As Provider Relief Audits Loom and Scrutiny Increases, Tracing Dollars to Care Vital to Avoid Clawbacks

Health care providers that received more than $750,000 in federal awards from the federal coronavirus Provider Relief Funds (PRF) will face a single audit or program-specific audit, and they need to ensure that the funds are used in accordance with the federal government’s terms and conditions — especially since they can’t be classified as a […]

CMS Proposes Permanent Extension of Some Telehealth, Therapy Waivers After COVID-19 Emergency

The federal government on Monday introduced a proposed rule that would, if finalized, make permanent at least some of the emergency telehealth flexibilities implemented during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, while potentially allowing a greater frequency of remote nursing home interventions. President Trump on Monday signed an executive order requiring the Department of Health and Human […]

CMS Finalizes $750M Medicare Payment Boost for Nursing Homes in Fiscal 2021

The federal government on Friday finalized a previously proposed rule that will bring a 2.2% Medicare payment bump to the nation’s skilled nursing facilities. Under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) 2021 payment rule, facilities will see a total increase of $750 million in Medicare reimbursements over the next fiscal year, which begins […]

HHS Boosts Initial Nursing Home Testing Shipment by 400, Promises ‘Affirmative Action’ on Kits

The federal government is shipping 398 point-of-care COVID-19 testing devices to 384 skilled nursing facilities this week, along with 199,000 tests, with a continued focus on states with significant outbreaks, according to an update from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The shipments come on top of 654 testing instruments sent to 635 […]

HHS Issues Details on Reporting Requirements for Provider Relief Funds

The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) on Tuesday released details on the reporting requirements for companies that received federal money designated for health care providers grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. The notice of reporting requirements details the timing of future reporting for recipients of distributions from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF), created by […]

HHS to Send Additional $5B to Nursing Homes, Increase Staff Testing Requirements in Hotspots

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will be sending $5 billion to all skilled nursing facilities in the U.S, President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday. “Nursing homes in higher risk areas will be receiving more funding,” Trump said in his coronavirus briefing on Wednesday. “This money can be used to address critical needs, […]

First Round of Point-of-Care Tests for Nursing Homes Drops to 600 as HHS Announces Additional Priority Criteria

The federal government on Wednesday revealed more details about the prioritization of nursing homes that will receive point-of-care testing kits for COVID-19 under an ambitious new plan, with 600 set to be sent this week. In addition to targeting facilities with at least three or more confirmed or suspected cases in the last week, as […]

Antigen Testing for Nursing Homes ‘Great for Screening’ But Can’t Be Only Tool for Potential Outbreaks

Skilled nursing operators and infectious disease experts have expressed optimism about the government’s push to send point-of-care testing tools and test kits to facilities across the U.S. But they also emphasize that it’s one only tool among many that SNFs need to be deploying as they try to keep COVID-19 out of their facilities. The […]

Verma: CMS Wants to Partner with Nursing Homes, ‘Move Away’ from Focusing on Fines

The federal government’s top Medicare official this week emphasized a desire to work closely with leaders in the nursing home landscape, pointing to industry feedback as a key driver behind a sweeping plan to send point-of-care COVID-19 testing units to the nation’s nursing facilities. “CMS obviously has a regulatory function with nursing homes,” Centers for […]

Operators Greet Nursing Home COVID Testing Initiative with Cautious Optimism, Pointed Questions

One day after the federal government announced an ambitious plan to send point-of-care testing units for COVID-19 to all of the nation’s more than 15,000 nursing homes, leaders in the space expressed cautious optimism — while often emphasizing that they have more questions than firm answers. Starting next week, the Department of Health and Human […]

HHS to Provide 400 Tests as Part of Initial Nursing Home Round, with $25/Test Cost Afterwards

The federal government on Wednesday revealed more details about its ambitious effort to send point-of-care COVID-19 testing units and kits to every nursing home in the country, indicating that each facility will receive 400 tests to start with — and thereafter be able to secure subsequent tests for under $25 apiece through a “special concierge […]

Without a Waiver, Nursing Homes Won’t Receive Point-of-Care Testing Units Under New Federal Push

The federal government on Tuesday announced an ambitious plan to send point-of-care tests directly to every nursing facility in the country. But unless the building has a specific waiver allowing staffers to perform tests, the facility will not receive the tests, SNN has learned. Operators must secure a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) waiver in […]

Federal Government Will Send Point-of-Care COVID-19 Testing Units, Kits to All Nursing Homes in U.S. [Updated]

UPDATE, July 15: CMS and HHS on Wednesday provided more information about the initial roll-out of this program. Click here for the latest. The federal government on Tuesday announced that it would send point-of-care testing supplies for COVID-19 to all skilled nursing facilities in the country, starting next week, according to Admiral Brett Giroir, Assistant […]

Lawmakers Call on OIG to Investigate State Orders on Nursing Home Admissions of COVID-19 Patients

A pair of Republican lawmakers called on the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to investigate five states that ordered nursing homes to take in COVID-19 patients from the hospital. A pair of Republican lawmakers called on the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Inspector […]

HHS to Release $15B in COVID-19 Relief Funds to Medicaid Providers

The federal government on Tuesday announced a long-awaited tranche of financial relief for providers that rely solely on Medicaid reimbursements, setting aside $15 billion. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will release the funds to Medicaid providers that did not receive payments from the initial $50 billion in general allocations from the Provider […]

Regulatory Roundup: OSHA Hands Out First COVID-19 Citation to a Nursing Home, Azar Promises Investigation in PA

A nursing home in Georgia operated by Winder Nursing was the recipient of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) first citation related to COVID-19. The nursing home delayed reporting the work-related hospitalization of six workers who were infected, according to a May 18 citation first covered by ABC News. The hospitalizations occurred as early […]

HHS Strategic COVID-19 Testing Plan Includes Federal Support, But States Have to Execute

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Sunday released its “COVID-19 Strategic Testing Plan” to Congress, and argued that a targeted testing strategy “based on diagnosis, contact tracing, and smart surveillance” is the best solution to allow the country to emerge from pandemic-inducted lockdowns. The report, which was released as part of requirements […]