NIC blog

Cutting Skilled Nursing Medicare Reimbursement by 8%?

Sep 28, 2016 9:04:23 AM Posted by Liz Liberman Liz Liberman

In July 2015, Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), the House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman, introduced a measure called the Medicare Post-Acute Care Value-Based Purchasing Act of 2015. Since that time, the bill has been under committee consideration, but just over a year later, the buzz around Washington indicates that the bill may come out of committee for a vote. The current text of the bill is relatively brief and introduces three policies to govern post-acute care providers that treat Medicare patients, including home health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term care hospitals, and hospice agencies.

Two of the three measures contained within the bill are housekeeping measures. The first repeals the market basket cut for post-acute care providers mandated by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), which was designed to offset the cost of other provisions of the act. The Medicare Post-Acute Care Value-Based Purchasing Act of 2015 would eliminate that reduction to pave the way for a value-based purchasing program that imposes its own reduction in Medicare reimbursement. The other housekeeping measure would institute a "sunset date" for the Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Purchasing Program in 2026. The program begins in 2019 and pays skilled nursing providers based on their performance on key measures, such as rehospitalizations.

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Topics: medicare, skiled nursing, macra, reimbursement, payment

Value-Based Payments Are Coming—And All Need to Pay Attention

Sep 21, 2016 9:07:24 AM Posted by NIC NIC

The Honorable Mike Leavitt Shares His Insights at 2016 NIC Fall Conference

After being sworn in as Health and Human Services Secretary under President George W. Bush, three-time Utah Governor Mike Leavitt was taken to an undisclosed location by “very serious men in black cars” to learn his duties of being in the line of succession to the presidency. One of those duties was attending periodic intelligence briefings for situational awareness of what was happening in the world.

“I began to learn about the vital role that intelligence gathering plays,” said Leavitt in his keynote at the 2016 NIC Fall Conference in Washington, DC, last week. By making sense of “weak signals” from different sources in different ways, “it would give us the opportunity to anticipate.”

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Topics: skilled nursing, payment system, aco, conference, value, payments

A Deep Dive into the 2Q2016 NIC Skilled Nursing Data Report

Sep 16, 2016 8:30:00 AM Posted by Bill Kauffman Bill Kauffman

On September 15, at the 2016 NIC Fall Conference, NIC released its 2Q2016 Skilled Nursing Data Report. The report includes key occupancy and revenue metrics from October 2011 through June 2016. In today’s blog post, I’ll walk you through the data.

Occupancy Declined to a Five-Year Low

After bouncing back in the first quarter of 2016, occupancy declined 123 basis points quarter-over-quarter to 82.2% as of June 2016, which is the lowest occupancy recorded in the data series. While occupancy usually softens in the second quarter, this year the second-quarter decline was more significant than in previous years, suggesting that lower occupancy is being driven by factors beyond seasonality.

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Topics: medicaid, medicare, post-acute, skiled nursing, data

Facing Uncertainty, Looking to Opportunity

Sep 14, 2016 8:30:00 AM Posted by NIC NIC

Jerry Doctrow Previews Session with Public Operator CEOs

As featured in the August NIC Insider Newsletter

Post-acute care is an industry in flux. While it takes in $59 billion each year in Medicare payments alone, payments are declining, and providers in the space are feeling pressure on their operating profits.

“It’s a big business,” said Jerry Doctrow, principal at Robust Retirement®, LLC, “but it’s struggling.”

The post-acute care strategies four leading public operators are employing will be discussed at “Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Where Winning Post-Acute Strategies Attract Investors,” a session Doctrow will moderate at the 2016 NIC Fall Conference next month. It’s a session, he said, that post-acute and traditional private-pay seniors housing providers alike should not miss.

