March 23, 2020
CMS Eases Burdens for LTC Operators

CMS announces two major changes amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Get the latest developments on re-billing and the new MDS debut
 
As coronavirus cases grow throughout the U.S., long-term care operators are settling into the ‘new normal.’ Staff are practicing rigorous and washing, resident monitoring and other precautionary measures. Social distancing is the mantra of the moment, but more specifically, patient distancing has presented us with numerous unexpected challenges.
 
Across America, the nursing home visitation ban is helping to protect elderly individuals from the spread of novel coronavirus. Still, with patient distancing comes the harsh realities of senior social isolation. Facilities have moved quickly to implement televisit technologies and other solutions for keeping residents safely connected to their loved ones.
 
So, what’s the latest in LTC news?
 
Operators get two big breaks
 
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced plans to delay the implementation of MDS 3.0. They also gave providers the ‘green light’ when it comes to re-billing claims that were wrongly cancelled due to a soſtware glitch.
 
The problem happened between January 26th and February 16th, causing numerous facilities to miss out on Medicare Part A payments. Did your facility experience payment cancellations a few months back? Check your records and proceed accordingly.

 
As for the updated Minimum Data Set, the agency has yet to set a date for when changes will go live. Besides the debut of the
Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM), MDS 3.0 is considered one of the greatest changes to rock the industry in recent years. New methods will require staff to significantly alter their current assessment practices. Now that facilities are dealing with coronavirus complexities, the delay sounds like a smart move.
 
“CMS staff are actively engaged with various stakeholders regarding the various changes, the impacts of these changes, as well as the compressed timeline to educate and train facility staff and update soſtware and IT systems,” reads the memo.
 
These two announcements bring a glimmer of positivity to industry professionals as they traverse the still uncharted waters of COVID-19 containment. To our skilled nursing partners and heroes: we fully support your efforts to keep our nation’s most vulnerable residents happy, healthy and safe during this stressful time.