Harmony Healthcare Blog

SPOT (Supportive Planning and Operations Team):  Fines or Feedback

Posted by Kathy Monahan on Tue, Jul 26, 2016


Compliance • Audits/Analysis • Reimbursement/Regulatory • Education/Efficiency

AuditGavel.jpgIn April of this year, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) launched an initiative to identify underperforming nursing facilities and created a unit called “SPOT” to assist these “targeted” facilities with improving the quality of care through

  • Assessments,
  • Recommendations and
  • Support services inclusive of education and training.

However, according to The Globe February 11, 2016, “Massachusetts health regulators moved to significantly strengthen oversight of nursing homes, creating a unit that will conduct unannounced inspections and promising to impose fines on problem-plagued facilities.”

The key question everyone is asking is whether this unit is actually supportive or cynical; with fines or feedback.

As the “SPOT” acronym stands, Supportive Planning and Operations Teams are a key component in the initiative to help Skilled Nursing Facilities refine all aspects of service delivery and care rendered to its patient population.  “SPOT” units will be making unannounced visits to 40 selected nursing facilities that are determined to be rendering lower quality care based on publicly available quality measure reports.  Data is gathered and displayed on sites such as Nursing Home Compare. 

Nursing Home Compare contains quality of care and staffing information for all Medicare and Medicaid participating nursing homes throughout the U.S.  The general public is able to access the site to evaluate how nursing homes are graded in terms of: 

  • Quality of care for residents,
  • Staffing ratios and
  • Survey results. 

The data used on Nursing Home Compare calculates a facility’s score and this is depicted in a Five Star Rating.  The facility can achieve 1 to 5 stars, with 5 being the best and 1 being the worst. 

Click Here to Request a Free Five-Star Quality Measure Analysis with 5 New Measures

So what should you be doing to prepare?  Self-Assess your Five-Star Rating and see if you are at risk!  Do you need assistance with the development of a QAPI Plan to address quality of care issues such as? 

  • Falls prevention,
  • Healthcare-associated infections,
  • Proper medication administration and
  • Quality care for residents with memory impairment

QAPI is a data-driven, proactive approach to improving the quality of life, care, and services in nursing homes.  The activities of QAPI involve members at all levels of the organization to identify opportunities for improvement, address gaps in systems or processes, develop and implement an improvement or corrective plan, and continuously monitor effectiveness of interventions. 

Harmony Healthcare International (HHI) can assist you in developing a comprehensive QAPI program utilizing the Five Elements necessary for successful facility implementation: 

  • Identify focus areas.
  • Understand what drives the data.
  • Bridge the focal area to the regulation.
  • Systemize and Synthesize data collection .
  • Establish Performance Improvement Projects that include time frames, responsibilities, data collection, tools and reporting mechanisms. 

If your facility needs help developing a QAPI Program to improve care and avoid “SPOT” audits, please contact Harmony Healthcare International by clicking here or calling our office at 1.800.530.4413.  If you would like a free Five-Star analysis, click here.

 Join us November 4th and 5th at Foxwoods Resort for the
5th Annual LTPAC Symposium
Featuring Guest Speaker Julia Fox Garrison
Click Here to Register

Topics: Audits,, SPOT

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