• Q&A: How do I interpret the percentages on the CASPER Review and Correct Report for SNF QRP measures?

    By Carol Maher, RN-BC, CPC, RAC-MT - April 02, 2018
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  • Why the Right ICD-10 CM Diagnosis Makes the Difference for Skilled Nursing Facilities

    By Staff Writer - March 21, 2018
    The incorrect medical diagnosis/ICD-10-CM code has negative repercussions not only for care but also for billing claims. This is especially true for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), as they move from a volume-based to a value-based reimbursement system. As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) rolls out new programs that measure and monitor quality of care, including the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP) and SNF Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) program, the correct ICD-10-CM codes are more important than ever. Since Quality Measures are risk adjusted based on multiple factors, including established diagnosis, it is critical for ICD-10 codes to be accurately collected and reported. Here’s how it all connects.
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  • TIP: Act Now On QRP Deadlines

    By AANAC - March 21, 2018
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  • What the NAC Needs to Know About QAPI

    By Jessica Kunkler, MA - March 21, 2018

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requirement that facilities have a fully implemented QAPI program by November 28, 2019, means that it’s time to take QAPI plans from paper into practice. As the NAC, you have a lot to contribute to the process, especially when it comes to understanding how your facility’s quality ratings, such as Five-Star, come to be and can be improved to contribute to the success of your organization.

    CASPER reports can be an important tool in developing Performance Improvement Projects to improve quality ratings, according to Maureen McCarthy, RN, BS, RAC-MT, QCP-MT, President of Celtic Consulting. But they can only help if you use them in time, before the data hits the Five-Star ratings. As McCarthy says, “Five-Star reports are water under the bridge.” Alternatively, resident preview reports available through CASPER tell you which residents will be triggering, which gives you an opportunity to review the information for accuracy, to identify something larger going on, and even to correct erroneous information.

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  • Section GG Overhaul Coming This Oct. 1 In Conjunction With New QMs

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - February 28, 2018
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  • TIP: CMS Enhances QM Reports

    By AANAC - February 14, 2018
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  • Q&A: I am being pressured to lie on the MDS. What actions can I take?

    By Judy W. Brandt, RN, BA, QCP, CPC, RAC-MT, DNS-CT - February 12, 2018
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  • At A Glance QM, QRP, and VBP Tool

    By AANAC - February 10, 2018
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  • TIP: New Quality Measures

    By AANAC - February 01, 2018
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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: Will the new MDS items change the way Quality Measures are calculated?

    By Jessie McGill, RN, RAC-MT - November 01, 2017
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  • Covariates: A Quick List of 10 MDS Items to Watch

    By AANAC - October 05, 2017
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  • C1000: Don’t Let Assessors Under-Code This Key MDS Item

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - October 05, 2017

    Nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) frequently don’t code MDS 3.0 Section C (Cognitive Patterns), including the critical item C1000 (Cognitive Skills for Daily Decision-Making), notes Kristin Bernard Breese, BSN, RN, CPC, RAC-MT, owner of Post-Acute Clinical Advisors LLC in North Granby, CT. “The social worker is often making the coding decision for C1000, and MDS coordinators as a rule aren’t going back and checking their work.”

     

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  • MDS-Based Covariates: What They Are and Why They Matter

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - September 26, 2017

    Nine quality measures (QMs) across two different programs are calculated using MDS-based covariates. These measures include three publicly reported claims-based Five Star Quality Rating System QMs, five publicly reported MDS-based Five Star QMs, and one MDS-based Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (SNF QRP) QM that will be publicly reported beginning in fall 2018. In addition, effective Oct. 1, 2018, SNFs will be submitting MDS data for five SNF QRP QMs that have MDS-based covariates, increasing the total number of QMs with MDS-based covariates across both programs to 13.

    With covariates playing a growing role in QM calculation, nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) should pay attention to more than simple numerators, denominators, and exclusions. So a key question that all NACs need to be able to answer is: What exactly is a covariate?

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