Back to Basics: Daily and Weekly Tasks of a Nurse Assessment Coordinator

Nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) new to the job often receive guidance from a mentor during their first two weeks in the role. That mentor might lead the new NAC step by step through all the functions necessary to manage the resident assessment instrument (RAI) process. Ideally, the NAC would continue …

Decision Support Software: How to Get the Benefits and Limit the Risks

Accuracy, efficiency, consistency—these are all work process gains that nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) can reap from decision support software, such as MDS “scrubbers” and automated care plan interventions, and they can help lead to improved reimbursement and higher quality of care. “The benefits are clear for some assessment components,” says …

Tips to Provide a Safe and Happy Holiday Season

Over the last two years, the holidays have been difficult for many residents, families, and providers. However, things seem to be looking up as we near the end of 2022! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have recently relaxed …

CMS Takes Opioid Use Beyond §483.25 (Quality of Care) in Appendix PP Guidance

On Oct. 3. 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) renewed the nationwide opioid public health emergency (PHE), marking the launch of the PHE’s sixth year. Some nursing homes have been slow to prioritize the crisis from a resident care perspective because residents experiencing opioid overdoses and …

Uncover Unusual Contributors to Fall Risk

The RAI User’s Manual states that “A previous fall, especially a recent fall, recurrent falls, and falls with significant injury are the most important predictors of risk for future falls and injurious falls” (CMS, 2019, p. J-27). However, there are many more items that must be considered when assessing a …

Discharge Planning: NACs Have a Key Role as an Information Broker

Effective discharge planning is critical to smooth transitions of care, which help guard against both hospital readmissions and adverse drug events, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The benefit for residents is so clear that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) gave discharge planning …

Staff Retention: The Power of Purpose and Meaningful Work

When the pandemic pummeled the nursing home workforce, nursing homes lost more jobs than any other healthcare setting. This loss compounded the staffing shortage facilities were already confronting, leaving many facility leaders physically and emotionally exhausted and desperate for solutions to solve this problem. The good news is that all …

SNF QRP HCP Influenza Vaccine Reporting: 10 Things DNSs Need to Know

It just got a little more difficult for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) to avoid a 2 percent reduction to their annual payment update (APU) in the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (SNF QRP). For fiscal year (FY) 2023, SNFs had to meet or exceed two separate data submission thresholds: …

Bring Clinical Case Management Into the Medicare Huddle Process

Nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) and directors of nursing services (DNSs) should work together either to implement or to finetune an interdisciplinary Medicare Part A huddle process that coordinates payment and clinical issues for residents, suggests Robin Hillier, CPA, STNA, LNHA, RAC-MT, president of RLH Consulting in Westerville, OH. “A Medicare …