Survey Readiness and Management

Survey readiness is what happens every day that the surveyor does not step onto the floor, all in preparation for the day that he or she does. Be ready.Learn about all of the trends in the new Survey process, how to get ready for survey, manage it while the surveyors are in your facility, to responding to deficiencies. Check back here frequently for survey news!

  • At A Glance QM, QRP, and VBP Tool

    By AADNS - April 18, 2019
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  • Five-Star Technical User's Guide UPDATED AGAIN (4/19)

    By CMS - April 17, 2019

    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 April 2019.

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  • Five-Star Preview Reports Available; Help Line Open 4/22 - 5/3

    By QTSO - April 17, 2019

    The Five Star Preview Reports will be available on April 17, 2019. 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 April's Five Star data on April 24, 2019.

    Important Note: The 5 Star Help line (800-839-9290) will be available April 22, through May 3, 2019. Please direct your inquiries to if the Help Line is not available.

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  • Highlights from the 2019 AANAC and AADNS Conference in Orlando

    By AANAC and AADNS - April 16, 2019
    The 2019 AANAC and AADNS Conference in Orlando, FL on April 3 – 5, 2019, was by far the largest AANAC or AADNS conference yet, with more than 1,300 attendees, 48 exhibitors, 8 sponsors, and 29 speakers. The annual meeting highlighted AANAC’s 20th anniversary, AADNS’s continued success, and the launch of a new parent organization, the American Association of Post-Acute Care Nursing (AAPACN). The annual meeting was a two-and-a-half-day event full of learning about the latest best practices and regulation updates in long-term and post-acute care, connecting with industry peers and experts, and having lots of fun! If you were unable to attend or would like a chance to look back on all of the good times and important information you learned, read this blog for some highlights.

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  • FInal v1.17.1 MDS Item Sets for Oct. 1, 2019 Implementation (4/19)

    By CMS - April 12, 2019
    A new final version of the 2019 MDS item sets (v1.17.1) has been posted. This version is scheduled to become effective October 1, 2019. The draft item sets include the new IPA and OSA.
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  • PDPM FAQs and Fact Sheets_Revised (4/19)

    By CMS - April 12, 2019

    Fact Sheets

    This section includes fact sheets on a variety of PDPM related topics.

    • Administrative Level of Care Presumption under the PDPM
    • PDPM Payments for SNF Patients with HIV/AIDS
    • Concurrent and Group Therapy Limit
    • PDPM Functional and Cognitive Scoring
    • Interrupted Stay Policy
    • MDS Changes
    • NTA Comorbidity Score
    • PDPM Patient Classification
    • Variable Per Diem Adjustment

    PDPM Frequently Asked Questions

    This section contains frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to PDPM policy and implementation. The PDPM FAQs were updated on 4-4 and then again on 4-11.

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  • Section GG Under PDPM: Issues to Discuss With Your NAC

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - April 10, 2019

    To date, the accuracy of section GG (functional abilities and goals) hasn’t mattered from a payment perspective. Section GG doesn’t affect payment under the RUG-IV case-mix classification system, and the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (SNF QRP) only penalizes providers financially for failing to meet the data submission threshold for required MDS data elements, including section GG items. In other words, completeness—not accuracy—is what allows providers to avoid the SNF QRP’s 2% payment cut every fiscal year.


    As a result, many SNFs have relied exclusively on therapy to complete section GG, says Robin Hillier, CPA, STNA, LNHA, RAC-MT, president of RLH Consulting in Westerville, OH. “However, CMS always intended section GG to be a collaboration that includes both nursing’s perspective and therapy’s perspective. PDPM will require providers to make good on CMS’s intent because section GG will affect three of the five case-mix-adjusted PDPM payment components: nursing, physical therapy (PT), and occupational therapy (OT).”

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  • MDS Census and Other CASPER Reports Give DNSs a Management Edge

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - April 10, 2019

    A significant percentage of nursing homes don’t take advantage of their CASPER (Certification And Survey Provider Enhanced Reports) reports, says Carol Maher, RN-BC, RAC-MT, CPC, director of education for Hansen, Hunter & Co. PC in Vancouver, WA.


