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Tips

Tips from AAPACN

Stay up-to-date and informed by reviewing the latest tips from AAPACN. Our experts will keep you updated with the latest news from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other news sources. Want access to all the tips from AAPACN? Learn more about AAPACN and AAPACN membership.


  • TIP: BFCC-QIO’s Updated Notification Process for New Appeals Started January 17
    Starting on Jan. 17, 2023, post-acute care facilities and Medicare health plans will no longer receive phone calls for appeal notifications. The initial notification, medical record requests, and case outcomes for post-acute care facilities and …
  • TIP: CMS Releases QSO Memo with Updates to Care Compare and Quality Measure Ratings
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a memo last week containing updates to Care Compare and Quality Measure ratings. These changes include: CMS will consider a lesser action to the star ratings …
  • TIP: Audit for Accurate Schizophrenia Diagnosis Coding
    CMS recently released a memo stating they will begin conducting an off-site audit of MDS coding of residents with a diagnosis of schizophrenia to ensure accuracy, and based upon the results, the quality measure (QM) …
  • TIP: ICD-10 Coding Convention “with”
    When using the Alphabetical Index in the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting, generally the main terms and subterms are alphabetical. However, when the word “with” is immediately after a main term or subterm, …
  • TIP: CMS Releases Draft Minimum Data Set 3.0 Item Sets
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an updated draft of the new MDS 3.0 Item Sets on Dec. 23, 2022. This newest draft includes changes to the following: Because there are multiple …
  • TIP: CDC’s Core Practices Now Available on Infection Control Webpage
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Core Infection Prevention and Control Practices for Safe Healthcare Delivery in All Settings, also known as Core Practices, are now available on CDC’s Infection Control webpage.  These …
  • TIP: OBRA Scheduling Tools Updated for 2023
    AAPACN offers two great tools to assist nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) in scheduling OBRA assessments:• The Static OBRA Scheduling Tool is a 4-page tool that counts out day 92 for every calendar day – know when that …
  • TIP: COVID-19 Vaccination and Therapeutics Toolkit Now Available
    The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (AMDA) has developed a new toolkit with their partners. This free toolkit provides resources for clinicians to help them navigate challenging questions. This toolkit includes: For permission …
  • TIP: Quality Improvement Organization Offers Training Library
    For nursing facilities in 29 states, Kepro serves as the Beneficiary and Family Centered Care Quality Improvement Organization (BFCC-QIO). Kepro provides education for healthcare providers to help ensure that appeals are performed quickly and that potential errors …
  • TIP: IPRO QIN-QIO Hosts Free Streaming Nursing Home Education Summit
    IPRO QIN-QIO will be having a free day of online learning on December 8 at 9 am – 3pm ET to share the latest updates on topics to advance quality and address needs such as: …
  • TIP: CMS Posts iQIES Job Aid
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the transition from the current QIES ASAP database to the web-based iQIES in early 2023. All providers must have a security official approved by CMS …
  • TIP: CMS Revises Guidance for COVID-19 Staff Vaccination Requirements
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revised guidance regarding COVID-19 staff vaccination requirements. This revision combines previous memos QSO-22-07-ALL, QSO-22-09-ALL, and QSO-22-11-ALL.CMS defines noncompliance of this requirement as a “rate of less than …
  • TIP: Get Ready for the iQIES Transition 
    As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) move toward the rollout of iQIES for nursing facilities in early 2023, the first step requires each facility to select a security official. The facility selected …
  • TIP: CMS Updates Healthcare Personnel Influenza Vaccination Reporting
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the Influenza Vaccination Coverage among Healthcare Personnel (HCP) measure to start collecting data during the 2022-2023 influenza season (October 1, 2022 through March 31, 2023). CMS …
  • TIP: New Revisions to SFF Program and Influenza Data Reporting
    White House Announces More Aggressive Enforcement Actions for SFF On Oct. 22, 2022, the White House announced an enaction of “more aggressive enforcement” actions to strengthen the accountability for the Special Focus Facilities (SFF). These …
  • TIP: CDC Updates Infection Control Guidance for COVID-19
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has replaced the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Spread in Nursing Homes with the new Infection Control Guidance and it applies to “all …
  • TIP: CMS Posts Several Updated SNF QRP Documents
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently posted updated versions of the following Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) documents: The Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 SNF QRP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) …
  • TIP: New CDC Resources Available to Assist with Sepsis Education
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed some new resources to assist with educating staff, residents, and families regarding sepsis along with updated graphics to use in the facility or on social …
  • TIP: CMS Posts Draft MDS Comprehensive (NC) Item Set for Oct. 1, 2023
    The draft Minimum Data Set (MDS) Nursing Home Comprehensive (NC) Item Set version 1.18.11 is now available. CMS plans to release the final version of the MDS Item Sets later in 2022, which will be effective beginning …
