On a March 10th MLN Connects call, CMS provided an updated on the Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) initiative that was created as a requirement of the Affordable Care Act. In June 2013, CMS released QAPI materials, including tools to assist nursing facilities with getting started. At that point, CMS announced that there was no firm date for a QAPI regulation. Fast-forward to 2015, and CMS still has not set a date for a regulation to be put into place.
Currently, QAPI is still not a requirement for nursing homes, while CMS has provided additional explanations and has already released its set of materials to help facilities many issues still need to be worked out. CMS is reviewing how QAPI principles can be incorporated in Plans of Corrections (POC), has not finished developing surveyor training on QAPI principles, and of course, the final rule has not yet been issued. Once a rule is developed, it will undergo the mandatory rulemaking process, which allows for a comment period.
One area that was highlighted on the call – and we have been seeing increasing amounts of citations under – is F-520 QAA Committee – Members/Meet Quarterly/Plans. This regulation requires that an interdisciplinary team meet at least quarterly to review what quality assurance activities should be undertaken in the facility. As CMS strives to improve the quality of care in nursing homes, increasing emphasis will be placed on the plans that this committee develops to help with that. It will become an integral part of a facility’s QAPI plan, which requires continuous, systematic, and on-going quality management.
Ready to start working on your facility’s QAPI plan? CMS Compliance Group can help with this and other Quality Improvement Initiatives. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your nursing home improve its quality of care.