Latest Morning Briefing Stories

Some States Allowing Nursing Home Visitors Again

KHN Morning Briefing

Texas and Washington are opening nursing homes to visitors. Indiana releases numbers that reveal two-thirds of its COVID deaths were in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Health Insurer Issues Refunds

KHN Morning Briefing

Rebates for some Massachusetts health insurance customers and higher profits for CVS Health are two impacts of the pandemic; people used fewer health services.

Relief Funds Flowed To Nursing Home Providers Accused Of Fraud, Misdeeds

KHN Morning Briefing

A Washington Post analysis of coronavirus relief money distribution finds that hundreds of millions of dollars went to dozens of nursing home companies that settled recent lawsuits with the Justice Department over alleged improper Medicare billing, forged documents, substandard care and other abuses.

Missouri Medicaid Expansion Fight Heats Up Ahead Of Vote

KHN Morning Briefing

Whether Missouri should expand its Medicaid program will be put to voters next Tuesday. In other Medicaid news: Texas extends pandemic flexibility; telehealth users want permanent change; and many doctors support benefits for unemployed.

Medicare Officials Tighten Rein On Group That Accredits Hospitals

KHN Morning Briefing

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services granted the Joint Commission approval to accredit for only two years, rather than the maximum of six, citing concerns about surveyor performance and comparability of the Joint Commission’s survey process to what CMS uses.

CMS Chief Seema Verma Mishandled Contracts, HHS Inspector General Says

KHN Morning Briefing

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services administrator Seema Verma sharply disputed the findings. In a response, she said the agency has “deep concerns” with the conclusions, which “are based on unsubstantiated assumptions and incomplete analysis.”

Medicare Data Offers Public Incomplete Count Of Nursing Homes That Experienced COVID-19 Cases, Deaths

KHN Morning Briefing

As nursing homes report coronavirus cases and deaths, a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services website is supposed to release the data. But there are gaps in the stats. “The biggest thing that needs to be taken away … is in its current form, it is really leaving consumers in the dark,” Sam Brooks, project manager for Consumer Voice, said of the website.