• Five-Star Preview Reports Available; Help Line Open May 28 - 31

    By QTSO - May 23, 2019

    The Five Star Preview Reports will be available on May 23, 2019. To access these reports, select the CASPER Reporting link located on the CMS QIES Systems for Providers page. Once in the CASPER Reporting system, select the 'Folders' button and access the Five Star Report in your 'st LTC facid' folder, where st is the 2-character postal code of the state in which your facility is located and facid is the state-assigned Facility ID of your facility.

    Nursing Home Compare will update with May's Five Star data on May 29, 2019.

    Important Note: The 5 Star Help line (800-839-9290) will be available May 28, through May 31, 2019. Please direct your inquiries to BetterCare@cms.hhs.gov if the Help Line is not available.

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  • Prepare for October 1 with this Draft RAI Manual v1.17 Overview

    By Jane Belt, MS, RN, RAC-MT, RAC-MTA, QCP - May 23, 2019
    CMS hinted that the release was coming and, sure enough, on May 20, 2019, we got our first look at the MDS 3.0 RAI User’s Manual changes expected for this October. One word of caution as you go through the changes: CMS indicated that what was posted is an “early release” and that we must “check back prior to October 1, 2019 for a final posting which may contain additional updates.” 

    Despite the document being only a draft version, we are anxious to see just what the changes may be that will impact the nurse assessment coordinator (NAC) and the rest of the interdisciplinary team (IDT) this fall. Let’s start at the beginning and review some of the changes that are coming your way.

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  • Register for July 9 - 11 CDC National Health Safety Network Training for LTC re: Infection Control

    By CDC - May 23, 2019

    National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) Training

    Section Navigation2019 LTCF Annual Training

    Join us Tuesday, July 9th – Thursday, July 11th, 2019 for the 2019 National Healthcare Safety Network’s (NHSN) Annual Training for Long-term Care Facilities held on the CDC campus in Atlanta, Georgia

    The NHSN Long-term Care Facility (LTCF) training is open to current NHSN LTCF users, as well as LTCF facilities interested in enrolling in NHSN. The training will provide participants the information and tools necessary to identify, report, and analyze the following:

    ·        Clostridioides difficile infections (CDI)

    ·        Multi-drug Resistant Organisms (MDRO)

    ·        Urinary tract infections (UTI)

    ·        Prevention Process Measures – Adherence to gown and glove; hand hygiene adherence

    Two hands-on lab sessions will be available for attendees who are interested in learning how to analyze data within the NHSN application. Space for these sessions are limited and require additional registration.

    Attendees will also have the opportunity to hear various presenters discuss strategies to implement antibiotic stewardship, infection prevention, and internal data validation. The NHSN User Support team will join us during the week to offer attendees onsite support.

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  • SNF VBP Home Page Created(5/19)

    By CMS - May 22, 2019
    CMS has created a new online home for the Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Purchasing (SNF VBP) program with the following sections:

    • Measure
    • Scoring Methodology & Payment Adjustment
    • Confidential Feedback Reporting & Review and Corrections
    • Extraordinary Circumstance Exception
    • Public Reporting of SNF VBP Program Data
    • Resources

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  • Preliminary RAI Manual v1.17 Released (5/19)

    By CMS - May 20, 2019

    The PDF file labeled “MDS 3.0 RAI Manual v1.17 October 1, 2019” is now available.

    Please note this early release is being provided in response to stakeholder feedback. The MDS 3.0 RAI Manual v1.17 contains many updates including information related to the Patient Driven Payment Model. Please check back prior to October 1, 2019 for a final posting which may contain additional updates.

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  • June 5 Post-Acute Care QRPs: Reporting Requirements and Resources Call: Register Now

    By CMS - May 20, 2019

    Post-Acute Care QRPs: Reporting Requirements and Resources Call

    When: Wednesday, June 5, 2019, from 2 to 3:30 pm ET

    Registration:   Register    for Medicare Learning Network events.

    Event Materials:

    ·        Presentation: Available prior to the event

    ·        Audio recording and transcript: Available approximately 2 weeks after the event


    During this call, learn about reporting requirements and resources for the Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF), Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH), and Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Programs (QRPs).


    ·        Data submission requirements and deadlines

    ·        Annual Payment Update requirements

    ·        Reconsideration process

    ·        Reports

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  • CDC C. difficile Naming Convention Change (5/19)

    By National Nursing Home Quality Improvement Campaign - May 19, 2019

    The CDC has begun using Clostridioides difficile instead of Clostridium difficile to refer to the bacterium that commonly causes infectious diarrhea.

    The change followed a decision early last year by the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI).

    Given that laboratories and medical publications may be transitioning to the new name, the National Nursing Home Quality Improvement Campaign is making the transition when using the full name. However, the abbreviated form C. Diff is still applicable.

