On-Site Ombudsmen Lead to More Skilled Nursing Deficiencies on Surveys

When an ombudsman remains on site during post-acute and long-term care facility surveys, the building’s quality scores may be negatively affected, according to a study in published this week in JAMDA, journal of AMDA — The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. Researchers determined that ombudsmen may direct assessors to more attention to on-site […]

Uber-Style Nurse Staffing Platform connectRN Lands Athenahealth Vet as New CEO, Plots Expansion

With changes in Medicare reimbursement rules and heightened pressure to cultivate stronger clinical outcomes, technology has increasingly emerged as a solution to help providers find and retain staff. connectRN, a mobile software platform that assists registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), nursing assistants, and other staff in finding available employment slots at multiple facilities, […]

Therapy Cuts Were ‘Inevitable’ Under PDPM — and Providers Must Prepare for Possible Payment Drops

Reports of therapist layoffs and cuts in therapy hours hit the news within days of the implementation of the new Medicare reimbursement system for skilled nursing facilities, sending shock waves throughout the rehab provider community. But according to one major skilled nursing trade group, the cuts to therapy were baked into the system of the […]

Hospitals Update, Refine Discharge Processes to Meet New Skilled Nursing Data Rules

The new federal guidelines mandating that hospitals offer patients detailed information about available post-acute providers is prompting their acute-care counterparts to solidify and deepen their discharge policies. The rule, finalized last month, calls for hospitals to provide information about residents’ SNF options — with detailed data on quality measures — to help patients make the […]

SNFs Could Safely Embrace Group, Concurrent Therapy Under PDPM — as Long as Residents’ Needs Back It Up

The arrival of the new Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) on October 1 has created a flurry of changing operational strategies — and a reframing of how operators and staff track clinical outcomes. One of those shifts has been the rise of group and concurrent therapy services, which multiple voices have identified as a key potential […]

New York State Rolls Out Tighter Regulations for Skilled Nursing Dialysis Services

While more skilled nursing facilities are using home dialysis to diversify their offerings to patients, New York State’s Department of Health has introduced a new licensing model — with more regulatory steps for operators to complete. Dialysis services have been identified as a potential area of growth under the new Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM); […]

‘CMS is Watching’: Changing Therapy Patterns Raise Concerns About Skilled Nursing Audits, Care Quality

The first week of the new Medicare payment model for nursing homes has brought stories of rapidly shifting therapy patterns among some providers, and voices from the consulting and advocacy worlds are warning that any sudden movements could cause adverse effects — both immediately and down the road. The advent of the Patient-Driven Payment Model […]

Marquis Health Joins Compass in Latest Skilled Nursing Dialysis Partnership

Dialysis services have emerged as a potential growth area under multiple new Medicare payment models, and a skilled nursing provider in the Northeast has joined a growing list of companies partnering with vendors providing renal care. Marquis Health Services earlier this month teamed up with Compass Home Dialysis to provide staff-assisted bedside hemodialysis services at […]

Therapy’s PDPM Paradox: Clinicians Have More Control, But Smaller Rehab Staffs Needed for Now

The new Medicare payment model for nursing homes took effect this week with a bang, as therapists across the nation criticized a wave of staffing reductions in the immediate wake of the October 1 start date. Several companies implemented workforce cuts as the federal government shifted to the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), which moves incentives […]

Trump Signs Order Seeking Parity Between Fee-For-Service, Medicare Advantage Rates

President Trump on Thursday signed an executive order asking top federal officials to explore a wide variety of Medicare Advantage expansion efforts, including a call to more closely align the rates paid by MA plans and traditional fee-for-service Medicare. Among the order’s provisions is a request for Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary […]

It’s Here: Skilled Nursing Providers, Investors Weigh in on PDPM Opportunities, ‘Stumbling Blocks’

The long wait is over: The new Medicare payment system for nursing homes has arrived. October 1 marks the official start of the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), just about 18 months after the federal government first announced the change in April 2018. Since then, the skilled nursing industry has trained a laser focus on preparations […]

Providers Call for Larger Skilled Nursing Opportunity in New Dialysis Model

A new proposed rule that would expand Medicare coverage of dialysis services has already generated interest among skilled nursing operators, and multiple voices have called on officials to further cement the SNF connection. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in July rolled out the End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Treatment Choices (ETC) model, a […]

Medicare Advantage Plan Options to Increase by 600 in 2020 as Enrollment Reaches 40%

The Trump administration continued to cheer on the growth of Medicare Advantage plans Tuesday, with the nation’s top Medicare official touting the wider array of options available to beneficiaries next year. American seniors will have 600 additional Medicare Advantage plan choices next year, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Seema Verma announced in […]

Skilled Nursing, Post-Acute Providers Must Embrace ‘Death of Dogma’ to Survive Shift to Episodic Care

As payers and hospital networks increasingly treat skilled nursing facilities as just one stop along an overall episode of care, operators in the space have received a variety of messages about how to survive: Bring data, get to know referral partners’ problems, demonstrate your worth. But a leader at a major Philadelphia-area hospital network took […]