National Healthcare Month and World Immunization Week—What Is Their Significance?

In the United States, April is considered the National Interprofessional Healthcare Month. Globally, the last week of April is World Immunization Week. If you’re wondering why they’re important, read on to learn more.

National Healthcare Month and World Immunization Week

Interdisciplinary healthcare is what keeps the public healthy at large. Multiple disciplines of medicine often have to come together and work in unison to diagnose, treat, cure, and even prevent illnesses. Based on this principle, NAP declared April as Interprofessional Healthcare Month at the 2016 Forum in Baltimore, Maryland.

Immunization has helped humankind reduce and even eradicate some preventable diseases. With the COVID-19 pandemic reminding the world of the importance of vaccination, there is no time better than now to inform and increase awareness of immunization. It is incredibly important for the public to be aware of the recommended vaccination schedules for children and adults and adhere to them in a timely fashion.

Let us also discuss a few other health observances happening in April and their significance.

Stress Awareness Month

The American Psychological Association estimates that 34% of Gen Z adults, 21% of millennials, 19% of boomers, and 8% of older adults felt extremely restless from the stress they were experiencing. These numbers have also gone up steadily over the years. From this, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that the average American is stressed. Stress causes various mental health issues that, if left untreated, may also manifest as physical issues. If you are a mental health provider that is looking to help your patients better, Preferred Therapy Solutions is here to help with its unique plans that are tailor-made with the end-user in mind.

Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month

April is deemed Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month as it is the birth month of James Parkinson, the first physician to describe the disease. Every year, it serves as an opportunity to raise awareness about the disease and its symptoms, and provide support to those who have been affected by it. Parkinson’s disease is a long-term ailment in which the central nervous system degenerates, and the motor system suffers as a result. The symptoms include tremors, loss of balance, stiffness, etc. If you are a caregiving facility or a provider with patients suffering from PD, you could greatly benefit from the expertise offered by our team.

Autism Awareness Month

Anybody who works with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) knows how serious of a developmental disorder it is. It can put its patients on a spectrum of behavioral and communicative problems, ranging from mild to severe. Although campaigns like #CelebrateDifferences by the Autism Society of America are working towards the goal, autism acceptance is still far from being achieved at this point.

To learn more about Preferred Therapy Solutions and how our clinical model can assist your facility contact Jim MacManus, Director of Business Development at jmacmanus@preftherapy.com. #itsallaboutthepatient.

About Preferred Therapy Solutions

Preferred Therapy Solutions is a full-service rehabilitation management organization dedicated to providing state-of-the-art clinical, management, billing, and information technology solutions to the post-acute and long-term care industry. Preferred Therapy Solutions is able to assist in developing a strategic road map designed to increase SNFs market share by identifying potential referral targets and providing useful information on competitors’ performance. Preferred Therapy Solutions’ abilities significantly enhance the quality, productivity, scope, and efficiency of any facility’s rehabilitation department while maintaining a focus on achieving high levels of patient satisfaction and providing excellent customer service.

EDUCATIONAL WEBINAR: FY 2023 SNF PPS Proposed Rule – What’s Ahead for PDPM, QRP & VBP!

The FY 2023 Proposed Rule is out and CMS is following through on the recalibration of PDPM, adding new measures for quality and value-based care, and building upon the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to advance health equity, drive person-centered care and promote sustainability of the program. Register below to join this informative webinar.


MAY 17TH | 12:30 PM | CLICK HERE TO REGISTER
FY 2023 SNF PPS Proposed Rule: What’s Ahead for PDPM, QRP & VBP!

Attendees of this session will gain insight on:

  • Understand the proposed changes to Medicare PPS reimbursement and quality reporting
  • Identify the potential impact of the proposed changes and begin strategic planning initiatives
  • Learn how to submit comments and provide feedback to CMS on the proposed changes

This program has been approved for Continuing Education for 0.50 total participant hours by NAB/NCERS—Approval #20230516-0.50-A83943-DL

CMS Releases FY 2023 Proposed Rule

BACKGROUND

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) are legally required to update the Medicare payment rates and quality programs on an annual basis. Each April, CMS publishes a proposed rule for the upcoming fiscal year (FY) and opens a comment period for stakeholders to review and provide comments to CMS before releasing the final rule.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

On April 11th CMS issued proposed rule CMS-1765-P for FY 2023. This proposed rule contains many areas of importance and significance for SNF providers specifically as it relates to payment, quality, staffing, and more.

Preferred Therapy Solutions is thoroughly reviewing the proposed rule and has planned an in-depth webinar for May 17th, which has already received program approval from the National Association of Long Term Care Administrators Board (NAB).

