Skilled Nursing Executive Outlook: ‘Question of Nursing Homes’ Viability Will Continue’ in 2020

Though the early days of 2020 have brought some optimism around the state of the post-acute and long-term care industry, executives in the space continue to emphasize that the coming 12 months could bring make-or-break decisions for operators and their partners. One day after American Health Care Association (AHCA) CEO Mark Parkinson told SNN that […]

As Providers Warn of ‘Broad Negative Impact,’ CMS Extends Comment Period on Medicaid Supplement Crackdown

The federal government extended the deadline for providers — both acute and post-acute — to comment on a proposed rule that would crack down on supplemental payment programs under Medicaid. The new deadline is February 1, pushed back about two weeks from the original end date of January 17. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid […]

Therapy’s PDPM Paradox: Clinicians Have More Control, But Smaller Rehab Staffs Needed for Now

The new Medicare payment model for nursing homes took effect this week with a bang, as therapists across the nation criticized a wave of staffing reductions in the immediate wake of the October 1 start date. Several companies implemented workforce cuts as the federal government shifted to the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), which moves incentives […]

Bill to Ease Skilled Nursing Staffing Woes Receives Another Chance in Congress

A bipartisan pair of lawmakers on Wednesday introduced a bill that its supporters say would ease persistent staffing strains on the nation’s nursing home operators. The Nursing Home Workforce Quality Act would remove a mandatory two-year ban on certified nursing assistant (CNA) training that the federal government currently levies on skilled nursing facilities that have […]

PDPM Could Create Risk-Sharing Opportunities, Headaches for Skilled Nursing

Risk-sharing has loomed large in health care reform efforts over the last decade, and the new Medicare payment model for skilled nursing facilities could open up additional avenues for operators to take control — along with pointed questions from partners along the spectrum. The Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) marks a step toward a long-teased site-neutral […]

Skilled Nursing Dealmakers Could Be Overlooking PDPM’s Potential for ‘Biggest Year’ in Decades

The market will still need to determine whether the new Medicare reimbursement structure for nursing homes will be a net positive or negative for the industry, but at least one insider says buyers and sellers in the space aren’t optimistic enough. Current prices for skilled nursing facilities don’t typically account for the potential of cost […]

CMS Could Release Monthly List of Special Focus Candidates After Senators’ Report

Federal officials could soon begin releasing a previously undisclosed list of underperforming nursing homes targeted for potential inclusion in the Special Focus Facility program, SNN has learned. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) roster of “candidates” for Special Focus Facility status became public on Monday, when a bipartisan pair of senators released the […]

‘Medicare for All’ Plan Would Expand Coverage for LTC — But Nursing Homes Stay Under Medicaid

Sen. Bernie Sanders this week introduced a bill to create a single-payer health care system for the U.S., a plan that includes long-term care in its scope — but keeps coverage for institutional nursing home care under Medicaid. The legislation would ensure that the so-called “Medicare for All” plan would include benefits for at-home long-term […]

CMMI Could Put Post-Acute Providers Back in Control of Bundled Payments

The leader of the federal government’s center for reimbursement innovation said he is considering bundled payment models where post-acute care providers could take the lead on care — but right now it’s only at the consideration stage. Adam Boehler, who leads the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI), said that there has been significant […]

Baby Boomers May Prefer Residential Care Over Home Health: Survey

A new survey of older Baby Boomers goes against some of the common perceptions about what adults in the 60-to-72 age bracket want as they get older — and depending on their circumstances, that could include skilled nursing care. The survey was conducted by LeadingAge, a group which represents non-profit senior living providers, in conjunction […]

Lawmakers Again Take Aim at ‘Observation Stay’ Rules for Medicare SNF Coverage

A bipartisan coalition of federal lawmakers this week took another stab at clarifying the rules regarding a frequently confusing aspect of skilled nursing coverage under Medicare. Under the terms of the proposed legislation, the Improving Access to Medicare Coverage Act of 2019, so-called “observation stays” would count toward the three days of inpatient acute care […]

ICD-10 Coding Will Be Crucial Under PDPM — But SNFs Don’t Need to Become Experts

The Medicare payment model taking effect on October 1 this year represents a sea change for skilled nursing providers in that patient condition, rather than therapy minutes, will drive reimbursement. It also represents a sea change in the mechanics of reimbursement. Under the Patient-Driven Payment Model, ICD-10 codes will form the basis of reimbursements, making […]

Report Revives Potential for Massive Medicaid Cuts Through Block Grants

A plan to fundamentally change the way the federal government funds Medicaid — which could lead to hundreds of billions in cuts — may be back on the table after seemingly dying two years ago. The Trump administration is currently mulling ways to convert Medicaid to a block-grant system, Politico reported late last week, reviving […]

CMS Implements Stricter Nursing Home Staffing Survey Rules for States

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced Friday that it will use payroll-based journal (PBJ) data to bolster state oversight of nursing homes, effective immediately. Specifically, CMS will use PBJ data to identify and provide state survey agencies with a list of nursing homes that have several days in a quarter without a registered […]

Lessons from Medicare Cuts to Skilled Nursing Go Beyond Winners, Losers

At face value, the statistics look grim: Nearly three-quarters of the nation’s skilled nursing facilities will see pay cuts in 2019 under the government’s value-based purchasing (VBP) program after failing to reach mandated readmission benchmarks. But the numbers themselves don’t tell the full story, according to players in the long-term health care space. Based on […]

CMS Highlights Key Areas of Skilled Nursing Enforcement, Improvement

Improving surveys, clarifying nursing facilities’ reporting requirements, and providing more detail on citations are some of the current top priorities for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Karen Tritz, director of the Division of Nursing Homes in CMS’ Quality and Safety Oversight Group, walked through several policies and their status in a presentation […]