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CMS Changes for Skilled Nursing Facilities are Coming… Are You Ready?

This article was written by Karen Donovan, Director at Beacon Solutions. Looking to get in touch with Karen? Reach out today: kdonovan@BeaconSolutionsGroup.com

As we close 2022 and look forward to better days in 2023, it is necessary to be cognizant that major program changes are anticipated to impact clinical operations and the MDS world among our skilled nursing providers.

One major change for Minimum Data Set (MDS) 3.0 is the transition to iQIES. CMS will be migrating MDS submission and reporting to the internet Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (iQIES) in early 2023. The iQIES portal is available here and will soon be the new interface for MDS submission and reporting, replacing the current Assessment Submission and Processing (ASAP) and the Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reports (CASPER) systems. This will require each facility to designate Provider Security Officials (PSOs). CMS recommends a minimum of two PSO’s per facility. The appointed PSO’s should begin requesting access to iQIES now! The goal is to allow for a smoother transition prior to the go live date.

While 2022 only saw minimum updates to the MDS itself, please remember, MDS 2023 is just around the corner…

CMS posted a draft of updated Minimum Data Set specifications with changes that will go into effect Oct. 1, 2023 (MDS 3.0 version 1.18.11). Currently, this version closely resembles the rendition that was set to go into effect prior to the National Health Emergency. While CMS has not yet offered explanations as to how these new and changed MDS items will impact payment under Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM), it is safe to assume they will! These changes are some of what is to come in 2023:

  • The elimination of section G
  • Items added that will contain the five categories of Standardized Patient Assessment Data Elements (SPADEs)
  • New and revised items that affect SNF QRP compliance

All skilled nursing Facilities need to be “on their toes” to assure their systems are ready to roll when these momentous changes occur. Facility leadership should be acting now to develop a team to manage these changes. Not only will new documentation be a necessity, but our providers must also think about updating policies and procedures, educating all direct care staff on coding rules as well as best ways to use point of care systems for data collection, and, must even have information technology systems and resources on board to facilitate our staff as well as manage necessary system upgrades.

Our team is investing time and effort to build the expertise to support these new changes. We view this as a marathon, not a sprint! Should you need help in interpreting the guidelines and codes, assistance to update your policies, project management for technical upgrades, or more, our resources are here to help!

This material has been prepared for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. Should you require any such advice, please contact us directly. The information contained herein does not create, and your review or use of the information does not constitute, an accountant-client relationship.