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 […]

COVID-19 Scrambles PDPM Math, Particularly Around Therapy Minutes: ‘This Will Be a Complete Rebuild’

In the lead-up to the implementation of the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) on October 1, 2019, consultants, therapists, and the federal government warned operators over and over that therapy minutes would come under intense scrutiny in the months following the start of the new Medicare reimbursement system. The model allowed for patients to receive up […]

CMS Opens Medicare Telehealth Waivers to Include Physical, Occupational, Speech Therapists

More than a month after the federal government issued widespread waivers to expand telehealth coverage amid the COVID-19 pandemic, therapists will finally be able to provide remote interventions under Medicare. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Thursday announced that it will allow physical, occupational, and speech therapy practitioners to provide Medicare-covered telehealth […]

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 […]

Encore Rehabilitation, DOJ Reach $4M Settlement in False Claims Act Case

Encore Rehabilitation Services on Friday publicly agreed to pay $4 million to settle federal allegations that the contract rehab provider violated the False Claims Act. The Department of Justice had accused the Farmington Hills, Mich.-based rehab operator of “causing three Michigan skilled nursing facilities to submit false claims to Medicare for rehabilitation therapy services that […]

CMS ‘Considering’ Expansion of Telehealth Coverage for Physical, Occupational, Speech Therapy Services

While the federal government has taken a hacksaw to the regulations around telehealth services in an attempt to mitigate COVID-19 risks, one group remains largely left out of the push: physical, occupational, and speech therapists. But that could change as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) mulls the potential ways it can use […]

CMS Cracks Window for Virtual Therapy Visits in Nursing Homes Amid COVID-19, But Barriers Remain

Therapy providers were partially included in the federal government’s attempts to waive restrictions on various health providers amid the coronavirus, but some experts say this recent round won’t enable sufficient virtual care for nursing home residents — and also doesn’t decrease the risks therapists are experiencing on the ground amid the pandemic. An expanded telehealth […]

Therapy Continues During Crisis, But Worries Over Protective Supplies and Employment Loom

Many therapy teams consider their services essential to nursing home residents — even after the federal government guided the sector to prohibit unnecessary visits to facilities amid the spread of the novel coronavirus. Even with the push to reduce “unessential” services, the government opened the floodgates for nursing facilities to serve overflow patients from hospitals […]

Bipartisan Group of 99 Lawmakers Calls on CMS to Rethink 8% Therapy Payment Cut

A group of 99 U.S. representatives, consisting of both Republicans and Democrats, this week asked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for more information about a rule that could have a major impact on nursing home residents who receive therapy services. Under the 2020 Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule, CMS implemented a […]

Pending Part B Changes Could Have Major Impact on Nursing Home Finances, Therapy Staffing

Early returns for the new Medicare Part A reimbursement system for nursing home operators appear positive, but some industry advocates warn that more Part B pain could be coming over the next few years, both for therapists and skilled nursing providers. And although the exploding senior population represents heavy demand for therapy services, some leaders […]

Sabra CEO Matros Has ‘No Sympathy’ for Third-Party Therapy Companies Amid Switch to PDPM

The new Medicare payment model for nursing homes has brought significant upheaval around therapy provision — an outcome that one prominent CEO in the space says therapy companies should have seen coming sooner. Given all of the warning signs from Washington and Baltimore — dating back to when the federal government was planning on implementing […]

SNN Poll: 43% of Operators, Vendors Have Laid Off Therapy Staff Post-PDPM

News of therapy layoffs swept through the skilled nursing industry in the weeks after the implementation of the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), and a new poll from Skilled Nursing News finds that more than 40% of operators and therapy vendors have made some kind of staffing reductions post-October 1. A little more than 43% of […]

Looming 8% Cut to Therapy Payments Could Have ‘Major Impact’ on Residents, Operators

There’s been significant attention focused on the potential for therapy reductions and reimbursement shifts amid the transition to the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) on October 1, but concerns may soon be shifting to another looming therapy change — this time under Medicare Part B. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed […]

Genesis CEO Hager Predicts Rehab-Heavy SNFs Will Fare Worst Under PDPM, Defends 10% Therapy Cost Cuts

Operators that have historically thrown all of their eggs into the therapy basket will fare worse than others under the new Medicare payment model for nursing homes, Genesis HealthCare (NYSE: GEN) CEO George Hager said Wednesday — and that includes a subset of his own facilities. “Those providers that maybe pushed therapy, really high-end therapy […]

PDPM Therapy Changes, Staff Reductions to Bring Genesis $30M in Annual Savings

Prior to the advent of the new Medicare payment model for skilled nursing facilities, Genesis HealthCare (NYSE: GEN) CEO George Hager predicted that his company would see expense reductions of 12% — primarily through an increased emphasis on group and concurrent services. So far, at least according to Hager, the company has come through on […]

How Has Your Skilled Nursing Company Adapted to PDPM? Take Our Survey Today

Stories of therapist layoffs and shifting care strategies rocked the skilled nursing world at the start of this month, when the new Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) took effect. Now that the industry has logged a full month under the overhauled Medicare payment model, Skilled Nursing News wants to know how your organization has adapted to […]