Tag Archives: Nursing Homes

HHS Office of Civil Rights Releases Guidance for Long-Term Care Facilities Using the Minimum Data Set to Facilitate Opportunities to Live in the Most Integrated Setting

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued new guidance to help long-term care facilities comply with anti-discrimination obligations when they administer the Minimum Data Set (MDS) patient assessment tool so that the facilities’ residents receive care in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. Those … Continue Reading

CMS Releases Nursing Home Action Plan for 2016/2017

The CMS Survey and Certification Group has released its 2016/2017 Nursing Home Action Plan, which details the agency’s strategy for continuing to improve nursing home quality. The plan focuses on five strategies for quality improvement: (1) enhancing consumer awareness and assistance; (2) strengthening survey processes, standards, and training; (3) improving enforcement activities; (4) promoting quality … Continue Reading

New DOJ “Elder Justice Task Forces” to Focus on Nursing Home Care Quality

The Department of Justice has created 10 regional Elder Justice Task Forces “to coordinate and enhance efforts to pursue nursing homes that provide grossly substandard care to their residents.”  The Task Forces are comprised of representatives from the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices, state Medicaid Fraud Control Units, state and local prosecutors’ offices, and various agencies that … Continue Reading

OIG Interim Evaluation of ACA LTC Employee Background Check Grant Program

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued an interim evaluation report on an Affordable Care Act (ACA) program that provides grants to states to implement background check programs for prospective long-term care employees.  According to OIG, 25 states currently are participating in the program at different stages (for instance, some have not yet … Continue Reading

GAO Recommends Improved CMS Nursing Home Quality Oversight

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a report, “Nursing Home Quality: CMS Should Continue to Improve Data and Oversight,” examining changes in reported nursing home quality and related CMS oversight activities. According to the GAO, three nursing home data sets—standard survey deficiencies, reported staffing levels, and clinical quality measures—indicate potential improvement in nursing home … Continue Reading

Bipartisan Budget Act Jacks Up Civil Monetary Penalties Under the Social Security Act and False Claims Act Penalties

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (H.R. 1314), signed into law by President Obama November 2, 2015, will increase the civil monetary penalties (CMPs) imposed under the Social Security Act (SSA) in addition to False Claims Act (FCA) penalties (among other civil penalties).  Under an innocuous-sounding provision, entitled “Civil monetary penalty inflation adjustments,” the budget … Continue Reading

CMS Publishes Final FY 2016 Update to SNF PPS Rates, Policies

On August 4, 2015, CMS published its final rule updating Medicare skilled nursing facility (SNF) PPS rates and policies for FY 2016.  CMS projects that the final rule will increase overall payments to SNFs by $430 million, or 1.2%, as compared to FY 2015 levels.  This update reflects a 2.3% market basket increase that is … Continue Reading

Medicare/Medicaid Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities

On July 13, 2015, CMS issued a much-anticipated proposed rule seeking to consolidate the long-term care (LTC) facility participation requirements for the Medicare and Medicaid programs. This major proposal marks the first comprehensive changes to the LTC conditions of participation since 1991. As noted by CMS, the revisions are designed to align with current clinical … Continue Reading

CMS Guidance on Beneficiary MA Drug Plan Disenrollments by Long Term Care Facilities

CMS has released guidance for long term care (LTC) facilities, including nursing facilities and skilled nursing facilities, on beneficiary disenrollments. According to the guidance, “CMS continues to see an unacceptable practice of LTC facilities disenrolling beneficiaries from Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans (MAPDs) and enrolling them into stand-alone drug plans (PDPs) without the beneficiary’s or … Continue Reading

GAO Calls for Expanded HHS Efforts to Reduce Antipsychotic Drug Use in Community Settings

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report examining the extent to which antipsychotic drugs are prescribed for older adults with dementia in nursing homes and other settings. The GAO found that, according to Medicare Part D data, about one-third of older adults with dementia who spent more than 100 days in a nursing … Continue Reading

CMS Raises the Bar for Nursing Home Quality Ratings under “Nursing Home Compare 3.0”

CMS has made revisions to the measurements used in the Nursing Home Compare Five Star Quality Rating System that have resulted in a decline in the star rating for about one-third of nursing homes. Specifically, on February 20, 2015, CMS added quality measures regarding the use of antipsychotics, revised the calculation of nursing home staffing … Continue Reading

CMS Schedules Provider Calls on Medicare Payment, Quality, Coding & Program Integrity Topics

CMS has scheduled a series of provider calls in February and March on the following topics: February 3: Special Open Door Forum on the upcoming Prior Authorization of Non-Emergent Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy model to be implemented in March in Illinois, Michigan, and New Jersey. February 4: Special Door Forum on the introduction of star ratings on … Continue Reading

CMS Call: National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes (Dec. 9).

