Nursing Home Leaders Support House Bill To Defeat CMS’ ‘Cookie-Cutter’ Minimum Staffing Proposal

A Congressional bill that aims to defeat the Biden Administration’s minimum staffing proposal began making rounds last week, and nursing home executives, including clinical team members attending the industry’s largest annual gathering in Denver, hailed it as a welcome development. If passed, the bill could keep the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from […]

Biden as ‘Union President’: Organized Labor’s Interests Are Baked Into Proposed Minimum Staffing Rule For Nursing Homes

A component of the minimum staffing proposal that has received little notice thus far is that labor unions may have some weight in determining the staffing levels needed for a particular building. This feature was the source of discussion among attendees at the annual conference for the American Health Care Association and National Center for […]

28 Senators Push CMS to Scrap Nursing Home Staffing Mandate

In a bipartisan effort, U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and James Lankford (R-OK), along with 26 other senators, penned a letter to Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator of the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), urging the Biden Administration to reconsider the proposed federal staffing mandate. The senators expressed their collective concern that, amid an […]

Nursing Home Leaders Relieved Pending Legislative Issues Won’t Stall as Government Shutdown Is Averted

A government shutdown has been temporarily averted – for 45 days at least – after Congress passed a stopgap bill Saturday evening. And while skilled nursing and other long-term care operators and their reimbursements would not have been immediately impacted, the industry could have seen indirect ramifications. So for now, the sector – whose members […]

GAO Estimates 5% Of Nursing Homes Owned By Private Equity, But Calls Out ‘Limitations’ in CMS Data 

At least 5% of the nation’s nursing homes had private equity ownership in 2022, according to a new report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which also noted “limitations” in the federal government’s data on nursing home ownership. The congressional watchdog based its analysis on a review of the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare […]

‘Bad Policy’: Despite Appeals Changes, Civil Monetary Penalty Rule Still Hurting Aide Training at Nursing Homes

While nearly 21% of nursing homes across the country have developed nurse aide training programs to combat workforce shortages, civil monetary policy rules have severely hindered efforts to rebuild the workforce. Such training programs are revoked for two years, or cannot be initiated, if a SNF has been issued a CMP in excess of $11,995, […]

The Delicate Dance of Temp Agency Regulation: 1099 Worker Classification, Wage Caps at Issue in Tight Labor Market

As government entities and organizations in the nursing home space are scrambling for policy changes to regulate staffing agencies, they seem to be prioritizing legislation that addresses price gouging while worker classification also remains on the table. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act (PRO Act) introduced in Congress in 2021 and currently being examined […]

SNFs Seen Facing Higher Labor Costs, Uncertain Interest Rates Among Other Macroeconomic Pressures

Labor costs and interest rates, among other macroeconomic factors, continue to affect the nursing home industry as use of temporary staff and AI also appear to be exerting an influence. That’s according to CliftonLarsonAllen’s (CLA) economic outlook for 2023, which outlined industry priorities for the next couple of years. Containing labor costs in part by […]

Law Enabling Nursing Home CNAs to Pass Meds Signed by DeSantis

A measure that allows certified nursing assistants to administer routine medications was signed into law in Florida on Friday. The CNAs will need training to become qualified medication aides (QMAs), a position that is intended to free up registered nurses to provide other needed care.  The measure states that the aides would be limited to administering […]

Efforts to Rein In Nursing Home Temp Agencies Gain Ground After ‘Price Gouging,’ Other Troubling Practices

It’s no secret that temporary staffing agencies have been both a boon and bane for the nursing home industry, providing necessary but very costly labor during the pandemic. Staffing problems have persisted long enough in the post-Covid era to warrant their use, but pricing practices have led to an outcry and push for state regulation. […]

‘We’re at a Crossroads’: Nursing Homes See Union-Provider Collaboration Driven by Problems of Access, Acuity and Labor

Frequent nursing home closures and an access crisis across the country mean skilled nursing providers and unions must put aside their differences to find common ground in the post-pandemic age. However, achieving that alignment in the midst of seismic regulatory changes and legal challenges is another story. “We’re at a crossroads,” said Zach Shamberg, president […]

‘Backed into a Corner’: Over 500 Nursing Home Providers Gather to Protest Looming Minimum Staffing Proposal

Nursing home industry leaders, more than 500 of whom gathered on Capitol Hill this week to influence workforce legislation, sounded alarms over the possibility of a minimum staffing rule at the conclusion of their meeting with policy makers Tuesday. At a time when the industry is still reeling from the effects of massive worker shortages […]

Minnesota Lawmakers Create Board to Set Nursing Home Wages

Minnesota lawmakers passed a bill to create a regulatory board to set compensation levels for nursing homes after declining to increase wages. The Minnesota Nursing Home Workforce Standards Board will set the initial wage limits and working hours by Aug. 1, 2024.  Moreover, the board will be responsible for setting minimum employment standards, certifying worker organizations […]

Innovation and Uncertainty: Nursing Home Providers Forge New Paths for a Post-Covid Era

As the Skilled Nursing News’ CLINICAL event in Washington D.C. came to a close last month, industry experts left with staffing concerns amid labor shortages and pending legislation on minimum staffing standards. However, operators also shared optimism over their innovations in corporate and clinical practices as they continued to confront higher acuity and tighter regulation. […]

‘System in Crisis’: US Senate Hearing Calls for More Funding, Staffing for Nursing Home Inspections

The nursing home inspections system is underfunded and understaffed and needs federal assistance for alleviating inspection backlogs, or residents will remain in peril, experts and legislators said at a U.S. Senate hearing on Thursday. Officials from the long-term care ombudsman program as well as leaders from state inspections and regulatory bodies were among those who […]

LTC Worker Shortage Can be Improved with Funding for Retention, Training, Advancement

Industry stakeholders and academic professionals are calling for better workforce development for direct care workers (DCWs) to address an unprecedented shortfall predicted in the coming decades. The solutions – ranging from professional development and recruitment methods, retention and career advancement methods – were published in the journal Health Affairs, and are drawn from an ongoing […]

‘Complete Debacle’: US House Hearing on Nursing Home Covid Deaths Blames Political Acrimony, Policies, Staffing

Bad policy decisions, political acrimony and poor staffing were to blame for the alarming number of deaths in nursing homes, experts and legislators said in a U.S. House of Representatives hearing held on Wednesday. As Democratic and Republican lawmakers pointed fingers at each other, they agreed that among the many deficiencies, the must-admit policy deeply […]

Federal Bill Aims to Increase Medicare SNF Payments in Hawaii, Alaska

Representatives in Hawaii and Alaska are pushing for legislation that would increase funding for skilled nursing facilities in both states. The Equitable Payments for Nursing Facilities Act of 2023, originally introduced in 2021, would authorize a cost-of-living adjustment to the Medicare payment formula for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in Hawaiʻi and Alaska to account for […]