Directions Spring 2019 edition will be bigger and better than ever!

A message from John Damgaard, President and Chief Executive Officer

John Damgaard

It’s time to start planning for your attendance at Directions 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee, April 24-26, 2019, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort – Early Bird Registration opens November 2018!

At your popular request, we shifted the timeframe for our annual user conference from its traditional early fall timeslot to the springtime. We believe that the extra planning time associated with this transition will pay valuable dividends for those looking to understand the impact of regulatory changes on their business, successfully manage risk, and increase performance under value-based care.

Whether you’re a MatrixCare Certified Professional or just beginning to discover what MatrixCare has to offer, Directions 2019 will have something for you. Multiple session tracks will cover everything from basic how-tos to advanced tips and tricks for getting the most from your MatrixCare solution.

In addition, you’ll have opportunities to see demos of our products, spend time with our product experts in the Genius Lab, network with other LTPAC colleagues and explore our Partner Pavilion to learn about other helpful solutions that integrate seamlessly with MatrixCare. Something new this year will be a dedicated Technology Leadership Forum day for CTOs/CIOs, where we will address opportunities and concerns for this key audience.

But don’t worry…although our format is evolving, we’re still including time to party! We’re planning to blow the roof off the world-famous Wildhorse Saloon with a country-themed party that combines MatrixCare’s famous hospitality with some boot-stompin’ fun.

As you head into budget planning for next year, make sure that attendance at Directions 2019 is at the top of the list for you and your staff!

See you in Nashville! #HappinessMatters

John Damgaard

Zimmet Conference Highlights and PDPM

A message from Amy Ostrem, Senior Product Manager

Amy Ostrem

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending several excellent educational sessions at the Zimmet Conference held in Atlantic City, NJ August 8th-9th. The expert insights and presentations were superior. Over 1,200 people with a passion for LTPAC were in attendance. The learnings on the new Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM) effective 10/1/2019 were enlightening, informative, and provided some great networking discussion topics.

To highlight some of the key takeaways around PDPM from the Zimmet conference, I will focus on 3 major areas:

  • What is PDPM
  • What are the key differences between RUGS-IV and PDPM
  • What actions can you take now in preparation for PDPM

To begin with the WHAT, in the what is PDPM, there are a couple of key components to remember:

  • PDPM is a revised case-mix classification methodology
  • PDPM is Budget Neutral. Reimbursement is being shifted away from its ties to therapy to more appropriately reimburse for conditions requiring nursing time and medical expense.
  • PDPM is NOT a change of benefits

Key differences between RUGS-IV and PDPM

2 case-mix components 5 case-mix components
5 scheduled PPS assessments 1 scheduled PPS assessment
Constant reimbursement rates for the entire length of stay Declining reimbursement rates over the length of stay
Maximum therapy incentivized Minimum therapy incentivized
What actions can you take now in preparation for PDPM?

To begin to prepare for PDPM, there were many suggestions based on the key impacts and details of what is coming with PDPM. Here are some key items to consider and examples that were shared:

  • Form a PDPM task force in your organization.
  • Educate, educate, educate! Read, attend industry seminars, vendor seminars, and other events on PDPM.
  • Network with other providers and consultants to brainstorm success factors.
  • Be sure you are documenting the reasons for skilled care on a daily basis.
  • Make a plan to improve coding and how it relates to PDPM. The ICD-10 codes used will be extremely critical and could equate to a gain of $30 per day just by coding the correct, most specific code! And, just as you are selecting the proper ICD-10 codes, be sure to resolve those no longer relevant (for example, you cannot have pneumonia for 6 years).
  • Pay attention to morbid obesity and a BMI over 40 as this also adds up to more $ per day.
  • With fewer MDSs, consider revising your MDS coordinator’s job description. Think of ways to be even more diligent on the 5 day MDS. Since there is no 14, 30, 60, or 90; the 5 day is even more critical to your success!
  • With the twist on therapy with PDPM, consider enhancing your therapy team’s responsibilities. Perhaps the therapists, with their expert knowledge, could complete section GG?

