Archive for April, 2012

April 30, 2012

Big letters count as help on M2020

CMS has clarified some behaviors that should make you mark a ‘1’ on M2020. This is from the recent April Q&As.

Question: I have a patient who has macular degeneration with partial vision loss. Her son writes big letters on her medication bottles so the patient is able to correctly identify the medications. How should M2020 be correctly marked?

Answer: If the patient requires the assistance of someone, other than the pharmacy, to set-up the medications in order to take the correct dose, at all the prescribed times, the patient would be scored a “1” on M2020, Management of Oral Medications. Set-up could include placing the medications in a medi-planner or other container or device or modifying the original medication container to enable the patient to access their medications correctly, e.g. removing childproof lids, marking the label for the visually impaired or illiterate, or pouring into individual cups.

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April 28, 2012

Help reorganize AHRQ on the web!

AHRQ is putting out a call for participation in its “card sort,” and it’s kind of fun.

The group wants to have a more intuitive organization to its information and is asking users to take 10 minutes to walk through different options of how you want to see information organized.

For example, choose if Patient Management and Care Resources should go under Programs, Initiatives, and Centers or Health Professionals Resources or Patient Resources, etc.

Hurry! You can only sort until May 4.

Clinical and Medical Researchers card sort

General Public, Media, and Policymakers card sort


April 25, 2012

CMS answers 10 questions on F2F

CMS’s April answers document includes 10 questions on late F2F issues that have been brewing.

Some highlights include:

  • How to answer M0102 and M0104 with a new SOC assessment and late F2F encounter.
  • Whether a new SOC assessment due to late F2F encounter needs to be performed by the clinician who did the original OASIS. (No!)
  • Whether to delete an original OASIS assessment already submitted to the state.

All the goodies are here!

p.s. No new guidance on M1020, M1022, M1024

April 24, 2012

Mucosal membranes are not reported in OASIS

CMS recently stated that only wounds and lesions of the integumentary system are recorded in OASIS, not wound or lesions in mucosal membranes.

Those pressure ulcers are reported in the comprehensive assessment and documentation.

Want to see the clarification? Go to the April 2012 link.

April 24, 2012

It’s not our imagination: Deaths from gastroenteritis are increasing

CMS confirms that gastroenteritis deaths have doubled in the past 10 years or so. Our friends, C. difficile and norovirus, are the leading causes.

Over the eight-year study period (1999-2007), CDC found that gastroenteritis-associated deaths from all causes increased from almost 7,000 to more than 17,000 per year. Adults over 65 years old accounted for 83 percent of deaths. Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) and norovirus were the most common infectious causes of gastroenteritis-associated deaths.

Much of the recent increase in the incidence and mortality of C. difficile is attributed to the emergence and spread of a hypervirulent, resistant strain of C. difficile. This bug contributed to about two-thirds of the deaths.

Norovirus was associated with about 800 deaths annually, though there were 50 percent more deaths in years when epidemics were caused by new strains of the virus. Norovirus is highly contagious.

Find out more.