Lockdowns Led to Spikes in Depression, Weight Loss, Cognitive Decline in Nursing Home Residents

Families of nursing home residents have spent the past year appealing to policymakers that COVID-19 lockdowns were having a significantly negative effect on their loved ones’ health — and a new study put some sobering numbers on the physical impact of loneliness. The proportion of residents experiencing unexpected weight loss accelerated by 150% during the […]

PruittHealth Rolls Out Joint Commission Accreditation at All 91 Southeast Nursing Facilities

PruittHealth last week announced that all 91 of its skilled nursing facilities in the Southeast region will be required to undergo Joint Commission Nursing Care Center Accreditation, with the facilities in Georgia slated to go first. The SNFs will be required to undergo accreditation to achieve the Gold Seal of Approval; accreditation from the Joint […]

Senate Narrowly Confirms Becerra as HHS Secretary

The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed California attorney general Xavier Becerra as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by a 50-49 margin, almost entirely along party lines. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine was the only Republican who voted to confirm Becerra. Becerra was nominated by President Joe Biden in early December […]

Warren Raises Alarm Over Restructuring at Nursing Home Giant Genesis, Plans to Launch Probe of For-Profit Facilities

Sen. Elizabeth Warren this week wrote another letter to executives at Genesis HealthCare (NYSE: GEN), raising concerns about the nursing home giant’s recent deal to significantly restructure its operations in part through a $50 million private equity investment. Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, made headlines in late January when she publicly questioned the operator’s decision to […]

Led by Biden’s HHS Pick, California Sues Brookdale Over Alleged Nursing Home Data Reporting Fraud

The state of California on Monday filed a lawsuit against Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD), accusing the company of submitting false nursing home staffing data to the federal government and improperly handling resident discharges. California attorney general Xavier Becerra — President Biden’s pick to serve as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services […]

Less Than 3% of Nursing Homes Received Maximum Rewards Under ‘Flawed’ Medicare VBP Model

The federal government’s sole attempt at linking nursing home Medicare reimbursements with outcomes is broken and requires an overhaul, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) determined. The Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Payment (SNF VBP) Model has rewarded strikingly few facilities while the majority have lost money — though the amounts involved in either direction were […]

Citing Vaccine Rollout, CMS Relaxes Nursing Home Visitation Rules

The federal government on Wednesday issued updated guidance for nursing home visitations, calling on facilities to allow “responsible indoor visitation at all times and for all residents” — regardless of vaccination status — with a handful of situational exceptions. “CMS recognizes the psychological, emotional, and physical toll that prolonged isolation and separation from family have […]

Therapy Staffing Dropped Up to 10% at Nursing Homes in Wake of PDPM — Mostly Through Contract Cuts

Therapist staffing coverage at nursing homes fell up to 10% after the October 2019 implementation of a new Medicare payment model, a new study has determined — with the cuts coming primarily on the backs of contracted employees and not full-time skilled nursing facility staffers. Physical and occupational therapist staffing was 6% lower in the […]

Lawmakers Mull State-Level Ban on New For-Profit Nursing Home Licenses, Expansions

As nursing home deaths in New York remain national news, reform efforts in the state are increasingly focusing on for-profit providers, and one proposal would specifically ban their expansion in the Empire State. For-profit nursing home operators would be prohibited from establishing new facilities or expanding their existing ones under a proposal sponsored by Manhattan […]

Nursing Homes Navigate an Uncertain Vaccine Future as Federal Program Wraps Up

Skilled nursing facilities were given clear vaccine opportunities through the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care program, which provided three on-site clinics at facilities across the country — with the goal of providing the two-dose inoculations to as many residents and staff as possible. Now that the third vaccination clinics are wrapping up in most […]

AHCA, LeadingAge Set Target of 75% Nursing Home Staff Vaccination Rate by June

Two of the largest trade associations for nursing homes announced a goal of vaccinating approximately 75% of the roughly 1.5 million nursing home workers across the U.S. by the end of June. The American Health Care Association (AHCA), which represents more than 14,000 primarily for-profit nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and LeadingAge, which represents […]

Nursing Home COVID Deaths Fell 66% in Wake of Vaccine Clinics — Even as Overall U.S. Fatalities Rose 61%

After a year of remarkable tragedy in nursing homes, a new analysis of federal COVID-19 data shows a significant drop in resident deaths in the weeks after vaccine clinics began — a trend made even more striking given the simultaneous spike in U.S. coronavirus deaths over the same span. Weekly deaths in nursing homes fell […]

NHI: Nosediving COVID Case Counts in Nursing Homes Heartening, But Not Yet Leading to Stronger Census

The vaccine rollout at nursing homes and other congregational care settings has brought rapid and substantial declines in COVID-19 case numbers, but leaders at a top landlord in the sector say the desperately welcome trend has yet to have an impact on persistently low occupancy. “Fortunately, the rollout of the vaccine to over 94% of […]

Private Equity Ownership of Nursing Homes Leads to 10% Higher Risk of Death, 11% Increase in Spending: Study

Private equity ownership of nursing homes has resulted in a variety of negative outcomes, including an elevated risk of death for short-term Medicare patients, higher rates of antipsychotic drug use, and increased taxpayer spending on episodes of care, a new study concluded. Published as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, the February 2021 […]

Nursing Homes Ranked Second on List of Deadliest Workplaces in COVID’s Wake

Even with only partial data, nursing homes were the second-deadliest workplace amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new analysis — and the missing numbers may well push the setting into the top spot. U.S. nursing homes logged 80 deaths for every 100,000 full-time employees last year, Scientific American concluded in a study published […]

Advocates Push Back on Geography as Driver of Nursing Home Outbreaks — and Detail Drastic Measures for Keeping COVID at Bay

COVID-19 outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities are affected by more than geography, and nursing home operators have tools and actions they can take to mitigate the spread of the virus in their facilities, the Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA) argued in a report released on Thursday. “Since the start of the pandemic, one of the […]

Cuomo Takes Aim at For-Profit Nursing Homes, Hints at Reforms for 2021

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis in nursing homes continues to make headlines amid accusations of a deliberate cover-up, but the embattled executive this week promised to explore reforms targeted at for-profit facility owners. “I have long believed that there is a tension in a for-profit nursing home, because those institutions […]