Advocates Push Back on Geography as Driver of Nursing Home Outbreaks — and Detail Drastic Measures for Keeping COVID at Bay

COVID-19 outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities are affected by more than geography, and nursing home operators have tools and actions they can take to mitigate the spread of the virus in their facilities, the Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA) argued in a report released on Thursday. “Since the start of the pandemic, one of the […]

Nursing Home Diversions Not Limited to Home Health as LTACs Emerge as Surprise COVID-19 Winners

Long-term acute care (LTAC) hospitals proved themselves a critical part of the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic while also gaining a share of the patients discharged to facility-based care by short-term acute hospitals — even as the share of those patients going to the skilled nursing setting declined. A new report, published February […]

With Infection Control in Spotlight, $237M Program for Nursing Homes Shows Promise for COVID and Beyond

Good infection control standards are the same for skilled nursing facilities across the U.S. — both in the sense of federally mandated requirements, and in the sense of the concrete conditions that are necessary to prevent the spread of contamination. This was true even before a pandemic that shook the world in 2020, with ongoing […]

Vaccine Clinics in Nursing Homes Reduce COVID-19 Transmission By 48% Within Three Weeks, Study Finds

A new study on COVID-19 among nursing home residents and staff found that the cases decreased at a faster rate among both groups after the first vaccine clinic took place in facilities, suggesting that transmission could decline in three weeks after receiving the first vaccine dose. “Vaccinated nursing homes experienced a 48% decline in new […]

Parkinson: Nursing Homes’ Financial, Operational Recovery ‘Completely Tied to Visitation’

As skilled nursing facilities roll up their sleeves at varying rates for the vaccine against COVID-19, their clinical situation amid the pandemic is improving rapidly, a turnaround from 2020 made almost fully complete with the distribution of vaccines. But the financial outlook, shaped by dismal occupancy numbers that show no signs of recovery, is becoming […]

How ‘Informal Leaders,’ Peer-to-Peer Focus Can Boost Staff Vaccine Acceptance at Nursing Homes

When the effort to vaccinate long-term care workers and residents began to gather momentum, hesitancy among workers became a prominent issue well before the first shots were administered. The issue of whether or not workers — burned out by the ongoing tragedy of resident and staff deaths from COVID-19, personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages, and […]

Amid Vaccine Push, Nursing Homes Can’t Overlook Testing as COVID Positivity Rates Stay High

While skilled nursing facilities and their pharmacy partners work to vaccinate staff and residents against COVID-19, they can’t lose track of the testing that is critical to revealing who might be infected — particularly as positivity rates across the U.S. remain high. According to county positivity data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services […]

CDC Adjusts Vaccine Reporting — With 2.73M Doses Administered in Long-Term Care Facilities So Far

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week stopped reporting the number of COVID-19 doses distributed to the agency’s pharmacy partners as part of the Federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program as vaccinations expand to other settings. But it has expanded information on some metrics surrounding the efforts to inoculate residents on […]

Lilly’s Antibody Clinical Trial in Nursing Homes Prevents COVID-19, Reduces Resident Risk Up to 80%

A Phase 3 clinical trial of an antibody drug that enrolled residents and staff at skilled nursing and assisted living facilities found that the treatment significantly reduced the risk of contracting symptomatic COVID-19. The antibody drug, bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555), was developed by pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) for clinical use with the Vancouver-based […]

To Fight Nursing Home Vaccine Hesitancy, Operators Must Tackle Individual Concerns Head-On

For one skilled nursing operator, its ethos of maintaining a strong local footprint has paid off unexpectedly in the form of facilitating COVID-19 vaccination among its frontline staff. But that facilitation wouldn’t have been possible without a focus on documenting the concerns of its workers and taking the steps to address them individually. Carespring Health […]

States Across Country Log Record COVID-19 Cases in LTC, With Deadliest Months Potentially Yet to Come

Several states reported the highest average weekly number of new COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities in November or December, Kaiser Family Foundation reported, and several reported the highest average weekly number of new COVID-19 deaths in such facilities in December. The KFF issue brief, published January 14 by Priya Chidambaram and Rachel Garfield, used […]

COVID Support Will Not Save Flawed Nursing Home Operators in 2021 as Distress Looms Large

When the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in skilled nursing facilities became apparent after the first major outbreak in the state Washington, dire predictions for the sector were immediate. Most of those fears, clinically speaking, were borne out horrifically over the course of 2020. But while surveys have found plummeting occupancy and significant numbers of […]

CDC Adds to Research Suggesting Link Between Nursing Home Outbreaks, Community Rates of COVID

Multiple studies emerged over the course of 2020 suggesting correlations between the incidence of COVID-19 in a community and the rates of infection nursing homes within that community — and a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) joins the list. The new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) found that […]

Skilled Nursing Provider Sava Sees Dialysis Expansion as Cornerstone of Post-COVID World

Early in December, Concerto Renal Services announced that it was expanding its partnership with the skilled nursing provider SavaSeniorCare, with the addition of on-site dialysis treatments to a facility in Georgia. For Concerto, the partnership with Sava at the Dunwoody Health and Rehabilitation Center is the fourth such agreement between the two companies and marks […]

As SNFs Prep for COVID Vaccination, Questions Remain for Frontline Workers on Speed and Credibility

With two COVID-19 vaccines officially authorized for use, the immunization of health care workers and long-term care facility residents is finally underway in earnest. The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorizations (EUAs) to Pfizer’s (NYSE: PFE) COVID-19 vaccine on December 11 and to Moderna’s (Nasdaq: MRNA) on December 18. There are several considerations […]

COVID-19 Bill Includes Some Offsets to Part B Cuts Scheduled for Next Year

The new spending bill passed by Congress on Monday night, which includes $900 billion in COVID-19 relief, also contains some respite for cuts to Medicare Part B that posed a significant threat to therapy operations in skilled nursing facilities. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 is now awaiting President Trump’s signature, and it includes a […]

With Promising Results from Abbott’s COVID Tests, HHS Commits to Ongoing Shipments for Nursing Homes

With one COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and another likely to gain approval soon, the end of the pandemic could be coming into view. In the meantime, though, testing remains a critical element of the response, particularly for skilled nursing facilities, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) […]