Here at MatrixCare, we ensure regulatory changes are completed for you on time. We participate in industry events such as Zimmet, we analyze CMS documentation, we go straight to CMS with questions, concerns, and additional suggestions, and most importantly, we have a strong Research and Development team that is already up to speed on PDPM. Client education is also critical at MatrixCare, so you will continue to receive invites for PDPM webinars, documentation, and short blogs such as this. Stay tuned for more updates, and let’s work together on PDPM success!

MatrixCare is celebrating Customer Service Month in October!Support Case Software

Customer Service Employee Appreciation Month is a series of events we schedule to recognize and honor employees who have provided excellent customer service. We value our customers and believe an important part of delivering excellent customer service is recognizing employees that go above and beyond to support our goals and values!

We’d like to ask for your feedback on individuals that have provided you service in the past. We are recognizing employees who provide support/helpdesk, training, implementation, sales, tech services, finance, development or product management.

Submit Your Feedback
Product News

2018 R4 Release is HERE! Are You Ready?Preparation is Key

MatrixCare 2018 R4 release is the last major release of 2018. Ensure your team is prepared for a successful implementation

We’ve highlighted some essential steps to consider as you carry out your 2018 R4 release readiness plan.

  • Review the release notes and identify which NEW Security Tokens you will implement.
  • Ensure your MDS Coordinators and experts have reviewed the upcoming MDS changes effective October 1, 2018, to prepare and define those responsible for answering the new and updated questions! Check out Appendix A of the release notes!
  • Identify who will be responsible for generating and analyzing the NEW ARD (Assessment Reference Date) Optimizer Report.
  • Get ready for Value-Based Payments and updating your Medicare A Rates effective October 1, 2018.
  • Update your Claims Management URL.

Access the Client Portal (WEB ID required) to download the Release Notes and register for an upcoming Release Readiness Webinar. We will be highlighting MDS changes as part of the upcoming Release Readiness webinars.

New MatrixCare Contact Us Link

In early August the MatrixCare Support team case logging and tracking software was upgraded to improve the services we provide to you, our customers. To further enhance your experience and ability to interact with our support staff, the Contact Us link located on the Log In page and throughout the footer of every page in MatrixCare has been updated.

A new Submit A Support Request button has been added that will take you directly to our Support Form page to log a new support case. This will save you time and allow us to get your information directly to the appropriate support team. Additionally, we’ve updated our Remote Support tool used to shadow you for training or troubleshooting issues. When directed to do so by a support representative, use the Launch Remote Support link.

MyAnalytics Continues to Evolve and Provide Value to Customers

MyAnalyticsMatrixCare MyAnalytics recently entered its second year of general availability, and the growth curve continues to rise with more customers recognizing value from our modern analytics product. With that in mind, here are some important ideas to consider in order to maximize your investment in MatrixCare:


  1. If you build your own reports, be sure to create a local backup copy in the event of accidental deletion. Downloading a copy of the file (.PBIX) to your local PC is easy to do and will avoid the hassle of rebuilding the report template in the event of a deletion.
  2. Dashboards provide a focused analysis path and are designed for mobile devices. Create your custom dashboard by “pinning” specific widgets or cards and distilling your favorite content onto a simple page that you can easily monitor.
  3. Newly designed Reports are coming soon and will include enhanced features such as synced filters across report pages which provides a more seamless analysis experience and alerts on metric cards that give visual notification if a metric is above or below a defined threshold.
  4. Subscriptions which send a daily email to MyAnalytics users are now available for Reports and Dashboards. Setup is required to enable this feature; please create a support ticket entitled “MyAnalytics Subscriptions” to begin this process.
  5. Check out the “AboutMyAnalytics_MCSNF” Report which is available in your workspace. This useful help document contains important resources such as how to reset your password (for new users) and accessing the client portal which contains more useful content, including the User Guide which is packed with information on the items discussed above and much more.

