SNFs

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.

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.

3 strategies for improved medication management communications in SNFs

3 strategies for improved medication management communications in SNFs

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One area where many SNFs have room to improve is medication management. Optimizing medication management services during care transitions will position SNFs as high-value partners in the preferred referral networks of hospitals and health systems.

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.

Feature: Prescribing Unity

Feature: Prescribing Unity

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Assembling a well-coordinated medication management team requires solid communication, collaboration and convergence of clinical professionals

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.

Ask the care expert ... about water temperature in SNFs

Ask the care expert ... about water temperature in SNFs

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The nursing and maintenance departments are feuding over the water temperature. What should it be in a skilled care unit?

CARES Act would waive three-midnight requirement for nursing facilities with high quality ratings

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Certain skilled nursing facilities could provide Medicare-covered services to beneficiaries without a preceding hospital stay, under a new bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.

MedPAC shows enthusiasm for equalizing SNF, inpatient rehab facility payments

MedPAC shows enthusiasm for equalizing SNF, inpatient rehab facility payments

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More uniform reimbursements for skilled nursing facilities and inpatient rehabilitation facilities could be implemented soon, policy analysts recently told the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services tested the concept in 2006, after developing a patient assessment tool that could be used in both settings.

Ambulance company reaches $8 million settlement to resolve charges over improper skilled nursing facility arrangements

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The nation's second-largest ambulance services company has reached a settlement agreement over whistleblower charges of improper business dealings with skilled nursing facilities, Rural/Metro Corporation announced Tuesday.

I couldn't live without ... Fast World Works inventory management

I couldn't live without ... Fast World Works inventory management

As the chief operating officer for MasterCare Inc., a skilled nursing management company, Bryan Hornsby has to keep track of all the equipment in multiple SNFs. This formidable task is much easier today, thanks to a Fast World Works application.

Five Star makes changes to rely less on public funding

Five Star makes changes to rely less on public funding

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Five Star Quality Care recently transferred operations of two rehabilitation hospitals in Massachusetts to Reliant Hospital Partners, marking the latest move in the company's dramatic shift toward private pay operations.

Ask the payment expert ... about PEPPER reports

Ask the payment expert ... about PEPPER reports

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What can you tell us about PEPPER reports?

Wounds unwelcome

Wounds unwelcome

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As hospitals look for post-acute provider partners, skilled nursing operators must gauge their effectiveness at post-operative care and wound prevention

SNFs receive small portion of Medicare payouts to deceased beneficiaries, report says

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Skilled nursing facilities account for few of the problematic Medicare claims that are related to beneficiaries who were deceased at the time they supposedly received services, according to a new government report.

SNF Medicare Part A appeals increase, success rate holds steady: OIG report

SNF Medicare Part A appeals increase, success rate holds steady: OIG report

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Skilled nursing facilities have been filing more appeals related to Medicare Part A claim determinations since 2008, and the proportion of successful appeals has remained largely steady, according to a new government report.

Ask the nursing expert ... about readmissions penalties

Ask the nursing expert ... about readmissions penalties

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What do we need to know about federal authorities coming out with more penalties for hospitals?

Nursing home lab and X-ray company to pay $18 million whistleblower settlement

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One of the nation's largest providers of laboratory and X-ray services to skilled nursing facilities has agreed to pay $17.5 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging Medicare fraud.

Renovating for rehab

Renovating for rehab

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A renovated facility is now in harmony with its surroundings, offering residents tranquility and motivation during their rehabilitation.

Ask the payment expert ... about RAC nursing home audits

Ask the payment expert ... about RAC nursing home audits

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We keep hearing about RACs in skilled nursing homes but we haven't seen any in our state, so why should we worry about them?

Misleading data on SNF margins threatens fruitful payment reform, Parkinson warns lawmakers

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Lawmakers may have an inaccurate understanding of skilled nursing facility margins based on outdated and partial information, the leader of the nation's largest nursing home organization is cautioning. American Health Care Association President and CEO Mark Parkinson sent a warning letter Monday to House and Senate leaders.

Occupancy held steady while Medicare gained importance for nursing homes: CDC report

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The occupancy rate for nursing homes was steady at 82% between 2000 and 2011, according to the most recent national health report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of Medicare-certified SNFs increased between 2000 and 2010.

Lower SNF spending improves Medicare solvency outlook, report says

Lower SNF spending improves Medicare solvency outlook, report says

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Government officials released good news about the long-term solvency of the Medicare program Friday. The projections were based in large measure on lower projected reimbursements for skilled nursing facilities.

60 seconds with ... Rick Matros of Sabra REIT

60 seconds with ... Rick Matros of Sabra REIT

Q: Some major REITs are trying to unload their skilled nursing homes, the Wall Street Journal recently reported. What's Sabra's position on SNFs?

Forecast error costs SNFs $320 million

Forecast error costs SNFs $320 million

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The nation's skilled nursing facilities can expect an aggregate $500 million boost in Medicare payments next year — $320 million less than the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services proposed.

CMS issues more in-depth survey guidelines to reduce readmissions; invites comments on assistant reporting

CMS issues more in-depth survey guidelines to reduce readmissions; invites comments on assistant reporting

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has revised the provider certification manual for hospitals, giving more in-depth guidelines around discharge planning. The goal is for hospitals to reduce readmissions by partnering with post-acute providers.

New name for Advocat Inc.

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Advocat Inc., which operates 48 skilled nursing centers, changed its name to Diversicare Healthcare Services as of March 15. Its facilities already operated under the Diversicare name, and President and CEO Kelly J. Gill said the name change is to unify branding.

Reduce Medicare payments for hospice care in skilled nursing facilities, MedPAC suggests

Reduce Medicare payments for hospice care in skilled nursing facilities, MedPAC suggests

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The government should consider Medicare payment cuts for hospice services provided in skilled nursing facilities, according to Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) commissioners. A reduction of 3% to 5% is reasonable, MedPAC says, based on a formula that assumes "equal provision of aide visits" in home and facility settings, and accounts for the labor costs of these two types of care.

State News

State News

A four-person review panel would have to approve civil malpractice lawsuits against long-term care providers before the claims could go to court, under a bill that recently passed the state senate in Kentucky.

Accepting Medicaid residents can be a winning strategy for assisted living

Accepting Medicaid residents can be a winning strategy for assisted living

On a macro level, expanding Medicaid reimbursement for assisted living will result in higher demand across the board. Serving Medicaid residents is not for every assisted living provider, but may be very beneficial to some.

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