• May 7 - 8 SNF QRP CMS Training: Register for In-Person or Online Attendance (3/19)

    May 7 - 8 SNF QRP CMS Training: Register for In-Person or Online Attendance (3/19)

    By CMS -

    REGISTRATION OPEN – SNF QRP Provider In-Person Training Event, May 7 and 8, 2019

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be hosting a 2-day Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) in-person ‘Train the Trainer’ event for providers on May 7 and 8, 2019, at the Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center, 2345 McGee Street, Kansas City, MO 64108. This event will be open to all SNF providers, associations, and organizations.

    The primary focus of this 'Train-the-Trainer’ event will be to provide those responsible for training staff at SNFs with information about:

    §  The transition to the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) which becomes effective on October 1, 2019.

    §  A review of SNF QRP changes and updates to the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 Version 1.17.0, which will become effective on October 1, 2019.

    §  An overview of the eleven SNF QRP Quality Measures.

    §  An interactive session on the use of reports to identify opportunities for process improvement and utilize information contained in reports available via the Certification And Survey Provider Enhanced Reports (CASPER) system to develop quality improvement plans.

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  • This Summer: Revised Phase 2 / New Phase 3 Surveyor Interpretive Guidance (3/19)

    This Summer: Revised Phase 2 / New Phase 3 Surveyor Interpretive Guidance (3/19)

    By CMS -

    Please note the following excerpt from the March 12 MLN Connects: Dementia Care & Psychotropic Medications Tracking Tool Call.

    Phase 3 Requirements for Participation from the Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities final rule

    Debra Lyons, a registered nurse and Technical Director with CMS, Division of Nursing Homes”

    As you may recall, this overhaul of the nursing home regulations went into effect on October 4th of 2016. And those changes were implemented in 3 phases. Phase 1 generally involves no change to the regulatory language and was implemented on November 28th, 2016. Phase 2 involved some regulatory language change. And some changes to the interpretive guidelines. And those were implemented on November 28th, 2017.

    We are quickly approaching implementation of Phase 3 which will occur on November 28th, 2019. CMS plans to take a similar approach as we did with Phase 2 by releasing an advance copy of the interpretive guidelines. This advance copy will include both Phase 3 Regulations on Interpretive Guidelines, and changes that we've made to some, some select Phase 2 guidelines.

    So, let me explain the changes to Phase 2. In more than a year since implementation on Phase 2, we have answered numerous inquiries from providers and surveyors alike and made – and have made decisions to clarify or modify some of those Phase 2 interpretive guidelines based on the number of inquiries we've received. CMS will make available an advance copy of the new Phase 3 regulations and guidelines along with any Phase 2 guidance that has been revised. Additionally, as we did with Phase 2, CMS will release training related to these changes that will be available to the public as well as the surveyors.

    The advance copy of the interpretive guidelines and the training will be released this summer to give nursing home providers, state survey agencies, and other nursing homes stakeholders time to view the training and implement these changes. And as we did this Phase 2, we will issue an advance copy via the QSO policy memo.

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  • CMS Early Findings Report: Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations in Nursing Facility Residents (3/19)

    CMS Early Findings Report: Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations in Nursing Facility Residents (3/19)

    By CMS -

    Evaluation of the Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents – Payment Reform (NFI 2) Initiative Year 1 (FY 2017)

    CMS is pleased to share the second annual report of the “Evaluation of the Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents—Payment Reform.”

    Early findings in the report are preliminary and should not be considered conclusive. Nevertheless, the evaluation found some promising evidence that payment reforms have led to a consistent pattern of improved outcomes in newly-recruited facilities. Facilities that had participated in an earlier phase of the Initiative did not show further improvements beyond what was expected based on the trends established during that phase.

    For both groups, additional years of data and analysis should provide more definitive insight about Initiative effects.

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  • QIES Community Juniper VPN Network Client Upgrade: June 30 Important Service Date for SNFs (3/19)

    QIES Community Juniper VPN Network Client Upgrade: June 30 Important Service Date for SNFs (3/19)

    By QTSO -

    Attention: MDS, OASIS, IRF, SWB, EPOC, PBJ and others using QIES remote access.

    An upgrade is required to the Juniper VPN Network Client software (Network Connect Client) currently used by the QIES community to log-in to CMSNet for required submission and reporting. 

    The upgrade will be initiated automatically and will take effect the next time users launch the Juniper VPN Client and log-in following the scheduled upgrade dates referenced below.  Upon connection, the automated process will begin and the user will be prompted to start the installation of the new Pulse Secure Desktop Client on their workstation.

    Note! Users must have Administrator rights on their workstation or have an IT staff member with Administrator rights assist the first time a user attempts to log-in following the upgrade dates referenced below.

    The upgrade to Pulse Secure Desktop Client is scheduled as follows:
    User Community                                        Date:
    Swing Bed and IRF                                     4/08/2019
    Hospice                                                       4/30/2019
    Home Health (OASIS)                                5/30/2019
    Nursing Homes (MDS, EPOC and PBJ)    6/30/2019

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  • Remote Identify Proofing Requirements for Internet Quality Improvement Evaluation System (iQIES) (3/19)

    Remote Identify Proofing Requirements for Internet Quality Improvement Evaluation System (iQIES) (3/19)

    By QTSO -

    Background

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) serves a critical quality assurance function for our country’s healthcare system.  Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (QIES) will undergo a series of system enhancements resulting in what will be now called the Internet Quality Improvement and Evaluation Systems (iQIES).  

    To comply with federal security mandates, CMS is initiating new security requirements for access control to CMS Quality Systems through Remote Identify Proofing (RIDP) via the HCQIS (Healthcare Quality Information System) Access, Roles and Profile Management system. Users will create accounts in HCQIS Access Roles and Profile Management (HARP) to gain access to the iQIES system.

    What is Remote Identify Proofing? 

    Remote proofing is a method for verifying the identity of a user remotely, as opposed to manual proofing or in-person proofing. Based on user-entered data, the HARP system uses Experian to generate a list of personal questions for the user to answer to verify their identity remotely. Remote proofing is the HARP-recommended method for identity verification, as it is typically much faster than other methods of identity proofing. If a user cannot successfully complete remote proofing during HARP registration, he/she will need to initiate manual proofing.

    Why is Remote Identify Proofing Necessary?

    The primary purpose of RIDP is to eliminate unauthorized access, reduce fraud, minimize manual processing, and prevent compromise of personally identifiable information (PII). These changes are designed to be compliant with federal and CMS guidelines and requirements such as OMB M04-04e-Authentication Guidance for Federal Agencies, HSPD-12, NIST 800-53 & 63, FISMA, FIPS 199 Standards, FIPS 200 and OMB M07-16. 

    What happens to the personal information used to register?

    CMS does not store your personal information received for the purposes of RIDP. It only passes it to the credit reporting agency, an external identity verification system, to help confirm your identity. Your personal information is described as data that is unique to you as an individual, such as name, address, telephone number, Social Security Number, and date of birth. 

    Additional communication about iQIES program information including but not limited to onboarding, stakeholder engagement opportunities, training and general updates are in development and will be distributed in the coming weeks. For assistance with HARP onboarding, users can call the QTSO Helpdesk at (800) 339-9313 or e-mail help@qtso.com

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