To Get Ahead of PDPM Audits, Skilled Nursing Facilities Target Top Areas of Payment Focus

When the overhaul of Medicare Part A reimbursement for nursing homes took effect in October 2019, predictions of audits and the potential for drastic changes came close on its heels. After all, the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) was meant to be revenue-neutral, meaning that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would not spend […]

TapestryHealth, Rosie Ink Deal to Expand Nursing Home Telehealth, Remote Monitoring Systems

The widespread embrace and expansion of telehealth may go down as one of the top long-term positive developments to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a pair of tech players in the nursing home space this week announced a new partnership aimed at building on that momentum. Telemedicine provider and primary care practice TapestryHealth […]

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, […]

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 […]

Despite Hands-Off Approach from CMS, PDPM Pitfalls Remain for Nursing Home Operators, Investors

Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government has left its new Medicare payment system for nursing homes virtually unchanged since the original rollout in October 2019 — but that doesn’t mean operators and investors should assume the status quo will last forever. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and its […]

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 […]

Genesis’s LTC ACO Inks Deal with Third Eye to Expand Telehealth in Nursing Homes — Free of Charge

An accountable care organization (ACO) backed by one of the nation’s largest nursing home providers on Tuesday announced a deal to expand telehealth services to its members in a push to cut hospitalizations and boost clinical coverage — during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the new agreement, the skilled nursing tech provider Third Eye […]

Verma Submits Resignation as CMS Chief Ahead of Biden Transition, Touts Nursing Home COVID Work

Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, submitted her official resignation on January 14, ahead of the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20 — and touted the agency’s work with nursing homes, particularly amid the COVID-19 public health emergency. “As the Trump Administration comes to a close, I […]

Verma Calls for Outcomes-Based Nursing Home Reform: Despite Aid, ‘Far Too Many Residents’ Have Died

The U.S. regulatory process for skilled nursing facilities needs to be overhauled to focus on outcomes, Seema Verma, the outgoing administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), argued in an opinion piece published January 8. “Despite nursing homes receiving infection control guidance, government-funded testing, training, supplies, staffing, and over $7 billion in […]

Most Skilled Nursing Facilities Still Face Medicare VBP Cuts as Proportion of Winners Drops

The proportion of skilled nursing facilities that earned incentive bonuses under an alternative Medicare payment model dropped in fiscal 2020, with the vast majority of properties either losing money or breaking even. Sixty-five percent of SNFs saw negative adjustments under the SNF Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) program, according to a new analysis published this week in […]

COVID-19 Bill Includes Some Offsets to Part B Cuts Scheduled for Next Year

The new spending bill passed by Congress on Monday night, which includes $900 billion in COVID-19 relief, also contains some respite for cuts to Medicare Part B that posed a significant threat to therapy operations in skilled nursing facilities. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 is now awaiting President Trump’s signature, and it includes 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 […]

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 […]

MedPAC: Nursing Homes on Solid Financial Ground Despite COVID, Medicare Boost ‘Poor Approach’

A member of a federal advisory board on Medicare policy last week recommended against a payment boost for nursing homes, concluding that despite the negative effects of COVID-19, operators have maintained steady access to capital — and generally make too high of a margin on Medicare-covered residents. “Even with increased costs, Medicare payments are more […]