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Prepare for the IMPACT Act – Quality Reporting Starts in October

Sarah McIlvaine
Author | Shield HealthCare
03/30/16  3:45 PM PST

Two years have passed since the IMPACT Act made quality reporting federal law. Now providers are preparing to overhaul old practices to meet the new requirements. Is your business ready?

What is the IMPACT act?

The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act (IMPACT act) is intended to standardize quality patient data reporting across the care continuum. It is intended to improve communications as the patient transitions in care, and make it easier to evaluate each provider’s quality of care.

Who needs to do quality reporting under the act?

Post-acute care providers, including long-term care hospitals (LTCHs), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), home health agencies (HHAs), and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs).

What quality reporting is required by the IMPACT act?

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) developed a standardized data assessment tool, the Continuity Assessment Record and Evaluation (CARE) Item Set, to be used at admission and discharge.

CARE builds upon previous standardization measures, including Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS), the Minimum Data Set (MDS), the IRF-Patient Assessment Instrument (IRF-PAI), and the LTCH-Continuity Assessment and Record Evaluation (LTCH-CARE).

CARE will update these quality measures to standardize data on:

  • Functional status
  • Skin integrity
  • Medical reconciliation
  • Major falls
  • Patient preference

**The CARE item sets for various providers can be found here on the CMS website. You can view the Home Health Admission CARE Tool here. 

When are the IMPACT act deadlines?

impact act

Quality reporting under the IMPACT act will begin as soon as October 2016 for SNFs, IRFs and LTCHs. January 2017 is the start date for quality reporting among HHAs. Although PAC providers are not penalized for non-reporting until Fall 2018, it is best to begin submitting CARE quality reporting items sooner for confidential feedback before the reports go public.

Below is the Post Acute Care Quality Reporting guide from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation:

Functional Status
HHAs – 1/1/2019
SNFs – 10/1/2016
IRFs – 10/1/2016
LTCHs – 10/1/2018

Skin Integrity
HHAs – 1/1/2017
SNFs – 10/1/2016
IRFs – 10/1/2016
LTCHs – 10/1/2016

Medical Reconciliation
HHAs – 1/1/2017
SNFs – 10/1/2018
IRFs – 10/1/2018
LTCHs – 10/1/2018

Major Falls
HHAs – 1/1/2019
SNFs – 10/1/2016
IRFs – 10/1/2016
LTCHs – 10/1/2016

Patient Preference
HHAs – 1/1/2019
SNFs – 10/1/2018
IRFs – 10/1/2018
LTCHs – 10/1/2018

*Displayed dates are deadlines for measure specification and data collection. Confidential feedback reporting and public reporting is required one and two years, respectively, after the dates displayed above.

Why is quality reporting important?

Quality reporting has become a focus of the Affordable Care Act as a way to “compare apples to apples” in evaluation of patient care. But it also for a variety of reasons, including:

(1) To hold all providers to a minimum standard of care quality.

(2) To improve cooperation among providers.

(3) To reduce grave and costly errors during patient transitions.

(4) To publicize reports, so patients can make the best choice in care

(5) To center care on patient, with history available to all providers

(6) To provide authorities standardized data

(7) To use data to scientifically determine best practices

(8) To better hold providers accountable for quality and cost of care

(9) To save taxpayer funds while maintaining high care standards.

(10) To reward providers of quality care with more consumer traffic.

Want to learn more? Read our advice on How to Improve Your Agency’s OASIS Scores.


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services