Article by:  Sheena Mattingly, HTS Clinical Specialist

ST’s role is going to become exceedingly important under PDPM. This is due to the change in reimbursement which will be focused on patient characteristics rather than therapy minutes. Here are the top 5 things you need to know:

  1. Medical complexity & clinical outcomes are the basis for the new patient-driven payment model (PDPM). SLPs will play an important role in determining SNF payment which will require system optimization for timeliness in order to code the most accurate information.
  2. PDPM does not change coverage criteria for skilled care. SNF care is still only covered if all four of the following are met:
    1. SNF or skilled rehab services are required to be performed by or under the supervision of professional or technical personnel and is ordered by a physician for the condition which the patient received inpatient hospital services.
    2. Skilled services are required daily
    3. Daily skilled services can only be provided on an inpatient basis in a SNF
    4. Services delivered are consistent with the nature of the severity of the illness or injury, medical needs, and accepted standards of medical practice, and are reasonable in duration and quantity
  3. Understanding the components related to the payment model will help with adjustment to the new system. The need for ST is related to the presence of a swallowing disorder, a mechanically altered diet, a ST comorbidity related, and/or cognitive impairment. Combinations of these characteristics produce 12 ST case-mix groups. Our data analytics have observed a trend in need for optimization especially in section K of the MDS. For this reason, we have created tools and resources to help your SLP, dietician, and nursing staff code section K. Please contact us today for more information!
  4. Sections B, C, K, and I are crucial for accurate coding for the ST reimbursement component. Check out our 5 Day Assessment Tool to optimize IDT communication to improve your coding.
  5. CMS will monitor provider practice during PDPM implementation to audit changes in volume and intensity of therapy services, compliance with group & concurrent therapy limit, and coding practices.
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