• NACs on Vacation—Free From Guilt and Stress

    By Jessie McGill, RN, RAC-MT - June 20, 2018

    Sitting with your feet in the sand, sunscreen on, ready to lean back and finally start reading that book that’s been at the top of your list for weeks—it’s official, you’re on vacation! One paragraph in and you set down the book with a sigh, distracted by thoughts of work. Did Mr. Jones really discharge today as planned? Did Mrs. Elderberry refuse therapy today? Who will adjust the assessment reference date of the Discharge assessments? Will anyone remember to open an End of Therapy assessment? You grab your cell phone, knowing that if you don’t check you’ll be stressed out the rest of the day.

    Is this your idea of a vacation? For many nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) it is, but it doesn’t have to be.

    Here are some strategies to achieving a vacation free from work-related guilt and stress.

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  • Expedited Determinations Clarified

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - June 20, 2018

    Financial liability notification requirements are front and center right now thanks to the implementation of the revised Skilled Nursing Facility Advance Beneficiary Notice (SNF ABN) for traditional fee-for-service Medicare Part A skilled care. However, providers still have to fulfill the completely separate notification requirements of the two-stage expedited-determination process for residents who haven’t exhausted their benefits, but whose skilled care is about to end under Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, or Medicare Advantage, says Stacy Baker, OTR/L, RAC-CT, director of audit services for Proactive Medical Review & Consulting in Evansville, IN. That point recently has been driven home in two ways:


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  • Register Now: July 31 - Aug. 1 SNF QRP Train the Trainer Event Agenda Available

    By CMS - June 11, 2018

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be hosting a 2-day Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) in-person ‘Train the Trainer’ event for providers on July 31 and August 1, 2018, at the Four Seasons Hotel Baltimore, 200 International Drive, Baltimore, MD 21202. This event will be open to all SNF providers, associations, and organizations.

    The primary focus of this 'Train-the-Trainer’ event will be to provide those responsible for training staff at SNFs with information about SNF QRP changes and updates to the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 Version 1.16.0, effective October 1, 2018. Topics will include information on new and changed items, including changes associated with Section M (Pressure Ulcer/Injury), the introduction of Section N (the Drug Regimen Review Measure), Section O (including updates to guidance on Chemotherapy and Ventilator Guidance), and Section GG (Functional Mobility). Presenters will also discuss resources available on cms.gov, and support available through the SNF Help Desks. 

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  • RAC Approved and Proposed Topic Lists (6/18)

    By CMS - June 11, 2018
    CMS now maintains pages listing approved and proposed RAC topics for the Recovery Audit program.
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  • Register Now: June 21 IMPACT Act: Frequently Asked Questions Call

    By CMS - June 07, 2018

    During this call, learn more about the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act). CMS answers your frequently asked questions on quality measures, standardized data elements, the CMS data element library, and future directions of the IMPACT Act. A question and answer session follows the presentation.

    Target Audience: Post-acute care providers, including skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, and long-term care hospitals; researchers; administrators; and other industry stakeholders and interested parties.

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  • June 30 Deadline to Contest Inaccuracies in SNF QRP QM Provider Preview Reports (6/18)

    By CMS - June 07, 2018
    Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (SNF QRP) QM Provider Preview Reports have been updated and are now available. Providers have until June 30, 2018 to review their performance data prior to public display on the Nursing Home Compare site. Corrections to the underlying data will not be permitted during this time. However, providers can request a CMS review during the preview period if they believe their data scores displayed are inaccurate.
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  • Oct, 1, 2018, DRAFT MDS Item Sets UPDATED (6/18)

    By CMS - June 06, 2018
    A DRAFT version of the 2018 MDS item sets (v1.16.0) were posted. This version is scheduled to become effective October 1, 2018.
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  • AANAC's Potential Candidates for Restorative Program Tool

    By AANAC - June 06, 2018
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  • The Most Common Care Planning Tags, and Why Facilities Are Getting Cited

    By Jessica Kunkler, MA - June 06, 2018
    Since November 28, 2017, there have been 2,069 citations for care plan–related tags, according to the Full Text of Statements of Deficiencies released in April 2018. So, what are other facilities being cited for, and how can you prepare?
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  • How You Can Boost CNA Participation in Care Planning

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - June 06, 2018

    In the Reform of Requirements for Long-term Care Facilities Final Rule, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) established that a nurse aide (i.e. CNA) with responsibility for the resident must be part of the interdisciplinary team (IDT) that develops the resident’s person-centered comprehensive care plan and that reviews and revises (based on the resident’s changing goals, preferences, and needs, and in response to current interventions) the comprehensive care plan after each MDS assessment.


    Note: CMS recently confirmed the requirement to review and revise the comprehensive care plan after both OBRA and PPS MDS assessments, except discharge assessments, in the revised Frequently Asked Questions Related to Long Term Care Regulations, Survey Process, and Training(See excerpt at the end of this article.) The review-and-revise component is important for two reasons:

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  • Q&A: How should you stage a blood-filled blister on the heel?

    By Jennifer LaBay, RN, RAC-MT - June 06, 2018
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  • Five Star Technical User's Guide UPDATED (6/18)

    By CMS - June 04, 2018

    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. Updated May 2018.

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  • Targeted Probe and Educate (TPE) Informational Video (6/18)

    By CMS - June 01, 2018
    New TPE video from CMS gives a very basic explanation of the process (with a bonus comedy routine).
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  • SNF QRP Table for Reporting MDS-Based QMs for the FY 2020 SNF QRP APU: Big Changes -- Please Review Carefully 5/18)

    By CMS - May 28, 2018
    Please note that, effective Oct. 1, 2018, all of the risk-adjustment items that did not previously count toward meeting the 80 percent threshold for the SNF QRP (e.g., H0400, K0200A/B) WILL begin to be counted. 

    The SNF QRP Table for Reporting Assessment-Based Measures for the FY 2020 SNF QRP APU is now available for download on the SNF Quality Reporting Program Measures and Technical Information webpage. This table indicates the MDS data elements that are used in determining the APU minimum submission threshold for the FY 2020 SNF QRP determination.

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  • Provider Matrix: LTCSP Survey Process: UPDATED (5/18)

    By CMS - May 16, 2018
    Survey preparation materials: Matrix With Instructions
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