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Aug 02 2021

ICD-10 Coding and Guideline Updates for FY 2022

ICD-10 Updates Earlier this summer, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the ICD-10-CM code descriptions, tables and index, and addendum for the fiscal year 2022. Then on July 12th, the Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting of ICD-10-CM became available online. The updated manual and guidelines for FY 2022 revealed 159 new codes, along with the Tabular and Index Addenda. Below is a summary of the changes that will most affect the Skilled Nursing Facilities...
Jul 22 2021

Can I interrupt? Understanding the Interrupted Stay Policy

According to the RAI Manual, chapter 6: "The interruption window is a 3-day period, starting with the calendar day of Part A discharge and including the two immediately following calendar days, ending at midnight. In other words, the resident must return to the same SNF by 11:59 p.m. at the end of the third calendar day. The interruption window begins on the first non-covered day following a Part A-covered stay and ends at 11:59 p.m. on the third consecutive non-covered day following a Part...
Apr 01 2021

The Struggle with Antipsychotic Reduction

Since CMS began to monitor antipsychotic use in 2011, skilled nursing facilities have done well to reduce the use of antipsychotic medications from the original rate of 23.9%. However, over the past few years, the rate has remained around 14%. Some facilities believe they have done everything possible and this 14% represents residents that truly need antipsychotic medications. Is your facility doing all it can to keep antipsychotic use low? What if there is a better approach? The quality...
Mar 16 2021

Non-Therapy Ancillaries: What are you missing?

The Non-Therapy Ancillaries (NTA) component of PDPM can significantly increase revenue depending on MDS and ICD-10 coding. Just 1 NTA point can have an average worth of anywhere from $18 to $55 per day. (difference of NE-NF and NA-NB). The general method for calculation of any NTA category is as follows: Points (1-8) are assigned to specific conditions. Points are added together for all conditions. The higher the total point value, the greater the payment (CMI). NF is the lowest grouper with a...
Jan 27 2021

SNF Physician Certifications for Medical Review

One of the requirements of payment is a valid Physicians Certification for Medicare part A services. If SNF certifications and re-certifications are not completed and signed following CMS regulations, then the facility is at risk of losing payment for an entire claim period. According to the Medicare Administrative Contractor, Noridian: "Analysis of claim denials from CERT, RA and MAC contractors has identified a trending related to the failure to comply with the certification or...
Jan 10 2021

Focused Infection Control Surveys and Directed Plan of Correction

It's a dreary Monday morning, and the state surveyors walk into your facility to conduct a Focused Infection Control survey. You and your team have been trying your hardest to comply with infection control procedures throughout the pandemic. At the end of the survey, you are issued several citations and the state is requiring the facility to institute a Directed Plan of Care (DPOC). What should you do now? I recently discussed this question with Barbara Bates, RN, MSN, RAC-CT, QCP-MT, DNS-MT...
Nov 15 2020

New Advanced Beneficiary Notice

Is your facility using the proper ABN form? The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently updated the Advanced Beneficiary Notice of Noncoverage (ABN), Form CMS-R-131. The new ABN will be mandatory for use on 1/1/2021, but the new form can be implemented now. CMS debuted an updated ABN for use this summer but delayed implementation due to the pandemic. The new form addresses dual eligibility for beneficiaries and provides new guidance. CMS now offers additional guidelines for...
Sep 15 2020

Covid-19 and Skilled Status

In late June, CMS addressed two issues and posted MDS 3.0 Final Item Sets (V1.17.2).  The two edits were changes to facilitate the calculation of Patient-Driven Payment Model payment codes on OBRA assessments for states that wish to have this calculation performed.  These two edits will be revised and go into production on October 1, 2020. The purpose of these changes?  To allow State Medicaid Agencies to collect and compare RUG-III/IV payment codes to PDPM ones and thereby inform their future...
Jul 27 2020

Mind Your PHQs

Some skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are concerned about accurate payment when a resident unexpectedly discharges and the Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS) has not yet been completed.However, they should be just as concerned about the PHQ-9. The PHQ-9 identifies depressive symptoms to be captured on the MDS. The interview follows the same basic rules as the BIMS. Both interviews should be conducted, preferably on the day of or the day before the ARD. The provider cannot complete the...
Mar 23 2020

