Important Update on Nursing Home Visitation Guidance from CMS

On November 12, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated their Nursing Home Visitation Guidance. After over a year and a half of residents and their loved ones being separated from each other and subject to confusing and often ignored nursing home visitation guidance, visitation is now allowed at all times for all residents, including indoor visitations.  All visitors must continue to adhere to infection prevention practices. Additional key points of new guidance include: Facilities can no longer limit frequency and length of visits, number of visitors, or require advanced scheduling of visits. Vaccinated and unvaccinated residents [...]

2021-11-19T13:39:49+00:00November 18, 2021|

Arbitration Agreements in Nursing Home Admission Contracts

  On October 1st, a federal appeals court decided to uphold restrictions that limit the use of binding arbitration agreements in nursing home admissions agreements. Binding arbitration agreements prior to the rise of any actual dispute have been promoted for decades as a way to reduce expenses by providing an alternative dispute resolution method. When used properly, arbitration agreements can provide the parties with a less expensive forum to solve disputes. However, binding arbitration agreements have also been used by the business community to attempt to limit themselves from potential liability by having a party relinquish their right to bring [...]

2021-11-09T15:58:06+00:00October 8, 2021|

Important Medicare Provisions Seniors Should Know About

Congress is gearing up to pass a budget reconciliation package, and there are several important Medicare provisions affecting seniors, including first-time Medicare coverage for vision, hearing, and dental care.      These Medicare provisions are proposed to phase in vision, hearing, and dental benefits in 2022, 2023, and 2028, respectively. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that vision benefits would cost $30 billion over 10 years, hearing benefits would cost $89 billion over 10 years, and dental benefits would cost $238 billion over 10 years.  The legislation would also make broader changes to prescription drug coverage under Medicare. In addition to [...]

2021-11-09T16:19:33+00:00September 24, 2021|

Pennsylvania Updates Nursing Home Regulations

Acknowledging that current statewide nursing home regulations are insufficient to meet the physical, psychological and social needs of residents, Pennsylvania announced a number of changes this past week.  One of the most significant being a 35% increase in direct care provided to each nursing home resident -  4.1 daily hours, up from 2.7. Although lessons learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic contributed to these new nursing home regulations, studies show that raising the number of care hours improves quality of care, prevents infections, falls, malnutrition, and dehydration.  In short, more care creates better outcomes. Of course, any new law, regulation or [...]

2021-11-09T16:26:41+00:00August 5, 2021|

LGBTQI+ Senior Bill of Rights

New Jersey is one of four states leading the charge against discrimination based on sexual orientation in long-term care facilities. In March of this year, Governor Murphy signed S2545/A4388, known as the LGBTQI+ Senior Bill of Rights, into law. The new law, similar to those in Massachusetts, California, and Illinois, bans discrimination in long-term care communities based on gender identity and sexual orientation.   The significance of the LGBTQI+ Senior Bill of Rights is twofold. First, it mandates the staff and administration of long-term care communities receive training on caring for and preventing discrimination against LGBTQI+ seniors. Secondly, the law establishes [...]

2021-11-09T16:30:00+00:00July 22, 2021|

How the $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill Impacts Seniors, Health Care

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, commonly known as the COVID Relief Bill, became law on March 11, 2021.  The law includes the widely publicized $1,400.00 stimulus checks and expanding vaccine distribution, in addition to increasing access to health insurance, funding for the long-term care community, and continued support for the Elder Justice and Older Americans Acts. For those on Medicaid, the the COVID Relief Bill stimulus check is not income or a resource for Medicaid purposes.  The funds may be gifted penalty-free for the first 12 months.  After 12 months, it is considered a resource impacting Medicaid eligibility.  [...]

2021-11-09T16:52:20+00:00March 25, 2021|

PA and NJ Long Term Care Visitation Guidelines

Let's take a moment to review the new PA and NJ Long Term Care Visitation Guidelines that have been established post COVID. It has been a very difficult eight plus months for both loved ones and residents of long-term care communities (LTC), referring to residents in assisted living, personal care homes and nursing homes). Social isolation has taken an extreme toll on the residents. During the past few months, many family members have taken advantage of outside visits with residents. However, as the weather turns colder and with the holiday season forthcoming, many families are concerned about the ability to [...]

2021-11-09T18:59:46+00:00November 4, 2020|
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