News & Updates
News & Updates
Our New COVID-19 Page
With the mass amounts of news and updates specific to COVID-19 and the importance of that information at this time, BY&S has created a separate page purely focused on COVID-19. Click the link below to access our COVID-19 page.
A lawsuit was filed against the department of Health and Human Services for Medicare & Medicaid pertaining to a 2017 rule that decreased civil monetary penalties (CMPs) to facilities that had good histories of compliance even if the facility’s current noncompliance had been continual. The lawsuit claims that this rule “severely weakened” the point of the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 that held facilities accountable to correct deficiencies immediately. Providers should be prepared for increased CMPs for noncompliance and be ready for potential changes in the rule.
Last week, BY&S had our first company-wide virtual retreat. Though we normally have an in-person retreat in the fall, due to COVID-19 it was decided that this year we would hold a virtual retreat instead. The event started off with a look back at 2020 followed by our annual awards ceremony to show appreciation for our employees, particularly those that have had unpleasant occurrences throughout the year. On day two we played our second annual retreat trivia game and had a virtual family dinner. Lou Malnati’s Pizza was shipped to employees who opted in as this has been a favorite of our traveling employees when they are in Chicago. Everyone was able to introduce their families while we all ate and chatted over Zoom. For the final day of the retreat we played Family Feud and Minute To Win It making sure everyone got to participate in the fun. While we wish we could have seen each other in person as we have in years prior, we are glad that we could still come up with a way to have an enjoyable retreat even with employees scattered across the county. Though we had a great time, we hope this will be the first and last virtual retreat.
Here is a plain English look at issues related to extending credit to healthcare companies and securing a lien on healthcare insurance and government receivables.
According to a Check Point Study in USA Today, there have been 50% more attempted ransomware attacks in the third quarter of 2020 than in the first half of the year. The healthcare industry was particularly targeted because healthcare organizations have a tendency to have older, non-updated software and are more likely to pay the ransom. The experts say the worst thing that one can do is pay the ransom, but these organizations continue to pay.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have withdrawn their controversial rule, the Medicaid Fiscal Accountability Rule (MFAR), that they announced in November of 2019. Had the rule not been withdrawn it would have significantly changed the federal supplemental payment programs under Medicaid.
The Department of Justice is putting their foot down on nursing home owners and operators that put profits over patients. The new National Nursing Home Initiative created a task force that plans to issue civil and criminal penalties to nursing homes providing substandard care. For more details about this new initiative read the article linked below.
In an effort to have a clearer hierarchy and better reflect the duties performed by its senior staff, BY&S has changed its Manager title to Director and its Director title to Managing Director. This change became effective January 1, 2020.
BY&S is also happy to announce that, as of January 1, 2020, Anthony Hope and Jennifer Nipper were both promoted to Managing Director for their notable contributions to BY&S over the past couple of years.
Anthony has been a key member of the BY&S team for over ten years. In the past year he has taken over managing the field staff and has proven to be an advocate for his staff, a resource for all of our staff, and an invaluable member of our management team. In addition to his depth of experience, he is always available, cares deeply for both the staff and the company, and wants to see the success of both. His promotion to Managing Director reflects the importance of the role he plays and his value to our team. He will continue to take on additional responsibilities with staff and has some great ideas on areas we can improve.
Jennifer has been a crucial member of our team since joining us in June 2014. She consistently works our most difficult transactions, has been involved in managing and training staff, has been instrumental in our review process, and is a tremendous resource for industry knowledge having previously held key management positions in healthcare operators before joining BY&S. She works incredibly hard, is a team player, and always wants to see both BY&S and our staff succeed. With her promotion to Managing Director we will be leveraging her third-party expertise as she will be helping us build better resources and train our staff in this area. She will also be taking a more active role in client relationship management going forward.
BY&S is lucky to have both Anthony and Jennifer as part of our core management team and we are excited to see them thrive in their new positions.
The new Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) appears to be going well so far, but it is still in the beginning stages and providers need to pay attention to potential pit falls such as missed payment opportunities and corrective action from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). A lot more can happen over the next few months and potentially years as the model becomes fully implemented. For more details read the article linked below.
