Billing and Payment Initiatives

Reforms in healthcare financing are changing the way care is reimbursed. Understand the ins and outs of everything from Medicare to Managed Care and stay on top of all of the changes that your facility needs to prepare for in the new era of billing and payment.

  • At A Glance QM, QRP, and VBP Tool

    By AADNS - October 20, 2020
    With so many Quality Measures originating from three different payment initiative programs, it's a lot to keep track of. AADNS's At A Glance QM, QRP, and VBP tool organizes all of the measures for you. This tool has been updated with updates from the MDS 3.0 QM User’s Manual Version 14.0, the latest version from CMS released Oct. 19, 2020.
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  • SNF QRP COVID-19 PR Tip Sheet Updated (10/20)

    By CMS - October 01, 2020
    An updated version of the SNF COVID-19 PR Tip Sheet that was posted on September 8, 2020, is now available. The purpose of this Tip Sheet is to help providers understand CMS’ public reporting strategy for the PAC QRP in the midst of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE).  This Tip Sheet explains the CMS strategy to account for CMS quality data which were exempted from public reporting due to COVID-19, and the impact on CMS’ Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) data on the Nursing Home Compare website refreshes.  
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  • CASPER Reporting User’s Guide for MDS Providers UPDATED (9/20)

    By QTSO - September 29, 2020
    Provides information and instructions pertaining to CASPER Reporting, including accessing Final Validation Reports.
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  • SNF Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Measure: Public Comments Due by Oct. 14

    By CMS - September 14, 2020

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) is seeking input from the public as part of the measure development process. CMS has posted Draft Measure Specifications: SNF Healthcare-Associated Infections Requiring Hospitalizations for the SNF QRP (SNF HAI measure).  This document contains conceptual and technical measure information and provides a link to the Final Technical Expert Panel Summary Report: Development of a Healthcare-Associated Infections Quality Measure for the SNF QRP for the public’s review.  Please review both of these documents and give us your feedback via the email:  SNFQualityQuestions@cms.hhs.gov.  

    CMS would also like to announce the SNF HAI measure will be a part of the Measures Under Consideration list later this year and it is our intention to present this measure for pre-rulemaking review at the Measure Applications Partnership Post-Acute Care/Long-Term Care Workgroup meeting in December.  CMS will be providing Confidential Dry Run Reports to alert each SNF of their SNF HAI performance score based on these draft measure specifications later this summer.

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  • SNF QRP Measure Calculations and Reporting User's Manual Plus Version 3.0.1 Addendum (9/20)

    By CMS - September 10, 2020

     

    The SNF QRP Measure Calculations and Reporting User’s Manual Version 3.0.1 addendum and associated risk adjustment appendix and Hierarchical Condition Category (HCC) crosswalks are now available.

    This ZIP file includes:

    1. Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program Measure Calculations and Reporting User’s Manual Version 3.0.1 addendum provides measure-related changes specified in a change table format in lieu of a complete update to the overall manual. Use this addendum to update the v3.0 manual.
    2. Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program Measure Calculations and Reporting User’s Manual Version 3.0 Risk Adjustment Appendix File contains current and historical intercept values, coefficient values, and the risk-adjustment schedule for each risk-adjusted quality measure reported under the SNF QRP. 
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  • SNF QRP Webpage: How to Update Nursing Home/SNF Demographic Data (8/20)

    By CMS - August 21, 2020

    SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP) quality data on Nursing Home Compare are updated on a quarterly basis. All data displayed on NH Compare (Skilled Nursing Facility and Nursing Home) include demographic information, such as address, telephone number, and ownership. This demographic data is generated from the information stored in the Automated Survey Processing Environment (ASPEN) system.

    Below are the steps to guide providers on how to verify and update Skilled Nursing Facility demographic data. 

    Step 1: Verify Demographic Data is Accurate

    It is important for providers to review their SNF QRP Preview Reports to verify that the demographic data is accurate. SNF QRP Preview Reports reflect the quality measure data and facility/provider demographic information that will be posted to NH Compare in the following quarter. SNF QRP Preview Reports are available in providers’ shared folder in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) designated data submission system, Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reporting (CASPER) during the 30-day preview windows prior to the quarterly NH Compare refreshes.

