ACOs Saved $1 Billion, Reduced SNF Spending

With three years of data for accountable care organizations (ACOs), the shared savings program from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has demonstrated the potential to cut down on care costs. And the savings are frequently coming from skilled nursing facility (SNF) care, according to a recent report from the Office of Inspector General […]

OIG Audit Reveals Inadequate Abuse Protections for Skilled Nursing Residents

Abuses at skilled nursing facilities frequently go unreported, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) determined in a new report that also accused the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of not doing enough to protect residents. HHS’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) reviewed the emergency room records for 134 Medicare beneficiaries with any […]

Skilled Nursing Must-Reads: SNFs in a Decade, Post-Acute Confusion

The last five days were dominated by a pair of major real estate investment trust (REIT) dramas — Sabra Healthcare REIT, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: SBRA) successful shareholder vote to acquire Care Capital Properties (NYSE: CCP), and Quality Care Properties’ (NYSE: QCP) decision to seek receivership for the struggling HCR ManorCare’s facilities. But much more happened in […]

How Certain Nurses Can Lower Hospital Readmission Rates at SNFs

For skilled nursing providers looking for ways to reduce unnecessary hospitalizations, taking on advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) could be the way forward. That’s according to Marilyn Rantz, professor of nursing for Missouri University’s Sinclair School of Nursing. In 2012, the nursing school received almost $15 million from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for an initiative aimed […]

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 […]