CMS Expands Nursing Home Telehealth Coverage, Waives HIPAA Penalties During COVID-19 Outbreak

The Trump administration on Tuesday announced an emergency expansion of telehealth coverage for Medicare beneficiaries amid the COVID-19 outbreak, removing multiple regulatory barriers to doctors providing remote care for nursing home residents. Retroactive to March 6, Medicare can pay for virtual consultations provided through telehealth platforms across the country, including those conducted in a patient’s […]

Genesis Reports One COVID-19 Case, Confirms Hospital Demand for Overflow Beds at Nursing Homes

Genesis HealthCare (NYSE: GEN), one of the largest post-acute operators in the U.S., reported one confirmed case of the COVID-19 disease at one of its facilities, in an otherwise optimistic fourth-quarter and year-end earnings call for 2019. The Kennett Square, Pa.-based operator, which has hundreds of skilled nursing facilities and assisted and senior living centers […]

Therapists Generally Considered Essential Amid Nursing Home Visit Ban — But Some Told to Stay Away

When the federal government prohibited all non-essential visits to nursing homes on Friday, in-house therapy teams and third-party companies were left wondering exactly who counted as “essential” — and whether they were part of the exempted health care workers that can continue to enter facilities. In general, SNN found that therapy services are continuing throughout […]

Officials Eye Nursing Homes as Failsafe for Overloaded Hospitals During Coronavirus Spread

A sweeping ban on nursing home visits dominated headlines both inside and outside the industry over the weekend, but buried in the federal government’s recent emergency COVID-19 guidelines was a waiver of the three-day hospital stay rule for Medicare skilled nursing coverage. Under normal conditions, a Medicare beneficiary must remain in the hospital for three […]

As Admission Holds Loom, Skilled Nursing Facilities and Hospitals Must Stay in Constant COVID-19 Contact

The residents and patients at skilled nursing facilities are uniquely imperiled by COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that’s rapidly altering the routines of everyday life worldwide. As a result, SNFs across the country have gone into lockdown, with the federal government on Friday issuing a blanket ban of non-essential visits. Their hospital […]

Nursing Homes Will Weather Coronavirus Crisis — But No Excuse for Lapses

Public health officials and the nation’s most prominent nursing home industry leaders haven’t minced words when describing the threat that COVID-19 presents to residents and operators, and neither will we: The next few months will present the some of the most serious challenges that long-term and post-acute care providers have ever faced. The best nursing […]

CMS Bans Most Visits to Nursing Homes, Waives Three-Day Stay Rule in Coronavirus Battle

The federal government late Friday formally issued new guidance prohibiting all non-essential visits to nursing homes, while also waiving the three-day hospital stay requirement for subsequent Medicare skilled nursing coverage, as officials look to blunt the effects of the novel coronavirus on elderly Americans. The strict ban allows exceptions for families to visit loved ones […]

Verma: CMS to Soon Ban All Nursing Home Visits ‘With a Few Exceptions’ Amid Coronavirus Fears [Updated]

UPDATE, Saturday, March 14: CMS formally issued its guidance late Friday, enacting a ban on most non-essential visits to nursing homes and also waiving the three-day stay rule for Medicare skilled nursing coverage. The federal government will soon issue guidance directing nursing home operators to ban the vast majority of visitors amid the spread of […]

Skilled Nursing Telehealth Bill Gets New Life Amid Coronavirus [Updated]

Telemedicine is drawing national attention from lawmakers as officials look to safeguard health care workers and patients — while nursing homes anxiously monitor infection-control policies to protect vulnerable residents from the global pandemic of the coronavirus. Expanded Medicare coverage of telehealth services was included in the recent $8.3 billion emergency bill, offering national aid in […]

REIT Stocks Fall Again After Reports of New Nursing Home Coronavirus Case

Another skilled nursing facility in the state of Washington has reported an outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that is sweeping the globe — resulting in major declines in the stock prices of several real estate investment trusts (REITs) with holdings in the skilled nursing and senior housing sectors. That facility, […]

CMS: No Timeline for Resuming Non-Emergency Surveys for Nursing Homes Amid Coronavirus

After the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an immediate crackdown on nursing home compliance in the wake of the coronavirus, the agency laid out new expectations for updated inspections and surveys — with no exact timeline for resuming non-emergency surveys in sight. Although containing and preventing the coronavirus is the agency’s current […]

AHCA’s Parkinson: COVID-19 ‘Almost a Perfect Killing Machine’ for Elderly

The leader of the nation’s largest organization of post-acute and long-term care facilities didn’t mince words about the dangers of the novel coronavirus during a nationally televised interview. The mortality rate for the 84-and-older population that makes up the vast majority of nursing home residents is well north of 15%, American Health Care Association (AHCA) […]

As Coronavirus Concerns Grow, Skilled Nursing Facilities Find Relief in Telehealth — But Gaps Remain

With concerns around staffing and supply shortages in nursing homes amid the coronavirus, telemedicine has emerged as a key potential weapon, receiving the first-ever major green light for reimbursement on the national level — as part of an $8.3 billion bill allowing the federal government to cover remote care for Medicare recipients passed last Wednesday. […]

Push to Suspend Visits at Nursing Homes Grows: Once Test Results Arrive, ‘It May Be Too Late’

Skilled nursing industry leaders on Tuesday doubled down on federal guidelines restricting visits to facilities amid the spread of novel coronavirus, emphasizing the potential for a rapid, severe impact among those most vulnerable to COVID-19. The American Health Care Association publicly advised operators not to allow visitors unless absolutely necessary, its leaders said on a […]

CMS Releases Updated Visitation, Citation Guidance for Nursing Homes Amid Coronavirus Spread

UPDATE, Saturday, March 14: Since this article was published, the federal government has implemented stricter guidance for nursing home visits, effectively banning all non-essential visitors with very limited exceptions. Read about the most up-to-date guidance here. The federal government late Monday released an updated set of guidelines for nursing home operators amid the growing spread […]