• Register for CMS March 23 National Partnership Call: Dementia-Related Psychosis in LTC

    Thursday, March 4, 2021 | CMS
    Long-Term Care: Dementia-related Psychosis Call

    When: Tuesday, March 23, 2021, from 1:30 to 3 pm ET

    • Presentation: Available prior to the event
    • Audio recording and transcript: Available approximately 2 weeks after the event

    Description:

    National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care and Quality Assurance Performance Improvement

    During this call, learn about the appropriate assessment, accurate diagnosis, and approaches to care for dementia-related psychosis in the long-term care setting. Hear about customized care strategies for nursing home residents. A question and answer session follows the presentations.

    Speakers: Dr. George Grossberg, Dr. Alexis Eastman, Susan Scanland, and Dr. Chad Worz from the Gerontological Society of America’s Workgroup on Dementia-Related Psychosis

    Target Audience:

    • Consumer and advocacy groups
    • Nursing home providers
    • Surveyor community
    • Prescribers
    • Professional associations
    • Other interested stakeholders
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  • SNF QRP FAQs (3/21)

    Monday, March 1, 2021 | CMS

    Updates

    March 1, 2021

    SNF QRP FAQs

    An update to the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) document is now available. This document has been updated to reflect the finalized policies for the SNF QRP in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 and other useful resources available to providers.

    Contents

    Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) Overview

    1. What is a Quality Reporting Program?

    2. What are the current measures in the SNF QRP?

    3. What are the FY 2021 updates to the SNF QRP?

    Staying Informed About the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP)

    4. What is the process for adding and removing measures from the SNF QRP?

    5. Are there other resources on the SNF QRP website I can use to stay up-to-date?

    6. Where can I find SNF QRP training materials?

    Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) Technical Requirements

    7. How are data collected and submitted for the SNF QRP?

    8. Which items on the SNF MDS are considered for compliance determination?

    9. What are the requirements for the SNF to be considered compliant?

    10. What are the data submission deadlines for the SNF QRP?

    11. Does the definition of “quarter” for the quarterly MDS data submission deadlines include patients admitted during that quarter, discharged during that quarter, or both?

    12. What is QIES? How can I request access to QIES?

    The Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) and the Minimum Data Set (MDS)

    13. What is the current version of the MDS?

    14. Where can I find the MDS 3.0 Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) Manual for the SNF QRP?

    15. Who can complete a SNF MDS?

    Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) Reconsiderations, Exceptions, and Extensions

    16. Does the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) tell SNFs if they are noncompliant with the QRP requirements?

    17. I received a letter of notification that my SNF is non-compliant with the SNF QRP requirements. Can I ask CMS to reconsider the decision?

    18. The county where our SNF is located was affected by a natural disaster. Are we excepted from the QRP reporting requirements?

    Other Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) Frequently Asked Questions

    19. Does my SNF need to report health care–acquired infection data under the SNF QRP?

    20. My facility’s demographic data are incorrect on Care Compare. How do I correct them?

    21. Where are SNF quality measure data publicly reported?

    22. Which SNF quality measures are reported on the Care Compare website?

    23. Who can I contact with a specific question about the SNF QRP?

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  • Center for Medicare Advocacy Offers Nursing Home COVID-19 Lessons Learned and Policy Recommendations (2/21)

    Monday, February 22, 2021 | CMA

    The Center for Medicare Advocacy released a new report – Geography Is Not Destiny: Protecting Nursing Home Residents from the Next Pandemic – which explores facilities’ responses to the coronavirus crisis and examines how residents’ deaths were not “inevitable”, as some have claimed. The report contends that COVID-19 exploited and exacerbated long-standing issues, such as staffing, infection control, and management problems, that existed for decades in the long-term care industry.

    As our nation’s nursing homes continue to reel from the unprecedented toll that COVID-19 has taken, questions remain about how many deaths could have been avoided, and – crucially – what can be done to save lives moving forward to prevent a similar catastrophe in the future. Nationwide, 36% of COVID-related deaths have occurred in long-term care facilities (and in some states that figure jumps to over 60%). These statistics are even more shocking considering that less than 1% of the nation’s population live in these facilities.

