First and foremost, The Center for HealthCare Emergency Readiness (CHCER – pronounced “CHECKER”) was established to assist healthcare organizations Mitigate, Prepare for, Respond to and Recover from Natural and Manmade Disasters (All Hazards) and to meet their expected roles within the National Response Framework (NRF) in the wake of the 9/11 2001 attacks.
CMS 3178 Compliance: After many years of attempting to move the Healthcare Industry to accept voluntary guidance for Emergency Readiness and Management, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a proposed rule, CMS 3178-P , which makes Emergency Readiness and Management mandatory for compliance with Conditions of Participation (COP), in other words, all healthcare service providers who seek reimbursement from Medicare of Medicare are required to adhere to the new rule. This has a precedent in the Chemical industry, which was forced into compliance through the CFATS rule, also after many years on non-compliance. We understand from industry sources that the enforcement of this new rule will be much stricter than previously seen during the accreditation process. We can help our clients get out in front of these new requirements and be compliant with 3178-P accreditation, which has many advantages including a safe and secure environment for all stakeholders (Patients, Staff and Visitors), mitigation of risk from legal and financial liability and marketing benefit from offering a truly safer and more secure facility. click for more on CMS 3178-P.
As seen in on our Leadership page, our consultants have deep subject matter expertise across many disciplines, with decades of experience in a broad range of topics from Physical Safety and Security to all areas of Accreditation, Compliance, Emergency Planning and Emergency Management Readiness. Over the years, we have expanded our consulting and technology offerings based on market needs and growth in capabilities to serve clients.
The healthcare industry is rapidly going through structural shifts due to changing legal and regulatory requirements; among the most important being the mandatory Emergency Management in CMS 3178-P, regulations move to ACO reporting requirements, and the wave of mergers and acquisitions that are concentrating healthcare capabilities under groups and associations. CHCER services are designed to help clients overcome some of the most important challenges associated with these changes. Our consulting revolves around the combination of Program Development and Implementation, Process, Technology and Content to solve challenges in several operational areas including:
- CMS 3178-P Compliance for Conditions of Participation (COP)
- All Hazards Vulnerability Readiness – Program Design and Implementation,
- Active Shooter Vulnerability Assessment and Program Design and Implementation,
- Accreditation Management including ACO CoP Compliance and Reporting,
- Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QAPI),
- Other areas which are process-driven and measurement influenced.
All Hazards Readiness – Program Design and Implementation
Today more than ever, healthcare providers need to remain vigilant in the face of the four major threat categories that might disrupt the provision of healthcare services; more intense and frequent natural disasters, existing and novel threats of biological pandemic, hospitals being seen as “soft targets” for terrorist action and the continuing rise in workplace violence against all stakeholders in the healthcare community, particularly women. We support clients at the Board and Executive levels to develop plans to mitigate, prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and manmade events. Our vulnerability assessment is unique in the industry and is based on hands-on field experience ranging from managing combat evacuation hospitals to securing the leading Children’s hospital in the nation. Deliverables include a prioritized roadmap that defines the path to a differentiated level of preparedness. There is a long history of terrorist threats in the healthcare environment and by hospital staff, including in Egypt, Russia, Mumbai, India, the UK, and at the US base Camp Chapman. Safety and Security is an area that is particularly weak in terms of accreditation requirements, making hospitals a very soft target. If safety and security are an important priority for your hospital, please contact us for more information.
Accreditation Management including CoP Compliance and Reporting
With over thirty years of executive management experience of accredited facilities at all levels, CHCER is uniquely qualified to provide consulting services around preparation, mock surveys, informal surveys, and accreditation roadmaps. Working with our deeming-certified partner, the Center for Improvement in Healthcare Quality (CIHQ), we help clients prepare for accreditation by employing a methodology which is focused on the evolving standards that meet CMS Conditions of Participation (CoP).
Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement (QA/PI)
As the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is adopted, two major trends that will affect providers include an increased emphasis on Quality of Care, as measured in the Final Rule of the Affordable Care Organization guidelines, and in the transparency of information available to the public with respect to Medicaid and Medicare payments, as demonstrated in this CHCER analysis of Inpatient Medical Charges, released by CMS in September, 2013. CHCER offers analytical services to shed light on several areas within hospital management including Quality Improvement as defined in the ACO Final Rule, with a structured continuous improvement a program to identify, capture, measure and report on the 33 KPIs identified by CMS to qualify for ACO status. Increased transparency and data availability will lead to ability to provide in-depth comparative analysis between hospitals, Ambulatory Surgical Clinics, Dialysis Centers and other facilities that offer reimbursable services under Medicaid or Medicare, as seen in this CHCER analysis of Nursing Home deficiencies using CMS data released in September 2013. We also offer analytical services to uncover other opportunities that support the M&A process, service profitability models and geographic service coverage using advanced analytics and geo-coding tools.
Technology is an important component in our consulting services. We offer Technology Services including Membership Community and Association Portals, Healthcare Analytics, Performance Management Programs and Mobile Healthcare Applications to support the continuous improvement and achievement of objectives.
Membership, Community and Association Portals
Membership Community Portals can be thought of as a central location to access information with protected multimedia content based on membership levels and a secured access or ecommerce pay wall. We offer fully functional sites that allow members to post, edit and review content based on permissions, manage the membership levels and individual memberships through an easy-to-use browser based dashboard, and upload content with an unlimited number of groups, such as Registered User, Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum levels with distinct landing pages and content filters for each level; for example allowing only Silver Level and above to access any Silver documents, videos, training, newsletters, alerts and special offers. E-Commerce capabilities include product catalogs and credit card processing through services or merchant accounts, and management of the site is highly automated, or if you prefer, we can provide end-to-end service of you site, from hosting and set up through content management and ecommerce.
For a B2B Design example, here is a site called Medical Tourist Korea, which we developed in conjunction with Hallym University in 2010 as part of a Medical Tourism process automation consulting assignment. This current link is used as an example only. A B2C sample site can be found here.. For more information and a complementary design consultation, please inquire here.
Mobile Healthcare Applications
One of the most important trends in the market today is thae need to access critical information at the right time and in the right context to respond appropriately, this is especially true in the Healthcare domain, where the requirement for quick access to information is being accelerated by Mergers and Acquisitions, Compliance with IDC10, Compliance with ACO, and the rapid increase in the need for Eldercare and Home Health Care. Our Mobility applications are focused in these areas:
Mergers and Acquisitions
Hospital groups continue to acquire capabilities such as Ambulatory Surgical Clinics, Imaging Centers, Dialysis Clinics and Physician Practices, among others. As the locus of care becomes more dispersed, the underlying need for integrated communication grows proportionately. In this environment, mobile applications can support several functional areas including: secure document sharing, multimedia content for education and training, collaboration, forms distribution, surveys, hospital policies and procedures, external guidance, newsletters, alerts, etc. Virtually all departments can benefit from this technology including Administration, Medical Staff, Compliance, Safety and Security, and contracted services partners.
Transition to ACO
The most important and influential change to happen in the healthcare industry in a generation is passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the subsequent Conditions of Participation (CoPs) . The Final Rule adopted by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) includes a shared risk model that allows providers to participate through improvements in cost reduction and improvements in Patient Care based on guidelines and reporting that can be found in this CMS program overview. As in other areas mentioned above, this transition requires adoption of new processes and systems to collect, analyze and report information that will be largely new to the organization and require training and information delivery using Mobile distribution and in some cases, multiple screen operations (both PC and smartphone/tablet).
Transition to Elder Care and Home Health Care
Many of the changes in the healthcare industry are being driven by sheer numbers; 10,000 Baby Boomers join the ranks of Medicare daily in the US, and these are generally educated customers who are being very actively influenced through consistent advertising campaigns to request the most advanced (expensive) care including drugs, durables and consumables. These patients will also want to live independently as long as possible, only moving into Nursing Homes or Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF) as a last resort. This will drive the growth of Home Health Agencies (HHA) for the foreseeable future. Under ACO performance objectives, hospitals will work closely with HHAs to reduce re-admissions through better discharge procedures to save money and improve quality of care, especially in the case of chronic disease management such as COPD, Diabetes and Cardiopulmonary cases. This is another area that can benefit from Mobile Applications in many areas of administration of patient care and CMS compliance.
Our combination of Analytics, Mobility and Process Consulting is designed to help clients navigate the chaotic environment in today’s healthcare industry. For more information about any of our services, please inquire here.