Comments on proposed new codes due by November 8

The deadline is fast approaching for providers to comment on several new codes and revisions proposed for implementation Oct. 1, 2020. The deadline to submit comments on the proposals is Nov. 8. The proposed code changes were discussed at the September ICD-10 Coordination and Maintenance Committee meeting. Among the possible changes is a proposal that would […]

Patients with pre-existing infections discharged to SNFs have fewer readmissions

A study published October 23 by the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, “Role of Post‐Acute Care in Readmissions for Preexisting Healthcare‐Associated Infections,” found  that hospital patients treated for pre-existing healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are less likely to be readmitted after being discharged to a SNF, as opposed to home health care. Researchers of the study […]

CDC releases guidance on coding for health care encounters and deaths related to e-cigarette, vaping

Coders now have guidance for health care encounters and deaths related to e-cigarette, vaping or product use associated lung injury (EVALI). The guidance, released October 17 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is consistent with current clinical knowledge about e-cigarette or vaping-related disorders, according to the CDC. This guidance is intended to […]

Medicare-enrolled nurse practitioners in Maryland to certify home health services

Starting in January 2020, Medicare-enrolled nurse practitioners in Maryland will be allowed to certify home health services as part of the Medicare Total Cost of Care (TCOC) Model. The change will be effective for services provided on or after Jan. 1, according to change request 11330. Currently Medicare only pays for home health if a […]

CMS receives application from TJC to continue as national accrediting organization for HHAs

CMS issued a proposed notice that they received an application from the Joint Commission (TJC) for continued recognition as a national accrediting organization for HHAs that wish to participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs. Within 60 days of receiving an organization’s complete application, the state required CMS to publish a notice that: 1) identifies […]

Presence of ombudsman during surveys may negatively affect SNFs

Having an ombudsman on site during state surveys may lead to lower building quality scores for SNFs, according to a study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association (JAMDA). While JAMDA researchers note the importance of ombudsmen in a SNF as resident advocates, the study, entitled , “The […]

LeadingAge requests RoP Phase III delay

In a letter penned to CMS administrator Seema Verma, industry trade group LeadingAge requested a delay in Phase III of the Requirements of Participation (RoP), citing lack of guidance from CMS. The letter, signed by LeadingAge president and CEO Katie Smith Sloan, states that CMS has failed to provide intelligence on how SNFs will be […]

Direct patients to Medicare resources during open enrollment

A State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is an insurance counseling service that is provided free of charge by the Administration on Community Living in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as well as state aging agencies to help assist Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers. By discussing coverage, cost and convenience, the goal […]