CMS Finalizes OASIS-D Guidance Manual

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published a final OASIS-D guidance manual. The updates are scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2019.

In general, OASIS-D changes include the removal of more than two dozen items, as well as the addition or revision of several others.

Specifically, the manual provides guidance for home health agencies on how to ensure the collection of high-quality and accurate OASIS data. It includes both general data collection conventions and item-specific guidance, as well as links to resources for home health agencies.


The draft manual was released at the end of July.

OASIS collection was first implemented in 1999, but has been revised several times since.

CMS’ last round of updates to the guidance manual  for OASIS-C2 took effect in January of last year.


The new version of the manual introduces new and modified items, including some standardized patient assessment data elements (SPADEs), which CMS added to meet the requirements of the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act).

The main reason for revising OASIS is to increase standardization across post-acute care settings. To that point, SPADEs are questions and response options that are identical in all four PAC assessment instruments, and to which identical standards and definitions apply.

Home health agencies are required to encode and electronically submit OASIS data to CMS within 30 days of the date an assessment was completed.

As part of the update process, CMS received hundreds of comments about OASIS from a variety of post-acute care stakeholders, ranging from providers and professional organizations to researchers and accreditation entities. OASIS revisions also take into account feedback from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), the National Quality Forum (NQF) and technical expert panels (TEPs) commissioned by CMS.

The full OASIS-D guidance manual is available here.

Written by Robert Holly

Companies featured in this article: