An Update on the OASAS Gold Standard Advisory Committee Meeting


On February 25th, the Gold Standard Committee met to discuss recent steps taken towards recognizing licensed agencies meeting gold standard quality of care.  Committee members were reminded that the Commissioner considers the Gold Standard initiative very important OASAS.  The agency has begun a pre-pilot, data verification project to ensure that the data being reported by agencies for determining gold standard recognition has validity.

(To achieve gold standard recognition, a provider must have four or more stars, on a 1-to-5 star system, in half or more of the measures and no measures with less than two stars.)

OASAS went on-site to a provider in the Mid-Hudson region, who appeared to have met criteria for Gold Standard recognition, in order to review case records and ensure that the records corroborated the Scorecard ratings of that particular agency.  Fifteen records of discharged cases were reviewed addressing 25 different elements such as admission/discharge dates, discharge dispositions, substance use patterns, and frequency of use.  Out of 15 records reviewed only 2 errors were discovered.  The reviewers had to be thoughtful about where to find the verifiable data that they were seeking.

A discussion about verifying data ensued.  Questions posed by the committee included:

  • What is an acceptable error rate?
  • How are the individual measures weighed?
  • How far does the agency dig into a record for verification?
  • What is a reasonable sample size to review?
  • Does OASAS have the resources to do this?

One suggestion was for providers, who are applying for Gold Standard recognition, to complete a self-assessment checklist followed by a random sample review performed by OASAS.  Another suggestion was to include a patient satisfaction survey as part of the gold standard process using a standardized instrument.  Someone also suggested verifying that a provider applying for Gold Standard recognition is utilizing evidenced-based practices in their treatment protocol.

As a member of the Gold Standard Committee, I will continue to report back on progress made by the committee.


Submitted by,

Nick Lessa

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