The new PDPM payment model, and its impact on SNF revenue, is of concern to all SNF facility and group managers. This new model is shifting resident population away from rehabilitation clients to more post-acute patients. This will increase the need for robust infection control and antibiotic stewardship programs. The PDPM also requires more accurate initial diagnosis and better ICD (International Classification of Diseases) documentation to optimize reimbursement. One of the primary functions of SmartSteward™ is to assist physicians in accurately diagnosing infections and appropriately treating them with the right dose of the appropriate antibiotic for the optimal amount of time. SmartSteward™ also helps optimize reimbursement by capturing more accurate ICD information while recording clinical conditions and decisions. The staff at the pilot facility is actively using data from SmartSteward™ to do just that.
Caring for more clinically complex residents creates increased educational requirements for the entire clinical team. SmartSteward™’s prompting provides critical infection-related education to front line nurses as it is needed. Additionally, confidential feedback is periodically shared with doctors to improve prescribing habits and minimize facility resistance.
SNF operators are increasingly concerned about professional liability claims, which include delay in seeking medical treatment, medication error, failure to follow physician orders, failure to move the resident to a higher level of care, failure to treat, and failure to diagnose, among others. SmartSteward™ captures the entire infection event from the nurse’s initial evaluation and comments, to the doctor’s diagnosis and antibiotic selection, to reassessment after antibiotic therapy begins. This tracking produces a detailed record of every event, which demonstrates diligence in the care a patient receives. This level of detail can be a protective tool with respect to potential liability claims.