    “Almost every week when I walk into a new facility and ask for some of their CASPER reports, no one can provide them,” she explains. “For example, I may ask, ‘What does your Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (SNF QRP) Review and Correct Report show?’ Or ‘Can you get me a copy of your MDS 3.0 Facility-Level Quality Measure (QM) Report?’ And it’s surprising how common it is for providers not to have even heard of the reports I ask for—or if they know what the reports are, they either don’t know how to obtain them or just never do.”


    Both new and seasoned directors of nursing services (DNSs) should pay attention to CASPER reports, says Maher. “The DNS job is so difficult. Using these tools that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides can make it a little easier to know where to focus your resources.”

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  • Q&A: Does anyone know the regulations about humidity levels in a med storage room?

    By Caralyn Davis, BA - April 10, 2019
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  • FY 2021 SNF QRP Program Requirements Fact Sheet (4/19)

    By CMS - April 10, 2019
    The SNF QRP Requirements for the Fiscal Year 2021 Program Year Fact Sheet is now available for download on the SNF Quality Reporting Program Data Submission Deadlines webpage. This Fact Sheet contains information about requirements for the SNF QRP for the FY 2021 program year, which reflects data collected from 1/1/19–12/31/19.
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  • PDPM Training and Technical Resources, Including Grouper Logic & ICD-10 Crosswalks (4/19)

    By CMS - April 05, 2019

    PDPM Training Presentation

    This section includes a training presentation which can be used to educate providers and other stakeholders on PDPM policy and implementation.

    PDPM Resources

    This section includes additional resources relevant to PDPM implementation, including various coding crosswalks and classification logic.

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    By CMS - April 05, 2019

    Topics covered include:

      • What is the Skilled Nursing Facility Value-Based Purchasing Program?
      • What SNFs are included in the SNF VBP Program?
      • What measure is currently being used in the SNF VBP Program?
      • What is the difference between a planned readmission and an unplanned readmission?
      • When does the SNFRM 30-day period begin and end?
      • Are the measures in the SNF VBP Program the same as the measures in the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP) and on the Nursing Home Compare website?
      • How are performance scores calculated?
      • Will SNFs be able to calculate their achievement and improvement points?
      • How are incentive payments determined?
      • How will SNFs be notified of their performance in the Program?
      • What is Phase One of the Review and Corrections process?
      • How can I correct an error in my patient-level data?
      • What is Phase Two of the Review and Corrections process?
      • Where can I find more information or ask questions about the SNF VBP Program?
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  • SNF QRP Review and Correct Reports Now Available (4/19)

    By CMS - April 05, 2019

    The enhanced Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) review and correct reports are now available, on demand in the Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reporting (CASPER) application. In addition to enhanced sorting functionality, this report now includes patient level data and automated CSV file creation functionality that contains patient level results. Providers can access these reports by selecting the CASPER Reporting link on the “Welcome to the CMS QIES Systems for Providers” webpage.

    NOTE: You must log into the CMS Network using your CMSNet user ID and password in order to access the “Welcome to the CMS QIES Systems for Providers” webpage.

    In addition to the sorting enhancements and inclusion of resident level data, these reports:

    • Contain quality measure information at the facility level
    • Allow providers to obtain aggregate performance for the past four quarters (when data is available)
    • Include data submitted prior to the applicable quarterly data submission deadlines
    • Display whether the data correction period for a given CY quarter is “open” or “closed.
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  • New Q4FY18 SNF PEPPER Access Instructions and Registration Info for May 2 Web Presentation (4/19)

    By PEPPER - April 05, 2019

    On April 5, the new Q4FY18 Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) PEPPER was released. Find information here:

    The CMS contractor will also hold a web session to review the release.

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  • SNF QRP Q&A Document Targets Section N and Other issues (4/19)

    By CMS - April 05, 2019

    A new Question and Answer (Q+A) document is now available. The Q+A document reflects frequently asked questions that were received by the SNF QRP Help Desk during the fourth quarter (Oct - Dec) of 2018.

    ·        SNF QRP Quarterly FAQ Update Q4 2018 [PDF, 268KB]



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