News From Just-Concluded CMS SNF/LTC Open Door Forum

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

Wow!  Lots of information was disseminated by CMS official this afternoon during the SNF/LTC Open Door Forum.  This blog will break it down for you.

First, here’s what the agenda was for the call today:

I. Opening Remarks

Chair – Todd Smith (Center for Medicare)

Moderator – Jill Darling (Office of Communications)

II. Announcements & Updates

• 1812(f) waiver and COVID-19 PHE Termination

• MDS transition to iQIES

o     PatientAssessmentInstruments/NursinghomeQualityInits/MDS30RAIManual


• MDS v1.18.11 updates

o Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Quality Reporting Program (QRP) Spotlights and Announcements

o NHQI Spotlights and Announcements

III. Open Q&A




If you want to listen to the recording of this call, here’s that information:

Instant Replay: 1- 800-510-0118; Conference Passcode: No Passcode Needed Instant Replay is an audio recording of this call that can be accessed by dialing 1- 800-510-0118 Instant Replay begins 1 hour after the call has ended. The recording expires March 4, 2023, 11:59 PM ET.

In short, the 1812(f) waivers end with the termination of the PHE, anticipated for May 11, 2023.

  • The Qualifying Hospital Stay is required again on May 12th except for those residents still in a skilled stay on that day.  Same for the benefit period renewing following a 60-day spell of wellness.
  • June 30, 2023 is the last day facilities can bill for the COVID-19 vaccines provided to residents.  Beginning July 1, 2023, administration of this and other vaccines to residents during a skilled stay is included in what the SNF must absorb.
  • NHSN reporting requirements for COVID-19 have been extended through December 31, 2024.
  • CMS was questioned about the Swing Bed waivers affecting in-house patients as of May 11, 2023.  CMS is looking at this and will be providing information on that.

76% of LTC providers have registered their PSO (Provider Security Official) for implementation of the iQIES system on April 17, 2023. (The 24% remaining needs to get their PSO registered – the clock is ticking!)  For facilities that have a third-party vendor submitting their MDS assessments, there must also be a staff member, or in the case of facilities belonging to a chain, a corporate individual that know the staff that will be working with the MDS and thus is in a position to assign the appropriate user role for those folks.  No MDS submissions can be made starting Thursday, April 13th @ 8pm ET through Sunday, April 16th.  Beginning Monday, April 17th, all LTC facilities must transmit via iQIES.  CASPER and all such reports will need to be accessed only from the iQIES system as of that date.  PBJ and EPOC data will remain in the current QIES ASAP system until a later date, to be announced.  Mark your calendars so your MDS submissions are made timely.  Refer to the agenda for the 2 website links for more information on the iQIES transition.

If your facility will be experiencing a change in ownership (CHOW), you may or may not need to re-register for iQIES accounts.  If your facility’s CCN will remain the same under the new ownership, nothing needs to be done with current iQIES registrations.  If your facility’s CCN will be new/reissued, you will need to go back into iQIES and re-register.  If uncertain, contact the iQIES Help Desk.

What you all have been waiting for was announced: time frames for the MDS and MDS Training.

Release of MDS Item Sets, Specs and RAI Manual
On/about April 1, 2023 … FINAL MDS 3.0 v1.18.11 Item Sets
On/about April 1, 2023 … DRAFT RAI 3.0 User’s Manual
Late April/Early May 2023 … OSA (Optional State Assessment) separate package – Item Set & Specs
May 2023 … FINAL Specifications
August 2023 … FINAL RAI 3.0 User’s Manual
MDS 3.0 v1.18.11 Training – 2 Parts
May 2023 … Release of Recorded Videos
Late June/Early July 2023 … Live, Virtual Workshop Sessions … these will be recorded for on-demand viewing; registration will be open and announced later this spring.                                         

Quality Measures will not be covered during the above training sessions, according to CMS.  QMs for MDS 3.0 v1.18.11 will be released later this year.