We’re excited about the growth of MatrixCare MyAnalytics and helping customers get maximum value from their investment. If you are not familiar with MyAnalytics or the value it provides, please contact your MatrixCare representative to learn more.


Ohio Secondary Order Signature Authentication

Phone Factor functionality is being replaced. Action is required if you work with prescribers who electronically sign orders in MatrixCare with this secondary authentication capability.

Phone Factor is the solution to provide secondary authentication to prescribers across the state of Ohio. This functionality will no longer be supported or usable effective October 31, 2018. The replacement for phone factor is a new technology that will text a prescriber’s phone with a 6-digit code that they will use to validate and sign orders.

To hear more about the new solution and the steps you will need to take to implement, join us for an upcoming webinar:

  • Tuesday, September 25, 2018, at 11:00 AM CDT
  • Thursday, September 27, 2018, at 1:00 PM CDT

We want to work with you so that there is no disruption for Ohio prescribers signing orders in MatrixCare. Access the Client Portal to register for an upcoming Phone Factor Webinar.

Did you know

Support Frequently Asked Questions and Helpful Tips

Maintaining an Effective User Management Process

Maintaining a user’s access to MatrixCare is critical to be effective and efficient in their day to day responsibilities. It is important to have processes in place to support your users’ access to MatrixCare to provide prompt assistance when needed.

Here are some reminders to help maintain an effective user management process.

  • Communities are responsible for the user management of internal MatrixCare users. This includes user creation, deactivation, and ongoing security management.
  • Password resets and account lockouts need to be managed by the community. To ensure you have the appropriate staff available for your team to continue to access the system, we recommend having multiple identified employees for every shift, including weekends that are designated to reset passwords. This will ensure your employees have access to MatrixCare at all time and can quickly receive assistance when needed.
  • When users contact our support team to request assistance with a password reset, we communicate the following message to them:
    • For security reasons, MatrixCare support is not able to reset passwords. We recommend that you contact your community’s security administrator or supervisor to assist with this task.
  • It is important to educate your staff about who they should contact if they are locked out of MatrixCare. There should be multiple security administrators designated for your communities to ensure there are redundancies in place.
  • In the event that a security administrator is locked out, MatrixCare expects communities to have backup users identified to reset their account.
Services News

Complimentary Teleforum: Staff Recruitment & Retention in LTPACStaff Recruitment

People are at the core of Long-Term and Post-Acute Care whether you’re in Independent Living, Assisted Living, or Skilled Nursing. You can have a pretty new building, but if you don’t have great staff, it shows up in your quality outcomes, your census, and lack of referrals.

So how do you attract and keep great staff and leaders?

During this 60-minute MatrixCare/Conduit Coaching teleforum we discussed the points below plus field your specific questions:

  • How much of a problem is recruitment & retention in Long-Term and Post-Acute Care? And why is it happening?
  • What can organizations do to attract the best people? And how can leaders help new hires succeed in their first 90 days?
  • What are the 3 crucial cornerstones to holding onto great people once you hire them so that they’re engaged, happy, and they stay?

This session was led by Bonnie Schultz, Director of Human Resources Operations at MatrixCare and Senior Care Leadership expert, Mary Ellen Sanajko of Conduit Coaching, for a 60-minute, complimentary thought-leadership teleforum.

If you missed this informative session on September 19, 2018, at 12:00 PM EDT, you can still register to access a recording of the teleforum.

Click Here to Register

Upcoming Live Webinars

MatrixCare offers complimentary monthly training webinars to ensure clients are optimizing their use of the software. A variety of topics are covered, including recent release updates and regulatory items.

  • Calculating Your New Medicare A Rates with Value-Based Payments
    Thursday, September 27, 2018
    1:00-2:00 PM CDT

    During this instructor-led webinar, we will cover how to set up your Medicare Part A rates to bill the needed requirements for tackling Value-Based Payments as of October 1, 2018. This session is ideal for Medicare Part A billers and staff in your organization responsible for updating your Area Wage Modifier and Location for the October Medicare Part A Rates update each year.

