As Hospitals Struggle to Free Up Beds — and Nursing Homes Lock Down — In-House Dialysis Provides Relief

By waiving the three-day stay requirement for post-acute skilled nursing coverage under Medicare, the federal government has clearly indicated a desire to free up hospital beds by relying more heavily on nursing homes to provide higher-acuity services. Residents who require routine dialysis treatments are some of the most at-risk patients — and although this population […]

Amid Shortages, Using PPE According to CMS Guidelines Could Cost Nursing Homes $10K a Day — Or More

Updated guidelines on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) are causing major headaches for health care providers across the continuum, as both acute and post-acute care settings grapple with supply shortages and a surge in cases of COVID-19. Those headaches include grappling with significant shortages of equipment in the face of the highly contagious […]

Officials Offer Financial Incentives for COVID-Focused SNFs Ahead of Peak Cases: ‘It’s a Race at This Point’

Nursing homes in Connecticut will get a 10%, “across-the-board increase” in their Medicaid reimbursements — with operators that volunteer to turn their facilities into dedicated COVID-19 treatment facilities eligible for even greater financial benefits — as the state scrambles to respond to the growing crisis. The office of Gov. Ned Lamont made the announcement on […]

Nursing Homes Shouldn’t Fear Overreacting to COVID-19 — Even If It Means Getting Ahead of CDC, CMS

As the chief medical officer for publicly traded nursing home giant Genesis HealthCare (NYSE: GEN), Dr. Richard Feifer has a bird’s-eye view on the strategies that hundreds of individual nursing homes have implemented in the fight against COVID-19. Appearing on the most recent episode of SNN’s “Rethink” podcast, Feifer was blunt about the decisions that […]

Senators Demand Public List of Nursing Homes with Positive COVID-19 Cases

A pair of U.S. senators this week demanded that federal officials release a public list of all the nursing homes that have reported positive COVID-19 cases, arguing that the information is vital to preventing the spread of the virus. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Seema Verma pegged the number of facilities with […]

Even Strictest Nursing Home Guidance Meaningless Without Two Things: COVID-19 Tests and PPE

Over the last month, we’ve seen entire years’ worth of rulemaking around nursing home safety, as both the federal government and individual states respond to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. These efforts have taken many forms. At the federal level, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has largely focused on removing regulatory barriers on […]

CMS: Nursing Homes Should Separate Staff Into Teams, Develop Dedicated Wings and Buildings for COVID-19

Building on individual state actions, the federal government on Thursday night directed the nation’s nursing home operators to begin setting up separate wings — or entire facilities — for residents who have tested positive for COVID-19, while also encouraging operators to use separate teams of staff members to better monitor developing cases. The Centers for […]

SNN Poll: Nearly 30% of Operators Pressured to Admit COVID-19 Cases, 28% Report Families Removing Residents

Nearly a third of skilled nursing operators reported feeling pressure to admit residents who had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to a recent poll conducted by Skilled Nursing News — while nearly the same percentage have seen family members take their loved ones out of the nursing home setting due to COVID-19 fears. […]

Fitch: Skilled Nursing REITs Can Withstand COVID-19 Crisis — To a Point

Most of the real estate investment trusts (REITs) with holdings in skilled nursing and senior housing facilities can weather the financial strains caused by COVID-19, a major credit rating agency affirmed this week — but only if current trends hold. Various REITs have responded to the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic by taking steps to […]

As Nursing Homes with Cases Reach 400, AHCA Advises Operators to Assume All Untested Patients Positive for COVID-19

One of the country’s major nursing home trade groups is advising its members to assume that unless a person has tested negative for COVID-19 prior to admission, that patient has the virus. This is regardless of whether or not they have symptoms, according to guidance from the American Health Care Association (AHCA) released on Monday. […]

Salmon Health Begins Transferring Residents to Create Dedicated COVID-19 Skilled Nursing Facility

The office of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday announced several initiatives to combat the COVID-19 crisis in the Bay State — one of which includes setting up skilled nursing facilities dedicated to caring for patients who have the disease. The first of these facilities, Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center in Worcester, Mass., operated […]

Some Managed Care Plans Lift Restrictions on Skilled Nursing Coverage Amid COVID-19 — But Not All

Multiple managed care plans have made changes to their procedures for admissions to the skilled nursing setting amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with several major companies suspending prior authorization requirements for admissions to a skilled nursing facility. The changes, however, are not uniform — and that’s if the managed care organization (MCO) chooses to make […]

CMS to Offer Advance Medicare Payments to Providers as COVID-19 Relief

The federal government on Saturday announced a plan to offer advance Medicare fee-for-service payments, as well as accelerated reimbursements, to all Medicare Part A and B providers. Under the terms of the emergency action, most providers who bill under Medicare Parts A and B can request up to 100% of their Medicare payment for a […]

Stimulus Lifts 2% Medicare Rate Cut, But Nursing Homes Largely Left Out — While Other Settings See Relief

The Senate’s landmark $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package contains a temporary 2% bump on Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements across the board, but aside from increased funding for the federal government’s infection-control crackdown, skilled nursing facilities were largely left out of the post-acute relief. The bill, which the Senate passed by a vote of 96-0 on Wednesday […]

‘Plow It Down’: Nursing Home Operators, CMS, Insurers Must Think Bigger to Fight COVID-19 Tide

Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen the federal government rapidly dismantle the dense scaffolding of rules and regulations that had been built over the course decades, all in the name of fighting the novel coronavirus. Ideas once unthinkable — doctors providing consultations over Skype without fear of violating HIPAA, a blanket freeze on the […]