HHS Boosts Initial Nursing Home Testing Shipment by 400, Promises ‘Affirmative Action’ on Kits

The federal government is shipping 398 point-of-care COVID-19 testing devices to 384 skilled nursing facilities this week, along with 199,000 tests, with a continued focus on states with significant outbreaks, according to an update from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The shipments come on top of 654 testing instruments sent to 635 […]

New York Passes Partial Repeal of Liability Protections for Nursing Homes, Other Care Providers

The New York State Senate and Assembly voted on July 23 to partially repeal liability protections granted to nursing homes, hospitals, and other health care facilities as part of the state budget passed in April. Nexstar Broadcasting initially reported the news July 24. New York’s budget for fiscal 2021 included the Emergency or Disaster Treatment […]

CMS Releases List of First Nursing Homes to Receive Devices Under COVID-19 Testing Initiative

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on July 22 released the list of the first skilled nursing facilities to receive point-of-care COVID-19 testing devices under an initiative announced last week. The nursing homes identified by CMS will be receiving Quidel Sofia and Sofia 2 Instruments and BD Veritor Plus Systems, along with the […]

HHS Renews Public Health Emergency Declaration

The federal government last week officially renewed the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration, which was originally issued on January 31 and renewed on April 21. The renewal was announced via Twitter by Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar. Public health emergencies last for the duration of the emergency or 90 days, […]

State Inspectors Sent to Nursing Homes Without COVID-19 Tests

Eight registered nurses (RNs) working as inspectors for the California Department of Health told the Los Angeles Times that officials have not provided COVID-19 testing for those going to nursing homes to ensure compliance with infection control rules. The nurses all spoke on condition of anonymity, telling the Times that in addition to a lack […]

HHS to Send Additional $5B to Nursing Homes, Increase Staff Testing Requirements in Hotspots

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be sending $5 billion to all skilled nursing facilities in the U.S, President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday. “Nursing homes in higher risk areas will be receiving more funding,” Trump said in his coronavirus briefing on Wednesday. “This money can be used to address critical needs, […]

First Round of Point-of-Care Tests for Nursing Homes Drops to 600 as HHS Announces Additional Priority Criteria

The federal government on Wednesday revealed more details about the prioritization of nursing homes that will receive point-of-care testing kits for COVID-19 under an ambitious new plan, with 600 set to be sent this week. In addition to targeting facilities with at least three or more confirmed or suspected cases in the last week, as […]

DOJ Rarely Used Nursing Home Data to Pursue Abuse Claims. COVID-19 Could Change That

When the COVID-19 pandemic started gathering momentum in spring, several states took steps to shield health care providers, including skilled nursing facilities, from liability related to care provided during the national emergency. But the rules varied widely from state to state, and other issues might be looming beyond the realm of lawsuits. The Department of […]

Antigen Testing for Nursing Homes ‘Great for Screening’ But Can’t Be Only Tool for Potential Outbreaks

Skilled nursing operators and infectious disease experts have expressed optimism about the government’s push to send point-of-care testing tools and test kits to facilities across the U.S. But they also emphasize that it’s one only tool among many that SNFs need to be deploying as they try to keep COVID-19 out of their facilities. The […]

Potential MFAR Medicaid Cuts Back in Spotlight as Wide Swath of Health Leaders Call for More Relief

A slew of governmental and health care organizations called on the federal government to boost its share of Medicaid support — and to revoke a controversial proposed rule that would have overhauled how some states drew down federal dollars. The organizations — which represent political officials from the local to the state level and care […]

New Consulate COO on Joining a Nursing Home Giant During a Pandemic — and Why Diversity Matters in LTC

As COVID-19 maintains a hold in significant portions of the U.S., it’s poised to shake up some key aspects of how care is provided in the skilled nursing setting. Consulate Health Care’s new chief operating officer, Tim Lehner, joined the Maitland, Fla.-based operator in June, amid a major pandemic that’s reshaping the skilled nursing landscape […]

SavaSeniorCare Sees COVID-19 as Wake-Up Call: Nursing Homes Must ‘Rethink Our Business Model’

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to severe occupancy hits for skilled nursing facilities, with two major operators seeing significant declines over the course of the past few months. And no aspect of the business — from short-term rehabilitation after elective surgeries to long-term care to capital expenditure — has been left untouched. Aid from the […]

Grassley Bill Would Require Retroactive COVID-19 Reporting for Nursing Homes, Fund Strike Teams

A trio of Republican U.S. senators, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, introduced a bill this week that would establish regional strike teams to respond to outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities and extend reporting requirements related to COVID-19 — both for the rest of the year and retrospective to the start of 2020. The […]

Vendors, Rehab Companies Adjust to Nursing Homes’ New Normal Under COVID

The ecosystem of a skilled nursing facility often involves many more entities than the operator itself, ranging from equipment suppliers to third-party rehabilitation. But in the COVID-19 crisis, the way third-party entities interact with operators has, in some cases, been drastically reset. For others, the services have evolved in ways previously unforeseen. And for SNF […]

‘No Good Options’: As COVID-19 Surges in the South and Sun Belt, Testing for Nursing Homes Lags Behind

Texas and Arizona have emerged as new potential COVID-19 hotspots in the latter half of June, but despite widespread knowledge of the danger to elderly residents, skilled nursing facilities in those states still face hurdles in securing testing and timely results. New COVID-19 cases in Texas have climbed significantly since mid-June, according to data from […]