Partner Evan Schaller spoke at his alma mater, Wingate University, on January 16th at the first Adulting 101 seminar put on by the university this spring. Wingate’s Adulting 101 program is structured to prepare current students for life after Wingate. Evan provided tips for the job search process and some insight into what employers look for when identifying and interviewing entry-level candidates. A truly rewarding experience, Evan looks forward to future opportunities to assist Wingate students!
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been accused of using unreviewed deficiencies in its star rating system for nursing homes. The lawsuit is significant because many governing bodies use the star rating to determine eligibility for certain programs, and the public uses the star rating as well when determining the ideal skilled nursing facility. For more details on the lawsuit read the article linked below.
The §6672 Trust Fund Recovery Penalty is a penalty designed to ensure trust fund taxes are paid. Though termed a “penalty,” it is also believed to be a way for the IRS to collect unpaid trust fund taxes. For more information read the blog post linked below.
Medicare Part B patients make up about 70% of nursing home residents and could be facing cuts to their therapy services due to operators reducing their therapy headcounts following the implementation of the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM). Read the article linked below for more details.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is starting to take a hard look at Medicaid supplemental payment programs due to concerns about payment arrangement schemes. This crackdown could result in billions of dollars of Medicaid reimbursements for nursing homes and other care facilities hanging in limbo. For more information read the article linked below.
Since the implementation of the Patient-Driven Patient Model (PDPM) in October, over 40% of skilled nursing operators have laid off a portion of their therapy staff. This was not surprising to CMS who designed the system with a hope of reducing unnecessary therapy interventions. For more information read the article linked below.
This year BY&S traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada for our 2019 Company Retreat. Thursday night’s meet and greet over cocktails and company superlatives and awards was the perfect start to the event. Friday morning consisted of group meetings and break out training sessions that brought a new energy and set higher expectations for the coming new year. We wrapped up the meetings with an intense trivia tournament where we all learned fun facts about Vegas and even statistics about BY&S. Friday night we got together for a group dinner and enjoyed one another’s company as we all learned more about each other over dinner and drinks. Saturday is where the real fun began with golf in the morning for many and casino, spa, or shopping for others. Meeting back up as a group we went on a team building scavenger hunt on the Vegas Strip leaving us tired but thoroughly entertained. After a group dinner and slideshow of the fun we had had during the scavenger hunt we got to see the view of the Vegas strip from a whole different perspective during our group ride on the High Roller. Ending the night we all parted ways to each experience Vegas on our own although most of us ended up in groups of coworkers. Can you believe we weren’t sick of each other yet? The entire experience was a joy and as always it was wonderful for everyone in the company to meet and become acquainted with one another. Until next year!
Medicare Advantage plans are not required to move to the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) for calculating reimbursement for skilled nursing facilities. This has created a lot of confusion by providers and operators. For more details read the article linked below.
There are currently supplemental programs in multiple states that help skilled nursing facilities offset their low reimbursements from Medicaid, but the federal government is keeping a close eye on them. It is believed that oversight over these programs is difficult and may not be effective. For more information read the article linked below.
Beginning 10/23/19, Nursing Home Compare (NHC) will flag skilled nursing facilities that have been cited for abuse, neglect, and exploitation with a ‘red stop sign’ alert icon. The article linked below outlines the specifics that cause a facility to receive the alert icon and the process for how it can be removed. The article also includes commentary from provider advocacy groups (WHCA and AHCA) on why this may not be the most effective way to handle the situation. For more details read the article linked below.
Changes to nursing home enforcement on the federal level have been increasing over the last few years and it appears these changes are only going to continue. Since nursing homes are a unique type of facility where the people are both patients and residents, improvements, particularly related to care and safety, are in desperate need. For more information read the article linked below.
As part of the Cures Act, workers and staff providing personal care and home health services to patients will be required to use Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) for their time. In other words, care workers will need to clock in and out electronically by shift in real time. This is a huge change for those not currently requiring employees to clock in and out of shifts.
