For many years, home health care experts have heard the rumblings…we have seen the signs. As an industry, we have known that eventually we would see another drastic change to the established reimbursement model. Even so, there are many who will not make preparations to move toward a methodology change until there is an effective date. But what if I told you that agencies currently have access to the information needed in order to prepare now for what is to come? All that we have to do is to look to the current CMS initiatives to know what course to take.
As a result of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and prior initiatives, Congress established the CMS Innovation Center with one goal in mind. The center was established for the purpose of testing “innovative payment and service delivery models to reduce program expenditures …while preserving or enhancing the quality of care” for those individuals who receive Medicare, Medicaid, or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) benefits. In short, the Innovation Center is continually testing payment and service delivery models that deliver quality, efficiencies, and compliance. Because this goal is intact regardless of the initiatives or demonstrations, agencies can establish an operational infrastructure that will allow them to adapt to any reimbursement environment.
There are several things that home health care agencies can do now in order to be equipped to manage the future changes within the industry.
- Establish an internal committee that constantly oversees agency operations and performance (multi-professional, multi-disciplinary).
- Conduct an operational assessment to evaluate processes, procedures, workflow, departmental flow, and compliance measures (must have interdepartmental comprehensive tool for accuracy).
- Review and revise necessary components of agency operations (based on the assessment findings).
- Adjust education plans to address the revisions. Education must be customized to applicable departments and roles within.
- Monitor and review the result of the education, as well as implement a compliance audit plan to produce measurable results.
- Revise compliance audit plan as needed. Multiple revisions of the new plan may be necessary in order to gain the most effective outcome.
The steps are simple. However, it is imperative that agencies have the proper tools and expertise to conduct a thorough analysis and the subsequent necessary revisions that come as a result. These steps will not be effective without the proper tools and/or resources. When completed properly, this exercise will lead to a radical culture change within your organization that will yield improved quality, streamlined efficiencies, and additions to your bottom line. QIRT (Quality in Real Time) has established a complete tool kit and complied a team of experts with the knowledge to carry out this process for your agency. Call or email us today to schedule your consultation.
Stefanie Woodrow, RN
Director of Education