• Don’t Let COVID-19 Waivers, Skilled Care Requirements Be an Audit Problem

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - November 02, 2020

    “Now that CMS has given Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) the green light to begin resuming the Medicare Part A audit process, providers should consider the eventuality of waiver-related claims being audited,” says Robin Hillier, CPA, STNA, LNHA, RAC-MT. 

    In this article, review some tips that can help nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) prepare for key waiver-related claims audits, as well as help them defend a Part A skilled level of care.

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  • Cybersecurity Alert: Ransomware Activity Targeting the Healthcare and Public Health Sector (10/20)

    By ASPR TRACIE - October 30, 2020
    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have developed a cybersecurity alert related to an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers: "Alert (AA20-302A) Ransomware Activity Targeting the Healthcare and Public Health Sector." This advisory describes the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by cybercriminals against targets in the Healthcare and Public Health Sector (HPH) to infect systems with Ryuk ransomware for financial gain. CISA, FBI, and HHS are sharing this information to provide warning to healthcare providers to ensure that they take timely and reasonable precautions to protect their networks from these threats.
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  • BIMS MDS Coding Video Tutorial (10/20)

    By CMS - October 29, 2020
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is releasing a video tutorial to assist providers in Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities and Skilled Nursing Facilities with standardized data assessment guidance and assessment strategies for the cognitive assessment known as the Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS). This video tutorial is approximately 22 minutes in length and is designed to provide targeted guidance for accurate coding using live-action patient/resident scenarios.
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  • TAKE Care Kit Therapeutic Activity Kit for Dementia Residents (10/20)

    By NICHE - October 29, 2020
    The TAKE Care kit is an evidence-based system of “first-line, non-pharmacological interventions” designed to help elderly patients with cognitive decline in multiple settings, including long-term care, who are having or are at risk of having agitation/disruptive behaviors. From Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE).
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  • HHS Sends Incentive Payments to Nursing Homes Curbing COVID-19 Deaths / Infections (10/20)

    By HHS - October 29, 2020

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), is announcing it will distribute approximately $333 million in first round performance payments to over 10,000 nursing homes. These nursing homes are being recognized for demonstrating significant reductions in COVID-19 related infections and deaths between August and September. This announcement illustrates how complementing relief payments with outcome-based payments help to yield positive results in improving quality and infection control in nursing homes.

    "These $333 million in performance payments are going to nursing homes that have maintained safer environments for residents between August and September," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "We've provided nursing homes with resources and training to improve infection control, and we're rapidly providing incentives to those facilities that are making progress in the fight against COVID-19."

    Nursing homes have been particularly hard hit by this pandemic. In response, the Trump Administration has employed a number of strategies to protect nursing home residents and slow the spread of COVID-19. In addition to General Distribution funding through the Provider Relief Fund program, HHS dedicated almost $5 billion in targeted funding to nursing homes in May.  HHS then announced another $5 billion opportunity in August. Of this amount, HHS distributed $2.5 billion in early September to help nursing homes with upfront COVID-19-related expenses for testing, staffing, and personal protective equipment (PPE) needs. Another $2 billion is being used to create an incentive program divided into five performance cycles. This performance-based payment structure will reward nursing homes for keeping new COVID-19 infection and mortality rates among residents lower than the communities they serve, as analyzed against CDC data.

    Nursing Home Performance-Based Results

    Today, HHS is announcing that in the first round of the incentive program, which compared data from August to September, 10,631 nursing homes, or over 77 percent of the 13,795 eligible, met the infection control criteria. Overall, these nursing homes contributed to 5,000 fewer COVID-19 infections in nursing homes in September than in August. Against both the infection control and mortality criteria, 10,501 nursing homes, or 76 percent, qualified for payments and contributed to 1,200 fewer COVID-19 related nursing home deaths between August and September.

    Nursing homes will receive September quality incentive payments next week and will have four more opportunities to receive additional incentive payments.

    HHS is encouraged by the promising September results but recognize this virus is dynamic and there is still opportunity for continued improvement. Safeguarding nursing home residents from the perils of this devastating pandemic will remain a top priority for HHS.

