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Critical Decision-Making Within an Ever-Changing Market

With a shifted focus, facilities have begun to navigate the new normalcy of the Healthcare Staffing industry—a focus filled with a heightened sense of responsibility for priorities such as financial sustainability and clinician quality amidst an unbalanced, ever-evolving market.

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4 Ways Your Therapy Operation Could Help You Mitigate Medicare Cuts in 2021

In early December, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for 2021, reflecting significant cuts to a variety of providers. Physical therapy (PT), occupational therapy (OT), and speech-language pathology (SLP) were initially going to be impacted by a reimbursement reduction of approximately 9%. In late December, in response to intense advocacy by organizations representing the 37 professions affected by the cuts, Congress approved a new omnibus and COVID-19 relief package that reduced the planned cuts to approximately 3% and put the 2% sequestration reduction on hold. The omnibus bill sets the payment rate for CY2021, but the sequestration hold expires on March 31, 2021. At that point, the 2% sequestration reduction will return for all Medicare claims. While this is certainly an improvement over the proposed 9% cut, the new cuts will still prove to be unsustainable for many providers.

So how can you mitigate these reductions in your Part B therapy billings? A key aspect of mitigating these losses is the overall management of your therapy operation. There are some obvious and some not-so-obvious areas where mitigation may be possible. In this article, we will discuss four of them: Multiple Procedure Payment Reduction (MPPR) Policy, the Medicare 8-Minute Rule, Productivity, and Staff Education.

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Your Data is Key: Why Analyzing Facility QRP Practices is Essential

Do you know how your community views you? Beginning in October 2020, certain Quality Reporting Programs (QRP) measures are being publicly reported on Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare site. How do you compare to your competitors in these QRP measures? Continual review, analysis and adjustment of your practices is the key to depicting the stellar services you provide.

Newly publicized QRP measures include:

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CMS Releases 2021 Medicare Part A & Part B Rates Impacting SNFs

Important information for Skilled Nursing Facility Admissions, Billers and Finance Departments! New Medicare Part A and Part B Deductibles and Premiums have been released for the 2021 calendar year. Effective January 1, 2021; the following rates will apply:

Medicare Part A SNF Coinsurance   $185.50/day (Beneficiary to pay $185.50/day after day 20 until end of Medicare Part A stay)
Medicare Part B Monthly Premium 

 $148.50* ($3.90 increase from 2020 rate)

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5 Ways to Improve Your PDPM Reimbursement

It starts at the front door.

Smart choices upon admission will yield the best results. A strong admissions department will weigh various factors upon admitting a resident, working with the clinical team to select a strong primary diagnosis. This requires a comprehensive review of documentation and transfer paperwork provided upon arrival. By recognizing revenue triggers and selecting the best PDPM category composition; projected reimbursement is established at the highest appropriate level.

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Round 3

Have you ever felt like your life was an eternal boxing match? Every day you wake up, put your gloves on, and head out just to fight another day. I have felt this feeling many times throughout my life, but nothing has compared to this year of uncertainty and change. As I sit at my desk writing this article, the date is October 1st. Exactly one year ago today the company put on its' boxing gloves and went out to face PDPM. Our company spent over a year planning and preparing for that day and just as we were getting our arms around this new payment system, in came Round 2, COVID-19.

We barely had time to sit in our corner and catch our breath before putting the gloves on to go fight again. With this opponent, we did not have much time for preparation. There was a lot of trial and error and learn as you go. All of our teams bravely stepped up to this new opponent, and I was personally able to see the unwavering commitment from all of you. Six months into this pandemic, we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But just as we have had a moment to sit in our corner and catch our breath, here comes Round 3!

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Legionnaires’ Disease presents grave threat to U.S. healthcare facilities

CDC said 25 percent of cases in hospitals and long-term care settings resulted in deaths during 2015

Legionnaires’ Disease (LD) cases and outbreaks anywhere are alarming enough, but when they occur in healthcare settings, they can be downright deadly.

According to 2015 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 25 percent of cases of LD, a serious lung infection caused by Legionella bacteria, acquired in hospitals or long-term care facilities were fatal. The fatality rate in the general population was 10 percent.

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