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Post-Acute Care: Hot Topics Leading 2021

Skilled nursing facilities are under intense pressure with all the new reporting requirements. Vaccinations, testing, PDPM, Quality Measures, Quality Reporting Program (QRP), staffing and infection control surveys are just a few of the items skilled nursing facilities are having to juggle these days. The only constant is change and the need to stay informed on latest information. Here are a few hot topics surrounding post-acute care to help keep you on top of it all.

Get Vaccinated

Looking for resources to educate yourself and others about the benefits of getting the COVID-19 vaccine? Here is the information you need to make an informed decision and help others overcome their fears and get vaccinated:

Extension of Public Health Emergency

The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has extended the Nationwide Public Health Emergency (PHE). The PHE was set to expire January 21, 2021 and was extended another 90 days until April 21, 2021.

Release of New COVID-19 ICD-10 Codes

There is a new off-cycle release update of the 2021 ICD-10 Coding Guidelines. There are six new ICD-10 codes related to COVID-19:

  • J12.82 – Pneumonia due to COVID-19
  • M35.81 – Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS)
  • M35.89 – Other specified systemic involvement of connective tissue
  • Z11.52 – Encounter for screening for COVID-19
  • Z20.822 – Contact with and suspected exposure to COVID-19
  • Z86.16 – Personal History of COVID-19
Measures Under Construction (MUC)

As a part of the pre-lawmaking process CMS posted a list of Measures of Consideration. CMS’s goals with these measures are to improve patient outcomes and focus on quality. See below for information on the two measures impacting skilled nursing facilities. These measures are expected to be revealed in the 2021 rule making cycle.

  1. MUC20-002 – Skilled Nursing Facility Healthcare-Associated Infections requiring Hospitalization: This measure will estimate the risk-adjusted rate of health care associated infections that are acquired during skilled nursing facility care and result in hospitalization. This measure is an outcome measure and will be part of the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP).
  2. MUC20-0044 SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination Coverage among Healthcare Personnel: This measure tracks SARS-CoV2 vaccination coverage of the health care personnel in the skilled nursing facility. This measure is a process measure that will also be part of the SNF QRP.

The model of delivering healthcare is changing. The cost of healthcare in today’s market is forcing consumers of healthcare to look for the most efficient provider. Consumers of healthcare are demanding a comprehensive healthcare system that manages the financial risk of caring for the patient. Consumers are not only demanding quality health care and are expecting accountability of providers to control cost over the continuum of care. A provider must know the cost and quality of its operations but must also know the cost and quality of care of other providers in its market.

To get more information from the Post-Acute Care team, you can sign up to receive our newsletters and notifications for new blog posts. For any questions, please contact your local Blue & Co., LLC Advisor.


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