Loud and clear: VNAA CPM helps home health professionals demonstrate value in the post-ACA world
The movement toward accountable care has given us an answer to the existential question “If a tree falls in the forest but no one is there, is there a sound?”
The answer is no. And no, I'm not a philosopher. What I am is a realist.
Here's what I mean: It's no longer enough to do good work. Forget “you can't manage what you can't measure.” You can't even get credit for it.
In this new post-Affordable Care Act environment, home health and hospice organizations must demonstrate their value concretely. Surveyors for Medicare and other payers--not to mention accreditation organizations--demand documentation and expect standardization. Agencies and home health professionals must demonstrate competency and consistency. They must provide patient-centered, safe, efficient care that is consistent across patient populations, providers and payers.
So if for no other reason, this is why the 19th edition of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America's Clinical Procedure Manual (CPM) is essential. The CPM helps organizations show standardization and use of best practices, thereby demonstrating their value.
For each procedure, the CPM outlines what needs to be documented. This level of detail enhances the clinician's ability to document appropriately. The CPM lays the groundwork for organizations to better measure outcomes and predict costs, supporting payment reform efforts and readying organizations for accountable care models.
The CPM features more than 300 procedures performed by home health, hospice and palliative care providers, and draws on the expertise of more than 50 authors. It represents the current, evidence-based consensus.
Why does this matter? Reliable, standardized procedures support complete, measurable care. The CPM's evidence-based procedures include practice-based reminders and measures for quality assessment and tracking--so every practitioner knows what to expect and document at each encounter. It incorporates appropriate OASIS measures and guidelines, and aligns with Joint Commission and CHAP requirements to ensure quality. It's a framework for creating policies to meet increasingly demanding requirements from credentialing organizations, Medicare, accountable care organizations and commercial payers.
It also provides a framework for workforce development—something particularly valuable in an era of shrinking training budgets. Because the CPM promotes consistency in home health and hospice processes and practices, it's a valuable training tool.
We know home health care is a critical link in the care continuum. We know VNAA member agencies and professionals care for the sickest and most fragile among us. But knowing isn't enough. Doing isn't enough. We must demonstrate our value in the dense post-ACA forest, and the new CPM is a guidebook to clearly mark the path. When we fell a tree, it will be heard, loud and clear.