by: Misty Kevech, HHQI RN Project Coordinator
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the proposed changes of the Home Health Conditions of Participation (CoP) on October 6, 2014. These are the first proposed changes since 1989 and are focused on quality improvement. The content of the proposed CoP aligns with national quality improvement efforts from various organizations, especially the Quality Innovation Networks (QIN) – Quality Improvement Organizations (QIO), including the HHQI National Campaign.
Proposed CoP document locations:
- Federal Register
- Proposed Rulemaking on Conditions of Participation for Home Health Agencies: Revision of Requirements Fact Sheet
Two of the overarching goals of the Home Health CoP changes directly align with HHQI goals and resources
- Enhancing the process for care planning, delivery, and coordination of services
- Building a foundation for ongoing, data-driven, agency-wide quality improvement
HHQI has been dedicated to improving the quality of care provided to America’s home health patients since 2007. The educational materials HHQI offers include Best Practice Intervention Packages (BPIPs), tools, and resources that revolve around best practices to improve patient outcomes. The common focus in the packages is interdisciplinary team communication and patient-centeredness. We have all learned these two foundational aspects in school and know how hard it is to put them into daily practice.
Additionally, many home health agencies feel the squeeze of budget cuts, especially quality improvement (QI) departments. The proposed CoP stresses how critical QI is for improving patient care with leadership to ensure there are formal and systematic QI plans that are created, tested, modified, and spread throughout the organizations. Understanding and embracing data is essential to determine areas for improvement and to monitor effectiveness of the best practice strategies.
So, what now?
- Read or re-read the proposed CoPs
- Check out the resources here on the HHQI website to see what is available to assist you in meeting the new CoPs
- Reach out to your state’s QIN-QIO to see how they can work with you right now
- Contact us to learn more about HHQI and how we can help.
Begin setting up Quality Assurance & Performance Improvement (QAPI) plans to avoid frantically trying to put all the pieces of the CoPs together when they become final. And remember, ultimately the goal of all of this work is to improve the quality of care for patients.