25% of Nursing Homes Report at Least One Point-of-Care False COVID Positive as CMS Probes Reasons Why

About a quarter of nursing homes have seen at least one false positive COVID-19 result during an ongoing federal push to provide point-of-care antigen testing at most facilities across the country, according to an industry-led survey. “We found that about 20-25 percent of SNFs had a positive antigen test result later found to be incorrect […]

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) […]

‘Quality of Life is Medically Necessary’: What Nursing Home Residents’ Families Want in a Post-COVID World

For Melody Taylor Stark, navigating life after her husband Bill required long-term nursing care hasn’t always been easy, but with the help of some caring staffers and a little bit of creativity, the couple was able to settle into something like normalcy. Friday nights out at a restaurant became takeout shared over a table that […]

HHS Releases Final Details of $2 Billion in Value-Based COVID Payments for Nursing Homes

The federal government this week released its exact framework for distributing $2 billion in relief funding to nursing facilities that can reduce COVID-19 infections and deaths. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will begin sending out payments to qualifying operators next month based on September performance, with three more monthly performance periods through […]

CMS Updates Nursing Home Visitation Guidance with Eye Toward Indoor Reunions

The federal government on Thursday issued a new set of nursing home visitation guidelines, laying out a roadmap for resuming indoor visits based on community COVID-19 spread and emphasizing the importance of meeting residents’ psychosocial needs. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled the new recommendations in a memo to directors of State […]

One Federal Report Was Never Going to Solve Systemic Nursing Home Problems. The Real Work Begins Now

A White House task force this week released an exhaustive report detailing the struggles and failures that the nation’s nursing workers and residents have endured over the last six months, but there wasn’t much information in its 186 pages that should have come as a surprise to anyone following the space. A coherent, coordinated, and […]

Federal Nursing Home Commission Calls on CMS to Adopt 27 Recommendations, ‘Reduce Suffering’

A special federal commission on nursing homes and COVID-19 on Wednesday released its formal report, focusing foremost on testing, personal protective equipment, and visitation as the nation’s long-term care facilities continue to grapple with the novel coronavirus. The Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes laid out 27 primary recommendations for the Centers […]

Point-of-Care COVID Test Manufacturer BD Investigating False Positives in Nursing Homes: Report

Becton Dickinson, which manufactures one of two point-of-care COVID-19 testing models that the federal government has sent directly to nursing homes, is investigating claims of false positives in the long-term care setting, the Wall Street Journal reported this week. The American Health Care Association, which represents more than 14,000 primarily for-profit nursing facilities across the […]

CMS Floats New Infection Control Quality Measure for Nursing Homes

The federal government this week opened a public comment period on a proposed new quality metric that would measure each nursing home’s ability to curb the spread of infections. The Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) Requiring Hospitalizations measure would track the rate of nursing home stays that result in acquired infections — specifically […]

To Stop COVID-19 in Nursing Homes and Honor Workers, Federal Aid Must Include Direct Payments to Caregivers

Six months into the coronavirus crisis, the nation has settled into an uneasy return to semi-normalcy, with many schools reopening, sports airing on television every night, and most people learning to live with socializing in small groups while wearing masks and keeping plenty of distance. But for nursing home residents already ravaged by COVID-19, any […]

Verma: CMS to Use ‘Enforcement Discretion’ with New Nursing Home Testing Rules

Nursing home leaders should document all attempts to test workers for COVID-19 under strict new rules, officials said this week, as the federal government looks to balance enforcement with the reality of continued hurdles on the ground. “We want to ensure that we’re using enforcement discretion. We know that as we’re implementing this, there’s going […]

HHS Will Send 750K Abbott Point-of-Care Tests to Nursing Homes Next Week

The federal government will release approximately 750,000 point-of-care COVID-19 tests from manufacturer Abbott to nursing homes next week in a separate, parallel initiative that builds on a previously announced push to bring coronavirus tests directly to facilities’ doors. Initially positioned as a way to ramp up testing in schools, a Department of Health and Human […]

Parkinson: Don’t Assume Most Recent $5 Billion ‘the End of It’ for Nursing Home Aid

Even though the federal government has released the full details behind the most recent $5 billion tranche of aid for nursing homes, set to last through December, operators shouldn’t necessarily think that the support will end there. Citing $50 billion still left in the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) coronavirus relief coffers, American […]

Signature CEO Steier: ‘Devastating Blow’ of Social Isolation Tops List of Nursing Home COVID Strains

The emotional, operational, and financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on nursing homes have come from seemingly all angles, but the leader of one of the nation’s largest providers this week identified social isolation as the biggest pain point — backed by a deeply personal connection. Signature HealthCARE CEO Joseph Steier lost his brother, a […]

HHS Confirms Value-Based Structure for Coming $2B in Nursing Home Aid

The federal government on Thursday confirmed the value-based structure of the remaining $2 billion in federal aid to nursing homes, with facilities that beat baseline COVID-19 infection and mortality rates set to receive more relief. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will structure the remaining distribution as a kind of monthly contest, with […]

CMS Finalizes Nursing Home Compare Overhaul with Launch of Consolidated Site

The federal government on Thursday announced the completion of a plan to fold its consumer-facing Nursing Home Compare website into a larger database of public information on a variety of health care providers. Now known as Care Compare, the overhauled Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) site compiles information about nursing homes, home health […]

Grabowski: As Case Counts Rise and PPE Issues Persist, Nursing Homes Face Grim ‘Groundhog Day’

As COVID-19 continues to bring sickness and death to American nursing homes, Harvard University professor David Grabowski has become one of the most-quoted experts on the steps that operators and the government should take to stem the tide. But as the summer turns to fall during a pandemic that started in late winter, the long-term […]

Giroir: With PCR Tests Out of Reach For Most Nursing Homes, Antigen Testing ‘Is Clearly a Life-Saving Option’

The nation’s top COVID-19 testing official gave more insight into the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) efforts to expedite and expand the use of rapid point-of-care antigen testing in skilled nursing facilities across the U.S. during a media briefing held Tuesday. HHS announced on Monday that it was expanding coverage for licensed health […]