June 9, 2020

The U.S. Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services waived certain reporting requirements for nursing facilities effective March 1, 2020, including timeframe requirements for Minimum Data Set assessments and transmission. This is because of the effects of COVID-19. Without NF-submitted MDS data, HHSC can’t calculate NF performance on four of the quality measures included in the Quality Incentive Payment Program. Details are in the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers (PDF).

To account for the lack of sufficient MDS data, HHSC is waiving the following performance requirements connected to all MDS quality measures for QIPP, effective March 1, and for the rest of SFY2020:

  • All quality measures related to Component Three. Funds dedicated to this component will now be disbursed in monthly payments to all enrolled NFs to support responses to COVID-19, such as workforce recruitment and retention and infection control.
  • Percent of Residents with Urinary Tract Infection (CMS ID: N024.02). Component Four will continue on a quarterly schedule with two remaining quality measures.

A focus on quality is especially critical during this public health emergency. NFs must continue to focus on quality improvement in their responses to COVID-19, especially infection control.

To help relieve the administrative burden on facilities during this time of critical functioning, HHSC is waiving the following reporting requirement for the program, effective beginning March 1 and for the rest of SFY2020:

  • Submission of monthly Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement Validation reports.

Non-state government-owned NFs must continue holding monthly QAPI meetings according to the performance requirements set forth in TAC §353.1304(d)(1). Only the reporting requirement is suspended. Additionally, if a facility is randomly selected for a quality assurance review, supporting documentation from all monthly meetings will still be required.

The change to the Component Three payment schedule will be in the May 2020 scorecard. This will include retroactive Component Three payments for March and April 2020.

Email QIPP with questions.