Section 6102(c) of the Affordable Care Act requires that all nursing homes develop Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) programs. All nursing homes must have a QAPI program in place and implement an effective plan, according to CMS. QAPI challenges nursing homes to develop comprehensive, proactive performance improvement programs designed to meet the specific needs of the residents they admit and provide care for.

QAPI is a data-driven, proactive approach to improving the quality of life, care, and services provided in nursing homes. The aspiration for ever-improving quality is not lost on the therapy industry. For years, we have recorded improvements our clients make during the course of therapy treatment. In light of the constantly changing Medicare requirements for reimbursement of health care services, it is crucial that therapy focus on outcomes and be prepared for a reimbursement system based on those outcomes.

How can therapists partner with the SNF to improve the QAPI process and maximize performance improvement within this setting? Therapy can pro-actively screen residents for functional declines in daily activities, mobility and safety. Frequent falls still trouble many SNF’s and therapy can provide significant education regarding the prevention of falls with injury, strategies for caregivers as well as environmental modifications. There are numerous areas of expertise from therapy that can be shared with the interdisciplinary care team to help enhance the quality improvement process. More discussion on this will be coming in the May Blog!

Cherie Rowell

Corporate Quality Liaison