HHS Delays Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements

The federal government on Friday issued a formal delay of its reporting requirements for health care providers that received COVID-19 financial relief. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had originally set January 15 as the opening date for its Provider Relief Fund reporting portal, with the first deadline set a month later on […]

Nursing Home Vaccine Stories: Shots Bring Hope of Normal Visits by Q2, But Health Officials Hold Final Say

Vaccinating the nation’s nursing home residents is taking longer than many have anticipated, and the family members of those in long-term care settings are certainly forgiven for being impatient: Locked away from their loved ones for months on end, residents and their families see a desperately needed light at the end of the tunnel as […]

Investing in Home-Based Senior Care Can’t Come at Expense of Nursing Facilities

The COVID-19 pandemic has rightfully prompted lawmakers at the state and federal level to reconsider the way government payers incentivize or discourage the use of nursing homes relative to other options, such as home- and community-based services (HCBS). But one prominent long-term care researcher this week warned against looking at the reform equation as a […]

CDC Adds to Research Suggesting Link Between Nursing Home Outbreaks, Community Rates of COVID

Multiple studies emerged over the course of 2020 suggesting correlations between the incidence of COVID-19 in a community and the rates of infection nursing homes within that community — and a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) joins the list. The new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) found that […]

Nursing Home Vaccine Stories: One CEO’s Personal Appeal to Reduce Hesitancy

Just as predicted before the rollout began, vaccine hesitancy among nursing home workers stands as a serious barrier to widespread acceptance in long-term care — and, in turn, fully fostering group immunity among the most vulnerable. Battered by COVID-19 and unwilling to trust the institutions that oversaw the deaths of their patients and colleagues, a […]

Home Health Giant Amedisys Launches Nursing Home Infusion Pilot, Sets Sights on COVID and Beyond

Home health and hospice heavyweight Amedisys Inc. (Nasdaq: AMED) sees opportunity in serving long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 crisis — and potentially well into a post-pandemic world. The Baton Rouge, La.-based home health, hospice, and personal care services provider this week announced a partnership with Option Care Health Inc. (Nasdaq: OPCH), the largest independent […]

Walgreens, CVS Pledge to Finish First Nursing Home Vaccinations by Jan. 25, AHCA ‘Not Aware’ of Major Delays

The two pharmacy giants in charge of the federal government’s COVID-19 vaccination program for long-term care facilities on Wednesday pushed back on reports that the rollout is proceeding slower than anticipated, while a top industry trade group reported only isolated problems thus far. Both Walgreens and CVS indicated that the push to provide the first […]

Nursing Home COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Slow in Early Going, with 13% of Shots Distributed

Only about 13% of the first COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered to nursing home residents by the first business week of 2021, raising concerns about the rollout for both the elderly and the general public. The federal government’s long-term care vaccination initiative has about 3.3 million total doses set aside, but just 429,066 had […]

3% of Emergency Nursing Home Surveys Result in Citations, Backlog Could Take Years to Clear

Despite a spike in the number of “immediate jeopardy” complaints at nursing homes, the initial wave of emergency inspections during the COVID-19 crisis resulted in a significantly lower rate of violations, a new federal report determined — while states across the country face a growing backlog of overdue routine surveys. Between March 23 and May […]

GAO: Managed Medicaid Programs for LTC Services Need National Oversight

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found “significant problems” with the managed long-term supports and services (MLTSS) covered by Medicaid and implemented through contracts with managed care organizations. The GAO made the discovery in a recent review of six states. In the report, which was released publicly on December 16, the GAO recommended a […]

ProMedica ‘Ecstatic’ Over Vaccine Effectiveness, But Rollout Won’t Be Silver Bullet for Nursing Homes

Family members of nursing home residents can certainly be forgiven for imagining an instant return to normal after Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine received emergency approval from the federal government late Friday. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has placed this population at the front of the line for the shots, and families have been […]

ProMedica Senior Care’s Parker Sees Growth Ahead — Even as ‘Major Disruption’ Looms for Industry in Early ’21

When Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL) and health system ProMedica teamed up to take over nursing home giant HCR ManorCare in 2018, the players positioned the move as a way to vertically integrate a continuum that could follow a patient from the hospital, to a skilled nursing facility, to home health. The real estate investment trust […]

CMS to Resume Updates to Nursing Home Compare, Special Focus Facilities List in January

The federal government last week advised nursing homes that a variety of COVID-related freezes on updates to the public Nursing Home Compare database will end soon after the start of the new year. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on January 27 will update quality and health inspection metrics on the consumer-facing resource, […]

HHS Awards $523 Million in Second Round of Value-Based COVID Relief for Nursing Homes

A smaller group of nursing facilities will split a larger pot of cash in the second round of the federal government’s four-part value-based competition for COVID-19 relief dollars. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Monday announced the pending distribution of $523 million in performance-based stimulus payments to about 9,200 nursing homes that […]

Parkinson to Govs: Vaccinate All Nursing Home Residents and Staff by March 1, But No Employee Mandates Yet

The leader of the nation’s largest lobbying and trade group for nursing homes challenged state governors to facilitate the vaccination of all residents and staff against COVID-19 by March 1, but the organization stopped short of recommending that operators require workers to take the vaccine. “If the governors and public health officials are able to […]

CDC Votes to Prioritize Nursing Home Residents, Health Care Workers for COVID Vaccine

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory committee on immunization on Tuesday voted to recommend that health care personnel and long-term care residents get first priority on a COVID-19 vaccine, when it is authorized. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted in favor of offering a COVID-19 vaccine first to health […]

Long-Term Care COVID Deaths Top 100K as Post-Holiday Coronavirus Surge Looms

The nation’s long-term care facilities passed another grim COVID-19 milestone ahead of Thanksgiving, with experts and leaders warning that holiday gatherings over this past weekend could only set off more outbreaks in the weeks to come. The nursing home death toll passed 100,000 residents and workers as of November 24, according to a data analysis […]

Former CMS Chief: Feds Must Reimagine Nursing Home Enforcement with Sharper Sticks — and Smarter Carrots

The discussion of how to improve nursing homes, especially in the wake of the still-unfolding COVID-19 tragedy, tends to divide observers into two broad camps: the industry partisans who call for more collaboration from the federal government and better funding, and the sharp critics who insist regulation should primarily — if not exclusively — take […]

CMS to Retire Old Nursing Home Compare Site on December 1

The end is near for the older version of the federal government’s primary consumer-focused nursing home resource. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will formally phase out its eight original Compare tools — including Nursing Home Compare — on December 1 in favor of its new unified Care Compare site. CMS unveiled the […]