oasis for home health care

Home Health Care: What Is OASIS?

The Home Health Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) is your ultimate tool as a home health care professional. As an essential element of home health, OASIS helps you collect important information on the patients you provide skilled home health care to.

Working in the home health care field is fulfilling since it gives you the opportunity to improve the quality of life of patients who are mostly confined to their own homes, such as elderly folks and persons who are bedridden because of sickness or injuries. However, the profession also involves its own set of unique challenges and procedures. Even if you already have experience in other medical settings, you need to develop certain skills that are essential to home health care.

One of the most important things that you need to do if you choose to pursue a career in home health care is to find out what OASIS is and to learn how to properly use it. Read on to learn more about Home Health OASIS.

What Is OASIS?

So what exactly is OASIS in the first place? The Outcome and Assessment Information Set, which is commonly known as OASIS, is a comprehensive assessment tool that was developed for the purpose of gathering data on home health care patients.

According to the Home Health Care Serv Q, OASIS has a standardized format that is composed of almost 100 items. These fields must be filled up with accurate information about the patients, such as their clinical condition, physical and psychological state, function levels, health care needs, living situation, and demographic data.

Who Collects OASIS Data?

If you are a home health care professional, such as a Registered Nurse (RN), clinician, or therapist, it is your responsibility to collect OASIS data on a regular basis. You must complete OASIS assessments during the admission, discharge, and transfer of your patients.

Whose Data Is Collected in OASIS Assessments?

OASIS assessments are necessary for all Medicare and Medicaid home health care patients who are 18 years old and above. It is mandatory for all non-maternity and non-pediatric beneficiaries.

OASIS data only needs to be gathered for patients who are currently being provided with skilled home health care. It is not required for patients who only need personal care or housekeeping services.

What Is the Purpose of OASIS?

Home Health OASIS is used for three main purposes: It serves as the basis for insurance reimbursements, as a tool that measures the quality of home health care, and as a foundation for home health care planning.

Basis for Reimbursements

OASIS data helps Medicare and Medicaid to calculate the reimbursement amounts for home health care patients by measuring their health care needs. OASIS information is used to assign each patient to a Home Health Resource Group (HHRG). In turn, the HHRG, which a patient belongs to, serves as the basis for the calculation of a patient’s reimbursement rates under the Prospective Payment System (PPS).

Medicare and Medicaid are U.S. government-sponsored programs that are beneficial to home health care patients. Medicare provides medical coverage to individuals who are 65 years old and above and to persons with disabilities. Medicaid, on the other hand, helps cover the health care costs for people with a limited income.

Measure the Quality of Home Health Care

OASIS assessment is used to monitor the quality of home health care to ensure that the needs of patients are properly met. It measures patient outcomes by tracking the health status of home health care patients over time. It is also useful in analyzing health care processes and methods in the home health care field.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), home health quality goals are evaluated by certain standards like effectiveness, efficiency, equity, patient-centeredness, safety, and timeliness.

Future Planning for Home Health Care

OASIS is a crucial tool that enables home health care providers and health care organizations to plan for the future of the industry. By measuring the current quality of home health care, it provides awareness on which aspects of home health care needs to be improved.

OASIS data can guide home health agencies, organizations, and health care professionals like you to enhance the quality of patient care you can provide in the future.

How Can You Learn to Use OASIS?

Perhaps you are a health care professional who is about to enter the home health care industry for the first time. Or maybe you already have professional experience in the home health care field, but you wish to sharpen your OASIS assessment skills. How can you learn how to use OASIS as a home health care professional?

Training Courses

You can study how to use OASIS properly and effectively by enrolling in an OASIS training course. There are available training courses that let you complete educational modules that typically include lessons on OASIS and learning assessment tests. Some courses even offer OASIS simulations that give you the chance to practice analyzing OASIS data in virtual scenarios similar to real-life situations in a home health care setting. Training courses can be live, online, or a combination of both.

Certain training courses can provide you with certification once you complete the program. While you do not necessarily need to be OASIS certified to use this tool, in-depth training and education in OASIS can give you an edge when you are applying for a job in the home health care industry.

Online Educational Resources

If you do not have the time to enroll in a training course at present, you can increase your Home Health OASIS knowledge through online educational resources. There are various videos, webinars, and reading materials available on the Internet, which can help you boost your OASIS expertise. Just make sure to choose credible sources to ensure the quality of the educational materials you will be using.

Work Experience

Sometimes the best way to learn something is to simply do it. If you are ready to apply your OASIS skills in the real world, start applying with home health care agencies in your area.