• RCS-I At-a-Glance Tool

    By AANAC - February 14, 2018
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  • The Big Buckets of RCS-I

    By Jessie McGill, RN, RAC-MT - February 14, 2018

    The Resident Classification System Version I (RCS-I) was introduced in May 2017 in the CMS Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The RCS-I would replace the skilled nursing facility Medicare A payment system, RUGs-IV, with a vastly different set of payment criteria. CMS collected public comments in late August and then went radio-silent, leaving long-term care professionals to speculate about what is going to happen. All indications seem to point toward the same conclusion: RCS-I is coming … but when?

    In any case, there is no need to sit idly by waiting for an announcement. We can get a jump on this monumental change and start taking it in piece by piece. Here are five big-bucket items you need to know to understand the fundamentals of RCS-I.

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  • At A Glance QM, QRP, and VBP Tool

    By AANAC - February 10, 2018
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  • CASPER Reporting User’s Guide for MDS Providers UPDATED (2/18)

    By QTSO - February 01, 2018
    Provides information and instructions pertaining to CASPER Reporting, including accessing Final Validation Reports.
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  • Skilled or Not? Tool - REVISED

    By AANAC - January 24, 2018
    Understanding the technical and skilled level of care requirements for Medicare Part A is always a challenge. We’ve broken down the process with this exclusive tool.


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  • SNF QRP Help Desk Q&As 3Q 2017 (1/18)

    By CMS - January 22, 2018
    A new Question and Answer (Q+A) document is now available in the “Downloads” section of the SNF Quality Reporting Program FAQs webpage. The Q+A document reflects frequently asked questions that were received by the SNF QRP Help Desk during the third quarter (July - September) of 2017.
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  • Q&A: Therapy treated the resident on the day of discharge. Are we able to include the therapy day and minutes on the MDS?

    By Carol Maher, RN-BC, CPC, RAC-CT - December 18, 2017
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  • The Quality Measure Survival Guide: What It Is and Why You Need It

    By Jessica Kunkler, MA, Staff Writer - December 04, 2017

    The new frontier of Quality Measures in long-term care is more challenging than ever and with so much updated information, it can feel like you are lost without a compass. Not only are there three quality reporting programs—MDS 3.0 Quality Measures, Quality Reporting Program (QRP) Measures, and SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program (VBP) Measures—there are more than 51 Quality Measures (QMs). Not to mention all the manuals in which the measures are currently found: Quality Measures Technical User’s Guide, Five-Star User’s Manual, Quality Reporting Program Technical User’s Guide, Nursing Home Compare Technical User’s Guide, SNF QM User’s Manual V1 (QRP Manual), and Nursing Home Compare Quality Measure Technical Specifications. All these programs, all these manuals, all these measures—how will you ever find the way?

    The experts at the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination created the Quality Measure Survival Guide to be your easy-to-use map to understanding the measures, explaining them to your team, and auditing your facility’s information in a way that makes sense.

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  • SNF VBP FY 2019 Incentive Payments Add Another Layer to the QM Mix

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - December 04, 2017

    The Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Purchasing (SNF VBP) program has been on the back burner at most facilities as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) worked out the program details over the past few years. However, on Oct. 1, 2018, the SNF VBP program will begin impacting all traditional Medicare Part A payments made to SNFs under the skilled nursing facility prospective payment system (SNF PPS).

     

    The SNF VBP program is completely unrelated to the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (SNF QRP). “The SNF VBP program is required by the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA), whereas the SNF QRP is required under the Affordable Care Act,” pointed out CMS officials during the Nov. 16 SNF VBP Program FY 2018 SNF PPS Final Rule Call. Note: Access the call slides here. When available, access the transcript and recording here.

     

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  • Q&A: If the resident received therapy on six calendar days during the first week, but the MD order was for only five days, can the denied claim be appealed?

    By Mark McDavid, OTR, RAC-CT - December 04, 2017
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  • The MDS Focused Survey May Be Gone, But …

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - November 14, 2017

    Several months ago, AANAC master teacher Judy Wilhide Brandt, RN, BA, QCP, CPC, RAC-MT, DNS-CT, principal of Wilhide Consulting in Virginia Beach, VA, learned from state sources that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) was discontinuing the MDS Focused Survey as of Sept. 30, 2017. Many nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) celebrated this development, but the new survey process that rolls out on Nov. 28 has a trick up its sleeve: the Resident Assessment task.

    During the new survey process, surveyors investigate both resident-level care areas and facility-level concerns. On the facility side, surveyors conduct nine mandatory facility tasks (e.g., Sufficient and Competent Nurse Staffing Review). There are also three triggered tasks, meaning the survey team completes the task only if surveyors identify concerns. One of these triggered tasks is Resident Assessment.

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  • Opioids: Assessment and Care Planning Tips

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - November 14, 2017

    To be ready for the new survey process that implements on Nov. 28, 2017, nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) not only need to understand how to code N0410H (Opioid Medications Received), they also should make sure that the interdisciplinary team (IDT) understands how to assess and care plan for opioids as part of a resident’s pain management plan.

    Consider the following six tips to facilitate appropriate opioid use:

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  • Q&A: Our resident is disenrolling from a Medicare Advantage Plan and will be Medicare Part A, but did not have a three day qualifying stay. Can he still be skilled under Medicare Part A?

    By Carol Maher, RN-BC, CPC, RAC-CT - November 13, 2017
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  • Q&A: Can an LPN be counted as a “respiratory nurse” for item O0400D?

    By Jane Belt, RN, MS, RAC-MT, RAC-CT, QCP - November 13, 2017
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  • SNF VBP: Find Your Scores (11/17)

    By CMS - November 13, 2017
    Nursing Home Compare has posted an Excel file with every SNF’s Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Purchasing) SNF VBP measure performance rates and SNF VBP Program scores.
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