The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is the agency in charge of providing rules and regulations for the nations numerous home health agencies. This department is responsible for surveying home health agencies to guarantee that they are completing the necessary documentation. This department ensures that the appropriate care is being provided to the patients that these health care agencies serve.
Certification and Licensing
Every home health agency must go through the application process with the state they provide care in, to be approved and licensed to provide services to patients. There is a rigorous certification process that each agency will have to undergo before being approved to treat Medicare patients. Once approved, the agency is surveyed yearly by the state. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid website, reports that state surveying agencies, are under agreement with the state and the secretary, to carry out the Medicare certification process.
Every home health agency should have an administrator overseeing the agency.
The Administrator should have the appropriate qualifications. They should be a licensed physician, a registered nurse or have the appropriate experience in health administration and have one year of supervisory experience.
Every clinical discipline working in a home health agency has state guidelines and standards that must be met. Some disciplines are required to be licensed while others are not. The many clinical disciplines are: Registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, licensed physical therapist, licensed physical therapy assistant, licensed occupational therapist, licensed speech therapist, medical social worker and home health aide.
Every patient admitted by the home health agency will have written confirmation of the patient’s rights along provided to them. The patient will understand their rights and how to exercise their rights. Patients have the right to: exercise rights as a patient of the home health agency, the patient’s family may exercise rights when the patient is judged incompetent, the patient’s belongings will be treated with respect, the patient has a right to voice grievances regarding the treatment that was or was not furnished to them and will not be punished for voicing these concerns, the home health agency is required to investigate any complaints. The patient is also provided with a 1-800 number that the patient and family can call to report any problems with care that the home health agency did not meet.
The website for The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid reports that The Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) is a set of data that represent core items of comprehensive assessment. Every Medicare or Medicaid patient must have an OASIS completed upon admission. The data obtained on an OASIS is used to calculate the home health quality measures by which the agency will be paid.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; Guidance for Laws and Regulations; 2009; http://www.cms.hhs.gov/GuidanceforLawsAndRegulations/06_HHAs.asp