Wound Care Articles and Insights

Five Ways to Sink a Sub: What Wound Care Nurses Need to Know about Skin Substitutes in 2018

Five Ways to Sink a Sub: What Wound Care Nurses Need to Know about Skin Substitutes in 2018

As the end-of-year countdown begins, we’re looking at changes that will impact the wound care industry in 2018. For the next several weeks, we’ll be running a series of insightful blog posts from our team of experts. This entry is from Christina Le, CNO.

Do you remember when there were only a few skin subs on the market? Today, there are almost three dozen of them, with many more on the way. Collectively, they are now referred to as Cellular Tissue Products, or CTPs. As wound care nurses, we’re jacks-of-all-trades, and that includes playing an integral role in the implementation and use of CTPs. Here are five things you need to know in 2018:

Be aware of CMS changes. Next year, the wound care industry can expect to see more rigorous guidelines as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) increases scrutiny. Only a select number of skin subs will be approved for use in each region.

Monitor your Local Coverage Determination (LCD) guidelines on a regular basis. The MCD website offers multiple ways to locate and view data. Mark your calendar and check in frequently. Alert team members and physicians to any changes in criteria.

Act as both educator and clinician. Ask questions and collaborate with your patients on treatment protocols. Document everything. For example: Does your patient smoke? If the answer is yes, a smoking cessation protocol needs to be started for at least four weeks before applying a skin sub. In addition, of course, you should provide ongoing emotional support and encouragement to help them be successful.

Check in, ask questions, and listen. Is your patient wearing compression stockings? Is their diabetes under control? How well are they following their diet? Have they noticed any new sores or wounds, particularly on the lower legs or feet? Are they having any problems with arterial insufficiency and/or cardiac issues?

Take advantage of your resources. Ask your RDO/RCC at Wound Care Advantage if you need help. Our HIPAA-compliant wound center operating system, Luvo, makes it easy to keep informed because it continuously downloads the latest updates including regulatory changes, actionable reporting, and more.

Know that WCA is here to help. If you’d like to learn more about how Wound Care Advantage can help your wound program keep abreast of new CMS regulations and improve operations, please give us a call at 888-484-3922.

Today’s wound care nurse needs to be a little bit of everything: mentor, motivator, coach, and expert. Though physicians have the ultimate say in the selection and application of treatments, it’s a good idea for wound care nurses to keep informed of new CMS regulations so the entire clinical team can stay committed to practicing in ways that meet those guidelines.