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Care Compare April 2022 Refresh; Quality Reporting Updates

    The latest results from the  Home Health Quality Reporting Program (HH QRP) are now available on the April 2022 quarterly refresh in Care Compare, a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) initiative that provides a user-friendly interface on their website that patients and caregivers can use to search for and compare doctors, clinicians, and providers who are Medicare-certified, which ultimately helps them make informed decisions.

    For this particular refresh, OASIS measure scores are based on the standard number of quarters. It will add new OASIS-based measures for public reporting in alignment with the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014:

    • Percent of Residents Experiencing One or More Falls with Major Injury
    • Application of Percent of Long-Term Care Hospital Patients with an Admission and Discharge Functional Assessment and a Care Plan that Addresses Function

    Public reporting of claims-based quality measure data remains frozen following CMS’ decision to delay it. This delay allows more time for the analysis of the impact of the required comprehensive exclusion of Q1 and Q2 2020 claims data on risk adjustment and reporting. Claims-based measure updates are targeted by CMS to resume in the July 2022 refresh of Care Compare.

    Relevant Updates to Watch Out For

    Here is a rundown of pertinent information to take note of:

    1. Home Health Quality Reporting Program Updates and OASIS-E Implementation

    • OASIS-E data collection will begin on January 1, 2023.
    • The OASIS-E Guidance Manual is expected to be released in early summer 2022 as shared by CMS at the Open Door Forum last April 20, 2022.

    The OASIS-E instrument has certain Standardized Patient Assessment Data Elements including those that will allow the reporting of two new measures: a) Transfer of Health Information to Provider and b) Transfer of Health Information to Patient.

    CMS also recommends retiring the Drug Education on All Medications Provided to Patient/Caregiver measure, and removing item M2016 ­– Patient/Caregiver Drug Education Intervention from the OASIS, on which the Drug Education measure is based.

    The rule also proposes to replace two claims-based measures (i.e. Acute Care Hospitalization During the First 60 Days of Home Health and Emergency Department Use without Hospitalization During the First 60 Days of Home Health) with the Home Health Within Stay Potentially Preventable Hospitalization (PPH) measure.

    Lastly, CMS is proposing to publicly report two existing measures (i.e. Percent of Residents Experiencing One or More Major Falls with Injury and Application of Percent of Patients with an Admissions and Discharge Functional Assessment and a Care Plan that Addresses Function) beginning in April 2022, after a COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) related delay.

    2. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services renewed the COVID-19 PHE, maintaining the regulatory waivers that have been critical for home health and hospice operators since the pandemic. The extension is for another 90 days, which will carry the PHE into July of this year.

    • For instance, with regards to reporting, CMS no longer requires that home health agencies complete their OASIS submission within 30 days, permitting delayed submissions during the PHE.

    Leveraging Quality Measures for Business Growth

    Home health providers can leverage quality measures by elevating patient care and documentation not only to push for better patient outcomes, but to ultimately drive business growth. It is important to stay on top of quality reporting, considering the impending changes brought by the transition to value-based care. All of these updates will have a significant impact on agencies’ workflows and processes, and therefore should be paid more attention to.

    Maximize your QA review program to utilize your quality data into actionable insights to drive process improvement. Having the right outsourcing partner take charge of the back-office functions and support your process improvement initiatives will enable you to focus on systematic progress and business development.

    Read more about the home health Quality Reporting Program and why you should pay more attention to it.