76% of Eligible Nursing Homes to Split $333M in First Round of Performance-Based Aid

Slightly more than three quarters of eligible nursing homes across the country will receive a total of $333 million in federal aid after meeting infection control improvement benchmarks between August and September, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Wednesday. The distribution marks the first payout in a $2 billion program designed to […]

Feds ‘Strongly Encourage’ Nursing Home Staff to Receive COVID Vaccine Before Walgreens-CVS Rollout

Nursing home staffers shouldn’t necessarily count on receiving COVID-19 vaccines through a federally backed program run by pharmacy giants CVS Health and Walgreens, and should instead seek out local options as soon as immunizations becomes available, the federal government has indicated. The Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program can serve as a backup for nursing […]

HHS Relaxes Rules for Using Provider Relief Funds to Cover Lost Revenue

The federal government this week amended its rules for how providers can use coronavirus relief funding, specifically removing limitations around covering lost revenues not directly related to COVID-19. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the change in the wake of criticism from providers and some lawmakers. “In response to concerns raised, HHS […]

‘Completely Predictable’ Link Emerges Between College COVID-19 Outbreaks, Nursing Home Deaths

A preliminary study has found evidence of a link between COVID-19 cases at colleges and eventual outbreaks at nearby nursing homes, adding to mounting research showing the direct impact that community spread can have on vulnerable populations. Researchers tracked two specific strains of the novel coronavirus as they spread through the town of La Crosse, […]

Pruitt: Funding for Private Rooms Top Challenge as Nursing Homes Look to ‘Learn from History’

The final report from the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes contained plenty of ideas on how to keep residents and staff safer should COVID-19 resurge or if another pandemic hits the United States. While some of the onus falls on the federal government, nursing home operators must also raise the bar […]

SNN Survey: Most Providers Will Survive into 2021, But Capital Providers Remain Worried About Census

A recent Skilled Nursing News survey of nursing home operators found cautious optimism about the near-term future of the space, with a majority seeing a clear path to the future even without additional government support. At the same time, operators have largely been pouring that federal largesse — including CARES Act grants, Payroll Protection Program […]

Cold Storage, Medicaid Coverage: Inside the Walgreens, CVS Vaccination Deal for Nursing Homes

The federal government last week tapped a pair of retail pharmacy giants to distribute an eventual COVID-19 vaccine to nursing home residents across the country, and while there remain significant questions about the logistics of distributing an as-yet-unapproved vaccine, officials have continued to position the plan as the only workable solution to a massive public […]

Despite COVID Revenue Hit, Omnicare’s President Sees Stronger Future for Long-Term Care Pharmacies

James Love took the top post at one of the nation’s leading long-term care pharmacies in perhaps the most crucial and consequential month in the entire history of the sector: April 2020. In the six months since, the Omnicare president has had to navigate a post-acute and long-term care landscape forever changed by COVID-19, while […]

HHS Inks Deal with CVS, Walgreens to Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines to Nursing Homes [UPDATED]

Retail pharmacy heavyweights Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) and CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) have entered into agreements with the federal government to distribute the eventual COVID-19 vaccine to nursing home residents at no cost, President Trump and multiple government agencies announced on Friday. “Today, I’m thrilled to announce that we have just finalized a partnership […]

CMS to Relax Medicare Billing Rules to Speed COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution in Nursing Homes

The federal government on Friday announced its intention to relax restrictions around billing Medicare for immunization in nursing homes, with the stated goal of speeding the eventual distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. Skilled nursing facilities are typically required to bill Medicare directly for immunizations under the terms of the Social Security Act, even if the […]

CLA: For Provider Relief Fund Compliance, the ‘List of Questions Continues to Grow’

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last month released its reporting rules for health care providers who received payments from various COVID-19 relief funds. And according to the professional services firm CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA), there were some curveballs in those rules, which were released September 19 and covered distributions from the CARES Act and […]

How Lilly’s COVID-19 Nursing Home Trial Could Change the Future of Research in Long-Term Care

In normal times, setting up a clinical trial can take nine months or more, with the actual work going on for potentially years afterwards. But during COVID-19, researchers don’t have the benefit of time — especially when working to find therapeutic options for vulnerable seniors in nursing homes. *A phase-three clinical trial for a new […]

HHS Warns Against Using Antigen Results for Nursing Home Cohorting, But Sharply Criticizes State Ban

A top U.S. coronavirus testing czar had harsh words for a Nevada directive banning the use of antigen point-of-care COVID-19 tests in skilled nursing facilities during a press call on Friday, calling it “an uninformed and unlawful unilateral prohibition.” But Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) assistant secretary for health Adm. Brett Giroir also […]

CMS Clarifies Quality Reporting Rules After COVID Pause, Nursing Home Compare Frozen Until ’22

The federal government waived several reporting requirements for nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, and while they have since been reinstated, the temporary pause will continue to have ripple effects on public data over the coming years. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) this week released an updated tip sheet explaining the agency’s […]