Federal Lawmakers Resurrect Nursing Home Arbitration Ban with Proposed Bill

Two Congressional representatives introduced a bill on Thursday that would ban nursing homes from requiring — or even asking — residents to enter into mandatory, pre-dispute, binding arbitration agreements. The Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act, introduced by Democratic Reps. Linda Sánchez of California and Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, has support from a range of […]

New NY Nursing Home Law Targets Physician Privilege Disclosures

A new law in New York State will require nursing home operators to provide detailed information about their physician privileges to residents as a prerequisite for admission. Signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo late last month, the update to the state’s public health law means that skilled nursing facilities can’t accept residents until they […]

CMS to Have ‘Limited’ Survey Capacity for New Nursing Home Requirements of Participation

Confusion continues to reign over the final set of new requirements for Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes, as the federal government disclosed that it will have very little ability to enforce the rules until the middle of next year. The third and last update to the Requirements of Participation (RoPs) is set to take effect […]

Push to Reduce Antipsychotic Drugs in Nursing Homes May Have Boosted Costly Hospitalizations

The regulatory push to reduce antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes may be correlated to a rise in risk factors for avoidable and non-avoidable hospitalization among residents with behavioral health issues, according to a recent study published in JAMDA, the journal for The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. A team of researchers from the […]

As Phase 3 Looms, Many Skilled Nursing Facilities Lack Key Required Staff

A new survey found that though antibiotic stewardship has increased at skilled nursing facilities across the country, there are still gaps with regard to the infection preventionist (IP) position -— even though that position is a key part of Phase 3 of the Requirements of Participation (RoPs) for SNFs, taking effect at the end of […]

Less Than 5% of Nursing Homes Receive Abuse Icon — But Financial Impacts Could Be Coming

As the federal government predicted, just under 5% of the nation’s nursing facilities received a new abuse warning icon on the consumer-facing Nursing Home Compare website — but the early data also reveals significant regional variations that could have an impact on valuations and bottom lines moving forward. Out of 15,262 total facilities, just 760 […]

Verma: New Abuse Warning Icon ‘Isn’t Really Going to Impact Very Many Nursing Homes’

Despite widespread anger in the skilled nursing industry, a controversial new warning icon for facilities with previous reports of abuse and neglect will affect only a relatively small proportion of properties, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Seema Verma told lawmakers in Washington on Wednesday. Testifying before the House Committee on Energy & […]

OIG: Nursing Home Complaints Increase Nationwide — Along with Delays in Investigations

The federal government’s top health care watchdog logged an increase in nursing home complaints last year, according to the most recent set of data from the Department of Health and Human Services, in tandem with a 23% rise in high-priority incidents that were not investigated within the proper timeframe. The HHS Office of the Inspector […]

CMS to Implement Stricter Standards for State Nursing Home Surveyors

The federal government on Thursday rolled out yet another initiative aimed at nursing home safety, announcing a multi-pronged effort to strengthen its oversight of State Survey Agencies (SSAs). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will implement a variety of new assessment tools in the State Performance Standards System (SPSS), its rubric for grading […]

On-Site Ombudsmen Lead to More Skilled Nursing Deficiencies on Surveys

When an ombudsman remains on site during post-acute and long-term care facility surveys, the building’s quality scores may be negatively affected, according to a study in published this week in JAMDA, journal of AMDA — The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. Researchers determined that ombudsmen may direct assessors to more attention to on-site […]

It’s Here: Skilled Nursing Providers, Investors Weigh in on PDPM Opportunities, ‘Stumbling Blocks’

The long wait is over: The new Medicare payment system for nursing homes has arrived. October 1 marks the official start of the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), just about 18 months after the federal government first announced the change in April 2018. Since then, the skilled nursing industry has trained a laser focus on preparations […]

New CMS Rule Requires Hospitals to Provide Skilled Nursing Quality Data at Discharge

The federal government issued a final rule on Thursday requiring hospitals to give patients access to more information about the post-acute provider choices available — including data on how their post-acute options perform on quality measures such as pressure ulcers, falls, and readmissions. This new rule will not have any impact on anti-steering regulations that […]

Skilled Nursing Provider Athena Settles DOJ Probe Over Opioid Denials as Feds Promise More Crackdowns

The federal government this week announced a settlement with a regional skilled nursing chain that officials accused of discriminating against residents with opioid use disorder. Athena Health Care Systems will adopt a non-discrimination policy regarding patients dealing with opioid addiction, develop training programs, and pay a $10,000 civil penalty to the government as part of […]

Mass. Official Calls for Improvements in Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect Investigations

A top official in Massachusetts called on the state’s health department to improve its nursing home investigation efforts after an audit revealed significant delays in processing inspections of potentially deficient properties. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s investigative unit failed to conduct on-site inspections of nursing homes within the mandated 10-day timeframe in 148 of […]

Two Arkansas Skilled Nursing Facilities Sue Federal Government Over Arbitration Rule

Two nursing facilities in Arkansas filed a lawsuit last week against the U.S. federal government over the final rule regarding arbitration in skilled nursing facilities, arguing that the newest iteration of the regulation “is just as unlawful” as the 2016 rule that banned the practice altogether. The two plaintiffs are Northport Health Services of Arkansas […]