How to Speak the Same Language for Section K Coding: NACs and SLPs

When a nurse assessment coordinator (NAC) reviews the speech language pathologist (SLP) evaluation notes and encounters the term globus sensation, he or she may not even consider that the phrase could indicate a potential swallowing problem. While the NAC and SLPoften work toward the same goals of identifying possible swallowing …

Section G: Scheduled for Retirement October 2023

The Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) in section G of the MDS are interwoven throughout the Care Area Assessments (CAAs), Quality Measures (QMs), and some state Medicaid reimbursement systems—and have been for years. Yet CMS took nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) by surprise when the draft MDS item sets released in …

Don’t Shortcut the CAAs

Clinical education teaches nurses a process of problem identification. Encompassing assessment, nursing diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation, it is often just called the nursing process. Many nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) may also recognize that the Long-Term Care Facility Resident Assessment Instrument (RAI) 3.0 User’s Manual mirrors the nursing process in …

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, …