Inevitably in most of our nrsing home cases, numerous documents that are intended to show the care, treatment, and services provided to the resident are missing, lost, or never done by the staff. This occurs because the care was not provided or understaffing caused the staff not to have time to document or poorly trained and supervised staff. Despite the fact that all nurses were taught and accept the axiom that “If it wasn’t documented, it wasn’t done”, the insurance companies, nursing home industry, and their defense counsel always say the missing information is not relevant and does not show that the care wasn’t given but rather wasn’t documented. Hopefully, the new Medicare reimbursement policies will preclude this frivolous argument.
McKnight’s has an article discussing the new Medicare reimbursement policies and the necessity of documentation to prove care provided. Nursing homes will have a greater role in ensuring accurate documentation of care. Compliance officers’ experience in billing and coding could be easily transferred to the area of quality-of-care forms. Physicians and care workers will need to learn the appropriate language from compliance officers to best fill out the claims forms.