Life Care’s Response to Coronavirus: Visitor Screenings, Resident Testing, Self-Quarantines

Life Care Centers of America is tightening coronavirus prevention protocols with a heightened focus on visitor screenings, increased communication, and self-quarantines — as officials report that that 14 of the 17 COVID-19 deaths in Washington were related to its nursing facility in Kirkland, Wash. In the wake of the increased spread of the virus, the […]

No Exodus of Nursing Home Staff, Residents Amid Coronavirus Spread — But Supply Crunch May Be Coming

Concerns for the frailest nursing home patients are on the rise after the coronavirus has taken the lives of four nursing home residents in Washington state. But despite confusion and anxiety related to fears of a potential pandemic in the U.S., some long-term care communities are banding together to update health policies and offer support […]

Bill Would Expand Nursing Homes’ Access to Federal Background-Check Database

A new piece of legislation before Congress would expand nursing homes’ ability to perform detailed background checks on potential employees, according to its sponsor. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, earlier this week announced a bill to improve health care worker hiring practices in an effort to reduce elder abuse. The initiative — known […]

Rethink Podcast #11: AHCA President and CEO Mark Parkinson

The 11th episode of our podcast, Rethink, is now available! Between the release of a “secret” list of underperforming nursing homes and multiple hearings on Capitol Hill, the skilled nursing industry has found itself under the regulatory and media microscope for most of 2019.And for the most part, Mark Parkinson thinks that’s a good thing.The […]

Uncertainty Surrounds New ‘Arbitrary’ Skilled Nursing Payment Rules

Early reactions to the finalized skilled nursing payment rules from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are in, with one leading provider group issuing a stark warning about the days ahead. “While the skilled nursing profession welcomes a new payment model, we are concerned with the language in this rule about the Patient-Driven […]

New Skilled Nursing Payment Plan Shows CMS Listened to Providers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) shook the skilled nursing world last week by rolling out a proposal for a new payment model, replacing the structure that the industry had been anticipating for a year. But several experts say that operators should look at the changes as positive updates made with providers in […]

Providers Push Back Against MedPAC’s ‘Blunt’ Proposed Cuts

The most recent report from the Medicare Payment Advisory commission (MedPAC) claims that skilled nursing reimbursements are too high, but one leading trade group says MedPAC’s own numbers paint a much bleaker picture. Data in the report showed that the total margins for freestanding skilled nursing facilities were 0.7% in 2016, down from 1.6% in 2015. […]

Provider Organizations Express Concerns With Bundled Payments Program

Not allowing post-acute care (PAC) providers to take the lead in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced) program will hamstring the government’s ability to improve savings and care, several associations argued in a letter to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). LeadingAge and other prominent long-term care associations raised concerns about […]

When is the Skilled Nursing Wave Coming? Depends Who You Ask

Depending on whose earnings call you happened to catch this season, the predicted surge in demand for skilled nursing services is just around the corner — or it isn’t coming at all. At Omega Healthcare Investors (NYSE: OHI), management enlisted the services of two consulting firms to crunch the numbers on demographic trends over the […]

Benefits of Advanced Nursing Degrees Outweigh Staffing Squeeze

A landmark law in New York State could present additional challenges for skilled nursing providers, but major industry trade groups say that the potential benefits for residents could outweigh the staffing stress. Late last year, the Empire State passed a sweeping law that will require nurses to obtain Bachelor’s of Science in nursing degrees within […]

Senate Budget Plan Cuts $2 Billion from Skilled Nursing Facilities

UPDATE: The Senate’s spending bill has passed both houses of Congress, and President Trump signed it into law Friday morning. Should the Senate’s attempt at passing a two-year budget succeed, skilled nursing operators could be in for another serious financial hit. “We are disappointed that the Senate budget proposal includes a $2 billion cut to […]

Human Rights Group Alleges Rampant Unnecessary Drug Use in SNFs

Human Rights Watch (HRW), a non-governmental organization that publishes reports and briefings on human rights conditions in about 90 countries, on Monday released a report estimating that more than 179,000 people in U.S. nursing facilities are inappropriately given antipsychotic drugs. “The drugs’ use as a chemical restraint — for staff convenience or to discipline or […]

How Skilled Nursing Can Ride Out a Wave of Bad Press

For some, any press is good press. But this phrase isn’t true for the skilled nursing and senior care space, which is facing a wave of negative media attention — including a damning article in Time Magazine that brought to light major concerns of abusive behavior toward residents and binding arbitration contracts that left some […]

Judge Strikes Down Florida’s Generator Rule for SNFs

A judge has ruled that Florida Gov. Rick Scott cannot order skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) or assisted living communities to install generators, citing lack of emergency conditions. Administrative Law Judge Garnett Chisenhall of Florida’s Division of Administrative Hearings invalidated the rule on Oct. 27 on the grounds that Scott “failed to demonstrate the existence of an immediate […]

SNFs Renew Push to Change Three-Day Stay Rule

Skilled nursing facility (SNF) operators and industry advocates are urging the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to change a rule related to the way hospital stays are classified. The Observation Stays Coalition—a group formed in 2010 that includes organizations such as the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and AARP—is leading the charge against the […]

CMS Official: Focus on Intent of New SNF Regulations

Skilled nursing providers are trying to understand the details of sweeping new Medicare requirements and survey process changes. But SNFs should not get so preoccupied with the finer points that they lose sight of the fundamental goals that the Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) intends to achieve with the updates. “The main point […]

Arbitration Battle in SNFs Isn’t Just for Residents

Arbitration agreements between skilled nursing operators and residents have become a key battleground in the long-term care space, as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) seeks to roll back an Obama-era regulation that would have banned them. But the fight over arbitration clauses — which prevent parties from seeking legal remedies from disputes […]

Staff, Resident Outcomes Soar in Comfort-First Dementia Care Model

Beatitudes, a life plan community in Phoenix, Arizona, has become well known for how it provides dementia care, with articles appearing in The New York Times and other publications. That comfort-first approach is spreading throughout the country, with providers seeing better resident outcomes and operational performance in the model. Three not-for-profit New York City communities—Cobble […]