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What the GAO Report on Nursing Home Quality Means for Your State

The Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) February 2012 report on the CMS QIS implementation provides a list of recommendations for rolling out the new survey tool  because key information on when the Quality Indicator Survey will fully be implemented in each state, and what progress has been made to date has not been provided by CMS.

One key item from the report on the QIS status: CMS has reassessed the timetable for QIS expansion to additional states due to budgetary concerns.  That means that the QIS will not be introduced to additional states in fiscal year 2012 as it had previously planned. Instead, CMS will focus its efforts on more effectively implementing the QIS in states where training has already begun or has been completed.

The report notes that 26 states have started implementing the QIS, or have fully implemented the QIS. These states are:

  • Arizona
  • Connecticut
  • Colorado
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • New York
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Utah Vermont
  • Washington
  • West Virginia

 

HHH noted in the report that CMS has started to establish a timeline for providing metrics on training progress in a more systematic manner, but that information is not yet available. So, what does that mean for your state? If your facility is one of the states mentioned above, then you may have a regular inspection or a survey that utilizes the new QIS-based tool. In the meantime, you should ensure you staff is familiar with the QIS survey process if you have not done so already. CMS will be expanding information sharing by making its regularly scheduled QIS implementation calls available to all states, not just those currently in the process of training surveyors, so more information should be available on the QIS shortly.

CMS Compliance Group has been working with facilities in states that are currently using the QIS as well as those that are in the next implementation bands who want to educate their staffs on the QIS process. Our brief presentation, “Getting Ahead of the Curve with the QIS” is available for your reference. Please contact us for more information.

Read the full GAO report on Nursing Home Quality “CMS Should Improve Efforts to Monitor Implementation of the Quality Indicator Survey” here.