OCS HomeCare Provides OASIS-C Outcomes and Process Measures During the CMS Blackout

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Medicare OASIS-C coding transition requires a “blackout” of CASPER OBQI and Home Health Compare reporting for at least one year. OCS HomeCare provides home health agencies with OASIS outcomes and process measures benchmarking to aid performance improvement before CMS publishes the data.

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The OASIS-C transition affects so many entities on so many levels, including providers, vendors, consultants, national and state associations, external stakeholders, and board members

OCS HomeCare, the national leader in performance improvement benchmarking, reporting, and analytics for home health and hospice organizations, has announced the availability of OASIS-C outcomes and process measures benchmarking. OCS has released data to home health agency clients to compare national, regional, and state benchmark norms for 2010 OASIS-C outcomes and process of care measures during the Medicare “blackout” period.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) blackout period of outcomes reporting for CASPER OBQI Reports and Home Health Compare, as triggered by the OASIS-C transition, started in May 2010 and will continue until Q3 2011. In addition, CMS will introduce new process measures in Q4 2010 to objectively evaluate agency performance in implementing best practices. The OCS Blackout Solution for home health care agencies fills the gap for outcomes reporting and provides new process measures while CMS is not providing any analytics or benchmarks during the reporting blackout.

“The OASIS-C transition affects so many entities on so many levels, including providers, vendors, consultants, national and state associations, external stakeholders, and board members,” says Amanda Twiss, president and CEO of OCS HomeCare. “These gaps in evaluating and benchmarking agency and industry performance are crucial to use as evidence of the benefits of home care and to advocate value for the industry.”

CMS is implementing the addition of new OASIS-C process measures (Process-Based Quality Improvement) to Home Health Compare reporting and agency-level reports available via the CASPER reporting system later this year. New elements in OASIS-C track the implementation of certain best practices at the patient level. The rate of implementation for individual home health agencies will be reported and compared against national and state standards. This information will be useful to home health agencies to refine clinical and care protocols in order to achieve the best balance between resource utilization and optimal patient outcomes. Plus, it will likely be used by CMS as part of a future pay-for-performance or value-based purchasing program.

CMS will not update CASPER and Home Health Compare with outcomes measures similar to those that have been reported previously until they begin publishing the new OASIS-C measures on Home Health Compare in July 2011, with a preview on CASPER in May 2011. The changes to the outcomes calculations are not obvious and may have widespread impact on home health organizations. Outcomes data are often tied to staff bonuses, marketing and referral efforts, and the measurement of quality improvement programs.

In addition to the reporting blackout and the changes to the historical measures, agencies should know that CMS will be introducing a completely new risk adjustment methodology to the OASIS-C measures in 2011. More importantly, trending results between OASIS-B and OASIS-C data will not provide homecare agencies with an accurate picture of changes in performance. Agencies may be misled by 2010 results that are risk adjusted using a modified 2009 methodology. OCS will apply the new CMS risk adjustment methodology when it becomes available in 2011. However, OCS can serve as a reliable source to help agencies look at OASIS-C results now in order to make improvements before public reporting begins next year.

“OCS is providing home health agencies with OASIS-C outcomes data, along with the most accurate and meaningful benchmarks during the CMS blackout of public reporting. Plus, home health providers get all of these measures months before they are available from CMS, which gives agencies early insights and an opportunity to improve before the data is publicly reported,” says Christine Lang, vice president of HomeCare.

For agencies that rely on CMS sources for outcomes and process measures benchmarking, the OCS Blackout Solution provides a valuable, low-cost option for staying informed. It includes 15 months of reporting, spanning from January 2010 through March 2011. OCS HomeCare will host a complimentary webinar, Light Up the OASIS-C Blackout, on Wednesday, June 30 at 1:00 p.m. ET, 10:00 a.m. PT. For more information about the Blackout Solution, write to info(at)ocsys(dot)com.

About OCS HomeCare
OCS HomeCare empowers home health and hospice organizations with results-driven data intelligence, plus the largest and most accurate homecare database in the industry. Homecare providers, payers, associations, government agencies, vendors, and consultants all turn to OCS to elevate decision-making, raise the bar on results, and bring home positive outcomes. For more information about HH-CAHPS and OASIS-C Blackout solutions, please visit the OCS HomeCare website or call 888.325.3396.

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