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 […]

With Covid Cases on the Rise in Nursing Homes, Related Deaths Up 80% in August

Covid cases and deaths saw a dramatic jump in August, following a pattern of consistent increases over the summer. This is according to the latest data issued Thursday by the AARP Nursing Home Covid-19 Dashboard, which tracks monthly data on the number of Covid cases, Covid-related deaths and vaccination records. “After months of decline from […]

ACO Announcements Add to Existing Skilled Nursing Pressures

Value-based arrangements generate much of their savings by shifting spending away from the post-acute setting, according to recent government announcements. That ups the already-high pressure on skilled nursing facilities to lower patient length of stay while maintaining quality of care. To cope, they’ll have to make themselves invaluable to both referral sources and payers who […]

CMS Officially Scraps Mandatory Cardiac Bundles

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Thursday finalized the cancellation of the mandatory hip fracture and cardiac bundled payment models, and in the same move, also implemented changes to the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model. Specifically, CMS is reducing the number of mandatory geographic areas participating in the CJR model, […]

Lawsuit Alleges Growing Trend of Improper Discharges at CA SNFs

At 83 years old, California resident Gloria Single is shining a light on what she and her allies believe is a growing issue at skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in the state: the illegal “dumping,” or eviction, of residents. In March 2017, Single was evicted from Pioneer House in Sacramento, with no warning. Pioneer House—a SNF […]

Skilled Nursing Providers Slash Antipsychotic Use 34%

Efforts to improve comprehensive dementia care and reduce antipsychotic use in long-term care are paying off, with skilled nursing facilities exceeding goals set five years ago. But SNFs that still have high rates of antipsychotic use now have to meet a new benchmark established by the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). As part of its National […]

CMS Suspends Skilled Nursing Reporting Rules in Harvey’s Wake

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Thursday announced an emergency suspension of Medicare quality reporting requirements for skilled nursing and other health care facilities affected by Hurricane Harvey. Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) located in 32 Texas counties and five Louisiana parishes will be automatically granted exceptions for submitting Quality Reporting Program data […]

New CMS Website Offers Tool for Patients Seeking Hospice Care

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched a new tool meant to help patients and their families find hospice care that best suits their needs. Hospice Compare is a new website that displays metrics related to the quality of care that a hospice provider delivers to its patients. The site is part of the CMS […]

CMS Finalizes $180 Million Medicare Increase for Hospices

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a final rule setting fiscal year 2018 payment rates for hospices. In keeping with current law, the market basket percentage increase is 1% for hospices in FY 2018. That equates to a $180 million aggregate increase in their payments in FY 2018. The hospice payment […]

Patients Find SNF Selection After a Hospital Stay ‘Crazy’

When it comes to choices about health care, seniors should have as much information as possible to make educated decisions. Yet for the more than 20 percent of Medicare-using seniors who are admitted to skilled nursing facilities following a hospital stay, decisions have to be made quickly and with very limited information, according to a […]