Telemedicine Can Significantly Reduce High-Risk Medication Use in SNFs — Including Antipsychotics

The value of telehealth in the skilled nursing setting has become apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, with various care providers finding ways to maintain resident services despite being forced to stay away from facilities. And in one analysis that began a few months before visitors and unnecessary personnel were banned from SNFs, the telehealth model […]

Backed By HHS — and Up to $237M — Nursing Home Action Network Targets Infection Control

As part of an effort to bolster the implementation of evidence-based infection prevention and safety in nursing homes, a federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is establishing a National Nursing Home COVID Action Network, supported financially by the Provider Relief Fund. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), part […]

While Hospital Discharges to Home Health Rebound, SNFs See ‘Drastic and Lasting Decline’

The COVID-19 pandemic pummeled patient volumes across the health care continuum, but for skilled nursing facilities, the sharp decline in patients has not rebounded, according to a new analysis — even as hospitals and home health see their admissions recover. Discharges to SNFs and to the home health setting fell in tandem with the decline […]

COVID-19 Rates in Nursing Homes Can Plummet with Funding, PPE — But Long-Term Sustainability in Doubt

By adhering to infection control processes, particularly the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cohorting residents, skilled nursing facilities have significantly reduced their weekly COVID-19 infection and mortality rates, a new study has determined. The study was published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society earlier this month, examining 360 nursing homes in the state […]

Sabra Mulls $14M Write-Off for Signature, Genesis After ‘Going Concern’ Warnings

Concerns about the future of skilled nursing operators Genesis HealthCare (NYSE: GEN) and Signature HealthCARE have spread to a second public landlord, though in this case, Sabra Health Care REIT (Nasdaq: SBRA) stopped short of taking definitive action just yet. Sabra late last week disclosed that the real estate investment trust (REIT) and its auditors […]

North Shore Looks to Bolster Nursing Home Quality, Fix a ‘Missed Opportunity’ with Sweeping Physician Partnership

Skilled nursing operator North Shore Healthcare recently announced an expansion of its work with a Dallas-based physician-led organization to its entire portfolio, with the goal of enhancing and standardizing the clinical care in North Shore’s 71 SNFs and assisted living facilities. It’s work that North Shore CEO David Mills is particularly important because of the […]

Citing ‘Over-Reliance’ on Nursing Homes, CMS Releases $165M for Community Transition Programs

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Wednesday announced $165 million in supplemental funding to states currently operating Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration programs, specifically citing COVID-19 as a key reason to encourage the movement of individuals from the nursing home setting into community resources. “The tragic devastation wrought by the coronavirus […]

Senators Excoriate Federal Response to COVID-19 in Nursing Homes, Hint at Future ‘Reckoning’

In an update to a report issued in July, two Democratic senators had sharp words for the federal response to COVID-19 in U.S. nursing homes, arguing that the Trump administration has failed to take sufficient action to protect nursing home residents and workers from the pandemic. They pointed in particular to policy solutions that multiple […]

Almost a Year After PDPM’s Implementation, Providers Still Miss Key Payment Drivers

In the months leading up to the implementation of the Patient-Driven Payment Model, the overhaul of Medicare reimbursement for skilled nursing facilities that was implemented last year, several factors emerged as crucial areas for thriving under the new system. The Medicare rate of each facility is determined by a formula that draws from five care […]

Increased Nursing Home Data Reporting Could Bring ‘Perfect Storm’ of Federal Lawsuits

Under regulations instituted as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, skilled nursing facilities are reporting a wealth of information to the federal government — on top of all the information they were required to submit pre-pandemic. And that information could end up being the guiding light for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) […]

Skilled Nursing Residents Shut Out of New End-Stage Renal Disease Payment Model

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday announced the finalization of a new kidney-care payment rule, but the regulation specifically exempts patients who are receiving their dialysis treatment in the nursing home. The End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Treatment Choices (ETC) Model is intended to test whether greater use of home dialysis and […]

$30M Rehab and Nursing Center Opens in Maryland; Cushman & Wakefield’s $37.1M Financing

Mercy Health Services in Maryland opened a $30 million rehabilitation and nursing care facility, operated by its long-term care arm Stella Maris, the Baltimore Business Journal reported on September 9. The facility is part of a campus in Baltimore County that houses other Stella Maris services, such as an independent living complex and assisted living […]

AHCA’s Parkinson: Long-Term Care Sector Needs to Face Infection Control Problems

The COVID-19 pandemic blindsided the skilled nursing sector when it hit in late winter and early spring this year, but the field has to be willing to acknowledge pre-existing problems with infection control and make changes accordingly. That’s according to Mark Parkinson, the leader of the nursing home trade group the American Health Care Association […]

CMS Formally Scraps MFAR, Averting Potential $50B in Medicaid Cuts

The head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Monday that the agency is withdrawing a controversial rule intended to overhaul Medicaid supplemental payments — a rule that could have put as much as $50 billion in jeopardy. “We’ve listened closely to concerns that have been raised by our state and provider […]

Verma Pushes Back on Criticism: ‘Administration Took Early, Rapid Action’ on Nursing Homes

After the New York Times editorial board published a piece criticizing the nation’s response to the effects of COVID-19 on nursing homes, the head of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) raised several objections on behalf of the Trump administration. “The administration took early, rapid action: We issued infection control guidance to prepare […]

Unionized Nursing Homes Saw Lower COVID-19 Mortality Rates, Better PPE Access: Study

Nursing homes in New York with unionized workforces had lower mortality rates from COVID-19, as well as greater access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and lower COVID-19 infection rates, according to a new study released September 10 in the journal Health Affairs. Specifically, health care unions in nursing homes were associated with a 1.29 percentage […]