MDS in the Emergency Preparedness Plan

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for skilled nursing facilities to have an effective Emergency Preparedness Plan - one that includes sheltering-in-place. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Final Rule requires that participating providers have an active Emergency Preparedness Plan. With reimbursement payments, accreditation status, and liability exposures all on the line, long-term care facilities should conduct an "all-hazards" risk assessment. This risk assessment should...
Mar 20 2020

COVID-19 Resources

COVID-19 (coronavirus) Tools In this difficult time, MDS Consultants is here for you with reimbursement guidance and can help with MDS completions when needed. Our team keeps an up-to-date list of links and resources at MDS Expert  COVID-19 (coronavirus) Updates Novel Coronavirus 2019, or COVID-19, is causing a crisis in our healthcare system. Do not let COVID-19 create a reimbursement crisis for you and your team. We all recognize there is a lot of conflicting information on the internet and...
Mar 29 2017

QAPI Resources

MDS Consultants has compiled this list of helpful QAPI resources from CMS as well as other organizations and experts.   CMS Regulations & News Nursing Home Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement (QAPI) QAPI News Brief - Volume 1 QAPI News Brief - Volume 2 Nursing Home Quality Initiative Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act CMS Materials QAPI at a Glance: A Step by Step Guide to Implementing QAPI QAPI Five Elements QAPI Self-Assessment Tool Guide for Developing Purpose,...

Recent Blogs in All Topics

Trauma and the MDS – A Sneak Peak

Trauma informed care has become an area of focus for Post Acute Care providers and survey agencies. Organizations are required to provide trauma-informed care that meets “professional standards of practice and accounting for residents’ experiences...

New Year….Same MDS Obstacle Course

As we ring in 2024, long term care professionals are still struggling to implement the October 2023 updates to the MDS. CMS is already talking about more changes in 2024, and the anticipation continues to create anxiety amongst PAC members. While...

Schizophrenia Diagnosis Audits

On January 18th, 2023, CMS announced they will be conducting off-site audits in nursing homes for assessment accuracy and coding of residents with a diagnosis of Schizophrenia. Along with auditing for appropriate diagnosis, the audits will review...

OSA or PDPM? A State-Level Decision

As of Oct. 1, 2023, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has retired the A0300 Optional State Assessment (OSA) from the federally required MDS 3.0 v1.18.11 that is submitted by nursing facilities. The OSA is now a separate...

The Physician and “I”

The physician’s role in the nursing facility is essential to delivering skilled, quality care for Skilled and Long-Term Care residents. Physicians are our lead in providing clinical decision making and properly defining, clarifying, and verifying...

Coding UTIs on the MDS 3.0

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are a commonly miscoded data element on the MDS. Are you over coding UTIs? Are you not coding them at all? Should you? Shouldn’t you? The MDS has historically left data collectors asking themselves these questions....

Achieving Accurate ADLs with the OSA

Section G of the MDS 3.0 was retired October 1, 2023, yet the MDS nurse may still need to use the knowledge of accurately coding ADLs with an assessment called the Optional State Assessment (OSA).  State-Optioned OSA Although the option to choose...

What Is an MDS Coordinator?

It’s a bit odd that when asked what you do for a living most MDS coordinators struggle to come up with an answer. Who struggles to explain what they do every day? The reality is that MDS Coordinators fully understand what this multifaceted job...

MDS 2023 Countdown Wrap-Up

This post is part of the MDS 2023 Countdown series.  Disclaimer: Current as of May 13, 2023.   What You Can Expect to See CMS released the first MDS draft item set (v1.18.11) in September 2022, which generated many questions for the long-term...

Rx Reconciliation – New SNF QRP and QMs

This post is part of the MDS 2023 Countdown series.  Disclaimer. Current as of October 1, 2023 What You Can Expect to See The reconciled medication list will have a new documentation requirement that will go into effect with the October 1, 2023...

Away with Q0300 and in with Q0310 – New Section Q Changes

This post is part of the MDS 2023 Countdown series.  Disclaimer. Current as of May 13, 2023 What You Can Expect to See This new Section Q update presents a key change to the wording: GOAL vs expectation. The Cambridge American Dictionary defines...

Updated Entered From and Discharge Status options

This post is part of the MDS 2023 Countdown series.  Disclaimer. Current as of October 1, 2023 Section A1800 "Entered From" and A2100 "Discharged Status" have Changed One of the changes you will see when coding section A of the MDS this October 1,...

Transportation – New Item A1250

This post is part of the MDS 2023 Countdown series.  Disclaimer. Current as of October 1, 2023 What You Can Expect to See An additional item we will see in the upcoming MDS 3.0 v.1.18.11 in October 2023 is A1250 - Transportation. This is included...

