Physician Assistants Could Address Skilled Nursing, LTC Staffing Gaps

Though a significant proportion of jobs in long-term and elder care are designated solely for nurse practitioners (NPs), physician assistants (PAs) may be an overlooked resource for operators facing persistent staffing issues. That’s according to a new report from the University of California, San Francisco, which examined job postings for nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants […]

Some California Nursing Homes Inflated Star Ratings

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made improvements to its Five-Star Quality Rating System after questions about self-inflation, and a new study provides more evidence for why the changes were necessary. The study, by University of Connecticut professors Niam Yaraghi and Ram Gopal and Xu Han of Florida Atlantic University, examined 1,200 California […]

States See Progress in Long-Term Care, But Still Can Improve

With both health care costs and the age of the U.S. population rising, states are caught between the needs of elder care and the necessity of restraining spending. The SCAN Foundation’s Pacesetter Prize, created this year, is aimed at recognizing the states that have risen to the challenge by improving long-term services and support (LTSS) for […]

Skilled Nursing Occupancy Drops to New Low in Q3

Skilled nursing occupancy reached a new low in the third quarter at 81.6%, according to the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care’s (NIC) new report on skilled nursing occupancy and revenue trends. Downward pressure on occupancy has been steady since May 2015, and the decline for this year—quarterly occupancy fell 29 basis points […]

Transactions: Grand Healthcare Buys Ninth N.Y. SNF

Grand Healthcare System Buys SNF in Valatie, New York The Grand Healthcare System, based in Whitestone, New York, purchased the 236-bed Barnwell Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, the Times Union reported. Grand purchased the Valatie, New York facility from Cassena Care, bringing Grand’s SNF total in New York to nine. Documents from New York’s Health Department indicated that entities linked to […]

Advanced Practice Nurses Cut Hospitalizations from SNFs by Almost Half

If a nursing home wants fewer hospitalizations, it needs more nursing personnel. This was the takeaway from a report released in October on an initiative supported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The initiative was meant to reduce avoidable hospitalizations among nursing facility residents, and was part of the Missouri Quality Initiative for Nursing […]

Skilled Nursing Transactions: Kindred Continues SNF Sell-Off

Kindred Provides Update on Closings for Its Skilled Nursing Facility  Louisville, Kentucky-based Kindred Healthcare said it completed additional closings connected with its agreement to sell off its skilled nursing assets to BM Eagle Holdings, LLC. The most recent closings include 12 skilled nursing facilities and one assisted living facility sold since Oct. 1, with proceeds […]

How South Dakota Got Its First New SNF in 30 Years

The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society’s new 30-bed skilled nursing facility in Rapid City, South Dakota, will be the first in the state since 1988. That was the year the state implemented a moratorium on new nursing home construction. It was also the year South Dakota repealed its certificate of need (CON) system, which covered […]

SNF Apprenticeship Program Will Take CNAs Beyond Book Learning

Apprenticeship programs are often associated with skilled laborers, such as carpenters or electricians. Now Marion County, Indiana, is going to test the concept in skilled nursing and other long-term care settings. The Indiana Health Care Association/Indiana Center for Assisted Living (IHCA/INCAL), a trade association representing the state’s long-term care facilities, and EmployIndy, a workforce development nonprofit in […]

CMS-Backed Clinical Program Drastically Lowers Avoidable Hospitalizations at SNFs

Potentially avoidable hospitalizations for long-stay nursing facility residents can be significantly reduced by embedding nurses and nurse practitioners, according to a new analysis. In turn, the strategy could substantially slash Medicare spending. That’s according to an independent evaluation of the OPTIMISTIC program prepared at the request of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). OPTIMISTIC was developed […]

Saber Healthcare Makes Major Telehealth Push at 88 Facilities

Saber Healthcare Group has implemented its first telemedicine program, in partnership with TeleCare Partners Group (TPG). The program will be rolled out to Saber’s 88 skilled nursing facilities in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia. The program launch started in the first week of October, with a total of 28 facilities folded into the program so […]

More Doctors Specialize in Nursing Home Care, Study Shows

Increasing numbers of doctors and advanced practitioners in the U.S. are focusing on nursing home care, which could indicate a trend toward the specialty as the U.S. population ages. Of all the doctors and advance practitioners who do any work in nursing homes, 21% specialize in nursing home care, a new study published Tuesday in […]

SNF Residency Gives Nurses ‘Ownership’ in Long-Term Care

Nurse residencies have long been associated with hospitals and the resources they provide, but long-term care facilities are starting to see their potential as they focus on hiring and retaining the best nurses. When the University of Wisconsin realized new nurses were also starting to expect, or at least ask about, residency programs in long-term […]

Why Value-Based Care Could Improve SNF Care, Lower Costs

Value-based programs can lead to lower costs of care and better quality of care for seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, according to an internal study from Louisville, Kentucky-based health insurance provider Humana. The study found total health care costs for practices in Humana’s value-based arrangements were 15% lower than original fee-for-service Medicare. Compared with standard […]

Florida Agency Scrubs Nursing Home Inspections From Website

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) removed all nursing home inspections from its website about three months ago, the Miami Herald reported. The agency gave no announcement or notice of the removal of the records, which came soon after the Miami Herald reported on the agency’s decision to heavily redact reports. The AHCA spent […]

Care Collaboration-Focused Tech Company Raises $47.5M

Care collaboration between providers on the continuum remains a top priority for skilled nursing facilities and other providers, especially as new payment models such as bundled payments require operators to work together. One Utah-based firm sees potential in capturing emergency-room data that follows a patient outside the hospital — and investors have given the idea a $47.5 […]

Newspaper Reports Shine Harsh Light on Nursing Home Crime in Minnesota

Hundreds of assaults, rapes and robberies take place at senior care centers in Minnesota, and state regulators lack the expertise and staff to investigate them, according to a series by the Star Tribune. The Minnesota Department of Health received 25,226 allegations of neglect, physical abuse, unexplained serious injuries, and thefts within state-licensed homes for the elderly, 97% […]

Skilled Nursing Transactions: Cascadia Now Largest Post-Acute Operator in Idaho

Cascadia Healthcare Becomes Largest Post-Acute Operator in Idaho Cascadia Healthcare announced several transactions that made the Eagle, Idaho-based post-acute health care company the largest such operator in the state. Cascadia of Nampa, a 99-bed transitional care facility in Nampa, Idaho, opened most recently. In addition, Cascadia expects to open a similar construction facility in Boise, Idaho, early next […]

AHCA: HHS Nominee Azar is Respected and Experienced

President Donald Trump tweeted Monday morning that he would nominate Alex Azar, a former executive with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly, as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. The nation’s largest skilled nursing provider association stands ready to work with Azar, the group stated, while others raised some concerns about what his nomination could mean […]