The act is designed to prevent fraud and enforce honesty when recording time and services. A provider’s reimbursement can even be reduced for non-compliance. Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) is effective 01/01/20 for personal care services and 01/01/21 for home health care services. For more information check out the resource linked below.
The new Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) incentivizes the accurate diagnosis and treatment of depression by providing significant rewards for skilled nursing operators that treat residents’ specific needs. Skilled nursing providers had not been proactive about identifying depression in residents in the past, but now that depression is a reimbursement-sensitive condition providers can receive a payment boost of roughly $43 per day for treating depression. For more details read the article linked below.
We are excited to introduce four new employees to the BY&S team. Michael Connor, Daniel Brinegar and Creighton Howard join our office in Matthews, North Carolina, and Robert Stott joins our corporate office in Forest Hill, Maryland.
Mike is a recent graduate of Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA where he earned his MBA in May 2019 after graduating from Wingate University in Wingate, NC. Daniel is a graduate of Appalachian State University where he earned a BS and BBA in Finance and Commercial Bank Management. Since graduating, Daniel has spent the last couple of years working in the banking environment. Creighton is a recent graduate of Emory & Henry College where he majored in accounting and minored in economics. Rob graduated from Towson University where he received a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. For the past several years Rob has worked as a budget analyst at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
Mike, Daniel, Creighton, and Rob all join our team of healthcare financial consultants working on field examinations in various healthcare industries, and Rob will also work with our healthcare monitoring group. We are happy to welcome them all to our BY&S family!
Federal healthcare policymakers are proposing a new payment rule for 2020 that would begin to phase out pre-payments for home health services and replace them with a new notice of admission requirement for home health agencies that comes with built-in penalties. As a result, home health providers are concerned about the proposed structure. For more details read the article linked below.
Senior Living operators are becoming more and more willing to enter into RIDEA structures with real estate investment trusts (REITs). This increase in comfort is due in part to persistent pressures due to labor and operational expenses. For more information read the article linked below.
The new Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) is leaving skilled nursing providers confused with how to assess the reimbursement for Medicaid patients. Though this new payment model has been viewed positively at times, state Medicaid programs are starting to notice the challenges and difficult transition headed their way. To find out more, read the article linked below.
A new study from the Kaiser Family Foundation questions whether Medicare Advantage actually saves the government money. The study found that that the money saved could have more to do with the people who use Medicare Advantage than the program itself. For more information read the article linked below.
Skilled nursing providers are gearing up for the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) that goes into effect on October 1, but some teams are more prepared than others. Responses to a survey of 70 respondents who represent over 130 skilled nursing facility communities show that skilled nursing providers are about 69% confident in their interdisciplinary teams’ preparedness, but are only about 32% confident in their clinical teams’ preparedness. To find out more read the article linked below.
Skilled nursing operators can take an active approach in controlling Medicaid reimbursement by reducing eligibility mistakes. These mistakes can lead to millions in losses and skilled nursing operators are realizing they have more control over successfully avoiding eligibility errors and oversights than they once thought.
Embracing Medicare Advantage (MA) could mean increased profit for providers. MA allows private companies to collect federal dollars by offering benefit packages that serve as an alternative to Medicare. With the inclusion of dental and vision into these benefit packages, senior living providers are able to offer more benefits than Medicare. To find out more read the article linked below.
BY&S is pleased to announce the promotions of Evan Watts to Manager and Brian Zimmermann to Senior II, effective January 1 of 2019.
Evan has been with BY&S since January 2015 and brings to BY&S the versatility of being able to manage staff and client relationships while maintaining his own project workload. Brian has been with BY&S since June 2016 and has progressed quickly due to his dedication, strong work ethic and innate desire to learn as much as possible as fast as possible. Both Evan and Brian regularly are assigned to the firm’s most challenging projects.
“Evan and Brian have both become integral parts of the BY&S team and their efforts and dedication have contributed greatly to our firm’s success,” said Brian Young, Partner and CEO of BY&S. “We are proud to announce their well-deserved promotions and look forward to them continuing to be a vital part of our future here at BY&S.”
The Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) continues to cause big changes in the skilled nursing industry. This particular article discusses the possibility of PDPM changing the norm from too many rehabilitation hours to too few. With no incentive to provide a large volume of therapy hours, providers could move too far in the opposite direction. For more details read the article linked below.
When the switch to the new Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) was announced the response was overwhelmingly positive, but as time has continued these opinions have shifted. Now it is near an even split between those who think the change will have a positive effect on revenue and those who think the change will have a negative effect on revenue. For a deeper analysis and explanation read the article linked below.
Breslin, Young & Slaughter, LLC (“BY&S”) is pleased to promote Evan Schaller to Partner and shareholder of the firm.
Evan joined the firm in 2010 as a Field Examiner and progressed to Manager, Director and now to Partner. He has led due diligence field exams, quality of earnings reviews, and workout assignments across numerous healthcare industries. Evan has also championed internal efforts by assisting with staff training, cultivating client relationships and implementing due diligence best practices. In his new role, Evan will oversee BY&S’ quality of earnings and real estate products while continuing to assist with staff development and the overall growth of the firm.
“Evan is an extremely talented professional who has been a part of the core team that has grown BY&S from a small firm of less that 5 professionals to over 30 professionals in the past 10 years,” said Brian Young, Partner and CEO of BY&S. “This promotion to Partner and shareholder of BY&S is a deserved recognition of his proven abilities, his hard work, and his contributions to the firm. We are excited to have Evan help guide BY&S’ growth in the years ahead.”
BY&S held its 2018 corporate retreat in New Orleans, Louisiana. With employees spread across the country, our annual retreat is the one time every year that we all get together. For the second year in a row, the company decided to visit the home town of one of its employees. This year it was Juan Duboué’s chance to play host. After a day of reflection and education, the weekend kicked off with a competitive night of bowling. Our retreat continued the next day with some team members taking airboat tours through the Louisiana bayou, and others taking a bus tour through the heart of the city. Our staff enjoyed beignets from Café Du Monde and hurricanes from Bourbon Street. All in all, our trip to the Crescent City was a great team building experience.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is beginning to use payroll-based journal data to identify nursing homes with a significant decline in staff on the weekends. This information is being provided to state survey agencies with a goal of cracking down on insufficient nurse staffing levels especially on weekends. For more details read the article linked below.
Problems related to reimbursements and payments, shortages in staffing, and the challenges that come with implementing new technology are plaguing healthcare service providers. Due to these struggles, providers are suffering financially. For more information read the article linked below.
This year has been a year of growth for BY&S. Our employees have welcomed new children and spouses and we have hired eight additional team members. As the company continues to focus on expansion, we set our sights on a second hub to complement our corporate office in Forest Hill, MD. In recent years we have developed a small concentration of employees in the Charlotte, NC area and it became clear to us that this was a place that would offer great opportunities for us to continue to grow the company. In August we began our search, and on October 1 we officially opened our second office within the Charlotte suburb of Matthews, NC. Located in the heart of Matthews’ historic downtown, the office is within walking distance to numerous restaurants, cafes, and small businesses. As we reflect on the growth of 2018, we are excited and look forward to our new office and the future. If you are ever in the Baltimore or Charlotte areas feel free to look us up!
Many financial changes will take place over the next year in the skilled nursing space, but one of the largest involves shifting payment incentives. Starting in October 2019, reimbursements will be based on treatment of the patient’s overall health issues instead of billable therapy hours. For a more in depth explanation read the article linked below.
Research is now suggesting that billions of dollars could be saved by replacing Long Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs) with Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs). Medicare could save at least 4.6 billion by making this change or by changing the payment structure at LTCHs to mimic those of SNFs. For more detail read the article linked below.
Post-acute care providers, specifically skilled nursing facilities, are receiving a huge pay increase in the 2019 fiscal year. The total increase is over one billion with 820 million going to skilled nursing facilities. This increase is followed by overall policy changes for post-acute care providers. Read the article linked below for more details.
