SNFs Utilizing Telehealth and Telemedicine Services

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Let us look at some of the newest SNF policy modifications and how making use of Telemedicine and telehealth can be beneficial. In 2018, Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made a significant decision related to skilled nursing facilities (SNFs). They adopted a policy of imposing financial penalties on SNFs if patients were readmitted within thirty days. It encouraged SNFs to reevaluate their value-based care models, with the goal of finding ways to keep patients out of the hospital and improve their overall care.

It has been more than four years since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) first began to implement changes that healthcare facilities must adjust to. Similarly, telehealth technologies have been utilized in the past to improve patient care and decrease expenses in skilled nursing facilities. They can now be deployed to comply with current and upcoming regulations. Let’s look into the most recent changes to SNF policies and how Telemedicine and telehealth can be of assistance.

Telemedicine has Already Demonstrated its Effectiveness.

The implementation of Medicare’s Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) on October 1, 2019, saw the rate of physicians using virtual visits double, as reported by Health Leaders. The CMS system encouraged the use of telehealth. For nursing homes, utilizing technology to connect with physicians and specialists, such as secure video conferences or phone calls, can benefit cost-saving, better care for high-risk patients, and an improved experience for everyone in the care circle.

During the last Fiscal Year, the PDMP initiated the rapid incorporation of telehealth and a fresh perspective on how virtual visits can enhance value-based health care. As we approach yet another yearly milestone, new CMS regulations require nursing homes and other healthcare institutions to modify their treatment and payment plans further.

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ latest Regulation 

When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released new regulations for the last fiscal year. These adjustments make alterations to the Medicaid remuneration levels and value-based purchasing initiatives for nursing homes. All SNFs should be familiar with the following changes:

  1. More Payments, Particularly for Rural Regions

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic and its effects on the health system (nursing houses and SNFs specifically), CMS is planning to raise Medicare payment towards SNFs by 2.2 percent ($750 million). Additionally, to support the increase, they’ll be looking to determine whether the establishment is rural or urban in order to determine the wage index and the proper financing.

  1. Updates on the Classification of Patients

To ensure that SNFs focus on the highest quality care rather than the quantities, CMS wants these facilities to categorize patients into payment groups. Coding will aid SNFs in remaining organized and improve CMS’s payment process.

  1. Finalizing SNFs Scoring

SNF scores will continue to be dependent on their performance in an all-case, single-claim hospital readmissions test. Based on their performance in the measure, they may be eligible for incentive payments. Every year the federal per-diem rate of readmissions decreases by 2%, and they are improving each fiscal year.

The Benefits of Telehealth for Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) to be Successful.

As a result of the newly implemented regulations, it is more critical than ever for skilled nursing facilities to invest in telehealth services. Following are several of the chief advantages that telehealth can bring to SNFs:

  1. Savings Increased by Lowering the Number of Readmissions
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In general, 70% or higher of readmissions can be prevented by the use of Telemedicine as per TeleHealth Solution, the telehealth medical service provider to Masonic Homes Kentucky. Implementing Telemedicine at an SNF facility will help to avoid the loss of revenue from bed, which is typically seven days, in addition to charges associated with transfers.

Masonic Homes Kentucky had a reduction of 44% in readmission rates. Making sure their readmission rates are low from year to year will allow them to qualify for CMS incentive payments.

  1. Enhances the Outcomes of Patients by Treating Patients at Home

Patients who live in SNFs require assistance from a qualified professional. Still, they cannot get it because it’s late at night or because the office is a long distance away, and they need the means to travel to a local consultation. Telemedicine allows patients and the staff of the facility to consult with specialists who are located far away and help treat chronic ailments at moments when their conditions could get worse. In addition, it keeps residents in the facility but can also lower the risk of infection or other complications that could result from traveling to a different location for treatment.

  1. A Benefit in the Market

If SNFs adopt Telemedicine, they’re able to set themselves apart from other facilities that do not offer prospective families new ways to communicate. They’re making themselves significantly more appealing to referral hospitals due to having significantly lower rates of readmission than facilities that don’t have Telemedicine.

Masonic Homes stated that the implementation of telehealth alongside professional services had boosted the connection between hospitals and their organization and raised family approval to over 97%, leading to a dramatic rise in their referral rate.

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Partnering with Hucu.ai Telemedicine, a leading provider of telehealth services, will aid your SNF facility in becoming successful. Hucu.ai Telemedicine isn’t just a solution for the present moment- they understand the difficulties SNF facilities come across and will continue to provide telehealth technology and solutions for your facility as healthcare progresses.

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