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  • Nursing Homes, Home Health Agencies to Face Expanded Reporting, Quality Requirements

    Greater oversight of the data submitted to Medicare's nursing home rating service and a proposed rule that would apply more scrutiny to home health care agencies are among the changes announced this week by the White House and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The announcements accompanied President Barack Obama's signing of the Improving Medicare Post Acute Care Transformation Act (IMPACT) earlier this week.

    On October 6, the White House announced that additional reporting and inspection requirements would be added to Nursing Home Compare, the five-star quality rating system for the nearly 16,000 nursing homes that participate in Medicare and Medicaid. Most of the changes are focused on greater CMS oversight of data related to staffing levels and quality measures, many of which are currently self-reported.

    The new system set to begin in 2015 will include a quarterly electronic reporting system on staffing that can be checked against payrolls for verification to monitor staff turnover and retention, types of staffing, and levels of staffing among those types. Overall ratings will be more closely tied to data verified by sources outside the nursing home itself.

    In addition, the ratings systems will expand the range of quality measurers used in Nursing Home Compare, beginning in 2015 with data on the extent to which antipsychotic medications are used in a facility, and expand to other areas including rehospitalization and return-to-home rates.

    At the same time the White House announced its actions on nursing homes, CMS released a proposed rule on home health agencies (pdf). That rule would require agencies who participate in Medicare and Medicaid to provide clear explanations of patient rights, expand patient assessments, and establish systems for improved coordination of care among providers, among other changes. The rule would also expand patient care coordination by requiring a licensed clinician responsible for all patient care services. CMS expects to have a final rule in place in 2015.

    APTA will continue to monitor these changes and proposals, and will provide comments on the home health rules proposals as well as keep members informed on progress and implementation.


    • I think that home health care is beneficial for so many people. It is really nice for our elderly to get the help that they need in their own homes. I think that this would be perfect for my grandparents. I just need to convince them that it is a good idea. Mary Jane | http://www.firstincare.com/services.html

      Posted by Mary Jane on 11/18/2014 6:41 PM

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