     “The wrath of COVID-19 in our nursing homes was felt, in large part, because we as a nation have not prioritized fixing these issues,” states Cinnamon St. John, the report’s author – who is also the Center’s Health and Aging Policy Fellow and Associate Director of NYU Rory Meyers’ Hartford Institute of Geriatric Nursing. “COVID-19 will very likely not be the last pandemic we experience in our lifetimes. If we don’t address these issues now, will see these mass casualties again. The good news is that we know more now. The lessons are clear. But we must act. The currency is lives – lives lost, or lives saved,” she added

    The report:

    ·         Analyzes and challenges the assertion that “Geography is Destiny” as the prevailing theory of nursing home transmission (concluding “a facility’s location does not equate to a facility’s fate”)

    ·         Identifies lessons learned for nursing homes

    ·         Provides specific policy recommendations for change

    The report also examines both the challenges and successes of nursing home administrators who have been combatting COVID-19 on a daily basis. “You can either panic during the pandemic or you can be prepared during the pandemic. It’s better to be prepared,” says Reverend Derrick DeWitt, Director and CFO of the Maryland Baptist Aged Home. His nursing home, with about a 90% Medicaid resident population, has remarkably remained COVID-free to this day.

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  • 2021 Patient Safety Chartbook From AHRQ (2/21)

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 | AHRQ
    AHRQ has released the National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report: Chartbook on Patient Safety 2021, which offers an overview of nonidentifiable, aggregated patient safety event and near-miss information that has been voluntarily reported by AHRQ-listed Patient Safety Organizations. The Chartbook outlines the extent of harm reported, distribution of patient safety events, near misses, and unsafe conditions. The iteration of the Chartbook contains reports not included in the prior NPSD Chartbook. Nursing home-specific data is included.
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  • Five-Star Helpline Open Feb. 22 - 26

    Wednesday, February 17, 2021 | QTSO

    The Five Star Preview Reports were available on February 15, 2021. To access these reports, select the CASPER Reporting link located on the CMS QIES Systems for Providers page. Once in the CASPER Reporting system, select the 'Folders' button and access the Five Star Report in your 'st LTC facid' folder, where 'st' is the 2-character postal code of the state in which your facility is located and 'facid' is the state-assigned Facility ID of your facility.

    Nursing Home Compare will update with the February Five Star data on February 24, 2021.

    Important Note: The 5 Star Help Line (800-839-9290) will be available February 22 through February 26, 2021.

    Please direct your inquiries to BetterCare@cms.hhs.gov  if the Help Line is not available.

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  • When Used Weekly, AHRQ Toolkit Reduces Rehospitalizations at SNFs (2/21)

    Wednesday, February 17, 2021 | AHRQ
    From AHRQ News Now:

    Skilled nursing facilities that tested AHRQ’s Re-Engineered Discharge (RED) toolkit found that training during weekly staff meetings was more effective than a single full-day course, according to a study published in Clinical Nursing Research. The RED toolkit, designed for hospitals, was tested by four skilled nursing facilities from 2013 to 2015. They used either standard implementation, which trained staff via weekly meetings, or enhanced implementation, in which staff training was completed during a single full-day course. Standard implementation facilities also had stronger leadership support for revised discharge procedures. While facilities using the enhanced implementation saw no change in rehospitalization rates, standard implementation reduced rehospitalizations by 45 percent at 30 days, 50 percent at 60 days, and 39 percent at 180 days.


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  • AHRQ 2021 Network of Patient Safety Databases Chartbook (2/21)

    Saturday, February 13, 2021 | AHRQ

    Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2021

    AHRQ has released the Network of Patient Safety Databases (NPSD) Chartbook 2021, which offers an overview of nonidentifiable, aggregated patient safety event and near-miss information that has been voluntarily reported by AHRQ-listed Patient Safety Organizations, including a section on nursing homes. The Chartbook outlines the extent of harm reported, distribution of patient safety events, near misses, and unsafe conditions. The iteration of the Chartbook contains reports not included in the prior NPSD Chartbook.

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  • CMS QSO Memo: Enhanced Enforcement Actions Based on Nursing Home COVID-19 Data and Inspection Results (2/21)

    Monday, February 8, 2021 | CMS

    DATE: June 1, 2020

    REVISED 01/04/2021

    TO: State Survey Agency Directors FROM: Director Quality, Safety & Oversight Group

    SUBJECT: Revised COVID-19 Survey Activities, CARES Act Funding, Enhanced Enforcement for Infection Control deficiencies, and Quality Improvement Activities in Nursing Homes

    CMS is committed to taking critical steps to protect vulnerable Americans to ensure America’s health care facilities are prepared to respond to the CoronavirusDisease2019(COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE).

    • CMS has implemented a new COVID-19 reporting requirement for nursing homes, and is partnering with CDC’s robust federal disease surveillance system to quickly identify problem areas and inform future infection control actions.