  • TIP: CDC Updates Influenza and Pneumonia Vaccine Guidance
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its updated guidance for the 2022-2023 flu season. There are three recommended adjuvanted, or high-dose, vaccines available for adults 65 years and older and include: Quadrivalent …
  • TIP: CMS Provides More Information on the iQIES Security Official
    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced onboarding training for facility security officials for the iQIES. CMS posted the following materials to improve understanding of the onboarding process and a job aid for …
  • TIP: Transition to iQIES Will Require a Security Official
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will be transitioning nursing homes to the Internet Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (iQIES) in the coming months. This system consolidates and replaces the Quality Improvement and …
  • TIP: CMS Announces Rollout for iQIES for Nursing Facilities
    On the Aug. 4, 2022, Skilled Nursing Facility Open Door Forum, officials from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the beginning of a training rollout for the Internet Quality Improvement and Evaluation …
  • TIP: ASHP Releases New Guidelines to Prevent Substance Diversion
    The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) has released new guidelines on preventing substance diversion in healthcare settings such as nursing homes. These guidelines provide a framework facilities can follow to reduce patient safety issues, …
  • TIP: CMS Clarifies Schizophrenia Diagnosis Coding on the MDS
    In mid-July, CMS posted the MDS 3.0 RAI User’s Manual (v1.17.1R) Errata (v2) which provided clarification on the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) mapping for skin problems to the feet for the nontherapy ancillary component and …
  • TIP: CDC Releases Updated Guidance for Use of PPE in Nursing Homes
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released updated guidance for the implementation of PPE use in nursing homes to prevent the spread of multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) infections. This updated guidance includes: Additional …
  • TIP: SNF QRP Provider Preview Reports Available
    The Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Provider Preview Reports, which contain the performance scores of the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP) measures, were released in late July. These measures will be publicly reported on Care Compare …
  • TIP: CMS Now Includes New Staffing Measures in Five-Star Rating
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is including four new measures in the Five-Star staffing rating system methodology with the July 2022 Refresh. The new measures include: Total nurse staffing hours per resident …
  • TIP: CMS Releases Revised Long-Term Care Surveyor Guidance
    On June 29, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released significant revisions to the State Operators Manual (SOM), which surveyors will use to identify noncompliance starting on Oct. 24, 2022. While revisions in several …
  • TIP: AHRQ Seeks Nursing Homes to Participate in Pilot Study for Workplace Safety
    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is developing a survey item set to assist nursing homes to identify and improve workplace safety. They are currently seeking nursing homes to participate in the pilot …
  • TIP: CMS Releases Updated PBJ Manual
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the updated Version 2.6 Electronic Staffing Data Submission Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) Long-Term Care Facility Policy Manual in June 2022. The update reinforces CMS’s message to validate …
  • TIP: The U.S. Surgeon General Releases New Advisory on How to Combat Healthcare Worker Burnout
    Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, has released a new advisory on how to address healthcare worker burnout in nursing homes. This includes assistance from providers, government, academic institutions, technology, friends and families, and the workers themselves. …
  • TIP: IV Fluids Given for Nutrition or Hydration in the Hospital Affect Special Care High
    When considering assessment reference date selection, do not forget that IV fluids given in the hospital within the 7-day look-back period “while not a resident” may impact the Special Care High nursing category. Unlike the …
  • TIP: NETEC Presents Staff Resiliency in Long Term Care Podcast
    Facility leaders can listen to a new free podcast from the National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC) regarding staff resiliency in long-term care. Dr. Vanessa Raabe, MD discusses areas such as how …
  • TIP: Don’t Use ICD-10-CM Code as Primary with “Disease Classified Elsewhere” or “Code First” Instructions
    When determining the primary diagnosis for a resident, the coder must consider the guidance set forth in the ICD-10-CM Official Guidelines for Coding and Reporting for each fiscal year. One area that may cause confusion …
  • TIP: CMS Asking for Comments on New SNF PPS Proposed Rule
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Fiscal Year 2023 Skilled Nursing Facility Prospective Payment System (SNF PPS) Proposed Rule earlier this month. CMS notes that this proposed rule would update “Payment …
  • TIP: SNF Provider Reports Now Available
    The Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Provider Preview Reports have been updated and are now available. These reports contain provider performance scores for quality measures, which will be published on Care Compare and Provider Data Catalog (PDC) during the July 2022 release. The …
  • TIP: CMS Terminating Additional Waivers
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is terminating more waivers per QSO-22-15-NH & NLTC & LSC. The lifting of these waivers will be staggered and end in two different time periods including a …
  • TIP: Get Ready to Celebrate You!
