With changes to home health and hospice on the state and national level, it is important to keep an updated policy and procedure manual. And at survey time, it can mean the difference in return visits from your state or accrediting body if you don’t. That being said, sometimes our manuals are not kept up-to-date routinely and the process can become cumbersome. So, if you need to get an updated manual, the place to start begins with picking the right one. If you are accredited, then this should drastically narrow your list and make things easier.
Online Manual Mistakes:
As a consulting firm, one thing we always look to review are policies and procedures. Outdated policies can really hurt agencies at survey time. Manuals that have not been personalized can do the same. Let’s look at some common policy and procedure manual issues we see for agencies:
- Policies Not Updated: After the Medicare COPs changed, it was staggering how many agencies did not change manuals or keep up-to-date with the new regulations. You need to have checks and balances in place to keep up with changes on your state and national level.
- Purchased Manuals Not Edited: Many that invest in new policy manuals just print them and put them in a binder for the surveyor. An up-to-date manual still needs personalized to the specifics of your agency or you will be sited for not following your own policy.
- Pull Out Job Roles Not Applicable To Your Agency: When you look at an org chart, it needs to look like your agency. Manuals you purchase may include job descriptions and performance appraisals for positions you don’t have and don’t anticipate ever having. Pull them out. You will always have access to that manual should you add a position down the road.
- Manual Not Read: Your manual needs to be the road map to running your agency. So, administrators need to read the manual. Anyone who comes in to fill an admin role should be able to read your manual and know how your agency functions. If there is a mismatch, then you need to change the role of the policy manual in your agency.
Are You Accredited? Then, Narrow Your Choices:
If you are ACHC or CHAP accredited, then you want an accreditation ready manual that covers you. Many think buying an up-to-date Medicare manual is suffice when they are accredited and then find at survey time, they have citations. If you are in the market for an accreditation ready manual, the first step is to check with your accrediting body. They have lists of vendor manuals they have reviewed and approved for accuracy with the standards. When you look to purchase, you need to get one that has already been reviewed by ACHC or CHAP. This means, when it comes time for survey, the surveyor can skip the time it takes to verify every policy for every regulation because it has already been approved. This takes pressure off the surveyor and off your agency. If you are unsure where to find this information, contact your accrediting body representative. In this same vein, the accrediting bodies have certified consultants on their sites. This means the consultant has attended specific training by the accrediting body and passed core competency testing to become certified. If you are looking for a consultant to help you as you prepare for survey, reference those lists.
Kenyon Homecare Consulting Can Provide Both:
Whether you need the accreditation ready manuals or you need the accreditation certified consultant, Kenyon Homecare Consulting can help. Call us today at 206-721-5091 or contact us online to see how we can help move your agency towards compliance and excellence. Register for our free ICD 10 coding and Oasis Webinar on October 7th, Are You Leaving Money On The Table?