Archive for the ‘Long Term Care’ Category

RCS-1 Model Worksheet Gives a Glimpse of a World Without RUG

Monday, March 12th, 2018

By Fisher, JD, CHC, CCEP

RCS-1 Sample Worksheet

RUG System for Skilled Nursing Facility Reimbursement – Time is Running Out

It is currently anticipated that the RUG system, which is currently used to calculate reimbursement for Medicare Part A skilled nursing services, will be changed over the next year.  CMS is currently considering a new Resident Classification System that will completely change the way SNFs are reimbursed for their services.

Providers are getting glimpses of what may be included in the new calculation system.  CMS issued a draft sample worksheet using the RCS-1 system.  The stated purpose is to give providers a description of how the new system would work.  The worksheet gives a description of how a manual calculation would take place using the RCS-I methodology.

The sample draft worksheet that was issued by CMS is available here.  RCS_I_Logic-508_Final

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Maneuvers and Techniques Prohibited in Community Based Programs and Facilities

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Wisconsin Prohibited Maneuvers and Techniques in Community Based Programs

Wisconsin Behavioral Health Managing Aggressive Behaviors

Wisconsin Behavioral Health Lawyer

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) as released a memo that specifies maneuvers or techniques that may not be used at any time in community based programs and facilities. DHS deems the prohibited maneuvers or techniques to “present an inherently high risk of serious injury and even death.”  Providers are directed by DHS to immediately discontinue the use of any of the listed maneuvers.  Prohibited maneuvers, techniques, and procedures that may not be used under any circumstances include:

  • Any maneuver or technique that does not give adequate attention and care to protection
    of the head.
  • Any maneuver or technique that places pressure or weight on the chest, lungs, sternum,
    diaphragm, back, or abdomen.
  • Any maneuver or technique that places pressure, weight, or leverage on the neck or throat, on any artery, or on the back of the head or neck, or that otherwise obstructs or restricts the circulation of blood or obstructs an airway, such as straddling or sitting on the torso, or any type of choke hold.
  • Any maneuver or technique that involves pushing into a person’s mouth, nose, or eyes.
  • Any maneuver or technique that utilizes pain to obtain compliance or control, including punching, hitting, hyperextension of joints, or extended use of pressure points.
  • Any maneuver or technique that forcibly takes a person from a standing position to the floor or ground. This includes taking a person from a standing position to a horizontal (prone or supine) position or to a seated position on the floor.
  • Any maneuver or technique that creates a motion causing forcible impact on the person’s head or body, or forcibly pushes an individual against a hard surface.
  • The use of seclusion where the door to the room would remain locked without someone having to remain present to apply some type of constant pressure or control to the locking mechanism.

DHS explains in the memo that the ultimate goal is to replace such interventions with trauma-informed systems and settings, positive behavior supports, and non-coercive intervention strategies. DHS promotes recovery and healing that is consumer-driven, person-centered, trauma-informed, and recovery-based.

In addition to describing measures that are completely prohibited, DHS states that restrictive measures that are not prohibited may only be used in emergency situations in which there is an imminent risk of serious harm to self or others, or as part of an approved plan. Situations in which the person’s behavior was foreseeable based on his or her
history are not considered an emergency.   Even restrictive measures that are not directly prohibited must be avoided whenever possible and may only be used after all other feasible alternatives, including de-escalation techniques, have been exhausted. When necessary, restrictive measures may only be used with the minimum amount of force needed, and for the shortest duration possible, to restore safety.

Facilities should review their policies and practices to assure compliance with the guidelines set forth in the memo. Additional staff training should be conducted to assure compliance with these standards.   Additionally, providers should become familiar with the changing standards of care and best practices focused on building skills and techniques to de-escalate and redirect behaviors that present safety concerns, and work earnestly to promote a trauma-informed culture of care.

Personal Care Service Providers and Wisconsin Medicaid

Friday, February 14th, 2014

By John Fisher, JD, CHC, CCEP

Personal Care Service Providers – Wisconsin Medical Assistance

Wisconsin Statute § 49.45(42)(d)3 describes the types of organizations that qualify to receive Medicaid reimbursement for “personal care services.”  Qualified entities include licensed home health agencies and other entities that are certified under section (2)(a)(11) to provide personal care services under section 49.46(2)(b)6j.  The DHS does not appear to have implemented regulations that specifically describe the criteria that “other entities” must meet in order to become qualified to receive reimbursement from Medicaid for the provision of personal care services.

The applicable provisions of section 49.45(2)(a)(11) do not contain specific criteria that “other entities” must meet but simply refers to the requirement that DHS promulgate rules establishing qualifications of providers.  The referenced statutory provision does not refer specifically to the requirements that “other entities” must meet in order to qualify to receive reimbursement for personal care services.

The requirements that must be met in order to become a licensed home health are more extensive than the personal care services entity.  However, becoming licensed as a home health agency will qualify you to provide and bill for personal care services directly.  It would also permit you to bill private pay patients for skilled nursing and other

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Mandatory Compliance Programs For Nursing Facilities

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

Nursing Facilities Are The First to Require Compliance Programs

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) mandates compliance programs for most providers and requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to publish regulations that establish the core elements for compliance programs.

Nursing facilities are the first providers to be mandated and must comply in 2013. However, CMS missed its statutory deadline of March 23, 2012 for issuing detailed regulations for nursing facility compliance programs. It is expected that these regulations and the requirements for other providers will be forthcoming now that the Supreme Court has opened the way for enforcement.  In the meantime, nursing facilities do not have precise guidance on compliance program requirements. 

Even though final detailed regulations have not been issued, providers should not wait to step up their compliance efforts.  There are many sources for guidance on how compliance should operate.  Providers will be required to certify that their compliance programs are effective in preventing and detecting criminal, civil, and administrative violations and in promoting quality of care.  Simply having a program in place is not enough.  The program must have sufficient operating history to demonstrate that it is “effective.”  Effectiveness reviews should be periodically performed to support the required certifications.