Providing Patient Written Plan of Care eliminated from The Joint Commission’s Standards for Deemed Home Health Agencies

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The Joint Commission announced that it will eliminate a requirement of deemed home health organizations to provide the personalized written plan of care to patients. The announcement follows a communication from CMS that it will no longer require that the individualized written plan of care be given to the patients, as written in §484.60 of the Home Health Services Conditions of Participation.   Effective April  30, 2018, the Joint Commission will no longer score organizations on whether they fail to give their patients a written individualized plan of care.

The Joint Commission still maintains that organizations pursuing deemed status must still create a care plan for each patient. The care plan, however, does not need to be given to the patient. This change will be reflected in the January 2019 Comprehensive Accreditation Manual for Home Care.

The new Joint Commission standard is:
PC.01.03.01 The organization plans the patient’s care.
EP 10  For home health agencies that elect to use The Joint Commission deemed status option: The plan of care specifies the care and services necessary to meet the needs identified in the comprehensive assessment and addresses the following:

  • All pertinent diagnoses
  • Mental, psychosocial, and cognitive status
  • Types of services, supplies, and equipment required
  • The frequency and duration of visits
  • The patient’s prognosis
  • The patient’s potential for rehabilitation
  • The patient’s functional limitations
  • The patient’s permitted activities
  • The patient’s nutritional requirements
  • All medications and treatments
  • Safety measures to protect against injury
  • A description of the patient’s risk for emergency department visits and hospital readmission, and all necessary interventions to address the underlying risk factors
  • Patient-specific interventions and education
  • Patient and caregiver education and training to facilitate timely discharge
  • Goals and measurable outcomes that the organization anticipates will occur as a result of implementing and coordinating the plan of care
  • Information related to any advance directives
  • Identification of the disciplines involved in providing care
  • Any other relevant items, including additions, revisions and deletions.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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