Preventing and Detecting Drug Diversions: Quick Tips for Success

Roughly 30 percent of the United States’ total drug abuse problem can be linked to prescription drugs, says Angie Szumlinski, LNHA, RN-BC, RAC-CT, BS, director of risk management for HealthCap/QA Reader in Ann Arbor, MI. “Prescription drugs were already a huge problem for many people, including healthcare workers, before the …

Achieving Personal and Professional Goals

It’s the New Year, and that means it’s time to set goals. These are often lofty aspirations to achieve amazing feats, like transforming into a sleek powerhouse of muscle reflecting the epitome of health. However, if history repeats itself, by February, convenient vending machine snacks will have infiltrated the low-sugar …

MDS Section Q: Unlock the Full Potential of This Foundational Section

Section Q (Participation in Assessment and Goal Planning) is not a high-powered section of the MDS that drives payment or any of the quality measures (QMs). As a result, nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) sometimes may gloss over section Q, which is often completed by social services staff. However, section Q …

The Risky Business of Falls and Care Planning’s Role in Prevention

There are plenty of statistics documenting the hazard falls pose for the elderly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a website sharing important facts about falls. CDC notes that: One out of four older adults fall each year in the United States, but less than half of …

Tips for the New Year to Get and Stay Organized

Some 4,000 years ago, ancient Babylonians started making New Year’s resolutions, hoping to avoid famine, illness, and other punishment they believed their gods would cast upon them. Given the motivation behind the beginning of this practice, it’s logical to assume the Babylonians followed through with their resolutions. Fast forward to …

Get Agency Staff up to Speed on Emergency Preparedness and Safety

F-tag 689 (Free of Accident Hazards/Supervision/Devices) was the second most frequently cited at the immediate jeopardy (IJ) level during fiscal year (FY) 2021, according to the Citation and Frequency Report from QCOR (Quality, Certification, and Oversight Reports) at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Providers received significantly more …

Avoid Costly SNF QRP Coding Mistakes

Misunderstandings about the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (SNF QRP) can involve everything from the risk adjustments to the quality measure (QM) calculations to how to use certain reports. These issues can cause headaches for nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) when they are surprised by either quarterly notifications of noncompliance …

PDPM: Extensive Services Nursing Category Simplified

Editor’s note: This is the first article in a series on the PDPM categories for the nursing component, covering missteps to avoid in PDPM calculation, as well as essential coding tips. Future articles will address the additional nursing categories of Special Care High, Special Care Low, Clinically Complex, Behavior and …

Staffing the DNS Role Turnover, Retention, and Development

The purpose of this report is to provide skilled nursing facility (SNF) operators with insights into the factors that may contribute to turnover of directors of nursing services (DNSs), as well as challenges related to recruitment and retention efforts. This knowledge will help organizations formulate tactics to bolster a strategy …

Family Arguments and Grievances: How to Dial down the Tension

Family arguments and grievances can have a negative impact on residents and families if nursing homes don’t employ an organized approach to setting expectations and communicating with families. The following steps can help directors of nursing services (DNSs) focus both staff and families on the need to put the resident …