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  • The Evolution of the Nurse Assessment Coordinator (NAC) Under PDPM

    By Jane Belt, MS, RN, RAC-MT, RAC-MTA, QCP and Jessie McGill, RN, RAC-MT, RAC-MTA - May 16, 2019

    The October 1, 2019, deadline for implementation of PDPM is looming. Nursing home administrators should use caution if they are thinking that fewer NAC hours will be needed just because the number of PPS assessments will decrease. The MDS is still the primary data source under PDPM, and MDS accuracy and completeness are paramount to accurate reimbursement. The preparation needed to get the NAC ready for their new role under PDPM cannot wait until October! We must start now, especially since we all know how the calendar seems to speed up when the summer months are upon us.


    Let’s take a look at some of the NAC’s current tasks and how they will change under PDPM:

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  • PDPM to SPADEs: How to Navigate the Waves of Change

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - May 16, 2019

    October 1, 2019 will mark the launch of what could be a sustained period of considerable change for the Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System (SNF PPS), the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (SNF QRP), the MDS itself—and the role of the nurse assessment coordinator (NAC), suggests Jessie McGill, RN, RAC-MT, RAC-MTA, curriculum development specialist at AANAC.

    The changes start this October 1 with the implementation of the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) for the fee-for-service Medicare Part A SNF PPS. “This is a distinctly different payment model than RUG-IV, and it will drive a complete shift in the NAC’s focus. Instead of concentrating on therapy minutes and the activities of daily living (ADLs), the NAC will have to pay attention to a whole array of clinical services that need to be captured by the 5-day MDS’s assessment reference date (ARD),” says McGill. “This will mean spending a lot of time looking for documentation, not only from the nursing staff but also from the physicians to support ICD-10-CM codes.”

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  • OIG Assessment of Nursing Home Deficiency Trends Finds Need for Improvement (5/19)

    By OIG - May 02, 2019

    Trends in Deficiencies at Nursing Homes Show That Improvements Are Needed To Ensure the Health and Safety of Residents (A-09-18-02010)

    In this data brief, we analyze nursing home deficiencies that were identified by State survey agencies (State agencies) across the Nation for calendar years 2013 through 2017 (review period). This data brief offers the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and other stakeholders (e.g., State agencies and nursing home management) insight into deficiency trends at nursing homes nation-wide. It also complements our previous report on State agencies' verification of correction of nursing home deficiencies.

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  • May 7 - 8 SNF QRP Training Materials Available

    By CMS - May 02, 2019
    May 7 - 8 SNF QRP Training Materials Available
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  • PBJ Reports Help Verify Your MDS Census Numbers

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - May 01, 2019

    Last fall, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released two new CASPER reports for the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system that went under the radar at many nursing homes. However, these reports are worth paying attention to because nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) can use them to help assess the accuracy and timeliness of MDS census data, says Carol Maher, RN-BC, RAC-MT, CPC, director of education for Hansen, Hunter & Co. PC in Vancouver, WA.


    “Since CMS changed the staffing census to MDS data instead of data submitted to PBJ, many facilities have seen their staffing stars decrease in the Five-Star Quality Rating System,” says Maher. “But a lot of providers haven’t connected that decrease to the change to MDS census data—they seem to think it’s a mystery.”

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  • Going From Skip Days to Interrupted Stays

    By Jessie McGill, RN, RAC-MT, RAC-MTA - May 01, 2019

    Mr. Jones admitted to Happy Acres Nursing Home on Original Medicare a couple of weeks ago, but an acute exacerbation of his COPD has resulted in an emergency room visit and an overnight stay for observation. The nurse assessment coordinator is closely watching the clock to see if Mr. Jones will return within 24 hours from discharge to meet the “midnight rule.” As another hour passes and more than 24 hours has elapsed, the NAC knows she must complete both an OBRA and a Part A PPS Discharge assessment. And for now—until October—her thinking is correct. Once the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) is implemented though, all of this will change with the “interrupted stay” policy.

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  • SNF QRP SNF Provider Preview Reports - Now Available (5/19)

    By CMS - May 01, 2019
    Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Provider Preview Reports have been updated and are now available. The data contained within the Preview Reports is based on quality data submitted by SNFs between Quarter 4 – 2017 and Quarter 3 – 2018, for assessment-based quality measures, and between Quarter 1 – 2017 to Quarter 4 – 2017, for claims-based quality measures. Providers have until May 30, 2019 to review their performance data prior to the July 2019Nursing Home Compare site refresh, during which this data will be publicly displayed. Corrections to the underlying data will not be permitted during this time; however, providers can request CMS review of their data during the preview period if they believe the quality measure scores that are displayed within their Preview Reports are inaccurate. 
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  • SNF QRP FY 2020 Reconsideration Request Process Estimated Timeline (5/19)

    By CMS - May 01, 2019
    The estimated CMS reconsideration process timeline for FY 2020 payment determination.
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