• Section S and Additional MDS Items Required by States Effective Oct. 1, 2016 (REVISED)

    By CMS - July 27, 2016

    State-specific MDS items.

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  • SNF QRP Requirements for the Fiscal Year 2018 Reporting Year

    By CMS - July 25, 2016
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  • SNF QRP: Requirements for the FY 2018 Reporting Year Fact Sheet (7/16)

    By CMS - July 24, 2016
    A “SNF QRP: Requirements for the FY 2018 Reporting Year” Fact Sheet is now available. This fact sheet contains information about requirements for the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 reporting year (data collection period 10/1/16- 12/31/16)
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  • Aug. 24 Chicago SNF QRP Training: Registration Open, Event Also Will Be Live-Streamed

    By CMS - July 24, 2016

    SNF Quality Reporting Program Training: The focus of this train-the-trainer event will be to provide SNFs with assessment-based data collection instructions and updates associated with the changes in the October 1, 2016 release of the MDS 3.0 and other reporting requirements of the SNF QRP.​ This training is an abbreviated version of the 2-day event hosted in Atlanta, GA, on June 21 and 22, 2016, and is intended to provide an additional opportunity to learn about upcoming changes for those who could not attend the original training.

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  • DRAFT MDS 3.0 Item Sets & Data Specs for Oct. 1, 2016, Implementation - UPDATED (7/16)

    By CMS - July 24, 2016

    Preview the many changes to the MDS item sets and data specs that will be implemented on Oct. 1, 2016, but remember these are drafts -- changes could still occur. Most recently, CMS issued another errata in July 2016.

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  • Five Star Preview Reports Available July 21; Help Line Open July 25 - 29

    By QTSO - July 20, 2016

    The Five Star Preview Reports will be available on July 21st. Nursing Home Compare will update with June's Five Star data on July 27, 2016.

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  • Section GG: Two IDT Process Issues NACs Need to Consider Now

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - July 19, 2016
    Effective Oct. 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is adding Section GG (Functional Abilities and Goals) to the MDS 3.0 to collect data for the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (SNF QRP) quality measure (QM), Application of Percent of Long-Term Care Hospital Patients With an Admission and Discharge Functional Assessment and a Care Plan That Addresses Function. Section GG assesses a Medicare Part A resident’s need for assistance with self-care and mobility activities on admission; sets discharge goals for the resident on admission; and then assesses the resident’s need for assistance with these activities at discharge.
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  • July SNF QRP: Get a Grasp on MDS Based QMs

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - July 19, 2016

    Three MDS-based quality measures (QMs) affecting Medicare Part A fiscal year (FY) 2018 payment determinations were finalized for adoption into the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (SNF QRP) in the FY 2016 SNF PPS final rule, noted officials with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) during the July 12 SNF QRP National Provider Call (NPC). (Call slides, as well as an audio recording and a transcript of the call when available, can be accessed here.)

    Detailed information about the specifications for these QMs is available in Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program – Specifications for the Quality Measures Adopted through the Fiscal Year 2016 Final Rule, as well as in the slide set from the June 21 – 22 SNF QRP training session in Atlanta. However, CMS officials provided a high-level overview of the specifications for the three QMs during the NPC:

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  • IMPACT Act Call: 4 Key Takeaways NACs Need to Know

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - July 19, 2016
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) largely designed the July 7 “Quality Measures and the IMPACT Act” MLN Connects National Provider Call to review some basics: how the quality measures (QMs) that will be used in the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (SNF QRP) are created; what QMs were finalized in the fiscal year (FY) 2016 skilled nursing facility prospective payment system (SNF PPS) final rule and proposed in the FY 2017 SNF PPS proposed rule; and when important implementation milestones occur. However, CMS also managed to slip in the following four key takeaways for nurse assessment coordinators (NACs):
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  • July SNF ODF: Could the Finalized RAI Manual Arrive Early?

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - July 18, 2016

    While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) previously indicated that the finalized v1.14 of the RAI User’s Manual for the MDS 3.0 would be published in September, the manual may in fact arrive somewhat earlier—and be somewhat different than the draft manual that was released in May. “We do intend to release a final RAI Manual in the next few weeks that will contain several revisions,” said officials during the July 14 Skilled Nursing Facility/Long-term Care Open Door Forum (SNF/LTC ODF).

    In the meantime, the draft v1.14 manual remains available for review. Providers should submit any questions about the draft to MDSforSandC@cms.hhs.gov, suggested officials.

    Other topics covered in the SNF/LTC ODF include the following:

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  • Five Star: CMS Explains QM Domain Changes in Updated Manual

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - July 13, 2016
    The quality measure (QM) domain of the Five Star Nursing Home Quality Rating System is getting a make-over starting this month thanks to the addition of five new QMs and several methodological changes, according to the revised July 2016 Design for Nursing Home Compare Five-Star Quality Rating System: Technical Users’ Guide. Concurrent with these changes, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) also increased the cut-point thresholds (i.e., the data boundaries between each star category) and the point ranges for all five QM star rating categories. (See chart comparing new cut-points and previous cut-points at the end of this article.)
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  • Five-Star Technical User's Guide UPDATED (7/16)

    By CMS - July 12, 2016

    CMS created the Five-Star (5 Star) Quality Rating System to help consumers, their families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily. The Five-Star Quality Rating System Technical Users' Guide provides in-depth descriptions of the ratings and the methods used to calculate them.

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  • Section GG: 3 Easy Mistakes Your IDT Should Never Make

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - July 05, 2016
    When Section GG (Functional Abilities and Goals) becomes part of the MDS 3.0 on Oct. 1, providers will not only have to conduct a brand-new formalized assessment for self-care and mobility on their Medicare Part A residents, they also will have to set measurable discharge goals for functional status. With all of these “firsts” on the horizon, nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) need to make sure their interdisciplinary team (IDT) isn’t tripped up by the significant differences between Section GG and the rest of the MDS, says Judy Wilhide Brandt, RN, BA, RAC-MT, president of Judy Wilhide MDS Consulting in Virginia Beach, Va.
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  • Task Management: Buried Under MDSs? Schedule Yourself for Success

    By Emily Royalty-Bachelor, Staff Writer - July 05, 2016
    Your day starts out like any other. You walk into your office and see that a pile of assessments is waiting to be completed. You check your email and notice that your inbox is overflowing. When you review your calendar, you realize you have three meetings scheduled for the day. You sit down to begin looking into new admissions, but there’s so much to do that you don’t know where to start. Already you can feel the stress setting in. You check the clock and think to yourself, “How can I possibly get all this finished today?” There are so many tasks to contend with that, for many nurse assessment coordinators, feeling overwhelmed is part of the job description. But it doesn’t have to be.
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  • Section X: Solve the MDS Corrections Mystery

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - July 05, 2016

    Now that the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting (SNF QRP) program is gearing up for data collection effective Oct. 1, it’s more important than ever that nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) understand how to use MDS Section X (Correction Request). This section is the vehicle for making corrections to MDS data that affects both quality measures and RUG-IV classifications, points out Kristin Bernard Breese, BSN, RN, CPC, RAC-MT, director of operations for Celtic Consulting in Torrington, Conn.

    Here are some steps that NACs can take to make sure they use—and code—Section X correctly:

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