Examine CASPER outcome reports before your agency launches a QAPI program

If your agency still has a long way to go to prepare for CMS’ new Home Health Conditions of Participation (CoP) involving Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI), a good way to start is to review your agency’s CASPER outcome reports.

These reports contain the outcomes of your agency’s patients and compare those outcomes to national data. CASPER shows your vulnerabilities in low-outcome items, which need to be improved. If you examine the outcomes and see, for example, that your agency lags significantly behind the national average in improvement in pain, it would be good to include this in a QAPI program.

CASPER is the CMS system that compiles OASIS data of every Medicare-certified agency at two time points—such as start of care to discharge—and gives outcome reports. Unfortunately, many agencies underuse this data, or don’t use it properly. Some agencies only look at Home Health Compare, which doesn’t include all M item outcomes. Others don’t go into the system frequently enough to examine updates. Some agencies print reports and don’t know how to analyze and incorporate them into their QAPI program.

CMS is currently seeking a six-month delay for the CoPs. If that happens, agencies must be prepared for most of the requirements by January 13, 2018 and begin conducting performance improvement projects related to QAPI by July 13, 2018.

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