25% of Nursing Homes Report at Least One Point-of-Care False COVID Positive as CMS Probes Reasons Why

About a quarter of nursing homes have seen at least one false positive COVID-19 result during an ongoing federal push to provide point-of-care antigen testing at most facilities across the country, according to an industry-led survey. “We found that about 20-25 percent of SNFs had a positive antigen test result later found to be incorrect […]

Point-of-Care COVID Test Manufacturer BD Investigating False Positives in Nursing Homes: Report

Becton Dickinson, which manufactures one of two point-of-care COVID-19 testing models that the federal government has sent directly to nursing homes, is investigating claims of false positives in the long-term care setting, the Wall Street Journal reported this week. The American Health Care Association, which represents more than 14,000 primarily for-profit nursing facilities across the […]

AHCA’s Parkinson: Long-Term Care Sector Needs to Face Infection Control Problems

The COVID-19 pandemic blindsided the skilled nursing sector when it hit in late winter and early spring this year, but the field has to be willing to acknowledge pre-existing problems with infection control and make changes accordingly. That’s according to Mark Parkinson, the leader of the nursing home trade group the American Health Care Association […]

Parkinson: Don’t Assume Most Recent $5 Billion ‘the End of It’ for Nursing Home Aid

Even though the federal government has released the full details behind the most recent $5 billion tranche of aid for nursing homes, set to last through December, operators shouldn’t necessarily think that the support will end there. Citing $50 billion still left in the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) coronavirus relief coffers, American […]

HHS Expands Coverage of Point-of-Care Tests for Nursing Home COVID-19 Screening, Superseding State Bans

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Monday that it is extending coverage for prescribing or administering point-of-care COVID-19 tests to screen for the illness in congregate settings such as skilled nursing facilities. The move overrules state directives that restrict or ban outright the use of such tests. The extension of coverage under […]

Parkinson: Test Nursing Home Staff Weekly Even if Not Required, Develop a Compliance Plan by Next Week

The leader of the largest trade group for U.S. nursing homes on Thursday advised operators to exceed new federal COVID-19 testing mandates whenever possible, while emphasizing the importance of planning for complying with the new regulations as soon as next week. “I would be testing, once a week, all staff. I would be doing that […]

Skilled Nursing M&A Remains Active: Investors Don’t ‘Have a Better Place to Put Their Money’

The ongoing pandemic has rightfully shifted attention away from dealmaking in the long-term and post-acute care space, but several leaders have expressed optimism that investors will support the sector moving forward — though the influx of federal cash keeping operators afloat could scramble valuation math for some time to come. With overall uncertainty in the […]

New Weekly Nursing Home COVID-19 Case Count Hits Record High

The number of new COVID-19 cases in nursing homes reported to the federal government at the end of July surpassed its previous high-water mark back in May, a new analysis from a leading trade group determined. The nation’s nursing facilities reported 9,715 confirmed COVID-19 infections during the week ended July 26, the American Health Care […]

Inside the Latest $5B in HHS Aid for Nursing Homes: Value-Based Competition, Stricter Testing Mandates

The federal government’s latest targeted coronavirus aid for nursing homes will consist of four separate programs, with a significant portion of the $5 billion price tag doled out based on operators’ performance in monthly value-based competitions. Of that pledged total, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will distribute half — or $2.5 billion […]

As Federal Government Rolls Out Point-of-Care Units, Not All States Allow Nursing Homes to Use Them

The federal government is in the midst of an aggressive plan to send point-of-care coronavirus tests to all of the nation’s more than 15,400 nursing homes — but individual state rules may prevent facilities from taking advantage of the program. “Due to the lower sensitivity and specificity of these test devices, not all state public […]

Price Tag for Testing All Nursing Home Residents, Staff for COVID-19 Once: $440 Million

The nation’s largest organization representing nursing homes on Wednesday pegged the one-time cost of testing each resident and staff member in the United States at $440 million, arguing that substantially more funding for long-term care will be necessary to meet more stringent testing mandates. The American Health Care Association arrived at that figure by adding […]

Aid Bill Would Pause MFAR Medicaid Crackdown During COVID-19, Boost Federal Match by 14%

House Democrats on Tuesday introduced a major aid package with a provision that would indefinitely delay the implementation of a controversial rule that imperiled billions in Medicaid funding for skilled nursing facilities. The bill also would boost the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), or Washington’s share of state Medicaid rates, by 14% — up from […]

Under Interim Final Rule, Mandatory COVID-19 Reporting for Nursing Homes to Begin This Week

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Friday released an interim final rule that, among other provisions, will require nursing homes to begin reporting detailed COVID-19 information to the federal government this week. While CMS and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) had previously announced the requirement — after weeks of […]

‘Patchwork’ Government COVID Response Put Long-Term Care Residents at Risk

While the federal government has provided sweeping guidelines for nursing homes in the fight against COVID-19, the state-level response has been wildly inconsistent, according to a new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation — a disconnect that may have increased the risks for vulnerable residents in certain areas. “This state-by-state approach to the COVID-19 pandemic […]

Parkinson Warns of State Reopening Plans’ Impact on Nursing Homes, Potential Medicare Relief Clawbacks

Citing current patterns of COVID-19 infection rates at nursing homes, the leader of the nation’s largest post-acute and long-term care association on Wednesday warned against states opening their economies too early — a move that he said could only worsen the crisis. “We are very concerned about states opening up too early for this simple […]