2007 CMS Documentation Requirements And CareConnections Outcomes Tool
In the December 29, 2006 Transmittal 63 from CMS, information was provided regarding the Outpatient Therapy Cap Exceptions Process for Calendar Year (CY) 2007. Within section 220.3 - Documentation Requirements for Therapy Services, the transmittal recommends documenting the results from 1 of 4 measurement instruments in the patient’s evaluation. The CareConnections outcomes instrument was not one of the listed systems, however, the transmittal states qualifications for other outcomes instruments on pages 28-29.
The CareConnections (formerly TAOS) outcomes tool does meet the criteria for being a tool that “indicates objective, measurable beneficiary physical function.” CareConnections allows for the functional assessment of individual items (such as individual functional questions) and for the assessment of summary scores that compare initial and intermediary or initial and discharge functional ratings. The CareConnections tool also meets CMS criteria in that it is validated in professional literature (Schunk C and Rutt R. TAOS Functional Index: Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Outcomes Tool. J Rehabil Outcomes Meas, Aspen Publishers Inc., 1998, 2(2), 55-61), it has been proven to be appropriate for the condition/function being measured, and it can be used for measuring progress toward goals in functioning in the home/work environment at the conclusion of an episode of care.
The CareConnections (formerly TAOS) outcomes tool is also cited with the National Quality Measures Clearinghouse (NQMC) Web site at www.qualitymeasures.ahrq.gov/, and has met the criteria for inclusion in the accreditation process for JCAHO.
What is CareConnections?
CareConnections is a Web-based suite of rehabilitation medical Management services. CareConnections uses combinations of tools to assist providers and payers with the medical management of patients and clinical services. These tools are the CareConnections Outcomes System, CareConnections Treatment Guidelines, CareConnections Patient Satisfaction Monitoring, and CareConnections Prior Authorization/Advice System (PAS).
The entire suite of CareConnections management tools present powerful, yet cost effective systems for today’s healthcare world. Providers and payers alike can benefit from CareConnections’ component parts or their integrated ability to serve the needs of both value-based and outcome-oriented care to all rehabilitation patients.