February

  • Using eHealth Data Solutions CareWatch to Enhance Your QAPI Activities (Free Webinar):

    Monday February 3, 2014

    The Long Term Care Community is waiting for CMS to release the final Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) regulations, but your team should be preparing today to build a systematic, comprehensive, data driven approach to care. This free webinar will provide an overview of the eHealth Data Solutions CareWatch features that can enhance your QAPI activities and will discuss real life examples of the way CareWatch data can be used in the Plan-Do-Study-Act Cycle and your performance improvement projects (PIPs). See the link below on how to register for this free webinar presented by eHealth Data Solutions:     

    https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/602492442

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  • ICD-10 in 2014

    Thursday February 6, 2014

    ICD-10

    With less than one year to go until the October 1, 2014, ICD-10 compliance date, now is the time to assess your progress. CMS continues to work with health care organizations to develop and distribute a variety of resources to help you with your ICD-10 planning and preparation.

    No matter where you are in your transition, there are ICD-10 resources available to you. Check the  provider resources page on the CMS website frequently for news and information to help you prepare, and visit your professional organization's website for resources tailored specifically to your needs. These resources can help you:

    • Plan your journey - Look at the codes you use, prepare a budget, and build a team
    • Train your team - Many options and resources are available
    • Engage your partners - Talk to your software vendors, clearinghouses, and billing services
    • Test your systems and processes - Test within your practice and with your partners

    2014 is the year of ICD-10. The ICD-10 transition will affect every part of your practice, from software upgrades, to patient registration and referrals, to clinical documentation and billing. With everyone in health care working toward a successful transition, now is the time to make sure you are ready too.

    Keep Up to Date on ICD-10

    Visit the CMS  ICD-10 website for the latest news and resources to help you prepare for the October 1, 2014, compliance date. Sign up for  CMS ICD-10 Industry Email Updates and  follow us on Twitter.

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  • CMS Revised Emergency Preparedness Checklist

    Friday February 28, 2014

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is alerting healthcare facilities that they have revised current emergency preparedness checklist information for health care facility planning. These updates provide more detailed guidance about patient/resident tracking, supplies and collaboration.

    CMS has updated the S&C Emergency Preparedness Checklist - Recommended Tool for Effective Health Care Facility Planning. This updated checklist can be found at their S&C Emergency Preparedness Websitehttp://www.cms.hhs.gov/SurveyCertEmergPrep/.

    CMS has stated that updates and new documents will be posted to the website as they become available.

    The S&C letter is attached below.

    CMS Emergency Prepardness Initiative Feb. 2014

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  • AUDIT HOLIDAY

    Tuesday February 18, 2014

    CMS- February 18, 2014 - CMS is in the procurement process for the next round of Recovery Audit Program contracts. It is important that CMS transition down the current contracts so that the Recovery Auditors can complete all outstanding claim reviews and other processes by the end date of the current contracts. In addition, a pause in operations will allow CMS to continue to refine and improve the Medicare Recovery Audit Program. Several years ago, CMS made substantial changes to improve the Medicare Recovery Audit program. CMS will continue to review and refine the process as necessary. For example, CMS is reviewing the Additional Documentation Request (ADR) limits, timeframes for review and communications between Recovery Auditors and providers. CMS has proven it is committed to constantly improving the program and listening to feedback from providers and other stakeholders. Providers should note the important dates below:

    • February 21 is the last day a Recovery Auditor may send a postpayment Additional Documentation Request (ADR)

    • February 28 is the last day a MAC may send prepayment ADRs for the Recovery Auditor Prepayment Review Demonstration

    • June 1 is the last day a Recovery Auditor may send improper payment files to the MACs for adjustment

    CMS will continue to update this Website with more information on the procurement and awards as information is available. Providers should contact RAC@cms.hhs.gov for additional questions.

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  • ADVERSE EVENTS IN SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES: NATIONAL INCIDENCE AMONG MEDICARE BENEFICIARIES

    Saturday February 1, 2014

    From 2008-2012, the OIG conducted a series of studies about hospital adverse events, defined as harm resulting from medical care. This work included a Congressionally mandated study to determine a national incidence rate for adverse events in hospitals. As part of this work, they developed methods to identify adverse events, determine the extent to which events are preventable, and measure the cost of events to the Medicare program. This study continues that work by evaluating post-acute care provided in skilled nursing facilities (SNF). SNF post-acute care is intended to help beneficiaries improve health and functioning following a hospitalization and is second only to hospital care among inpatient costs to Medicare. Although various health care stakeholders have in recent years paid substantial attention to patient safety in hospitals, less is known about resident safety in SNFs.

    Because many of the events identified were preventable, our study confirms the need and opportunity for SNFs to significantly reduce the incidence of resident harm events. Therefore, the OIG recommends that the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) raise awareness of nursing home safety and seek to reduce resident harm through methods used to promote hospital safety efforts. This would include collaborating to create and promote a list of potential nursing home events-including events we found that are not commonly associated with SNF care-to help nursing home staff better recognize harm. CMS should also instruct State agency surveyors to review nursing home practices for identifying and reducing adverse events. AHRQ and CMS concurred with our recommendations.

    To read the complete OIG report, click on the attachment below.

    Adverse Events in SNF 2014

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