Cost-Cutting Consequences: Improper Discharges Home, Financial Strain for SNFs

In a rush to find savings amid a changing payment landscape, hospitals have turned to the reduction in institutional post-acute care, especially in skilled nursing facilities. But that determination to secure savings could have unintended consequences for patients, their families, and SNFs, according to a perspective article published Wednesday in the New England Journal of […]

Pennsylvania Official Pushes for Better SNF Vetting, Warns of Workforce Crisis

The state of Pennsylvania should adopt stronger policies for vetting nursing home operators in the wake of the Skyline Healthcare collapse, a report issued Tuesday from Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale recommended. “Nearly 90,000 Pennsylvanians live in more than 700 nursing homes throughout the state, and they represent just a fraction of our aging population,” […]

Abuse Reporting and Owner Background Checks Loom Large in Elder Justice Hearing

Background checks for staff and better reporting for nursing home abuse loomed large in a U.S. Senate Committee on Finance hearing held Tuesday, with consumer advocates and industry representatives confirming the findings of a new report that revealed oversight gaps by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) around nursing home abuse. The report, […]

CMS Rule Allows – But Could Discourage – Arbitration Agreements in Skilled Nursing Facilities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has overturned an Obama-era ban on the use of pre-dispute, binding arbitration agreements by skilled nursing facilities. But providers might still think twice about using these agreements, due to certain consumer protection provisions in CMS’ final rule. In fact, the protections for SNF residents and their families […]

Number of I-SNP Plans Goes Up Almost 30% Year-Over-Year

The number of skilled nursing providers interested in becoming insurers has grown for the past several months. Now hard numbers show just how great that interest is. Special needs plans are a category within Medicare Advantage (MA) that provide a common framework for the plans that serve special-needs beneficiaries, while also expanding beneficiary choice and […]

PDPM Countdown: ‘We Are All Crossing Our Fingers and Knocking on Wood’

With the Medicare Part A reimbursement overhaul taking effect in just a few months, skilled nursing providers across the country are in countdown mode. But the clock is moving at different paces for different providers, several experts said. Some SNFs began their analysis and preparations months ago; others are barely getting started. That’s led to […]

Legislators React to SNF Arbitration Ban Reversal: ‘New Rule Does Not Put Patients First’

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services overturned a ban on skilled nursing operators using pre-dispute arbitration agreements with their residents in a final rule issued July 16, and a range of lawmakers reacted throughout the week. The ban on arbitration agreements in long-term care was implemented by the Obama administration in 2016, to strong […]

New Investigation Puts Skyline Healthcare Back in the Spotlight

A new investigation has put Skyline Healthcare back in the national spotlight. An investigative report by NBC News published Friday examined the rise and fall of Skyline Healthcare, the skilled nursing company that collapsed in dramatic fashion over several months. The Wood Ridge, N.J.-based Skyline at its height owned or operated more than 100 skilled […]

With I-SNPs, Nursing Homes Can Thrive Under ‘the Godfather’ of Value-Based Care

As Medicare Advantage continues to gobble up an increasing share of skilled nursing reimbursements, more providers are exploring the idea of launching their own plans — and while the numbers are small, the opportunity can be great. Specifically, SNF providers can launch Institutional Special Needs Plans, or I-SNPs, a specific type of Medicare Advantage plan […]

$20M Skilled Nursing Project Receives Green Light; Ignite Breaks Ground in Illinois

Developer Michael Catanzarite received rezoning approval from city officials on July 1 to build a $20 million skilled nursing and rehab center in Strongsville, Ohio, Cleveland.com reported. Catanzarite had initially told Cleveland.com that the development would include independent living, assisted living, and long-term care, but he later said that the project will only be a […]

CMS Releases New Skilled Nursing Affiliate Data for ACOs as More Take on Risk

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) overhaul of the Medicare Shared Savings Program is paying off in the form of greater accountability and more risk-taking, CMS administrator Seema Verma wrote in a blog post published Wednesday in Health Affairs. The post came as part of an announcement about accountable care organization (ACO) participation […]

CMS’s Regulatory Delay: What’s In, What’s Out, and Why Nursing Homes Could ‘Substantially’ Reduce Costs

Skilled nursing facilities could see relief from regulatory burdens if a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) takes effect, and according to the agency, it could lead to millions in savings. Specifically, the rule would overhaul multiple requirements and delay the implementation of regulations related to the Quality Assurance and […]

New York’s Top-Rated Nursing Homes Less Likely to Admit Poor Patients

Five-star nursing homes in the state of New York are less likely to admit low-income residents than one-star facilities in the state, according to an investigation by The Buffalo News published on Sunday. Using data from the state Department of Health (DOH) from 2017, the publication found that those who enter New York nursing homes […]

$1M Nursing Home Funding Delay Sparks Political Spat in Maine

Maine’s Democratic Gov. Janet Mills delayed action on a bill that would have given skilled nursing facilities in the state roughly $1 million in additional Medicaid funding over the next two-year state budget, which drew criticism from Republican legislators in the state. The news was first reported by the Sun Journal last week Republicans in the […]

When Nursing Homes Hit Financial Trouble, Vendors Feel the Pinch — and Fight Back

When a skilled nursing provider enters receivership or bankruptcy, the safety and wellbeing of the residents is the top priority for all parties involved. The financial struggles raise questions about the continued provision of necessary care, and the safe transfer of operations becomes paramount. But in many recent SNF bankruptcies, or cases where a SNF […]

SNFs Serving Vulnerable Populations More Likely to Get Value-Based Penalties

The Medicare Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) program, which distributed its first round of incentives and penalties on October 1 of last year, has a goal of rewarding high-quality skilled nursing care by tying Medicare payments to performance. In that round, almost three-quarters of SNFs saw penalties. And a new study published this month in the journal […]

Consulate Takes Aim at Readmissions with New Diagnostics, Lab Partnership

The largest skilled nursing provider in Florida moved to bolster its diagnostic capabilities with an eye toward reducing costly hospital readmissions. Consulate Health Care late last month announced a partnership agreement with TridentUSA Health Services to provide radiology, ultrasound, and laboratory services to Consulate’s senior care facilities across the U.S. The terms of the deal […]

As PDPM Looms, Providers Must Balance Desire to Boost Payments with Audit Dangers

Under the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), reimbursement for Medicare Part A patients in skilled nursing facilities will be driven by patient condition, rather than by therapy minutes provided to that patient. It’s a change that the industry has hailed as an opportunity to receive financial credit for the care that they’re already providing, but they […]