This year, SNFs can access a new SNF QRP Provider Threshold Report in the CASPER system that shows, by measure, whether the SNF is sufficiently reporting data.  Just because an MDS has been submitted for admission or discharge does not mean the appropriate fields are completed to satisfy the reporting requirements. Last year, some SNFs were cut 2% because submitted MDS data contained dashes in key Section GG fields and as such were deemed non-reporting. 

CMS plans to begin displaying the first measure—which covers the last three days of a hospice patient’s life—on Hospice Compare in summer 2019 but will further test the second measure—which focuses on the last seven days of life—before any future display on Hospice Compare.

Hospice Visits when Death is Imminent is a pair of CMS hospice quality measures that assess hospice staff visits to patients at the end of life over 3 or 7 days.

The report shows SNFs if they are meeting the 80% reporting threshold requirement on the SNF QRP measures during a calendar year.  Failure to meet this threshold can result in a SNF having its Medicare Fee-For-Service rate reduced 2% in the forthcoming fiscal year.  For this reason, SNFs should review the PTR now to see if they are below the 80% threshold on any of the measures, as they have until May 15, 2019 to make updates or corrections to their current MDS submissions for, at least, 10/1/2018 – 12/31/2018.   

Recent research found that hospitals with health information exchange (HIE) have fewer readmissions than do hospitals that are not part of HIE. This study looked at data from 160 Florida hospitals and focused on patients who had been hospitalized for a heart attack.

The good news is that 3,983 SNFs received an increase in their rates over and above earning back the 2% that CMS takes to fund the incentive pool.  Of those, 440 SNFs (2.9%) were assigned a number 1 rank and as such received the maximum rate increase of roughly 1.65% increase on their Medicare FFS rates (after the 2% was restored).  And another 347 SNFs benefitted from the hold harmless provision CMS established in the regulations for low-volume SNFs by applying the 1.00 modifier.

LeadingAge CAST has updated its Telehealth and RPM Selection Tool with new vendor information and a new case study from Curatess and Lexington Health Network. The product matrix and online selection tool now contain information for 16 products from 13 vendors. The tool is designed to help aging services organizations understand telehealth and remote patient monitoring (RPM) technologies, as well as these technologies’ uses and benefits.

 

CMS staff shared that less than 2% of the 15,191 Skilled Nursing Facilities(SNFs) received a noncompliance letter and of those that did, roughly 50% submitted a request for reconsideration and supporting documentation. CMS granted reconsideration for about half of those SNFs who requested it stating they had made a compelling argument demonstrating that they had been using the CASPER system reports but fell short in meeting the 80% threshold reporting requirement. Those SNFs who were granted reconsideration will not be penalized the 2% off their Medicare Fee-For-Service(FFS) rates.

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