NEWS BRIEFS

OASIS goes to the Senate

The Senate recently held hearings examining the impact of the Health Care Financing Administration’s (HCFA) Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) requirements for home care.

The hearing stemmed from complaints from home care officials, nurses, and patients who feel data set is not only time-consuming and costly, but also threatens patients’ privacy. Among the particular concerns as spelled out by five national home care associations are that OASIS is too lengthy and needs to be simplified.

In addition, the collection and reporting of information should apply only to Medicare patients, and home care agencies should be fully reimbursed for complying with the regulation. As it stands, home care agencies are given 3 cents per visit as reimbursement for what costs an agency between $1 and $3 per visit.

Among those testifying were Kristy Wright, RN, MBA, president and CEO of the Visiting Nurses Association, George Taler, MD, from the American Academy of Home Care Physicians, and Jeffrey Kang, MD, director of clinical standards and quality for HCFA. For more information, go to www.senate.gov/~aging/hr32.htm.