A recent report from MAP (Measure Applications Partnership) indicated that there are still significant gaps remaining in the performance measures for post-acute care (PAC) and long-term care (LTC) facilities.  The two most troublesome areas include care coordination and information exchange.

While both of these performance measures are key for payment reform and implementing quality improvements in both settings, it is important to understand that each have different standards currently, which leads to the lack of coordination.

Care coordination seems to be particularly important in both the PAC and LTC, and while both have already begun to take steps to follow patients after they have been discharged, they still have work to do.  According to CMS, there still remain “critical” gaps in this performance measure.  Because patients will typically transition between sites of care, these facilities must focus on care coordination measures.

Specific measures that must be addressed include, the timeliness of the information being transferred, the electronic exchange of clinical information on the patient, and the advanced care planning for the patient.  The bidirectional information exchange measures if and when information was sent and received and would allow providers to exchange follow-up questions.

In addition, the patient-reported measure regarding short-stay discharge will continue.  While any facilities that did not report this measure will see a 2% reduction in annual rates, many claim the burden of implementing this measure is just to daunting.  MAP did report that while this measure did seem to improve, they could not accurately gauge the measure due to limited data.

MAP is suggesting that a new data collection mandate be done, to help lessen the burden to facilities, while still allowing for inclusion of as many patients as possible.  You can expect to see more communications regarding this measure between CMS and MAP in the future.

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