With QAPI, home healthcare providers must choose individual approaches

Developing a specific plan based on the needs, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities of a home health care provider is key to the successful implementation of Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) programs.

This was announced by Tammy Stewart, Clinical Consultant at Healthcare Provider Solutions Inc., during a presentation on building a successful QAPI after a cost-based Home Health Model rollout (HHVBP) nationwide.

“All vendors, you need to make sure your QAPI program is designed to help you,” Stewart said. “Choose actions to monitor based on your shortcomings. Action plan. Focus on high-risk areas, high volumes and problem areas and immediately correct any issues that could threaten patient health and safety.”

Broadly speaking, QAPI refers to any auditing standards or quality measures that a home care agency hopes to meet.

Quality assurance usually refers to the review of documentation. The performance improvement aspect or the second part refers to the actions taken by the providers.

QAPI became the standard for home health care when membership was amended in 2018.

The goal of QAPI is to provide high quality care while identifying opportunities for
improving and eliminating gaps in systems or processes.

While it may seem like home healthcare providers have to follow a formal process, Stewart said it’s important to be as specific as possible when creating a QAPI program.

“Vendors should develop a QAPI plan that reflects the complexity of your organization and all services provided, including the data that will be collected and the frequency of data collection,” Stewart said.

These reports and programs should also not be an administrative level process.

“Service providers need to educate all staff on the QAPI process and educate them on how to help with case reviews,” Stewart said. “The fastest and easiest way to see improvements is to share this information and these reports with your staff. Engaging all of your staff will lead to increased productivity.”

The frequency of QAPI reporting is also an important factor for getting better results. Stewart said the frequency of reports depends on what data is being used.

“The program should show the agency’s efforts to improve efficiency, including preventing and reducing medical errors,” Stewart said. “You will need to determine who will view the data and how often the data will be checked. Some areas require ongoing evaluation, while others require evaluation only once per quarter or year.”

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