• Top Ten Citations Part Two – Deep Dive into F812 and F656

    Wednesday, November 13, 2019 | Amy Stewart, MSN, RN, DNS-MT, QCP-MT, RAC-MT, RAC-MTA

    Last month, we provided members with a list of the top ten federal deficiencies since January of 2019. As a reminder, the top ten deficiencies are:

    1. F880 - Infection prevention and control

    2. F689 - Free of accidents, hazards/supervision/devices

    3. F812 - Food procurement/storage

    4. F656 - Develop/implement comprehensive care plan

    5. F684 - Quality of care

    6. F761 - Label/storage of drugs and biologicals

    7. F657 - Care plan timing and revision

    8. F758 - Free from unnecessary psychotropic med/prn use

    9. F677 - ADL care for dependent residents

    10. F550 - Resident rights

    (The citations above in red reflect the potential to cause substandard quality of care when a facility is cited at a scope and severity of F, H, I, J, K, or L level)


    This month, we will take a deeper dive into the number three and four top citations and explore common reasons that facilities are struggling to meet these regulations.

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  • Staffing Solutions Article Series: The Welcome – How to Improve Your Application and Onboarding Processes

    Wednesday, November 13, 2019 | Alexis Roam, RN-BC, MSN, DNS-CT, QCP

    The old saying you never get a second chance to make a first impression is sage advice for healthcare leaders. Nursing homes within the same geographical vicinity are competing with each other to attract talent, sometimes among a very limited pool of people. But nursing homes are also competing with other healthcare settings, and even with industries outside of healthcare. Depending on the market, working in a grocery store may pay more than being a CNA. Fresh approaches to attracting and retaining talent are necessary, but also provide exciting possibilities for healthcare leaders to engage a workforce devoted to caring for elders in their communities. To make a great first impression and improve the odds new employees will stay, nurse leaders should start by incorporating the principles of hospitality into the application and onboarding phases of the hiring process.


    What is Hospitality?

    Hospitality is the friendly and generous reception of visitors. Hospitality creates an experience for customers with the overall goal of attracting the customer to engage in the initial encounter and ultimately become a repeat customer. When done well, businesses are able to create loyalty to the brand, and customers share the positive experiences they’ve had with the brand in various social media outlets and return time and again.

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  • Advance Care Planning: Two Recent Studies (11/19)

    Tuesday, November 12, 2019 | AHRQ

    Advance Care Planning: An Exploration of the Beliefs, Self-Efficacy, Education, and Practices of RNs and LPNs.

    Objective: This study compared the advance care planning (ACP)-related beliefs, sense of self-efficacy, education, and practices of RNs and LPNs.



    Advance Care Planning in Skilled Nursing Facilities: A Multisite Examination of Professional Judgments.

    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Lack of advance care planning (ACP) may increase hospitalizations and impact the quality of life for skilled nursing facility (SNF) residents, especially African American residents who may be less likely to receive ACP discussions. We examined the professional judgments of SNF providers to see if race of SNF residents and providers, and risk for hospitalization for residents influenced professional judgments as to when ACP was needed and feelings of responsibility for ensuring ACP discussions.

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  • Upcoming SPADES: CMS Releases Background Info on How They Were Developed (11/19)

    Tuesday, November 12, 2019 | CMS
    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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  • CMS Implements SNF Claims Hold (11/19)

    Wednesday, November 6, 2019 | CMS

    As CMS has undertaken the implementation of the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM), we are holding a limited number of Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) claims while we make further refinements to our claims processing system.


    PDPM is a historic reform of the SNF prospective payment system. PDPM focuses on the patient’s condition and resulting care needs rather than on the amount of care provided in order to determine Medicare payment. PDPM was effective on October 1, 2019.


    Specifically, CMS is holding claims with:

    • Dates of service October 1, 2019 or later and
    • Type of Bill (TOB) inpatient services (21X) and swing bed services (18X) subject to SNF Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) and
    • Multiple line items, Health Insurance Prospective Payment System (HIPPS) codes, with different rate codes (revenue code 0022).


    Typically, SNFs bill these claims on monthly cycles. Claims with single HIPPS codes were previously being held but are now being released for processing. We anticipate releasing the remaining held claims in late November, once CMS completes systems testing to ensure accurate and timely payment. As of November 1, less than 50 claims are being held.


    In addition, we underpaid some SNF inpatient services (21X) and swing bed services (18X) claims for dates of service in October 2019 with a single line item, single HIPPS code. We are automatically reprocessing those claims; no provider action is needed.

