While Hospital Discharges to Home Health Rebound, SNFs See ‘Drastic and Lasting Decline’

The COVID-19 pandemic pummeled patient volumes across the health care continuum, but for skilled nursing facilities, the sharp decline in patients has not rebounded, according to a new analysis — even as hospitals and home health see their admissions recover. Discharges to SNFs and to the home health setting fell in tandem with the decline […]

North Shore Looks to Bolster Nursing Home Quality, Fix a ‘Missed Opportunity’ with Sweeping Physician Partnership

Skilled nursing operator North Shore Healthcare recently announced an expansion of its work with a Dallas-based physician-led organization to its entire portfolio, with the goal of enhancing and standardizing the clinical care in North Shore’s 71 SNFs and assisted living facilities. It’s work that North Shore CEO David Mills is particularly important because of the […]

Senators Excoriate Federal Response to COVID-19 in Nursing Homes, Hint at Future ‘Reckoning’

In an update to a report issued in July, two Democratic senators had sharp words for the federal response to COVID-19 in U.S. nursing homes, arguing that the Trump administration has failed to take sufficient action to protect nursing home residents and workers from the pandemic. They pointed in particular to policy solutions that multiple […]

Increased Nursing Home Data Reporting Could Bring ‘Perfect Storm’ of Federal Lawsuits

Under regulations instituted as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, skilled nursing facilities are reporting a wealth of information to the federal government — on top of all the information they were required to submit pre-pandemic. And that information could end up being the guiding light for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) […]

‘Quality of Life is Medically Necessary’: What Nursing Home Residents’ Families Want in a Post-COVID World

For Melody Taylor Stark, navigating life after her husband Bill required long-term nursing care hasn’t always been easy, but with the help of some caring staffers and a little bit of creativity, the couple was able to settle into something like normalcy. Friday nights out at a restaurant became takeout shared over a table that […]

AHCA’s Parkinson: Long-Term Care Sector Needs to Face Infection Control Problems

The COVID-19 pandemic blindsided the skilled nursing sector when it hit in late winter and early spring this year, but the field has to be willing to acknowledge pre-existing problems with infection control and make changes accordingly. That’s according to Mark Parkinson, the leader of the nursing home trade group the American Health Care Association […]

Verma Pushes Back on Criticism: ‘Administration Took Early, Rapid Action’ on Nursing Homes

After the New York Times editorial board published a piece criticizing the nation’s response to the effects of COVID-19 on nursing homes, the head of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) raised several objections on behalf of the Trump administration. “The administration took early, rapid action: We issued infection control guidance to prepare […]

Unionized Nursing Homes Saw Lower COVID-19 Mortality Rates, Better PPE Access: Study

Nursing homes in New York with unionized workforces had lower mortality rates from COVID-19, as well as greater access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and lower COVID-19 infection rates, according to a new study released September 10 in the journal Health Affairs. Specifically, health care unions in nursing homes were associated with a 1.29 percentage […]

Markups, Supply Concerns Loom Over Federal Nursing Home Testing Push: ‘We Don’t Have Anything Like a Free Market’

The federal government on Tuesday announced a plan to send a new set of point-of-care COVID-19 testing devices, from the medical device manufacturer Abbott, to nursing homes starting next week. And while the new round of devices is welcome for skilled nursing providers, many of the questions around paying for supplies and using the devices […]

Shut Out of Nursing Facilities, a Post-Acute Mental Health Practice Pivots to Virtual on the Fly

When skilled nursing facilities went into lockdown in March to try to keep COVID-19 out of their buildings, group activities and all nonessential visitors and personnel were banned. How nursing homes interpreted the definition of “essential” personnel could vary, but Executive Mental Health, a psychology practice based in Los Angeles that provides services to acute […]

COVID-19 Outbreaks in Long-Term Care Continue, But Mitigation Efforts May Be Working

Outbreaks of COVID-19 have continued in long-term care facilities across the U.S., with an attendant rise in cumulative cases and deaths. But an issue brief on the case data from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) published last week also suggests that mitigation efforts might be having a positive impact on the outbreaks’ severity. Predictably, total […]

FBI Investigating Nursing Home with Hundreds of COVID-19 Cases: Report

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating a nursing home in Beaver County, Pa., where more than 300 residents and staff were infected with COVID-19 and at least 73 residents and a housekeeper died. TribLive, the website of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, first reported the news. Investigators with the agency on Thursday served warrants at […]

Giroir: With PCR Tests Out of Reach For Most Nursing Homes, Antigen Testing ‘Is Clearly a Life-Saving Option’

The nation’s top COVID-19 testing official gave more insight into the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) efforts to expedite and expand the use of rapid point-of-care antigen testing in skilled nursing facilities across the U.S. during a media briefing held Tuesday. HHS announced on Monday that it was expanding coverage for licensed health […]

HHS Expands Coverage of Point-of-Care Tests for Nursing Home COVID-19 Screening, Superseding State Bans

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Monday that it is extending coverage for prescribing or administering point-of-care COVID-19 tests to screen for the illness in congregate settings such as skilled nursing facilities. The move overrules state directives that restrict or ban outright the use of such tests. The extension of coverage under […]

One Nursing Home’s Fines Can Become Another Facility’s Technology — But With Strings Attached

With COVID-19 forcing skilled nursing facilities to drastically restrict visitation, technology and virtual communication have emerged as critical tools to maintain social ties between residents and their loved ones. And there are federal funds — collected from facilities deemed to have run afoul of various rules — available to help SNFs bolster their technological offerings. […]

State with First COVID-19 Outbreak Rolls Back Medicaid Boost for Nursing Homes: ‘Needless Deaths Will Rise’

The state of Washington is cutting back on the increase it provided to Medicaid reimbursement to nursing homes, a move that drew sharp criticism from nursing home trade groups and advocates. The news was first reported by NBC affiliate KING 5 in Washington on August 21. As part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act […]