FROM VISITING NURSE ASSOCIATIONS OF AMERICA
On January 5th, the Home Health Conditions of Participation (CoPs) were released from the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) back to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). VNAA submitted comments to CMS on the proposed CoPs. In general, VNAA agreed with the need for updated CoPs and CMS’ emphasis on high quality, patient-centered and safe care.
The final rule will be published in the Federal Register on January 13, 2017. Agencies will have until July 13, 2017 to comply with the new regulations. VNAA is currently analyzing the new CoPs and will be sharing with members through both written and webinar form very soon. This rule is the first to modernize the home health regulations since 1989.
The final CoPs focus on patient-centered, well-coordinated care and included the following updates:
- A requirement for an integrated communication system that ensures patient needs are met, care is coordinated and that there is active communication between a home health agency and the patient’s physicians.
- A requirement for a data-driven, agency-wide quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI) program that evaluates and improves agency care for patients at all times.
- An expanded patient care coordination requirement that makes a licensed clinician responsible for all patient care services, such as coordinating referrals and assuring plans of care meet patients’ needs.
Other CoPs included in the final rule relate to ensuring documented communication, care coordination, and a comprehensive patient assessment that ensures all aspects of patient well-being. The rule also requires clearly-stated comprehensive patient rights and the steps to assure those rights.
VNAA is hosting a webinar on January 19, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. ET to discuss the CoPs and their implications and impacts to home health agencies. Click here to register for this webinar. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Joy Cameron, VNAA’s VP of Policy and Innovation.