Field Test Help Desk: IMPACT Act of 2014

Nurse interviewing patient in the waiting room

The Goal: Data Standardization

Patients currently discharged from hospitals to post-acute care (PAC) settings are evaluated using a variety of clinical assessments. Data from these varied assessments inform care planning, regulatory oversight, payment, and quality measurement and improvement. However, this data is difficult to exchange, compare, and share due to the variety of instruments used in its collection.

The Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014, or IMPACT Act of 2014, requires standardization of patient assessment data for interoperability and comparison in order to promote person-centered, coordinated care and ensure high quality outcomes aligned with the goals of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Strategy.

RAND's Role

CMS has contracted with the RAND Corporation and its partners, Abt Associates Inc. and Qualidigm, to develop and test standardized data elements for PAC settings. Providers in each of the four PAC settings are participating in testing, which is being conducted in three different waves. The first two waves are small, localized activities to evaluate feasibility of items under consideration; the third wave is a large-scale national testing effort:

  • The first wave of data collection ran from August to November, 2016 and included PAC providers near Hartford, Connecticut.
  • The second wave, beginning in April 2017, includes PAC providers in Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; and Houston, Texas.
  • The third wave, beginning in November 2017, includes PAC facilities in 14 U.S. markets.