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.

  • 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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  • CASPER Reporting User’s Guide for MDS Providers UPDATED (3/20)

    By QTSO - March 23, 2020
    Provides information and instructions pertaining to CASPER Reporting, including accessing Final Validation Reports.
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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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  • At A Glance QM, QRP, and VBP Tool

    By AADNS - February 24, 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.
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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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  • Upcoming SPADES: CMS Releases Background Info on How They Were Developed (11/19)

    By CMS - November 12, 2019
    Development and Evaluation of Candidate Standardized Patient Assessment Data Elements: Findings from the National Beta Test – Now Available 

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) contracted with the RAND Corporation to identify and develop standardized patient assessment data elements (SPADEs) for use in the following post-acute care (PAC) patient assessment instruments: the Outcome and Assessment Information Set, used in home health agencies; the Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Patient Assessment Instrument, used in inpatient rehabilitation facilities; the Long-Term Care Hospital Continuity Assessment Record and Evaluation Data Set, used in long-term care hospitals; and the Minimum Data Set, used in nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities. 

    RAND was tasked with developing and testing data elements within five areas of focus that fall under the clinical categories delineated in the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014: (1) cognitive function and mental status; (2) special services, treatments, and interventions; (3) medical conditions and comorbidities; (4) impairments; and (5) other categories. This eight-volume report presents background information and results of the National Beta Test, which assessed a set of data elements within the five categories under the IMPACT Act. 

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  • SNF QRP October 2019 Nursing Home Compare Refresh (10/19)

    By CMS - October 28, 2019

    The October 2019 Nursing Home Compare Refresh, including quality measure results based on SNF QRP data submitted to CMS, is now available. For this refresh SNF QRP assessment-based measures performance scores will be based upon data submitted to CMS between Q1 2018 – Q4 2018 (1/01/18 – 12/31/18); claims-based measures performance scores will be based upon SNF Prospective Payment System (PPS) claims dated between Q4 2016 and Q3 2018 (10/01/16 – 9/30/18).

    CMS will no longer refresh the measure Percentage of Residents/Patients with Pressure Ulcers that are New or Worsened (NQF #0678), under the SNF QRP. The October refresh, as well as all subsequent refreshes of this quality measure data will be solely related to the CMS Nursing Home 5-Star Ratings.

    We are implementing the annual refresh of the SNF QRP claims-based measures during the October 2019 refresh of NH Compare. The annual refresh will include updates to the Medicare Spending per Beneficiary (MSPB) and Discharge to Community (DTC) measures. As previously announced, we have updated the methodology used to assign provider performance categories to the DTC measure. Additionally, this refresh includes the inaugural posting of provider performance scores for the Potentially Preventable Readmissions (PPR) measure, which were previously suppressed.

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  • SNF QRP: 2Q 2019 FAQs (10/19)

    By CMS - October 13, 2019
    A new Question and Answer (Q+A) document is now available in the "Downloads" section of the SNF Quality Reporting Program FAQs webpage. The Q+A document reflects frequently asked questions that were received by the SNF QRP Help Desk during the second quarter (Apr - Jun) of 2019.
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  • SNF QRP Measure Calculations and Reporting User's Manual Update (9/19)

    By CMS - September 05, 2019

    The Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program Measure Calculations and Reporting User’s Manual Version 3.0 has been posted. The Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program Measure Calculations and Reporting User’s Manual Version 3.0 contains detailed specifications for the assessment- and claims-based quality measures reported under the SNF QRP. The manual can be found below and the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program Measure Calculations and Reporting User’s Manual Version 2.0 has been moved to the Quality Measures Archive page.

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  • FY 2020 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code Files and Coding Guidelines (8/19)

    By CMS - August 12, 2019
    The 2020 ICD-10 files  contain information on the ICD-10 updates for FY 2020. These 2020 ICD-10-CM codes are to be used for discharges occurring from October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020 and for patient encounters occurring from October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020. This also contains the official ICD-10 Coding Guidelines.
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  • PDPM At-a-Glance Tool

    By AANAC - August 07, 2019
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  • SNF QRP: SPADEs and New QMs That Begin Data Collection on Oct. 1, 2020

    By MX - August 01, 2019

    Change tables, MDS mockups, and data specifications.

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  • FY 2020 SNF PPS Final Rule Link and Fact Sheet (7/19)

    By CMS - July 30, 2019

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule [CMS-1718-F] for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Medicare payment rates and quality programs for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). This final rule is part of the agency’s continuing efforts to strengthen the Medicare program by better aligning payment rates for these facilities with the costs of providing care and increasing transparency so that patients are able to make informed choices. The final rule [CMS-1718-F] can be downloaded from the Federal Register at: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/08/07/2019-16485/medicare-program-prospective-payment-system-and-consolidated-billing-for-skilled-nursing-facilities.

    OVERVIEW

    This fact sheet discusses three major provisions of the final rule:

    ·        SNF payment policy under the SNF Prospective Payment System (PPS)

    ·        SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program (VBP)

    ·        SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP). 

    This final rule includes policies that continue to move forward agency commitments to shift Medicare payments from volume to value, with the continued implementation of the SNF VBP and SNF QRP to improve program interoperability, operational quality and safety.

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