IMPACT Act Details Becoming Clearer

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Rhonda Oakes By Rhonda Oakes 
Regulatory Analyst, McKesson
IMPACT Act Details Becoming Clearer

As the old saying goes, the devil is in the details. During a recent national provider call, the details were becoming clearer for the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014, more commonly known as the IMPACT Act.

Fortunately for the home care industry, several of the quality reporting metrics first occur in other post-acute care (PAC) settings, so we’ll get a chance to learn from other care providers. However, this doesn’t mean that you can sit back and relax.

The IMPACT Act requires that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) standardize patient assessment and quality measures data, using and expanding on the common clinical data set that is a part of the new discharge planning rule for hospitals and home health agencies.  This will allow critical clinical information to be consistently available all across the care continuum, supporting improved communication, clinical care planning and decision-making as well as boosting patient satisfaction as their confidence increases in their care team.

I’ll share some of the highlights here, but I encourage you to download the slides from the provider call hosted jointed by CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). They provide a good look at the requirements of the IMPACT Act and a not-so-subtle nudge for every home care executive or health system executive who might be taking a wait-and-see attitude toward this.

The IMPACT Act requires standard assessment data reporting for these quality measure domains:

  • Functional status/cognitive function
  • Skin integrity
  • Medication reconciliation
  • Incidence of major falls
  • Communicating the existence of and providing for the transfer of health information and care preferences

It also requires PAC providers to report standardized data in these assessment data categories:

  • Functional status
  • Cognitive function and mental status
  • Special services, treatments and interventions
  • Medical conditions and co-morbidities
  • Impairments
  • Other categories

For both areas, start dates for mandated home health reporting lag those of other PAC providers except for medication reconciliation. Home health compliance for med reconciliation and skin integrity begin January 1, 2017.

It is the responsibility of CMS to standardize the data elements, make them interoperable by linking to health IT standards, and help to map them to health IT standards.

Many moving parts are involved with the IMPACT Act. Becoming more familiar with the standards should be near the top of your to-do list.

Learn more about how other emerging regulations will transform the home care industry, by downloading our new e-book “Central Focus of Home Care Regulations: Improving Care Quality.

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