Sit, let’s talk awhile - sounds like a Norman Rockwell painting or a fireside chat. That theme may be more common than you think at your next HRSA Operational Site Visit.
In case you haven’t heard, at the end of last month HRSA implemented a new Site Visit Protocol (SVP) that has replaced the existing Site Visit Guide. This tool is to be used in combination with the current Compliance Manual and will be used to assess compliance during operational site visits (OSVs).
In addition to simplifying PINS, PALS, and Memos, the new SVP attempts to make research and knowledge of the 19 program requirements easier to mine and understand for daily operations and in preparation for OSVs.
Interestingly, one significant change to the SVP is a focus on health center quality measures for diabetic populations such as A1c, with the goal of reducing the cost to these populations. HRSA is interested in going past data and UDS results and creating a dialogue with the goal of better understanding your diabetic program and practices.
These are some of the questions that you may encounter during your site visit.
- Are there programs that could be added to assist your populations?
- Are you seeing success that other centers are not?
- Do you have plans for additional programs or outreach?
- What are your insights into improving diabetic outcomes?
But how will centers react to this type of dialogue? Can open communication be established between the center and reviewers? Will centers be defensive and interpret this as an inquiry verses a dialogue? HRSA’s intent is to make the process positive and open verses an inquisition of your status.
In preparation for your next HRSA visit, brew an extra pot of coffee and have that fireside chat with your consultant. It could be valuable for all parties, especially your diabetic patients.
And, as always, we encourage you to regularly review the Compliance Manual and the SVP to ensure that your health center is in compliance. If you have any questions or need assistance preparing for your OSV, FQHC Germane is here to help.
Chuck Hutchings is a Senior Manager at FQHC Germane a health care consulting firm specializing in the needs of established, new and potential Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs). FQHC Germane is a division of Germane Solutions.
Read more about Chuck here.
To contact Chuck, send him an email at CHutchings@Germane-Solutions.com.