New draft MDS data specs available for updating billing systems by PDPM implementation

CMS posted a new draft version (V3.00.0) of the MDS 3.0 Data Specifications to be effective October 1, 2019. Software developers and vendors will use these specifications to update SNF PPS grouper, MDS, electronic health records, and billing systems to align them with annual update to the RAI Manual and SNF PPS billing requirements.
CMS notes that “there are many significant changes, including the removal of eight item sets (NS, NSD, NO, NOD, SS, SSD, SO, …

CMS extends its staffing exemption for hospices through 2020

Source: Home Health Line
Hospices battling the ongoing nursing shortage have two additional years to use contract nurses due to “extraordinary circumstances,” CMS has announced.
“This designation enables those hospice agencies, which are unable to provide a sufficient number of nursing staff directly to meet the needs of its patients due to the national shortage, to utilize contracted staff in addition to their full-time nursing staff,” the director of CMS’ Quality, Safety and Oversight group wrote in …

FDA warns about feeding tube misconnections

In a letter to manufacturers, healthcare professionals and purchasers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned of possible misconnections with enteral devices. The letter states that since 2011, 2 deaths, 24 serious injuries, and 32 device malfunctions related to these misconnections have occurred.
If proper procedure is not followed, these tubes can mistakenly be connected to the wrong medical device and prove fatal. The FDA recommends that healthcare professionals:

Use enteral devices that meet the ISO …

Trial of Alzheimer’s drug provides hopeful results

A large clinical trial has, for the first time, shown that a drug can reduce both plaques in the brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease and slow the progression of their dementia.
According to The New York Times, results presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Chicago showed the drug, known currently as BAN2401, actually slowed memory decline and other cognitive difficulties, as well as reduced amyloid levels in brains of affected patients. The trial …