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 […]

Potential MFAR Medicaid Cuts Back in Spotlight as Wide Swath of Health Leaders Call for More Relief

A slew of governmental and health care organizations called on the federal government to boost its share of Medicaid support — and to revoke a controversial proposed rule that would have overhauled how some states drew down federal dollars. The organizations — which represent political officials from the local to the state level and care […]

New Consulate COO on Joining a Nursing Home Giant During a Pandemic — and Why Diversity Matters in LTC

As COVID-19 maintains a hold in significant portions of the U.S., it’s poised to shake up some key aspects of how care is provided in the skilled nursing setting. Consulate Health Care’s new chief operating officer, Tim Lehner, joined the Maitland, Fla.-based operator in June, amid a major pandemic that’s reshaping the skilled nursing landscape […]

SavaSeniorCare Sees COVID-19 as Wake-Up Call: Nursing Homes Must ‘Rethink Our Business Model’

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to severe occupancy hits for skilled nursing facilities, with two major operators seeing significant declines over the course of the past few months. And no aspect of the business — from short-term rehabilitation after elective surgeries to long-term care to capital expenditure — has been left untouched. Aid from the […]

Grassley Bill Would Require Retroactive COVID-19 Reporting for Nursing Homes, Fund Strike Teams

A trio of Republican U.S. senators, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, introduced a bill this week that would establish regional strike teams to respond to outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities and extend reporting requirements related to COVID-19 — both for the rest of the year and retrospective to the start of 2020. The […]

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 […]