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Updates from CMS on Staffing Standards Study in Nursing Homes

On August 11, 2022 by Anna Mowry

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reported that, due to the significant response to the Request for Information on establishing a minimum staffing standard, it will conclude the staffing study in December. Initially, we expected the study to be part of the recently-issued final 2023 Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System rule.

New Survey Data: Top Cited Deficiencies from Nursing Home Recertification Surveys

On August 4, 2022 by Jonathan Lips

The information available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality, Certification and Oversight Reports (QCOR) database shows that the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed 127 nursing facility recertification surveys during the federal fiscal year-to-date. There is some lag time in survey data entry, so the actual current total of surveys conducted is somewhat higher. Here's a sampling of the data:

CMS Releases Final SNF PPS Rule; Includes Cuts Related to Impact of PDPM

On August 4, 2022 by Jeff Bostic

Late last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the annual final rule that updates the Prospective Payment System (PPS) rates for care centers.

HHS Announces Proposed Rule to Strengthen Nondiscrimination in Health Care

On July 28, 2022 by Jonathan Lips

On July 25, the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (OCR), issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to revise regulations relating to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (Section 1557), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex characteristics), in covered health programs or activities.

Weekend Staffing and Staff Turnover Data Added to Five-Star Quality Ratings

On July 14, 2022 by Julie Apold

The July 2022 Care Compare refresh includes the addition of nursing home staff turnover rates and weekend nurse staffing levels to the Five-Star Quality Ratings. The refresh also consists of a change to how staffing scores can impact a nursing home's Overall Five-Star Quality Rating.

Reviewing the COVID-19 Data Tracker

On July 14, 2022 by Kari Everson

Providers across the state must utilize data per regulatory requirements to help determine specific COVID-19 protocols, yet many data sources from different regulators can confuse the process.

Civil Monetary Penalty Funds Available to Nursing Homes for Air Filters and Visitation Aids

On July 14, 2022 by Jonathan Lips

In February, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued expanded guidance for the COVID-19 In-Person Visitation Aid Grants available to nursing homes.

CMS Releases Nursing Home Survey Guidance for Phase 3 Requirements

On June 30, 2022 by Jonathan Lips

On June 29, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released long-awaited updates to the nursing home surveyor guidance found in Appendix PP to the State Operations Manual.

CMS Plans Site Visits to Assess HCBS Settings Rule Compliance

On June 23, 2022 by Bobbie Guidry

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has been notified by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) of their plans to conduct site visits of several provider settings this summer to review their compliance with the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule. Site visits will occur the week of July 25.

CMS Relaxes Frequency of Inspection for Vaccination Requirement Compliance

On June 16, 2022 by Jonathan Lips

This week, CMS announced that survey oversight of the staff vaccination mandate for Medicare and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers will continue to be performed during initial and recertification surveys but will now only be performed in response to complaints alleging non-compliance with this requirement, not all complaint surveys. This news comes after CMS determined that 95% of nearly 12,000 providers and suppliers surveyed by states have been in substantial compliance with this requirement.

Care Centers: Submit Comments to CMS by June 10 to Impact SNF PPS Proposed Rule

On June 9, 2022 by Jonathan Lips

Comments on the proposed Fiscal Year 2023 Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Prospective Payment System (PPS) rule are due to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) by the end of the day Friday, June 10.

With New Booster Guidance, What Does “Up-to-Date” Mean for LTC

On June 9, 2022 by Kari Everson

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated recommendations for an additional COVID-19 vaccination booster (fourth shot) on May 24. The updates provide a recommendation for a second booster for those people 12 and older if they are moderately to severely immunocompromised and individuals 50 years of age and older.

Attention Care Centers: Submit Comments to CMS by June 10 to Impact SNF PPS Proposed Rule

On June 2, 2022 by Jonathan Lips

Comments on the proposed the Fiscal Year 2023 Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Prospective Payment System (PPS) rule are due to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on June 10.

Nursing Homes Action Alert: Write to CMS to Oppose Proposed Payment Cuts

On May 19, 2022 by Jonathan Lips

We encourage care centers to participate in a letter-writing campaign targeted at payment cuts proposed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Act Now! Advocacy Essential to Ensure Access to Care for Minnesota’s Seniors

On May 19, 2022 by Libbie Chapuran

It’s crunch time on the advocacy front! At the state level, we are in the final days of the legislative session and funding for aging services in still in play. Without our encouragement, funding could easily be left out of a final budget agreement.

Reminder: Certain CMS COVID Waivers Expire May 7

On May 5, 2022 by Jonathan Lips

Several of the CMS blanket COVID-19 waivers are expiring on May 7.

In a memorandum released last month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it will terminate several temporary emergency declaration blanket waivers that have provided nursing facilities and other provider types with flexibilities designed to support the COVID response.

Expedited Paid Feeding Assistant Curriculum is Available for Free until June 6!

On April 28, 2022 by Anna Mowry

The expedited Paid Feeding Assistant training allowed by CMS throughout the pandemic will end in June.

Last year, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) modified the minimum training requirement for Paid Feeding Assistants from eight hours to one hour under a waiver from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). In an April 7 Memorandum, CMS announced it will terminate the waiver on June 6.

CMS Updates COVID-19 Test Reporting Requirements

On April 21, 2022 by Kari Everson

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its test reporting guidance, making reporting negative or inconclusive COVID-19 test results optional for nursing homes.

CMS Issues Updated Vaccine Mandate Survey Guidance

On April 7, 2022 by Jonathan Lips

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted updated interpretive guidance concerning the staff vaccination mandate, with a revision date of April 5. We encourage care centers to review QSO 22-07-ALL (Revised) and the changes to Attachment A.

CMS Announces End Dates for Various COVID Waivers, Including Nurse Aide Certification

On April 7, 2022 by Jonathan Lips

In a Memorandum released on April 7, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it will terminate several temporary emergency declaration blanket waivers that have provided nursing facilities and other provider types with flexibilities designed to support the COVID response.

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