With New Value-Based Care Play and Smaller SNF Portfolio, United Church Homes Looks to Future

United Church Homes (UCH), which provides a range of care and services to older adults in skilled nursing centers and other settings, is making a value-based care play that involves health plan provider CareSource.  Ohio-based UCH and Metta Healthcare, the parent company of Ohio’s Hospice and Pure Healthcare, are forming a new nonprofit entity called […]

PDPM is a Start, But Rising Acuity at Nursing Homes Demands Building New Payment Models for Adequate Reimbursement 

As acuity continues to rise among nursing home residents, providers say reimbursement needs to change too – and not just the dollar amount. Incentives should be based on quality of care, and the industry will need to build out specific reimbursement models to match expanded acuity specialities, especially as value-based care becomes more and more […]

CMS Release of New MDS Materials Serves as Springboard for Staff Training

As promised, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) late Monday released virtual training on updated guidance for the Minimum Data Set (MDS). The agency initially announced plans for training sessions during an open door forum in March. Part one consists of pre-recorded training webinars to deliver foundational knowledge on changes coming Oct. 1. […]

‘Past the Trough’: Omega CEO Cautiously Optimistic As Occupancy Up, Acquisitions Underway 

Following its first quarter earnings release, executives at Omega Healthcare Investors Inc. (NYSE: OHI) said Wednesday that new investments along with restructuring of existing deals will result in gains. This is in part due to rent deferrals ending on some of Omega’s properties and operating trends continuing to improve for the sector, company leaders said […]

Ensign CEO: Feds’ Staffing Mandate May Include Long Phase-In, Lots of ‘Wood to Chop’ on Big California Portfolio

Nursing home operators may see a long phase-in for a federal minimum staffing requirement, and a host of exceptions, when more details finally come – but, it’s difficult to speculate on hypotheticals and may not help operators to dwell on the “what-ifs.” That’s according to Ensign Group (Nasdaq: ENSG) CEO Barry Port, who weighed in […]

CMS Releases Optional State Assessment for MDS Switch

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Monday dropped the eagerly anticipated optional state assessment (OSA) for nursing homes, as a supplement for operators to fill out in states still transitioning to the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM). If a state decides not to transition to a PDPM-based Medicaid case mix with the […]

Nursing Home Providers Enter Staff Training Phase for MDS Switch, Concerned About Agency Workers and State Variation

As the skilled nursing industry steadily moves toward an Oct. 1 deadline for changes to the Minimum Data Set (MDS), operators are stressing the importance of training staff to help accurately code under the new system, a byproduct of the switch to the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM). While details of the most notable shift […]

State Budget Aims to Boost Funding for Nursing Homes in Ohio – Including for Private Rooms 

Nursing homes in Ohio may see a significant boost in state investment from Medicaid and Coronavirus relief funds thanks to a budget proposal expected to pass the House on Thursday. The House framework includes major changes to the governor’s proposed budget including giving Medicaid dollars to put residents in private rooms, and an amendment that […]

CMS Weighs in on MDS Changes Affecting Five-Star, Puts Spotlight on Behavioral Health in Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Thursday reviewed multiple updates with skilled nursing operators, with agency officials discussing Minimum Data Set changes and the Five-Star Rating System, along with a rundown of changes to its proposed rule. CMS is planning to re-specify some of the measures listed in Five-Star, as they’re tied […]

Nursing Home Survey Teams Need Not Always Have an RN, Federal Court Rules

A nursing home’s Medicaid survey team doesn’t always have to include a registered nurse (RN), according to a federal district court decision concerning a New York-based facility. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York last week entered into a summary judgment in favor of the U.S. Department of Health and Human […]

Skilled Nursing Medicaid Revenue Per Patient Day Hits All-Time High

Medicaid revenue per patient day (RPPD) for skilled nursing facilities is at an all-time high. That’s according to the latest data from NIC MAP Vision, which released its new skilled nursing monthly report on March 30. Despite this new benchmark being reached, Medicaid rates still often are not high enough to cover the cost of […]

Principle LTC CFO: Facing Immense Financial Pressures, Skilled Nursing Operators Must Know ‘Why’ Behind Key Metrics

Chief financial officers of skilled nursing facilities are increasingly collaborating with the front line while paying close attention to key operational metrics. Such evolutions in the role are crucial, given immense financial pressures caused by the skyrocketing cost of care and low Medicaid reimbursement rates. CFOs in the space would do well to collect real-time […]

Nursing Home Spending, Pricing Among Highest in Health Categories So Far This Year

Nursing home spending was among the highest compared to other health care categories at the beginning of this year, increasing by 9.2% in January, while the sector’s earnings were also ahead of hospitals and ambulatory care. That’s according to Health Sector Economic Indicators (HSEI) briefs compiled by Altarum, a nonprofit research and consulting organization serving […]

Beyond MDS Coordinators: Nursing Home Operators Add Reimbursement Specialist Roles, Tap Leaders with ‘C-Suite Mindset’

Given increasing complexities in payment systems and intensifying financial pressures, more nursing home providers are hiring leaders with a specialized and sophisticated focus on reimbursement. Even smaller operators are seeing the value of these positions, which demand a mix of financial and clinical acumen, and a C-suite mindset. Valerie Taylor, for one, became a corporate […]

Congress, States, CMS Urged to Ensure Nursing Facility Medicaid Rates Cover Care Costs

A Congressional advisory body on Wednesday put forth recommendations for closer assessment of nursing facility Medicaid payments, including whether they are sufficient to cover costs of care. The proposals could allow for a finer tuning of Medicaid rates and therefore could benefit the sector, as long as they do not put greater administrative costs and […]

CMS Administrator: $566M Devoted to SNF Oversight in White House Budget

As the nursing home industry passes the anniversary of sweeping reform initiatives by the Biden Administration, the proposed Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) budget for 2024 includes new dollars to strengthen federal oversight of the industry. Specifically, the proposal seeks to reserve about $566 million for CMS Survey and Certification Program funding, a […]