CMS has posted a new article about their new oversight initiatives for SNFs.
Registered nurse staffing is being heavily scrutinized with CMS relying on a payroll-based journal reporting tool. It was long suspected that many SNFs were in violation of minimum staffing requirements. Many SNFs, feeling squeezed by PDPM, looked to cut staffing costs wherever they could. This is coming back to bite them now. Remember, plans of care and minimum staffing requirements did not change with the introduction of the new payment model!
A high priority for CMS is curbing the extraordinarily high usage of anti-psychotic medication in SNFs. Facilities with higher than average use of these drugs may be subjected to additional enforcement actions. Administrator Verma wrote: “These tools include discretionary Denials of Payment for New Admissions, meaning late adopters may lose the ability to seek Medicare reimbursement in some instances…They also include a per-day CMP. Each facility was notified of its status as a late adopter through the reports CMS provides to facilities each month.”
As reported previously, CMS has also introduced tougher standards for state survey agencies, which will translate to more rigorous, consistent surveys across the board.