In a Medicare and Medicaid interim final rule with comment period (IFC) [CMS-5531-IFC], CMS indicated the delay is intended to provide maximum flexibilities for providers to respond to the public health threats posed by the COVID-19 PHE, and to reduce the burden release of the new OASIS would bring in administrative efforts associated with attending training, training their staffs and working with their vendors to incorporate the updated assessment instrument into their operations. Therefore, CMS is delaying the release of the updated version Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS-E) Instrument to reduce the burden that home health providers would otherwise incur as a result of being required to incorporate OASIS-E into their operations by January 1, 2021. CMS indicates this delay will enable providers to continue using the current version of the OASIS instrument, with which they are already familiar.
Even with this delay, it remains in providers’ best interest to continue ensuring that staff is competent in OASIS data collection and auditing functions. Ongoing OASIS training with OASIS Answers, Inc. will ensure data accuracy for payment and quality uses now and will prepare staff for the eventual shift to OASIS-E by strengthening familiarity with existing guidance and learning new and refined guidance as it becomes available through quarterly updates. Staying up-to-date with guidance will allow clinicians to better focus on the many new OASIS-E items when the guidance on the new items is eventually published.
OASIS Answers, Inc. will continue to provide the industry with foundational OASIS guidance for ongoing accurate data collection for providers at all learning levels. All guidance that is currently taught during our Blueprint for OASIS Accuracy programs is pertinent to OASIS items that will continue to be relevant even after the OASIS-E implementation. As always OASIS Answers will keep the training up-to-date as new guidance is released, and will fully transition to OASIS-E as soon as possible after all needed guidance resources become available.
Thanks for your continued support we look forward to providing a successful OASIS education experience for your members.
Please reach out to Amanda at OASIS Answers if you have any questions regarding the OASIS-E delay!
See the CMS wavier page.
HHAs will be required to use OASIS-E on January 1st of the year that is at least 1 full calendar year after the end of the COVID-19 PHE.
For more information on the COVID-19 waivers and guidance, and the Interim Final Rule, please go to the CMS COVID-19 flexibilities webpage: https://www.cms.gov/about-cms/emergency-preparedness-response-operations/current-emergencies/coronavirus-waivers.
Amanda Gates | Contracts & Outreach Specialist
OASIS Answers, Inc.