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  • Confusion Assessment Method (CAM) MDS Coding Video Tutorial (10/20)

    By CMS - October 29, 2020
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is releasing a video tutorial to assist providers in Skilled Nursing Facilities with standardized data assessment guidance and assessment strategies for the cognitive assessment known as the Confusion Assessment Method (CAM). This video tutorial is approximately 25 minutes in length and is designed to provide targeted guidance for accurate coding using live-action resident scenarios.
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  • SNF QRP October Refresh 2020: Six New Measures Publicly Reported (10/20)

    By CMS - October 29, 2020

    The October 2020 refresh of SNF QRP data is now available on Nursing Home Compare (NHC), as well as the Nursing homes including rehab services web pages within Care Compare (CCXP) and Provider Data Catalog (PDC).

    The data are based on quality assessment data submitted by SNFs to CMS from Quarter 1 2019 through Quarter 4 2019 (01/01/2019 –12/31/2019); and the annual update of the claims-based measures data from Quarter 4 2017 – Quarter 3 2019 (10/01/2017 – 9/30/2019).

    Starting in October 2020, six additional SNF QRP measures will be publicly reported on NHC, CCXP and PDC:

    ·  Changes in Skin Integrity Post-Acute Care: Pressure Ulcer/Injury,

    ·  Drug Regimen Review Conducted with Follow-Up for Identified Issues – PAC SNF QRP,

    ·  Application of IRF Functional Outcome Measure: Change in Self-Care (NQF #2633),

    ·  Application of IRF Functional Outcome Measure: Change in Mobility (NQF #2634),

    ·  Application of IRF Functional Outcome Measure: Discharge Self-Care Score (NQF #2635), and

    ·  Application of IRF Functional Outcome Measure: Discharge Mobility Score (NQF #2636).


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  • Five-Star Technical User's Guide Plus Claims-Based Measures Appendix (10/20)

    By CMS - October 29, 2020

    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 twice in October 2019.


    CMS created the Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers, their families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily. The Nursing Home Compare Web site features a quality rating system that gives each nursing home a rating of between 1 and 5 stars. Nursing homes with 5 stars are considered to have much above average quality and nursing homes with 1 star are considered to have quality much below average. This manual provides in-depth descriptions of the ratings and the methods used to calculate them. 

    October 2020 Revisions

    Staffing Rating Changes: Starting with the October 2020 refresh of Nursing Home Compare (NHC), CMS will resume updating PBJ staffing measures and staffing ratings, using the data submitted for the August 14, 2020 deadline (covering April – June 2020). During the time these data are reported on NHC (October - December 2020), facilities that did not report staffing for the August 14 deadline or that reported four or more days in the quarter with no registered nurse will have their staffing ratings suppressed. Their staffing ratings will show “Not Available”. Starting with the January 2021 refresh of NHC, when staffing data submitted by the November 14, 2020 deadline will be reported and used for the five-star ratings, nursing homes that do not report staffing data for July – September 2020 or that report four or more days in the quarter with no registered nurse will have their staffing ratings reduced to one star. Case-Mix adjustment will be based on the concurrent RUG-IV distribution.

    Quality Measure Rating Changes: Starting with the October 2020 refresh of Nursing Home Compare, a new quality measure (Percentage of residents with pressure ulcers/injuries that are new or worsened) will replace the current short-stay pressure ulcer measure. This new measure is also sometimes referred to by the official measure title of “Changes in Skin Integrity Post-Acute Care: Pressure Ulcer/Injury.” This measure will still contribute between 20 and 100 points to the short-stay QM score. Additional detail is included in the Quality Measure rating section of this document and Table A2. More information about the public reporting of the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (SNF QRP) Quality Measures is available here. Note that due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, CMS is not currently using any MDS-based or claims-based Quality Measure data after December 31, 2019 for reporting on NHC or in the Quality Measure Rating. CMS will communicate any changes to stakeholders in advance of updating the Nursing Home Compare website.

