How Empowering Nursing Home Staff to Take Risks Can Improve Care: ‘We Need to Pay for What We Value’

Through their work with consulting firm Copernicus Inc., CEO Claudia Blumenstock and consultant Ellen Bartoldus have heard countless firsthand stories of the strains that COVID-19 has put on nursing home staff across the country. And as former nursing home administrators themselves, the pair has a clear vision for how to fix the endemic problems that […]

Eli Lilly Launches COVID-19 Clinical Trial in Nursing Homes with Symphony as Partner

Pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) will soon begin a phase-three clinical trial of a potential coronavirus treatment in the long-term care setting, with nursing home operator Symphony Care Network as a partner. Up to 2,400 residents and staff of nursing homes and assisted living properties will participate in the on-site study, the […]

HHS Boosts Initial Nursing Home Testing Shipment by 400, Promises ‘Affirmative Action’ on Kits

The federal government is shipping 398 point-of-care COVID-19 testing devices to 384 skilled nursing facilities this week, along with 199,000 tests, with a continued focus on states with significant outbreaks, according to an update from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The shipments come on top of 654 testing instruments sent to 635 […]

CMS Releases List of First Nursing Homes to Receive Devices Under COVID-19 Testing Initiative

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on July 22 released the list of the first skilled nursing facilities to receive point-of-care COVID-19 testing devices under an initiative announced last week. The nursing homes identified by CMS will be receiving Quidel Sofia and Sofia 2 Instruments and BD Veritor Plus Systems, along with the […]

CMS: 26% of Nursing Home Medical Visits Conducted Via Telehealth Since March

Telehealth services accounted for a little more than a quarter of all medical visits to nursing homes covered by fee-for-service Medicare between March and June, according to the federal government’s top Medicare official. The figure, noted in an essay by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Seema Verma, marks the first nursing home-specific […]

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 […]

Operators Greet Nursing Home COVID Testing Initiative with Cautious Optimism, Pointed Questions

One day after the federal government announced an ambitious plan to send point-of-care testing units for COVID-19 to all of the nation’s more than 15,000 nursing homes, leaders in the space expressed cautious optimism — while often emphasizing that they have more questions than firm answers. Starting next week, the Department of Health and Human […]

Judge Grants PruittHealth Partial Reprieve in $11M Verdict Over EHR Software Dispute

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit partially upheld an $11 million verdict against the nursing home operator PruittHealth in a breach-of-contract dispute with health care software provider Caradigm USA, though it vacated part of the verdict implementing compound interest on the contract damages. PruittHealth had argued on appeal that the district court […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

To Stay Ahead of Shifting Science and Regulations, Signature’s COVID-19 Testing Strategy Goes Digital

In the absence of a vaccine or proven treatment for COVID-19, testing will serve as the nursing home operator’s primary weapon against the spread of the virus for an indefinite period. Widespread baseline testing of nursing facilities was painfully slow to materialize, particularly during the early days of the crisis. But now that operators — […]

Drugmaker Romark Seeks Nursing Home Residents for COVID-19 Clinical Trial

A U.S. pharmaceutical company is attempting to build out a full clinical trial for a drug that could potentially prevent COVID-19 infections — among other viral ailments — in long-term care settings. The Tampa, Fla.-based Romark Laboratories has high hopes for its NT-300 drug, an existing oral medication that works by preventing a virus from […]

NIC CEO Jurutka: COVID-19 Crisis ‘Burning Platform’ for Innovation in Skilled Nursing, Senior Living

Calls for systemic overhauls of long-term care and senior living are nothing new. From operators to government payers to resident advocates, a variety of voices has challenged the status quo with support for new reimbursement systems, creative partnerships, and the substantial redesign of care models over the last decade — with varying results. But with […]

For COVID-19 Testing to Succeed in Nursing Homes, Lab Access is Critical — But Capacity Hard to Define

Test. Test. Test. That has been the mantra since the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the flashpoint of criticism over the early efforts of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the call from multiple skilled nursing operators and experts. To contain the pandemic and stem its impact on nursing homes across the […]

Backed with $60M, PatientPing Looks to Expand Care Transitions Network in a Post-COVID Landscape

Even before a global pandemic upended the post-acute care continuum, transitions between settings represented one of the biggest pain points for operators and patients. Fresh off a $60 million Series C funding round announced last week, PatientPing has its sights set on national coverage for its software network that connects hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home […]