CMS waives QRP requirements in response to COVID-19

Ken BellClient News, Skilled NursingLeave a Comment

On Sunday, Mar 22, the Center of Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) waived several QRP requirements for skilled nursing facilities, allowing providers to focus all their attention on residents during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“In granting these exceptions and extensions, CMS is supporting clinicians fighting Coronavirus on the front lines,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “The Trump Administration is cutting bureaucratic red tape so the healthcare delivery system can direct its time and resources toward caring for patients.”

So what does this mean for SNFs? 

Submitting Q4 2019 (Oct 1-Dec 31) data will be optional for the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (QRP) and the Value-Based Purchasing Program (VBP).

If you choose to submit the optional data, it’ll be used to calculate performance and payment “where appropriate”. 

In addition, “No data reflecting services provided January 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020 will be used in CMS’ calculations for the Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs,” CMS states in the press release.

CMS has acknowledged that this may cause the quality measure reporting and VBP programs to not accurately reflect SNF performance for certain measures (e.g., cost, readmissions and patient experience) and will not hold organizations accountable for data during this period.  

CMS will continue to monitor the situation and adjust reporting periods and submission deadlines accordingly. More detailed info regarding changes to each of these quality reporting programs will be provided soon.

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