CMS Trumpets Telehealth Potential in Skilled Nursing and Long-Term Care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued yet another sign of support for expanding the use of telehealth services in skilled nursing facilities, pointing to a variety of studies that show the technology can save the government money. Writing in a mandated report to Congress released earlier this month, CMS highlighted multiple areas […]

Diversicare Records $7.4M Loss Related to Open DOJ Investigation

Diversicare Healthcare Services Inc. (Nasdaq: DVCR) recorded a net loss from continuing operations of $7.4 million, or $1.15 per share, in what president and CEO Jay McKnight described as “a challenging quarter.” The loss was mainly attributable to a $6.4 million litigation contingency expense related to an open Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into potential violations […]

CMS Highlights Key Areas of Skilled Nursing Enforcement, Improvement

Improving surveys, clarifying nursing facilities’ reporting requirements, and providing more detail on citations are some of the current top priorities for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Karen Tritz, director of the Division of Nursing Homes in CMS’ Quality and Safety Oversight Group, walked through several policies and their status in a presentation […]

‘Granny Cams’ Represent Legal Minefield for Skilled Nursing Operators

For families of nursing facility residents, being able to remotely monitor their loved ones can bring peace of mind during a difficult period. But for skilled nursing operators, families installing cameras in sensitive areas can open the door to a variety of legal problems — including the violation of federal wiretapping laws. Only 11 states […]

NY Health Department Appoints Receiver for Two Buffalo Nursing Homes

The New York Health Department appointed a receiver to take over Emerald South Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Emerald North Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Buffalo, N.Y. The move was first reported by The Buffalo News, which recently published an in-depth investigation on out-of-town investors buying up nursing homes in the area. Emerald South and Emerald […]

Top Tips for Skilled Nursing Providers to Win Under the New CMS Rules

The Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) has gobbled up most of the recent headlines in the skilled nursing industry regarding new regulations, but there’s another set of rules that providers shouldn’t forget about. The industry remains in the thick of the new Requirements of Participation, which the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will finish […]

New Bill Before Congress Could Mitigate Skilled Nursing Staffing Woes

Legislation introduced late last month would give the government greater flexibility in reinstating training programs offered by providers, even when the skilled nursing facilities have been hit with a civil monetary penalty (CMP). At present, if a SNF receives a civil monetary penalty greater than $10,000, that facility is automatically banned from doing any certified […]

Upcoming Webinar: Getting Ready for PDPM Success

Date: Wednesday, October 17 Time: 2-3 p.m. EDT Register Now* In response to industry concerns about RCS-1, CMS made significant changes to the proposed payment rule and renamed it the SNF Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM). However, the fundamental goals and requirements of implementing a new value-based payment model remain the same — and will transform how therapy […]

Bundled Payments Cost Medicare Nearly $300 Million

A new report on the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement (BPCI) program found that the initiative has actually resulted in Medicare losses, counter to its aims. Under BPCI, providers agree to split a set reimbursement amount for a patient’s single episode of care, with the overall goal of reducing costs across the spectrum. But in […]

Skilled Nursing Providers Have One Shot at Payment Success Under PDPM

Of all the changes coming to the skilled nursing industry when a new payment model takes effect next fall, the most pressing may be one of the most basic: Starting in October 2019, providers will have a single opportunity to set themselves up for financial success with a patient’s initial assessment. The Patient-Driven Payment Model, […]

New York Official Calls for Tougher Skilled Nursing Facility Inspections

A top official accused the New York State Department of Health of performing insufficient inspections of nursing home equipment, recommending more in-depth surveys in the future. Health officials only look at very small samples of medical and generator equipment when performing inspections, according to a report issued this week by the office of New York comptroller […]

California Law Forces Skilled Nursing Owners to Disclose Business Ties

California Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed a bill that requires skilled nursing owners and leaders to disclose certain business ties, some months after a report by the state auditor that found California “has not adequately addressed ongoing deficiencies related to the quality of care that nursing facilities provide.” The bill, introduced by Democratic Assemblyman Jim […]

Federal Lawmakers Grill CMS, HHS Over Nursing Home Safety

Representatives from the federal agencies that oversee skilled nursing agencies faced pointed questions from lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Thursday morning, with many expressing frustration with recurring resident safety issues. “We do this over and over again, but yet one-third of Medicare residents have experienced harm,” Rep. Diana DeGette, a Colorado Democrat, said during a […]

OIG Wants to Revise Anti-Kickback Rules to Ease Care Coordination

As the federal government increasingly emphasizes care coordination among players across the health care continuum, the industry’s top watchdog signaled that it could soon overhaul its anti-kickback regulations to help providers avoid pitfalls. The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG) this week published a call to providers, asking for […]

Improving Nursing Care Could Start with Enforcing Existing Laws, Not Passing New Ones

The thorny relationship among the skilled nursing industry, consumer advocates, and regulators could be actively thwarting efforts at improving nursing home quality, one expert argued. “In making their respective cases, stakeholders have expressed divergent views about the current state of nursing home quality and, more specifically, the effectiveness of regulatory oversight efforts,” David Stevenson, an associate professor […]

Editor’s Take: Multiple CEOs (Probably) Can’t Be Wrong on PDPM

When covering any industry that operates under heavy government scrutiny, hearing one CEO praise a new set of regulations is a surprise. Hearing near-unanimous support is frankly shocking. But that’s where the skilled nursing industry finds itself with the Patient-Driven Payment Model, the latest overhaul of the way SNFs receive reimbursements from Medicare. On its […]

Uncertainty Surrounds New ‘Arbitrary’ Skilled Nursing Payment Rules

Early reactions to the finalized skilled nursing payment rules from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are in, with one leading provider group issuing a stark warning about the days ahead. “While the skilled nursing profession welcomes a new payment model, we are concerned with the language in this rule about the Patient-Driven […]

CMS Hits 1,400 Nursing Homes with One-Star Reviews Over Staffing Concerns

Less than a month after a New York Times story revealed concerns about insufficient nursing home staffing levels, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) handed out nearly 1,400 one-star reviews. Last week, when CMS updated its Five-Star Quality Rating System for nursing homes, 1,387 facilities received one-star ratings for staffing coverage, according to […]