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NOTE: CMS updated this file on May 15, 2018.
The LTCSP Procedure Guide provides instruction on the procedural and software steps necessary for completing the Long-term Care Survey Process. Surveyors use the Procedure Guide for all standard surveys of SNFs and NFs, whether freestanding, distinct parts, or dually participating. The LTCSP steps are organized into seven parts: 1) offsite preparation; 2) facility entrance; 3) initial pool process; 4) sample selection; 5) investigation; 6) ongoing and other survey activities; and 7) potential citations. Below is a broad overview of the key onsite parts of the LTCSP (parts 3 – 7).
New CMS eLearning course: The BLSC Training Online Course is intended to cultivate and refine surveyor skills, foster understanding of the survey process, and enhance surveyors’ overall ability to conduct LSC surveys for Medicare and Medicaid certification on behalf of CMS.
• Transition to Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) Data – Starting in April, 2018, CMS will use PBJ data to determine each facility’s staffing measure on the Nursing Home Compare tool on Medicare.gov website, and calculate the staffing rating used in the Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating System.
• Staffing data audits - We are providing lessons-learned from audits conducted, and guidance to facilities for improving their accuracy. Nursing homes whose audit identifies significant inaccuracies between the hours reported and the hours verified, or facilities who fail to submit any data by the required deadline will be presumed to have low levels of staff. This will result in a one-star rating in the staffing domain, which will drop their overall (composite) star rating by one star for a quarter.
• Requirement for registered nurse (RN) staffing – We are reminding nursing homes of the importance of RN staffing and the requirement to have an RN onsite 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. Nursing homes reporting 7 or more days in a quarter with no RN hours will receive a one-star rating in the staffing domain, which will drop their overall (composite) star rating by one star for a quarter. This action will be implemented in July 2018, after the May 15, 2018 submission deadline for data for 2018 Calendar Quarter 1, 2018 (January – March, 2018) data.
CMS has released a newly revised SNFABN along with newly developed, concise and separate instructions for form completion. The revised SNFABN has the requirements from the denial letters and looks very similar to the ABN with 3 different options.
CMS will be discontinuing the 5 SNF Denial Letters and the Notice of Exclusion from Medicare Benefits - Skilled Nursing Facility (NEMB-SNF). Since the NEMB-SNF was used as a voluntary notice for care that is never covered by Medicare, CMS will continue to encourage SNFs to issue the revised SNFABN in this voluntary capacity. Chapter 30, Section 70 of the Medicare Claims Processing Manual revisions will be forthcoming.
The revised SNFABN will be mandatory for use on May 7, 2018.
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