Mediware Rehabilitation Blog

Facility Location and IRF PAI Patient Vaccinations Must Be Understood

It is imperative that the person answering and collecting data on your IRF PAI in regards to Patient Flu Vaccination FULLY understand that the IRF is a distinct and separate 'facility' from your acute care units when you have an IRF within an ACUTE CARE hospital system. The IRF PAI instructions may not fully spell this out but CMS has guided us in several other ways to be certain this particular question is answered appropriately. Follow these instructions....

The IRF’s Future Depends Upon the Ability to Deliver Unique Rehab Value

The Rehab Model of Care (problem oriented, goal directed, coordinated, team delivered) is being replicated across all healthcare. These models target improved coordination of care, fewer errors, lower costs and improved patient outcomes. The demand for cost-effective and preventive care that also reduces overuse and misuse has providers turning to the structure and processes of the team delivered collaboration models. While functional impairment and the restoration of activity-participation remains the purview of IRFs, other healthcare organizations adopt this model and venture to provide a therapeutic approach to functional restoration.

IRF 2015 Final Rule - Let the New Rule Begin

It's Oct. 1, 2014, and that signals a fiscal year for Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities. The 2015 Final Rule is now in place and the changes that come with this date begin with all discharges beginning today (10/1/14). 

Let's revisit some helpful LINKS and information so that you can check off your list of things to do beginning now!

IRF Quality Indicator Reporting - Mystery Solved

As quality reporting becomes more and more entrenched into the IRF/U requirements, there exists some confusion for how indicators are reported and ultimately how CMS knows the required reporting has been completed so as not to take a 2 percent penalty in a future reimbursement year. Just recently, on the 2015 Final Rule Webinar we hosted, there were several left behind questions looking for directives. Clarification has been provided by a Public Health Analyst/Contractor for the National Health Safety Network (NHSN); let us share that information with you!

Rapid Migration to Specific Modifiers over 59 for NCCI Edits

As if a year of acclimating to G-Code modifiers hasn’t been enough for the outpatient world, CMS has decided to ‘tighten up’ the National Correct Coding Initiative edits (NCCI edits) because officials fear duplication of charges has crept into outpatient billing. The problem? CMS thinks that coding with a blanket ‘59’ modifier is being used solely to override the intentions of the original NCCI purpose. Now, CMS wants more specificity.

Meaningful Use of Data

Electronic Health Records (EHR) are electronic file cabinets for collecting and storing primary information about patients seen in care. The effort to adhere to the requirements of entering that into an electronic documentation system demands some change in clinical behavior. Often, “it takes too long” is expressed when the discipline of electronic entry is compared to handwritten charting. However, these personal time costs have the potential to reap significant benefits when those data are called upon to answer questions beyond simple evidence of what was performed.

Site Neutral Payment Proposal Has Flawed Understanding of Rehabilitation

CMS has built levels of care with specific expectations and resource allocation unique to the various care provided by them. Although it has created disparate silos of care, inability to sometimes compare continuum services and general legal expectations for documentation, oversight and reimbursement formulas, suddenly there is an expectation that 'site neutral' payment is and can be substituted for certain conditions when treated by SNF's and IRF/U's.  Do you agree?

Proposed Rehabilitation Standards Need Your Professional Feedback

Inpatient Rehabilitation as a specialty is being challenged more each day for the care and skills uniquely provided in the IRF/U environment. Continuing to defend the highly individualized and specific skill sets of patients that enter IRF somehow are not apparent because 'Rehabilitation' as a word has been highly generic in terms of explaining recovery for just about any impairment. CARF certification standards certainly demonstrate that the basic expectations for a rehabilitation level of care are highly unique, individualized and specialized for the patient population treated; each year CARF provides opportunities for comment on new standards. An invitation just arrived. Please be a part of this review! 

Auditing IRF Records is Essential - Are You at 90% Risk?

90 percent seems like a good number unless it's 90 percent incorrect. Recently, CMS hired Strategic Health Solutions as their Supplemental Medical Review Contractor (SMRC) to look at IRF/U documentation and see if it was meeting the required medical necessity documentation and regulatory requirements. Unfortunately, the findings were not in favor of payment. Let's look at what they discovered. If you haven't heard it loud and clear you MUST audit your own records for the appropriate elements of charting or you too could be in the risk pool for non-payment.

If you were a part of this initial review, AMRPA would like to speak to you!

IRF Quality Indicator Submission Deadline: Friday Aug 15th

Each year the IRF final rule publishes the 2 percent reduction amount in the standard payment rate that will take affect for the present fiscal year as it relates to submission of quality indicator information received or not received in the fiscal year from two cycles prior. Reductions in the standard payment would be applied in the 2015 fiscal year for those not participating in ALL indicators from 2013. 2014 submissions will affect 2016 payment year, 2015 will affect 2017 payment year, etc. 

CMS just released an announcement for the deadline of 2014 first quarter data. Here are the facts, links and helpful numbers so that YOU can stay ahead of the transmission deadlines and not be affected in the 2016 payment cycle.

IRF 2015 Final Rule Decisions - [CMS-1608-F]

The IRF Proposed Rule this spring held many changes, so many in fact facilities were wondering if they had the time to educate and be ready for the 2015 payment year. In the Final Rule there were several surprises. Did Medicare realize the overwhelming number of changes may be a bit too much? Perhaps, but whatever the final reason, some changes are on hold until next year's cycle.

Here is a summary of those items that will stay and those that will wait just a bit longer!

3 Hour Rule - Defining an IRF/U level of Intense Therapy Services

3 Hour Rule continues to be a main defining factor that CMS has set as the 'threshold' to determine if the patient in an IRF/U receives an intensity of therapy services specific to an acute rehabilitation level of necessity. In this blog, respondents to a 3 Hour Rule survey share information and details on the 3 Hour Rule as operationalized in their facilities.

Rehab Goals, Outcomes and Cost

Establishing and working to achieve functional goals to address patient problems is the cornerstone of clinical practice for all therapists. Regardless of professional discipline or therapeutic focus, the requirement to execute a problem-oriented plan of care and monitor its effectiveness is basic to all rehabilitation practice.

Functional Limitation Reporting - Claims Based Outcomes Reporting

Mediware was privileged to have Heather Smith, Director of Quality, APTA, provide an extremely informative webinar on Tuesday, April 15. The presentation still proves that there is a lot of confusion around G-codes. A number of follow-up questions were included in the webinar survey and we've highlighted some of the most asked questions.