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Documentation tops provider concerns in survey

April 6, 2015
by Lois A. Bowers, Senior Editor
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Documentation was the biggest challenge facing skilled nursing centers and assisted living communities during 2014, according to those responding to a year-long survey by Massachusetts-based Harmony Healthcare International (HHI).

The company, which consults in compliance, reimbursement, operations and denied claims and also provides training and education programs and talent management services, queried administrators, directors of nursing, charge nurses, rehabilitation therapists, MDS coordinators, CNAs and others visting its website throughout 2014.

The sample size from which the research drew exceeds 1,200 responses to the question: “What is the biggest challenge your facility is facing today?” Responses came from 48 of the 50 states, and all management and clinical job roles were represented.

HHI categorized the 1,200 responses into nine different primary groupings to provide comparable reporting. Overall responses as to the top issue:

  • Documentation (21.03 percent),
  • Denied claims (12.11 percent),
  • Census (11.86 percent),
  • Business operations (11.61 percent),
  • Revenue/Reimbursement (10.68 percent),
  • Education and training (10.85 percent),
  • Management (7.06 percent),
  • Patient/resident care (6.90 percent) and
  • Regulatory/Compliance (6.14 percent).

“Our study indicates that our industry is still very focused on the day-to-day tasks of getting the job done, and yet we are faced with increasing pressures to comply with new laws and regulations, provide better care and train and educate staff personnel,” Kris Mastrangelo, president and CEO of HHI, said in a statement. “We believe we will see a shift in priorities towards compliance and education this year.”

Documentation was cited as the top issue by more than 21 percent of survey participants overall and also was the top concern among the subset of non C-level respondents, of whom more than 23 percent selected it. Census issues, however, topped concerns of C-level respondents—defined as administrators, vice presidents, CEOs and owners—with almost 19 percent of them picking it.

The survey also found different results based on job tenure, reimbursement sources and geographic location.