Our long-term care news is continually updated from dozens of sources around our industry and the web.

New CMS data platform raises concerns about access, worker privacy

McKnights (09/20/2022) – A technology change is raising concerns about data access and worker privacy as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services transitions to a new, more secure data-reporting process.

The agency has said it will launch its Internet Quality Improvement and Evaluation System, or iQIES, platform for skilled nursing providers early in 2023, though no firm date has been published. In the meantime, all US providers are facing a deadline to appoint a privacy security official who will control access to the platform, through which CASPER and MDS transmissions, validation and reporting will be done. Full story »

Providers, Congress ratchet up pressure on CMS to extend nurse-aide certification waiver

McKnights (09/14/2022) – Members of Congress from both major parties last week asked Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to support flexibilities to help with the nation’s long-term care facilities staffing crisis.

A group of 14 legislators asked CMS in a letter to encourage passage of The Building America’s Healthcare Workforce Act. The proposed legislation would extend the 1135 waiver flexibilities for a period of 24 months upon the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration. The current statute gives nurse-aide applicants only four months to complete training once the PHE ends. Full story »

Residents suffered during lockdowns, but new study shows cognition didn’t

McKnights (09/14/2022) – Residents in long-term care did not suffer steeper cognitive declines because of COVID-19-related isolation, countering a fear widely held early in the pandemic, according to a research letter published online in JAMA this week.

The Canadian study reviewed assessments of more than 120,000 nursing home residents in Ontario, where tight isolation protocols restricted visitation for months, sometimes longer, mirroring US conditions. Full story »

100 long-term care experts to act on withering NASEM report

McKnights (09/13/2022) – Spurred by alarms set off in an April report on the nation’s nursing homes, a coalition of 100 industry stakeholders Monday launched a collaboration to develop and test action plans based on the report’s recommendations.

Over the next two years, the Moving Forward Nursing Home Quality Coalition’s seven committees and a steering committee will advance ideas to improve the quality of nursing home life in the U.S. The report by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine urged multifaceted change in the industry, which researchers found “ineffective” and “unsustainable.” Full story »

Advocate Aurora, Intermountain, Henry Ford Leaders Reveal What Health Systems Need in a SNF Partner

Skilled Nursing News (09/12/2022) – Leaders from three large health systems say transparency, a willingness to work together and take on new residents, and more communicative, mindful care transitions are the best ways to strengthen relationships between hospitals and nursing homes.

Hospital executives have seen their relationships with skilled nursing operators expand in dynamic ways – sometimes strengthened, other times strained depending on resources available and communication on both sides. Full story »

Rebuilding the Bench: Majestic Care, Aegis Therapies on Deepening the Talent Pool

Skilled Nursing News (09/12/2022) – Recruiting and retaining a skilled, motivated workforce continues to be one of the most vexing issues facing the industry, especially as competition has extended far beyond the nursing home down the street.

There is no one “silver bullet” to solve the workforce crisis and staffing solutions are often market specific, industry leaders say.

Indiana-based Majestic Care, for example, recently rolled out an employee focused benefits program that offers incentives such as perfect attendance bonuses, cell phone plans and, in some locations, subsidized housing. Full story »

Leveraging Population Health in Post-Acute Care

HealthTech Magazine (09/09/2022) – The post-acute sector, specifically in the skilled nursing arena, continues to quickly evolve and change, as the landscape of payment shifts from a fee-for-service model to that of a value incentivized model, becoming prominent across all care settings. Population health, historically seen in the acute care and managed care industries, is now making an appearance in the skilled nursing facility (SNF) industry setting to strategically balance stakeholder needs, prioritize the emphasis on positive outcomes and right-size care.

Population health began as a concept in the early 2000s and since then, has become a specialized division of health care that focuses on the Triple Aim approach to healthcare delivery. Triple Aim refers to an approach developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement that focuses on enhancing the patient experience, improving the health of populations and reducing healthcare costs. Full story »

Worst Might Be Over: Nursing Home Labor Improves With Strong August Job Growth

Skilled Nursing News (09/05/2022) – Nursing home labor shortages appear to have finally bottomed out, as this year has been defined by sequentially higher increases in the workforce. Most recently, nursing and residential care facilities in August saw a jump in employment of 12,000-plus jobs, with health care adding 412,000 jobs over the year.

That’s quite the leap from an estimated 3,700 increase in SNF new hires in July, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment situation summary, released on Friday. Full story »