The challenge for skilled nursing facility (SNF) providers today is less about census and more about payer mix.
Providers must develop a strong and replicable quality mix—one that, with the application of good marketing strategy and business development techniques, sources desired referrals consistently and dependably. In this manner, the SNF achieves occupancy and revenue targets consistent with its business or strategic plan. From a business development perspective, the strategy and thus the results are organic—naturally occurring as a result of operational standards and care outcomes.
As residents age, their health needs become more complex and many find themselves coping with chronic conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. For all residents in a long-term care facility, but for residents with chronic conditions especially, vaccines are an important part of decreasing the risk for further health complications. While it is the job of nurses and CNAs to administer vaccines, it’s up to the billers to ensure your facility is being reimbursed appropriately for these common services.
CMS published the Final Rule to Reform Requirements for Long Term Care Facilities on October 4, 2016, with an effective date of November 28, 2016. Survey protocols and interpretive guidelines were published on March 8, 2017, in Appendix PP of the State Operations Manual. One of the new requirements for nursing facilities is to implement a compliance and ethics program in the last phase of the timetable for changes. Due to the time and resources needed to achieve compliance with the new requirements, surveyors will not begin surveying for compliance with this change until November 28, 2019.
In a proposed rule published on April 27, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed several new policies for the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Value-Based Purchasing Program (VBP) and the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP). Specifically, proposed changes to these programs include added incentives under the SNF VBP as well as new quality measures to be reported under the SNF QRP.