‘This Isn’t Realistic’: Nursing Homes Decry Exemptions Process for CMS Staffing Mandate Amid Survey Backlogs 

In the midst of the nursing home sector staging a legal fight against the federal government’s staffing mandate, an important consideration at play is the backlog of survey inspections that could significantly impact the attainment of exemptions from the minimum staffing requirements. It has been well documented that a shortage of surveyors has led to […]

[UPDATED] ‘A Nightmare’: AHCA Files Lawsuit Against Federal Nursing Home Staffing Mandate

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) filed a lawsuit late Thursday against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for exceeding their statutory authority and “arbitrarily and capriciously issuing” a final minimum staffing rule. The lawsuit asks the court to issue an order and […]

‘A Promising Upturn’: LTC Execs Eye Investments as Sector Fundamentals Improve, But Oppose Nursing Home Staffing Rule 

Amid a better climate for federal and state reimbursements, higher profit margins and rising occupancy rates, LTC Properties (NYSE: LTC) executives said Tuesday that the nursing home industry is on target for robust growth. And while the California-based real estate investment trust (REIT) spent 2023 on portfolio adjustments, the key focus for 2024 will be […]

[UPDATED] CMS Proposes 4.1% Increase to Medicare Payments, While Expanding Monetary Penalties

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its proposed rule that updates Medicare payment policies and rates for skilled nursing facilities under the Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System for fiscal year 2025. CMS also proposed to expand the penalties that can be imposed through regulatory revision to allow for more per instance […]

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 […]

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 […]

Top Trends That Will Shape the Skilled Nursing Sector in 2024

Margins squeezed by interest rates and inflation, staffing shortages amid a draconian staffing mandate proposal, an invasion of Medicare Advantage and mixed efforts at adapting to Minimum Data Set (MDS) changes are among a litany of the challenges facing the skilled nursing sector at the start of 2024. However, all is not doom and gloom […]

Nursing Homes’ Letter to CMS Calls Out Lack of Teeth – and Clarity – in Final Rule’s Medicare Advantage Reform

In order to keep Medicare Advantage plans in check for denial of services, provider organizations are pressuring federal authorities to do more, and asking them to closely monitor and aggressively enforce reforms for these plans as envisioned in a final rule that takes effect on Jan. 1. Companies managing MA plans have said they don’t […]

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) […]

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 […]

Moving Forward Coalition Members Discuss Nursing Home Staffing Issues, Action Plans

As the comment period for the federal government’s staffing proposal winds down, advocates for both nursing homes and residents alike are looking at ways to reach a middle ground. Among these advocates for measured change are members of the Moving Forward Coalition – an organization formed in April 2022 following the National Academies of Sciences, […]

LTC Leaders: Bank Caution on SNFs Drives Opportunity, Operators Poised for Margin Improvement

Leaders with LTC Properties (NYSE: LTC) see opportunity in a fluctuating bank lending environment, with maturities coming due for operators at a brisk pace and interest rate increases causing a fair amount of anxiety among operators and some lenders. This environment favors real estate investment trusts (REITs) like LTC, which maintain a conservative investment strategy […]

Marquis CEO Fogg: Negotiating Power with Medicare Advantage, Big-Picture Staffing Strategy Key for Nursing Homes’ Future

The proposed federal staffing mandate is a potential “kill factor” for nursing home providers, while the rise of Medicare Advantage (MA) is a “major challenge” — and how well the sector responds to these threats will play a major part in shaping the future. This is the perspective of Phil Fogg Jr., CEO of Marquis […]

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 […]

AHCA: Staffing Proposal to Cost $6.8B Per Year, Create Access Issues for Nearly One Quarter of Nursing Home Residents

More than 280,000 residents, or nearly a quarter of all residents, could be impacted by the staffing mandate – if nursing home operators have no choice but to reduce their census in order to meet hourly requirements. The proposed federal mandate would require an estimated 102,154 additional full-time employees. That’s 80,077 certified nursing assistants (CNAs) […]

The Future of Nursing Homes: CEOs of Brickyard, Bartley, HDG Talk Medicare Advantage, AI and Staffing Proposal

The landscape at skilled nursing facilities is evolving rapidly, influenced by factors such as changing regulations, workforce challenges, and the rise of Medicare Advantage, and the minimum staffing proposal only complicates matters. This view was expressed by industry leaders in the opening session of the Skilled Nursing News’ RETHINK conference Wednesday. Panelists – Wesley Rogers, […]

‘Bad Policy’: Despite Appeals Changes, Civil Monetary Penalty Rule Still Hurting Aide Training at Nursing Homes

While nearly 21% of nursing homes across the country have developed nurse aide training programs to combat workforce shortages, civil monetary policy rules have severely hindered efforts to rebuild the workforce. Such training programs are revoked for two years, or cannot be initiated, if a SNF has been issued a CMP in excess of $11,995, […]