AHCA CEO Parkinson to Retire in 2025, Search on for Successor

Mark Parkinson, CEO and president of the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), on Tuesday announced plans for retirement after 13 years with the association, and leading its members through the pandemic. Parkinson plans to stay on until Jan. 15 of next year, as the association launches its search for […]

Some State Legislators Race to Add Funding as ‘Nursing Home Deserts’ Expand

Rural and small market areas continue to experience growing “nursing home deserts,” an increasing crisis for local officials and beneficiaries facing access issues. In Nebraska, for one, state data shows 29 facilities closed their doors in the past three years, leaving pockets of “nursing home deserts” across 20 counties, according to a report from KETV […]

CMS: Medicare Advantage Plans Can Use AI Tools To ‘Assist’ but Not Terminate Post-Acute Care Stays

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is placing limits on the use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools in denials of claims related to Medicare Advantage plans, and adding more guidance to health care providers on post-acute care admissions. The agency issued an FAQ Tuesday to address concerns related to coverage criteria and utilization […]

In Positive Move for Nursing Homes, CMS’ Prior Auth Rule Cracks Down Further on Medicare Advantage Plans

Piece by piece, nursing home operators are seeing stricter government oversight of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans, a welcome relief given that partnerships with such managed care plans have become a huge source of administrative burden for providers in the sector, especially as workforce shortages persist. Most recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) […]

AHCA’s Clif Porter: Nursing Home Staffing Proposal May Be Finalized in Summer, Felt Like an Unpleasant ‘Bucket of Cold Water’

CMS isn’t expected to finalize the minimum staffing proposal until the summer at the earliest, with the agency having to wade through more than 40,000 comments before moving forward with the rule. The voices of skilled nursing providers, along with coalition partners like the American Hospital Association, will hopefully have been heard by CMS and […]

Nursing Home Operators Optimistic About CMS Survey Testing, But Devil Lies in the Details

Potential changes to the nursing home survey process being mulled over by federal authorities – and aimed at standardization across states – have many operators feeling optimistic for the years ahead, especially given that regional differences in implementation can lead to extra administrative burdens and survey backlogs. Toward the end of 2023, the Centers for […]

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 […]

Nursing Home Associations: HHS Needs To Do Its Part to Boost Vaccine Uptake as Latest CDC Data Shows Lags

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its Secretary, Xavier Becerra, need to “do its part” to increase Covid vaccination rates among nursing home residents, starting with easing logistical issues that continue to be barriers to uptake. That’s according to LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan, who also cited the benefits of […]

Bipartisan Legislation Aims to Block CMS Staffing Proposal – Most Recently With Senate Bill

Legislation to block the nursing home minimum staffing proposal gained major traction this week, as a bill introduced on the Senate floor late Tuesday received more bipartisan support. Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) led the way with the Protecting Rural Seniors’ Access to Care Act, which aims to stop the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services […]

Nursing Homes Must Advocate for Medicaid Increases, as States Work En Masse to Rebase Rates

The past year or two have seen big wins in terms of increased Medicaid funding for nursing homes – a welcome relief as the sector faces staffing shortages amid a looming minimum staffing proposal, higher inflationary costs and rising acuity of resident needs. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) […]

‘Deeply Flawed’: LPNs Speak Out On Their Exclusion from Nursing Home Staffing Proposal

As advocacy efforts to oppose the federal government’s proposed staffing mandate continue, the National Association for Licensed Practical Nurses (NALPN) is lending its voice towards the withdrawal of the mandate by sharing a joint letter it sent to the federal agency. The role of licensed practical nurses (LPNs) has been chopped off from the proposal, […]

CMS Flooded With Staggering 40K-Plus Comments on Nursing Home Staffing Mandate

More than two months after the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its minimum staffing proposal for the skilled nursing industry, commentary from stakeholders came to a close Monday with a staggering 40,000-plus comments received. Reviewing the hefty load of comments on the proposal may take as long as a year, according to […]

Nearly 100 House Members Ratchet Up Pressure on CMS to Scrap Nursing Home Staffing Mandate 

Nearly 100 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reconsider the proposed federal nursing home staffing mandate. The lawmakers on Friday sent a letter to CMS describing their concerns with the mandate. “Finalizing this proposal would result in limited access to care for seniors, […]

Nursing Home Providers Face Long Road to Rebuild ‘Trust Equity’ Among Staff, Leaders, Agencies

Nursing home staff’s trust in their leaders and federal health care agencies eroded during the worst of the pandemic – and the rebuild will be slow going. Industry executives and advocacy leaders, who said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have been unable […]

Nursing Home Leaders Support House Bill To Defeat CMS’ ‘Cookie-Cutter’ Minimum Staffing Proposal

A Congressional bill that aims to defeat the Biden Administration’s minimum staffing proposal began making rounds last week, and nursing home executives, including clinical team members attending the industry’s largest annual gathering in Denver, hailed it as a welcome development. If passed, the bill could keep the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) from […]

Biden as ‘Union President’: Organized Labor’s Interests Are Baked Into Proposed Minimum Staffing Rule For Nursing Homes

A component of the minimum staffing proposal that has received little notice thus far is that labor unions may have some weight in determining the staffing levels needed for a particular building. This feature was the source of discussion among attendees at the annual conference for the American Health Care Association and National Center for […]

Inside the I-SNP Journey: Nursing Home Operators Unlock Promise of Medicare Advantage with 3 Different Models  

As nursing home organizations adjust to a changing environment of reimbursement, Medicare Advantage Institutional Special Needs Plans (I-SNPs) are undergoing rapid growth, with operators pursuing distinct strategies meant to realize financial and operational gains. The benefits of an I-SNP can range from more control over quality, happier clinical staff, reduced administrative burdens, improved compensation and […]

AHCA CEO: Nursing Home Policy Nightmare Just Starting, Business Nightmare Persists — But Clinical Nightmare Over

The “clinical nightmare” created by Covid-19 has come to an end, but the “business nightmare” related to the pandemic is ongoing, and the “policy nightmare” has only just begun. That’s according to Mark Parkinson, CEO and president of the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), the largest nursing home provider association in […]

Nursing Home Leaders Relieved Pending Legislative Issues Won’t Stall as Government Shutdown Is Averted

A government shutdown has been temporarily averted – for 45 days at least – after Congress passed a stopgap bill Saturday evening. And while skilled nursing and other long-term care operators and their reimbursements would not have been immediately impacted, the industry could have seen indirect ramifications. So for now, the sector – whose members […]

AHCA CEO: Staffing Mandate Proposal ‘Inherently Flawed,’ with ‘Complete Disrespect’ to LPNs Puzzling

The federal minimum staffing proposal was rushed through and is “inherently flawed” to a degree that makes it possible to defeat, according to the chief of the nation’s largest nursing home association. In a wide ranging conversation at the Skilled Nursing News (SNN) RETHINK conference in Chicago last week, Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of […]