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Written by: Dennis Stevenson Jr., MBA on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 Posted in: Acute Care Rehab, Inpatient Rehab

Start planning now to avoid the crunch later

The CMS IRF-PAI 2017 training in Dallas (held May 18 – 19) highlighted several themes that will impact every IRF in the nation. Fortunately, we still have four months before the deadline hits on Oct. 1, so there is time to prepare and react. Here are three of the big ideas that everyone should be addressing now:

1. Staff will need new training. This year will not be like previous years, when only a few people or a few roles were slightly impacted at most IRFs. This year, nearly everyone participating in patient care will need to be prepared. IRF-PAI 2017 introduces a lot of new material into the mandatory reporting requirement. Staff members can’t simply extend their current FIM™ or IRF-PAI knowledge to the new questions. The IRF-PAI 2017 questions are different and are asked in different ways, measuring different elements of the patient condition and experience.

Every organization needs to establish a training plan for the 2017 IRF-PAI. Questions to consider include:
• How much training is needed?
• What format should it be in?
• When should it be delivered?
• What kind of verification is needed?
• Who will perform it?

2. The medical record will need new content. The quality measures will be based on an increasing array of new measures and assessments. CMS expects these to be integrated into your medical record as backup for the data reported in the IRF-PAI. Whether you are capturing BIMS data or the new assessments of function, you will need explicit new content that supports the data being submitted.

Every organization needs to start thinking about a content development strategy for new IRF-PAI content. Questions to consider:
• Where will it be captured?
• Who will sign off on it?
• How will it be presented for inclusion in the final IRF-PAI?
Mediware has identified 147 new pieces of discrete data that are required to support the new requirements. Do you have a plan to incorporate that into your clinical documentation?

3. You need a change management plan. Any time you try to coordinate change with multiple people, roles, and disciplines to meet an inflexible deadline, a thorough plan is critical to success. The plan should include the essential tasks, timelines for starting and completing the tasks, and who is responsible for getting them done.

There is still time left to complete the transition, but only if you start soon. For many organizations, just getting organized with a plan will take some time, so start now before you find yourself in a real time crunch!

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