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 […]

Officials Offer Financial Incentives for COVID-Focused SNFs Ahead of Peak Cases: ‘It’s a Race at This Point’

Nursing homes in Connecticut will get a 10%, “across-the-board increase” in their Medicaid reimbursements — with operators that volunteer to turn their facilities into dedicated COVID-19 treatment facilities eligible for even greater financial benefits — as the state scrambles to respond to the growing crisis. The office of Gov. Ned Lamont made the announcement on […]

Emergency Medicaid Waivers Expand to 13 States, Eliminating Prior Auth and Approving Alternate Care Sites

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) late Monday approved 11 new state Medicaid waivers, opening the door for a host of emergency solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic — from an elimination of prior authorization requirements to the potential provision of care at unlicensed facilities. After Florida and Washington state landed the first 1135 […]

Signature’s Chief Medical Officer: COVID-19 Crisis Will Usher in ‘New Era’ of Skilled Nursing, Post-Acute Care

As both the chief medical officer for Signature HealthCARE and president of AMDA, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, Dr. Arif Nazir has a micro- and macro-level view on how skilled nursing facilities are fighting the coronavirus. And even in these early days of the crisis, Nazir believes that the sweeping emergency steps […]

$1B in Supplemental Nursing Home Funds Diverted to County Health Systems in Indiana

Hospital executives in the state of Indiana redirected at least $1.17 billion in extra Medicaid dollars, drawn down from the state’s supplemental payment program to boost nursing home reimbursement, toward projects to expand their own health systems, an investigation by the IndyStar published on Thursday revealed. The multi-part series — which tackled the funding system […]

How Focused Post Acute Balances Urban and Rural Markets to Thrive Amid Medicaid, Labor Stress

A skilled nursing operator or investor could be forgiven for running toward the exits when presented with the opportunity to take over buildings in rural West Texas. Between persistently low Medicaid rates in the Lone Star State and the general operational difficulties that rural buildings face in markets across the country, the combination may not […]

CMS: No Timeline for Resuming Non-Emergency Surveys for Nursing Homes Amid Coronavirus

After the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an immediate crackdown on nursing home compliance in the wake of the coronavirus, the agency laid out new expectations for updated inspections and surveys — with no exact timeline for resuming non-emergency surveys in sight. Although containing and preventing the coronavirus is the agency’s current […]

DOJ Forms Nursing Home Task Force, Promises Criminal and Civil Penalties for Owners and Operators

The Department of Justice this week announced the creation of a specialized task force targeting “grossly substandard care” in nursing homes, with both criminal and civil penalties on the table for owners and operators. About 30 individual facilities across nine states are already under investigation, the DOJ revealed in announcing its new National Nursing Home […]

550 Nursing Homes Closed from 2015-2019 — With Trend Accelerating Toward End of Decade

Nursing home closures are on the rise, regardless of geography and quality ratings, according to a recent report authored by industry trade group LeadingAge — raising the possibility of market-specific supply shortages in the near future. In fact, more than 550 facilities have closed between June 2015 and June 2019, with a steady increase in […]

Senior Housing Could Serve as Medicaid Nursing Home Alternative, Welltower CEO Argues

Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL) chairman and CEO Tom DeRosa touted the real estate investment trust’s new senior housing play as a possible alternative to Medicaid-reimbursed nursing homes in a Monday talk at the Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose CEO Investor Forum in Manhattan. On February 18, the Toledo, Ohio-based REIT announced welltowerLIVING, an initiative focused on […]