As a ‘Better Advisor’ to Congress, MedPAC Mulls CMS Staffing Mandate Effects But Proposes 3% Medicare Cut

The majority of MedPAC board members voted Thursday to recommend reducing Medicare-based payment rates for skilled nursing spending by 3% for 2025, despite voicing concerns about the federal minimum staffing proposed rule. MedPAC, which stands for the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, is made up of health care professionals who make recommendations to Congress in terms […]

DOL Alleges Back Wages Owed to Over 600 Next Step Healthcare Staff in 25 Nursing Homes

More than 600 skilled nursing workers may be owed back wages across 25 Massachusetts facilities in 21 communities, owned by local operator Next Step Healthcare. The Department of Labor (DOL) filed a complaint in federal court alleging that various nursing home organizations intentionally withheld overtime wages for at least 624 employees, and failed to maintain […]

DOL’s Final Rule on Worker Classification To Increase Legal Woes, Administrative Burdens for Nursing Homes

Many skilled nursing operators will need to reclassify their existing relationships with independent contractors and rethink future ones in the wake of a final rule issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) on Tuesday. The DOL’s new rule revises guidance on how to determine who is an employee and who is an independent contractor under […]

Dementia Patients in Nursing Homes Don’t Necessarily Benefit from Just Boosting Staff – Study

Increasing nursing home staffing alone will not translate into better health or quality-of-care outcomes for dementia patients. This is the finding of a recently published study in the journal, Health Services Research, which combines the efforts of experts at UC-Irvine, UCLA, and the University of Chicago.  Researchers recommend looking beyond just staffing to improve dementia […]

Inside the Balancing Act of Personal Technology Use Among Nursing Home Staff

Managing personal technology devices is a common concern among staff at businesses across the nation, and nursing homes are no exception. While policies for personal technology use at nursing home organizations run the gamut – from completely restricting cell phone use to limited use to even encouraging use among employees – nursing homes have had […]

Missouri Rep. Calls Abrupt Northview Nursing Home Closure ‘Appalling,’ Demands Formal HHS Investigation

Following the sudden closure of Northview Village, St. Louis’ largest nursing home, Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) is calling for a formal investigation into the finances, provision of care and use of Medicaid and Medicare funds of the facility. Bush sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra […]

Executive Outlook 2024: Inside the Headwinds and Opportunities That Await Nursing Homes

Nursing home leaders from across the nation, including the largest advocacy groups for the sector, plan to oversee efforts in 2024 to increase funding – both from the federal government and through improved revenue streams as operating pressures ease slightly. At the center of these efforts is an attempt at influencing the political will and […]

KFF: Nursing Home Deficiencies Jumped Almost 10% Since 2015 and Staffing Levels Are To Blame

Deficiencies in nursing homes, both on average and those deemed more serious, have increased over time – partly as a result of decreasing staffing levels. Between 2015 and 2023, facilities with serious deficiencies, or violations of federal regulations, increased from 17% to 26%, according to a data note published on Friday by KFF. The average […]

Top Trends That Will Shape the Skilled Nursing Sector in 2024

Margins squeezed by interest rates and inflation, staffing shortages amid a draconian staffing mandate proposal, an invasion of Medicare Advantage and mixed efforts at adapting to Minimum Data Set (MDS) changes are among a litany of the challenges facing the skilled nursing sector at the start of 2024. However, all is not doom and gloom […]

Legislation That Mattered to Long-Term Care in 2023: A State and National List

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of nursing home legislation introduced or passed this year had to do with staffing. At the national level, Congressional efforts to block the federal minimum staffing proposal gained steam at the end of the year. State legislation ran the gamut, with California raising the minimum wage to $25 per hour for […]

PwC: Cautious Optimism, Apprehension To Follow Nursing Home Dealmaking into 2024

Dealmaking in 2024 comes with cautious optimism and some apprehension from industry leaders in health care, including those in the nursing home space, as deal volume continues to be buffeted by macroeconomic headwinds.  In line with the skilled nursing space, overall health services deal volumes through Nov. 15 have declined 13% compared to 2022 levels, […]

The Quotes That Defined 2023 in Skilled Nursing — and Hint at What’s Ahead

As the Covid-19 public health emergency officially ended in 2023, the nursing home sector continued to face lingering troubles across many facets of the business even if spread of disease – and death resulting from it – diminished as a concern. Chief among troubles that continued to plague nursing homes included workforce shortages and expansion […]

Comprehensive Healthcare Legal Saga Culminates in Acquittal of Individuals, Guilty Verdict for Corporate Defendants

Pennsylvania operator Comprehensive Healthcare Management Services was found guilty in a sprawling health care fraud case, following a five-week federal trial in Pennsylvania, involving two of its facilities. Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center and Lebanon Rehabilitation and Wellness Center were found guilty of making false statements in connection with the payment of health care benefits […]

Closing the Medicaid Gap Is Just the First Step, as Nursing Homes Fight for Predictable Reimbursement

Nursing homes and the state associations that represent them continue to put pressure on legislators to match Medicaid rates with rising costs, and change how often rebasing occurs to give operators a more even playing field. In a lot of cases, Medicaid increases helped lessen the gap between costs and stagnant rates. But, legislators still […]

‘Tougher Every Day’: Nursing Home Operators, CCRCs Weigh in on Future of Skilled Nursing

Operating a skilled nursing facility today is considered a difficult business with regulations and reimbursement woes making the space “tougher every day.” As a result, some operators say they regularly budget a loss for skilled nursing services, and if it weren’t for other lines of business, skilled nursing would be unsustainable. This dire view of […]

Repositioning Nursing Homes For Acuity, More Closures, Less Deal Making Expected in 2024

As the skilled nursing industry heads toward a new year with continued labor shortages and reimbursement gaps, service repositioning and closures among operators are expected trends for the space. And although there are signs of positivity in the form of increased Medicaid reimbursement in some states, extensive rural closures are creating “nursing home deserts” and […]