From Funding to Fines, Why ‘More of Everything’ Won’t Solve Endemic Nursing Home Problems Alone

To improve the quality issues in nursing homes — many of which pre-dated COVID-19 but were brought into a harsh spotlight because of the pandemic — the entire system of skilled nursing care needs to be completely overhauled, according to one physician in the space. “I believe that our consistent failures in nursing home quality […]

CMS Ends Nursing Home COVID Waivers Related to Discharges, Transfers, and MDS Timelines

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced on April 8 that it is ending several emergency regulatory waivers that were designed to give nursing homes flexibility in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic — specifically related to patient transfers and discharges, as well as the timeframe requirements for completing and transmitting a patient’s Minimum […]

Nursing Home PPE Requests in Show Chaos of Pandemic’s Early Days — and Shortfalls as Soon as February 2020

It all started gradually. In the month of February 2020, officials in the soon-to-be pandemic epicenter of New York City fielded 41 requests for personal protective equipment (PPE) from a range of entities, including hospitals, the fire department, and a handful of nursing homes. Specifically, 14 requests for PPE were made in February by skilled […]

SavaSeniorCare Takes Regional Approach to Nursing Home Clinical Challenges with New Chief Medical Director

In the investment and finance side of skilled nursing, “regional” is commonly cited as a strength for an operator; the idea is that a strong presence in a concentrated geography allows for better relationships with hospitals and referral partners, physicians, and the community generally. But thinking regionally goes beyond the financial well-being of a facility, […]

HHS Awards $255M Contract to Supply 50M Rapid COVID-19 Tests to Long-Term Care Facilities

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week announced that it would invest more than $12 billion in expanding testing for COVID-19, with a $255 million contract for the production and delivery of 50 million rapid point-of-care antigen tests to long-term care facilities. The contract covers 50 million Abbott BinaxNOW tests “to support […]

Staffing and Ownership Structure Take Center Stage in Senate Hearing on COVID-19 in Nursing Homes

The Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday held a hearing on the impact of COVID-19 on nursing homes, and witnesses from the frontlines to the academic sphere testified to the fact that the pandemic exacerbated problems that long predated the novel coronavirus. And while the hearing contained its share of partisan talking points — ranging from […]

As Vaccine Clinics Wrap Up and Doors Open, Nursing Homes Must Start Planning for Waves of Future Shots

When emergency use authorizations (EUA) were granted to two COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020, health care workers and residents in long-term care facilities were granted first priority for the shots — and a federal partnership to vaccinate nursing homes kicked into gear. By January 25, most nursing homes participating in the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term […]

AHCA, LeadingAge Set Target of 75% Nursing Home Staff Vaccination Rate by June

Two of the largest trade associations for nursing homes announced a goal of vaccinating approximately 75% of the roughly 1.5 million nursing home workers across the U.S. by the end of June. The American Health Care Association (AHCA), which represents more than 14,000 primarily for-profit nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and LeadingAge, which represents […]

Cuomo Targets Ownership Transparency, Caps on Profit and Executive Pay in Nursing Home Reform Push

Embroiled in an ongoing scandal about the state’s handling of COVID-19 in nursing homes, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced reform legislation that would require full disclosure of facility ownership and place caps on both profits and executive pay. “Facilities have put profits over care for far too long and as we look forward, we […]

Advocates Push Back on Geography as Driver of Nursing Home Outbreaks — and Detail Drastic Measures for Keeping COVID at Bay

COVID-19 outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities are affected by more than geography, and nursing home operators have tools and actions they can take to mitigate the spread of the virus in their facilities, the Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA) argued in a report released on Thursday. “Since the start of the pandemic, one of the […]

Nursing Home Diversions Not Limited to Home Health as LTACs Emerge as Surprise COVID-19 Winners

Long-term acute care (LTAC) hospitals proved themselves a critical part of the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic while also gaining a share of the patients discharged to facility-based care by short-term acute hospitals — even as the share of those patients going to the skilled nursing setting declined. A new report, published February […]

With Infection Control in Spotlight, $237M Program for Nursing Homes Shows Promise for COVID and Beyond

Good infection control standards are the same for skilled nursing facilities across the U.S. — both in the sense of federally mandated requirements, and in the sense of the concrete conditions that are necessary to prevent the spread of contamination. This was true even before a pandemic that shook the world in 2020, with ongoing […]