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There is a multitude of reasons why wellness programs are beneficial to residents in senior communities and an even greater number of ways in which we can promote health and wellness in the residents we serve.

As we celebrate National Wellness Month throughout the month of August, this is a good time to take a look at our community’s wellness programs and determine where we might have opportunities to broaden our wellness offerings and better meet the needs of our residents, providing them with programs and resources to maintain wellness all throughout the year.

Why Wellness Programs and Health Education are Beneficial:

  • Physical activity is a cornerstone of healthy aging.
  • Healthy food choices can help to maintain health and improve brain function.
  • Sleep quality impacts physical health, memory, and mood.
  • Mental wellness is essential for overall health and quality of life.
  • Finding ways to lower stress can increase emotional health and support healthy aging.
  • Participation in hobbies, social, and leisure activities can lower the risk for many health problems.

If your community is looking for ideas on where to start or update current wellness offerings, the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) have resources and materials to use and share with residents and staff members alike. The NIH/NIA website offers print publications, program materials, and other resources on healthy aging topics.

There are free resources that can be downloaded onto your computer. Requests for printed copies of the publications can also be ordered.

Some of those resources include the following:

By creating a culture where wellness programs and activities are a focus, residents will have the opportunity to feel healthy and live purposeful and active lives.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued updates for ICD-10 codes for FY 2024. These codes are to be used from 10/1/23-9/30/24 and are available in PDF and Excel formats on CMS’s webpage at:

Facilities will need to review diagnosis codes for residents residing in the facility as of the effective date of 10/1/23 to convert any existing codes that are changing to the updated codes. On the CMS webpage, the 2024 Conversion Table for download lists the current ICD-10 codes in Column A that are to be retired. In column B, it can be filtered by effective date; those listed with an effective date of ‘2023’ retire 10/1/23. In Column C, the code to replace those retired from Column A are listed. Facilities should review residents’ diagnosis codes to resolve any present in Column A that are being retired, to add the replacement code in the residents’ records effective 10/1/23.

Care Compare & the Provider Data Catalog (PDC)

CMS recently published updated data in July 2023 on the Care Compare and the Provider Data Catalog (PDC). These resources can be great tools for your facilities to use to target improvement areas, quality measures, and compare your facility to other local sites. Visit the links below to access information on your facility:

Care Compare

Click to find & compare facilities using maps and filters

CMS' Provider Data Catalog (PDC)

Click to compare SNFs average levels of performance

This summer on July 25th, 2023, the House and Senate introduced bipartisan bills that would ensure the appropriate supervision requirements for outpatient PT and OT services. These changes will provide consistent supervision regulations across all settings where therapy is provided. Both bills would allow PT Assistants and OT Assistants to practice at the top of their license, function as they do in other therapy settings, improve access to services for beneficiaries in rural and underserved areas, and reduce overall administrative burden. It’s up to all of us to ensure our elected officials know how important therapy services are to our Residents and our outcomes!


Ask your Representative and Senator to cosponsor these bills by taking ACTION NOW

-Encore Rehabilitation’s monthly publication, designed to give you updates on trends we are seeing in the Post-Acute Care industry.-

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