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

What Nursing Homes Should Consider As CMS’s Requirements of Participation Deadline Nears

Skilled Nursing News (10/18/2022) – As nursing homes make final preparations for Phase 3 updates to the requirements of participation set to take effect in the coming days, providers and legal experts expect infection prevention and behavioral health to be where surveyors focus first.

Readiness for the “low hanging fruit” is a good place for providers to start given the sheer amount of updates included in the 800-plus page document, according to Todd Selby, attorney for health care law firm Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman in its Indianapolis office. Full story »

Regulator insists brutal honesty from providers can turn the tide on Medicaid

McKnights (10/18/2022) – DENVER — Despite perceptions of state officials being unapproachable or reluctant to help long-term care providers, the right provider stories can influence policies and help shift funding in the right direction.

That was the take Monday of two experts who’ve often been on opposite sides of state financing decisions but who have built a solid and open relationship. In doing so, they have fostered a higher level of staffing and funding support for nursing homes and other aging services providers. Full story »

Where States Land on Making Nursing Home Medicaid Rate Increases Permanent

Skilled Nursing News (10/14/2022) – A lot of temporary measures will dry up or disappear when the public health emergency (PHE) comes to an end, but one thing that may become permanent is the Medicaid rate bumps states put in place to alleviate pressures nursing home operators face.

At least that’s the hope for industry leaders and advocacy groups.

Right now there are 12 states that have Medicaid add ons currently tied to the end of the PHE, according to American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living President and CEO Mark Parkinson. Full story »

Medicare Advantage’s Steady Growth Has Nursing Home Operators Moving in ‘Radically Different Directions’

Skilled Nursing News (10/09/2022) – While so many nursing home trends have been altered by the pandemic, one has interestingly stayed in line with pre-pandemic statistics: Medicare Advantage’s (MA) growth trajectory.

MA is still expected to cover 52.9% of all Medicare beneficiaries by 2031, according to Fred Bentley, managing director at ATI Advisory. Bentley spoke about Medicare’s evolution and its emerging opportunities for senior care innovators at the 33rd annual National Association at the Support of Long Term Care (NASL) meeting in Nashville on Sunday, when the organization also announced that it is rebranding and will be known as Advion going forward. Full story »

Why AHCA’s Parkinson Predicts a Nursing Home Sector Recovery — And How to Get There

Skilled Nursing News (10/11/2022) – Nursing home leaders have largely steered clear of making predictions given the events of the last two-plus years, but the head of the sector’s largest trade group confidently made one Monday.

“One thing that I am sure about, and that I see very clearly is my prediction, and that is that you and your team and your company are going to survive this pandemic. You are going to make it,” American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) President and CEO Mark Parkinson said to a room full of long-term care providers. Full story »

NASL becomes ADVION in ‘inspired’ move; home health, outpatient services gain focus

McKnights (10/10/2022) – WASHINGTON, DC — The National Association for the Support of Long-Term Care officially became ADVION Sunday night when the association of ancillary services providers unveiled its new name and expanded focus at its annual meeting.

Long respected for its astute advocacy work on behalf of skilled nursing ancillary services providers, the group is intent on further expanding its reach into home health and outpatient rehab therapy settings, said Cynthia Morton, the group’s executive vice president, in a 1-on-1 interview with McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. Full story »

SNF Operators Cautious Over CDC Mask Changes Amid Regulatory Whiplash, Fatigued Staff

Skilled Nursing News (10/06/2022) – The majority of nursing homes will not be able to take advantage of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) updated mask policy as many are still in high transmission zones for Covid-19.

The CDC last month issued updated guidance that removed its blanket masking policy to better reflect vaccine efforts, infection-induced immunity and the availability of treatments and prevention tools. Approximately 56% of counties are considered to be high transmission areas, according to the most recent data. Full story »

CBO analysis paints pros and cons of telehealth

McKnights (10/06/2022) – The Congressional Budget Office identified telehealth as one of the tools to help reduce prices paid by commercial health insurers in a recently released policy analysis.

The paper noted both positive and potentially negative consequences, something that might not please proponents of the technological efficiency

Policies that could decrease costs by regulating price growth, encouraging competition, and boosting price transparency were laid out in “Policy Approaches to Reduce What Commercial Insurers Pay for Hospitals’ and Physicians’ Services.” It said that lowering prices paid for commercial insurance would improve financial outcomes for many privately-insured patients, but cautions that physicians’ pay could drop, and patient access and quality of care could suffer. Full story »

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