Home Health & Hospice

Staff education 101: Educating staff on regulatory changes

Homecare Insider, October 29, 2012

Any day now, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will release the 2013 Home Health PPS Final Rule. A huge component of any change to home health regulations is to properly educate staff on how to comply. A complete understanding of the new regulations and requirements will ensure that your agency is compliant.

It is important that all members of the homecare agency staff read the final rule. Administrators, clinical directors, and other members of management can talk and explain the rule to staff, but clinicians, the true enforcers of the regulations, are busy and may not fully understand the rule. Being assigned to read the rule for themselves forces staff members to understand how the rules are written and the rationale behind them. It will also help staff members retain the information and know what the rule truly states, not what clinicians may have heard from other sources.

After mandating that all staff members read the final rule, it is important to test that knowledge. By creating a competency quiz, it will serve as a barometer for the staff understanding of the regulations.

The quiz should be short, about ten questions, and feature questions in a true or false and multiple-choice format. The questions should tackle the important components of the major requirements and focus on timelines, which is vital information for staff members to understand.  Allow the staff members to do this quiz when they have time during their day. The point of the quiz is to ensure understanding and to teach, not to have winners and losers. Staff should be required to complete the quiz within a reasonable timeframe.