    • Following the March 6, 2020 survey prioritization, CMS has relied on State Survey Agencies to perform Focused Infection Control surveys of nursing homes across the country. We are now initiating a performance-based funding requirement tied to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act supplemental grants for State Survey Agencies. Further, we are providing guidance for the limited resumption of routine survey activities. CMS has revised the criteria requiring states to conduct focused infection control surveys due to the increased availability of resources for the testing of residents and staff and factors related to the quality of care.

    • CMS is providing Frequently Asked Questions related to health, emergency preparedness and lifesafety code surveys

    • CMS is also enhancing the penalties for noncompliance with infection control to provide greater accountability and consequence for failures to meet these basic requirements. This action follows the agency’s prior focus on equipping facilities with the tools they needed to ensure compliance, including 12 nursing home guidance documents, technical assistance webinars, weekly calls with nursing homes, and many other outreach efforts. The enhanced enforcement actions are more significant for nursing homes with a history of past infection control deficiencies, or that cause actual harm to residents or Immediate Jeopardy.

    • Quality Improvement Organizations have been strategically refocused to assist nursing homes in combating COVID-19 through such efforts as education and training, creating action plans based on infection control problem areas and recommending steps to establish a strong infection control and surveillance program.

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  • Check Your Data: Updated Data Process Will Impact CASPER/SNF QRP Provider Demographic Data (2/21)

    Saturday, February 6, 2021 | QTSO

    CMS will be transitioning to a new data source for a provider’s demographic data for all five Post-Acute Care (PAC) provider types (Skilled Nursing Facilities / Nursing Facilities (SNF/NFs), Home Health Agencies (HHAs), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs), Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs) and Hospices).  These demographic data include such items as the provider name, provider-mailing address, provider physical address, State, ZIP Code, etc.  These provider demographic data are displayed on the Provider and Quality Measure reports generated from the Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (QIES) Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reports (CASPER) Reporting application for SNF/NF and Hospice providers and reports generated from Internet Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (iQIES) for HHA, IRF, and LTCH providers.  Additionally these same demographic data are displayed on the public reporting websites such as the Provider Data Catalog (PDC).

    Historically provider demographic data have been maintained in the Automated Survey Processing Environment or ASPEN software; however, CMS will be transitioning to use the demographic information from Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS).  While this transition is underway, a final date when all demographic data will be obtained from PECOS has not been identified.  During this transition, all PAC providers will be responsible to ensure their latest demographic data are updated and available in both the ASPEN and PECOS systems. 

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  • CMS COVID-19 Nursing Homes Best Practices Toolkit and New QIN-QIO Virtual Assistance UPDATED (2/21)

    Sunday, January 31, 2021 | CMS

    New tool provides innovative solutions for states and facilities to protect our nation’s vulnerable nursing home residents during emergency

    CMS has released a new toolkit (updated 2/3/21) developed to aid nursing homes, Governors, states, departments of health, and other agencies who provide oversight and assistance to these facilities, with additional resources to aid in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic within nursing homes. The toolkit builds upon previous actions taken by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which provide a wide range of tools and guidance to states, healthcare providers and others during the public health emergency. The toolkit is comprised of best practices from a variety of front line health care providers, Governors’ COVID-19 task forces, associations and other organizations, and experts, and is intended to serve as a catalogue of resources dedicated to addressing the specific challenges facing nursing homes as they combat COVID-19.

    “The coronavirus presents a unique challenge for nursing homes. CMS is using every tool at our disposal to protect our nation’s most vulnerable citizens and aid the facilities that care for them. This toolkit will support state, local leaders and nursing homes in identifying best practices to protect our vulnerable elderly in nursing homes” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma.  

    The toolkit provides detailed resources and direction for quality improvement assistance and can help in the creation and implementation of strategies and interventions intended to manage and prevent the spread of COVID-19 within nursing homes. The toolkit outlines best practices for a variety of subjects ranging from infection control to workforce and staffing. It also provides contact information for organizations who stand ready to assist with the unique challenges posed by caring for individuals in long-term care settings. Each state was involved in the creation of this toolkit, resulting in a robust resource that may be leveraged by a variety of entities serving this vulnerable population.

    Additionally, CMS has contracted with 12 Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organizations (QIN-QIOs) to work with providers, community partners, beneficiaries and caregivers on data-driven quality improvement initiatives designed to improve the quality of care for beneficiaries across the United States. The QIN-QIOs are reaching out to nursing homes across the country to provide virtual technical assistance for homes that have an opportunity for improvement based on an analysis of previous citations for infection control deficiencies using publicly available data found on Nursing Home Compare.

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