This sure has been a year of moving targets for ICD-10 and OASIS-C1. First we were transitioning from OASIS-C to OASIS-C1 in October 2014, but a delay was announced pushing ICD-10 out another year. At that time, most of us speculated that CMS would wait until the roll-out of ICD-10 to roll-out OASIS-C1. It just seemed to be the logical thing to do. Quite a few companies that serve the home health market are putting a positive spin on the latest announcement, to move forward with an ICD-9 version of OASIS-C1 in January. There may very well be some benefits to this phased implementation (though I think the jury is out). It bears mentioning that the EMR and data companies have their work cut out for them – not sure CMS thought through the amount of work having a third interim assessment, the OASIS-C1/ICD-9 version, would create for the industry.
This latest announcement throws a curve ball into an already jam packed development cycle for vendors, right on the eve of new groupers, the Hospice Item set, Hospice CAHPS, ICD-10, two different submission formats (from fixed width to XML), and of course the eventual transition to OASIS-C1/ICD-10 version. As a home health benchmarking company, we had to instantly change course and make decisions about how to report the 9 months of interim data that will bridge the three datasets (OASIS-C, OASIS-C1/ICD-9, and OASIS-C1/ICD-10). This will affect trended reports, risk adjustment, and more. All this is part and parcel of what we do, but what gripes me is all the work that will be done that’s rendered useless in nine months. The fellow you see below is a real SHP employee, and this is how he felt when he heard the announcement.
Okay, enough whining. I’ve had my say. The good news is that all the efforts on the vendors’ part will greatly ease the transition(s) for home health agencies, and at the end of the day, that’s really why we’re here.