2018 Conditions of Participation Requirements for Home Health Agencies
As most Skilled home health agencies know CMS has not changed the Conditions of Participation since 1997. The CoPs were changed with the goal to improve patient safety and ensure quality of care by requiring more coordination of care between patients, caregivers and clinicians.
The new 2017 Conditions of Participation (CoPs) for home health agencies must be met by January 13, of this year. All home health agencies will need to meet the conditions to participate standards to be in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. By January 13, 2018, agencies must adhere to new standards for patient rights, care planning and care coordination. In addition, there are two new CoPs – one for a quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI) program and another for infection control. The changes have major process, operational and cultural changes for agencies in order for them to be in compliance to participate in the Medicare program.
Agencies will need to complete additional documentation and procedures that will have an impact on an agency’s productivity. The changes are an vital part of CMS’ overall effort to improve the quality of care furnished through the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Below are a list of the reasons for the changes that will affect home health agencies:
• To increase focus and enforce patient rights;
• To increase quality of care by monitoring assessment data for performance specific to each agency;
• To remove administrative focus on projects that lack adequate evidence of predicting or obtaining improved or preventing harmful patient outcomes;
• To improve patient centered interdisciplinary coordination of care and meet the needs of the patient; and
• To build a continuous, integrated care process utilizing all disciplines for a patient assessment, care plan and delivery to provide quality and performance.
• Completion of a transfer summary to be sent within two business days of a planned transfer, if the patient’s care will be immediately continued in a health care facility; or
• Completion of a transfer summary that is sent within two business days of becoming aware of an unplanned transfer, if the patient is still receiving care in a healthcare facility at the time when the HHA becomes aware of the transfer.
Surveyors will be looking to see if these changes along with the rest of the new CoP are integrated into the agency’s policy and procedure manual.