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Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (SNF QRP) Help Desk Questions and Answers (Q+As) and Quarterly Updates October 2018
The Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) was implemented on October 1, 2016. This document is intended to provide guidance on questions that were received by the SNF QRP Help Desk from April 2018 –June 2018 (Section 1). This document also contains quarterly updates and events from April 2018 –June 2018 (Section 2) as well as upcoming updates for the next quarter, from July 2018 –September 2018 (Section 3). Guidance contained in this document may be time-limited and may be superseded by guidance published by CMS at a later date.
The MDS-based CASPER Quality Measures (QMs) that are posted on Nursing Home Compare, some of which drive the QM domain in the Five-Star Quality Rating System, are a frequent source of headaches for directors of nursing services (DNSs). “Everyone wants Five-Stars in the overall composite rating to attract clients, but adverse events often linger on the CASPER QMs much longer than many DNSs and administrators think they will,” says Carol Maher, RN-BC, RAC-MT, CPC, director of education for Hansen, Hunter & Co. PC in Vancouver, WA.
DNSs should have a basic idea of how long adverse events will impact the CASPER QMs, but that shouldn’t be the primary concern, suggests Maher. “The QMs will impact the overall Five-Star rating, but they have a lesser impact than the survey/health inspection and staffing domains. You must have Five-Stars in your QM domain to be able to add a star to your overall rating, and even Five-Stars in the QMs won’t help if your health inspection rating is one star and you’ve already added a star via the staffing domain. In addition, you have to have only one star in the QM domain to negatively affect your overall rating.” Note: For more information, see the “Overall Nursing Home Rating (Composite Measure)” section of the Nursing Home Compare Five-Star Quality Rating System Technical Users’ Guide.
So the CASPER QMs are most important as a tool that DNSs can use to identify opportunities for improvement, stresses Maher. “If you focus on providing person-centered care and improving care, you will get to five stars.”
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released an updated Hand in Hand Series for Nursing Homes, a training series focused on caring for residents with dementia and on preventing abuse. While CMS isn’t currently offering continuing education units (CEUs) for Hand in Hand, the agency recommends—but does not mandate—that providers use Hand in Hand to fulfill federal requirements for training all nursing home staff about dementia management and resident abuse prevention, said CMS officials at the Oct. 11 Skilled Nursing Facility/Long-term Care Open Door Forum (ODF).
“Federal law requires that nurse aides complete in-service training on dementia management and resident abuse prevention,” they explained. “Additionally, facilities must now provide dementia management and resident abuse prevention training to all facility staff, contractors, and volunteers.”
This final rule updates the payment rates used under the prospective payment system (PPS) for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) for fiscal year (FY) 2019. This final rule also replaces the existing case-mix classification methodology, the Resource Utilization Groups, Version IV (RUG-IV) model, with a revised case-mix methodology called the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) beginning on October 1, 2019. The rule finalizes revisions to the regulation text that describes a beneficiary’s SNF “resident” status under the consolidated billing provision and the required content of the SNF level of care certification. The rule also finalizes updates to the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP) and the Skilled Nursing Facility ValueBased Purchasing (VBP) Program.
Correction Notice SUMMARY: This document corrects technical errors in the final rule that appeared in the August 8, 2018 Federal Register (83 FR 39162) entitled “Medicare Program; Prospective Payment System and Consolidated Billing for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) Final Rule for FY 2019, SNF Value-Based Purchasing Program, and SNF Quality Reporting Program.” DATES: The corrections in this document are effective October 1, 2018 .
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