Critics of Plan to Reinstate SNF Arbitration Agreements Attack Trump, CMS

As the deadline for public comment approached, politicians and advocacy groups lodged strong objections to the Trump administration’s proposal to overturn Obama-era regulations that protect residents’ ability to sue skilled nursing facilities. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a rule in 2016 that prevents SNFs that receive Medicare or Medicaid funds from including “no sue” clauses in […]

How Offering Insurance Can Pay Off for Skilled Nursing Providers

Large skilled nursing providers across the country are increasingly selling private insurance plans to their residents, and it appears to be paying off for at least one of them. Among them are Erickson Living and Signature Healthcare, two of the country’s biggest providers of skilled nursing services. Both Erickson and Signature offer private Medicare Advantage […]

Sabra CEO Rebukes Activists, Sees Skilled Nursing Upsides

Sabra Health Care REIT, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBRA) came out swinging against activist shareholders on the company’s quarterly earnings call Thursday afternoon, trumpeting the potential of skilled nursing facilities in the future and questioning the credentials of those who have criticized its impending merger with Care Capital Properties (NYSE: CCP). A nearly “pure play” SNF real estate […]

Avoiding Multi-Million Medicare Advantage Mistakes at SNFs

New payment models frequently shoulder the blame for the uncertainty surrounding the skilled nursing marketplace, as operators struggle to shift from the private-pay and Medicare of the past to Medicare Advantage and other new reimbursement methods. But, according to one SNF consultant, the time for blaming new models is over — and the only thing […]

Bill Aims to Expand Veterans’ Access to Nursing Care

A bill recently reintroduced in the U.S. Senate aims to make skilled nursing services more readily available for veterans of the military. Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Mike Rounds (R-SD) on July 20 reintroduced the Veterans Access to Long Term Care and Health Services Act (S. 1611). The legislation would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to […]

Non-Doctor Specialists Provide More Care in Skilled Nursing

The number of doctors practicing in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) has dropped, while the number of non-doctor SNF specialists has nearly doubled, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine. Headed by Dr. Joan Teno of the Cambia Palliative Care Center of Excellence at the University of […]

Friday Round-Up: QCP’s ManorCare Ultimatum, Top-Paid SNF Execs

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the past week in skilled nursing news, from a potential final showdown between a major provider and its landlord to a peek into the highest-paid executives in the business. Today’s the day for HCR ManorCare, Inc. to pay the back rent it owes Quality Care Properties, […]

Concentration of For-Profit, Chain SNFs Grew Over Last Six Years

For-profit skilled nursing operators captured a gradually larger share of the United States SNF market from 2009 and 2015, while non-profits increasingly ceded ground to governments. In 2015, for-profits accounted for 68.4% of the nation’s 15,583 certified nursing facilities, according to a Tuesday report from the Kaiser Family Foundation. That’s compared to a 23.8% share […]

Hospitals with Post-Acute Services Produce Better Outcomes than SNFs

At first, the conclusion seems obvious: Hospitals that sink more money into post-acute services provide better care to patients than their lower-spending counterparts. But those findings, released this week by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have stark implications for skilled nursing providers. “We find that patients who go to hospitals that rely more […]

Bipartisan Bill Seeks to Strengthen Medicare Plans for SNF Residents

As ongoing Obamacare repeal efforts cloud the future of Medicaid, a bipartisan pair of representatives introduced a bill they claim will help strengthen Medicare Advantage access for the most vulnerable seniors. H.R. 3168 would reauthorize Medicare Special Needs Plans, which are generally restricted to recipients who need institutional care, must manage chronic illnesses, or qualify for […]

Pros and Cons for Skilled Nursing Under Senate’s Trumpcare Bill

The Senate’s proposed health care legislation, like the bill that passed the House, includes significant cuts to Medicaid, which is the top payer for skilled nursing services. This presents obvious challenges for SNFs, but also may provide some positive outcomes. In the first quarter of 2017, 65.2% of patient days were attributed to Medicaid, and the Medicaid patient […]

SNFs Get More Time to Meet Sweeping Medicare Regulations

Last year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its first comprehensive overhaul of skilled nursing rules since 1991. But faced with objections from operators in the industry about the scope and timing of the new requirements, CMS decided to delay their enforcement of the regulations. The Phase 2 stipulations of the revised Requirements […]

Why Sabra Bet on Skilled Nursing While Other REITs Bailed

Several publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) have backed off skilled nursing in recent months and years, but one major player recently made an eye-popping investment in the asset class. The largest health care REITs — Ventas (NYSE: VTR), Welltower (NYSE: HCN), and HCP (NYSE: HCP) — all have either spun off the majority […]

Genesis Finalizes $53.6 Million Settlement Deal with DOJ

Genesis HealthCare (NYSE: GEN) on Friday announced the execution of a $53.6 million settlement with the United States Department of Justice over a variety of improper billing allegations. The Kennett Square, Pa.-based post-acute provider denied all of the government’s claims, which included four separate sets of allegations involving various Genesis subsidiaries. In its complaint, the DOJ […]

Skilled Nursing Occupancy Increased in Q1, But Trending Down

Occupancy at skilled nursing facilities rose 36 basis points from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the first quarter of 2017, but ended the quarter on a downward trend. SNFs had 82.6% occupancy in the first quarter of 2017, according to the latest Skilled Nursing Data Report from the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing […]

CDC Puts Providers on Alert for Deadly, Costly Disease

Skilled nursing facilities are a prime breeding ground for Legionnaires’ disease, and an outbreak could prove costly for the operator — both in terms of care outcomes and additional expenses — according to a recent presentation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC analyzed 2015 data related to outbreaks of the potentially […]

HCR ManorCare Falls Behind on Rent as Troubles Mount

HCR ManorCare failed to completely pay its June rent to primary landlord Quality Care Properties (NYSE: QCP), citing pressure from its secured lenders and decreased profit projections. One of the largest skilled nursing providers in the country, the Toledo, Ohio-based HCR ManorCare paid just $15 million of the $32 million it owed QCP for June rent, […]

NPR: State Regulators Cracking Down on Involuntary SNF Discharges

The Administration for Community Living logged more than 9,000 complaints about involuntary discharges from long-term care facility residents across the country in 2015, and now lawmakers are taking notice. In particular, officials in Maryland and Illinois have begun investigating discharge rates in their states, according to a recent report from NPR. Maryland Attorney General Brian […]

3 Steps to Success in New Skilled Nursing Payment Models

by Laurie Thomas and Guy Cowart Historically, we as skilled nursing and therapy providers have been used to a level of industry stability. Within this familiar framework, we’ve trained our leaders with certainty and delivered care with a confident rhythm. Unfortunately, this model simply may not serve us well in the future, with our rapidly […]