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Simplifying the Complex

OASIS Answers News

Public Comment Open until June 26th for PAC Standardized Assessment Data

OASIS Answers - Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has contracted with RAND to develop standardized assessment-based data items to meet the requirements as set forth under the IMPACT Act of 2014. If adopted, these standardized data collection items would be used in the post-acute care (PAC) settings of home health, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long term care hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities.

As part of its data element development process, CMS requests interested parties to submit comments on the data elements that are under considered for this project. CMS is accepting public comment on data elements that meet the IMPACT Act domains of: cognitive function and mental status; medical conditions and co-morbidities; impairments; medication reconciliation; and care preferences. Information on the items under consideration can be found in the document “Development and Maintenance of Post-Acute Care Cross-Setting Standardized Assessment Data RAND IMPACT

You may submit general comments on the entire set of data elements or you may provide comments specific to individual data elements. Send your comments to or to: RAND Corporation, 20 Park Plaza, 9th Floor, Suite 920, Boston, MA 02116. Attn: Noreen Khan, Mailstop: BN-1

Comments are due by June 26, 2017 by 11:59pm ET.

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CMS Finalizes New Home Health Conditions of Participation

OASIS Answers - Tuesday, January 10, 2017

On January 9, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized the Home Health Conditions of Participation (COPs).  The new Conditions of Participation are the minimum health and safety standards a home health agency must meet to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The new COPs will be effective on July 13, 2017.

The update to the Medicare and Medicaid Conditions of Participation for home health agencies is the first update in many years, and reflects current best practices for in-home care, based on recommendations from stakeholders and medical evidence.  The changes are an integral part of CMS’ overall effort to improve quality of care furnished through Medicare and Medicaid programs and to streamline requirements for providers.

This final rule includes:

  • A comprehensive patient rights condition of participation that clearly enumerates the rights of home health agency patients and the steps that must be taken to assure those rights.
  • An expanded comprehensive patient assessment requirement that focuses on all aspects of patient wellbeing.
  • A requirement that assures that patients and caregivers have written information about upcoming visits, medication instructions, treatments administered, instructions for care that the patient and caregivers perform, and the name and contact information of a home health agency clinical manager.
  • A requirement for an integrated communication system that ensures that patient needs are identified and addressed, care is coordinated among all disciplines, and that there is active communication between the home health agency and the patient’s physician(s).
  • A requirement for a data-driven, agency-wide quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI) program that continually evaluates and improves agency care for all patients at all times.
  • A new infection prevention and control requirement that focuses on the use of standard infection control practices, and patient/caregiver education and teaching.
  • A streamlined skilled professional services requirement that focuses on appropriate patient care activities and supervision across all disciplines.
  • An expanded patient care coordination requirement that makes a licensed clinician responsible for all patient care services, such as coordinating referrals and assuring that plans of care meet each patient’s needs at all times.
  • Revisions to simplify the organizational structure of home health agencies while continuing to allow parent agencies and their branches.
  • New personnel qualifications for home health agency administrators and clinical managers.

Link to Final Rules on the Federal Register:

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Have you registered? Home Health Quality of Patient Care Star Rating Medicare Learning Network (MLN) Connects Call

OASIS Answers - Monday, January 02, 2017

Reminder to register for the Home Health Quality of Patient Care Star Rating MLN Connects Call on January 19, 2017.  CMS anticipates that the star ratings will continue to evolve and be refined over time.  Learn about the latest proposed changes to the Home Health Quality of Patient Care Star Rating on Home Health Compare based on stakeholder and technical expert panel feedback.  This call will include an overview of the current calculation algorithm, proposed changes, and potential roll-out plans. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. 

When:  Thursday, January 19, 2017 from 1:30-3 pm ET

Target Audience: Home health providers

To register for an MLN Connects Call, please visit the MLN Connects Event Registration 

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Hospice National Quality Data Now Available

OASIS Answers - Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the national average quality data for hospice. National average data are available for two quality of care data sets: 1) the Hospice Item Set (HIS) and 2) the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Hospice Survey.

Hospice Item Set (HIS) National Average Data

The HIS information reflects provider performance on the seven National Quality Forum (NQF)-endorsed HIS measures from Quarter 3 of 2015 through Quarter 2 of 2016 (July 2015 through June 2016).

The CAHPS® Hospice Survey National Average Data

The CAHPS® Hospice Survey information contains the national average “top-box” scores of Medicare-certified hospices on the eight NQF-endorsed CAHPS® Hospice Survey measures.  Top-box scores reflect the proportion of respondents who gave the most favorable response or responses for each measure.  Scores are calculated from CAHPS® Hospice Survey responses that reflect care experiences of informal caregivers (i.e., family members or friends) of patients who died while receiving hospice care in Quarter 2 of 2015 through Quarter 1 of 2016 (April 2015 through March 2016).

