CMS Flooded With Staggering 40K-Plus Comments on Nursing Home Staffing Mandate

More than two months after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its minimum staffing proposal for the skilled nursing industry, commentary from stakeholders came to a close Monday with a staggering 40,000-plus comments received. Reviewing the hefty load of comments on the proposal may take as long as a year, according to […]

CMS Finalizes Physician Fee Schedule, with ACO Changes Relevant to Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) aims to further advance its overall value-based care strategy with the finalized 20224 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) – adding ways for medically complex, high-cost beneficiaries like those in nursing homes to participate in Medicare Shared Savings Programs (MSSPs). Additionally, CMS therapy assistants can be more generally […]

Moving Forward Coalition Members Discuss Nursing Home Staffing Issues, Action Plans

As the comment period for the federal government’s staffing proposal winds down, advocates for both nursing homes and residents alike are looking at ways to reach a middle ground. Among these advocates for measured change are members of the Moving Forward Coalition – an organization formed in April 2022 following the National Academies of Sciences, […]

AHA: Nursing Home Staffing Mandate Would Not Align with Modern Clinical Practice, Stifle Innovation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) should not implement the proposed nursing home staffing mandate for numerous reasons, including that “numerical staffing staffing thresholds are not consistent with the modern clinical practice.” That’s according to the American Hospital Association (AHA), which commented on the proposed mandate on behalf of its nearly 5,000 member […]

LTC Leaders: Bank Caution on SNFs Drives Opportunity, Operators Poised for Margin Improvement

Leaders with LTC Properties (NYSE: LTC) see opportunity in a fluctuating bank lending environment, with maturities coming due for operators at a brisk pace and interest rate increases causing a fair amount of anxiety among operators and some lenders. This environment favors real estate investment trusts (REITs) like LTC, which maintain a conservative investment strategy […]

Ensign CEO: Efforts to Strike Down CMS Staffing Rule Appear ‘Futile’ – But It Can Be Shaped

Nursing home industry stakeholders should try to shape the proposed federal minimum staffing policy to best fit with what providers can handle rather than railing against the rule completely. At least that’s what leaders of the Ensign Group (Nasdaq: ENSG) plan to do, CEO Barry Port said during the company’s third quarter earnings call on […]

CMS Clarifies MDS Mood Interview Changes in RAI Manual Updates

More guidance is available on how to conduct mood interview changes, with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updating the Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) manual to reflect key changes in the new Minimum Data Set (MDS). Notably, if a resident refuses or is unwilling to participate in the interview, assessors need to go […]

Nearly 100 House Members Ratchet Up Pressure on CMS to Scrap Nursing Home Staffing Mandate 

Nearly 100 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reconsider the proposed federal nursing home staffing mandate. The lawmakers on Friday sent a letter to CMS describing their concerns with the mandate. “Finalizing this proposal would result in limited access to care for seniors, […]

Top Trends in False Claims Act Litigation Against Nursing Home Operators

While nursing home operators are dealing with a host of financial and operational challenges, they must as always be alert to how the Department of Justice (DOJ) is pursuing False Claims Act cases against providers. Nursing home practices under Covid-era waivers, the transition to the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), and concerns over substandard care are […]

Nursing Homes for a New Generation: Boomers ‘Want to be Involved in Their Own Care’

To treat a younger and more acute population, nursing home operators need to be aware that patients of this population are educated, health-literate, and want to be involved in their own care, requiring a multidisciplinary approach from clinical teams. “This population probably doesn’t want to have a roommate and particularly one that might be 85 […]

CMS Official: Nursing Home Staffing Mandate ‘Balanced and Achievable,’ Stakeholder Comments Valued

More than a month after the announcement of the federal minimum staffing proposal, an official with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reinforced the agency’s commitment to the rule and urged providers and other stakeholders to continue submitting comments on the matter by Nov. 6. Dr. Dora Hughes, acting CMS Chief Medical Officer and […]

‘Sirens Going Off’: Providers Warn of Mass Closures, Vast Nursing Home Deserts Due to Staffing Mandate

As nursing homes closures continue across the country, “nursing home deserts” are expanding, and the proposed federal staffing mandate is expected to exacerbate the problem. This is despite attempts to make the potential policy change easier for providers in rural markets, which are especially vulnerable to access issues. Operators in these areas point to the […]

Skilled Nursing Operators Put ‘Pedal to the Metal’ to Increase RN Staffing in Light of Federal Mandate

The recently proposed federal nursing home staffing mandate includes the requirement that all facilities have a registered nurse on staff around the clock, every day of the week. Operators are taking some early steps to prepare for this requirement even as they rally against this aspect of the mandate, arguing that 24/7 RN staffing will […]

Union Presence – Especially at a County Level – Associated with Lower Turnover at Nursing Homes

Unionization in the nursing home space may decrease staff turnover, and help employers meet proposed staffing minimums – especially in counties where most nursing homes are unionized. The presence of a union is associated with a 1.7 percentage point decrease in staff turnover, according to a study published on Friday in JAMA Network Open. This […]

Nursing Home Providers Exasperated with Vendor Issues, Error Codes in MDS Transition

Nursing home operators expressed frustration with Minimum Data Set (MDS) changes effective Oct. 1, with many concerned that they will be out of compliance with completion and submission requirements because of error codes. Errors are stemming from software vendors, and providers are unable to submit MDS data with proper coding information, nursing home operators said […]

Resident Voice Remains Main Focus of MDS Changes, As Nursing Home Providers Adjust and Educate

More than a week after updates to the Minimum Data Set (MDS) went into effect, each section change seems to be emphasizing focus on the resident’s voice, which along with substantial coding changes – four years in the making – will require time to incorporate, experts said. Kevin Cezat, director of clinical excellence for Therapy […]

Federal Audit Reveals New Jersey Nursing Homes Fall Short on Life Safety, Emergency Preparedness, and Infection Control

New Jersey’s nursing homes are facing scrutiny as a recent federal audit revealed that the state’s most troubled facilities are struggling to meet requirements for life safety, emergency preparedness, and infection control. Up to 20 of the most problematic facilities in the state were audited by the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), with the agency […]