American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Benefits of NOMS—Health Care

The data provided in NOMS have many vital applications to you, your organization, and the profession which include:

Advocacy for speech and language services.

Health care professionals with access to data possess a powerful tool for advocacy and negotiation. With the sweeping changes in payer reimbursement rates, national outcomes data become an essential component in advocating for the services we provide. Clinicians and administrators can use data to negotiate reimbursement from third-party payers for SLP services. In addition, data can be used in collaboration with other disciplines in order to secure valuable treatment minutes shared by all rehabilitation team members.

Obtain information needed for accrediting bodies.

Many accrediting bodies, such as the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), have placed a greater emphasis on healthcare organizations to collect outcomes data and use the data to improve the quality of services provided. In 2000, NOMS was included on the Joint Commission's list of accepted performance measurement systems. Both the Pre-Kindergarten and the Adult FCMs can be selected by accredited organizations in connection with the ORYX™ initiative. ASHA is committed to meeting future criteria established by JCAHO.

Benchmark the outcomes of your organization with aggregated national results.

Benchmarking is based on the premise that national data are collected to provide a standard to which organizational performances can be compared. Benchmarking is both a persuasive marketing tool and an effective quality control measure. A national database will provide the ability to benchmark with national, regional or state data, and enhance your ability to negotiate reimbursement guidelines with payers.

Identify changing trends that might affect staffing patterns.

Too often, program administrators are asked to make decisions about how many staff they need and what kind of expertise the staff need to have, without the benefit of data to support those decisions. By analyzing facility-specific information such as the number of patients seen per disorder type, amount of treatment provided in specific treatment settings, as well as identification of shifting trends or changes in your patient population, administrators will be able to make educated decisions related to staffing. In doing this, your organization will be able to recruit/hire staff members with the specified expertise needed for providing quality services to your patients, as well as better allocate the limited financial and personnel resources available.

Establish preferred practice patterns and improve the quality of services.

Even if no external sources were demanding that we analyze the effectiveness of our services, we should be doing so to improve the care we provide to our patients. National data can help us analyze patterns of care and determine those patterns that need to be changed to improve services. Moreover, the information provided in NOMS can assist administrators and clinicians with caseload planning and management, and functional goal writing.

Provide answers to payers about prognosis and expected functional outcome of treatment.

Using national outcomes data, clinicians will be able to determine the average amount of treatment that is required to show functional change in communication and/or swallowing skills for patients with a particular disorder or diagnosis.

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