What vendor participation in IRF-PAI 2017 should look like
For most of this year, we have been commenting on the changes coming to IRFs on October 1. There is no doubt that this is the biggest and most pervasive change since the IRF PPS was introduced in 2001. Given the modern reliance on software for electronic documentation, this means that software vendors have a critical role to play in the successful transition.
Since 2012, Medicare has increased the amount of change in the October 1 updates. In response, Mediware developed an annual program that guides our customers through the change process. This year, even we had to up our game to make sure we were clear on the change management process. What follows is a brief summary of how we’ve responded to ensure our clients’ success.
Mediware’s plan for managing the largest IRF-PAI change in the history of the IRF-PAI began eight months before the changes take effect. Our clients wanted to know early, so they could develop their own implementation plans. We published our plan on March 9 and have been executing according to plan ever since.
Our first step was to build out the required content for the new IRF-PAI data. We created 147 new observations to track the new quality reporting items. Not only did we provide this content to our clients, we installed the configuration into every environment, so customers would have our certified and validated content. It doesn’t matter what version of the software clients have; they all got the information.
The second step was to update our software. We released the first version of this software the second week of August. We want our clients to be able to test their workflows and make sure that everything flows as they expect. Since the IRF PPS Final Rule was just published, we expect to deliver an update in early September to reflect any last-minute changes.
Along the way, we planned nine webinars to facilitate communication with our clients. These webinars ranged from discussions of our plan to explanations of the content and how it will shape workflows to training on the new software. All of our clients were invited, and the attendance was very high.
All along, our goal has been to ensure that our clients could start capturing the new IRF-PAI items by September 1 at the latest. Twenty-five percent of our clients have already told us that they have plans to start capturing the new data in August or sooner, and an additional 40% have already confirmed that they’ll be ready in September. Most of the remainder have said that they are working on their plan for transition.