Medicare Advantage’s Strength During COVID-19 to Drive Expansion into New Markets, 50% Adoption by ’24

While the skilled nursing landscape continues to struggle both operationally and financially during the COVID-19 pandemic, those same negative forces have only served to strengthen private health plans — putting Medicare Advantage in an even better position to continue its growth. Cratering census and sharp declines in elective surgeries, while fiscally devastating for nursing homes, […]

After Cutting Readmissions Up to 50%, Northwell Looks to Expand Nursing Home Telehealth Network

After scoring significant successes in reducing hospital readmissions among its own nursing homes with telehealth, a major hospital network is looking to market its virtual interventions to a wider swath of post-acute and long-term care facilities. Northwell Health, the largest health care provider in New York State, saw rehospitalizations decline by up to half at […]

Skilled Nursing Residents Shut Out of New End-Stage Renal Disease Payment Model

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday announced the finalization of a new kidney-care payment rule, but the regulation specifically exempts patients who are receiving their dialysis treatment in the nursing home. The End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Treatment Choices (ETC) Model is intended to test whether greater use of home dialysis and […]

Fresh Off Private Equity Pickup, Wound Care Provider AMT Seeks Skilled Nursing Expansion

A leading wound care provider sees expansion opportunity in both skilled nursing and the home despite the ongoing strains of COVID-19, with a recent private equity investment to back it up. American Medical Technologies in late August announced its acquisition by private equity firm One Equity Partners and investment management company The Silverfern Group, capping […]

Grabowski: As Case Counts Rise and PPE Issues Persist, Nursing Homes Face Grim ‘Groundhog Day’

As COVID-19 continues to bring sickness and death to American nursing homes, Harvard University professor David Grabowski has become one of the most-quoted experts on the steps that operators and the government should take to stem the tide. But as the summer turns to fall during a pandemic that started in late winter, the long-term […]

Skilled Nursing Distress Looms as CARES Funding Ebbs: ‘Bills Are Starting to Come Due’

Billions of federal stimulus dollars have kept the skilled nursing sector afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, but as the most recent distributions hit operators’ bank accounts, storm clouds are still gathering in the distance. While nursing home operators may have been spared the immediate financial woes that hit businesses in a variety of other sectors, […]

Parkinson: Test Nursing Home Staff Weekly Even if Not Required, Develop a Compliance Plan by Next Week

The leader of the largest trade group for U.S. nursing homes on Thursday advised operators to exceed new federal COVID-19 testing mandates whenever possible, while emphasizing the importance of planning for complying with the new regulations as soon as next week. “I would be testing, once a week, all staff. I would be doing that […]

CMS Targets Infection Control in New Nursing Home Training Program

A few weeks after the nation’s top Medicare official pointed to persistent infection control problems as a major driver of rising COVID-19 cases in nursing homes, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Tuesday introduced new online training resources for frontline staffers and management. Officials based the new “CMS Targeted COVID-19 Training for […]

CMS to Resume Routine Nursing Home Inspections After COVID Suspension

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on Monday that routine inspections for all Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers will resume, after suspending them as part of its response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March. The agency directed the resumption of onsite revisit surveys, non-immediate jeopardy complaint surveys and annual recertification surveys […]

CMS Touts $15M in Nursing Home Fines Amid COVID-19 as Infection Citations Triple

The federal government on Friday announced that it has handed out $15 million in civil monetary penalties (CMPs) to about 3,400 nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. That total includes about $10 million in fines stemming from targeted infection control surveys, and $5.5 million assessed to operators that failed to report COVID-19 data as required […]

Inside the Latest $5B in HHS Aid for Nursing Homes: Value-Based Competition, Stricter Testing Mandates

The federal government’s latest targeted coronavirus aid for nursing homes will consist of four separate programs, with a significant portion of the $5 billion price tag doled out based on operators’ performance in monthly value-based competitions. Of that pledged total, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will distribute half — or $2.5 billion […]

Sabra’s Surging Medicare Mix Helps Offset Skilled Nursing Occupancy Drops During COVID-19

Occupancy at Sabra Health Care REIT’s (Nasdaq: SBRA) skilled nursing facilities tumbled 811 basis points since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but executives remained upbeat about the shift toward Medicare-funded services — even if the rafts of federal relief cash muddy the overall valuation picture. That census decline sits slightly higher than other industry […]

CMS Proposes 9% Cut to Medicare Therapy Rates, Threatening PT, OT, Speech Services in Nursing Homes

The federal government is proposing a range of reductions to Medicare reimbursement for various Part B therapy services as part of its Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for the calendar year 2021, including physical, occupational and speech-language services in skilled nursing facilities. The fee schedule was announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) […]

CMS Finalizes $750M Medicare Payment Boost for Nursing Homes in Fiscal 2021

The federal government on Friday finalized a previously proposed rule that will bring a 2.2% Medicare payment bump to the nation’s skilled nursing facilities. Under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 2021 payment rule, facilities will see a total increase of $750 million in Medicare reimbursements over the next fiscal year, which begins […]