The CMS plans to enhance oversight of accrediting organizations

Sharon Hamilton MS, RN, CFDS
Clinical Consultant, Briggs Healthcare

Seema Verma speaking to a Quality Conference in Baltimore told an audience of accreditors they are failing to protect patients from harm. Verma further stated the business practice of acting as both an accreditor and consultant is “a glaring conflict of interest.”

The Office of Management and Budget is currently reviewing a proposed rule from the CMS. The proposed rule requests information regarding conflicts of interest regarding Accrediting Organizations and their ability to provide fee-based consulting services.

Related to patient safety, it is estimated that one-third of medical malpractice claims are related to failures in communication. Verma addressed Meaningful Measurement 2.0 a focus on quality measurement done electronically. Meaningful Measures are intended to capture the most impactful and highest priority quality improvement areas for all clinicians, including specialists. For example, functional outcomes and health care associated infections are cross-cutting areas for measurement across all settings of care.

Paving the way for a centralized data submission system, Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), could potentially become the future standard URL, in health care. Allowing providers to exchange information regardless of their EHR vendor. Interoperability is something that Medicare certified home health agencies will become acutely aware of when OASIS E is implemented on January 1, 2021. With the inclusion of the Standardized Patient Assessment Data Elements (SPADES) post-acute providers will be able to exchange information by comparing apples to apples instead of apples to oranges. Changes in documentation like this will lead to better outcomes and increase patient safety.

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