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POST ACUTE CARE In some cases, that may mean making physical changes to the facility, or acquiring additional capital equipment, she says. Just as important, it may call for upgrading the clinical skills of the nursing staff. “You have to make your clinical team comfortable and confident that they have the ability to provide that type of care.

“Providers and their suppliers should educate themselves about the new payment system and understand the new incentives contained within. I encourage strategic planning to identify opportunities to provide skilled care in a way that is more patient-centered and will achieve better outcomes with higher customer satisfaction.”

The distributor’s role in PDPM Repertoire readers might be especially interested in the variable rate adjustment (or “tapering”) that applies to the nontherapy ancillary services (NTA) component of Medicare reimbursement under PDPM, says Robin Hillier, RLH Consulting, Westerville, Ohio, and director of reimbursement and quality metrics for Welcome Nursing Home in Oberlin, Ohio. “Nontherapy ancillary services” refers to any ancillaries a provider uses other than therapy services, such as drugs, supplies and equipment – but not labor. For the first three days of the stay, providers will receive 300 percent of the calculated NTA payment component. Starting on Day 4, this will drop to 100 percent. CMS has created a list of conditions or diagnoses that call for higher-cost supplies or equipment. Each is assigned a certain number of points (with more complex conditions earning more points). The more points, the greater the reimbursement. “[Repertoire] readers can play an important role in helping providers identify clinical conditions and needs that contribute to the NTAS scoring early in the stay, so they can be captured on that initial assessment,” she says. “This will give providers more money at the beginning of the stay, which can be used to pay for additional supplies and equipment needed as a result of those conditions. “It’s important that whatever is applicable to the resident gets captured right away.”

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Deborah Haywood, vice president of sales and strategic development for McKesson Medical-Surgical, says the industry is “very early into understanding the full financial impact that PDPM will have for our SNF providers. The NTA case mix provides additional resources to facilities for treating potentially vulnerable populations, such as ventilator, infection isolation, end-stage renal disease (ESRD), diabetes, wound infections, IV medication, bleeding disorders, behavioral issues, chronic neurological conditions, and bariatric care. The initial admission assessment will set the case-mix reimbursement level and will be important for manufacturers and distributors to support their SNFs in driving the best outcomes for the residents’ care.” Haywood notes that SNFs can gain a better understanding of the financial impact of PDPM from their RUG data from CMS. “McKesson’s partner Pathway Health offers providers tools, such as the PDPM Financial Impact Analysis Tool, which can help them understand their current data, potential impact and clinical impact to their organization.” In addition, SNFs can use automated tools such as McKesson Quality One to focus on continuous performance improvement to quality care, performance outcomes and resident satisfaction, she says. “SNFs that adopt technology, drive training competencies on the new PDPM model and provide improved patient outcomes will be successful,” she says. “Those facilities that do not have some type of adoption will struggle with the new PDPM change.”

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