[Webinar Recap] Strategies For Building a Consistent and Effective QAPI Program

Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) is an advanced program, introduced in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010. The QAPI program is aimed at “reinforcing the critical importance of how nursing facilities establish and maintain accountability…in order to sustain quality of care and quality of life for nursing home residents.” With incentives tied to the program, it is critical for facilities to learn from each other on ways to address common challenges, drive better outcomes for residents, and maximize revenue for their organization.

On March 28, Bridget Zimmermann from The New Jewish Home (TNJH), joined CipherHealth’s VP of Post-Acute Strategy, John Banks Powell, and Account Strategist, Lorraine Limpahan, as they explored steps facilities can take to create a successful QAPI program, common obstacles SNFs face when building their QAPI plan, and strategies to help organizations achieve QAPI goals.

Powell opened the webinar focusing on the fundamentals of QAPI, its development and roll out, and the five basic elements of a successful QAPI program.

According to Powell, there are three key reasons SNFs should care about implementing effective QAPI programs:
1. Stay Compliant- organizations are required to implement a QAPI plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
2. Support Shift to Value-Based Care- Under the SNF VBP Program, organizations will start to be penalized or rewarded based on the quality
3. Maintain Financial Health- Avoid costly errors and financial penalties during surveys

The New Jewish Home’s Bridget Zimmerman joined the conversation to offer first-hand experience developing a successful QAPI program. Zimmermann stressed the importance of ensuring quality remains at the forefront of a QAPI Program by utilizing the best available evidence to define and measure its goals. This evidence is gathered from third-party vendors such as CipherHealth.

Using CipherHealth’s automated outreach solution, Voice, TNJH implemented a 30-day post-discharge outreach program, spread over 4 calls. Residents receive their first Voice call 2 days after returning home from TNJH, and then after 9 days, 16 days, and 30 days after. The program gathers feedback from residents or their caregivers and enables service recovery as needed.

Elaborating upon the success of TNJH’s QAPI program, Lorraine Limpahan, explained that while TNJH utilizes an automated outreach technology to engage with patients, they make the calls feel personal, using Zimmermann’s voice for the introduction of Voice calls. Utilizing the solution, TNJH was able to make over 3,000 calls and achieve a 78% engagement rate. On calls, residents can indicate an issue or complication and issues are reported in real-time to designated staff members for timely resolution.

Lorraine emphasized that skilled nursing facilities should utilize multiple sources of data to continuously monitor their QAPI efforts, including an outreach program such as Voice. Voice care calls can provide more real-time feedback on various types of issues across multiple calls, including readmissions and symptoms. Organizations work closely with Cipherhealth to continuously refine the program to meet new goals and metrics – such as for instance, a net promoter score to capture resident satisfaction.

“The work we’ve done with CipherHealth, especially with the Voice program, has been outstanding,” proclaimed Zimmermann, “In 2018 because of the fine work that CipherHealth has done in 2017, we are working together to ensure that we are capturing the right data. Our acute referral sources want to know how their patients are doing. Not only for rehospitalization but for client experience. They want to know if we are doing what we said we are going to do so that they can send more patients to us”.

To listen to the full webinar, click here.

CipherHealth empowers providers across the care continuum to deliver enhanced patient experiences and communications through a modular, comprehensive patient engagement technology platform.