While some providers have felt overwhelmed in their efforts to comply with the RoPs, others have felt prepared and even ahead of the curve. These generally are organizations that have mastered strategic planning and many of the principles of the Baldrige Criteria, an integrated management framework to help understand and manage organizational structure and characteristics.

The Baldrige principles—which include managing for innovation, customer-driven excellence, visionary leadership, and creating value—are the foundation of the AHCA/NCAL National Quality Awards program.
“If you look at it from a higher level, it’s all about strategic planning, and CMS [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] is keen about bringing it into the RoPs,” says Amy Lee of CoreTactics Healthcare Consulting. “They are saying, ‘Look at what you have in your facilities through your facility assessment, know your residents and their needs, identify and make necessary changes if you see service gaps, and plan for future service deliveries,” she says.

“The RoPs are trying to teach us to recognize the care services that we have and strategically plan for the future. They enable you to look at what you do well and what you do best, and to use that information to determine where to put your focus.”

For instance, a facility may do wound vac well, but only does one once a year. There is a lot of effort in maintaining staff competency to care for this one resident per year, when effort may be better spent capturing a new market based on customer needs such as telemetry care or bariatrics. It all comes down to identifying the opportunity and embracing it.

“You need to look at where the opportunities for change lie, and the RoPs—in conjunction with the Baldrige criteria—to help you do that,” Lee says.