Fall Risk Assessment Tool: Missouri Alliance Comes to the Rescue

By Barbara Rosenblum
October 09, 2012 Home Health

Dare I take a little bit of credit for creating the dust storm that lead to the Missouri Alliance deciding to make their very fine fall risk assessment available to the industry, and without cost? This is great news for the home health industry. No longer do we need to suffer poor process measure scores. The following is the news release from the NAHC Regulatory Affairs: 

From: NAHC Regulatory Affairs

Home health agencies have been struggling with falls risk assessment requirements since the inception of OASIS-C. The problem is rooted in the fact that there was no multi-factoral falls risk assessment tool that had been validated in the community. In response to the need for such a tool, the Missouri Alliance for Home Care (MAHC) undertook steps to validate the Alliance’s multi-factorial fall risk assessment tool (MAHC-10). The validity of the MAHC-10 developed by the MAHC Fall Prevention Benchmarking Initiative has been tested. Home Health Agencies may now use this single tool for their OASIS required patient fall risk assessment. 

Related to OASIS item M-1910, the OASIS-C Guidance Manual specifically states: “The multi-factor falls risk assessment must include at least one standardized tool that: 1) has been scientifically tested in a population with characteristics similar to that of the patient being assessed and shown to be effective in identifying people at risk for falls; and 2) includes a standard response scale. The standardized tool must be both appropriate for the patient based on their cognitive and physical status and appropriately administered as indicated in the instructions.” It further goes on to say: “An agency may use a single comprehensive multi-factor fall risk assessment tool that meets the criteria as described in the item intent.” 

Home Health Agencies will now be able to meet the OASIS requirements utilizing the MAHC-10 as an initial screen for fall risk, which if identified may warrant additional, more specific fall risk assessment. This single tool can be used with all patients, including bed-bound patients and those with severe mobility limitations, thereby meeting CMS criteria to mark a “yes” response on M1910. However, as has been CMS’ response in the past, “It is the agency’s responsibility to determine if the tools they are considering for the OASIS-C M item best practice assessments meet the requirements as detailed in Chapter 3 of the OASIS-C Guidance Manual.”

Agencies may use the MAHC-10, including incorporating it into internal documents and computer systems, at no cost. However, MAHC does require that proper credit be given to MAHC and that the content not be modified in any way. For further information or if you have any questions, contact Carol Hudspeth at (573) 634-7772 or carol@homecaremissouri.org.

Click here to download the tool
Click here for a copy of MAHC’s Press Release
Click here to access the Validation Study
Click here to access the OASIS-C Guidance Manual