Skilled Nursing Operators Competing Against Other Health Settings for Workers — Not Starbucks

Nursing home operators continue to struggle with attracting and keeping skilled health care workers, a problem that negatively affects quality of care and the bottom line. And while it’s not easy to come up with solutions to this global issue, staffing obstacles persist — and they’re only going to get worse, according to a recent […]

Editor’s Take: Skilled Nursing Industry Shouldn’t Block Out the Long-Term View When Making PDPM Changes

Just about every major policy change, no matter how well intentioned, has butterfly effects that no one can foresee — along with changes that, while foreseen, still can cause real harm to real people. The news of therapy layoffs and hour reductions that swept through the skilled nursing world earlier last year fell into the […]

Confessions of a Therapist Post-PDPM: ‘You’re Not Valuable to Them Because You’re Not Making Money’

Among the many early takeaways from the new Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), perhaps the most immediate was its effect on rank-and-file therapists who work at skilled nursing facilities. Almost instantly after the PDPM shift on October 1, Skilled Nursing News received a flurry of e-mails from therapists who were laid off or saw their hours […]

Nursing Home Job Losses Accelerate in Third Month After PDPM

The first two months after the implementation of a new Medicare payment model for nursing homes saw slight employment drops in the space, but the trend accelerated as the year came to a close — with the losses nearly quadrupling in December. The national nursing home industry shed 6,700 jobs in December, according to the […]

We Want Your Input — 2020 Outlook Survey

The team at Skilled Nursing News is looking ahead to 2020 and would like to get your input for the 2020 Skilled Nursing News outlook survey. We’ll be releasing the results of this survey to all readers in early January. All responses gathered shall remain confidential, and your information will not be used in any […]

Nursing Home Employment Numbers Slide Again in November

The nation’s nursing homes lost about 1,700 jobs in November, marking two consecutive months of slight slides since the introduction of the new Medicare payment model for skilled nursing services. The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) counted a seasonally-adjusted total of 1,603,500 employees at nursing care facilities last month, a drop of 1,700 from […]

CMS Penalties Fund Program Designed to Reduce Readmissions, Improve Skilled Nursing Outcomes

Thirty nursing homes in the state of Washington will benefit from a federal program that injects penalty recoveries back into initiatives that boost nursing home quality — and the ramifications of the funding could go well beyond the facilities in that one state. The grant, totaling more than $644,000, comes from the Centers for Medicare […]

Nearly Half of Post-Acute Staffers Have Minimal Health IT Knowledge — or None at All

Post-acute providers continue to struggle with information technology and data-sharing — particularly around care coordination and value-based payment models — a new survey from Black Book Market Research reveals. In fact, 49% of providers who were surveyed reported that their staffers had very low levels of health IT levels of understanding — or they had […]

New Federal Nursing Home Safety Bill Would Increase Staffing Minimums, Levy $10K/Day Fines

A new piece of legislation before Congress seeks to protect individuals in nursing homes by implementing more stringent staffing protocols — including increased clinical hours and training — among other safety measures for residents. Co-sponsored by Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois and Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut — both Democrats — the Quality Care for […]

SNFs Appear to Have Gamed the System When Staffing Was Self-Reported

The federal government has spent the last few years focusing on staffing as a key area of improvement for nursing homes, requiring operators to provide payroll-based evidence of their labor hours and tightening the requirements for achieving the top scores — all based on the assumption that there’s a direct line between staffing and quality. […]

Foundations Health Sees Direct Connection Between Skilled Nursing Growth, Employee Retention

Staffing struggles are nothing new for skilled nursing operators, but one provider in Ohio specifically credits investments in staffing and culture for its recent growth. Foundations Health Solutions, a skilled nursing and physical therapy company that operates 57 properties across Ohio, has boosted margins and expanded its footprint by streamlining the relationships between corporate, clinical, […]

‘CMS is Watching’: Changing Therapy Patterns Raise Concerns About Skilled Nursing Audits, Care Quality

The first week of the new Medicare payment model for nursing homes has brought stories of rapidly shifting therapy patterns among some providers, and voices from the consulting and advocacy worlds are warning that any sudden movements could cause adverse effects — both immediately and down the road. The advent of the Patient-Driven Payment Model […]

Bill to Ease Skilled Nursing Staffing Woes Receives Another Chance in Congress

A bipartisan pair of lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a bill that its supporters say would ease persistent staffing strains on the nation’s nursing home operators. The Nursing Home Workforce Quality Act would remove a mandatory two-year ban on certified nursing assistant (CNA) training that the federal government currently levies on skilled nursing facilities that have […]

Pennsylvania Official Pushes for Better SNF Vetting, Warns of Workforce Crisis

The state of Pennsylvania should adopt stronger policies for vetting nursing home operators in the wake of the Skyline Healthcare collapse, a report issued Tuesday from Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale recommended. “Nearly 90,000 Pennsylvanians live in more than 700 nursing homes throughout the state, and they represent just a fraction of our aging population,” […]

How Skilled Nursing Facilities Can Win Under the New Five-Star System

The federal government hit skilled nursing facilities with a flurry of changes to its quality rating system earlier this year, but by diving into their own data, SNFs can pinpoint how to do better — while making the best use of their limited resources. Some key steps include scrutinizing a facility’s Certification and Survey Provider […]

Even as Demand Rises, Nursing Homes Face Major Behavioral Health Hurdles

Adding behavioral health services has frequently been floated as a way that nursing homes can diversify their offerings and attract new residents — particularly as demand for the treatment of depression and other mental health issues continues to grow among older Americans. But a significant swath of operators report persistent challenges in caring for residents […]

Immigration Crackdown Could Hurt Skilled Nursing Operators Beyond Staffing

The current presidential administration’s hard-line stance on immigration has caused serious concerns among health care employers, as any efforts that could shrink the available pool of workers will only exacerbate persistent workforce pressures. But in addition to representing a sizable chunk of the average nursing home’s staff, immigrant workers also contribute more to the trust […]

Nursing Home Strike Threat Drives Momentum for Medicaid Rate Boosts

The looming specter of a strike at nursing homes in Connecticut has prompted leaders in the state to support increases to daily Medicaid rates for institutional care. Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont this week expressed support for three Medicaid rate boosts through 2021, a move that the CT Mirror — which first reported the news — […]