CMS to Remove Section G from Minimum Data Set in Fiscal 2021

The federal government in late December released draft updates to a key set of paperwork for nursing home staff, revealing a potential change ahead for 2020 and beyond. The Minimum Data Set (MDS) will no longer include Section G, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in late December. “Please note that Section […]

Skilled Nursing News’ Hidden Gems of 2019

For the skilled nursing profession, 2019 will be synonymous with the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), and the top stories of the year reflect the importance of this shift. But PDPM is one of many moving parts in the skilled nursing world, and operators, landlords, and regulators alike made splashes in ways that had nothing to […]

Mixed Skilled Nursing Projections for 2020: Increased Demand, But Margin Pressure Continues

Increasing demand for skilled nursing services is a good sign for the industry, according to several experts who spoke on SNN’s annual outlook webinar, but a continued squeeze on margins may affect some facilities’ ability to keep their doors open in 2020.  Although the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) looks like good news, with increased reimbursements […]

PDPM, Secret Lists, and New Rules: The Top Skilled Nursing Stories of 2019

In perhaps the least surprising news of the year, the new Medicare payment model for nursing homes dominated the list of most-read stories on Skilled Nursing News in 2019. But the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), for all its impact on the post-acute and long-term care space over the last 12 months, wasn’t the only story […]

The Top Skilled Nursing Trends of 2020 — and Beyond

As we prepare to close the door on the 2010s, we’re also about to say goodbye to a year that probably felt like a full decade for operators and investors in the post-acute and long-term care space. With a new Medicare payment model, continued Medicaid pressures, and a raft of regulatory attention from Washington, D.C., […]

Low Stars, Citations, Medicaid Problems: HUD Lenders Share Top Skilled Nursing Dealbreakers

Lenders who offer Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) loans consider skilled nursing financing to be a long-term relationship, so choosing clients carefully — and thinking about deals as partnerships for the long haul — is crucial for good-decision making. Because the federal government backs these products, which feature low interest rates and a […]

MedPAC Commissioner: Underfunding Turns Medicaid-Heavy SNFs into ‘7th Circle of Hell’

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) once again advised that Medicare’s payments for skilled nursing facilities are too high — but also acknowledged the challenges for providers caused by low Medicaid reimbursement. A presentation by Dr. Carol Carter delivered to MedPAC on December 5 examined Medicare margins for SNFs amid the larger contexts of beneficiary […]

Feds Sue CVS, Omnicare Over Allegations of Fraudulent Long-Term Care Pharmacy Billing

The federal government on Tuesday announced a civil lawsuit against long-term care pharmacy heavyweight Omnicare, Inc. and its parent, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), over allegations of widespread billing fraud. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through its Office of the Inspector General (OIG) watchdog arm, accused Omnicare and CVS of illegally “rolling over” […]

Medicaid’s Share of Nursing Home Revenue, Resident Days Hits Record High as Medicare Drops to Historic Low

Occupancy at the nation’s nursing homes stayed flat between the most recent two quarters, but the proportion of residents covered under Medicaid hit a record high — while the share of bread-and-butter Medicare residents fell to a record low. Medicaid accounted for exactly two-thirds, or 67.6%, of resident days at nursing facilities in the third […]

Rapid Medicare Advantage Expansion into Home Health, Senior Living Could Accelerate Pressures on Skilled Nursing

When the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) moved to allow Medicare Advantage plans to cover more options for care at home, skilled nursing providers could be forgiven for not paying much attention. It’s a move with more immediate impact to home care and home health companies, as well as senior living providers. Medicare […]

Sabra CEO Matros Has ‘No Sympathy’ for Third-Party Therapy Companies Amid Switch to PDPM

The new Medicare payment model for nursing homes has brought significant upheaval around therapy provision — an outcome that one prominent CEO in the space says therapy companies should have seen coming sooner. Given all of the warning signs from Washington and Baltimore — dating back to when the federal government was planning on implementing […]

SNN Poll: 43% of Operators, Vendors Have Laid Off Therapy Staff Post-PDPM

News of therapy layoffs swept through the skilled nursing industry in the weeks after the implementation of the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), and a new poll from Skilled Nursing News finds that more than 40% of operators and therapy vendors have made some kind of staffing reductions post-October 1. A little more than 43% of […]

CMS Penalties Fund Program Designed to Reduce Readmissions, Improve Skilled Nursing Outcomes

Thirty nursing homes in the state of Washington will benefit from a federal program that injects penalty recoveries back into initiatives that boost nursing home quality — and the ramifications of the funding could go well beyond the facilities in that one state. The grant, totaling more than $644,000, comes from the Centers for Medicare […]

ACOs Saved Medicare $3.53 Billion, New Analysis Finds

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) have reduced spending by $3.53 billion from 2013 to 2017, and after accounting for shared savings bonuses, saved the federal government $755 million. That’s according to a new evaluation by the Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm Dobson DaVanzo & Associates, conducted on behalf of the National Association of ACOs (NAACOS), which represents […]