    AAPACN honors all LTPAC professionals, we continue to celebrate our roots with NAC Day, which is always the Tuesday of Nurses’ Week. In 2022 Nurses’ Week is May 6 – 12 and NAC Day is …
  • TIP: CDC Expands Eligibility for Additional COVID-19 Booster for Higher Risk Individuals
    On March 29, 2022, Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky on behalf of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the following statement: Today, CDC expanded eligibility for an additional booster dose for certain individuals …
  • TIP: April 2022 Care Compare Refresh: What’s Changing
    Nursing home staff will see two major changes to Care Compare with the April 2022 refresh: Public reporting of the SNF Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) Requiring Hospitalization In the FY 2022 SNF PPS Final Rule, …
  • TIP: CDC’s Project Firstline: New, Free Infection Control Training and Education Resources for Healthcare Workers
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Project Firstline, released a new suite of educational resources to help healthcare workers recognize the risks for germs to spread throughout the workday and take action to …
  • TIP: CMS Offers New PBJ Training and Resources
    CMS recently posted a one-page document that provides links to important Payroll-Based Journaling (PBJ) action items, including how to complete registration for staff, corporate, and third-party users, as well as data submission trainings and resources. …
  • TIP: CDC Revises COVID-19 Guidance
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new COVID-19 guidance on Feb. 25, 2022. This guidance comes with new community levels, which now include local hospital admissions and capacity rates to determine risk …
  • TIP: ACIP Released Updated Adult Immunization Schedule
    The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) released an updated immunization schedule for adults aged 19 years or older. Nurse assessment coordinators (NACs) need to utilize this updated schedule when coding O0300 Pneumococcal Vaccine data. …
  • TIP: CMS Updates Nursing Home Visitation FAQs
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated the Nursing Home Visitation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Feb. 2, 2022. These updates include the answers to the following: Different policies for vaccinated and unvaccinated …
  • TIP: We Hope to See You in April!
    Early-bird registration is open for the 2022 AAPACN Conference in Las Vegas when registration is completed before March 20. Standard registration rates apply between March 21 – April 4, 2022. More information is available regarding …
  • TIP: Vaccination Requirements for Surveyors
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a memo on Jan. 25, 2022, stating it is now requiring that all surveyors, including CLIA and Life Safety Code surveyors, be vaccinated in order to …
  • TIP: CMS Will Begin Posting Staffing Data on the Care Compare Website
    Weekend Staffing: The level of total nurse and registered nurse (RN) staffing on weekends provided by each nursing home over a quarter. Staff Turnover: The percent of nursing staff and number of administrators that stopped …
  • TIP: New Resource to Improve Healthcare Safety
    Lucian Leap just released a new book called Making Healthcare Safe. This free, downloadable book discusses ways a skilled nursing facility can implement a culture of safety by changing processes, working conditions, and communication in …
  • TIP: Learning Timeline for AAPACN Education and Resources
    Are you considering advancing your career and looking to gain knowledge to be successful in your next role? Or are you already in the position you love but looking to improve your knowledge for additional …
  • TIP: AAPACN Curriculum Development Specialist, Denise Winzeler, Contributed to CDC White Paper with LTC/PAC Workgroup
    The Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) is a federal advisory committee chartered to provide advice and guidance to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Secretary of the Department of …
  • TIP: CMS Scheduled Care Compare Refresh with Revised Discharge to Community Measure Data
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) discovered an error in the calculations for the Discharge to Community measure and will be updating the Care Compare website with the corrected data on Sept. 29, …
  • TIP: AHRQ Toolkit to Improve Antibiotic Use in Long-Term Care
    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has released a toolkit to assist facilities with antibiotic stewardship. This toolkit focuses on three critical areas: Developing and improving a facility’s antibiotic stewardship program Creating a …
  • TIP: New Tool to Assist With PPE Tracking
    The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has developed a new PPE tracking tool along with a user’s guide to assist facilities in identifying performance patterns and to target improvement areas regarding PPE use.The …
  • TIP: How Do Your Wages Compare?
    On June 1, AAPACN sent out the 2021 Work Study survey link—this survey will collect valuable information from both the nurse assessment coordinator (NAC) and director of nursing services (DNS) on wage, job satisfaction, and job …
  • TIP: AAPACN 2020 Conference – New Dates and Format
    The AAPACN 2020 Conference has been rescheduled for June 3-5, 2020, and will be held virtually. Learn more. If you registered for the ICD-10 or RAC-CT Recertification preconference workshop, they will proceed virtually with live …
  • TIP: Claims Must Use New Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MDIs) Starting Jan. 1, 2020
    CMS announced in a Medicare Learning Network newsletter that if the facility does not use the Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBIs) on claims after Jan. 1, 2020, rejection codes will be received:  Electronic claims reject codes: …