‘Heartwarming and Heartbreaking’: What Linn Health’s Nursing Home Restructuring Says About State of Sector

Recent nursing home restructurings have often involved additions of other segments of the care continuum. The example of Linn Health & Rehabilitation bears this out. The Rhode Island-based provider of skilled nursing, therapy services and long-term care has opted to shift its operating structure, adding assisted living and memory care, after suffering enormous financial losses […]

[UPDATED] CMS Official Confirms Agency’s Intention to Finalize Nursing Home Minimum Staffing Rule in 2024

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) officials are looking to finalize the nursing home minimum staffing proposal in 2024, an official at the federal agency confirmed at its national stakeholder call on Tuesday. Dr. Dora Hughes, acting chief medical officer and director of the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (CCSQ), said, “The […]

Why the Proposed Medicare Advantage Plan and Part D Rule Is Favorable for the Nursing Home Space

The federal government’s Medicare Advantage and Part D proposed rule offers nursing home operators several favorable updates, including those related to the appeals process for terminating SNF services as well as alleviating burdens posed by choice and multiple plans for dual eligible residents. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been working on […]

Inside Nursing Home Sector’s Fight To Protect Against a Rapid Rise in Cybercrime

In recent years, the skilled nursing sector has faced an escalating threat from cybercriminals, posing significant risks to the operations of nursing homes. Due to the rapid rise in use of technology since the COVID-19 pandemic, experts in the sector have noticed an uptick in cybercrime and insurance underwriters are demanding nursing homes protect themselves […]

Nursing Home Operators Feel There’s a Lot to Learn From Hospice Surveys Despite Regulatory Differences

Many nursing home operators that also have hospice operations can’t help but notice that the survey process on the hospice end is generally a more positive experience than in the nursing home world. And some say the collaborative nature – between facilities and the federal government – of hospice surveys can and should be replicated […]

Nursing Home Leaders Aim to Harness AI, Data to Beat Staffing and Payment Challenges in 2024

For 2024, the nursing home industry’s focus must be on strategies that prioritize data accuracy, effective leadership, and innovative solutions as facilities evolve to meet changing demands and challenges from staffing. This is the view expressed during a webinar held Thursday based on a survey of our readers on their outlook for 2024 titled, “Skilled […]

Why Immigrant CNAs Are Crucial as the Nursing Home Space Faces A Staffing Mandate, Quality Measures

Given that nursing homes increased their reliance on immigrant certified nursing assistants (CNAs) with positive outcomes for care quality during the pandemic, researchers in the space are reiterating the need for a policy change to get more immigrant CNAs into skilled nursing.  The most effective policy solution that could help nursing homes get more immigrant […]

Nursing Home Operators Optimistic About CMS Survey Testing, But Devil Lies in the Details

Potential changes to the nursing home survey process being mulled over by federal authorities – and aimed at standardization across states – have many operators feeling optimistic for the years ahead, especially given that regional differences in implementation can lead to extra administrative burdens and survey backlogs. Toward the end of 2023, the Centers for […]

As a ‘Better Advisor’ to Congress, MedPAC Mulls CMS Staffing Mandate Effects But Proposes 3% Medicare Cut

The majority of MedPAC board members voted Thursday to recommend reducing Medicare-based payment rates for skilled nursing spending by 3% for 2025, despite voicing concerns about the federal minimum staffing proposed rule. MedPAC, which stands for the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, is made up of health care professionals who make recommendations to Congress in terms […]

Avoiding Legal Risks Posed By Nursing Home Admissions of Substance Abuse Disorder Patients

The rising prevalence of substance abuse disorders has placed a growing demand on skilled nursing operators to provide comprehensive care within the continuum of healthcare services. Yet there are complex legal considerations that operators must grapple with when it comes to admitting individuals being treated for substance abuse disorders, and clinical teams must be trained […]

DOL’s Final Rule on Worker Classification To Increase Legal Woes, Administrative Burdens for Nursing Homes

Many skilled nursing operators will need to reclassify their existing relationships with independent contractors and rethink future ones in the wake of a final rule issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) on Tuesday. The DOL’s new rule revises guidance on how to determine who is an employee and who is an independent contractor under […]

Inside the Balancing Act of Personal Technology Use Among Nursing Home Staff

Managing personal technology devices is a common concern among staff at businesses across the nation, and nursing homes are no exception. While policies for personal technology use at nursing home organizations run the gamut – from completely restricting cell phone use to limited use to even encouraging use among employees – nursing homes have had […]

Executive Outlook 2024: Inside the Headwinds and Opportunities That Await Nursing Homes

Nursing home leaders from across the nation, including the largest advocacy groups for the sector, plan to oversee efforts in 2024 to increase funding – both from the federal government and through improved revenue streams as operating pressures ease slightly. At the center of these efforts is an attempt at influencing the political will and […]

Top Trends That Will Shape the Skilled Nursing Sector in 2024

Margins squeezed by interest rates and inflation, staffing shortages amid a draconian staffing mandate proposal, an invasion of Medicare Advantage and mixed efforts at adapting to Minimum Data Set (MDS) changes are among a litany of the challenges facing the skilled nursing sector at the start of 2024. However, all is not doom and gloom […]

Legislation That Mattered to Long-Term Care in 2023: A State and National List

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of nursing home legislation introduced or passed this year had to do with staffing. At the national level, Congressional efforts to block the federal minimum staffing proposal gained steam at the end of the year. State legislation ran the gamut, with California raising the minimum wage to $25 per hour for […]

Top Skilled Nursing Deals of 2023

As the nursing home sector closely monitors macroeconomic factors – labor pressures chief among them – consolidation, restructuring, and a shift to regional models are all part of deal making trends observed in 2023. The sector has grappled with escalating labor costs, exacerbated by the use of expensive temporary agency labor and staffing shortages stemming […]

The Quotes That Defined 2023 in Skilled Nursing — and Hint at What’s Ahead

As the Covid-19 public health emergency officially ended in 2023, the nursing home sector continued to face lingering troubles across many facets of the business even if spread of disease – and death resulting from it – diminished as a concern. Chief among troubles that continued to plague nursing homes included workforce shortages and expansion […]

Most-Read Skilled Nursing News Stories of 2023

The year 2023 was a busy one for skilled nursing operators – many of whom began to see signs of recovery from the pandemic amidst challenges that have continuously plagued the industry. In our reporting, a few outstanding and recurring themes we observed from the year past included staffing shortages, low reimbursement rates, and governmental […]