Nursing home group meets with new CMS head, notes 'dramatic' rise in most serious citations, other concerns

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A delegation from LeadingAge met with recently installed Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma on Monday to discuss regulatory issues surrounding the skilled nursing sector.

The group — which included LeadingAge President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan, Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Health Services Cheryl Phillips, M.D., and provider representatives — urged Verma to consider somer regulatory relief for the sector.

Specifically, the group voiced concerns about the “dramatic” rise of Immediate Jeopardy citations around the country and the impact it has on rural providers as well as the healthcare workforce. The LeadingAge delegation also discussed the challenges posed by the new requirements of participation, the burden that the regulations can place on providers, as well as the possibility of a “truly value-based payment” system that focuses on quality and resident, family and staff satisfaction.

“Our members and state executives kept the focus of the meeting on mission, care and community,” the group said in a statement. “Administrator Verma seemed receptive to the points made and asked us for follow-up on the issues discussed.”

The LeadingAge representatives reported that the meeting was productive, and gives the group a “strong foundation” for the group's relationship with CMS moving forward.