Tips to Achieve Supporting Documentation: Get the Information NACs Need to Code the MDS

Completing the MDS assessment requires documentation in the medical record to support nearly every item’s coding. When supporting documentation is in place, the MDS assessment process can be smooth and efficient. If it is not, the nurse assessment coordinator (NAC) may have to spend hours combing through a chart trying …

Hospice Requirements: Significant Changes and Care Planning

When it comes to the MDS and hospice, there are several rules the nurse assessment coordinator (NAC) must be aware of, especially with the requirements of the Significant Change in Status Assessment (SCSA). While many NACs understand what is mandatory for basic paper compliance, the team may not fully understand …

Utilizing Social Determinants of Health in Discharge Planning

Social determinants of health (SDOH) are items most long-term care professionals are familiar with, but they may not immediately recognize how the determinants affect their job. According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), SDOH are the “conditions in …

The Substantial Impact of the PHQ-9

Nearly two years into the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE), nursing home staff continue to see its impact on all residents, not just those who have recovered from COVID-19. According to the CMS memorandum QSO-20-39-NH, CMS’s focus has been on “protecting nursing home residents from COVID-19,” but CMS also recognizes “that …

Survey and Section I: Diagnosis-Related Deficiencies

Long-term care leadership often observes that the nurse assessment coordinator (NAC) role calls for detail-orientation and strong time-management and assessment skills, because these nurses must coordinate the resident assessment that drives the care plan, quality measurements, and (at times) reimbursement. While NACs strive for accuracy and integrity in this process, …

2021 AAPACN NAC Work Time Study and Salary Report Highlights: Reassessing NAC Hours for Success

During the pandemic, priorities shifted. They had to. The safety and care of the residents was the number one priority, and it required all hands on deck. Nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) found themselves working the floor, filling nurse aide shifts, and assisting with mass testing efforts. Even the Centers for …

ADR Successful Outcomes with Part B Therapy Audits

In nursing facilities, one of the primary regulatory requirements from Appendix PP of the State Operations Manual is that goods and services are provided to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident (§483.24 Quality of Life). One intervention frequently used is Medicare Part …

PDPM: Clearing Up NTA Confusion

At first glance, the methodology of the non-therapy ancillary (NTA) component of the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) seems simple: code qualifying items on the MDS to achieve points. Yet while the purpose of the NTA component is simple—to capture high expense medications and supplies—its calculation is more complex. Under PDPM, …