Washington State Targets Medicaid Shortfall, But Not in Time for Some SNFs

Two different legislative proposals in the state of Washington call for a change in how the state calculates Medicaid reimbursement for skilled nursing facilities. But the changes – if they take effect – may not be in time to save more facilities from closure, according to one trade group. Northwest News Network first reported on […]

Why a 10% Medicaid Boost Wasn’t Enough to Save Nursing Homes From Closure

The state of South Dakota earlier this year passed a significant increase to Medicaid reimbursement for nursing facilities in the state, prompted by a rash of closures. But even with the extra dollars -– the state in April authorized a 10% increase in Medicaid reimbursement for nursing homes, which translated to a roughly $8-per-day increase […]

$240M Illinois Medicaid Funding Increase Remains Unclear: ‘It Could Be Eaten Up in Penalties’

Illinois lawmakers’ approval of a Medicaid reimbursement increase for skilled nursing facilities earlier this year came as welcome news to providers in a state notorious for its difficult operating environment. But key definitions related to the requirements for staffing are still being finalized, and the ramifications for the funding boost are still unclear. “The whole […]

Nursing Home Denials in CA Raise Concerns About Larger Move to Managed Medicaid

Managed Medicaid plans in California have, in some cases, denied coverage to patients for nursing facility care, raising concerns among long-term care advocates in the state about coverage by such plans. California Healthline, a publication of Kaiser Health News, reported the story earlier this week. California pays plans a monthly rate for every Medicaid beneficiary […]

US News Focuses on Resident Complaints, Staffing in New Set of Nursing Home Ratings

U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday released its 2019-2020 Best Nursing Homes ratings, which the publication has pitched as a more consumer-friendly alternative to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Nursing Home Compare website. Analysts from the national news outlet have moved away from CMS’s five-star ratings to rely on their own […]

CMS Could Soon Crack Down on States’ Medicaid Payment-Boosting Programs for Nursing Homes

In multiple states, supplemental programs help skilled nursing facilities offset the low reimbursement for their services from Medicaid. But the federal government is starting to take a closer look at the programs, with an eye to increasing transparency, Andrea Maresca, senior vice president at the consulting firm Thorn Run Partners, said during a presentation on […]

Nursing Home Providers Sue Over NY’s Decision to ‘Damn the Torpedoes’ and Implement $246M in Medicaid Cuts

A coalition of nursing home providers in New York State on Thursday filed a lawsuit against the state’s Department of Health (DOH), alleging violations of federal and state law with regard to hundreds of millions in Medicaid funding cuts. “These rate reductions were motivated purely out of budgetary concerns, with no consideration for the residents […]

Bill Would Expand Nursing Homes’ Access to Federal Background-Check Database

A new piece of legislation before Congress would expand nursing homes’ ability to perform detailed background checks on potential employees, according to its sponsor. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, earlier this week announced a bill to improve health care worker hiring practices in an effort to reduce elder abuse. The initiative — known […]

Verma: New Abuse Warning Icon ‘Isn’t Really Going to Impact Very Many Nursing Homes’

Despite widespread anger in the skilled nursing industry, a controversial new warning icon for facilities with previous reports of abuse and neglect will affect only a relatively small proportion of properties, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Seema Verma told lawmakers in Washington on Wednesday. Testifying before the House Committee on Energy & […]

Providers, CMS Must ‘Band Together’ to Improve Skilled Nursing Care for Behavioral, Mental Health Patients

In a health care landscape full of challenges, staffing consistently ranks as the top concern for skilled nursing facilities. But the second-most prevalent concern is patients and residents who have mental health needs and substance use disorders, according to a top federal official — and there are no easy answers for how SNFs should cope. […]

CMS to Implement Stricter Standards for State Nursing Home Surveyors

The federal government on Thursday rolled out yet another initiative aimed at nursing home safety, announcing a multi-pronged effort to strengthen its oversight of State Survey Agencies (SSAs). The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will implement a variety of new assessment tools in the State Performance Standards System (SPSS), its rubric for grading […]

Four More Nebraska Nursing Homes to Close Amid Persistent Payment Crunch

Just about a week after changing hands, four skilled nursing facilities in Nebraska announced plans to soon shut down amid financial difficulties that their new owners blamed on a tough overall state budget landscape. The four facilities — Blue Hill Care Center in Blue Hill, Crestview Care Center in Milford, Mory’s Haven in Columbus, and […]

California AG Criticizes Proposed Delay of Phase 3 RoP Rules for Nursing Homes

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra criticized a proposed federal rule that would delay certain aspects of Phase 3 of the Requirements of Participation for skilled nursing facilities, arguing that the move would roll back key protections for residents. Announced in July, the proposed rule seeks to reduce reporting and paperwork burdens through delaying certain parts […]