55% of falls at home health agencies not reported in OASIS

HHS found that 55 percent of falls among Medicare home health patients were not reported on patient assessments.

HHS analyzed falls with major injury in Medicare hospital claims for home health patients and compared them to Outcome and Assessment Information Set (OASIS) assessments, according to a Sept. 5 agency news release. HHS calculated the non-reporting rates for these falls as well as reported differences by patient or home health characteristics.

Here are five findings:

  • Fifty-five percent of falls identified in Medicare claims were not reported in OASIS assessments as required.

  • Falls that were reported were worse among younger home health patients and those who identified as Black, Hispanic or Asian.

  • Reporting was lower among for-profit home health agencies.

  • Agencies with the lowest Care Compare major injury fall rates reported falls less often than those with the higher fall rates.

  • Many Medicare home health patients who were hospitalized after a fall had no OASIS assessment at all.

HHS recommends that CMS take steps to ensure completeness and accuracy of OASIS data when calculating falls and ensure assessments are required for hospitalizations.

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