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  • Five-Star Technical User's Guide UPDATED AGAIN (10/19)

    Monday, October 28, 2019 | CMS

    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.

    October 2019 Revisions

    In October 2019, several changes were made to the Nursing Home Compare website and the Five-Star Quality Rating System. These changes affected the health inspection and quality measure domains. This section provides details on these changes.

    Ratings changes for facilities that receive the abuse icon: To make it easier for consumers to identify facilities with instances of non-compliance related to abuse, starting in October 2019, CMS added an icon to highlight facilities that meet either of the following criteria: 

    1. Harm-level abuse citation in the most recent survey cycle: Facilities cited for abuse where residents were found to be harmed (Scope/Severity of G or higher) on the most recent standard survey or on a complaint survey within the past 12 months. 
    2. Repeat abuse citations: Facilities cited for abuse where residents were found to be potentially harmed (Scope/Severity of D or higher) on the most recent standard survey or on a complaint survey within the past 12 months and on the previous (i.e., second most recent) standard survey or on a complaint survey in the prior 12 months (i.e., from 13 to 24 months ago). 

    Nursing homes that receive the abuse icon have their health inspection rating capped at a maximum of two stars. Due to the methodology used to calculate the overall rating, the best overall quality rating a facility that receives the abuse icon can have is four stars. 

    Removal of quality measures related to pain: CMS removed two quality measures (QMs) from the Nursing Home Compare website and the Five-Star Quality Rating System in October 2019. These measures are: 

    • Percentage of short-stay residents who report moderate to severe pain. 
    • Percentage of long-stay residents who report moderate to severe pain. 

    As a result of dropping these two measures, the cut-points for the long-stay, short-stay, and overall QM ratings changed. These changes were made to maintain, as close as possible, the same distribution of short-stay and long-stay QM ratings as were posted on Nursing Home Compare in July 2019. 


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  • AHRQ 2019 Chartbook on Patient Safety (10/19)

    Monday, October 28, 2019 | AHRQ

    This Chartbook on Patient Safety includes a section with results from the National Nursing Home Survey on Patient Safety:

    National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report

    This Patient Safety chartbook is part of a family of documents and tools that support the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR). The QDR includes annual reports to Congress mandated in the Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999 (P.L. 106-129). This chartbook includes a summary of trends across measures of patient safety from the QDR and figures illustrating select measures of patient safety. A PowerPoint version is also available that users can download for presentations.

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

    Monday, October 28, 2019 | CMS

    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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  • CMS Dementia Care Resources Webpage (10/19)

    Friday, October 25, 2019 | CMS

    CMS has established a Dementia Care Resources page to provide information that was previously housed at the National Nursing Home Quality Improvement Campaign. Additional resources are available through the QIO program.

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  • Infection Control in Healthcare Personnel Guidelines (Part I) - Updated (10/19)

    Wednesday, October 23, 2019 | CDC
    Preventing the transmission of infectious diseases among healthcare personnel (HCP) and patients is a critical component of safe healthcare delivery in all healthcare settings. Today, CDC published Infection Control in Healthcare Personnel: Infrastructure and Routine Practices for Occupational Infection Prevention and Control Services, an update of four sections of Part I of the Guideline for infection control in health care personnel, 1998 (“1998 Guideline“) and their corresponding recommendations in Part II:

    ·  C. Infection Control Objectives for a Personnel Health Service

    ·  D. Elements of a Personnel Health Service for Infection Control

    ·  H. Emergency-Response Personnel

    ·  J. The Americans With Disabilities Act

    The updated recommendations are aimed at the leaders and staff of Occupational Health Services (OHS) and the administrators and leaders of healthcare organizations (HCO) and are intended to facilitate the provision of occupational infection prevention and control (IPC) services to HCP and prevent the spread of infections between HCP and others. Additional updates to the 1998 Guideline are underway and will be published in the future. Updates in Part I include: 

    ·  a broader range of elements necessary for providing occupational IPC services to HCP;

    ·  applicability to the wider range of healthcare settings where patient care is now delivered, including hospital-based, long-term care, and outpatient settings such as ambulatory and home healthcare; and

    ·  expanded guidance on policies and procedures for occupational IPC services and strategies for delivering occupational IPC services to HCP.

    New topics include:

    ·  administrative support and resource allocation for OHS by senior leaders and management,

    ·  service oversight by OHS leadership, and

    ·  use of performance measures to track occupational IPC services and guide quality improvement initiatives.  

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