Key elements of the proposed rule include:

  • PAYMENT UPDATES
    CMS estimates the aggregate impact of payment policies would result in a decrease of approximately $320 million in Medicare Part A payments to SNFs in FY 2023
  • The actual payment update for FY 2023 is a 3.9% increase based on SNF market basket and forecast error adjustments but this increase is offset by a 4.6% decrease in SNF PPS rates as a result of a proposed recalibrated parity adjustment
  • An additional $186 million in reductions is estimated based on the SNF VBP program

UPDATED BASE RATES FOR PDPM COMPONENTS

PATIENT DRIVEN PAYMENT MODEL

  •  Recalibrating the PDPM Parity Adjustment
    • The purpose of the parity adjustment is to ensure budget neutrality between RUG-IV and PDPM
    • In last year’s proposed and final rules, CMS shared that the transition from RUG-IV to PDPM was not budget neutral with a 5% increase in Medicare Part A payments to SNFs under PDPM. They sought feedback from stakeholders regarding how and when to recalibrate the PDPM parity adjustment, but never proposed an actual parity adjustment
    • In this year’s proposed rule, CMS improved its methodology to determine the necessary parity adjustment and is proposing a 4.6% decrease in PDPM payments
    • CMS is proposing to accomplish the parity adjustment by recalibrating all PDPM CMI’s equally (PT, OT, SLP, Nursing, and NTA)
    • CMS is proposing to implement the entire recalibration all at once, without delay or phase-in
  • CMS is proposing several changes to the PDPM ICD-10 code mappings and lists

SNF QUALITY REPORTING PROGRAM (QRP)

  • CMS is proposing to adopt one new quality measure to become part of the SNF QRP for FY 2025: Influenza Vaccination Coverage among Healthcare Personnel (HCP) measure
  • CMS is proposing to revise the compliance dates for specific SNF QRP requirements
  • CMS is seeking comments on 3 subjects
    • Future measures for SNF QRP
    • Overarching principles for measuring equity and healthcare disparities
    • Inclusion of CoreQ: Short Stay Discharge Measure in the SNF QRP

SNF VALUE-BASED PURCHASING (VBP) PROGRAM

  • CMS is proposing to suppress the SNF 30-day All-Cause Readmission Measure for the FY 2023 SNF VBP due to the COVID-19 PHE
    • In order to maintain compliance with the statutory requirements of the SNF VBP program, CMS is proposing to do the same process implemented last year as it relates to the SNF VBP
      • CMS will continue to withhold 2% of Medicare Part A FFS payments per statute
      • CMS will “award” SNF’s 60% of the withhold, resulting in a 1.2% payback
      • The proposal will result in 0.8% decrease in Medicare Part A FFS payments for all SNF’s except those that are subject to the Low Volume Adjustment policy
  • CMS is proposing to add two new measures to the FY 2026 SNF VBP and one new measure to the FY 2027 SNF VBP
    • FY 2026: addition of SNF Healthcare-Associated Infections Requiring Hospitalization and Total Nursing Hours per Resident Day measures
    • FY 2027: addition of Discharge to Community – Post-Acute Care Measure for SNFs
  • CMS is seeking feedback on the following for the SNF VBP
    • Implementing a Nursing Home Staff Turnover measure
    • Scoring methodology and how it converts to incentive payments
    • Incorporating adjustments related to health equity

Finally, Preferred Therapy Solutions will be submitting comments and feedback to CMS to advocate for therapy services, SNF providers, and most importantly, the residents we are privileged to serve. We encourage all providers to do the same!

NAB APPROVED WEBINAR
Join our webinar on May 17th to learn more about the proposed rule and how to advocate for our industry and patients. Details and links to join this webinar will be provided at a later date.

Preferred Therapy Solutions continues to provide vital information that may impact rehabilitation management, reimbursement policies, and clinical programs, supported by compliance and regulatory requirements that are necessary for a thorough understanding of practices and procedures. If you have any questions, please contact Matt Nash, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development: mnash@preftherapy.com

REDUCE HOSPITAL READMISSIONS

April showers bring May flowers, which may be true, but during the month of April, a significant celebration is in order, it’s Occupational Therapy (OT) Month. The contributions of the OT profession are paramount to healthcare by helping people reach their goals through rehabilitative therapy programs. Celebrate this April by implementing a strong Transition to the Community program. Preferred Therapy Solutions’ experienced occupational therapy unit can assist your facility in growing your customized Transition to the Community program and assist in the reduction of hospital readmissions. Click on the below link to learn how Preferred Therapy Solutions’ clinical model enhances the improvement of patients’ conditions allowing patients to remain functional, and therefore, aids in a seamless transition to their next level of care with a concentration on avoiding hospital readmission.

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April Celebrates Occupational Therapy Month

Preferred Therapy Solutions would like to extend its sincere gratitude to all of our professionals within the Occupational Therapy discipline. Through your work, we can get the best outcomes for our patients, and you have helped us build our reputation for clinical excellence. This April, we thank YOU, our Occupational therapists, for being part of our team and helping to make a difference in our patients’ lives. #celebrateoccupationaltherapymonth #OTmonth #thankyouoccupationaltherapists

Celebrate Occupational Therapy Month