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 […]

Signature’s Chief Medical Officer: COVID-19 Crisis Will Usher in ‘New Era’ of Skilled Nursing, Post-Acute Care

As both the chief medical officer for Signature HealthCARE and president of AMDA, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, Dr. Arif Nazir has a micro- and macro-level view on how skilled nursing facilities are fighting the coronavirus. And even in these early days of the crisis, Nazir believes that the sweeping emergency steps […]

While Recognizing Dangers, California Tells Nursing Homes to Prepare for COVID-19 Patients [UPDATED]

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued recommendations for skilled nursing facilities on preparing for COVID-19 — and told them to prepare to receive and care for residents with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infections. The all-facilities letter (AFL) sent on March 19 tells SNFs to prepare for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel […]

CMS Move to Delay Elective Surgeries Could Create Lasting Strain on Skilled Nursing Facilities

Skilled nursing facilities, and post-acute providers in general, will feel pain even beyond the immediate short-term challenges of protecting residents and staff from the spread of the novel coronavirus, several experts predicted Thursday. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services late on Wednesday recommended the delay of “all elective surgeries, non-essential medical, surgical, and dental […]

Post-Acute Bed Capacity Concerns Loom as COVID-19 Cases Grow

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. mounts, concerns about hospital bed capacity are rising in proportion — and skilled nursing facilities need to be ready to help ease the stress on the acute care system, according to multiple providers. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) seemed to confirm this […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

After PDPM, ‘More Than Half’ of Therapists Report Mandate to Provide Group, Concurrent Therapy

The Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) was specifically designed to reimburse skilled nursing facilities based on the condition of the patients that they treat, rather than by the minutes of therapy provided to those patients. As part of the change, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) included a 25% cap on group and concurrent […]

How Focused Post Acute Balances Urban and Rural Markets to Thrive Amid Medicaid, Labor Stress

A skilled nursing operator or investor could be forgiven for running toward the exits when presented with the opportunity to take over buildings in rural West Texas. Between persistently low Medicaid rates in the Lone Star State and the general operational difficulties that rural buildings face in markets across the country, the combination may not […]

As Coronavirus Concerns Grow, Skilled Nursing Facilities Find Relief in Telehealth — But Gaps Remain

With concerns around staffing and supply shortages in nursing homes amid the coronavirus, telemedicine has emerged as a key potential weapon, receiving the first-ever major green light for reimbursement on the national level — as part of an $8.3 billion bill allowing the federal government to cover remote care for Medicare recipients passed last Wednesday. […]

Why Even the Best Operator Can’t Fix a Bad Skilled Nursing Market

Skilled nursing operators with a strong regional focus and market presence are attractive to potential investors and capital partners, but ultimately the realities of the market will trump even the best operator. The operator-driven nature of the SNF field makes the people involved in a given facility paramount, but investors can’t overlook how susceptible nursing […]

CMS to ‘Immediately’ Refocus Nursing Home Inspections on Infection Control Amid Coronavirus

In the wake of an outbreak of the novel coronavirus at a Washington nursing home, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will immediately refocus inspections of skilled nursing facilities on compliance with the agency’s infection control policies — and suspend all non-emergency survey work, the agency announced on Wednesday. “We obviously are looking […]

‘Nobody Would Qualify’: Skilled Nursing Lenders Adapt to Difficult Medicaid Math

Operators have begun to settle into the Patient-Driven Payment Model, the overhaul for Medicare reimbursement that took effect for skilled nursing facilities last year. But most nursing home residents will be covered by their state’s Medicaid program, and reimbursement shortfalls across the country have created a landscape where most nursing homes are barely breaking even […]