HHS Relaxes Rules for Using Provider Relief Funds to Cover Lost Revenue

The federal government this week amended its rules for how providers can use coronavirus relief funding, specifically removing limitations around covering lost revenues not directly related to COVID-19. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the change in the wake of criticism from providers and some lawmakers. “In response to concerns raised, HHS […]

Pruitt: Funding for Private Rooms Top Challenge as Nursing Homes Look to ‘Learn from History’

The final report from the Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes contained plenty of ideas on how to keep residents and staff safer should COVID-19 resurge or if another pandemic hits the United States. While some of the onus falls on the federal government, nursing home operators must also raise the bar […]

SNN Survey: Most Providers Will Survive into 2021, But Capital Providers Remain Worried About Census

A recent Skilled Nursing News survey of nursing home operators found cautious optimism about the near-term future of the space, with a majority seeing a clear path to the future even without additional government support. At the same time, operators have largely been pouring that federal largesse — including CARES Act grants, Payroll Protection Program […]

Cold Storage, Medicaid Coverage: Inside the Walgreens, CVS Vaccination Deal for Nursing Homes

The federal government last week tapped a pair of retail pharmacy giants to distribute an eventual COVID-19 vaccine to nursing home residents across the country, and while there remain significant questions about the logistics of distributing an as-yet-unapproved vaccine, officials have continued to position the plan as the only workable solution to a massive public […]

CMS Formally Scraps MFAR, Averting Potential $50B in Medicaid Cuts

The head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Monday that the agency is withdrawing a controversial rule intended to overhaul Medicaid supplemental payments — a rule that could have put as much as $50 billion in jeopardy. “We’ve listened closely to concerns that have been raised by our state and provider […]

Grabowski: As Case Counts Rise and PPE Issues Persist, Nursing Homes Face Grim ‘Groundhog Day’

As COVID-19 continues to bring sickness and death to American nursing homes, Harvard University professor David Grabowski has become one of the most-quoted experts on the steps that operators and the government should take to stem the tide. But as the summer turns to fall during a pandemic that started in late winter, the long-term […]

Skilled Nursing Distress Looms as CARES Funding Ebbs: ‘Bills Are Starting to Come Due’

Billions of federal stimulus dollars have kept the skilled nursing sector afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, but as the most recent distributions hit operators’ bank accounts, storm clouds are still gathering in the distance. While nursing home operators may have been spared the immediate financial woes that hit businesses in a variety of other sectors, […]

Parkinson: Test Nursing Home Staff Weekly Even if Not Required, Develop a Compliance Plan by Next Week

The leader of the largest trade group for U.S. nursing homes on Thursday advised operators to exceed new federal COVID-19 testing mandates whenever possible, while emphasizing the importance of planning for complying with the new regulations as soon as next week. “I would be testing, once a week, all staff. I would be doing that […]

CMS Targets Infection Control in New Nursing Home Training Program

A few weeks after the nation’s top Medicare official pointed to persistent infection control problems as a major driver of rising COVID-19 cases in nursing homes, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Tuesday introduced new online training resources for frontline staffers and management. Officials based the new “CMS Targeted COVID-19 Training for […]

State with First COVID-19 Outbreak Rolls Back Medicaid Boost for Nursing Homes: ‘Needless Deaths Will Rise’

The state of Washington is cutting back on the increase it provided to Medicaid reimbursement to nursing homes, a move that drew sharp criticism from nursing home trade groups and advocates. The news was first reported by NBC affiliate KING 5 in Washington on August 21. As part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act […]

CMS Touts $15M in Nursing Home Fines Amid COVID-19 as Infection Citations Triple

The federal government on Friday announced that it has handed out $15 million in civil monetary penalties (CMPs) to about 3,400 nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. That total includes about $10 million in fines stemming from targeted infection control surveys, and $5.5 million assessed to operators that failed to report COVID-19 data as required […]

Inside the Latest $5B in HHS Aid for Nursing Homes: Value-Based Competition, Stricter Testing Mandates

The federal government’s latest targeted coronavirus aid for nursing homes will consist of four separate programs, with a significant portion of the $5 billion price tag doled out based on operators’ performance in monthly value-based competitions. Of that pledged total, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will distribute half — or $2.5 billion […]

Verma: CMS Wants to Partner with Nursing Homes, ‘Move Away’ from Focusing on Fines

The federal government’s top Medicare official this week emphasized a desire to work closely with leaders in the nursing home landscape, pointing to industry feedback as a key driver behind a sweeping plan to send point-of-care COVID-19 testing units to the nation’s nursing facilities. “CMS obviously has a regulatory function with nursing homes,” Centers for […]

Potential MFAR Medicaid Cuts Back in Spotlight as Wide Swath of Health Leaders Call for More Relief

A slew of governmental and health care organizations called on the federal government to boost its share of Medicaid support — and to revoke a controversial proposed rule that would have overhauled how some states drew down federal dollars. The organizations — which represent political officials from the local to the state level and care […]