Matros: Home Health Shifts ‘A Good Thing’ Ahead of Looming Capacity Crunch, But Nursing Homes Still Vital

Whether or not home health providers can maintain the volume they siphoned away from skilled nursing facilities during the pandemic has emerged as a top question for policymakers and financial analysts alike. A permanent shift from SNF to home could portend financial and operational chaos for a sector already battered by COVID-19, the thinking goes, […]

Cuomo Takes Aim at For-Profit Nursing Homes, Hints at Reforms for 2021

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis in nursing homes continues to make headlines amid accusations of a deliberate cover-up, but the embattled executive this week promised to explore reforms targeted at for-profit facility owners. “I have long believed that there is a tension in a for-profit nursing home, because those institutions […]

Amid Stalled HHS Confirmation, Frontrunner Emerges for CMS Chief: Report

The Biden administration is leaning toward the selection of former federal health official and current Manatt Health managing director Chiquita Brooks-LaSure for the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Politico reported this week. Brooks-LaSure held posts at CMS and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under President Obama, with […]

Richter to Lead CMS on Acting Basis Under New Biden Administration

The new Biden administration has tapped Liz Richter to lead the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on an interim basis during the presidential transition. The agency’s website currently lists Richter, who has worked at CMS in various capacities since 1990, as acting administrator. She succeeds outgoing administrator Seema Verma, who on Wednesday resigned […]

GAO: Managed Medicaid Programs for LTC Services Need National Oversight

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found “significant problems” with the managed long-term supports and services (MLTSS) covered by Medicaid and implemented through contracts with managed care organizations. The GAO made the discovery in a recent review of six states. In the report, which was released publicly on December 16, the GAO recommended a […]

ProMedica Senior Care’s Parker Sees Growth Ahead — Even as ‘Major Disruption’ Looms for Industry in Early ’21

When Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL) and health system ProMedica teamed up to take over nursing home giant HCR ManorCare in 2018, the players positioned the move as a way to vertically integrate a continuum that could follow a patient from the hospital, to a skilled nursing facility, to home health. The real estate investment trust […]

Nursing Home Providers Sue for Access to $153M in COVID-19 Medicaid Rate Boosts

Three senior living and care organizations in Pennsylvania filed suit against the state over $153 million in additional Medicaid funds allocated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, charging the Keystone State with treating the money “as its own piggybank and disregarding the substantial need of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens.” The petition, filed on December […]

CMS to Resume Updates to Nursing Home Compare, Special Focus Facilities List in January

The federal government last week advised nursing homes that a variety of COVID-related freezes on updates to the public Nursing Home Compare database will end soon after the start of the new year. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on January 27 will update quality and health inspection metrics on the consumer-facing resource, […]

Biden Nominates California Attorney General Becerra for HHS Secretary

President-elect Joe Biden has selected Xavier Becerra, the current attorney general of California and a critic of President Trump’s nursing home policies, to helm the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the incoming administration, the New York Times reported Sunday. Prior to serving as California’s top prosecutor, Becerra represented the Los Angeles area […]

CMS Finalizes Proposed Cuts to Medicare Part B Therapy Services for 2021, Expands Telehealth Coverage

The federal government on Tuesday finalized its proposed physician fee schedule for the 2021 calendar year, formalizing cuts to Medicare reimbursement rates for therapy services provided to residents covered under Part B — while also expanding some telehealth flexibilities offered during COVID-19. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in August floated a 9% […]

New Wave of ‘One-Sided’ Managed Care Contracts Could Lead to Payment Strains for Nursing Homes

Some aspects of the nursing home world do not change even during a global pandemic, and that includes the need to manage relationships with multiple payers. Several managed care organizations (MCOs) are now sending in their new contracts to skilled nursing providers as old agreements expire, Chad Bogar, the founder and CEO of the law […]

2021 Will See ‘Many Facilities Fail’ Without Federal, State Help

Nursing home and senior living providers in the not-for-profit sector are facing significant strains from the surge in COVID-19 nationwide. Leading into the Thanksgiving holiday, operators are pleading with those in the community to refrain from gathering amid challenges both operational and financial. “Nursing homes really are at the brink,” Deke Cateau, the CEO of […]

Curve Health Sees Value-Based Progress at Nursing Homes — Even If It’s Still Technically Fee-for-Service

The federal government has talked a big game about shifting toward value-based payments for Medicare and Medicaid providers, but fee-for-service reimbursements have remained a primary force governing operations in the post-acute and long-term care sector. COVID-19 has subtly shifted that dynamic, however — especially in the field of telemedicine, which has seen skyrocketing adoption rates […]

CMS, Medicare to Cover COVID-19 Antibody Drug in Nursing Homes

The federal government this week announced that Medicare will cover a recently approved antibody treatment for COVID-19 in a range of settings, including nursing homes. The Food and Drug Administration on Monday cleared on an emergency basis the use of bamlanivimab — a monoclonial antibody infusion — for adults with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19. […]