QAPI: How to Set the Standards for Success

By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - November 14, 2017

Currently, as of Nov. 28, 2017, nursing homes are required to have a written quality assurance and performance improvement (QAPI) plan, with full implementation, including a performance improvement project (PIP), by Nov. 28, 2019, points out Carmen Woodward, RN, a QAPI specialist with Columbia, MO-based Primaris. Note: For more information, see the new interpretive guidance for F865 (QAPI Plan) to F868 (QAA Committee) in the advance copy of the revised Appendix PP, “Guidance to Surveyors of Long-term Care Facilities,” in the State Operations Manual.

Industry sources have suggested the possibility that these dates could be postponed. Nursing homes should watch for information on these deadlines and the final ruling from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). However, whether or not providers are granted an implementation delay, QAPI is coming—and it’s an overall positive for nursing homes, says Woodward. “QAPI benefits providers that have sufficient resources for implementation because it couples quality assurance (the existing process for meeting minimal standards) with process or performance improvement, which is a continuous cycle of looking at your areas of low performance and constantly cycling work to try to improve those.”

Here are critical steps directors of nursing services (DNSs) should take to ensure their facilities’ QAPI program can withstand scrutiny no matter when it comes: