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CMS releases dementia care survey pilot final report

Last year, CMS announced that it was piloting two new survey types, one that focused on dementia care and the other on the accuracy of MDS coding. The recently announced Nursing Home Compare 3.0 included notice that both of these survey types will be rolled out in 2015 after the pilots were completed in 2014. A new S&C letter provides the full results of the dementia care survey pilot, noting that CMS plans to expand the surveys to more states in 2015.

These surveys examine the process for prescribing antipsychotic medications and assess compliance with dementia care regulations for nursing homes. The majority of the small pilot survey results included citations at F-309, F-329, F-520 and F-279. There were only 4 citations at a scope/severity of G or higher in the 68 citations that were given. Surveyor feedback included that many surveyors felt they needed additional guidance on scope/severity in addition to information on prescribing practices and dementia care. It was noted in the report that some surveyors had a difficult time linking the use of antipsychotic medications with actual harm outcomes. However, the survey format was found to assist surveyors with better identification and citations of deficient practices around dementia care than the traditional or QIS survey types. The surveyors even found deficiencies only a few weeks after a standard survey team had been in a building and did not find citations related to dementia care.

For now, State Agencies are being asked to conduct these focused surveys in 2015 on a voluntary basis using the survey tools that have been developed and revised. Texas has agreed to participate and additional states that are interested have been asked to email the agency. Deficiencies found on these surveys will result in citations.

Read CMS S&C Letter “2014 Final Report & 2015 Expansion Project – Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Focused Dementia Care Survey Pilot” (Ref: S&C: 15-31-NH).

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