    Step 2: If Demographic Data is Inaccurate, Contact your Medicare Administrative Contractor

    If inaccurate or outdated demographic data is included on the SNF QRP Preview Report or on NH Compare, SNFs need to contact their Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC) for assistance. When requesting updates to your demographic data, it is important to ask that the MAC send the updated 855A (provider enrollment form) to the CMS Regional Offices in order to update the ASPEN data. Changes to demographic data must be updated and uploaded to the national database via ASPEN in order for the Compare site to be updated.

    When requesting updates to demographic data, it is important to ask for updates to the data within the ASPEN system, and not the data on the Compare site.

    Please note - updates to demographic information do not happen in real-time and can take up to 6-months to appear on NH Compare. If you encounter difficulty reaching your MAC, or for assistance accessing SNF QRP provider preview reports, please contact the QTSO Help Desk at 1-800-339-9313 or iqies@cms.hhs.gov.

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  • Scaled-Back FY 2021 SNF PPS Final Rule Holds Few Surprises

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - August 04, 2020

    The FY 2021 SNF PPS Proposed Rule was a shadow of what the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) had planned due to the ongoing coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency. So it's no surprise that the final rule, Medicare Program: Prospective Payment System (PPS) and Consolidated Billing for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs); Updates to the Value-Based Purchasing Program for Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 (CMS-1737-F), finalizes most, if not quite all, of the proposals without modification. And while COVID-19 caused some changes to the payment rate calculations, CMS cited commenters' requests for additional relief from COVID-19 as beyond the scope of this rulemaking. 

    Here are some of the key updates that directors of nursing services (DNSs) should pay attention to:

     

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  • SNF QRP Data Reporting Requirements Back in Full Force July 1, 2020

    By CMS - June 25, 2020

    Reminder

    ·         Quality Reporting Programs are expected to report their quality data to meet requirements starting Quarter 3, which begins July 1, 2020. 

    The March 27, 2020 Medicare Learning Network Newsletter (MLN) Exceptions and Extensions for Quality Reporting Program (QRP) Requirements that includes Skilled Nursing Facilities, Home Health Agencies, Hospices, Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities, and Long-Term Care Hospitals (hereafter referred to as post-acute care (PAC) programs) applies only to Quarter 4 of 2019 (October 1-December 31, 2019) and Quarters 1 and 2 of 2020 (January 1-June 30, 2020).  Providers are expected to report data and meet the QRP requirements beginning with Quarter 3, 2020 that starts July 1, 2020.

     As stated in that March 27, 2020 MLN Newsletter, “In some instances, these exceptions and extensions are granted because the data collected may be greatly impacted by the response to COVID-19 and therefore should not be considered in the quality reporting program. CMS is closely monitoring the situation for potential adjustments and will update exception lists, exempted reporting periods, and submission deadlines accordingly as events occur.”

    Starting with Quarter 3 that begins July 1, 2020, CMS expects providers to report their quality data.  CMS will analyze the data for each program recognizing that the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) remains in effect and could impact the quality data submitted.  CMS will closely monitor the situation for public reporting of the data and provide any updates.

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  • Release of Updated MDS With New Standardized SPADEs (and Supporting Training) Delayed Due to COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (5/20)

    By CMS - May 13, 2020

    CMS is delaying the release of the updated versions of the Minimum Data Set (MDS) needed to support the Transfer of Health (TOH) Information Quality Measures and new or revised Standardized Patient Assessment Data Elements (SPADEs) in order to provide maximum flexibilities for providers of Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) to respond to the COVID-19 Pubic Health Emergency (PHE).

    The release of updated versions of the MDS will be delayed until October 1st of the year that is at least 2 full fiscal years after the end of the COVID-19 PHE. For example, if the COVID-19 PHE ends on September, 20, 2020, SNFs will be required to begin collecting data using the updated versions of the item sets beginning with patients discharged on October 1, 2022.

    Following the PHE, CMS will announce training opportunities for providers via this webpage and announcements sent out via email distribution lists and posted on the Medicare Learning Network.

