Skilled nursing providers could still be negatively impacted despite SNF Quality Reporting Program data being frozen on the Nursing Home Compare site through 2022, a leading expert warned. 

“It’s easy for facility staff to think that the QRP measures are frozen and the data isn’t impacting us right now. That isn’t the case,” explained Amy Stewart, vice president of education and certification strategy at the American Association of Post-Acute Care Nursing. 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services last week released an updated tip sheet on the SNF QRP program that detailed the agency’s strategy regarding data submissions during the COVID-19 public health emergency. In a March memo, CMS made it optional for SNFs to submit QRP data for the fourth quarter (Oct. 1, 2019 – Dec. 31, 2019), while providers were expected to submit data for the first and second quarters of 2020. 

“Since data submission for Q4 2019 was strong, these data will be included in measure calculations for the Nursing Home Compare site refresh scheduled for October 2020. The missing data for Q1 2020 and Q2 2020 will impact what is displayed on Nursing Home Compare; therefore, CMS developed a strategy to accommodate these expected quarters of data,” the agency explained. 

It will now hold the data constant following the October 2020 refresh, which will include data from the fourth quarter of 2019. The site won’t refresh and will remain frozen through Oct. 2021. Public reporting will resume in Jan. 2022 and a normal refresh will happen in April 2022. 

“The impact of the freeze is that if your measures are not favorable, they will remain until the refresh in January 2022,” Stewart told McKnight’s Long-Term Care News on Friday. 

She added that the “important message here is that the work the facility is doing today will impact future publicly reported measures.” 

“Although the measures are being held constant, the data being submitted as of July 1, 2020, will impact future public reporting,” she added.