    Health Inspection Rating Changes: Since the Nursing Home Compare (NHC) refresh in April 2020 and until further notice, the health inspection domain of the rating system is being held constant to include only data from surveys that occurred on or before March 3, 2020. Results of health inspections conducted on or after March 4, 2020, will be posted publicly, but not be used to calculate a nursing home's health inspection star ratings. CMS will continue to monitor inspections, including the restarting of certain inspections (i.e., surveys) per CMS memoranda QSO-20-31-ALL and QSO-20-35-ALL. CMS will restart the inspection ratings as soon as possible and will communicate any changes to stakeholders in advance of updating the Nursing Home Compare website.


    January 2020 addition: Technical specifications for claims-based measures


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  • SARS-CoV-2 Exposure and Infection Among Health Care Personnel: LTC Staff More Likely to Work With Symptoms (10/20)

    By CDC - October 28, 2020

    SARS-CoV-2 Exposure and Infection Among Health Care Personnel — Minnesota, March 6–July 11, 2020

    Weekly / October 30, 2020 / 69(43);1605–1610

    Summary

    What is already known about this topic?

    Health care personnel (HCP) are at increased risk for COVID-19 from workplace exposures.

    What is added by this report?

    Among 21,406 Minnesota SARS-CoV-2 HCP exposures, 5,374 (25%) were higher-risk (within 6 feet, ≥15 minutes, or during an aerosol-generating procedure); exposures involved patient care (66%) and nonpatient contacts (34%). Compared with HCP working in acute care settings, those working in congregate living and long-term care more often worked while symptomatic and received positive SARS-CoV-2 test results.

    What are the implications for public health practice?

    HCP should recognize potential exposures unrelated to patient care and use prevention measures, including masks. HCP in congregate living and long-term care settings experience considerable risk and pose a transmission risk to residents. Improved access to personal protective equipment, flexible medical leave, and testing is needed.

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  • SNFs May Be Able to Furnish COVID-19 Vaccine as Mass Immunizer Roster Biller (10/20)

    By CMS - October 28, 2020

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking steps to ensure all Americans, including the nation’s seniors, have access to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine at no cost when it becomes available. Today, the agency released a comprehensive plan with proactive measures to remove regulatory barriers and ensure consistent coverage and payment for the administration of an eventual vaccine for millions of Americans. CMS released a set of toolkits for providers, states and insurers to help the health care system prepare to swiftly administer the vaccine once it is available.  These resources are designed to increase the number of providers that can administer the vaccine, ensure adequate reimbursement for administering the vaccine in Medicare, while making it clear to private insurers and Medicaid programs their responsibility to cover the vaccine at no charge to beneficiaries. In addition, CMS is taking action to increase reimbursement for any new COVID-19 treatments that are approved or authorized by the FDA.

    “We have developed a comprehensive plan to support the swift and successful distribution of a safe and effective vaccine for COVID-19,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “As Operation Warp Speed nears its goal of delivering the vaccine in record time, CMS is acting now to remove bureaucratic barriers while ensuring that states, providers and health plans have the information and direction they need to ensure broad vaccine access and coverage for all Americans.”

    To ensure broad access to a vaccine for America’s seniors, CMS released an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period (IFC) today that establishes that any vaccine that receives Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization, either through an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or licensed under a Biologics License Application (BLA), will be covered under Medicare as a preventive vaccine at no cost to beneficiaries.  The IFC also implements provisions of the CARES Act that ensure swift coverage of a COVID-19 vaccine by most private health insurance plans without cost sharing from both in and out-of-network providers during the course of the public health emergency (PHE).

    In anticipation of the availability of new COVID-19 treatments, the IFC also establishes additional Medicare hospital payment to support Medicare patients’ access to these potentially life-saving COVID-19 therapies.  In Medicare, hospitals are generally reimbursed a fixed payment amount for the services they provide during an inpatient stay, even if their costs exceed that amount. Under current rules, hospitals may qualify for additional “outlier payments,” but only when their costs for a particular patient exceed a certain threshold. Under this IFC, hospitals would qualify for additional payments when they treat patients with innovative new products approved or authorized to treat COVID-19 to mitigate any losses they may experience from making these therapies available, even if they do not reach the current outlier threshold. The IFC also makes changes to reimbursement for outpatient hospital services to ensure payment for certain innovative treatments for COVID-19 that occur outside of bundled arrangements and are paid separately. In addition, CMS released information to prepare hospitals to bill for the outpatient administration of a monoclonal antibody product in the event one is approved under an emergency use authorization (EUA).

