Therapy

Dehydration: Therapy should help fight it

Dehydration: Therapy should help fight it

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The elderly are very vulnerable to dehydration and more than just the nursing staff have to be concerned about it. Not keeping an eye on appropriate hydration can cause a variety of serious problems.

Pay for performance, medical necessity and Jimmo

Pay for performance, medical necessity and Jimmo

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Why would anyone mention value-based reimbursement, medical necessity and the Jimmo lawsuit in the same sentence? I feel they are all related, but it will be difficult to find the perfect balancing act to maximize the benefits of each topic.

Better way to determine proper post-acute therapy duration and intensity discovered, researchers say

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Academic researchers say they have devised a more accurate way to determine "optimal" levels of therapy for post-acute patients. The method also can better judge therapy intensity, investigators at the Washington University School of Medicine said.

Ultra-High therapy keeps surging: CMS

Ultra-High therapy keeps surging: CMS

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Providers aren't just being accused of coding therapy patients in higher payment categories than ever before. The charge is being backed by hard numbers in a recent memorandum from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Ask the payment expert ... about Medicare changes

Ask the payment expert ... about Medicare changes

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What significant changes in Medicare occurred for us in 2014?

Palliative possibilities: Therein lies the rub

Palliative possibilities: Therein lies the rub

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When a patient is referred to therapy, and they are receiving hospice care, then therapy needs to seek permission from the hospice company to provide any treatment. Hospice is required to reimburse the facility for the therapy services since the treatment also is included in the bundled payment rate from Medicare Part A. And, therein lies the rub.

Defining tolerance in therapy

Defining tolerance in therapy

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How do you define tolerance? Is tolerance measurable? Is tolerance too subjective? What about activity tolerance? We love to document how patients are improving activity tolerance, but many times that's all we state in our documentation. So what have we said? Very little.

Feature: All together now

Feature: All together now

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Rehabilitation professionals still are navigating challenges of providing group, concurrent therapies in a world that has come to value individual therapy more

Ensign lawsuit settlement  is among largest in history

Ensign lawsuit settlement is among largest in history

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Charges from whistleblowers have led to a $48 million settlement between operator The Ensign Group and the U.S. Department of Justice. The settlement was one of the largest of its kind, according to U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr.

Personal stories every therapist should know

Personal stories every therapist should know

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What's the point of all of our treatment interventions and plans of care if we can't relate to our patients? If you can put a face and personality behind your justification for therapy services, you'll be way ahead of the game.

Jimmo and the future of rehab

Jimmo and the future of rehab

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On Jan. 24 of this year, the Jimmo vs. Sebelius class action lawsuit was settled. This was a significant win for us, the healthcare providers. As we continue to work out the details, I feel now is a good time for a reminder of the ins and outs the lawsuit. No doubt about it, it was a blockbuster decision.

Four legs good, conclude therapy researchers

Four legs good, conclude therapy researchers

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Finding out therapy dogs slow down dementia symptoms is like discovering water quenches thirst, or shoes reduce firewalker foot pain. Of course they do. As my dogs like to say, "Grrrrr," followed by "Duh!"

No more Rehab Medium RUG defaults

No more Rehab Medium RUG defaults

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Well, Oct. 1 has passed, and we're all still hanging in. The biggest changes we saw to rehab were the addition of reporting co-treatment minutes on our billing logs and Section O on the MDS. And, the new question of "how many DISTINCT calendar days" were received between SLP, OT, and PT.

How to do it ... rehabilitation

Rehabilitation professionals have been presented with significant new challenges since new functional G-code requirements became effective July 1. Those who use them wrong could lose big. Various experts describe here how to best deal with them and win.

Therapy with a twist (of lemon)

Therapy with a twist (of lemon)

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As you read this, you might be eyeing the new RAI manual that takes effect today, and are feeling a bit overwhelmed at the sheer number of new pages. So it's with great regret that I have to add yet another burden, and let you know that it looks like a whole new therapy discipline will need to be provided at long-term care facilities around the country.

