Care Matters Spotlight: When the Real House Moms of Nocatee Unite After Hurricane Michael

Monday, October 8th: Catherine Schuman (Katie), an SLP at a facility in Ponte Vedra, FL, received notification their facility would be housing displaced residents evacuating from the path of Hurricane Michael. The residents and staff arrived with a few changes of clothes, prepared to return to Port St. Joe after Michael’s dissipation.

Wednesday, October 10th: Hurricane Michael devastated Port St. Joe in a way none of them expected. Homes were destroyed, vehicles flooded, and possessions lost.

Katie recognized the need immediately, not only for the residents, but the CNAs and nursing staff who accompanied them, and now had no idea when they would return home or what would be left. Katie has been part of a moms group in Ponte Vedra for several years now, and when it came time to elicit the generosity of the “Real House Moms of Nocatee” she didn’t hesitate.

The response to her call for adult clothing and toiletries was overwhelming. The donations received filled two rooms in the facility. Today she says “They’re good. There is enough.” Other organizations continue gathering for children and families affected, but Katie’s desire was to ensure her residents and colleagues were comfortable. Katie was insistent in sharing the thanks and praise with her fellow neighborhood moms because without them it wouldn’t have been possible to meet the need.

To the Real House Moms of Nocatee and Katie Schuman, thank you for your compassion and deliberate action to ensure our residents and staff are cared for. Katie, we are honored to have you as one of our own.

No Patient Left Behind

No Patient Left Behind (NPLB) trains our therapists in interpretation of quality indicator reports and the impact of quality measure reporting to aid in the care of facility residents. This month we’ll look a little closer at the third element: Linking Quality and Care.

Reliant believes in equipping our therapists with the knowledge and resources to address quality measures and changes in resident function timely. NPLB describes the quality indicators identified by Medicare as critical to patient care and dives into the distinct role physical, occupational and speech therapy play for each.

Updated Rankings Available for SNFs Participating in Value Based Purchasing Program

CMS is providing updated rankings for all SNFs included in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 VBP program year.

A list of each SNF’s incentive payment multiplier and updated ranking can be found on the SNF VBP website . The incentive payment multiplier applicable to each SNF is unchanged from the multiplier that CMS previously included in the SNF’s FY 2019 Annual Performance Score Report.That multiplier will be used to adjust the federal per diem rate otherwise applicable to the SNF for services furnished from October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2019. 

Keep Information Safe with Good Password Practices

These days we’re all overloaded with the number of accounts that require credentials and remembering them is impossible. Using the same password for different accounts is tempting—like having one handy key that opens every lock you use. But reusing passwords is not the solution.

Compromised passwords are one of the leading causes of data breaches, and reusing passwords can increase the damage done by what would otherwise be a relatively small incident. Cybercriminals know that people reuse credentials and often test compromised passwords on commonly used sites in order to expand the number of accounts they can access.

For instance, if you use the same password for your work email as for Amazon or your gym membership, a breach at one of those companies puts your work emails at risk. Reusing credentials is like giving away copies of the key that opens all your locks. Before reusing a password for different accounts, especially across work and personal ones, think of all the data that someone could get into if they got that credential.

Here are some tips to help you avoid falling in this trap:

• Use completely separate passwords for work and personal accounts.

• Avoid words that can easily be guessed by attackers, like “password” or “September2017,” or predictable keyboard combinations like “1234567,” “qwerty,” or “1q2w3e4r5t.”

• Add some complexity with capitalization or special characters if required. “Fido!sAnAwesomeDog” is a stronger password than your pet’s name.

• Just adding numbers or special characters at the end of a word doesn’t increase security much, because they’re easy for software to guess.

• Avoid words like your kids’ names that could easily be guessed by coworkers or revealed by a few minutes of online research.

• Answers to security questions are often easily found— your mother’s maiden name is public record—so pick another word for whenever that question comes up.

SNF Quality Reporting Program Submission Deadline Approaching

The deadline for the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program MDS data submission for April 1, 2018-June 30, 2018 (2nd quarter) is November 15, 2018.
Review resources:

Current data collection (2018 4th quarter) includes new section GG items added on October 1, 2018. Download Reliant’s resource here .CMS recommends that providers run applicable validation/analysis reports prior to each quarterly reporting deadline in order to ensure all required data has been submitted.

PDPM Part 2: Idioms for ICD-10 Success

ICD-10 coding has never been so daunting! Thanks to search engine crosswalks and funny memes, the 2015 transition to ICD-10 did not leave any permanent scars, and most of us can now recall treatment codes with ease. However, ICD-10’s role in PDPM hasshuffled the deck. Suddenly, we are questioning our own knowledge and wondering if we have the skill set to be successful. 
As we prepare for the transition to PDPM, it’s important to remember, we’re all in the same boatICD-10 coding on the MDS directly maps our patients into case mix categories for payment. There is no buffer between coding and reimbursement. CODING IS reimbursement for physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology, nursing and non-therapy ancillary. CMS says the primary patient diagnosis allows us to identify the patient’s unique conditions and goals which should be the primary driver for care planning and delivery of services.
Many facilities already have the ingredients for a recipe of success: a collaborative effort between nursing and therapy is key in identifying each active condition on admission and changes in condition throughout the episode of care.  Let’s consider these additional idioms:
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

  • Having a designated ICD-10 coder is an awesome resource; however, never discount the input from the other skilled professionals interacting with the patient. Coders provide accuracy, but clinicians, physicians, and dietitians provide the details to hone that accuracy.

The devil is in the details.

  • If you’ve ever wondered whether each element on the MDS mattered, PDPM has given you the answer. “Additional Active Diagnoses”, I8000’s title, does not scream “I’m important!”, but its first line: I8000A will map case mix for physical, occupational, and speech therapy components. Beyond this, Section I, active diagnoses, impacts all five clinical case mix categories, some of which are check boxes, others have clinical category and co-morbidity mapping tools.

The ball is in your court.

  • Begin to put systems in place to identify active conditions of the resident. Reliant therapists perform a full system evaluation, so engage their input for areas which may have been missed. During daily stand up or triple check, include clinical condition conversations to quickly identify changes which may need to be reflected in coding.

Strong partnerships for understanding and implementing processes for ICD-10 is critical. As stated, coding impacts PT, OT, SLP, Nursing, and Non-therapy ancillary case mix groups. Accurate coding ensures resource availability for successful outcomes and patient satisfaction. Just remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so let’s start conversations now.