Nursing Homes Underreport Problems on Certain Quality Measures: Analysis

Self-reported nursing home data for three key quality metrics does not line up with subsequent hospital diagnoses, a new analysis of public data has concluded — with one category, pressure ulcers, showing direct evidence of underreporting, according to the report. More than half of skilled nursing facilities underreport the prevalence of pressure ulcers by a […]

As CMS Cracks Down on Nursing Home Testing, Questions Remain on Logistics: ‘You Cannot Fine Your Way Out of a Pandemic’

The federal government last week cracked down on COVID-19 testing in nursing homes, with a host of new fines exceeding $8,000 per instance, but some industry leaders — and a prominent geriatrician — have raised concerns about whether providers can meet the new benchmarks, or whether the plan will have the intended effects. “You cannot […]

Parkinson: Test Nursing Home Staff Weekly Even if Not Required, Develop a Compliance Plan by Next Week

The leader of the largest trade group for U.S. nursing homes on Thursday advised operators to exceed new federal COVID-19 testing mandates whenever possible, while emphasizing the importance of planning for complying with the new regulations as soon as next week. “I would be testing, once a week, all staff. I would be doing that […]

As Nursing Home PPE Shortages Intensify, Senators Demand Answers from Pence on Supply Issues

Citing rising numbers of nursing facilities reporting shortages of key personal protective equipment (PPE), a pair of U.S. senators sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence requesting more information about federal efforts to direct supplies to post-acute and long-term care facilities. “We write to reiterate our deep concern that the Trump Administration’s continued failure […]

Feds to Require Nursing Home Staff Testing as Often as Twice Weekly, But Antigen Follow-Ups Not Always Needed

Nursing homes will be required to test staffers for COVID-19 as often as twice weekly depending on the prevalence of the virus in the surrounding community, and a top federal official emphasized that repeat testing for negative antigen results may not be necessarily required in all cases. The White House late Tuesday initially revealed the […]

DOJ Demands Information on Nursing Home COVID Orders from Governors, Mulls Investigation

The Department of Justice on Wednesday sent letters to four state governors requesting detailed information about their decisions regarding COVID-19 in nursing homes, potentially setting the stage for a formal civil rights investigation. The federal agency’s Civil Rights Division in particular wants data regarding the controversial decisions — made in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, […]

HHS to Release $2.5B in Nursing Home COVID Relief This Week

As the federal government moves to mandate more frequent COVID-19 testing in nursing homes, half of the latest tranche of $5 billion in relief will be sent to facilities this week, the White House announced late Tuesday. “The first $2.5 billion of these funds will be distributed this week to help many nursing homes cover […]

CMS Implements Stricter COVID-19 Testing Requirements, Fines for Nursing Homes

The federal government on Tuesday issued stricter requirements for COVID-19 testing in nursing homes, making routine staff testing a requirement for participation in Medicare and Medicaid and rolling out fines as high as $8,000 per instance of non-compliance. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) established the new rules as part of a larger […]

CMS Targets Infection Control in New Nursing Home Training Program

A few weeks after the nation’s top Medicare official pointed to persistent infection control problems as a major driver of rising COVID-19 cases in nursing homes, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Tuesday introduced new online training resources for frontline staffers and management. Officials based the new “CMS Targeted COVID-19 Training for […]

CMS Widens Criteria for Nursing Homes to Receive Testing Devices, But Concerns Over Accuracy Grow

The federal government late last week released an updated blueprint for distributing the second wave of nearly 12,000 point-of-care COVID-19 testing units destined for nursing homes, with a significantly wider definition of hotspots than the initial round. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has designated about 11,800 facilities as targets for the second […]

Doctors Without Borders: Nursing Home Reform Should Focus on In-Person Support, Not Just Fines

More closely associated with lifesaving interventions in war zones and developing countries, Doctors Without Borders has made headlines during the COVID-19 crisis with its work on the ground in the United States. In addition to providing aid to homeless populations in New York City and migrants in Florida, the humanitarian organization — formally known by […]

HHS Taps Defense Production Act to Bolster Point-of-Care Testing Shipments to Nursing Homes

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Thursday announced the use of the Defense Production Act to bolster orders of point-of-care coronavirus testing units and supplies for the nation’s nursing homes. HHS applied “priority rated contracts” for devices and related assays with Becton Dickinson (BD) and the Quidel Corporation, the two manufacturers tasked […]

Skilled Nursing M&A Remains Active: Investors Don’t ‘Have a Better Place to Put Their Money’

The ongoing pandemic has rightfully shifted attention away from dealmaking in the long-term and post-acute care space, but several leaders have expressed optimism that investors will support the sector moving forward — though the influx of federal cash keeping operators afloat could scramble valuation math for some time to come. With overall uncertainty in the […]

CMS to Resume Routine Nursing Home Inspections After COVID Suspension

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on Monday that routine inspections for all Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers will resume, after suspending them as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March. The agency directed the resumption of onsite revisit surveys, non-immediate jeopardy complaint surveys and annual recertification surveys […]

New Weekly Nursing Home COVID-19 Case Count Hits Record High

The number of new COVID-19 cases in nursing homes reported to the federal government at the end of July surpassed its previous high-water mark back in May, a new analysis from a leading trade group determined. The nation’s nursing facilities reported 9,715 confirmed COVID-19 infections during the week ended July 26, the American Health Care […]

26 States Do Not Mandate COVID-19 Testing for Nursing Home Inspectors: Report

The majority of states do not require nursing home surveyors to receive regular COVID-19 tests, even as case counts rise and family members remain barred from visiting in many areas, an investigation by the Wall Street Journal found. Twenty-six states did not have mandates for routine COVID-19 testing of inspectors, the WSJ report determined, with […]

CMS Touts $15M in Nursing Home Fines Amid COVID-19 as Infection Citations Triple

The federal government on Friday announced that it has handed out $15 million in civil monetary penalties (CMPs) to about 3,400 nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. That total includes about $10 million in fines stemming from targeted infection control surveys, and $5.5 million assessed to operators that failed to report COVID-19 data as required […]