Home Health & Hospice

OIG report sheds light on SA survey deficiencies

Homecare Insider, July 29, 2013

Editor’s note: This brief is an excerpt from the July issue of Homecare Direction. Click here to learn more about subscribing to Homecare Direction!

In April, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report titled “Home Health Agencies Received Timely Surveys and Corrected Deficiencies as Required.” As the title suggests, the document describes state agencies’ (SA) performance of home health agency (HHA) recertification surveys, as well as the types of deficiencies frequently received by HHAs, the rate at which those deficiencies were corrected, and the common complaints lodged against HHAs. Federal law requires that HHAs receive a recertification survey at least every 36 months to verify compliance with the Conditions of Participation (CoP). The surveys review quality of care based on medical, nursing, and rehabilitative standards. To complete its study, the OIG used CMS recertification survey data from 2010 and 2011.

On the whole, the report reveals that SAs and accreditation organizations conducted recertification surveys for the vast majority of HHAs within the mandatory 36-month period. Twelve percent of HHAs were cited with condition-level deficiencies, with 93% of those agencies correcting the deficiencies within the required 90-day time frame. Fifteen percent of HHAs were subjected to patient complaints, which led surveyors to conduct complaint investigation surveys for nearly all of those agencies, according to the report. Seven percent of those HHAs were cited with a condition-level deficiency as a result. Most HHAs corrected their cited condition-level deficiencies.

Lastly, SAs exceeded the required number of look-behind surveys for oversight of accreditation organizations, but CMS rarely conducted look-behind surveys for oversight of SA’s HHA surveys as federal law does not require them.

Read the full report here.

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