By Michelle Anderson, BSN, RN
Is Your Hospital Ready for the CMS Proposed IMPACT Act Rule?
The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation (IMPACT) Act of 2014 was put in place to provide standardized post-acute care (PAC) assessment data for quality, payment and discharge planning.
The new rule proposed by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires hospital case managers and discharge planners to provide all patients with accurate, current, and detailed PAC provider information when a patient transitions from the hospital to a PAC provider; or between certain PAC providers. Patients must be made aware of the quality ratings and clinical services provided by PACs. Agencies affected by the IMPACT Act include Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF’s), In-Patient Rehab Facilities (IRF’s), Long-Term Acute Care Hospitals (LTAC’s) and Acute Care Hospitals; as well as community-based Home Health Agencies (HHA’s).
Healthcare providers are faced with required changes to their discharge planning workflow. In most cases, this change has created the need for a major overhaul of their internal discharge planning processes. It is estimated that over half of U.S. health systems are still providing patients with printed, paper lists that only show the names and addresses of PAC providers. Yes, it is how we’ve always done it. But no, it is not compliant; nor does it help patients and their families find the best PAC provider– a provider who offers the specialized services that meet the patient’s needs and accepts the patient’s insurance plan.
Better Choices, Better Outcomes
Patients who receive a printed list of PAC providers are more likely to choose a PAC provider based on location. Patients may unintentionally increase their length-of-stay (LOS) when given a paper list of PAC providers. This is a result of trying to determine their most appropriate choice of PAC providers and if the selected PAC provider will accept their healthcare insurance.
When patients have thorough and accurate data at their fingertips, the natural consequence is better patient-centered outcomes. Choosing a PAC provider from quality scores, clinical services and other detailed information lowers the chance of readmission, increases quality outcomes, reduces waste of healthcare dollars, and enhances patient satisfaction. Optimal outcomes and excellent patient experiences contribute to elevated HCAP scores. Engaging patients in their care is essential for creating a better overall patient experience.
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify… and Comply
CMS states that technology is to be used to enable comparison of quality and other data with PAC’s and hospitals; helping to keep patients and families informed during the entire discharge planning process. Data provided to patients and their families must be standardized and easy to understand.
Paper lists make compliance with the IMPACT Act CoP too challenging. Using the SilverVue digital tablet for discharge planning patient care needs throughout the care continuum will provide current services and quality scores to patients, all the while meeting the healthcare provider’s internal discharge planning need with best-in-class compliance. By using SilverVue digital tablets, share of updated information becomes more comprehensive and is sortable to find and compare agencies, services provided, and the insurance accepted.
A Plan in Place
As the IMPACT Act is a Condition of Participation (CoP), hospitals and PAC’s are required to implement and maintain IMPACT Act strategies. This will include the new CMS proposed rule.
SilverSearch was designed by case managers for case managers. It supports hospital initiatives to engage patients and families in navigating the course of their post-acute care by providing current and comprehensive PAC provider information. Quality comparisons and star ratings are provided to patients and families of patients with ease and satisfaction in care transitions through honoring patient rights and choice.
The time for change is approaching. Do you have a plan?