On December 9, 2014, CMS is hosting a call to provide an update on the CMS National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes. The partnership focuses on continuing to reduce the use of unnecessary antipsychotic medications and other potentially-harmful medications in nursing homes and eventually other care settings.… Continue Reading

CMS to Revise Five Star Quality Rating System for Nursing Homes

CMS has announced that it will make a series of improvements to the Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating System, including additional quality measures, new data verification processes, and a revised quality scoring methodology. Among other things: CMS will add a new quality measure on antipsychotic medication use starting January 2015, and include claims-based data … Continue Reading

OIG Reviews Nursing Facility Abuse/Neglect Reporting Practices

The OIG has issued a report reviewing the extent to which Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing facilities comply with federal requirements related to reporting allegations of resident abuse or neglect. For the purposes of this report, the OIG uses the term “nursing facility” (NF) to refer to both Medicare skilled nursing facilities and Medicaid nursing facilities. … Continue Reading

GAO Reviews Financial Characteristics of Applicants for Medicaid Nursing Home Coverage

The GAO has issued a report entitled “Medicaid: Financial Characteristics of Approved Applicants and Methods Used to Reduce Assets to Qualify for Nursing Home Coverage.”  The report highlights ways applicants in Florida, New York, and South Carolina reduce their countable assets to qualify for Medicaid nursing home coverage, including (1) spending countable resources on goods … Continue Reading

CMS Call: National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes (May 20)

On May 20, 2014, CMS is hosting another call to discuss the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, which includes as a goal reducing the use of unnecessary antipsychotic medications in nursing homes. This call will focus on efforts to monitor enforcement rates and track surveyor training completion; the role that activity … Continue Reading

Highlights from Reed Smith’s Post-Acute Care Conference

In early April, Reed Smith hosted an enlightening conference entitled "Reed Smith 2014 Washington Health Care Conference: Focus on Post-Acute Care" in Washington, D.C. The conference brought together a panel of experts to discuss episodic care, bundling models, and alternative payment and delivery systems, as well as other speakers to present from the perspective of investors and Capitol Hill. The conference was capped with a stimulating keynote address from American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Dr. Norman Ornstein on the current polarized nature of American politics, particularly in regards to national health policy.… Continue Reading

HHS OIG Identifies “Top 25” Priorities

The OIG has released its “Compendium of Priority Recommendations,” which lists 25 priority issues for which the OIG has open recommendation and that, if implemented, would best protect the integrity of HHS programs. The 25 top priorities are as follows: Medicare Policies and Payments: address wasteful Medicare policies and payment rates for clinical laboratories, hospitals, and … Continue Reading

Reed Smith Hosting Washington Health Care Conference: Focus on Post-Acute Care on April 4, 2014 – One Week Left to Register

On April 4th, 2014, Reed Smith will host its inaugural Washington Health Care Conference at The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel in Washington, D.C. With a keynote from Dr. Norman Ornstein, this year's conference will focus on post-acute care, bringing together leading industry professionals for a discussion on several important issues. Limited seating is still available for this complimentary program. If you are interested in registering, please email Lindsay Korenich at lkorenich@reedsmith.com.… Continue Reading

OIG Assesses Adverse Events Among Medicare Beneficiaries in SNFs

The OIG released a report on March 3, 2014, “Adverse Events in Skilled Nursing Facilities: National Incidence among Medicare Beneficiaries,” that examines the national incidence rate, preventability, and cost of adverse events in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). This report is an outgrowth of a series of studies about hospital adverse events. For purposes of this report, the … Continue Reading

CMS Call on Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes (Feb. 26)

On February 26, 2014, CMS is hosting a call to discuss the National Partnership to Improve Dementia Care in Nursing Homes, which includes as a goal reducing the use of unnecessary antipsychotic medications in nursing homes. This call will focus on the role of surveyors in the implementation of the partnership, the importance of leadership, … Continue Reading
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