CMS Seeking to Increase State Surveys of Nursing Home Staffing:
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it will use payroll-based journal (PBJ) data to identify nursing homes that have several days in a quarter without a registered nurse (RN) on site, or have a significant decline in staff on the weekends. The States will be required to inspect such facilities and cite any non-compliance resulting from such surveys. CMS will be sending the lists to states in December. For facilities on the list provided by CMS, states are now required to conduct at least 50% of the required off-hours surveys on weekends.
CMS Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program offers tools, ongoing assistance to nursing home staff:
CMS also recently announced upcoming efforts to support better care and outcomes for nursing home residents under the Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program (CMPRP). This three-year initiative aims to improve residents’ quality of life by equipping nursing home staff with technical tools and assistance to enhance resident care. As part of the CMPRP, CMS will develop a variety of work products for nursing home professionals, such as staff competency assessment tools, instructional guides, training webinars and technical assistance seminars. CMS will collaborate with industry experts to develop an ongoing series of toolkits to help nursing home staff. CMS released its first toolkit in the CMPRP series, the Nursing Home Staff Competency Assessment, designed to help nursing home frontline and management staff evaluate their skills. It includes several questions to gauge staff knowledge about behavioral, technical and resident-based capabilities. For additional information on the Civil Money Penalty Reinvestment Program, and to access the first toolkit and all future toolkits, please visit https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Provider-Enrollment-and-Certification/SurveyCertificationGenInfo/LTC-CMP-Reinvestment.html
A Federal push to scale back certificate-of-need laws:
It was reported this week that among many health care policy recommendations included in a recent publication from the Trump administration, the White House is urging states to scale back their certificate-of-need laws. The intention is to increase competition and reduce consolidation, driving down the price of health care. It is still way too soon to predict whether anything may transpire from these recommendations but it is interesting to note this push to transform the health care landscape and consider how it could impact providers and customers of care. We will continue to monitor any related developments.