Creative Solutions Turns to Data Ahead of PDPM with 70-SNF Rollout

In a nod to the importance of data under the Medicare reimbursement overhaul coming October 1, a Texas skilled nursing provider is adding data analytics to all of its facilities — more than 70 throughout the Lone Star State.

Creative Solutions in Healthcare, based in Fort Worth, Texas, and Real Time Medical Solutions earlier this month announced a partnership to bring Real Time’s data analytics tool to its facilities, which include both SNFs and assisted living facilities.

The Real Time analytics system collects data as staffers enter it into a facility’s electronic health record (EHR), which allows for the most up-to-date data, Jim Shearon, vice president of clinical solutions at the Linthicum Heights, Md.-based Real Time, told Skilled Nursing News in an e-mail. Most facilities rely on Minimum Data Set (MDS) data, which can be a month old at the most recent, he said.


In a statement announcing the deal, Creative Solutions CEO Gary Blake emphasized the need for strong analytical tools in preparation for the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM). And given the importance of the initial assessment for receiving accurate payment under the new system, having all the relevant data at hand in a timely manner is useful, Shearon explained.

Specifically, Creative Solutions chose the tool for its Activities of Daily Living (ADL) score distribution, the ability to quickly identify staff in need of additional ADL coding training, clinical alerts, five-star trends, readmission risk assessment tools and other monitoring capabilities, Chuck Moody, vice president of clinical services at Creative Solutions, told SNN.

“This tool assists in preventing rehospitalizations and helps identify residents who could potentially trigger a potential quality measure,” he said via e-mail.


Real Time is also pitching its products as a solution for one specific area of PDPM: the Interim Payment Assessment (IPA), which allows clinical staff to move a resident into a different case-mix group under PDPM.

“As changes in the resident’s clinical care occur, Real Time can ‘see’ these changes as they are documented in the EHR, live, and immediately alert clinical leadership that an IPA should be further analyzed to determine if the IPA is truly warranted,” Shearon told SNN.

Before implementing the new tech, Creative Solutions was using “multiple man-hours” to obtain and anlyze reports from the EHR, Moody noted.

Initially founded as an internal software solution for Mid-Atlantic Health Care, a chain of 21 SNFs across Maryland and Pennsylvania, Real Time now has a presence in 500 skilled nursing facilities and 30 hospitals, with around 60,000 total covered patients. The company in March pulled off a $10 million funding round, led by SunBridge Capital, which founder and executive chairman Scott Rifkin telling SNN will fuel an expansion push.

“We can use those dollars to expand the product, involve more skilled nursing centers, and continue to develop the software,” he said.

Creative Solutions and Real Time aren’t the only players in the space turning to data in order to adapt to PDPM, which shifts incentives away from therapy volume and toward caring for patients’ specific health needs. The Louisville, Ky.-based Signature HealthCARE, for instance, teamed up with EHR provider MatrixCare to help define its PDPM strategy, while consulting firm Zimmet Healthcare Services Group last fall launched an analytics platform specifically designed to link available data with reimbursements under PDPM.

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