Access the Client Portal to register for an upcoming Live Adoption Webinar.

On-Demand Webinars

Missed a live webinar? View a recording on-demand. Check out the latest:

Get Ready for the Patient Driven Payment Model (PDPM)
Presented on Thursday, September 6, 2018

In late July, CMS released the Final Rule for FY 2019 which “replaces the existing case-mix classification methodology, the Resource Utilization Groups, Version IV (RUG-IV) model, with a revised case-mix methodology called the Patient-Driven Payment Model (PDPM) beginning on October 1, 2019”. In this session, you will learn how PDPM differs from RUGS-IV and what you need to do to be ready for the proposed October 1, 2019 implementation date.

Access the Client Portal to view this On Demand Adoption Webinar.

Readmissions Penalties Are Near: Avoid Them by Leveraging Your Data
Presented on August 28, 2018

Value-based purchasing (VBP) penalties and incentives for skilled nursing facilities begin October 1, so the need for a comprehensive approach to managing hospital readmissions is more important than ever. During this session, attendees will learn the regulatory and legislative path to value-based payment; how to identify and incorporate data into QAPI processes to effectively manage hospital readmissions; and how to use analytics to manage readmissions and strategies for building a data-driven culture.

This session was co-hosted with McKnights. View this webinar.

Maximize Your MatrixCare Solution with Training Assurance PlusTraining Assurance Plus

MatrixCare Training Assurance Plus (TAP) gives you options to secure training and consulting throughout the year, guaranteeing you will have the education necessary to stay on top of industry changes, product updates, and staffing needs.

With MatrixCare TAP, you will have access to the following:

    • Annual Product Optimization: Yearly MatrixCare audit done by our staff results in a customized agenda focused on recommended areas for improvement.
    • New Hire Training: Let us know your staff turnover situation and we’ll customize an agenda to ensure you have the same level of expertise always on board.
    • Advanced Training & Consulting: This option is designed to assist your experienced staff with implementing newly released features of MatrixCare on an ongoing basis.
    • Personalized Plan: Consult with MatrixCare to determine a PLUS solution that works for you.

To learn more, download the MatrixCare Training Assurance Plus (TAP) brochure or contact your MatrixCare representative for more information.

Partner News
Clinical Partners

Boosting Your MatrixCare Investment with Clinical Product Partners Webinar Now Available On-Demand

In August, MatrixCare hosted the first of several upcoming sessions that focus on partner integrations and ways to enhance your existing MatrixCare solution. The Clinical Product Partner Webinar held on August 16, 2018, was led by a panel of our certified partners as they presented on products and solutions that improve clinical outcomes, financial performance, staff efficiency and more.
Attendees learned about tools and resources available from Relias, Constant Care Technology, Pioneer Solution and eKare to optimize their MatrixCare investment. Interested in learning more about a specific partner’s technology? View the webinar today!

Stay tuned for our next partner webinar which will be Thursday, October 25th.

Regulatory News

MDS 3.0 RAI Manual Updates Effective October 1, 2018

The MDS 3.0 RAI Manual v.1.16 is effective October 1, 2018. This version of the RAI manual incorporates clarifications to existing coding and transmission policy; it also addresses clarifications and scenarios concerning complex areas.

CMS has posted the MDS 3.0 RAI Manual v 1.16, change tables, and replacement manual pages to help you prepare for the upcoming changes.

Access the CMS website to download the updated RAI manual and associated files.

Upon upgrade, the updated RAI manual will be available in MatrixCare.

Medicare Part A Rate Changes Effective October 1, 2018

Effective Oct 1st, 2018 Medicare Part A rates are now facility specific and calculated in the following order:

    1. 2.4% Market Basket/Labor to Arrive at Current FY Rates
    2. QRP Penalties (if applicable)
    3. VBP Adjustments
    4. Sequestration (applied to subtotal after all coinsurance and deductible payments)

QRP Penalties: Skilled Nursing Facilities who were identified as not meeting the 80% reporting threshold under the SNF Quality Reporting Program (QRP) for fiscal 2019 were notified in early July of their noncompliance and opportunity to request reconsideration by August 7. SNFs that did not request reconsideration or whose requests were denied will be subject to a 2% reduction on their FY2019 Medicare fee-for-service rates beginning October 1, 2018.

