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Are You Tired of Error Messages and Warning Messages?

Written by: Virginia Littlepage on Friday, October 28, 2016 Posted in: Inpatient Rehab

Discharge – M0900A. Healed Pressure Ulcers(s) Stage 1 must be blank when M0210 Admission is blank.

Missing – GG0170I2. Mobility – Walk 10 feet (Discharge Goal)

Missing – GG0170J2. Mobility – Walk 50 feet (Discharge Goal)

Admission – C0500. BIMS Summary Score must equal the sum of the values of the component items OR it must equal 99.

Entering a dash as a response to any Quality Measure item may result in a payment reduction of two percentage points for the applicable FY annual increase factor.

Any of these sound familiar? If not, then count yourself among the lucky ones.

Along with the documentation of the new quality measures for the IRF-PAI, effective for all discharges as of October 1st, 2016, are the data specs for the file import to your IRF-PAI vendor and/or submission to CMS. With all updates to the IRF-PAI, CMS publishes the data specs required for transmission of data to CMS. This includes what they will accept, what will be a warning, and what will be fatal! Don’t you just love that word “fatal”?  Never fear; it is all common language among programmers.

When I first read the data spec files published by CMS, it made my head spin! The language and formatting was not familiar, and there were too many if/then statements. However, I persevered and gained greater respect for all those programmers who read these things on a daily basis and make sense of them. I also recognized that the data specs for the quality measure are among the most complex data specs released for the IRF-PAI since its inception. And finally, reading the specs resulted in a better understanding of the documentation requirements for some of the measures (e.g. BIMS), and it made sense out of the messages received from vendors when data and/or files include warning messages or rejections.

Here’s how you can survive these seemingly endless messages/warnings.

  • Don’t panic!
    • It is just data. Take each individual message, and work only that message. That will keep you from getting overwhelmed, especially if you receive multiple messages.
  • Ask questions.
    • Keep in contact with experts you trust, and ask questions when something doesn’t make sense. Vendors and users working together is the key to understanding the transmission process and roadblocks that may occur.
  • Read the specs.
    • Give it a try! You might be surprised at what you learn and then you too can talk the talk.

I made it through the madness. So can you by keeping the above steps in mind.

Link to download CMS’ October 2016 (jIRVEN v.1.3.0) data specs: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/InpatientRehabFacPPS/Software.html