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 […]

Vowing to Cut Red Tape, CMS Forms Office of Burden Reduction and Health Informatics

Framing the move as an extension of existing efforts to remove regulatory burdens for health care operators under the current administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Tuesday unveiled a new office dedicated to eliminating rules it deems “duplicative, unnecessary, and excessively costly.” The Office of Burden Reduction and Health Informatics will […]

Spending $5 Million a Week on COVID-19, Signature HealthCARE Faces ‘Toughest Period in Our Company History’

Like many nursing home operators, Signature HealthCARE has seen its fair share of strain during the COVID-19 crisis, with skyrocketing costs prompting the provider to lay off 100 corporate employees earlier this month. But its CEO has indicated that the stress on the Louisville, Ky.-based company may just be starting. “We think we did it […]

Backed with $60M, PatientPing Looks to Expand Care Transitions Network in a Post-COVID Landscape

Even before a global pandemic upended the post-acute care continuum, transitions between settings represented one of the biggest pain points for operators and patients. Fresh off a $60 million Series C funding round announced last week, PatientPing has its sights set on national coverage for its software network that connects hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home […]

HHS to Release $15B in COVID-19 Relief Funds to Medicaid Providers

The federal government on Tuesday announced a long-awaited tranche of financial relief for providers that rely solely on Medicaid reimbursements, setting aside $15 billion. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will release the funds to Medicaid providers that did not receive payments from the initial $50 billion in general allocations from the Provider […]

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 […]

Post-Acute Facilities Feel Short-Term COVID Pain, But May Have the Easiest Path Back

Prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, skilled nursing facilities that specialize in post-acute care were a rare target of true investor excitement in the greater institutional senior care continuum. With a shiny new Medicare payment model that gave providers more financial credit for the high-acuity services they’d increasingly added over the years, and […]

After Fronting $100B, CMS Suspends COVID-19 Medicare Payment Advance Program

Citing the steady release of grant money from the dedicated health care stimulus fund, the federal government on Sunday announced the immediate suspension of a program that provided advances of Medicare Part A and B reimbursements. The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) halted the Advance Payment Program and indicated its intention to “reevaluate” […]

CMS Releases Nursing Home Staffing, Census Data to Help States Make PPE and Testing Decisions

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday released a public database of staffing and resident counts for nearly 15,000 nursing homes, with the goal of potentially helping states make more informed decisions about the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Using fourth-quarter 2019 data from the Payroll-Based Journal […]

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 […]