The Outcome and Assessment Information Set, or OASIS, a group of data elements developed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), represent core items of a comprehensive assessment for an adult home care patient, form the basis for measuring patient outcomes, and determine agency reimbursement. Since its debut in October, 2000, the OASIS document has become the Magna Carta of the home health industry – no other document is as important as the OASIS assessment.

OASIS data elements drive Medicare reimbursement. Spending growth for freestanding home health care agencies accelerated in 2015, increasing 6.3 percent to $88.8 billion, according to the CMS National Health Expenditures 2015. OASIS elements also drive publicly reported outcomes measures and now value-based purchasing. Inattention to the OASIS document and surrounding processes can sink an agency. Staff training on OASIS data element completion and maximizing inter-rater reliability are critical factors to agency success.

Standardized OASIS training, based on a solid foundation of CMS guidance and interpretation, as well as knowledge of the home health industry opportunities and challenges, is key to OASIS accuracy and increased inter-rater reliability. To ensure agency success, each clinician responsible for completing any OASIS data elements must know and have the same understanding of the OASIS data element collection rules and interpretations. As one agency administrator said, “we don’t want to answer an OASIS question incorrectly, but answering it inconsistently is even worse.”

In conjunction with BlackTree Healthcare Consulting, Relias Learning is developing a seven-part OASIS series designed specifically for clinicians. Led by nationally recognized speaker and Senior Clinical Consulting Manager for BlackTree, Diane Link, the series will focus on OASIS data elements – how to interpret, how to assess, and how to document. Using real-life scenarios and an interactive format, the series will increase OASIS accuracy and inter-rater reliability, positioning your front-line staff, and your agency, for success.