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  • May 8: CMS Interim Final Rule Requirements re: COVID-19 Reporting and the SNF QRP Go Into Effect (5/20)

    By CMS - May 04, 2020

    Note that the COVID-19 reporting and SNF QRP reporting changes both will go into effect on May 8 since the effective date is the publication date.

    Medicare and Medicaid Programs, Basic Health Program, and Exchanges: Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Delay of Certain Reporting Requirements for the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program

    ACTION: Interim final rule with comment period.

    Requirement for Facilities to Report Nursing Home Residents and Staff Infections, Potential Infections, and Deaths Related to COVID-19

    We are revising § 483.80 to establish explicit reporting requirements for long-term care (LTC) facilities to report information related to COVID-19 cases among facility residents and staff. These reporting requirements are applicable on the effective date of this IFC.

    SNF QRP

    We are revising the compliance date for the SNF QRP to October 1st of the year that is at least two full fiscal years after the end of the PHE. This change is applicable on the effective date of this IFC.

     


    Requirement for Facilities to Report Nursing Home Residents and Staff Infections, Potential Infections, and Deaths Related to COVID-19

     

    We are revising § 483.80 to establish explicit reporting requirements for long-term care (LTC) facilities to report information related to COVID-19 cases among facility residents and staff. These reporting requirements are applicable on the effective date of this IFC.

    SNF QRP

    We are revising the compliance date for the SNF QRP to October 1st of the year that is at least two full fiscal years after the end of the PHE. This change is applicable on the effective date of this IFC.

     

    Requirement for Facilities to Report Nursing Home Residents and Staff Infections, Potential Infections, and Deaths Related to COVID-19

     

    We are revising § 483.80 to establish explicit reporting requirements for long-term care (LTC) facilities to report information related to COVID-19 cases among facility residents and staff. These reporting requirements are applicable on the effective date of this IFC.

    SNF QRP

    We are revising the compliance date for the SNF QRP to October 1st of the year that is at least two full fiscal years after the end of the PHE. This change is applicable on the effective date of this IFC.

     

    Requirement for Facilities to Report Nursing Home Residents and Staff Infections, Potential Infections, and Deaths Related to COVID-19

     

    We are revising § 483.80 to establish explicit reporting requirements for long-term care (LTC) facilities to report information related to COVID-19 cases among facility residents and staff. These reporting requirements are applicable on the effective date of this IFC.

    SNF QRP

    We are revising the compliance date for the SNF QRP to October 1st of the year that is at least two full fiscal years after the end of the PHE. This change is applicable on the effective date of this IFC.

     

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  • COVID-19: CMS Issues SNF QRP / SNF VBP Guidance Memo (3/20)

    By CMS - March 27, 2020

    DATE: March 27, 2020

    TO: MLN Connects Newsletter and Other Program-Specific Listserv Recipients

    FROM: [Program-Specific Listservs, Partner Listservs (e.g., NHSN), ESRD Networks, CMS Emergency web page]

    SUBJECT: Exceptions and Extensions for Quality Reporting Requirements for Acute Care Hospitals, PPS-Exempt Cancer Hospitals, Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Home Health Agencies, Hospices, Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities, Long-Term Care Hospitals, Ambulatory Surgical Centers, Renal Dialysis Facilities, and MIPS Eligible Clinicians Affected by COVID-19

     

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting exceptions1 under certain Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs for acute care hospitals, Prospective Payment System (PPS)-exempt cancer hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, longterm care hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, renal dialysis facilities, and Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) eligible clinicians for all providers and suppliers participating in the programs described below across the United States and its territories in response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

     

    On March 22, 2020, CMS announced relief for clinicians, providers, hospitals and facilities participating in quality reporting programs in response to COVID-19.2 This memorandum supplements and provides additional guidance to health care providers with regard to the announcement. The scope and duration of the exceptions under each Medicare quality reporting program and value-based purchasing program are described below. CMS is granting exceptions and extensions for certain deadlines to assist these health care providers while they direct their resources toward caring for their patients and ensuring the health and safety of patients and staff. In some instances, these exceptions and extensions are granted because the data collected may be greatly impacted by the response to COVID-19 and therefore should not be considered in the quality reporting program. CMS is closely monitoring the situation for potential adjustments and will update exception lists, exempted reporting periods, and submission deadlines accordingly as events occur.