    This rule also allows states to employ a broad range of strategies - based on local needs - to appropriately manage their Medicaid program costs. The guidance and flexibility provided to states in the IFC will help them maintain Medicaid beneficiary enrollment while receiving the temporary increase in federal funding in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

    CMS is also taking continued steps to ensure that price transparency extends to COVID-19 testing during the PHE.  Provisions in the IFC require that any provider who performs a COVID-19 diagnostic test post their cash prices online. Providers that are non-compliant may face civil monetary penalties.

    In addition to these provisions, the IFC:

    • Provides an extension of Performance Year 5 for the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) model; and
    • Creates flexibilities in the public notice requirements and post-award public participation requirements for a State Innovation Waiver under Section 1332 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act during the COVID-19 PHE.

    Along with these regulatory changes, CMS is issuing three toolkits aimed at state Medicaid agencies, providers who will administer the vaccine, and health insurance plans. Together, these toolkits will help ensure the health care system is prepared to successfully administer a safe and effective vaccine by addressing issues related to access, billing and payment, and coverage.

    Increasing Access to Vaccines for Medicare & Medicaid Beneficiaries

    The toolkits issued today give health care providers not currently enrolled in Medicare the information needed to administer and bill vaccines to Medicare patients. CMS is working to increase the number of providers that will administer a COVID-19 vaccine to Medicare beneficiaries when it becomes available, to make it as convenient as possible for America’s seniors. New providers are now able to enroll as a “Medicare mass immunizers” through an expedited 24-hour process. The ability to easily enroll as a mass immunizer is important for some pharmacies, schools, and other entities that may be non-traditional providers or otherwise not eligible for Medicare enrollment. To further increase the number of providers who can administer the COVID -19 vaccine, CMS will continue to share approved Medicare provider information with states to assist with Medicaid provider enrollment efforts. CMS is also making it easier for newly enrolled Medicare providers to also enroll in state Medicaid programs to support state administration of vaccines for Medicaid recipients.

    Coverage

    As a condition of receiving free COVID-19 vaccines from the federal government, providers will be prohibited from charging consumers for administration of the vaccine. To ensure broad and consistent coverage across programs and payers, the toolkits have specific information for several programs, including:

    Medicare: Beneficiaries with Medicare pay nothing for COVID-19 vaccines and their copayment/coinsurance and deductible are waived.

    Medicare Advantage (MA): For calendar years 2020 and 2021, Medicare will pay directly for the COVID-19 vaccine and its administration for beneficiaries enrolled in MA plans. MA plans would not be responsible for reimbursing providers to administer the vaccine during this time.   Medicare Advantage beneficiaries also pay nothing for COVID-19 vaccines and their copayment/coinsurance and deductible are waived.

    Medicaid: State Medicaid and CHIP agencies must provide vaccine administration with no cost sharing for most beneficiaries during the public health emergency.  Following the public health emergency, depending on the population, states may have to evaluate cost sharing policies and may have to submit state plan amendments if updates are needed.

    Private Plans: CMS, along with the Departments of Labor and the Treasury, is requiring that most private health plans and issuers cover a recommended COVID-19 vaccine and its administration, both in-network and out-of-network, with no cost sharing. The rule also provides that out-of-network rates cannot be unreasonably low, and references CMS’s reimbursement rates as a potential guideline for insurance companies.

    Uninsured: For individuals who are uninsured, providers will be able to be reimbursed for administering the COVID-19 vaccine to individuals without insurance through the Provider Relief Fund, administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

    Billing and Payment

    The toolkits also address issues related to billing and payment. After the FDA either approves or authorizes a vaccine for COVID-19, CMS will identify the specific vaccine codes, by dose if necessary, and specific vaccine administration codes for each dose for Medicare payment.  CMS and the American Medical Association (AMA) are working collaboratively on finalizing a new approach to report use of COVID-19 vaccines, which include separate vaccine-specific codes.  Providers and insurance companies will be able to use these to bill for and track vaccinations for the different vaccines that are provided to their enrollees.

