executives in the state of Indiana redirected at least $1.17 billion in extra Medicaid dollars, drawn down from the state’s supplemental payment program to boost nursing home reimbursement, toward projects to expand their own health systems, an investigation by the IndyStar published on Thursday revealed. The multi-part series — which tackled the funding system […]

After PDPM, ‘More Than Half’ of Therapists Report Mandate to Provide Group, Concurrent Therapy

The Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) was specifically designed to reimburse skilled nursing facilities based on the condition of the patients that they treat, rather than by the minutes of therapy provided to those patients. As part of the change, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) included a 25% cap on group and concurrent […]

REIT Stocks Fall Again After Reports of New Nursing Home Coronavirus Case

Another skilled nursing facility in the state of Washington has reported an outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that is sweeping the globe — resulting in major declines in the stock prices of several real estate investment trusts (REITs) with holdings in the skilled nursing and senior housing sectors. That facility, […]

Why Even the Best Operator Can’t Fix a Bad Skilled Nursing Market

Skilled nursing operators with a strong regional focus and market presence are attractive to potential investors and capital partners, but ultimately the realities of the market will trump even the best operator. The operator-driven nature of the SNF field makes the people involved in a given facility paramount, but investors can’t overlook how susceptible nursing […]

CMS to ‘Immediately’ Refocus Nursing Home Inspections on Infection Control Amid Coronavirus

In the wake of an outbreak of the novel coronavirus at a Washington nursing home, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will immediately refocus inspections of skilled nursing facilities on compliance with the agency’s infection control policies — and suspend all non-emergency survey work, the agency announced on Wednesday. “We obviously are looking […]

Ensign Adds Two Skilled Nursing Facilities in Colorado; UPMC Offloads SNF to New York Owner-Operator

The Ensign Group (Nasdaq: ENSG) acquired the operations of two skilled nursing facilities in Commerce City, Colo., effective March 1, the provider announced Tuesday. The two SNFs, the 105-bed Ridgeview Post Acute and the 83-bed Irondale Post Acute, will be subject to triple-net leases. “We are thrilled to add these two operations to our growing […]