LTC Pharmacy News
|Find Part D Auto-Enrollment Options for 2022|For a quick comparison of LIS plans that will be accepting auto-assignments for dual-eligible beneficiaries that haven't chosen a plan, download our spreadsheet. If you need a refresher on Dual Eligible Enrollment, See This
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|CMS Rule on Mandatory Vaccination|
CMS published an interim final rule with comment period that establishes a January 4, 2022 deadline for healthcare workers working in facilities receiving reimbursement under the Medicare or Medicaid program to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The rule does not contain a testing alternative to vaccination but does allow for medical and religious exemptions.
|Latest Version of Build Back Better has LTC Money|
The Biden Administration's Build Back Better spending legislation has been cut in half to $1.75 trillion. The original plan was to spend $400 billion on expanding home and community-based services. That number has been cut to $150 billion and additional funds have been targeted for more senior housing.
|FDAAuthorizes Boosters and Mix-and-Match |
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized booster shots for people who have been immunized with Moderna and Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines. The Moderna vaccine should be administered six months following the initial series of two injections and the Johnson and Johnson injection is authorized after two months.
FDA further approved the use of any of the vaccines approved or approved for emergency use as booster shots.
|Medicare Advantage Plans Offer More Supplemental Services in 2022|
An analysis by Avalere reveals that Medicare Advantage plans will ramp up their supplemental offerings for 2022 by adding more services addressing social determinants of health, such as nutrition assistance and in-home care.
CMS relaxed standards for supplemental benefits under the Trump Administration and more plans are using this freedom to offer benefits that can help beneficiaries avoid more expensive interventions.
|GAO Slams Nursing Homes on Infection Control|
The Government Accountability Office released a report on nursing home infection control practices that reveals that practices in this area were not good, even before the coronavirus pandemic.
|CDC Recommends Second Booster for LTC Residents|The Center for Disease Control issued new guidelines. First, for the at-risk population the basic series includes 2 injections for the mRNA vaccine and a subsequent dose six months later. The additional (4th) injection is now considered the "booster". See CDC.
|Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey 2019 Available|
CMS conducts a continuous survey of Medicare beneficiaries for demographic information, health conditions, and to determine beneficiary satisfaction.
The latest update from 2019-20 has been released in the form of a public use file. Visit the MCBS here
Texas Nursing Homes Receive $200 Million in Grants
The Texas legislature approved a bill to direct $400 million in funds from the American Rescue Act to address staffing shortages in long-term care facilities. The legislation includes $200 million in one-time grants to nursing facilities, with other funds earmarked for assisted living communities, home health agencies, community attendants and intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Limit Nursing Home Profit? Three States Are Doing That
Three states have determined that the best way to improve healthcare quality in nursing homes is to limit the amount of profit the facilities can make.
New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York have imposed requirements on how much nursing homes must spend on direct care. If they spend less they will have to give money back to the state.
|Genesis Looking for New CEO|
One of the countries largest post-acute care providers is actively looking for a new CEO following the announcement that its current Chief will leave on November 15th. Harry Wilson, Genesis Healthcare's CEO, have been in the job for seven months.
|Pharmerica Parent to go Public|
BrightSpring Health Services, parent of LTC pharmacy chain Pharmerica, has filed papers to raise $100 million in an initial public offering (IPO).
BrightSpring operations include home healthcare, pharmacy and home-based primary care. The company is currently owned by investment firm KKR.
|New PBM to Launch|
The Purchaser Business Group on Health announced that it would start a PBM in response to its members looking for a more transparent system than is currently available.
The new entity will be called Emsana Health and the PBM will be known as EmsanaRx.
|Medicaid Directors' Challenges/Opportunities|
The annual Survey of state Medicaid Directors is produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation and gives us a glimpse into how the pandemic shaped Medicaid and how that will shape the future of the program.
|Big Tech Companies Focus on Eldercare|
Technology giants Amazon, Apple and Google have made investments in remote monitoring for the elderly and have spent large sums of money trying to position their brands as dominant players in the market.
All this comes with the increased attention being paid to tech's biggest companies and the power they have over information. Is there a reason to be afraid?
|COVID Antibody Treatments Leave Out Nursing Homes|
COVID monoclonal antibody treatments have proven to be highly effective in taming infections in at-risk patient populations. The problem for nursing home residents is that state authorities in charge of distributing federal allocations of the treatments have sent most of the available supply to hospitals and other acute-care facilities.