    Medicare Payment

    CMS also released new Medicare payment rates for COVID-19 vaccine administration. The Medicare payment rates will be $28.39 to administer single-dose vaccines. For a COVID-19 vaccine requiring a series of two or more doses, the initial dose(s) administration payment rate will be $16.94, and $28.39 for the administration of the final dose in the series. These rates will be geographically adjusted and recognize the costs involved in administering the vaccine, including the additional resources involved with required public health reporting, conducting important outreach and patient education, and spending additional time with patients answering any questions they may have about the vaccine. Medicare beneficiaries, those in Original Medicare or enrolled in Medicare Advantage, will be able to get the vaccine at no cost.

    CMS is encouraging state policymakers and other private insurance agencies to utilize the information on the Medicare reimbursement strategy to develop their vaccine administration payment plan in the Medicaid program, CHIP, the Basic Health Program (BHP), and private plans. Using the Medicare strategy as a model would allow states to match federal efforts in successfully administering the full vaccine to the most vulnerable populations.

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  • Upgrade Your NHSN Access to Do Required Reporting of Point-of-Care SARS-CoV-2 Testing Data? (10/20)

    By CDC - October 23, 2020

    NHSN Long-Term Care COVID-19 Module — CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) added a Point of Care Laboratory Reporting Pathway within the NHSN Long-Term Care COVID-19 Module. This added capability enables CMS-certified long-term care facilities to meet the Department of Health and Human Services’ requirement to report SARS-CoV-2 point-of-care antigen test data, and other on-site COVID-19 laboratory testing data.

    The HHS guidance states: "CMS-certified long-term care facilities shall submit point-of-care SARS-CoV-2 testing data, including antigen testing data, to CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). This requirement to submit data to CDC’s NHSN applies only to CMS-certified long-term care facilities. Test data submitted to NHSN will be reported to appropriate state and local health departments using standard electronic laboratory messages. Other types of LTC facilities may voluntarily report testing data in NHSN for self-tracking or to fulfill state or local reporting requirements, if any."

    The new NHSN pathway creates a single, standardized reporting system:

    ·  that all ~15,400 nursing homes already use for other mandatory COVID-19 reporting;

    ·  has the capability to share data with state and local health departments;

    ·  has the ability to share data with HHS and CMS; and

    ·  avoids the creation of a patchwork of different jurisdictional reporting systems by state health departments.

    In order to utilize the new pathway to fulfill reporting requirements, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that are NHSN users will need to upgrade their NHSN Secure Access Management Service (SAMS) from Level 1 to Level 3.  CDC is working closely with facilities to assist them in this process. An email invitation from CDC to perform this upgrade will be sent to users. Alternatively, facilities can email nhsn@cdc.gov with the subject line “Enhancing Data Security” to begin upgrading their SAMS access to use this Pathway.

    Guidance for SARS-CoV-2 Point-of-Care Testing — Point-of-care (POC) tests, such as some rapid tests for diagnosing an infectious disease, provide results within minutes of the test being administered, allowing for rapid decisions about patient care. POC tests can also extend testing to communities and populations that cannot readily access care. This page provides detailed information on the following:

    ·  Overview of POC testing

    ·  How to obtain a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) certificate

    ·  How to safely perform POC specimen collection, handling, and testing for COVID-19

    ·  How to comply with result reporting requirements

    To learn more, please visit: Guidance for SARS-CoV-2 Point-of-Care Testing

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  • ICD-10: Learn Why Proper Coding Process Matters

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - October 20, 2020

    Three process mistakes often trip up nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) and other coders and reduce ICD-10-CM coding accuracy:

    • Not knowing the coding conventions;

    • Not using the code book or not using it properly; and

    • Not validating codes.