Medicare is cracking down on insufficient staffing in nursing homes using lowered star ratings. The result is nearly 1,400 nursing homes having a lower star rating than before based on this new standard. For more information read the article attached below.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing to reduce the payment for hospital outpatient clinic visits provided at off-campus provider-based departments (PBDs). Since clinic visits are the most commonly billed services, CMS is expecting a significant reduction in spending in the 2019 fiscal year. See the article linked below for more details.
BY&S welcomes Erik Svilich and Matthew Camarata to our team of healthcare finance professionals. Erik previously worked part time as a field examiner while pursuing his degree in Finance from Portland State University and Matt previously worked as a field examiner in the non-healthcare space for the past two years. With the addition of Erik and Matt, BY&S expands its geographic presence into Portland, Oregon where Erik is located and Chicago, Illinois where Matt is located. We are excited to have Erik and Matt join our BY&S family.
Increasing healthcare costs drives employers to provide high-deductible health plans that shift a larger portion of the cost to the patient. This has caused an increase in unpaid patient balances resulting in significant bad debt burdens for providers. Find out more about this broken billing system in the article linked below.
Breslin, Young & Slaughter, LLC is excited to announce Leslie Fitchlee, Derek Watts, and Joseph Muller as three new additions to our team. Leslie is located in northern New York and brings four years of ABL experience in addition to fourteen years in various business and accounting roles to her new position at BY&S. Derek adds to our Charlotte, NC presence and comes to BY&S with four years of accounting experience. Joe is joining our corporate office after graduating Towson University and working for a year in mortgage lending. We are very happy to welcome all three of them to our BY&S family.
With changing reimbursements, staffing pressures, and regulatory scrutiny, the skilled nursing landscape is changing. However, there is still a role that REITs can plan in the long-term care industry. For more information see the article linked below.
Large skilled nursing portfolios are becoming available as the skilled nursing industry continues to experience declining occupancy, increases in managed care, and payment model changes. Find more details in the article linked below.
CMS has proposed a Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) which could go into effect next year. If this is the case, therapy companies will be forced to dramatically alter their business model. Find more information in the article linked below.
Skyline Health Care could be dissolving as a whole after many states have reported the company having financial problems creating medical risk. The latest news came from South Dakota where residents in 19 facilities were put at risk due to limited medical and food supplies. This caused the South Dakota Department of Health to put Skyline in receivership requiring them to turn over all assets and income. For more information see the article linked below.
With managed care growing and becoming more and more popular, skilled nursing providers may finally be getting some good news. The increase in managed care will give skilled nursing providers leverage when it comes to negotiating contracts in the future. For more details read the article linked below.
The skilled nursing industry continues to struggle and now it is more difficult to find financing. Traditional lenders are shying away from the industry and those that are providing financing are doing so selectively. However, there seems to be no shortage of capital for financing real estate deals. Find out more in the article linked below.
While the news around the skilled nursing industry may not be positive as of lately, skilled nursing is still a much safer investment than hospitals. Some believe the perceived risk related to skilled nursing facilities is higher than the actual risk. Read the article linked below for more information.
A new Medicare reimbursement structure for therapy services rewards providers that take on higher-acuity patients. Skilled nursing operators are dubbing this transition a “game changer” for the industry. For more details read the article linked below.
Does a five star rating for skilled nursing providers mean what you think? There may not be a correlation between lower rehabilitation rates and five star ratings. The truth is there is as little as a three percent difference between five star facilities and one star facilities in relation to rehospitalization. Find out more in the article linked below.
QPC-Manor Care deal results in QPC expecting to lose their real estate investment trust status while Manor Care enters bankruptcy protection. What does this mean for the skilled nursing industry? Find out in the article linked below.
BY&S welcomes Danielle Andre and Ryan Carr as Healthcare Consultants. Danielle comes to BY&S with three and a half years of field exam experience in a variety of industries. She also has previous experience working in operations for a healthcare company. Ryan comes to BY&S with four and a half years of field exam experience in a variety of industries. Both Danielle and Ryan are excited about expanding their healthcare industry knowledge and BY&S is excited to have them join our team.