     

    Home Health Agencies (HHAs), Hospices, Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs), LongTerm Care Hospitals (LTCHs), and Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs)

    CMS is granting an exception to the Quality Reporting Program (QRP) reporting requirements for all HHAs, Hospices, IRFs, LTCHs and SNFs. In accordance with 42 C.F.R. 412.560(c), 412.634(c), 413.360(c), 484.245(c), these providers are excepted from the reporting of data on measures, Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) surveys, and standardized patient assessment data required under these programs for the post-acute care (PAC) quality reporting programs for calendar years (CYs) 2019 and 2020 for the following quarters specific to each program:

    • SNFs–Skilled Nursing Facility QRP
    • October 1, 2019–December 31, 2019 (Q4 2019)
    • January 1, 2020–March 31, 2020 (Q1 2020)
    • April 1, 2020–June 30, 2020 (Q2 2020)

     

    CMS finalized the SNF VBP Program’s Extraordinary Circumstances Exception (ECE) Policy in the FY 2019 SNF PPS final rule (83 FR 39280 through 39281). In accordance with § 413.338(d)(4)(iv) for the Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Purchasing (SNF VBP) Program, CMS will exclude qualifying claims from the claims-based SNF 30-Day All-Cause Readmission Measure (SNFRM; NQF #2510) calculation for the following periods:

    • January 1, 2020–March 31, 2020 (Q1 2020)
    • April 1, 2020–June 30, 2020 (Q2 2020)

     

    PAC QRP Extraordinary Circumstances Exception Request Information For further information about exceptions, view the program-specific web pages:

    SNF Quality Reporting Reconsideration and Exception & Extension or email questions toSNFQRPReconsiderations@cms.hhs.gov

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  • CMS Relaxes SNF QRP Data Submission Requirement Changes, SNF VBP Data Changes Due to COVID-19 (3/20)

    By CMS - March 23, 2020

    CMS is granting exceptions from reporting requirements and extensions for clinicians and providers participating in Medicare quality reporting programs with respect to upcoming measure reporting and data submission for those programs. These actions are part of CMS’s response to 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

     

    Specifically, CMS is implementing additional extreme and uncontrollable circumstances policy exceptions and extensions for upcoming measure reporting and data submission deadlines that will impact both the SNF QRP and the SNF VBP.

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  • CMS Delays Implementation of the October 1, 2020 MDS 3.0 v1.18.1 Release (3/20)

    By QTSO - March 18, 2020

    CMS is delaying the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 v1.18.1 release, which had been scheduled for October 1, 2020, in response to stakeholder concerns. The MDS item sets are used by Nursing Home and Swing Bed providers to collect and submit patient data to CMS. This MDS data informs payment, quality, and the survey process.

    In December of 2019, CMS posted a draft of the MDS 3.0 item set v1.18.0 and received feedback from our stakeholders.  We would like to thank the stakeholders for sharing their concerns regarding the proposed changes to the MDS 3.0 item sets and more specifically the removal of the Section G items from OBRA assessments.

    The MDS changes CMS planned for October 1, 2020 will now be delayed.  CMS staff are actively engaged in discussions with various stakeholders, regarding the various changes, the impacts of these changes, as well as, the compressed timeline to educate and train facility staff and update software and IT systems.

    Please direct any comments or questions regarding the above information to MDSCodinganswers@cms.hhs.gov mailbox

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  • SNF PPS Fact Sheet From Medicare Learning Network - Revised (1/20)

    By CMS - February 03, 2020
    The basics of SNF PPS and consolidated billing.
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  • Q&A: Are we responsible for dental appointments (toothache) on our Medicare Part A residents or does the dentist bill the family?

    By Maureen McCarthy, RN, BS, RAC-MT, QCP-MT, DNS-MT - November 26, 2019
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