Category: News

Coronavirus fears at work: What employers need to know to stay protected

News reports of deaths and illnesses from the rapidly spreading coronavirus get scarier every day. Millions of people are being quarantined. Foreign companies and governments are evacuating their people from hard-hit areas of China where the virus got its start. And even employees who don’t travel for work are getting anxious about traveling coworkers who […]

Flexible leave policies may deter staff from coming into work sick

Despite policies stating that LTC staff with acute respiratory illness (ARI) should stay home, a recent study found that a majority of staff still came into work while sick. The study, conducted by Hilary M. Babcock, MD, MPH and colleagues, surveilled a 120-bed facility over a five-month span and found that 89% of staff reported […]

Lawmakers call on CMS to revise or withdraw proposed rule

A bipartisan group of Congress members sent a letter to CMS administrator Seema Verma, urging that the  proposed Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Regulation be revised or withdrawn entirely. The Congress members warn that the rule would restrict certain tax exemptions and discounts for some CCRCs. The letter, signed by 27 members of Congress, concludes: We do […]

New training on home health quality reporting program requirements now available

CMS is offering web-based training on existing requirements and changes coming to the Home Health Quality Reporting Program. The trainings apply to home health as well as Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilties (IRFs), Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs) and Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs). The course should take about 15 minutes. Training topics include: Overview of the IMPACT Act; […]

Illinois agencies starting next round of Review Choice Demonstration

Agencies in Illinois are starting the second round of the Review Choice Demonstration (RCD). The second cycle of RCD in Illinois runs from Feb. 1 through July 31. Illinois agencies with a full affirmation rate or claim approval rate of 90% or higher during the first six months of RCD were able to choose one […]

Flu prevention in SNFs

Flu season is once again upon us, and SNF staff need to take precautionary measures to protect the frail residents in their care. About 19 million Americans have contracted the flu so far this season, leading to an approximate 12,000 to 30,000 deaths, according to a recent CDC report. The CDC recommends that SNFs take […]

SNF employment rebounds after months of decline

An increase in SNF employment has occurred after several months of decline following the implementation of PDPM. SNFs added a reported 2,400 jobs in January, according to newly released data from the  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest jobs report. While it’s too early to determine if the increase in jobs will be a trend […]

CMS makes changes to Medicare Benefit Policy Manual for home health

CMS has issued an update to the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual for home health. The update reflects policy changes finalized in the 2019 and 2020 PPS final rules, according to Change Request 11577. These changes include implementation of the Patient-Driven Groupings Model (PDGM), the shift to a 30-day payment period, changes to requests for anticipated payment […]

Big changes coming to Home Health Compare ‘later this year’

CMS is working to incorporate new improvements to Home Health Compare and other Compare tools to help patients find health care providers in various settings around the care continuum. Currently, when users visit Medicare.gov, they have eight different Compare tools to go to — Hospital, Nursing Home, Home Health, Dialysis Facility, Long-term Care Hospital, Inpatient […]