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 […]

Verma Touts Low SNF Provider Terminations, Wants to Give Operators Chance to ‘Turn Things Around’

The head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) touted the agency’s changes around enforcement of quality and safety standards in a blog post published on Tuesday, as part of a series on its five-part strategy to improve care in nursing homes across the country. The strategy’s components include: strengthening oversight, enhancing enforcement, […]

Lawmakers: Medicaid Supplement Crackdown Would Constrict Nursing Home Supply

A group of 27 U.S. representatives asked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to rethink a proposal restricting Medicaid supplemental payments — claiming enforcement will lead to decreased services and fewer available nursing home beds. The controversial proposed rule, the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation (MFAR), would bring tighter regulations to state-based Medicaid supplemental […]

Verma Strikes Back on MFAR: Worries Over Billions in Medicaid Cuts ‘Alarmist’ and ‘Overblown’

The head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Wednesday issued a strong defense of a proposed rule that nursing home advocates claim would place up to $50 billion in Medicaid reimbursements in immediate jeopardy, framing the move as a necessary step toward reducing fraud and waste. The Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation […]

Task Force: To Save Top Nursing Homes, Government Should Encourage Lower-Performing SNFs to Exit

As nursing homes’ operating margins dwindle due to insufficient Medicaid reimbursements, one state task force is encouraging lower performing facilities to simply shut down — and make more room for the remaining properties to grab a piece of a shrinking pie. The Nursing Facility Task Force of Massachusetts released a report declaring that the state […]

400 Nursing Homes Have Closed Since Landmark 1987 Oversight Law — While Care Generally Improved

Since the landmark passage of a sweeping oversight bill in the late 1980s, hundreds of nursing homes have closed — while those that remained have increasingly taken on more difficult medical cases, according to new research from Brown University. The analysis, which focused on the effects of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA […]

Omega to Divest Struggling Daybreak Skilled Nursing Portfolio, Cautiously Upbeat on Medicaid Crackdown

After multiple quarters of struggles with operator Daybreak Venture, Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE: OHI) on Thursday announced a plan to largely purge the provider’s buildings from its portfolio. “During the course of the next several quarters, Omega anticipates transitioning, either through re-leases or sales, the vast majority of Daybreak’s existing Omega facilities,” chief operating officer […]

Ensign Rides High-Acuity Skilled Nursing Model to 6% Rate Gains Under PDPM

The Ensign Group (Nasdaq: ENSG) on Thursday announced that its skilled nursing facilities have seen rate increases of up to 6% under the new Medicare payment model, in part helping to drive the post-acute leader to another set of record earnings. The company’s established same-store facilities achieved those 6% gains, while Ensign’s transitioning facilities — […]

Nursing Homes Should Be Skeptical of Medicaid Block Grants, But MFAR Represents Much Bigger Threat

The first month of 2020 has brought news of potentially sweeping Medicaid changes on multiple fronts, with the current presidential administration doubling down on its goal of undoing the Affordable Care Act and reducing federal spending on the program. But while nursing home operators and advocates are right to be skeptical of a Centers for […]

SNF Providers Could Find Managed Care Relief By Banding Together in IPAs

Creating or joining an independent practice association (IPA) empowers providers to negotiate managed care plan services and rates, a potential game-changer for nursing home owners amidst Medicare Advantage headaches — pains that include shorter lengths of stay, or the elimination of skilled nursing stays altogether in favor of home care.  Providers might opt into an […]