Amid Rising Citations and Complaints, Lawmakers Advance Nursing Home Inspector, Staff Joint Training Bill

In a move to enhance the quality of care in Iowa’s nursing homes, Iowa lawmakers advanced a new bill that proposes joint training for nursing home staff and inspectors in order to better address complaints. Recent data shows complaints and citations have drastically increased over the last year. The Department of Inspections, Appeals and Licensing […]

Marcum: Fines Cost Nursing Home Sector $560M as Volume Quadruples in Post-Pandemic Era

The volume of non-compliant fines quadrupled in the post-pandemic period between 2020 and 2022, with a staggering 36,370 such fines being issued to nursing homes, costing the industry a total of $560 million nationwide, according to the 2024 Marcum Three-Year Nursing Home Statistical Review. The high cost to the sector from fines was despite the […]

CMS: Medicare Advantage Plans Can Use AI Tools To ‘Assist’ but Not Terminate Post-Acute Care Stays

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is placing limits on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools in denials of claims related to Medicare Advantage plans, and adding more guidance to health care providers on post-acute care admissions. The agency issued an FAQ Tuesday to address concerns related to coverage criteria and utilization […]

In Positive Move for Nursing Homes, CMS’ Prior Auth Rule Cracks Down Further on Medicare Advantage Plans

Piece by piece, nursing home operators are seeing stricter government oversight of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, a welcome relief given that partnerships with such managed care plans have become a huge source of administrative burden for providers in the sector, especially as workforce shortages persist. Most recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) […]

AHCA’s Clif Porter: Nursing Home Staffing Proposal May Be Finalized in Summer, Felt Like an Unpleasant ‘Bucket of Cold Water’

CMS isn’t expected to finalize the minimum staffing proposal until the summer at the earliest, with the agency having to wade through more than 40,000 comments before moving forward with the rule. The voices of skilled nursing providers, along with coalition partners like the American Hospital Association, will hopefully have been heard by CMS and […]

‘Significant Bandwidth’: Ensign Reports Jump in Census, Managed Care Revenue, Expects Localized Growth  

Acquisitions and localized growth, along with the looming federal minimum staffing proposal and legal settlements were top of mind for executives of the Ensign Group (Nasdaq: ENSG) as the California-based organization closed out the year. Managed care revenue and census increased during the quarter by 12.3% and 3.5% respectively, compared to the prior year’s quarter, […]

Medicaid Funding Suspended for Two More Nursing Homes in NJ, Owners Linked To Alleged Fraud

Two more nursing homes in New Jersey have their Medicaid funding suspended following allegations of massive fraud by the owners related to their New York facilities. Deptford Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare, and Hammonton Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare will lose their Medicaid funding on May 24, according to the Office of the State Comptroller […]

HHS: Financial Stalemate Factored Into Fiasco of St. Louis’ Largest Nursing Home Closing

Following the abrupt closure in December of Northview Village, St. Louis’ largest skilled nursing facility, federal agencies issued a scathing 59-page report detailing the failures of leadership immediately before and after the facility shut its doors. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) found the facility failed to follow its emergency preparedness plan, […]

Addressing Wildfire Smoke’s Harmful Impact on Nursing Home Air Quality

As wildfires continue to plague the western U.S. and Canada, the repercussions of the resulting smoke infiltrating long-term care facilities have become a significant concern for nursing home residents across many parts of the country. Luke Montrose, an environmental toxicologist at Colorado State University, conducted a study in 2020, which found that one facility allowed […]

Iowa Might Join 14 States in Allowing Room Cameras in Nursing Homes

Iowa nursing homes may see cameras in resident rooms – with state legislators progressing a bill on the matter. The legislation will allow the use of “granny cams” despite many operator misgivings, providing families with a video feed of activity inside a resident’s room, according to a report published in the Iowa Capital Dispatch. Fourteen […]

‘Heartwarming and Heartbreaking’: What Linn Health’s Nursing Home Restructuring Says About State of Sector

Recent nursing home restructurings have often involved additions of other segments of the care continuum. The example of Linn Health & Rehabilitation bears this out. The Rhode Island-based provider of skilled nursing, therapy services and long-term care has opted to shift its operating structure, adding assisted living and memory care, after suffering enormous financial losses […]

OIG Plans To Audit Nursing Home Survey Practices This Year – With Results Expected in 2025

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will be auditing nursing home survey practices this year with results expected in 2025, following concerns that third-party contractors may not have sufficient oversight in the space. OIG suggested closer scrutiny of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulatory practices when it came to surveys, given […]

Nursing Home Operators Feel There’s a Lot to Learn From Hospice Surveys Despite Regulatory Differences

Many nursing home operators that also have hospice operations can’t help but notice that the survey process on the hospice end is generally a more positive experience than in the nursing home world. And some say the collaborative nature – between facilities and the federal government – of hospice surveys can and should be replicated […]

‘Concerning’ Link Found Between Reduced Nursing Home Staffing Hours and Hospitalizations

There were more hospitalizations for residents in Florida nursing homes, following legislation which lowered the number of nursing hours per resident. That’s according to a report from AARP Florida, the third report the advocacy group for older adults has released since staffing hours were changed in 2022. Between 2019 to 2020 and 2022 to 2023, […]

OIG Says CDC’s COVID-19 Reporting System for Nursing Homes Better, But Still Challenged

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 reporting system has improved, but more still needs to be done to ensure safety protocols are promptly in place at nursing homes, a report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) released Friday states. The report delved into the intricacies of CDC’s reporting process, specifically focusing […]

CMS Focuses on Resident Mood Interviews in Newly-Issued Nursing Home MDS Draft

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday issued its draft Minimum Data Set (MDS) — earlier than the federal agency’s typical timeline and with less sweeping changes compared to past years. Changes, effective Oct. 1, include an update to the list of state RAI coordinators, MDS automation coordinators, CMS locations and contacts, […]

Nursing Home Operators Optimistic About CMS Survey Testing, But Devil Lies in the Details

Potential changes to the nursing home survey process being mulled over by federal authorities – and aimed at standardization across states – have many operators feeling optimistic for the years ahead, especially given that regional differences in implementation can lead to extra administrative burdens and survey backlogs. Toward the end of 2023, the Centers for […]

As a ‘Better Advisor’ to Congress, MedPAC Mulls CMS Staffing Mandate Effects But Proposes 3% Medicare Cut

The majority of MedPAC board members voted Thursday to recommend reducing Medicare-based payment rates for skilled nursing spending by 3% for 2025, despite voicing concerns about the federal minimum staffing proposed rule. MedPAC, which stands for the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, is made up of health care professionals who make recommendations to Congress in terms […]

DOL Alleges Back Wages Owed to Over 600 Next Step Healthcare Staff in 25 Nursing Homes

More than 600 skilled nursing workers may be owed back wages across 25 Massachusetts facilities in 21 communities, owned by local operator Next Step Healthcare. The Department of Labor (DOL) filed a complaint in federal court alleging that various nursing home organizations intentionally withheld overtime wages for at least 624 employees, and failed to maintain […]