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2 Common Pitfalls in Scoring New OASIS-E Items

    Major changes were introduced in OASIS-E last year, which included several new standardized items. Ensuring accurate responses to these new OASIS items is crucial for home health agencies, given the adjustments involved. Apart from assessing the quality of patient care provided and identifying areas for improvement, the data collected by CMS through the OASIS also impact payments.

    We have identified two common mistakes in scoring new items in the OASIS-E and provided some reminders to help avoid them.

    Incorrect data source for SDoH item responses

    Keep in mind that several Social Determinant of Health (SDOH) items may involve responses from patients unable or unwilling to answer. Start by identifying if responses can gathered from any source. Follow the patient-first hierarchy:  if patient self-report isn’t possible, interview others involved in the patient’s care, and review medical records to gather enough information for accurate scoring on each SDoH item. Also, make sure to check all that applies to the patient’s condition.

    Incorrectly indicating “Formal Assistive Services” (under M2420 Discharge Disposition) based on its new definition

    CMS guidance has adjusted the definition of “Formal Assistive Services” under M2420: Discharge Disposition to support the new Transfer of Health (TOH) Quality measures. Formal Assistive Services should apply when the patient is discharged from the agency but continues to stay in a non-inpatient setting, receiving skilled services from another Medicare-certified home health agency. It should also apply when the agency completes discharge documentation for the patient and a new Start of Care OASIS is necessary due to a pay source change for your patient.

    Keep your staff informed about any new revisions in OASIS guidance. Regularly check the OASIS resource pages below for the latest information and ensure that your staff receives proper re-education to ensure accurate answers to OASIS items. Train your clinicians to apply their clinical judgment in situations where the guidance may not offer a specific answer for certain cases or scenarios.

    OASIS User Manuals |

    OASIS Data Sets |

    Quarterly OASIS Q & As | QIES