To access measure scores of Medicare-certified hospices and the HIS and CAHPS® Hospice Survey files, visit: and click on the Hospice Directory data.

NEW Hospice Quality Measure Reports Now Available

OASIS Answers - Thursday, December 29, 2016

Two new reports are now available as Confidential Provider Feedback Reports: 1) Hospice-Level Quality Measure (QM) Report and 2) Hospice Patient Stay-Level Quality Measure (QM) Report. Both reports are now available within the CASPER application. These QM reports allow hospice providers to specify a reporting period and view their own quality data at both the hospice level and patient-stay level. The information available in CASPER is for internal purposes only and is not intended for public display.

Hospice-Level Quality Measure Report

The Hospice-Level Quality Measure Report can assist hospice providers in quality improvement processes. Hospice providers and trend quality measure results across multiple reporting periods and make comparisons between reporting periods.

Hospice Patient Stay-Level Quality Measure Report

The Hospice Patient Stay-Level Quality Measure Report can review quality measure outcomes for all patient stays. This allows a drill down to patient stay level information for each quality measure.

Providers can access their QM reports in the CASPER system at

More information is available in the “Getting Started with Hospice CASPER Quality Measure (QM) Reports” Fact Sheet on the HQRP Requirements and Best Practices webpage, under the “downloads” section at the bottom of this page. (This document is labeled “Fact Sheet_CASPER QM Reports.”)

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Change in January OASIS Teleconference Date to January 25th

OASIS Answers - Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Due to conflicts with a program hosted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the January 18th Quarterly OASIS Update Teleconference” date has been changed to Wednesday, January 25th at 1 pm eastern.  

Please plan to join us for this cutting-edge teleconference that will provide new guidance for OASIS accuracy and measure calculation. This teleconference is packed with practice data collection scenarios related to the new IMPACT Act Quality Measures being implemented in 2017.  Topics include:

  • Review of the New Pressure Ulcer Quality Measure, Corresponding Data Collection Items and Guidance, and Sample Scenarios for Data Accuracy 
  • Review of the New Drug Regimen Review Quality Measure, Corresponding Data Collection Items and Guidance, and Sample Scenarios for Data Accuracy
  • Overview of the New Claims-Based Quality Measures
More information on registering for this teleconference can be found at under “Teleconferences.” 

There will be a live Q&A session at the end of the call to address participants' questions about OASIS-C2.

Consider joining us for valuable OASIS-C2 information and insights.

Register today:

Warm Wishes This Holiday Season

OASIS Answers - Friday, December 23, 2016

NEW Hospice Item Set Manual Posted

OASIS Answers - Friday, December 09, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted the HIS Manual V2.00 for use with the new Hospice Item Set V2.00.0 which will be implemented April 1, 2017. Also available is a change table outlining major changes from the current HIS Manual.

Please visit our Links & Resources section to download a copy of these important documents today. 

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CMS Seeks Public Comments on Proposed IMPACT Act Cross-Setting Quality Measure: Percent of Home Health Episodes with an Admission and Discharge Functional Assessment and a Care Plan That Addresses Function by December 9, 2016

OASIS Answers - Monday, November 21, 2016

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is seeking public comments on a cross-setting post-acute care measure under the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act).  From these comments CMS is looking to:

  • Identify additional guidance required for the implementation in home health
  • Refine measure specifications
  • Identify setting-specific needs/concerns/barriers for capturing functional assessment and goal setting information using the data elements
  • Gather feedback on importance, feasibility, usability and potential impact of adding functional assessment data elements for quality measurement as new items to the OASIS item set

Click here for further information and directions on submitting comments by December 9, 2016.  

IMPACT Act Transfer Measure Public Comment Period Open Until 12/11/16

OASIS Answers - Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted an opportunity for public comment on new cross-setting quality measures mandated by the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014:  Transfer of Health Information and Care Preferences when an Individual Transitions. 

The IMPACT Act promotes person-centered care through the alignment of a set of quality measures across the post-acute settings of home health, inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRF), skilled nursing facilities (SNF), and long term care hospitals (LTCH). 

The measures address the IMPACT Act mandate to specify quality measures on which PAC providers are required to submit standardized patient assessment data with respect to the following domain: “(E) Accurately communicating the existence of and providing for the transfer of health information and care preferences of an individual to the individual, family caregiver of the individual, and providers of services furnishing items and services to the individual, when the individual transitions— ‘‘(i) from a hospital or critical access hospital to another applicable setting, including a PAC provider or the home of the individual; or ‘‘(ii) from a PAC provider to another applicable setting, including a different PAC provider, a hospital, a critical access hospital, or the home of the individual.”

Detailed specifications for these measures and the call for public comments and materials have been posted on the CMS website:

Public comment period is open from 11/10/16 through 12/11/16. Comments should be submitted to:

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