The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to begin collecting direct care staffing information from all nursing facilities, including agency staff and contract staff, in an auditable, uniform format.
The purpose is to help determine a five-star rating system for long-term healthcare facilities. The quality of care has been a top priority of the healthcare industry and those in need of such services.
Some may argue if it’s unnecessary while others will say it was long overdue. Regardless the stance, it’s well underway, and those who want to stay compliant will need to play by the newly developed requirements for reporting that are mandatory starting July 1, 2016.
The key areas of reporting focus on who is performing what service and the length of time. This information is critical in proving the quality of care patients are receiving. Knowing how long someone has worked for a day, week or month will show if direct care staff are working hours that extended beyond what is reasonable to provide quality of care.
Missing the Mark
Staffing shortages are a common reason quality of care is limited to patients. So managing work schedules is critical within long-term healthcare facilities.
Another area of care that is problematic is the turnover rate within a facility. High turnover often means they hire less desirable staff who are in between jobs and just looking for something temporary until they find the job they want, or they may not have the skillset needed to work as a healthcare provider and just don’t work out. Which ultimately means staffing shortages that directly affect the quality of care.
Quality of Care Matters
Ensuring the quality of care for patients who need long-term care and support are critical for all of us. Because one day, you, or someone you love will need some assistance. Whether it is major surgery aftercare or a senior living environment, quality of care matters so why not take the steps required to ensure it now and create an opportunity for continuous improvement.
Though the PBJ reporting is time-consuming and still has some bugs to work out, it is a step in the right direction and will ensure consumers can identify top-notch nursing facilities for their loved ones.