Feds looking to QAPI, not penalties, for help

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Providers' focus on quality is often related to helping residents relax through activities.
Providers' focus on quality is often related to helping residents relax through activities.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services officials said they consider the upcoming Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement guidelines, not harsher penalties, as the better way to reduce adverse events in post-acute care.

More than one in five Medicare beneficiaries who receive skilled care after a hospitalization experience an adverse event, according to a recent report from the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General. While saying the study was done well, CMS officials told providers in a March Open Door forum call that they are focused on improving quality, not more surveys or penalties.

CMS said while it discusses adverse events with surveyors who go into post-acute facilities, citations will not be the “primary source” for addressing these incidents. Instead, regulators said they intend to focus on assisting providers in implementing quality improvement initiatives, specifically through QAPI.

However, they still did not identify when the much-delayed QAPI regulations would debut, noting only that the regulations will contain more “prescriptive requirements.”


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