New 3-day Lookbacks | Assessment Periods

This post is part of the MDS 2023 Countdown series.  Disclaimer. Current as of March 24, 2023 What You Can Expect to See New 3-day lookback/assessment periods are coming to the MDS world. There are different sections of the MDS that the Nurse...

New Pain Interview in Section J

This post is part of the MDS 2023 Countdown series.  Disclaimer. Current as of February 22, 2023 What You Can Expect to See The most noticeable changes to Section J are evident in the pain interview, specifically questions J0510, J0520 and J0530....

Section B – Hearing, Speech and Vision Changes

This post is part of the MDS 2023 Countdown series.  Disclaimer. Current as of October 1, 2023 What You Can Expect to See Section B on the MDS is a component of the Standardized Patient Assessment Data Elements (SPADEs), which is utilized across...

Race and Ethnicity – Changes in Section A

This post is part of the MDS 2023 Countdown series.  Disclaimer. Current as of October 1, 2023 What You Can Expect to See Section A, Identification Information for Race/Ethnicity has expanded. One of the major changes is the deletion of section...

The New Section N: Use and Indication of High-risk Drug Classes

This post is part of the MDS 2023 Countdown series.  Disclaimer. Current as of December 23, 2022 WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE We will see changes in Section N of the MDS 3.0 effective on October 1, 2023.  Section N0410 (Medications Received) has been...

Where did Physician Examinations and Orders Go?

This post is part of the MDS 2023 Countdown series.  Disclaimer. Current as of December 16, 2023 WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE CMS does not require the completion of the physician examinations and orders, but they remain a requirement for some states...

What’s New in Section O – Special Treatments, Procedures, Programs?

This post is part of the MDS 2023 Countdown series.  Disclaimer. Current as of December 9, 2023 WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE What is Changing with Section O? When you first look at the draft of section O item O0110 special treatments, procedures, and...

What to Expect in Section GG

  This post is part of the MDS 2023 Countdown series.  Disclaimer. Current as of December 2, 2022 WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE What is Changing with Section GG? One of the major changes is the deletion of section G (Functional Status). What does...

The New and Improved Section D

This post is part of the MDS 2023 Countdown series.  Disclaimer. Current as of November 25, 2022 WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE What is Changing with Section D? Many of us may have skipped over some changes in our rush to see what happened to section...

Section G is Missing

This post is part of the MDS 2023 Countdown series.  Disclaimer. Current as of February 7, 2023 WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE What is Changing with Section G? MDS 3.0 changes for October 2023 removed section G completely. This leaves many questions...

Pillars of Care

Reviewing the Behavioral Health Pillars The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) developed a roadmap for behavioral health integration to address a national mental health crisis.  The current Administration's strategy is based on three...

MDS surprises fill new draft

Joe Bush | Oct 7, 2022 | Excerpted from McKnights Long-term care facilities, staff and more than half the states should prepare immediately for changes to the Minimum Data Set, experts said in early September. The Centers for Medicare &...

Section I and Schizophrenia

Changes to Section I and Schizophrenia In July 2022, CMS released an erratum to the RAI (Resident Assessment Instrument) Manual that included more detailed guidance on the use of diagnoses for section I, including the schizophrenia diagnoses that...

Achieving Accurate ADL’s

Achieving Accurate ADLs The MDS nurse faces challenges when ADL documentation is sparse or even conflicting.  Everyone wants accurate ADL’s, but how often do we fall short?  How have pandemic staffing issues affected ADL accuracy? The “Rule of...

MDS draft sends sector, states scrambling to assess effects

Joe Bush | Sept 7, 2022 | McKnights Long-term care facilities, staff and more than half the states in the US should start preparing immediately for extensive changes to the Minimum Data Set, resident assessment experts said this week. The Centers...

MDS Changes Raise Medicaid Payment Questions

Tim Mullaney | September 7, 2022 | Excerpted from Skilled Nursing News The removal of a key section from the Minimum Data Set (MDS) will have massive repercussions, particularly for the future of nursing home reimbursements by states. ... The fate...

Stars for Staffing

Updates to the Staffing Five Star CMS released revisions to the staffing methodology in July through an updated Design for Care Compare Nursing Home Five-Star Quality Rating System: Technical Users’ Guide July 2022. The staffing star rating...

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