Federal Grand Jury Indicts Former Nursing Home Administrator Over Alleged Staffing Fraud

A federal grand jury in Pittsburgh indicted the former administrator of a skilled nursing facility in the region on charges of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., health care fraud, and the obstruction of a federal audit, U.S. attorney Scott W. Brady and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced Thursday. The three-count indictment names Susan Gilbert, […]

AHCA, LeadingAge Set Target of 75% Nursing Home Staff Vaccination Rate by June

Two of the largest trade associations for nursing homes announced a goal of vaccinating approximately 75% of the roughly 1.5 million nursing home workers across the U.S. by the end of June. The American Health Care Association (AHCA), which represents more than 14,000 primarily for-profit nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and LeadingAge, which represents […]

To Get Ahead of PDPM Audits, Skilled Nursing Facilities Target Top Areas of Payment Focus

When the overhaul of Medicare Part A reimbursement for nursing homes took effect in October 2019, predictions of audits and the potential for drastic changes came close on its heels. After all, the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) was meant to be revenue-neutral, meaning that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would not spend […]

HHS Nominee Becerra Says More Nursing Home Aid ‘Top Priority’ — But Faces No Questions on SNF Reform

California attorney general Xavier Becerra faced a range of questions in his confirmation hearing for the role of Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary — including whether or not he would support more government aid for nursing homes and other health care providers ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican […]

Cuomo Targets Ownership Transparency, Caps on Profit and Executive Pay in Nursing Home Reform Push

Embroiled in an ongoing scandal about the state’s handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced reform legislation that would require full disclosure of facility ownership and place caps on both profits and executive pay. “Facilities have put profits over care for far too long and as we look forward, we […]

Nursing Home Management Firm CareOne Pays $700K to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

A management company that provided financial back-office services to health care facilities agreed to pay $714,996 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act — specifically related to claims for reimbursement of Medicare bad debt — acting U.S. attorney Rachael A. Honig announced this week. The federal government through the U.S. Department of […]

Advocates Push Back on Geography as Driver of Nursing Home Outbreaks — and Detail Drastic Measures for Keeping COVID at Bay

COVID-19 outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities are affected by more than geography, and nursing home operators have tools and actions they can take to mitigate the spread of the virus in their facilities, the Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA) argued in a report released on Thursday. “Since the start of the pandemic, one of the […]

Managed Care Companies Take Lead on PDPM Denials — But CMS Could Step Up Scrutiny During 2021

Over the course of 2020, as skilled nursing facilities battled the COVID-19 pandemic, the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) was one of the bright spots for operators, allowing them to secure payments for caring for the clinical needs of patients at a time when those needs grew markedly more complex. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid […]

Nursing Home Diversions Not Limited to Home Health as LTACs Emerge as Surprise COVID-19 Winners

Long-term acute care (LTAC) hospitals proved themselves a critical part of the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic while also gaining a share of the patients discharged to facility-based care by short-term acute hospitals — even as the share of those patients going to the skilled nursing setting declined. A new report, published February […]

COVID-19 Shows Need for New Nursing Home Model — But That Won’t Happen Without New Operators, Investors

Operators of skilled nursing facilities for years have dealt with the aging post-acute and long-term care infrastructure across the U.S., coping with problems ranging from multi-resident rooms to poor plumbing to outdated building design. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it became apparent that poor building design was more than a headache for cash-strapped operators; in the […]

CareTrust: Home Health Diversions Will ‘Recalibrate’ With Time, But Uneven Post-COVID Recovery Lies Ahead

Executives at CareTrust REIT (Nasdaq: CTRE) expect to see hospital referrals to skilled nursing facilities eventually return, with executives arguing that a recent spike in diversions to home health is unlikely to become permanent. Eventually, the referral destinations for post-acute patients are going to stop coming out so lopsidedly in home health’s favor, according to […]

With Infection Control in Spotlight, $237M Program for Nursing Homes Shows Promise for COVID and Beyond

Good infection control standards are the same for skilled nursing facilities across the U.S. — both in the sense of federally mandated requirements, and in the sense of the concrete conditions that are necessary to prevent the spread of contamination. This was true even before a pandemic that shook the world in 2020, with ongoing […]

Scrutiny of HUD-Backed Loans to Nursing Homes Increases Amid COVID-19

A federal lending program for nursing homes and other senior care facilities is once again under the microscope, with Barron’s reporting last week that Washington has backed financing for “dozens of poorly run nursing homes.” The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Section 232 programSection 232 provides mortgage insurance for long-term care facilities, […]

Parkinson: Given COVID’s Toll, Nursing Homes Will — and Should — Get Significant Oversight Overhaul

With a change in presidential administration comes changes in policy, and skilled nursing facilities should expect a shift in the approach of the federal government to regulation. As the SNF sector emerges from the devastation of COVID-19, they are also going to receive significant oversight from the administration of Democratic President Joe Biden. And according […]

Vaccine Clinics in Nursing Homes Reduce COVID-19 Transmission By 48% Within Three Weeks, Study Finds

A new study on COVID-19 among nursing home residents and staff found that the cases decreased at a faster rate among both groups after the first vaccine clinic took place in facilities, suggesting that transmission could decline in three weeks after receiving the first vaccine dose. “Vaccinated nursing homes experienced a 48% decline in new […]

With Strong Financials and Patient Mix, Ensign Looks to Flex Real Estate Muscle Outside of Operations

Nursing home operator The Ensign Group (Nasdaq: ENSG), fresh off of a year of solid operational results that prompted another complete return of federal aid, on Thursday indicated a growing push to capitalize on the value of its owned real estate. The San Juan Capistrano, Calif.-based operator reported net income of $46.3 million in the […]

Parkinson: Nursing Homes’ Financial, Operational Recovery ‘Completely Tied to Visitation’

As skilled nursing facilities roll up their sleeves at varying rates for the vaccine against COVID-19, their clinical situation amid the pandemic is improving rapidly, a turnaround from 2020 made almost fully complete with the distribution of vaccines. But the financial outlook, shaped by dismal occupancy numbers that show no signs of recovery, is becoming […]