Drastic cuts are being made in Medicare spending resulting from a freeze in the Medicare market basket rate. With $1.9 billion cut, skilled nursing providers are expecting to struggle over the next decade. For more information read the article linked below.
The Senate just confirmed the second Department of Health and Human Services secretary in the Trump administration, Alex Azar. For more information about Azar and the Senate vote read the article below.
There has often been differing opinions whether a company that uses a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) for its payroll and benefits is ultimately liable for payroll taxes if the PEO does not remit the taxes. Read the article below for information related to this matter.
In relation to the article posted on January 9, five nursing home providers are suing the state of Illinois. The providers are accusing the state of breaking federal laws related to Medicaid and claim that this will hurt their businesses possibly to the point of being forced to close. Read more in the article linked below for details on the current Medicaid predicament.
Desires to modernize the hospital assessment program in Illinois have hospitals worrying about their budgets. Hospital executives say the result would be multiple hospitals shutting down due to the vast majority relying on the money they get back from the hospital assessment program as it currently stands. It seems that some hospitals will benefit, but many will suffer. For more details read the article below.
Corporate webs behind nursing homes are leading to worse care for residents and monetary benefits for owners. Not only is money being funneled out of these nursing homes and ending up in the pockets of the owners, but when it comes to taking legal action for poor care the owners have an advantage. Find out more in the article below.
With a new tax reform in place, the effects on skilled nursing operators and investors are unclear. The tax bill has advantages and disadvantages that make it difficult to classify as a win or a loss for the healthcare industry. Read more in the article below for more information:
BY&S just wrapped up its 2017 company retreat in Austin, Texas. Between having employees located all across the country and hiring new people this year, the retreat was a perfect opportunity for everyone to meet and get to know each other. The group events of the weekend came to a close with a spirited axe throwing competition resulting in a win for Luke Dempsey from our corporate office. Everyone had a great time and we are all eagerly awaiting next year.
Becoming a manager means a whole new set of responsibilities along with the difficult task of learning how to work with different personalities all while attempting to keep a team as productive as possible. Whether attempting to direct an employee promoted to a management position or looking for new tactics yourself, the article below is full of key tips on how to be a successful manager.
The Department of Justice is cracking down on healthcare fraud but new standards set by ASC 606 adds complexity and could lead to unintentional accounting errors, material misstatements and fraud . Find out more in the article below.
The article linked below does a good job of comparing healthcare systems of different countries such as Canada, Britain, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, France, Australia, and the U.S.
Iowa and Oklahoma are both struggling to find insurers selling Affordable Care Act-complaint plans. In an effort to fix this they have submitted waiver requests to CMS. Find out more in the article below.
Section 1115 of the Social Security Act has allowed states more flexibility when it comes to the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion in the form of waivers. Seven states so far have been approved or applied for Section 1115 waivers. Get more details in the article linked below.
Three final rules outlining 2018 Medicare payment rates have been issued. These rates are for skilled nursing facilities, hospice, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities. For details of these new rules and rates, read more in the article below.
CMS issued a final rule regarding 2018 Medicare payment rates and quality programs for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). Payments to SNFs are projected to increase by approximately 1.0 percent compared to that of 2017. For more on this and details about changes to quality programs, read more in the article below:
CMS proposed a rule for home health agencies (HHAs) serving Medicare beneficiaries that would update 2018 payment rates and potentially redesign the payment system for 2019. CMS is redesigning the payment system to be more responsive to patient needs and to ultimately improve the overall patient outcome. Find more details about these possible changes and a link to the proposed rule in the article below:
BY&S welcomes Keith Miu and Bryan Begane as Senior Healthcare Consultant and Healthcare Consultant, respectively. Keith comes to BY&S with over five years of field exam experience in a variety of industries. Bryan come to BY&S after one year as a junior field examiner. Both Keith and Bryan are looking forward to expanding their knowledge into the healthcare space and we are excited to have them join our team.