Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession (7)7 Jul 99

   Quick Summary: Effective July 19, 1999, for Medicare/Medicaid patients receiving skilled services, HHAs must encode and lock their OASIS data (that is, enter it into a computer), according to the requirements outlined in the interim final rule published January 25, 1999 concerning transmission of OASIS data. This means that HHAs will encode and lock start of care OASIS data and updates at the required time points on new admissions to the HHA on or after July 19, 1999. In addition, HHAs must encode and lock OASIS data on patients already in service. At the next appropriate time point, that is, resumption of care, follow-up (i.e., every 2 calendar months), transfer to an inpatient facility (with or without agency discharge) and death at home, on or after July 19, 1999, HHAs must encode and lock OASIS data on all Medicare/Medicaid patients receiving skilled services. If the HHA patient’s services are to be paid for by Medicare or Medicaid, the OASIS must be reported. There are no exceptions.  

   On January 25, 1999 HCFA announced it was requiring home health agencies (HHAs) that participate in Medicare and Medicaid to use the OASIS assessment methodology and to report patient data electronically. Then HCFA delayed implementing this requirement.

   (See Home Health: HCFA Now Requires OASIS, Electronic Reporting For Medicare Patients, Legal Eagle Eye Newsletter for the Nursing Profession (7)3, Mar. ‘99 pp. 2-3.)

   On June 18, 1999 HCFA announced that the Office of Management and Budget has approved HCFA’s patient privacy safeguards and Paperwork Reduction Act procedures, so that HCFA may now put its OASIS regulations into effect.

   Home Health Agencies can visit HCFA’s website for full details. The website has been updated to reflect the changes announced June 18, 1999.

   Go to http://www.hcfa.gov/medicare/hsqb/oasis/oasishmp.htm.

   We are excerpting what we believe is the most essential portion of HCFA’s June 18, 1999 regulatory announcement:

   Medicare/Medicaid--Skilled. Effective July 19, 1999, for Medicare/Medicaid patients receiving skilled services, HHAs must collect OASIS data as described in the final regulation published on January 25, 1999 concerning use of the OASIS as part of the comprehensive assessment.

   This means that for all Medicare/Medicaid patients receiving skilled services, currently under the care of the agency or admitted to the agency on or after July 19, 1999, HHAs must conduct comprehensive assessments and updates at the required time points, and incorporate the OASIS data set. The exception to this requirement are those patients receiving prepartum and postpartum services, patients under age 18, and patients receiving only housekeeping/chore services.

   OASIS data collection for patients receiving only personal care services is delayed. HHAs must collect start of care OASIS data and updates at the required time points on new admissions to the HHA on or after July 19, 1999. In addition, HHAs must collect OASIS data on patients already in service. At the next appropriate time point, that is, resumption of care, follow-up (that is, every 2 calendar months), transfer to an inpatient facility (with or without agency discharge) and death at home, on or after July 19, 1999, HHAs must collect OASIS data on all Medicare/Medicaid patients receiving skilled services.

   Effective August 18, 1999, HHAs must have completed a successful transmission of test OASIS data. HHAs must successfully transmit test OASIS data to the State agency for the purpose of determining connectivity with the State OASIS system and receive a feedback report on the test data. On August 19, 1999, States will begin to purge all data on the State OASIS systems to allow for acceptance of production data. Beginning August 24, 1999, HHAs must begin the transmission of production OASIS data, that is, OASIS assessments completed, encoded and locked the previous month.

   Revisions and updates to OASIS implementation will be available via the HCFA Internet site (http://www.hcfa.gov). Alternatively, the OASIS Internet site is accessible directly at the following address: www.hcfa.gov/medicare/hsqb/oasis/oasishmp.htm.

 

 

FEDERAL REGISTER, June 18, 1999

Pages 32983 – 32991.