Therapy Management & Consulting Services Blog

Mechanically Altered Diets & Swallowing Disorders under PDPM

Under the new Patient-Driven Payment Model or PDPM, CMS has admitted to keeping an eye on a potential increase in mechanically altered diets.

Read More

Tags: skilled nursing facility, CMS, snf, RCS-1, Patient-Driven Payment Model, PDPM

PEPPER  Adds Seasoning to Bundled Payments and Reimbursements

If you are all over your PEPPER (Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report), you probably noticed the most recent release for Q4 2017 shows a new risk for improper payment – the 20-day episodes of care.

Read More

Overwhelmed By the Newly Proposed CMS Payment System?

Unaware that CMS has proposed a new payment system for our fee for service residents ?  Don’t worry, we read the entire proposed rule and have everything ready for you.  If you haven’t seen our most recent Advisor for a quick “what’s this PDPM all about?”, click here.  We were swift with putting together all of the details in a webinar for our current and potential partners – you can watch the recording here if you missed it. 

Read More

Tags: skilled nursing facility, snf, RCS-1, Patient-Driven Payment Model, PDPM

CMS Releases Proposed Payment Reform Model

Communication Is Key to Success!
HealthPRO® Heritage is preparing initial training/details related to Friday’s CMS announcement, as well as details related to our philosophy and strategy for tackling the New World of payment reform. Our management teams will participate in internal trainings this week so we are best able to answer your questions and support your strategy.

Register now for our webinar on Friday, May 4, 2018 at 12:00 PM EST.


On Friday, April 27, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2019 Proposed Rule. Our industry has been anxiously awaiting this announcement since April 2017’s Advanced Notice Pre Rulemaking (ANPRM) which proposed the Resident Classification System, Version 1 (RCS-1).

Read More

Tags: CMS, snf, RCS-1, CMS Update 2018, Patient-Driven Payment Model, PDPM

Further Expansion into Southern States with Key Acquisition 

HealthPRO® Heritage Expands into Key States in the South with Acquisition of Summit Health & Rehab

April 10, 2018. HealthPRO® Heritage  completed the acquisition of Summit Health & Rehab  on March 30, 2018.

Read More

Tags: Acquisitions

April Advisor Newsletter

Define Your Value Proposition

If you are a Life Plan or Senior Living Community, the time is now for you to understand your value proposition.

Life Plan and Senior Living Communities are in a unique position to be THE strategic solution to a growing marketplace need. Hospitals are seeking partners to lower overall cost, and Seniors don’t always want to go to Skilled Nursing Care. Your community can be the cornerstone of a win-win-win strategy to support patients and a network of care providers in your area.

First, ask whether your Life Plan/Senior Living Community is prepared to leverage these newly identified opportunities.

Readiness Checklist Requirements:

  1. Are you a medical model in AL/IL/PCH?
  2. Can the nursing care at your community adequately support residents with higher acuity needs? Can you take those higher acuity needs?
  3. Have you established a network of preferred home health partners to strategically optimize clinical/financial outcomes?
  4. Do you have a rehab provider that offers strategic operational/marketing support along with the full continuum of therapy services (including outpatient services and collaborations with home health)?

If the answer is “YES” to these four (4) “Readiness Checklist Requirements” then your community is an opportune position.

For those Life Plan Communities and Senior Living Communities that answer “NO” to these important questions, HealthPRO® Heritage offers the following preliminary ideas to spark your imagination.

Enhance your value proposition for the hospital partners in your network
Establish a direct admit program in a skilled nursing facility (SNF). In this scenario, your community is a next step for Seniors who experience a non-emergent issues at home. Example: Seniors who fail to take medications, experience a fall, etc. Rather than visiting the ER, your community can offer this alternative solution if you work closely with local MDs/ERs/managed care organizations to get this program off the ground. 

Leverage personal care (PC) or assisted living (AL) capabilities by offering a short-stay program
Provide well-coordinated care between your nursing staff, home health and potential outpatient services in scenarios where there isn’t a qualifying 3-night stay, such as a patient undergoing hip replacement who lives home alone.

This innovative program offers a less expensive option for those private pay patients who prefer your community to a SNF stay. Consider the trend of a growing market for short-stay programs that offer a private room, around-the-clock nursing and on-site outpatient therapy until ready to return home independently. Your community should be taking advantage of this census-stabilizing opportunity! 

