CMS Chief Medical Officer to Leave for Role With Insurance Giant Humana

The chief medical officer at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be leaving the agency next month to take a new position with health insurance heavyweight Humana (NYSE: HUM). Modern Healthcare first reported the news Thursday. CMS confirmed to Modern Healthcare that Goodrich, who has also served as director of the Quality […]

Lancaster Pollard Closes $420M Refinance for 26 Plum Healthcare Skilled Nursing Facilities

Lancaster Pollard on Wednesday announced the completion of a $420 million portfolio refinancing for 26 skilled nursing facilities operated by Plum Healthcare Group. The transaction marked the first Department of Housing and Urban Development-backed loan transaction for the Carlsbad, Calif.-based Plum, according to a release announcing the deal. In 2018, the Columbus, Ohio-based Lancaster Pollard […]

Proposed Medicaid Rule Would Mean Billions in Cuts, Waves of Nursing Home Closures

With skilled nursing facilities in multiple states facing significant shortfalls in their Medicaid reimbursement, supplemental payment programs used to bolster rates have become a lifeline. This is especially true for Texas and Indiana, both of which employ programs designed to get SNFs a higher rate for Medicaid services through varying mechanisms. Both states are motivated […]

Verma: Overhaul Led to Significant Growth in ACOs Taking on Risk, But Verdict Out on Spending

A federal overhaul to the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP), implemented late in 2018, has led to an increase in the number of accountable care organizations (ACOs) taking on downside risk. The redesign of the program, dubbed “Pathways to Success,” generally required new ACOs to take accountability for spending increases after two years; previously ACOs […]

Median Skilled Nursing Margin Breaks Even, But ‘Long-Term Financial Viability is Uncertain’

The margins for skilled nursing facilities finally broke out of the red and to break-even levels, according to the latest benchmarking report from consulting firm Plante Moran. But occupancy remained stagnant from 2017 to 2018, and staffing costs continue to increase. And Medicaid remains the elephant in the room when it comes to making the […]

New Group Aims to Help Skilled Nursing Facilities Avoid Expensive Purchasing Missteps

A new non-profit society aims to improve education for purchasing directors at post-acute facilities, so they can make better decisions for both the bottom line — and for their long-term future. The approach the organization — the Society for Healthcare Organization Procurement Professionals (SHOPP) — is taking is two-pronged, according to Ari Stawis, director of […]

Greystone Emerges as Incoming Owner of Troubled Skilled Nursing Facilities at Center of Record Default

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has reached a deal that will see the New York City-based lending and advisory firm Greystone take over a troubled group of nursing homes and one assisted living facility (ALF) associated with the largest default in the department’s history. The New York Times first reported the news […]

As Providers Warn of ‘Broad Negative Impact,’ CMS Extends Comment Period on Medicaid Supplement Crackdown

The federal government extended the deadline for providers — both acute and post-acute — to comment on a proposed rule that would crack down on supplemental payment programs under Medicaid. The new deadline is February 1, pushed back about two weeks from the original end date of January 17. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid […]

‘All the Stars Aligned’: Operators Boast 30% Readmission Reductions, Market Gains with I-SNPs

As skilled nursing facilities work to establish their position in an increasingly value-based health landscape, many are looking at the world of Medicare Advantage as more than a pressure point for billing. They see it as an opportunity to take control of the premium dollar, moving into the business of providing insurance for their patients. […]

Skilled Nursing News’ Hidden Gems of 2019

For the skilled nursing profession, 2019 will be synonymous with the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), and the top stories of the year reflect the importance of this shift. But PDPM is one of many moving parts in the skilled nursing world, and operators, landlords, and regulators alike made splashes in ways that had nothing to […]

MedPAC Commissioner: Underfunding Turns Medicaid-Heavy SNFs into ‘7th Circle of Hell’

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) once again advised that Medicare’s payments for skilled nursing facilities are too high — but also acknowledged the challenges for providers caused by low Medicaid reimbursement. A presentation by Dr. Carol Carter delivered to MedPAC on December 5 examined Medicare margins for SNFs amid the larger contexts of beneficiary […]

Ciena Opens $16.5M Facility in Michigan; Former Kindred SNF to Become Substance-Use Facility

Ciena Healthcare’s newest skilled nursing facility in Westland, Mich., is ready to take patients after several years of construction. Hometown Life first reported on the facility’s opening. The new SNF, the Regency of Westland, will replace Ciena’s Camelot Hall Convalescent Center in Livonia, Mich., with patients at the latter expected to move into the Regency […]