on April 2, 2006
I have the 4th edition (at this time is the most recent edition in print) and as a psych home care nurse, this little, portable wealth of knowledge has helped me validate to management, as well as to public health and other surveyors, the range in situations that qualify "homebound status" for psychiatric patients. Throughout the book there are samples provided to support a variety of situations that help the nurse better understand, and therefore more accurately report, on each sector of the OASIS forms. Medicare regulations are explained in detail, and I learned information that I had not known in the 14 years I have been doing mental health home care nursing. The manual provides a history and background of homecare, its evolution, provides an overview of documentaion, including the importance of coding, and its significance in home care. Also, valuable tips on improving the nursing visit, setting achievable goals, managing the case, and the guidelines for care for all the home care disciplines, are provided, so the nurse can be knowledgable regarding the roles of the other disciplines. There is a great resource section at the end of the book, and home care definitions, roles, and abbreviations are delineated in this manual as well. All home care codes are listed.
With the often-confusing regulations and data gathering tools out there, at least we on the front lines have this portable manual to help us sort out our assessments and evaluations into the accurate coding and leveling criteria that supports what we do, what we observe, and allows for the appropriate revenue to support the levels of care our patients require. As OASIS data-gathering evolves, newer editions will be needed to keep up with the miriad of changes that will ensue, but at least here is a standard we can all make good use of, and I am willing to bet every nurse, from novice to manager, will find something in this manual that was not known or delineated as well to them in the past.
This manual would also make a wonderful teaching tool for nursing students. They may as well learn early on how intricate the data-gathering tools are in the real working world. Accurate notations on the OASIS forms can either make or break a case, not only regarding reimbursement, but as to whether the levels of care, and variety of disciplines, that you feel are needed, are allowed to provide services to your patient. Hasty and inaccurate translation of evaluations and assessments onto the OASIS forms results in inability to justify to Medicare that the levels of intervention you are requesting are appropriate.