Ready or not: The MDS is changing again!

Ready or not: The MDS is changing again!

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On Oct. 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will be updating the Minimum Data Set with another round of changes. Most are minor but there will be two changes to the therapy section. Your case-mix utilization and scheduling, will determine the degree of impact of these new changes.

MDS memo clarifies transition to new therapy, nutritional status items

MDS memo clarifies transition to new therapy, nutritional status items

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released a memorandum clarifying transition policies for new Minimum Data Set items related to swallowing and nutritional status, as well as therapy.

What's on Your PEPPER Report?

What's on Your PEPPER Report?

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Have you received your provider-specific PEPPER report yet? The Program for Evaluating Payment Patterns Electronic Report (PEPPER) were mailed on August 30 and have been slowly arriving at skilled nursing facilities throughout the country.

Treatable attention disorders in stroke patients are often undiagnosed, study finds

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Many stroke survivors have undiagnosed attention-related disorders that could be treated with therapy, according to newly published research.

Are you prepared? 5 questions you need to know the answers to

Are you prepared? 5 questions you need to know the answers to

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With all the recent regulatory changes that have come down the line, or are about to, we developed a simple five-question survey that each provider had to ask every therapy employee. If you can develop strong policies and procedures based on these questions, you will have a good offensive game plan in place.

What is therapy?  It's not as simple as it might seem

What is therapy? It's not as simple as it might seem

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"What is therapy?" sounds like a simple question, but it requires a separate and very complex answer for each discipline.

CMS not saying much about a payment deal that could be a game changer

CMS not saying much about a payment deal that could be a game changer

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In recent years, many skilled care operators have nervously watched the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reduce and sometimes eliminate payments for physical, occupational and speech therapy services. But thanks to a recent class-action lawsuit settlement, the funding pendulum might be about to change direction. As a result, the skilled care sector could be in for a massive funding windfall.

Software system communicates therapy outcomes

Software system communicates therapy outcomes

RightTrack by Functional Pathways officially launched on Monday. The software allows a provider to be able to track key functional outcomes, such as safety and pain, and to track progress.

50 shades of G-coding

50 shades of G-coding

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Sorry, ladies, I didn't mean to get your hopes up with that title. But does anyone else feel like there is a lot of ambiguity to the new G-Coding system? Well, it's a little too early to tell for sure, but I can already see how the new G-codes will be riddled with red flags in the next few months.

You're probably guilty of too much documentation

You're probably guilty of too much documentation

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Is it time for a diet? Not a food diet, but a documentation diet. I've written previous blogs about documentation quick tips, top 10 reasons for denials, and so on. But, how many of you are guilty of over-documentation? Is that even possible? Well, yes, it is.

The G-codes are here for payment claims — ready or not

The G-codes are here for payment claims — ready or not

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Effective July 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will begin rejecting claims received for Medicare Part B patients that do not include the new requirement of G-coding. That really means providers need to be ready by June 1.

Therapy is more than revenue and service

Therapy is more than revenue and service

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How do skilled nursing facilities, clinics and hospitals think about therapy? Focusing on patient satisfaction and revenue is a good start, but it is not enough. As therapy continues to be scrutinized by the government and insurance companies, it's a good idea for administrators, directors of nursing and compliance staff to become more familiar with therapy operations.

Latest Medicare fraud allegations just an appetizer

Latest Medicare fraud allegations just an appetizer

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As we've been predicting here for some time, allegations of mismanaged therapy care are starting to land nursing homes in some seriously hot water.

Medically Complex Medicare Part B

Medically Complex Medicare Part B

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While CMS tries to figure out how to proceed with the manual medical review process, we continue to track our caps and apply our modifiers. In the meantime, has anyone noticed how our typical Medicare Part B patients have become more medically complex than just a few years ago?

A study that may never be done — but should

A study that may never be done — but should

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Government agencies and lobbyists are famous for conducting studies that prove a point — theirs, namely. That's why I'll be very interested to see who will have the courage to conduct one of the most important long-term care-related studies that should be completed over the coming year.

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