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 […]

Senators Issue Blistering Report On Government’s Response to COVID-19 in Nursing Homes

Three U.S. Senators, all Democrats, released a report slamming the federal response to the threat of COVID-19 to nursing home residents on Wednesday. Sens. Bob Casey, Penn., Gary Peters, Mich., and Ron Wyden, Ore., issued the report, which argued that the Trump administration’s deregulatory moves and failures to prepare for the pandemic worsened the COVID-19 […]

Infection Surveillance System Targets Disease Hotspots – From COVID-19 to Influenza

An analytics company that draws on data entered into skilled nursing facilities’ electronic medical records (EMRs) launched an infection surveillance system designed to capture signs of infection early – whether from COVID-19 or influenza – and slow outbreaks. Real Time Medical Systems, which is based in Linthicum Heights, Md., launched its DiseaseWatch data collection service […]

Lawmakers Call on OIG to Investigate State Orders on Nursing Home Admissions of COVID-19 Patients

A pair of Republican lawmakers called on the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to investigate five states that ordered nursing homes to take in COVID-19 patients from the hospital. A pair of Republican lawmakers called on the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Inspector […]

For Nursing Homes, Telehealth is Here To Stay — Albeit With Changes — After Pandemic Ends

The federal government implemented sweeping waivers to broaden access to telemedicine for Medicare beneficiaries at the start of the COVID-19 national emergency. And now that skilled nursing facilities have gotten a chance to see the benefits over several months, it will be difficult to take them back when the pandemic ends. “Telemedicine in the 1135 […]

‘We Don’t Need a Pizza Party, We Need PPE’ — House Hears That Equipment Remains Linchpin in COVID-19 Fight

Free dinners and the designation of “hero” may help brighten the moment for caregivers on the frontlines in skilled nursing facilities. But one worker at a nursing home in Connecticut was adamant that when it comes to fighting COVID-19 in the SNF setting, these are not a substitute for necessary resources such as testing and […]

Senators Ask FEMA to Explain Reports of Faulty PPE Shipments to Nursing Homes

Four senators, all Democrats, called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to answer questions about reports of faulty personal protective equipment being sent to nursing homes in a Tuesday letter sent to administrator Peter Gaynor. CNN first reported on the letter, which expressed “concern about the availability and adequacy of PPE for nursing homes […]

Lessons from Nursing Homes in COVID Hotspots: Secure a Lab Now — and Proceed Carefully on Visitation

With the U.S. taking steps toward reopening — at varying paces in varying states –— skilled nursing leaders from the East Coast COVID-19 hotspots of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut had several pieces of advice for their counterparts elsewhere, which all ultimately boiled down to one warning. Be prepared. That includes taking steps to […]

COVID-19 Scrambles PDPM Math, Particularly Around Therapy Minutes: ‘This Will Be a Complete Rebuild’

In the lead-up to the implementation of the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) on October 1, 2019, consultants, therapists, and the federal government warned operators over and over that therapy minutes would come under intense scrutiny in the months following the start of the new Medicare reimbursement system. The model allowed for patients to receive up […]

As Officials Fear Second COVID-19 Wave Amid Reopening, Many Providers Still Dealing with First

The U.S. has begun to take tentative steps towards reopening, with states moving at their own pace out of the COVID-19-induced lockdowns — raising concerns about the risks of a possible second surge of cases. But LeadingAge, which represents non-profit senior housing and care providers, warned starkly on Wednesday that senior living and skilled nursing […]

For COVID-19 Testing to Succeed in Nursing Homes, Lab Access is Critical — But Capacity Hard to Define

Test. Test. Test. That has been the mantra since the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the flashpoint of criticism over the early efforts of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the call from multiple skilled nursing operators and experts. To contain the pandemic and stem its impact on nursing homes across the […]

House Briefing: COVID-19 in Nursing Homes ‘Blasted the Doors Open of a System that Was Already Failing’

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the nursing home sector and exposed endemic flaws in the long-term care system in the U.S., several witnesses testified before members of the House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee in a video briefing held Thursday. The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis heard testimony from a range of witnesses on the […]

Nursing Homes Face Fines, Lawsuits Unless They Test for COVID-19 — But Access Often Out of Their Hands

As increasing numbers of states recommend so-called “universal testing” for nursing homes and long-term care facilities in the wake of the impact of COVID-19, skilled nursing facilities need to ensure they follow the applicable guidelines — a significant challenge given how varied that guidance could be. And depending where a SNF is located, testing capacity […]

Home Health Steps Up to Fill Staffing Gaps in Nursing Homes Amid COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic struck the Northeast with particular force, with skilled nursing facilities sitting on the front lines. One of the pressures stemming from the pandemic came on the workforce front, as frontline caregivers such as nurses and certified nursing assistants fell ill with COVID-19. And as the spread of the virus accelerated in New […]

During a Pandemic, Boosting Infection-Control Fines on Nursing Homes May Do More Harm Than Good

The federal government announced on Monday that it would be cracking down on infection control violations in nursing homes, with fines increasing for facilities with a history of deficiencies in this area — a move that came alongside the announcement that almost 26,000 skilled nursing residents died from COVID-19 across the country. But two researchers […]