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Federal Nursing Home Improvement Tools Available Online

June 20, 2013

Tools and resources that will help nursing homes develop and sustain a Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI) program are now available at the website of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The QAPI materials collected on the website include a video introduction to the concepts of QAPI, as well as a written guide to its five core elements (pdf).

The website also hosts a written plan (pdf) to help facilities implement QAPI, as well as a worksheet (pdf) allowing nursing homes to track their progress by checking off certain performance-specific goals.

The Affordable Care Act requires CMS to develop new regulations that calls on nursing homes to develop viable QAPI plans. Draft regulations will likely be released for comment in 2014.

Facilities that are already attentive to the care needs of their residents should not have difficulty implementing such a plan, experts say.

In the latest issue of Provider, Ruta Kadonoff, the vice president of quality and regulatory affairs for the American Health Care Association, said:

What is happening in nursing homes [as they develop  QAPI plans] is modeled after what has been in place in other settings and follows the basic concepts of quality assurance — ensuring that you are in compliance with requirements about care and have systems in place to address failures as they arise.

The CMS’s QAPI website includes a tool allowing nursing homes to assess (pdf) whether certain QAPI components are already in place within their organization. 

Stakeholders are encouraged to visit the website often, as CMS will periodically update it with new resources.

— by Matthew Ozga

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