Attention FQHCs and Look-Alikes: It Is Time to Prepare for Your 2021 UDS Performance Report

UDS

The end of 2021 is coming soon and that means it is time to begin preparing for your 2021 UDS Performance Report. The Performance Report is your opportunity to tell HRSA about the quality health services you provided for your patients throughout this challenging year. It helps to be prepared for it.

FQHCs or Look-Alikes who have done these reports in the past, and spent many late nights before the deadline to finish them, know the importance of early preparation. GBA can help! The more you know, the less work you will have to do responding to these questions and revising your data. GBA’s experience shows that putting in the time at the beginning of the process to get the data correct means less effort correcting data and writing explanations following review by HRSA. GBA is available to meet with your UDS team (EHR manager, finance officer, HR, etc.) to ensure you are ready to hit the ground running. GBA can even do the data compilation for you – we utilize HIPPA-compliant security practices with on an executed access agreement.

There are no changes to the report this year that GBA considers “major.” However, we are hearing that HRSA is taking a heightened interest in ensuring the report’s accuracy. This means health centers must be aware of key definitions like who is included in patient counts and what constitutes a visit. For example, a visit must meet three criteria to be counted:

  1. A documented contact, either in the office or via telehealth;
  2. Interaction between a patient and a licensed or credentialed provider; and
  3. The provider exercises independent professional judgment that is unique to his or her training and education in the provision of services to the patient.

Countable visits do NOT include encounters where only the following occurred:

  • Information sessions for prospective patients;
  • Health presentations to groups;
  • Immunizations or immunization drives;
  • Patient/health education classes;
  • Phlebotomy;
  • Lab or diagnostic tests, including COVID-19 tests;
  • Dispensing medications from a pharmacy;
  • Giving injections;
  • Providing narcotic agonists or antagonists or a mix;
  • Follow-up tests or checks (e.g., patients returning for HbA1c tests);
  • Wound care; and
  • Taking health histories.

A patient is thus someone with at least one countable visit as defined above. These are two examples of many definitions you should be aware of as you populate your UDS Performance Report. Concurrently, you should also be evaluating your data collection systems to ensure accurate data is reported at the time of service. Correcting reporting processes will make UDS reporting even easier. Let GBA help you navigate UDS this year and set you up for an easier reporting process next year.

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