Increased Skilled Nursing Facility Spending Tied to Health Systems’ Higher Telemedicine Use 

Hospital systems that had high telemedicine usage during the Covid-19 pandemic also had higher skilled nursing facility spending, compared to health systems with lower telemedicine usage in that time period. That’s according to research findings published April 17 in Health Affairs. Specifically, compared with health systems defined as having low telemedicine use, high-telemedicine health systems […]

Industry Critics Blast ‘Tremendously Unfunded’ CMS Nursing Home Staffing Mandate, Warn of Severe Access Issues

As the nursing home industry finally gets a first look at the long-awaited proposed minimum staffing mandate released early Friday, leaders across the sector say that its most critical aspects deal with implementation timing, a “good faith” provision, and requirements for registered nurses (RNs). As it stands, the proposed rule has major implications for access […]

NYT: Why Nursing Homes Get ‘D’ Grade for Lackluster Covid-19 Performance

Even as 60,000 nursing home and long-term care residents died from Covid in the first five months of the pandemic, antiviral treatments for the virus only reached one in five nursing home residents. These grim statistics plagued the sector despite medical guidelines calling for the prompt administering of antiviral treatments to patients that were at […]

Genworth, Curve Health Founder Partner to ‘Redefine’ How Consumers Find Skilled Nursing, Other Services

Insurance giant Genworth (GNW) has teamed with Timothy Peck — the entrepreneur behind Call9 and Curve Health — on a startup meant to redefine the way older adults connect with skilled nursing and other long-term services and supports. Currently, when older adults and their loved ones are in need, they must start to navigate a […]

Nursing Home Industry Takes National Stage Again as House Hearing Skewers For-Profit Ownership

The nursing home industry was thrust back into the national spotlight this week as federal lawmakers called out for-profit ownership for their lack of resources during the early months of the pandemic and confounding corporate structures. The Congressional Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, chaired by Rep. James Clyburn, held a hearing on Wednesday to […]

Higher Nursing Home Staff Vaccination Rates Linked to Fewer COVID-19 Cases, Deaths

While recent court injunctions have suspended the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) COVID-19 vaccine mandate for the time being, new evidence shows that nursing home staff vaccination rates may have ramifications on the resident population they serve. In fact, nursing homes with the lowest staff vaccination rates had more than two times the […]

Nursing Homes Must Expect 3-Day Rule, Other CMS Requirements Will Return

Skilled nursing facilities have benefited from some Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rule changes that came into effect over the pandemic — but providers should expect these waivers to be removed. While provisions related to telehealth might be lasting, Harvard Medical School Healthcare Policy Professor Dr. David Grabowski does not expect some of […]

Stiffer Fines, CARES Act Audits: What Nursing Homes Can Expect from the Biden Administration

Newly inaugurated President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, will likely bring an uptick in enforcement and an increased focus on compliance from the agency as political scrutiny turns to long-term care facilities, where an estimated 40% of COVID-19 deaths have so far occurred. Becerra, the current […]

House Briefing: COVID-19 in Nursing Homes ‘Blasted the Doors Open of a System that Was Already Failing’

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the nursing home sector and exposed endemic flaws in the long-term care system in the U.S., several witnesses testified before members of the House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee in a video briefing held Thursday. The Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis heard testimony from a range of witnesses on the […]

Without Funding and Resources, CMS’s New Nursing Home Testing Guidance ‘Hollow’

Without the funds and the resources needed to meet COVID-19 testing recommendations, the federal government’s guidance on reopening nursing homes could create more confusion for skilled nursing facilities — and more challenges on top of the considerable strain they already face in combating the spread of the illness. “At a high level, I really think […]

Officials Eye Nursing Homes as Failsafe for Overloaded Hospitals During Coronavirus Spread

A sweeping ban on nursing home visits dominated headlines both inside and outside the industry over the weekend, but buried in the federal government’s recent emergency COVID-19 guidelines was a waiver of the three-day hospital stay rule for Medicare skilled nursing coverage. Under normal conditions, a Medicare beneficiary must remain in the hospital for three […]

‘Under Siege’ for Years, SNFs Face Uphill Battle for Respect Under New Payment Models

Though skilled nursing facilities have experienced significant pain under the structures of alternative payment models such as accountable care organizations (ACOs), they still have the opportunity to show value. But it’s something of an uphill road, according to Harvard Medical School professor and Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) member David Grabowski. “I absolutely think that […]

Immigration Crackdown Could Hurt Skilled Nursing Operators Beyond Staffing

The current presidential administration’s hard-line stance on immigration has caused serious concerns among health care employers, as any efforts that could shrink the available pool of workers will only exacerbate persistent workforce pressures. But in addition to representing a sizable chunk of the average nursing home’s staff, immigrant workers also contribute more to the trust […]

Bundled Payments Save Money ‘Nearly Exclusively’ By Cutting Skilled Nursing

A key mandatory bundled payment program saved the government money almost entirely through the reduction of skilled nursing facility reimbursements, a new study from researchers at Harvard University concluded. Between 2016 and 2017, the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) bundled payment model resulted in spending reductions of $1,084 per episode, the team concluded; after […]

Care Coordination in ACOs Might Not Actually Drive Savings

Accountable care organizations (ACOs) are built on a basic premise: By working together, providers across the health care continuum can save Medicare money and boost quality. But the largest share of the savings may simply come from shifting patients out of skilled nursing and home health settings, a new study suggests — and not on […]