AHCA’s Parkinson: Orders Requiring Nursing Homes to Admit COVID-19 Patients Will Increase Death Toll

New York State has already told nursing homes that they cannot deny admissions solely because of a positive COVID-19 test — nor can they require residents to submit to testing as a condition of entry. Multiple other states are now mulling similar orders, according to the American Health Care Association, which on Saturday warned that […]

CMS to Offer Advance Medicare Payments to Providers as COVID-19 Relief

The federal government on Saturday announced a plan to offer advance Medicare fee-for-service payments, as well as accelerated reimbursements, to all Medicare Part A and B providers. Under the terms of the emergency action, most providers who bill under Medicare Parts A and B can request up to 100% of their Medicare payment for a […]

COVID-19 Briefs: Relief Bill with $200M for CMS Survey Work Becomes Law, MIT Identifies High-Risk Nursing Homes

The House of Representatives on Friday passed a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package that contains $200 million for the federal government’s infection-focused inspections of nursing homes — while otherwise mostly passing skilled nursing facilities by. President Trump signed the bill into law later Friday afternoon. The bill, known as the CARES Act, set aside that […]

How Extended Care Clinical Worked to Halt a Nursing Home COVID-19 Outbreak

Less than 10 days ago, the Chateau Nursing & Rehabilitation facility in the suburbs of Chicago was in an incredibly difficult position: One day after 22 residents were initially confirmed to have contracted the novel coronavirus, the number of cases climbed to 46, according to local news reports. With long-term and post-acute care providers well […]

Stimulus Lifts 2% Medicare Rate Cut, But Nursing Homes Largely Left Out — While Other Settings See Relief

The Senate’s landmark $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package contains a temporary 2% bump on Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements across the board, but aside from increased funding for the federal government’s infection-control crackdown, skilled nursing facilities were largely left out of the post-acute relief. The bill, which the Senate passed by a vote of 96-0 on Wednesday […]

What Nursing Homes Need to Know as CMS Cracks Down on Infection Control

With the federal government cracking down on nursing home infection control policies based on the initial coronavirus outbreak at a Washington state facility, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rolled out a self-assessment tool for nursing home leadership to proactively monitor safety in place. “Nursing home residents and their families who want to […]

‘Plow It Down’: Nursing Home Operators, CMS, Insurers Must Think Bigger to Fight COVID-19 Tide

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen the federal government rapidly dismantle the dense scaffolding of rules and regulations that had been built over the course decades, all in the name of fighting the novel coronavirus. Ideas once unthinkable — doctors providing consultations over Skype without fear of violating HIPAA, a blanket freeze on the […]

Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Includes $200M for CMS Infection-Control Efforts at Nursing Homes, $100B in Health Grants

The $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill that was approved late Wednesday in the Senate includes $200 million in funding for a federal push to bolster infection-control efforts in the nation’s nursing homes. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has placed infection control at the center of its emergency nursing home inspection protocols, suspending […]

CMS Cracks Window for Virtual Therapy Visits in Nursing Homes Amid COVID-19, But Barriers Remain

Therapy providers were partially included in the federal government’s attempts to waive restrictions on various health providers amid the coronavirus, but some experts say this recent round won’t enable sufficient virtual care for nursing home residents — and also doesn’t decrease the risks therapists are experiencing on the ground amid the pandemic. An expanded telehealth […]

Emergency Medicaid Waivers Expand to 13 States, Eliminating Prior Auth and Approving Alternate Care Sites

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) late Monday approved 11 new state Medicaid waivers, opening the door for a host of emergency solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic — from an elimination of prior authorization requirements to the potential provision of care at unlicensed facilities. After Florida and Washington state landed the first 1135 […]

CMS to Enforce Tougher Survey Guidelines in Wake of COVID-19 Deaths at Kirkland Nursing Home

The federal government on Monday announced the release of an updated survey tool for nursing home inspectors, with an even stricter focus on infection-control policies — derived directly from lessons learned at a facility in Washington state that served as the epicenter of the first COVID-19 outbreak in the United States. The Centers for Medicare […]

CMS Waives Quality Reporting Requirements for Nursing Homes, Delays New MDS

The federal government on Sunday waived several key quality reporting requirements for skilled nursing facilities, framing the move as a way for operators to focus more on patients and less on paperwork during the coronavirus crisis. The deadlines for submitting fourth-quarter 2019 data under the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (QRP) and the Value-Based […]

Coronavirus Briefs: Cases at Ill. Nursing Home Double in a Day; Federal Medicaid Match Jumps 6.2%

A note to our readers: As the coronavirus crisis continues to unfold, SNN will bring you the information that you need in one easy-to-access place. The weeks ahead will bring challenges both macro and micro, with potentially sweeping federal action needed to “bend the curve” and maintain our health care system’s ability to function — […]

CDC: Sharing Staffers Among Multiple Nursing Homes Hastened Coronavirus Spread

A preliminary analysis from the federal government concluded that the sharing of staff members among multiple nursing homes — along with employees continuing to work while sick — helped to hasten the spread of the novel coronavirus in Washington state. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analyzed the timeline of a COVID-19 outbreak […]

CMS Expands Nursing Home Telehealth Coverage, Waives HIPAA Penalties During COVID-19 Outbreak

The Trump administration on Tuesday announced an emergency expansion of telehealth coverage for Medicare beneficiaries amid the COVID-19 outbreak, removing multiple regulatory barriers to doctors providing remote care for nursing home residents. Retroactive to March 6, Medicare can pay for virtual consultations provided through telehealth platforms across the country, including those conducted in a patient’s […]

Therapists Generally Considered Essential Amid Nursing Home Visit Ban — But Some Told to Stay Away

When the federal government prohibited all non-essential visits to nursing homes on Friday, in-house therapy teams and third-party companies were left wondering exactly who counted as “essential” — and whether they were part of the exempted health care workers that can continue to enter facilities. In general, SNN found that therapy services are continuing throughout […]