Skilled Nursing Facilities

Skilled nursing edges toward 90% occupancy, absorption rate makes first gain in nearly a decade, NIC data shows

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Skilled nursing facilities' occupancy rate continued to tick up in the first three months of 2014, while absorption flipped into positive territory for the first time in almost a decade, according to the latest quarterly figures from the National Investment Center for the Seniors Housing & Care Industry.

Senators press for SNF survey changes in light of adverse events report

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The skilled nursing facility survey process is failing to ensure resident safety and needs to be improved, two prominent senators said in a recent letter to the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Nurses who don't pay taxes or student loans could trigger penalties for SNFs, expert says

Nurses who don't pay taxes or student loans could trigger penalties for SNFs, expert says

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Registered nurses who default on a student loan or fail to pay taxes could put a skilled nursing facility in the crosshairs of federal fraud investigators, a compliance expert told an audience Sunday at the American College of Health Care Administrators annual meeting in Las Vegas.

Emergency prep rule for long-term care should specify amount of supplies to have on hand, advocacy group says

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Long-term care facilities should have specified amounts of fuel and supplies on hand as part of a forthcoming regulation on disaster preparedness, a prominent consumer advocacy group argues.

White House spending plan less than industry hoped for

White House spending plan less than industry hoped for

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In every White House budget, there are winners and losers. Unfortunately for providers, long-term care again falls into the latter category. All told, President Obama's $3.9 trillion spending plan for fiscal year 2015 would cut funding for healthcare by $402 billion over the next decade.

Senate passes 'doc fix' bill that links skilled nursing facility payments to hospital readmissions, delays ICD-10

Senate passes 'doc fix' bill that links skilled nursing facility payments to hospital readmissions, delays ICD-10

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Both houses of Congress now have passed legislation to tie skilled nursing facility Medicare reimbursements to hospital readmissions, starting in 2018. The Senate approved the "Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014" in a 64 to 35 vote Monday evening. Prominent long-term care provider associations LeadingAge and the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living supported the bill.

CMS is failing to ensure that terminated skilled nursing facilities and other providers are not billing Medicaid, watchdog agency says

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services needs to do a better job of ensuring that terminated Medicaid providers in a particular state, including skilled nursing facilities, don't reappear in another state, according to a new government report.

RACs recovered $8,000 from skilled nursing facilities, $2.3 billion overall in 2012, report shows

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Medicare recovery audit contractors collected about $8,000 in fiscal year 2012 through a skilled nursing facility claims review pilot, according to a recently released annual report to Congress.

Large number of hospitalizations could be prevented for cognitively impaired residents on feeding tubes, researchers find

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Residents of long-term care facilities who are cognitively impaired and on feeding tubes have high numbers of potentially preventable emergency room visits and hospitalizations, according to newly published research findings.

Most continuing care retirement communities are not 'isolating' settings, CMS clarifies in guidance on recent regulation

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Continuing care retirement communities don't create the same problem of isolation as skilled nursing facilities, according to new guidance on a recently finalized Medicaid regulation.

OIG focuses on nursing homes' quality of care in 'priorities' report

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To best protect federal health programs, more action should be taken to improve nursing home quality, a new government report asserts.

Standardized tool for assessing post-acute care is floated in House and Senate

Standardized tool for assessing post-acute care is floated in House and Senate

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Lawmakers in both houses of Congress have unveiled a draft bill calling for post-acute care providers to furnish standard assessment data, with the goals of enabling better quality oversight and driving Medicare payment reform. The Senate Finance and House Ways and Means committees on Tuesday introduced companion versions of the "Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014" (IMPACT Act).

Skilled nursing operator to pay $1 million over claims it failed to pay overtime, allow breaks

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Compass Health has agreed to a $1.1 million settlement in a class action lawsuit alleging that the skilled nursing provider did not pay overtime or allow workers to take needed breaks.

