Investing in Home-Based Senior Care Can’t Come at Expense of Nursing Facilities

The COVID-19 pandemic has rightfully prompted lawmakers at the state and federal level to reconsider the way government payers incentivize or discourage the use of nursing homes relative to other options, such as home- and community-based services (HCBS). But one prominent long-term care researcher this week warned against looking at the reform equation as a […]

COVID-19 Bill Includes Some Offsets to Part B Cuts Scheduled for Next Year

The new spending bill passed by Congress on Monday night, which includes $900 billion in COVID-19 relief, also contains some respite for cuts to Medicare Part B that posed a significant threat to therapy operations in skilled nursing facilities. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 is now awaiting President Trump’s signature, and it includes a […]

As Some Senators Decry ‘Worsening Crisis’ in Nursing Homes, New Stimulus Plan Includes Liability Shield

A bipartisan group of senators released a stimulus plan on Monday consisting of two different aid packages, $748 billion and $160 billion apiece — one of which includes a controversial liability protection for health care providers and other businesses. The latter aid package contains parameters, favored by business interests of multiple stripes, on liability for […]

Feds Look to Expand Special Focus Facility List of Poor-Performing Nursing Homes, Create New Ranking System

The two U.S. senators who last year released a “secret” list of nursing homes under consideration for inclusion on a formal list of facilities with major quality issues are now calling for expanded oversight of poorly performing skilled nursing facilities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey, both of […]

New York Passes Partial Repeal of Liability Protections for Nursing Homes, Other Care Providers

The New York State Senate and Assembly voted on July 23 to partially repeal liability protections granted to nursing homes, hospitals, and other health care facilities as part of the state budget passed in April. Nexstar Broadcasting initially reported the news July 24. New York’s budget for fiscal 2021 included the Emergency or Disaster Treatment […]

Grassley Bill Would Require Retroactive COVID-19 Reporting for Nursing Homes, Fund Strike Teams

A trio of Republican U.S. senators, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, introduced a bill this week that would establish regional strike teams to respond to outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities and extend reporting requirements related to COVID-19 — both for the rest of the year and retrospective to the start of 2020. The […]

As Officials Mull Stronger Nursing Home Enforcement, Restorative Justice Holds Key to True Reform

As the federal and state governments slowly start to flex their enforcement muscles on nursing homes in the wake of COVID-19, my mind keeps going back to a concept that’s traditionally been the domain of social scientists and prison-reform advocates: restorative justice. Unlike our current crime-and-punishment system, which typically focuses on punitive measures such as […]

Aid Bill Would Pause MFAR Medicaid Crackdown During COVID-19, Boost Federal Match by 14%

House Democrats on Tuesday introduced a major aid package with a provision that would indefinitely delay the implementation of a controversial rule that imperiled billions in Medicaid funding for skilled nursing facilities. The bill also would boost the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), or Washington’s share of state Medicaid rates, by 14% — up from […]

Federal Bill Would Funnel $500M into Nursing Home Inspections, Implement Stricter COVID-19 Protocols

A bill introduced in Congress Tuesday would send an additional $500 million to bolster nursing home inspections, while implementing a host of new safety and reporting regulations, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Quality Care for Nursing Home Residents and Workers During COVID-19 Act serves as a direct response to the steadily rising death toll […]

COVID-19 Crisis Reveals Deep Cracks, Conflicting Priorities in Nation’s Nursing Home Infrastructure

Over the course of decades, lawmakers have built a jury-rigged structure to support the American post-acute and long-term care landscape. At the base, Medicaid supports long-term care residents who can no longer live on their own without around-the-clock care. Medicare dollars pay for higher-acuity care that seniors require after hospital stays — and prop up […]

COVID-19 Briefs: Relief Bill with $200M for CMS Survey Work Becomes Law, MIT Identifies High-Risk Nursing Homes

The House of Representatives on Friday passed a $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package that contains $200 million for the federal government’s infection-focused inspections of nursing homes — while otherwise mostly passing skilled nursing facilities by. President Trump signed the bill into law later Friday afternoon. The bill, known as the CARES Act, set aside that […]

Stimulus Lifts 2% Medicare Rate Cut, But Nursing Homes Largely Left Out — While Other Settings See Relief

The Senate’s landmark $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package contains a temporary 2% bump on Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements across the board, but aside from increased funding for the federal government’s infection-control crackdown, skilled nursing facilities were largely left out of the post-acute relief. The bill, which the Senate passed by a vote of 96-0 on Wednesday […]

Skilled Nursing Telehealth Bill Gets New Life Amid Coronavirus [Updated]

Telemedicine is drawing national attention from lawmakers as officials look to safeguard health care workers and patients — while nursing homes anxiously monitor infection-control policies to protect vulnerable residents from the global pandemic of the coronavirus. Expanded Medicare coverage of telehealth services was included in the recent $8.3 billion emergency bill, offering national aid in […]

Pending Part B Changes Could Have Major Impact on Nursing Home Finances, Therapy Staffing

Early returns for the new Medicare Part A reimbursement system for nursing home operators appear positive, but some industry advocates warn that more Part B pain could be coming over the next few years, both for therapists and skilled nursing providers. And although the exploding senior population represents heavy demand for therapy services, some leaders […]

Skilled Nursing Executive Outlook: ‘Question of Nursing Homes’ Viability Will Continue’ in 2020

Though the early days of 2020 have brought some optimism around the state of the post-acute and long-term care industry, executives in the space continue to emphasize that the coming 12 months could bring make-or-break decisions for operators and their partners. One day after American Health Care Association (AHCA) CEO Mark Parkinson told SNN that […]

Lawsuit Challenges Crackdown on Nursing Home Ownership Transfers

A nursing home owner whose request to take over a pair of facilities was denied has struck back with a lawsuit, claiming that the authorities didn’t provide sufficient justification for their decision. Christopher Brogdon, an Atlanta-based owner of long-term care facilities, claims that Arkansas health officials made an “arbitrary and capricious” decision when they blocked […]