Providers Must Target Rehab Contracts, Cash Flows Now Ahead of PDPM

As skilled nursing providers start preparing for the new Medicare payment model, they need to zero in on how much money they’re making now on the various services they provide. Specifically, they need to brush up on their ICD-10 codes, which will play a key part in the setting of their reimbursement rate, as well […]

NY Times: Lower Census Causing Hundreds of Nursing Homes to Close Each Year

The New York Times covered the issues stemming from declining nursing home occupancy on Friday, detailing how shrinking numbers of residents has led to empty beds and hundreds of closures. Nicholas Castle, a researcher at the University of Pittsburgh, told the Times that 200 to 300 nursing homes close in the United States each year. […]

Skilled Nursing Must Look Past Schools, Government to Solve Workforce Shortage

Staffing shortages in skilled nursing facilities made national headlines last month, but the dearth of workers and registered nurses have been a headache for nursing homes for years now. Some of the fixes can range from bonuses for hard-to-staff shifts to higher-level partnerships with local businesses and governments. But one thing is clear: The problem […]

Uncertainty Surrounds New ‘Arbitrary’ Skilled Nursing Payment Rules

Early reactions to the finalized skilled nursing payment rules from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are in, with one leading provider group issuing a stark warning about the days ahead. “While the skilled nursing profession welcomes a new payment model, we are concerned with the language in this rule about the Patient-Driven […]

RNs Top List of Most In-Demand Jobs Across All Sectors in 2018

A shortage of qualified workers continues to plague the skilled nursing sector, and recent data from job board Monster backs it up. According to a new report from the Weston, Mass.-based online classifieds company, job openings for registered nurses were the most popular type of position posted during the first half of 2018. The health care […]

Nursing Homes Should Focus on Dining To Boost Resident Experience

A skilled nursing facility can bolster resident quality of life by focusing on its dining, a study from the LeadingAge LTSS Center @UMass Boston suggests. That’s according to Natasha Bryant, senior research associate at the LTSS Center, who worked on a study that examined the impact of a person-centered care approach and household model on resident life […]

Providers Strike Back at Lawmakers’ Call for Tighter Regulations

The skilled nursing industry pushed back strongly against the idea that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has reduced federal oversight of nursing homes, as argued recently by 17 state attorneys general. “There was no rollback of anything,” Dr. David Gifford, senior vice president of quality and regulatory affairs at the American Health […]

Nobody Applies to More than Half of Long-Term Care Jobs in Wisconsin

Long-term care operators around the country have dealt with a lack of qualified workers for some time now, and leaders in one Midwestern state say it’s escalated to a full-blown crisis. Nearly 20% of caregiver positions in Wisconsin are currently unfilled, as compared to about 14.5% just two years ago, according to a report released […]

Providers Push Back Against MedPAC’s ‘Blunt’ Proposed Cuts

The most recent report from the Medicare Payment Advisory commission (MedPAC) claims that skilled nursing reimbursements are too high, but one leading trade group says MedPAC’s own numbers paint a much bleaker picture. Data in the report showed that the total margins for freestanding skilled nursing facilities were 0.7% in 2016, down from 1.6% in 2015. […]

Provider Organizations Express Concerns With Bundled Payments Program

Not allowing post-acute care (PAC) providers to take the lead in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Advanced (BPCI Advanced) program will hamstring the government’s ability to improve savings and care, several associations argued in a letter to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI). LeadingAge and other prominent long-term care associations raised concerns about […]

Industry Responds to Democrats’ Call for Skilled Nursing Scrutiny

In a Valentine’s Day letter to top health officials, a group of influential Senate Democrats asked the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to reconsider certain rollbacks of nursing home regulations. In response, a leading industry group on Wednesday wrote back to the senators to clarify and rebut some of their points. “We think […]

HHS Proposes New Payment System for Skilled Nursing Providers

The new proposed Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) budget was released on Monday, and it’s a mixed bag for skilled nursing providers. President Trump’s spending blueprint would make changes to Medicaid by creating a “market-based health-care grant” that could fund programs in addition to the traditional Medicaid program — a change that would […]

Senate Budget Plan Cuts $2 Billion from Skilled Nursing Facilities

UPDATE: The Senate’s spending bill has passed both houses of Congress, and President Trump signed it into law Friday morning. Should the Senate’s attempt at passing a two-year budget succeed, skilled nursing operators could be in for another serious financial hit. “We are disappointed that the Senate budget proposal includes a $2 billion cut to […]

Non-Profit Texas SNFs Forced to Close Amid Low Medicaid Rates

Morningside Ministries, a not-for-profit organization in San Antonio, Texas, that provides senior housing and care services, closed its Chandler Estate nursing home rather than risk lowering the quality of care under pressure from the state’s Medicaid system. The nursing home is slated to lock its doors this month, according to the San Antonio Express-News. And Morningside […]

Nursing Home Wages Trend Lower Than in Senior Living

Hourly wages for nursing home employees who provide direct care and services tend to be lower than wages for the same job titles in assisted living facilities and continuing care retirement communities, recent survey findings show. But salaries for leadership titles and director positions did not follow the same trend. A staff nurse (RN) in […]

Could Trump’s Religious Objection Guidance Create SNF Turmoil?

On first glance, the Department of Health and Human Services’ new guidance on personal religious beliefs might not appear to affect the long-term care industry. Years from now, however, it could play an integral role in the way SNFs operate and staff facilities. When the government rolled out its two-pronged approach last week — establishing […]

Florida Nursing Homes Agree to Softened Rules on Backup Power

The Florida skilled nursing industry has collectively agreed to a modified rule that requires operators in the state to have access to backup electricity sources in the event of a power outage. The decision concludes months of discussion among skilled nursing providers and the state legislature regarding a rule proposed by Gov. Rick Scott following […]