CMS Finalizes Physician Fee Schedule, with ACO Changes Relevant to Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) aims to further advance its overall value-based care strategy with the finalized 20224 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) – adding ways for medically complex, high-cost beneficiaries like those in nursing homes to participate in Medicare Shared Savings Programs (MSSPs). Additionally, CMS therapy assistants can be more generally […]

Pay Increase for Physical Therapists Higher in Long-Term Care Versus Other Settings

Physical therapists working in long-term care facilities received an average actual* pay increase of 3.7% in the last year, which was greater than the average actual pay increase seen by PTs in hospitals and home health settings. That’s according to the latest Rehabilitation Salary & Benefits Report from Hospital & Healthcare Compensation Service, which showed […]

‘A Significant Cut’: CMS’ Latest Payment Proposal Is ‘Problematic’ for Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing to reduce payment for physician services under the fee schedule compared to last year, the federal agency announced late Thursday. The reductions would affect the provision of therapy in nursing homes. Indeed, the proposal represents a “significant cut” that will put nursing home “providers in […]

CMS: Nursing Homes Will Get to Test Out Coding and Train for New MDS System

Nursing homes will have an opportunity to test out coding prior to Minimum Data Set changes slated for October, and receive pre-recorded video training this spring, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shared in an open door forum Thursday. The videos will deliver foundational knowledge necessary to understand the new items and guidance, […]

How Skilled Nursing Providers are Dealing with ‘Very Heavy Burden’ of Rising Patient Acuity

Operators in the nursing home space are dealing with a crippling workforce shortage and rising costs of care – all while seeing continued higher acuity among residents. Providers and vendors in the space agree they’re seeing a larger proportion of patients with higher acuity, but the definition of acuity varies along with methods to measure […]

Executive Outlook 2023: A New Playbook for Skilled Nursing

Over the last two years, skilled nursing providers have faced a pandemic and a labor crisis. As 2023 dawns, leaders across the industry are taking stock of their changed organizations and a reshaped business environment, and are preparing to execute strategies formulated in the COVID crucible. As Signature HealthCARE CEO Joe Steier puts it: “Every […]

Worrying 4.4% Cut Leaves Nursing Home Therapy Providers in Limbo 

As therapy providers in the nursing home setting, among other health care workers, are expected to absorb a finalized 4.4% cut to the 2023 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS), those impacted aren’t so sure Congress will help offset the decrease like they’ve done in years past. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized the […]

How Therapy Providers Can Drive SNF Upside and Optimize Reimbursement

Therapy providers in the nursing home space believe their role in increasing mobility will contribute to upside in the sector – especially within the context of the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), pandemic recovery and staffing challenges. It’s a draw for prospective residents and their families, both on the short-term and long-term side, as clinical improvements […]

Connecticut SNF Provides Behavioral Health Blueprint as CMS Places Emphasis on Service Line

As more nursing homes seek to add behavioral health services to their continuum of care, providers that have been specializing in these areas for decades can be used as a blueprint to achieving similar results. Covid-induced isolation, coupled with initiatives outlined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), make existing programs – like […]

Nursing Home Workforce, Medicare Advantage, Therapy Pay in Focus on Capitol Hill

While the spotlight on skilled nursing continues to shine bright, an election year has advocacy groups certain that legislative efforts will be pared down to just a couple key pieces Congress aims to tackle this fall. Policy dedicated to boosting a floundering workforce, expanding telehealth beyond public health emergency (PHE) waivers, and streamlining authorization processes […]

Long-Term Care Trade Association NASL Changes Name to Advion

The National Association for the Support of Long Term Care (NASL) kicked off its 33rd annual meeting in Nashville this week by announcing it would be operating under a new name: Advion. Complete with the tagline: “the next generation of NASL,” the new name recognizes the trade association’s position as both an advocate for patients, […]

‘Powerful Data’ Could Inform CMS’ Nursing Home Minimum Staffing Standards

As federal minimum staffing requirements loom for skilled nursing providers, analysts with the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) unveiled crucial data detailing the effects of state-level standards on the industry. While research found state minimum staffing requirements increased staffing levels and in some cases improved quality measures, there were some unintended consequences: a decrease in […]

Psychologists, Social Workers In Short Supply As Demand For Behavioral Health Services in Nursing Homes Soar

Coming out of three-plus years of isolation and uncertainty during the worst of the pandemic, perhaps it’s not a surprise that the nation’s nursing homes residents are suffering from increased indications of anxiety and depression. The number of residents that show clear signs of behavioral health challenges is coupled with, in some cases, a severe […]