Officials Eye Nursing Homes as Failsafe for Overloaded Hospitals During Coronavirus Spread

A sweeping ban on nursing home visits dominated headlines both inside and outside the industry over the weekend, but buried in the federal government’s recent emergency COVID-19 guidelines was a waiver of the three-day hospital stay rule for Medicare skilled nursing coverage. Under normal conditions, a Medicare beneficiary must remain in the hospital for three […]

As Admission Holds Loom, Skilled Nursing Facilities and Hospitals Must Stay in Constant COVID-19 Contact

The residents and patients at skilled nursing facilities are uniquely imperiled by COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that’s rapidly altering the routines of everyday life worldwide. As a result, SNFs across the country have gone into lockdown, with the federal government on Friday issuing a blanket ban of non-essential visits. Their hospital […]

$1B in Supplemental Nursing Home Funds Diverted to County Health Systems in Indiana

Hospital executives in the state of Indiana redirected at least $1.17 billion in extra Medicaid dollars, drawn down from the state’s supplemental payment program to boost nursing home reimbursement, toward projects to expand their own health systems, an investigation by the IndyStar published on Thursday revealed. The multi-part series — which tackled the funding system […]

Nursing Homes Will Weather Coronavirus Crisis — But No Excuse for Lapses

Public health officials and the nation’s most prominent nursing home industry leaders haven’t minced words when describing the threat that COVID-19 presents to residents and operators, and neither will we: The next few months will present the some of the most serious challenges that long-term and post-acute care providers have ever faced. The best nursing […]

CMS Bans Most Visits to Nursing Homes, Waives Three-Day Stay Rule in Coronavirus Battle

The federal government late Friday formally issued new guidance prohibiting all non-essential visits to nursing homes, while also waiving the three-day hospital stay requirement for subsequent Medicare skilled nursing coverage, as officials look to blunt the effects of the novel coronavirus on elderly Americans. The strict ban allows exceptions for families to visit loved ones […]

Verma: CMS to Soon Ban All Nursing Home Visits ‘With a Few Exceptions’ Amid Coronavirus Fears [Updated]

UPDATE, Saturday, March 14: CMS formally issued its guidance late Friday, enacting a ban on most non-essential visits to nursing homes and also waiving the three-day stay rule for Medicare skilled nursing coverage. The federal government will soon issue guidance directing nursing home operators to ban the vast majority of visitors amid the spread of […]

CMS: No Timeline for Resuming Non-Emergency Surveys for Nursing Homes Amid Coronavirus

After the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an immediate crackdown on nursing home compliance in the wake of the coronavirus, the agency laid out new expectations for updated inspections and surveys — with no exact timeline for resuming non-emergency surveys in sight. Although containing and preventing the coronavirus is the agency’s current […]

AHCA’s Parkinson: COVID-19 ‘Almost a Perfect Killing Machine’ for Elderly

The leader of the nation’s largest organization of post-acute and long-term care facilities didn’t mince words about the dangers of the novel coronavirus during a nationally televised interview. The mortality rate for the 84-and-older population that makes up the vast majority of nursing home residents is well north of 15%, American Health Care Association (AHCA) […]

Push to Suspend Visits at Nursing Homes Grows: Once Test Results Arrive, ‘It May Be Too Late’

Skilled nursing industry leaders on Tuesday doubled down on federal guidelines restricting visits to facilities amid the spread of novel coronavirus, emphasizing the potential for a rapid, severe impact among those most vulnerable to COVID-19. The American Health Care Association publicly advised operators not to allow visitors unless absolutely necessary, its leaders said on a […]

CMS Releases Updated Visitation, Citation Guidance for Nursing Homes Amid Coronavirus Spread

UPDATE, Saturday, March 14: Since this article was published, the federal government has implemented stricter guidance for nursing home visits, effectively banning all non-essential visitors with very limited exceptions. Read about the most up-to-date guidance here. The federal government late Monday released an updated set of guidelines for nursing home operators amid the growing spread […]

Life Care’s Response to Coronavirus: Visitor Screenings, Resident Testing, Self-Quarantines

Life Care Centers of America is tightening coronavirus prevention protocols with a heightened focus on visitor screenings, increased communication, and self-quarantines — as officials report that that 14 of the 17 COVID-19 deaths in Washington were related to its nursing facility in Kirkland, Wash. In the wake of the increased spread of the virus, the […]

Amid CMS’s Infection-Control Crackdown, Study Finds Widespread Citations at Nursing Homes

As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) promises a crackdown on infection control inspections amid the coronavirus crisis, a new analysis finds that citations for infection-related violations are widespread in the industry. While officials and the media are taking a closer look at nursing homes’ compliance histories and amping up regulatory scrutiny, one […]

DOJ Forms Nursing Home Task Force, Promises Criminal and Civil Penalties for Owners and Operators

The Department of Justice this week announced the creation of a specialized task force targeting “grossly substandard care” in nursing homes, with both criminal and civil penalties on the table for owners and operators. About 30 individual facilities across nine states are already under investigation, the DOJ revealed in announcing its new National Nursing Home […]

No Exodus of Nursing Home Staff, Residents Amid Coronavirus Spread — But Supply Crunch May Be Coming

Concerns for the frailest nursing home patients are on the rise after the coronavirus has taken the lives of four nursing home residents in Washington state. But despite confusion and anxiety related to fears of a potential pandemic in the U.S., some long-term care communities are banding together to update health policies and offer support […]

‘SNFs Get Overwhelmed’: Amid First Cases, Nursing Home Operators Look to Prepare for Coronavirus

Concerns over the coronavirus are creeping into the nursing home sector, and industry experts are alerting operators and clinicians to take extra care, especially with the steady influx of frailer residents who are most susceptible. And while it may be too early to determine the eventual clinical and financial effects on the nursing home space, […]

‘I Would Take a SNF Operator With Me in a Dark Alley’: How Nursing Homes Can Prove Worth to a Skeptical Public

Nursing home providers have long suffered from a worse public image than their peers along the senior housing and care continuum, with just the phrase itself conjuring images of a place that few people would ever choose to call home. It’s a problem that leaders with decades of experience in the space acknowledge could become […]

Diversicare Formally Ends Eight-Year DOJ Investigation with $9.5 Million Settlement Deal

Diversicare Healthcare Services (OTC: DVCR) on Wednesday announced that it has formally closed the book on a Department of Justice investigation that has stretched for nearly eight years. The Brentwood, Tenn.-based skilled nursing provider will pay out the $9.5 million throughout the next five years to resolve a False Claims Act case regarding its therapy […]

Nursing Home Operator Guardian Elder Care to Pay $15.5M in False Claims Act Settlement

Guardian Elder Care, a nursing home operator with more than 50 buildings, will pay $15.5 million to resolve federal accusations of medically inappropriate therapy practices, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday. The Brockway, Pa.-based Guardian faced allegations — brought by a pair of former employees — that the company pressured therapists to perform unnecessary services […]