Noncompliance letters were distributed to SNFs in one or more of the following ways: through U.S. mail, from the Medicare Audit Contractor (MAC) and posted in the CASPER system. Noncompliance letters from the MAC appeared generic, providing no explanation of which measure(s) the SNF failed to meet the 80% reporting threshold. SNFs who received these MAC letters can download a more-specific FY2019 noncompliance notification letter from the CASPER reporting which will identify the measure(s) for which they are being considered noncompliant and the steps for requesting reconsideration.

To ensure future compliance, SNFs who provide their CCN and email address(es) to (a CMS contractor) will receive quarterly submission deadline reminders if they are under-reporting. These emails are only sent to SNFs if they are not meeting all required reporting thresholds ahead of the submission deadline.

VBP Adjustments: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Confidential Performance Score Reports, which contains each SNFs payment adjustment for FY 2019 along with information on rehospitalization rates and scores used to calculate payment adjustments beginning October 1, 2018. Details on how to access your reports via the Quality Improvement Evaluation System (QIES) and the CASPER reporting application can be found here.

On tab 3 of the Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Confidential Performance Score Report, named 3 – Facility Performance, you will see your facilities “Incentive Payment Multiplier” for example.

To learn about the new functionality and process for calculating your Medicare Part A rates effective October 1, 2018, in MatrixCare, please join us for a free webinar on Thursday, September 27, 2018, at 1:00 PM CDT.

Access the Client Portal (WebID required) to register for this session.

New Medicare Card Mailing Update: Wave 5 Begins, Wave 3 Ends

CMS started mailing new Medicare cards to people with Medicare who live in Wave 5 states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. CMS will continue to mail new cards to people who live in Wave 4 states, as well as nationwide to people who are new to Medicare.

CMS finished mailing cards to people with Medicare who live in Wave 1, 2 and 3 states and territories. If your Medicare patients say they did not get a card, instruct them to:
Sign into to see if we mailed their card. If so, they can print an official card. They must create an account if they do not already have one.
• Call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). There might be something that needs to be corrected, such as updating their mailing address.

You can also print out and give them a copy of “Still Waiting for Your New Card?” or you can order copies to hand out.

To ensure your Medicare patients continue to get care, you can use either the former Social Security number-based Health Insurance Claim Number or the new alpha-numeric Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) for all Medicare transactions through December 31, 2019.

Check this website as the mailings progress. Continue to direct your Medicare patients to for information about the mailings and to sign up to get an email about the status of card mailings in their state.

Information on the transition to the new MBI:

Community Updates

Celebrating National Senior Citizen’s Day

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan declared August 21st as National Senior Citizen’s Day. This observance was established to honor the many contributions senior citizens in the US have made and continue to make in their communities. The day was also created to bring awareness of social, health, and economic issues that affect senior citizens.

At MatrixCare, we appreciate and value the contributions of the elderly and feel lucky to serve America’s aging population today and every day. This year we had the pleasure of visiting and with residents in the community as they recalled their days past. A special thank you to St. Gertrude’s Health & Rehabilitation Center of Benedictine Health System for allowing us to meet and chat with your residents!

Industry Events

Upcoming Tradeshows

We look forward to seeing you at the upcoming events. Be sure to stop by our booth and learn more about all the MatrixCare solutions available to you.

  • LeadingAge WI October 3-4, 2018
  • NAHC Home Care and Hospice Conference and Expo October 7-9, 2018/li>
  • AHCA/NCAL Annual Convention & Expo October 7-10, 2018
    Visit us at Booth 1405 or for more information:
  • LeadingAge Annual Meeting & Expo October 28-31, 2018
    Visit us at Booth 1227 or for more information: