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 […]

As CMS Relaxes Telehealth Rules, Skilled Nursing Startup Call9 Sees Second Chance at Success as Curve

Skilled nursing telehealth provider Call9 last year became another casualty of a central tension between innovation and reality: The law often takes years to catch up to new technology. But a crisis can accelerate the glacial rule-making process, and amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government erased decades of telehealth law in a matter of […]

Therapists Find Some COVID-19 Telehealth Opportunities — But Remain Off Medicare List

The federal government has waived multiple regulations around telehealth with an eye toward making it as easy as possible to stay home and receive medical care. It’s a move that seems well-suited to benefit the Medicare beneficiaries living in skilled nursing facilities across the U.S., who need care while minimizing contact with visitors during the […]

Telehealth Providers Ramp Up Skilled Nursing Rollouts as COVID-19 Rages On

Third Eye Health had a two-year plan to expand the network of skilled nursing facilities that use its telehealth technology from 400 to more than 1,000. Amid a world-historic pandemic, the Chicago-based tech company reached that multi-year goal in a matter of a few weeks. “We’ve had truly exponential growth,” Third Eye vice president and […]

Officials Turn to Analytics to Predict COVID-19 Hotspots in Nursing Homes

An analytics company that provides data in real time about changes in patient conditions has launched an infectious disease surveillance program in the wake of the COVID-19 national emergency, with the goal of identifying hot spots for the disease before they gather steam. Real Time Medical Systems, a provider of interventional analytics software based in […]

Once an Afterthought, Nursing Homes Embrace Social Media as Essential During COVID-19 Crisis

When Jonah Blumenthal, co-founder of the Pomona, N.Y.-based marketing firm TypoDuctions, first started pitching nursing home operators on the potential benefits of using social media, the response was decidedly skeptical. “Five years ago, people thought we were nuts — why in the world would a nursing home want social media?” Blumenthal told SNN recently. Engaging […]

Skilled Nursing Telehealth Adoption Not Without Challenges — But COVID-19 Changes Likely Here to Stay

About a month after COVID-19 first arrived on America’s radar, the federal government continues to tear down the dense web of regulations surrounding all aspects of the health care continuum in an attempt to fight back against the coronavirus pandemic. As health care providers and officials look to prevent all non-emergency visits to nursing homes, […]

New CMS Waivers Eliminate ‘All Barriers’ to Telehealth in Skilled Nursing Facilities

As part of a sweeping set of waivers announced late Monday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded its efforts to cut restrictions on telehealth — essentially removing any last roadblock that providers would face to offering virtual interventions at nursing homes. By allowing providers to perform initial and discharge services remotely, and […]

What Nursing Homes Need to Know as CMS Cracks Down on Infection Control

With the federal government cracking down on nursing home infection control policies based on the initial coronavirus outbreak at a Washington state facility, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rolled out a self-assessment tool for nursing home leadership to proactively monitor safety in place. “Nursing home residents and their families who want to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]