New survey…new regs…we’ve got your back.

by Andy Kramer, MD

These days, I can’t open my email without seeing several communications asking about the regulatory and survey changes happening this year. It’s understandable- last week CMS released updated guidance to surveyors, new F-tag mapping, and additional details regarding the survey process. We’re facing changes to old regs, additions of new ones, and a substantial difference in how we will be audited for compliance!

The new survey process will be rolled out in November 2017. It will include all new regulatory content with a Phase 1 or Phase 2 deadline. So, what can you expect? The new regulations go beyond the previous regulatory standard by making care planning and clinical care more person-centered. Those of you that have been in the industry as long as I have will be excited to see that the regulations now align with clinical practice standards for the frail and acute nursing center residents of today. You’ll also see new content in the regulations, like the facility assessment, antibiotic stewardship, and staff competencies.

As always, our compliance experts and development teams here at Providigm have been closely monitoring changes to the regulations and the survey process for you. We’re making changes and additions to the abaqis Quality Management System so that it remains the industry standard for regulatory compliance, survey readiness, and QAPI.

  • We’re developing a module to help you conduct the facility assessment and identify gaps. This can be used for internal QAPI purposes, as well as for reporting to surveyors. We will release this tool by early fall so that you can use it to conduct a current facility assessment and identify where you have opportunities for improvement prior to the Phase 2 deadline.
  • I’ve been working with the Providigm Master Trainers, who currently conduct surveys of record under contract for several states, to develop detailed assessments and investigation tools for the new regulatory content. These new tools are efficient, easy to use, and allow you to effectively determine compliance quickly and without excessive use of resources. These, too, will be available before the new survey process is in place.
  • We’ll continue to offer the expert training and support that you’ve come to expect from us. We will not only train on new and existing features within abaqis, but also on the new regulations, survey process, and strategies for success. This training will be available across our extensive learning and education platform with on-demand videos, live online training, and onsite education.
  • Finally, we recognize there is considerable concern about the new “hybrid” survey process that combines aspects of the QIS and the traditional survey. Rest assured, just as the abaqis Quality Management System is proven to work for survey readiness in both traditional and QIS states, it will remain equally effective in preparing you for this new hybrid survey.

Andy Kramer MD
My advice: The most important action that you can take is to use the abaqis Quality Management System to identify and correct quality problems in order to improve survey performance, exceed expectations of your residents and their families, and most importantly, enhance care for our elders.

Andy Kramer, MD
CEO & Founding Partner