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Topics: post-acute, nic fall conference, skiled nursing, conference

A Career Aligned with Seniors Housing and Care’s Success

Sep 7, 2016 9:30:07 AM Posted by Liz Liberman Liz Liberman

The Honorable Mike Leavitt to Speak about a Rapidly Changing Industry

Former Utah Governor, former Secretary of Health and Human Services, current founder and chairman of Leavitt Partners . . . There’s no doubt that Mike Leavitt has an impressive history. But it’s not just his resume that makes his perspective on seniors housing and care unique and exciting. Leavitt’s career is chock-full of examples when he embodied the spirit of the industry, creating his own path through innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurship.

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Topics: cms, conference, hhs

At 151,000, August Job Gains Slow

Sep 2, 2016 9:26:32 AM Posted by Beth Mace Beth Mace

The Labor Department reported that nonfarm payrolls increased by 151,000 positions in August, a bit less than the 180,000 positions consensus projection and down from a very strong showing of 275,000 in July and 271,000 in June. Hiring has averaged 182,000 new positions per month over the past eight months. That is down from average gains of 229,000 in 2015. Revisions subtracted a total of 1,000 jobs to payrolls in the previous two months. 

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Topics: Research, jobs report, economy

A Focus on Data Friday at the Conference

Aug 31, 2016 8:30:00 AM Posted by NIC NIC

Overviews of current markets trends are the highlight for many at an NIC conference, and 2016 is no different. At this year’s NIC Fall Conference, being held September 14–16 in Washington, D.C., two sessions on Friday will help attendees wrap their minds around two key questions circulating in seniors housing and care: what’s happening in the markets now, and where are we headed?

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Topics: nic map, nic fall conference, data

Boosts to Interoperability Implementation May Give Skilled Nursing a Leg-Up in Meeting CMS Requirements

Aug 24, 2016 8:30:00 AM Posted by Liz Liberman Liz Liberman

Interoperability can be a point of frustration for health care professionals considering the difficulties it can impose. If you’re not familiar with it, the term refers to the ability of various health care providers to collect and share patient information electronically through an electronic health record (EHR), also known as an electronic medical record (EMR). EMR also can refer to internal electronic records that are used for diagnostic purposes but not intended for distribution outside the private practice.

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Topics: skilled nursing, medicaid, medicare, managed care, aco

Seniors Housing and Care Transactions Volume Down in 2Q: Part II

Aug 17, 2016 8:30:00 AM Posted by Bill Kauffman Bill Kauffman

Buyer Type Activity in the Second Quarter

As I described in Part I of this two-part series on transactions volume in the second quarter of 2016, the decrease in transactions volume was due to a decrease in all buyer types: the public type (any publicly-traded company), the private type (not publicly traded, such as a private REIT, single owner, or partnership), and the institutional type (equity funds that manage pension money or other types of institutional money).

The public companies continued to remain quiet in the second quarter as public buyer volume stayed under $1 billion for the second quarter in a row. It was only the third quarter this happened in the past 10 quarters. The last time was back in the first quarter of 2014. The public buyer volume dropped 26% from $952 million in the first quarter of 2016 to $707 million in the second quarter of 2016. The volume dropped 87% when comparing to the second quarter of 2015.

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Topics: skilled nursing, seniors housing, transactions, volume

Seniors Housing and Care Transactions Volume Down in 2Q: Part I

Aug 15, 2016 8:30:00 AM Posted by Bill Kauffman Bill Kauffman

The second quarter of 2016 marked a significant drop in volume for closed seniors housing and care property sales transactions. Volume in the second quarter registered $1.6 billion. That includes $1 billion in seniors housing and $600 million in nursing care. The total volume was down 61% from the previous quarter’s $4.3 billion and down 81% from the second quarter of 2015, when volume came in at $8.7 billion.

Although the volume decrease was more noticeable in the second quarter of 2016, the trend in decreased volume really started back in the third quarter of 2015, when the public buyers (namely, the publicly traded REITs) significantly decreased their activity. This time around, the private buyers (including private REITs) have joined the public side in remaining quiet. Part II of this blog, being released on August 17, will go into greater detail about the buyer types. 

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Topics: skilled nursing, seniors housing, transactions, volume