SNFs Could Face Fines of $1K Per Week For COVID-19 Reporting Violations

Nursing homes will soon have to start reporting all positive COVID-19 cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – and could face civil monetary penalties (CMPs) for not meeting the reporting requirements. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Seema Verma said on a Monday morning call with reporters that skilled […]

Multiple States Take Steps to Shield Nursing Homes From Liability Amid COVID-19 — But Rules Vary

Health care providers across the continuum have grappled with major challenges in providing care for patients with COVID-19, and several states have taken steps to shield them from lawsuits related to care provided during the national emergency. Skilled nursing facilities are often included in those liability protections, but the extent to which the protections apply […]

Harvard Researchers: Officials Should Order Operators to Convert Certain SNFs for COVID-19 Care

In communities where the peak of the illness caused by the novel coronavirus hasn’t yet arrived, authorities should start designating specific skilled nursing facilities as specialized COVID-19 facilities to ease hospital capacity, according to a Wednesday essay in the journal Health Affairs. And as they look to make those designations, authorities should not wait on […]

CMS Doubles Payment Rate for COVID-19 Tests to Expand Nursing Home Access — as Verma Blames Labs for Shortfalls

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will increase its reimbursements for high-volume lab tests used to rapidly diagnose COVID-19 cases as part of the federal government’s push to expand testing access — particularly among the vulnerable skilled nursing population, the agency announced Wednesday. The reimbursement for COVID-19 diagnostic lab tests that use certain […]

PPE Shortages to Play Central Role in Future Nursing Home Lawsuits

Problems with securing sufficient quantities of personal protective equipment (PPE) span the health care continuum, but in the skilled nursing setting, many providers are grappling with severe shortages — even as they try to contain a contagious disease that presents unique dangers to their patient population. Widespread shortages of masks and gowns, coupled with a […]

Officials Turn to Analytics to Predict COVID-19 Hotspots in Nursing Homes

An analytics company that provides data in real time about changes in patient conditions has launched an infectious disease surveillance program in the wake of the COVID-19 national emergency, with the goal of identifying hot spots for the disease before they gather steam. Real Time Medical Systems, a provider of interventional analytics software based in […]

CMS Clears Nurse Practitioners to Perform Some Medical Exams in SNFs in Response to COVID-19

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Thursday suspended several rules with the goal of maximizing the frontline healthcare workforce during the COVID-19 emergency, with the result that nurse practitioners can now perform some medical exams in the skilled nursing setting. “It’s all hands on deck during this crisis,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma […]

PPE Prices Jump More Than 1,000% for Nursing Homes — With Markup on Some Masks Exceeding 6,000%

If skilled nursing facilities want to follow federal guidelines on caring for their residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, they could find themselves paying staggering amounts for the required personal protective equipment — with prices rising more than 1,000% from before the pandemic to now. That’s according to an April 7 cost analysis from the Society […]

Amid Shortages, Using PPE According to CMS Guidelines Could Cost Nursing Homes $10K a Day — Or More

Updated guidelines on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) are causing major headaches for health care providers across the continuum, as both acute and post-acute care settings grapple with supply shortages and a surge in cases of COVID-19. Those headaches include grappling with significant shortages of equipment in the face of the highly contagious […]

Officials Offer Financial Incentives for COVID-Focused SNFs Ahead of Peak Cases: ‘It’s a Race at This Point’

Nursing homes in Connecticut will get a 10%, “across-the-board increase” in their Medicaid reimbursements — with operators that volunteer to turn their facilities into dedicated COVID-19 treatment facilities eligible for even greater financial benefits — as the state scrambles to respond to the growing crisis. The office of Gov. Ned Lamont made the announcement on […]

As Nursing Homes with Cases Reach 400, AHCA Advises Operators to Assume All Untested Patients Positive for COVID-19

One of the country’s major nursing home trade groups is advising its members to assume that unless a person has tested negative for COVID-19 prior to admission, that patient has the virus. This is regardless of whether or not they have symptoms, according to guidance from the American Health Care Association (AHCA) released on Monday. […]

Salmon Health Begins Transferring Residents to Create Dedicated COVID-19 Skilled Nursing Facility

The office of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday announced several initiatives to combat the COVID-19 crisis in the Bay State — one of which includes setting up skilled nursing facilities dedicated to caring for patients who have the disease. The first of these facilities, Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Worcester, Mass., operated […]

Some Managed Care Plans Lift Restrictions on Skilled Nursing Coverage Amid COVID-19 — But Not All

Multiple managed care plans have made changes to their procedures for admissions to the skilled nursing setting amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with several major companies suspending prior authorization requirements for admissions to a skilled nursing facility. The changes, however, are not uniform — and that’s if the managed care organization (MCO) chooses to make […]