Nursing Home Industry Targets RN Staffing, PPE Stockpiles in Reform Pitch — But Ownership Untouched for Now

The two largest trade groups for nursing homes proposed a policy agenda to address the systemic issues in the sector illuminated by COVID-19, with reforms centered on improving nursing hours, staff retention and infection control — in addition to increasing reimbursement from Medicaid, the largest payer for nursing home care, to cover the costs. The […]

Nursing Homes Navigate an Uncertain Vaccine Future as Federal Program Wraps Up

Skilled nursing facilities were given clear vaccine opportunities through the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care program, which provided three on-site clinics at facilities across the country — with the goal of providing the two-dose inoculations to as many residents and staff as possible. Now that the third vaccination clinics are wrapping up in most […]

AHCA, LeadingAge Set Target of 75% Nursing Home Staff Vaccination Rate by June

Two of the largest trade associations for nursing homes announced a goal of vaccinating approximately 75% of the roughly 1.5 million nursing home workers across the U.S. by the end of June. The American Health Care Association (AHCA), which represents more than 14,000 primarily for-profit nursing homes and long-term care facilities, and LeadingAge, which represents […]

Promises, Questions Abound as Azar Floats Christmas Vaccination Target for Nursing Home Residents

The emergency use authorization (EUA) granted to Pfizer’s (NYSE: PFE) COVID-19 vaccine late on Friday launched a flurry of promises and commitments to get the vaccine out to vulnerable long-term care residents as quickly as possible. Alex Azar, the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) suggested on Sunday in an interview […]

2021 Will See ‘Many Facilities Fail’ Without Federal, State Help

Nursing home and senior living providers in the not-for-profit sector are facing significant strains from the surge in COVID-19 nationwide. Leading into the Thanksgiving holiday, operators are pleading with those in the community to refrain from gathering amid challenges both operational and financial. “Nursing homes really are at the brink,” Deke Cateau, the CEO of […]

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 […]

As CMS Cracks Down on Nursing Home Testing, Questions Remain on Logistics: ‘You Cannot Fine Your Way Out of a Pandemic’

The federal government last week cracked down on COVID-19 testing in nursing homes, with a host of new fines exceeding $8,000 per instance, but some industry leaders — and a prominent geriatrician — have raised concerns about whether providers can meet the new benchmarks, or whether the plan will have the intended effects. “You cannot […]

One Nursing Home’s Fines Can Become Another Facility’s Technology — But With Strings Attached

With COVID-19 forcing skilled nursing facilities to drastically restrict visitation, technology and virtual communication have emerged as critical tools to maintain social ties between residents and their loved ones. And there are federal funds — collected from facilities deemed to have run afoul of various rules — available to help SNFs bolster their technological offerings. […]

As Officials Fear Second COVID-19 Wave Amid Reopening, Many Providers Still Dealing with First

The U.S. has begun to take tentative steps towards reopening, with states moving at their own pace out of the COVID-19-induced lockdowns — raising concerns about the risks of a possible second surge of cases. But LeadingAge, which represents non-profit senior housing and care providers, warned starkly on Wednesday that senior living and skilled nursing […]

‘Talk to Your Governor’ Not Enough to Support Nursing Homes as Value of One-Time Testing Comes into Question

Senior housing and care leaders again called on the federal government to more aggressively bankroll COVID-19 testing in the nation’s nursing homes, arguing that the burden will be ongoing — especially since an already expensive one-time testing strategy may not be an instant cure-all. Given recommendations from the White House and Centers for Medicare & […]

Rethink Podcast #27: Katie Smith Sloan of LeadingAge

LeadingAge CEO Katie Smith Sloan has been outspoken in her calls for increased government support for nursing homes and other senior care providers amid the COVID-19 crisis. As the case count continues to rise and operators face down a new normal with coronavirus at the center of every decision they make, Sloan has loudly and […]

Plan to Reopen Nursing Homes ‘Virtually Impossible’ with Current Testing, PPE Capacity

The federal government last week cautiously began laying formal groundwork for reopening the nation’s nursing homes, which have been under COVID-19 lockdown orders since the middle of March. But many experts both inside and outside the industry have asserted that nursing facilities can’t even think about returning to normalcy without substantially more financial and material […]