URAC seeks comments on case management

Aims to improve care coordination, transitions, patient engagement; highlights importance of IT

URAC, the nonprofit healthcare accreditation organization, is seeking public comment for revisions to its case management accreditation standards and performance measures.

The organization is also exploring proposed optional standards for its new Enhanced Transitions of Care Designation.

URAC has updated its case management accreditation standards to align with health reform goals and industry best practices, officials say, addressing the increasing demand for excellence in care coordination.

In the proposed Case Management Standards and Performance Measures, URAC seeks to:

  • Ensure patients experience safe and effective transitions of care across settings.
  • Emphasize the development of evidence-based, individualized consumer-centric healthcare goals that promote quality outcomes.  
  • Require healthcare organizations to clearly define their role with regard to transitions of care, promoting more coordinated care for consumers.
  • Underscore the importance of technology and information support systems to achieve and measure case management performance goals.

“Care coordination, transitions of care, patient engagement and advocacy are core principles for case management," said Cheri Lattimer, executive director of Case Management Society of America (CMSA) and National Transitions of Care Coalition (NTOCC). “I encourage case- and care managers and the many providers of case management services to review and provide comments as we work together to build not only excellence in case- and care management but also best practices,” she added.

Beyond the case management accreditation revisions, URAC's new Enhanced Transitions of Care Designation comprises three standards that build upon the foundational transition of care standards already incorporated in the Case Management Accreditation program, officials say. This designation gives credit to those organizations that are offering services to handle the transition of care as it occurs, including the timely transfer of information between parties critical to the transition.

URAC's Case Management Accreditation program performance measures have also been updated, and now include care coordination and readmission measures that reside in the public domain. The updated measures are also included with the standards for public comment, and are considered an essential component of an organization’s quality management program.

“URAC has revised its Case Management program standards to further ensure consumer safety and promote effective transitions of care – an essential component of achieving optimal care outcomes,” said Jane Webster, URAC's senior vice president of research, development and planning, in a statement, adding that the program "complements our growing suite of patient-focused care coordination programs, including our Patient Centered Health Care Home Program and Clinically Integrated Network/Accountable Care Organization accreditation program that is now under development.”

The public can review draft standards and measures here. Comments can be submitted until 6 p.m. on March 11, 2013.

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