Rehab providers offer study results to argue against site-neutral payments

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Patients generally have better clinical outcomes and live longer if they are treated in an inpatient rehabilitation hospital rather than a skilled nursing facility, according to a study commissioned by the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association. The findings show why IRFs should be reimbursed at a higher Medicare rate than SNFs, the trade association argued when releasing the results Tuesday.

MedPAC holds off on recommendation for site-neutral payments for post-acute care

MedPAC holds off on recommendation for site-neutral payments for post-acute care

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The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission discussed equalizing reimbursements for different post-acute providers but did not issue a formal recommendation at a meeting last week. This was the second time in recent months that MedPAC has taken up the topic of reimbursing skilled nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation facilities at the same level for certain services.

Referral fees OK, says OIG

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A long-term care provider that requested clearance for a system of paying an agency to refer patients is in the clear.

More than 20% of Medicare beneficiaries seek hospital care within a month of nursing home discharge, researchers find

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A large number of rehabilitation patients seek hospital care shortly after being discharged from a nursing facility, according to recently published research.

Many post-acute providers anticipate being acquired by more tech-savvy competitors, survey shows

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Nearly half of post-acute providers anticipate they will be acquired by an organization with better technological capabilities in 2015, according to survey results released today.

Telemedicine reduces nursing homes' hospital readmissions if staff engagement is high, researchers find

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Skilled nursing facilities that implement a telemedicine service and teach staff to use it could reduce their hospital readmissions, but current payment systems do not encourage this, according to a forthcoming study in Health Affairs.

CMS clarifies reporting requirements for hospice providers operating in skilled nursing facilities

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New revisions to the Medicare Claims Processing manual are intended to clarify requirements for hospice providers operating in skilled nursing facilities, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced recently.

Ask the legal expert ... about hidden cameras

Ask the legal expert ... about hidden cameras

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Staff members have discovered a hidden camera that family members planted in their loved one's room, suspecting that she was being abused or not take care of properly. What should be our next step?

Long-term care providers are participating in 'most ambitious test' of bundled payments, CMS announces

Long-term care providers are participating in 'most ambitious test' of bundled payments, CMS announces

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Skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies are among 232 healthcare providers that have entered into agreements to take part in the Bundled Payments for Care Improvement initiative, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Thursday.

Post-acute Medicare spending varies by location and how an episode of care is defined, CMS report shows

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A Medicare expenditure for an episode of post-hospital care in 2008 ranged from about $5,700 to $14,500, depending on how the episode was defined, according to a new report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Senior living company can pay referral fees for new residents despite kickback concerns, OIG advisory opinion states

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A nonprofit senior housing and care provider can continue to pay an agency for referring new residents, despite concerns related to anti-kickback laws, according to a newly released government opinion.

MedPAC endorses readmissions penalties for home health, hospice benefit for Medicare Advantage

MedPAC endorses readmissions penalties for home health, hospice benefit for Medicare Advantage

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Home health providers should be subject to Medicare reimbursement penalties based on hospital readmission rates, according to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.

Borrowing to build

Borrowing to build

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New construction funding for skilled nursing facilities remains scarce, but lenders say they will listen if operators present a convincing case for building.

Ensign lawsuit settlement  is among largest in history

Ensign lawsuit settlement is among largest in history

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Charges from whistleblowers have led to a $48 million settlement between operator The Ensign Group and the U.S. Department of Justice. The settlement was one of the largest of its kind, according to U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr.

Omega closes $525M deal

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Omega Healthcare Investors closed a $525 million deal to acquire 55 skilled nursing facilities.

House bill would offer lump-sum Medicare payments to hospitals, post-acute providers

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Skilled nursing facilities and other post-acute providers would be eligible to participate in a Medicare bundled payment system proposed in a House of Representatives bill unveiled Thursday.

Jimmo guidance: Document whether therapy is for restoration or maintenance before providing care

Jimmo guidance: Document whether therapy is for restoration or maintenance before providing care

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In seeking Medicare reimbursement, skilled nursing facilities should not claim that therapy was to maintain a patient's condition if documentation reflected only an improvement goal, according to officials with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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