Harmony Healthcare Blog

Conducting Your Skilled Nursing Facility Risk Analysis

Posted by Kris Mastrangelo, OTR/L, LNHA, MBA on Tue, Jun 24, 2014

Conducting Your Skilled Nursing Facility Risk Analysis:  Last year, HIPAA privacy, security and breach notification rules were made applicable to healthcare providers, payers and clearinghouses. The HIPAA Security Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals’ electronic personal health information that is created, received, used, or maintained by a covered entity. The Security Rule requires appropriate administrative, physical and technical safeguards to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and security of electronic protected health information.

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Topics: SNF, Skilled Nursing Facility, EMR, Electronic Medical Record, ePHI, Patient Data

Keep Dementia Training Front of Mind

Posted by Kris Mastrangelo, OTR/L, LNHA, MBA on Fri, Jun 13, 2014

Keep Dementia Training Front of Mind:  Harmony often discusses clinical review of individual patient interventions with the rehabilitation and nursing team regarding identification, assessment, and management of patients with advanced dementia.  While treatment of low functioning, demented, or long term patients is challenging, Harmony believes that with increased training regarding targeted strategies, this particular group of residents will benefit greatly from skilled interventions. There are three levels of Rehabilitation that meets skilled criteria in the SNF setting.

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Topics: SNF, Therapy, Nursing, Dementia, Skilled Nursing, Skilled Therapy, Rehabilitation, Alzheimer's, patient intervention

CMS SNF PPS Final Rule for FY 2014 Published

Posted by Kris Mastrangelo, OTR/L, LNHA, MBA on Sat, Aug 10, 2013

On August 1, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the Final Rule for the Prospective Payment System and Consolidated Billing for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) for FY 2014. The Medicare rates posted in Final Rule will go into effect October 2013.

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Topics: Final Rule, SNF, Medicare Part A, CMS, RAI, PPS

Alarm Fatigue can be Deadly in the SNF!

Posted by The Harmony Team on Thu, May 02, 2013

How often do you hear bed and chair alarms going off in your SNF? Do you see your staff responding quickly, or has it become a delayed reaction? This problem is referred to as Alarm Fatigue, and Joint Commission has recently drawn attention to this issue. Alarm systems are crucial in the healthcare industry, and can be found on monitoring devices as well as patient safety tools. At times, staff members encounter an overload of alarm stimuli, and only a small number of those sounds may require clinical intervention. As staff members become habituated to the sound of alarms, they tune them out, which in turn can lead to injury or even death.

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Topics: SNF, Long Term Care

5 Talent Management Tips to Improve Retention in Your Workplace

Posted by The Harmony Team on Fri, Apr 26, 2013

So, it happened.  One day, from what feels like out of nowhere, you receive a resignation from a quality member of your team.  Your heart sinks, your blood pressure rises and you think to yourself, “what could we have worked on to avoid this?" 

Well, I am glad you asked.  The answer is RETENTION.  Retention practices are an imperative part of creating loyalty, expressing gratitude, and providing validation to your team members.  We crave acknowledgment, credit, appreciation and gratitude for great work.  Creating an environment that embodies these attributes provides each person with a feeling of validation, a feeling of “I am working hard and they appreciate me.”  

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Topics: SNF, Long Term Care

Strategy to Optimize Length of Stay

Posted by The Harmony Team on Thu, Aug 23, 2012

Today, we are going to be talking about length of stay.  One of the major challenges when looking at the length of a therapy program is working with the patient to get them to understand that if they stay a little longer they will get a lot stronger.  One of the key factors in setting goals and making sure the patient is going to return safely to their discharge environment is the home visit, but  The home visit often can take up to three hours even longer and we just don’t have that kind of time within our departments.  So, one of the suggestions that we have been using within our facilities is to utilize a home inventory check list.  You can discuss this with the patient you can also bring the family in.  Maybe the family can take pictures as well to give the therapist an idea of how the home environment is.  Getting an idea of if there is a pet at home or how the cabinets are setup, if the patient is going to need to be bending significantly or reaching over head a significant amount of time can be really helpful in setting up your treatment sessions to make sure the patient is able to repeatedly do some of these tasks that they will be expected to do once they are transferred home from the Skilled Nursing Facility.

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Topics: SNF, LOS, Length of Stay

OIG Conducting Medical Record Review

Posted by The Harmony Team on Thu, Aug 02, 2012

Hot off the Press! Read Mass Senior Care's article on OIG Conducting Medical Record Review.

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Topics: SNF, OIG, Medical Record Review

SNF Denial Management

Posted by The Harmony Team on Fri, Jul 27, 2012

Surely you have heard that there are “denials” now in the skilled care world, but do you know what this means?  There are more and more auditing agencies popping up everyday, from ACO to ZPIC, and the acronyms can make your head spin.  Has your facility helped to keep your rehab team informed on what types of audits are present in the current climate?  Or have you been doing your own research to stay afloat?  What kind of tools do you feel you need to better understand the world of “denials”?

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Topics: ACOs, SNF, Therapy, Denial Management

ADL Skills: Addressing Posture and Positioning in the SNF

Posted by The Harmony Team on Fri, Oct 28, 2011

Poor sitting posture is a common problem in long-term care and has an effect on function and performance of ADL skills. Skilled Nursing Facilities strive for a restraint free environment, no recorded falls and eliminating the occurrence of skin breakdown at the facility level.  Committee meetings, QA teams and active walking rounds are a part of the daily operations in the SNF aimed at minimizing and eliminating the above listed clinical barriers to function.

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Topics: SNF, ADL, ADL Coding

Managing Medicare Part A Length of Stay

Posted by The Harmony Team on Fri, Oct 21, 2011

Surviving the Medicare adjustments in FY2012 has been a major topic of discussion and debate in most SNF's throughout the US. To maintain a viable Medicare program in the SNF you must analyze the admission and discharge process for the Medicare Part A caseload. A component of this analysis critical to successful clinical outcomes and preserving the integrity of the program is the clinically anticipated Medicare length of stay. Case management by the Rehab professional is one of the primary factors affecting length of stay. Generally, when a patient is admitted for short term rehab their underlying medical conditions stabilizes before they have met their functional potential. Therefore, it is very likely that the Rehabilitation Department is the driving force behind the patient's discharge plan.

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Topics: SNF, Medicare, Medicare Part A

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