How ABILITY Helped Enhance Quality Improvement Efforts at CommuniCare

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A new CAST case study explores how ABILITY, a LeadingAge Silver Partner with CAST Focus, helped ComuniCare Health Services enhance its quality improvement efforts through technology solutions designed to monitor quality metrics and produce more accurate claims.

CommuniCare Health Services, a family-owned company headquartered in Blue Ash, OH, provides post-acute care through a family of companies that includes skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, and skilled and independent rehabilitation centers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Maryland.

According to “Simplifying the Quest for Quality Leads to Dramatic Impacts on Quality Measures,” CommuniCare was interested in using 2 software solutions from ABILITY: CAREWATCH AND UBWATCH.

CAREWATCH helps an organization gain insights about what should be -- but is not -- happening in its care settings. These insights, and the data-driven quality improvement efforts that follow, can help an organization improve its ability to acquire more contracts with accountable care organizations and managed care organizations, says the case study.

CommuniCare staff use CAREWATCH to recognize problem areas and catch issues with Minimum Data Set (MDS) documentation. Then, they use root-cause analysis to develop improvement plans. 

Corporate teams use the CAREWATCH system to review and analyze performance at each building remotely. In addition, the system’s custom reports allow staff to conduct quality improvement at the individual resident level.

UBWATCH produces cleaner and more accurate claims. This helps reduce errors in claims, which speeds up reimbursement, and minimizes the risk of accusations of fraudulent claims, says the case study. 

Outcomes

During the first year after implementing CAREWATCH, CommuniCare experienced reductions in:

  • Long-term pain (40%), 
  • High-risk pressure ulcers (25%),
  • Physical restraints (25%), 
  • Antipsychotics (25%), 
  • Urinary tract infection (300%), 
  • Weight loss (25%), and 
  • Use of catheters (50%).

In addition, 36 of the organization's 40 buildings achieved a 5-Star Quality Measurement status. Only 1 building had achieved this rating before the implementation.

For More Information

See the full case study for challenges, lessons learned, and advice to others.