Home Health & Hospice

Are You Complying with the Patient?s Rights Regarding OASIS Data?

Homecare Insider, July 20, 2009

A recent list serve discussion highlighted an important but little known requirement in the Conditions of Participation.   Section 484.10(a) requires an agency to provide a written notice of the patient’s rights in advance of furnishing homecare services. The Interpretive Guidelines for that standard address the patient’s rights regarding OASIS data.  An agency must tell patients about OASIS and explain their rights regarding data collection and reporting.  These include the right:

  • to be informed that the agency will collect OASIS and the purpose of collection
  • to have the information kept confidential and secure
  • to be informed that the agency will not disclose OASIS except for legitimate purposes allowed by the Federal Privacy Act
  • to refuse to answer questions, and
  • to see, review and request changes on the assessment.

The guidelines also require the agency to give the patient a copy of the OASIS Statement of Patient Privacy Rights before the first assessment.  Compliance with this requirement can be challenging because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has not made it easy to find this notice on its Web site.  It has had several addresses over the last 10 years.  The most recent location is — http://www.cms.hhs.gov/OASIS/Downloads/OASISStatementofPrivacyRights.zip.
Check your agency’s patient rights policy and procedure and confirm that your staff are issuing the privacy statement to patients on admission.  Then take a moment to review the Conditions of Participation.  Even though there have been no changes recently, it’s a good idea to spot-check the important rules.  For information about how to order your own copy on the manual.