     

    Shelly Maffia, MSN, MBA, RN, NHA, QCP, CHC, director of regulatory services for Proactive Medical Review and Consulting in Evansville, IN, offers the following advice in each of these three areas to highlight the importance of establishing and following a strong coding process:

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  • What the NAC Brings to Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI)

    By AANAC - October 20, 2020

    Nursing homes work hard to create the most effective Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) programs that help support the provision of quality services for residents, but translating voluminous data into meaningful information can be a challenge. Nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) play a vital role in the QAPI process and can bring valuable information and insight to the QAPI meeting. 

    In this article, Amy Stewart, MSN, RN, DNS-MT, QCP-MT, RAC-MT, RAC-MTA, AAPACN vice president of education and certification strategy and Jane Belt, MS, RN, QCP, RAC-MT, RAC-MTA, AANAC curriculum development specialist will elaborate on what NACs can bring to the QAPI meeting, how they can best evaluate the data and reports available, how they can help the QAPI team to make informed decisions about the need for a performance improvement plan (PIP), and how their efforts improve outcomes.

     

    Overview of the Regulations

    According to §483.75 of the State Operations Manual, Appendix PP, under Definitions at §483.75(g)(2)(ii):

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  • MDS 3.0 Quality Measures (QM) User's Manual V14.0 (10/20)

    By CMS - October 20, 2020

    The MDS 3.0 QM User’s Manual V14.0 has been posted. The MDS 3.0 QM User’s Manual V14.0 contains detailed specifications for the MDS 3.0 quality measures and includes a Notable Changes section that summarizes the major changes from MDS 3.0 QM User’s Manual V13.0. The MDS 3.0 QM User’s Manual V14.0 can be found below, grouped with other Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) and Nursing Home user’s manuals in a zip file titled Users-Manuals-Updated-10-19-2020.  The zip file titled User Manuals - Updated 01-21-2020 (ZIP) containing the MDS 3.0 QM User’s Manual V13.0 has been moved to the Quality Measures Archive webpage.

    Five files have been posted:

    1. MDS 3.0 QM User’s Manual V14.0 (MDS-3_0-QM-USERS-MANUAL-v14_0.pdf) contains detailed specifications for the MDS 3.0 quality measures, as well as the Quality Measure Reporting Module Table that documents CMS quality measures calculated using MDS 3.0 data and reported in a CMS reporting module. MDS 3.0 QM User’s Manual V14.0 is available under the Downloads section of this webpage.
    2. Nursing Home Compare Claims-based Quality Measure Technical Specifications (Nursing Home Compare Claims-based Measures Tech Specs.pdf) contains detailed technical specifications for all nursing home quality measures.
    3. Nursing Home Compare Quality Measures Technical Specifications Appendix (APPENDIX - Claims-based measuresTechnical Specifications.pdf) contains tables and appendices related to the Nursing Home Compare Claims-based Quality Measures.
    4. Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program Measure Calculations and Reporting User’s Manual V3.0 (SNF Measure Calculations and Reporting User's Manual V3.0_FINAL_508C_081419.pdf) contains detailed specifications for all SNF QRP Quality Measures.
    5. SNF QRP Measure Calculations and Reporting User’s Manual Version 3.0.1 (SNF-QRP-QM-Users-Manual-V3_0_1-Addendum-Change-Table.pdf) contains appendices for the SNF QRP Measure Calculations and Reporting Manual V3.0, including a risk adjustment appendix and Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) crosswalks.
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  • CMS QSO Memo and Dear Resident Letter Address Residents' Right to Vote Updated (10/20)

    By CMS - October 20, 2020

    Memo # QSO-21-02-NH

    Posting Date 2020-10-05

    Fiscal Year 2021

    CMS QSO Memo: Compliance with Residents’ Rights Requirement Related to Nursing Home Residents’ Right to Vote

    Summary

    • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is affirming the continued right of nursing home residents to exercise their right to vote.

    • While the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency has resulted in limitations for visitors to enter the facility to assist residents, nursing homes must still ensure residents are able to exercise their Constitutional right to vote.

    • States, localities, and nursing home owners and administrators are encouraged to collaborate to ensure a resident’s right to vote is not impeded.

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