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Written by: Darlene D'Altorio-Jones (1959-2015) on Sunday, September 23, 2012 Posted in: Inpatient Rehab

In the CMS Provider e-news, Sept. 19, 2012  issue, a message regarding a scheduled downtime of IRF-PAI submissions was made to prepare for the new XML format system,  (v1.10 data specifications), for use Oct. 1, 2012.  This downtime is scheduled for  Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29 and Sept. 30.

Please ensure your software has been updated for this new version of the data specifications. All questions related to change are available online at the  QIES Technical Support Office  (QTSO) website. If you missed the webinex training, it is still accessible through QTSO in the On Line Training section located in the left task bar menu. From there, you’ll need to select  ”Other,” enter your name and email address. You’ll then be directed to the educational page for viewing. The thorough module provides answers to questions you may have in the change process. Given it’s just one week away from this blog date, I am hoping this is old news for most of you!

Understand this new process translates to the fact that you will need to upload patients discharged at the end of September using the newest XML format in early October whether you choose to report in section 48-50 or not!   

If you have chosen not to participate in pressure ulcer reporting, of course you do not have to complete questions 48 – 50.  All fields will require a dash (-) to  symbolize no assessments will be submitted. Beginning FY 2014, IRFs that do not successfully participate in the program will be subject to a 2.0 percentage point reduction to the market basket used under the IRF PPS for the applicable year.  Expect this “penalty” and live with future impact.

Also, keep in mind that old values for fields 48-50 will not be accepted.  If you plan to submit pressure ulcer data, you do not need to report this section for patients discharged in September; every field must have a character in it to pass the upload process, though. So for these patients, each field will contain a dash to indicate no value and that assessments were not completed.

Although it is best practice to have started collection of data on patients admitted that you knowingly will cross the October discharge date, it is not expected.

The QIES Help Desk ( provided this reminder to me in a recent email when I inquired about fields 48-50 for patients needing upload after Oct.1.  This is the email response I received from

“A dash is allowed for the pressure ulcer items when a skin assessment has not been completed.A patient admitted prior to October 1, 2012 and discharged after October 1, 2012.  In this situation, a “dash” (-) may be used for the admission pressure ulcer items”

With just one week left before Oct. 1, it’s imperative that your workflow and processes are understood and ready to meet the test!

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