Medicare Requires Staffing Reporting for Skilled Nursing Facilities Audiologists and speech-language pathologists who provide services in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs)—as an employee or contractor—may be asked to provide information that will keep the SNF in compliance with a new Medicare staffing reporting requirement. As of July 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented a provision ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   October 01, 2016
Medicare Requires Staffing Reporting for Skilled Nursing Facilities
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Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Healthcare Settings / Practice Management / Professional Issues & Training / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   October 01, 2016
Medicare Requires Staffing Reporting for Skilled Nursing Facilities
The ASHA Leader, October 2016, Vol. 21, 9. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB3.21102016.9
The ASHA Leader, October 2016, Vol. 21, 9. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB3.21102016.9
Audiologists and speech-language pathologists who provide services in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs)—as an employee or contractor—may be asked to provide information that will keep the SNF in compliance with a new Medicare staffing reporting requirement.
As of July 1, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) implemented a provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires SNFs to electronically submit direct-care staffing information based on payroll and other auditable data. The data, when combined with facility census information, can be used to report on the level of staff in each facility and also on employee turnover and tenure, factors that may affect the SNF’s quality of care.
To facilitate this data collection, CMS developed the Payroll-Based Journal for submitting staffing and census information, a system accessible at no cost to all long-term care facilities. The system allows staffing and census information to be collected more regularly and frequently than before.
SNF employees may see little or no change in how they report their services and time. However, clinicians or practices that contract with SNFs may need to provide new information or to report information differently.
Examples of audiologists or SLPs providing contract services to SNF residents include:
  • A hospital SLP performs a modified barium swallow test or a fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing on a facility resident because the SNF does not have the capability to do so.

  • A private-practice audiologist tests the hearing of a facility resident.

  • A facility contracts with an audiologist or SLP to perform all necessary services because it does not have the clinician on staff or needs additional capacity.

Clinicians or practices that contract with SNFs may need to provide new information or to report information differently.

SNFs may have different ways of collecting the information from contractors. Some SNFs are using a structured form that asks for information about the services provided, including the name of the clinician performing the service(s); the procedure codes to be billed; and, for speech-language treatment, the functional limitation G-codes.
When the service is limited, such as a swallowing evaluation, reporting functional limitation G-codes is likely not necessary or appropriate—those G-codes should be included in the treating SLP’s plan of care. However, if a contract SLP is performing all treatment for the patient, the SLP will likely need to report detailed information, including the G-codes, to the SNF.
For more information and answers to specific questions, contact Sarah Warren, ASHA’s director of health care regulatory advocacy, swarren@asha.org or 301-296-5696.
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October 2016
Volume 21, Issue 10