Inside an Ambulance Company’s Plan to Redeploy EMTs as Nursing Home CNAs — During COVID and Beyond

Staffing shortages were a problem for skilled nursing facilities well before the current national emergency, but COVID-19’s behavior has exacerbated the challenges. Asymptomatic workers who moved from facility to facility — and who, by nature of their work, from patient to patient — were a major part of the reason the Life Care Center of […]

$32.4M HUD Loan for Chicago’s Legacy Healthcare; Kansas SNF Portfolio Lands $15.5M in Financing

Harborview Capital Partners arranged a $32.4 million Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 232/223(f) loan for the refinancing of a 210-bed skilled nursing facility for the Chicago-based operator Legacy Healthcare. The loan features a 35-year term and “amortization at an extremely aggressive rate,” according to a statement announcing the deal. Ephraim Kutner, Jonathan […]

Fitch Ratings Drops Welltower’s Outlook to Negative Amid COVID-19 Pressures

Fitch Ratings on Wednesday revised its rating outlook for Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL) to “Negative,” down from “Stable,” while affirming the rating at “BBB+.” The Toledo, Ohio-based Welltower has a portfolio in which senior housing facilities accounted for 62% of net operating income as of March 31, while skilled nursing facilities account for about 15% […]

Aid Bill Would Pause MFAR Medicaid Crackdown During COVID-19, Boost Federal Match by 14%

House Democrats on Tuesday introduced a major aid package with a provision that would indefinitely delay the implementation of a controversial rule that imperiled billions in Medicaid funding for skilled nursing facilities. The bill also would boost the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), or Washington’s share of state Medicaid rates, by 14% — up from […]

Despite COVID-19 Strains, NHI ‘On the Hunt for Skilled Nursing’ Assets

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the skilled nursing field particularly hard, given the frailty of the residents and the challenges in securing testing and personal protective equipment (PPE) for both them and staff. But one major health care real estate investment trust (REIT) is optimistic on the possibilities of skilled nursing in the long term. […]

CMS Expands Ability of Hospitals to Provide Long-Term Care Services to COVID-19 Patients

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called on the leader of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to establish flexibilities for caring for long-term care residents with COVID-19 — by letting skilled nursing facilities send them to the hospital. While acknowledging that such individuals might not meet normal hospital admission criteria, DeSantis argued in a […]

CareTrust Keeps 2020 Guidance Amid COVID-19: ‘There is a Possible Path Through This’

Several of the major health care real estate investment trusts (REITs) have responded to the challenges and upheaval of the COVID-19 pandemic by withdrawing their earnings guidance for the year — a move that’s entirely understandable given the number of unknowns about the impact of the resulting emergency on tenants. But the San Clemente, Calif.-based […]

COVID-19 Upended Star Rating Calculations for Nursing Homes — But Nothing is ‘Frozen’

The federal government took several steps to cut red tape in the health care system to help providers across the continuum battle the COVID-19 pandemic. But while those changes included alterations to reporting requirements for skilled nursing facilities, providers won’t be exempt from the consumer-facing rating system — and they need to be aware of […]

Nursing Home Giant ManorCare Only ‘Able to Get About 10% of What We Need’ to Test for COVID-19

The nursing home chain HCR ManorCare has — like many other skilled nursing operators — been badly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic still moving through the U.S. And like many other operators, it’s struggling to find the needed personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing kits, despite mandates from multiple states requiring testing and full stockpiles […]

FEMA Could Begin Sending PPE to Nursing Homes in Early May

With personal protective equipment (PPE) in short supply across the country, skilled nursing facilities have felt left out in efforts to bolster health care capacity in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic — even though by most measures, they are arguably on the front lines of the battle to contain the illness caused by the […]

Therapists Find Some COVID-19 Telehealth Opportunities — But Remain Off Medicare List

The federal government has waived multiple regulations around telehealth with an eye toward making it as easy as possible to stay home and receive medical care. It’s a move that seems well-suited to benefit the Medicare beneficiaries living in skilled nursing facilities across the U.S., who need care while minimizing contact with visitors during the […]