Isolating COVID-19 Patients Critical for Nursing Home Safety — But PDPM Hasn’t Caught Up

The infectious nature of COVID-19 makes it imperative that skilled nursing facilities take extra precautions around any new admissions that they bring in, as well as any residents that are returning from a hospital stay. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the procedure for SNFs is straightforward: Keep any COVID-19-positive patients […]

HHS to Link Part of $5B in Nursing Home Aid Directly to Performance [UPDATED]

UPDATE, August 11: An earlier version of this story indicated that a portion of the $5 billion in relief funding for nursing homes will be based on prior performance. Speaking at a virtual event Tuesday, American Health Care Association president and CEO Mark Parkinson clarified that the value-based initiatives will be exclusively prospective, with only […]

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 […]