Final Regulation Regarding SNF Hospice Contracts Released

HMS Healthcare Management Solutions has learned the final regulation requiring nursing facilities and skilled nursing facilities to have contracts with hospices (mirroring the requirement in the 2008 Hospice Conditions of Participation) has been released.  It is set for publication in the Federal Register tomorrow and will be effective 60 days from publication.

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AMA To Challenge SNF Care Prerequisite

Earlier this week, delegates of the the American Medical Association (AMA) approved plans to change the 72-hour hospitalization requirement for Medicare Part A coverage of skilled nursing facility (SNF) care. The resolution asserts Medicare should immediately cover a SNF stay if a physician determines its the best setting for care.

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Long Term Care Open Door Forum

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be holding an Open Door Forum (ODF) for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) / Long Term Care (LTC) on Thursday, May 2, 2013 at 2:00p.m. Eastern Time (ET).

To participate by phone, dial (800) 837-1935 and reference conference ID #78862506.

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SNFs Could Soon Share Responsibility For Hospital Readmissions

According to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), approximately 14% of Medicare patients discharged from hospitals to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are rehospitalized for conditions that potentially could have been avoided.  As a result, SNFs could soon share responsibility with hospitals for avoidable readmissions.

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OIG: SNFs Fail To Meet Requirements For Care, Discharge Planning

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released Skilled Nursing Facilities Often Fail to Meet Care Planning & Discharge Planning Requirements the latest in a series of studies examining Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) payments and quality of care. The report found for 37% of stays, SNFs did not develop care plans that met requirements or did not provide services in accordance with care plans.

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SNF, LTC Open Door Forum Next Week

The next Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF)/Long Term Care (LTC) Open Door Forum is scheduled for Thursday, March 21, 2013 at 2:00p.m. Eastern Time.

Please dial (800) 837-1935 at least 15 minutes before call start time and reference Conference ID #78875931.

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Potential Sequester A Hard Hit To Long Term Care

Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) in highly populated states on the East Coast and in the Midwest would be hit hardest by Medicare cuts if sequestration takes effect, according to Avalere Health figures released by the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care earlier this week.

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SNF / LTC Open Door Forum Next Week

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is holding an Open Door Forum for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) and Long Term Care (LTC) providers at 2:00p.m. (ET) on Thursday, February 14, 2013.

Agenda items include:

  • Security Changes to CMS Net Users
  • SNF Therapy Research Project
  • MDS Manual Status
  • MDS Coding of Quadriplegia
  • MDS 3.0 Data Specifications and Item Sets for October 2013
  • Open Q&A

To participate by phone, dial 1-800-837-1935 & reference Conference ID: 78866871 or click here for more information.

Inappropriate SNF Payments Prove Costly

A new federal report reveals nursing homes are overcharging Medicare by $1.5 billion annually.

The report, titled Inappropriate Payments To Skilled Nursing Facilities Cost Medicare More Than A Billion Dollars In 2009 says that SNFs are upcoding bills to Medicare by claiming more services than were done and providing incorrect treatment.

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Physician Payment Changes In Final Rule

Beginning in January 2013, Medicare will pay doctors for care coordination services when transferring patients to skilled nursing facilities.

The service is among the many payment changes finalized in the annual regulation announcing program rates for the next year. The fee schedule includes an across-the-board sustainable growth rate (SGR) cut to physician pay, a reduction that federal officials calculated at 26.5% and other rate cuts such as lower payments for multiple advanced imaging scans and penalties for failing to submit quality measurements to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

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