2021 Will See ‘Many Facilities Fail’ Without Federal, State Help

Nursing home and senior living providers in the not-for-profit sector are facing significant strains from the surge in COVID-19 nationwide. Leading into the Thanksgiving holiday, operators are pleading with those in the community to refrain from gathering amid challenges both operational and financial. “Nursing homes really are at the brink,” Deke Cateau, the CEO of […]

New Medicare Claims Analysis Reveals Depths of COVID-19’s ‘Double Whammy’ Effect on SNFs

When elective surgeries were halted or suspended in spring in an attempt to preserve hospital capacity, the number of patients leaving the hospital setting dropped significantly — and the number of patients leaving that setting for skilled nursing fell by nearly half as well. A new analysis of all Medicare fee-for-service claims data from January […]

Feds Look to Expand Special Focus Facility List of Poor-Performing Nursing Homes, Create New Ranking System

The two U.S. senators who last year released a “secret” list of nursing homes under consideration for inclusion on a formal list of facilities with major quality issues are now calling for expanded oversight of poorly performing skilled nursing facilities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sens. Pat Toomey and Bob Casey, both of […]

As Admissions Stall and Aid Dries Up, ‘Losses are Coming’ for Nursing Homes in ‘Bleak’ First Half of 2021

The steps taken by regulators to cut red tape for skilled nursing facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic have been extremely helpful in stabilizing operations, and the financial support from various rounds of stimulus funds has kept balance sheets steady. But with COVID-19 surging again in many parts of the U.S. and occupancy seemingly flatlining, the […]

Verma Pushes Back on Criticism of CMS Response to Life Care COVID Outbreak: ‘Our Inspection Was Critical’

The nation’s top Medicare official took to Twitter to respond to a mainstream news report critical of the federal government’s handling of the first major COVID-19 outbreak at a skilled nursing facility. “60 Minutes” this past Sunday profiled that outbreak — which devastated a Life Care Centers of America facility in the Seattle suburb of […]

COVID Test Refills Flowing to Nursing Homes, But Supply Concerns Loom Amid Spikes and Workforce Shortages

As cases climb across the country, community spread will send increasing numbers of counties into the so-called yellow and red zones — in turn, requiring more and more skilled nursing facilities to test staffers according to the September guidelines from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). As of the most recent CMS data […]

Parkinson: Even with Successful Vaccine, Census Recovery Will Take ‘A Couple Years’

While many sectors of the U.S. need a successful vaccine to truly recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially paramount for skilled nursing facilities, Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association (AHCA), said on Friday. Parkinson made that point during a guest appearance on the third-quarter earnings […]

Private Equity-Backed Nursing Homes Log Similar COVID Outcomes as Other Facilities, But Less PPE

Nursing homes owned by private equity (PE) firms had COVID-19 outcomes comparable to facilities with other ownership structures, including similar staffing levels, case counts, and COVID-19 deaths — as well as deaths from any cause, according to a study published October 28 in JAMA Network Open. The study examined 11,470 nursing homes in the U.S. […]

Nursing Homes in Every State Report PPE Shortages, With Up to 60% Lacking a Week’s Supply

While there’s considerable variation between states, a new analysis of public data on Wednesday showed that nursing homes have reported some form of personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage in every state within the last month. The AARP released a new set of nursing home COVID-19 data on Wednesday, containing statistics on COVID-19 cases and deaths […]

CLA: For Provider Relief Fund Compliance, the ‘List of Questions Continues to Grow’

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last month released its reporting rules for health care providers who received payments from various COVID-19 relief funds. And according to the professional services firm CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA), there were some curveballs in those rules, which were released September 19 and covered distributions from the CARES Act and […]

Amid COVID, North Shore Focuses on Recruitment, Technology, And Ancillary Growth Opportunities

The operator North Shore Healthcare has navigated rapid-fire growth since the company’s beginning. From two locations, it has grown rapidly. Now the Glendale, Wisconsin-based North Shore has 71 locations, 60 of which are skilled nursing facilities, with its primary footprint in the Badger State. The company grew in spurts over that time period, but CEO […]

COVID-19 Antigen Test Confusion Highlights Need for Better Federal Guidance for SNFs, Experts Say

One state’s ban on the use of point-of-care tests for COVID-19 in skilled nursing facilities has been withdrawn after sharp criticism from the assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). But the incident highlights the confusion around the use of the tests – and the need for clearer federal guidance on […]

How Lilly’s COVID-19 Nursing Home Trial Could Change the Future of Research in Long-Term Care

In normal times, setting up a clinical trial can take nine months or more, with the actual work going on for potentially years afterwards. But during COVID-19, researchers don’t have the benefit of time — especially when working to find therapeutic options for vulnerable seniors in nursing homes. *A phase-three clinical trial for a new […]

HHS Warns Against Using Antigen Results for Nursing Home Cohorting, But Sharply Criticizes State Ban

A top U.S. coronavirus testing czar had harsh words for a Nevada directive banning the use of antigen point-of-care COVID-19 tests in skilled nursing facilities during a press call on Friday, calling it “an uninformed and unlawful unilateral prohibition.” But Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) assistant secretary for health Adm. Brett Giroir also […]

As Skilled Nursing Rebuilds After COVID-19, Residents and Families Cannot Be Afterthoughts

“Indispensable, important in the highest degree.” This is one of the definitions given for the word “essential,” when used as an adjective, in the 1964 edition of Chambers’ Etymological English Dictionary. A more modern resource, the Dictionary.com app, has a similar one: “absolutely necessary, indispensable.” The demarcation between “essential” and “non-essential” played out at scale […]

Backed By HHS — and Up to $237M — Nursing Home Action Network Targets Infection Control

As part of an effort to bolster the implementation of evidence-based infection prevention and safety in nursing homes, a federal agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is establishing a National Nursing Home COVID Action Network, supported financially by the Provider Relief Fund. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), part […]