Updates to Appendix Z includes clarification on emergency preparedness and home health citations

In a memo from CMS dated February 1, 2019, the agency announced updates to Appendix Z of the State Operations Manual to reflect changes to the definition of an all-hazards approach to emergency preparedness, new home health agency citations, and clarifications under alternative source power and emergency standby systems.
Updates include the following:

CMS is adding “emerging infectious diseases” to the current definition of all-hazards approach. After review, CMS determined it was critical for facilities to include …

Four steps to take now for adjusting your therapy contracts before the PDPM transition

Here are four steps for therapy contract adjustment that you should take now to prepare for PDPM implementation on October 1, 2019.
The PDPM Transition: Step 1

Analyze your Part A fee‐for‐service utilization data

What is your RUG distribution?
What is your average length of stay by RUG?
What is your reimbursement per RUG category?
What is your average RUG rate and annual Part A fee‐for‐service revenue?

How much of your overall Medicare revenue is from Medicare Advantage?

What kinds of Medicare Advantage contracts do …

2018-2019 Assisted Living Salary & Benefits Report released

The Assisted Living Salary & Benefits Report 2018-2019 has been released. The lengthy report delves into salary by region, type of facility, and position at facility, among many other metrics. Interestingly, one finding is that overall, those who hold the position of assisted living administrator saw a slight dip in salary, of 0.07%, with an average of $89,913 annual salary in 2018.Director of Nurses saw an increase of 2.07%, averaging $81,477 in 2018.
Turnover rate of …

CMS removes functional reporting requirements and changes therapy provisions

CMS has released an update on therapy caps and functional reporting.
Effective for dates of service on or after January 1, 2018, providers of therapy services shall continue to report the KX modifier on claims as applicable; however, the modifier no longer represents an exception request but serves as a confirmation that services are medically necessary as justified by appropriate documentation in the medical record after the beneficiary has exceeded the threshold of incurred expenses.
Therapists must …