Care ReDesign initiatives to ensure an operational/strategic foundation is in place

  1. Process for consistent communication with your hospital partners and managed care organizations
  2. Review your clinical capabilities, and define admission criteria
  3. A well-defined communication pathway for your team re: new admissions
  4. Rigor around nursing assessment at time of admission
  5. Readmission mitigation strategies (e.g.: risk assessment and clinical rounding)
  6. Clarity re: expectations for home health and outpatient care
  7. Advanced discharge planning process
  8. Enlist the support of a forward-thinking rehab provider to serve as “the glue” in building cross-continuum services

The safe, efficient transition for seniors between levels of care is akin to a new frontier in quality care delivery, and Life Plan Communities and Senior Living Communities are well-positioned to be in the driver’s seat to offer optimal solutions. The steps outlined above provide a glimpse at a well-thought out approach to building and sustaining your value proposition with far-reaching implications. Fortify your census, grow your network and position your community for success!

Contact HealthPRO® Heritage to optimize the value propositions of your Life Plan or Senior Living Community! 



Survey Tip of the Month

Surveyors will look for triggers on and off-site;  observations may focus on altered diet, wounds and weight loss. Observations will include:

  • Are residents getting the supervision that they need during meals (especially residents who eat in their rooms and trigger for one of the areas listed above)?
  • Is feeding equipment present and utilized properly?
  • If feeding assistants are part of the facility culture, what are the policies and are they being adhered to?
  • What is the policy for food storage (especially food that is brought in by families)? Are families educated regarding the policy?
  • Positioning during meal times will be a focus during observations on all units.

Three Easy Steps in Response to More MDS Changes

EDUCATE
Make Sure Your MDS Team is Up-To-Date. On October 1, 2018 new version of the Data Specifications for the MDS RAI Manual Version 1.16.0 goes into effect. Three types of updates are outlined in the most recent draft version (released January 2018): 

  • technical corrections/revisions addressing grammar or punctuation,
  • items modified for clarification, and
  • new/modified items addressing the SNF Quality Reporting Program.

Also note that several changes specific to Section GG admission and discharge reporting intervals are included.

Read More

Tags: CMS Update 2018, Section GG, Life Plan Community, MDS Changes, Senior Living Community

March 2018 Advisor

New Medicare Card Update

Read More

Tags: CMS, Long Term Care, Safe Transitions, CMS Update 2018, Care Delivery, Medicare Card Update, Rules of Participation

Make The Choice To Prepare

Our ongoing efforts to prepare for payment reform has led HealthPRO/Heritage to develop the industry’s most informative RUGS to RCS-1 reimbursement crosswalk, allowing providers to see both patient and enterprise level reimbursement impacts and identify specific areas of risk and opportunity. This will help establish strategic processes for operational changes that minimize risks and help providers successfully navigate this fundamental payment shift.

We encourage providers to:

Read More

Tags: CMS, RCS-1, CMS Update 2018, Payment Reform

Therapy Cap REPEALED!

GREAT NEWS! The cap on therapy services for Medicare beneficiaries has been repealed. We thank everyone who petitioned their respective legislators to help achieve this important legislative victory.

Read More

Tags: CMS, Therapy Cap, CMS Update 2018

January Advisor Newsletter


Attention: CMS has released updated quality measure star ratings for all LTC providers. The Nursing Home Compare site was updated January 24, 2018.



RCS-1: Get Ready, While We Watch & Wait

HealthPRO®/Heritage continues to lead the industry in preparation for RCS-1 as we prepare for a likely reimbursement system overhaul.

Based on the fact that CMS received a high volume of comments from industry stakeholders during the extended public comment period through August 2017, we expect there will be some changes to the Advance Notice Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding the complete overhaul of PPS. We do know that payment reform is coming, and we must be prepared for a big change in our industry. We will stay close to the proposed changes to be released in April 2018. 

HealthPRO®/Heritage strategy is to watch, to wait and to BE PREPARED! The providers who come out on top will be the ones most well prepared to weather the transition, should the system change occur as scheduled on October 1, 2018.

Read More

Tags: CMS, HealthPRO/Heritage, senior living, Home Health, RCS-1, Nursing Home Compare Website, Bundled Payments, BCPI, Bundled Payment for Care Improvement Advanced