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What is the VNAA Nonprofit Industry Research Database Initiative?

VNAA is partnering with National Research Corporation/OCS to develop a comprehensive research database to provide evidence based information to assist in research and advocacy efforts. This database effort will provide VNAA and its members a broad perspective of quality, service utilization, financial, and outcomes performance allowing insight into the unique value that VNAA members bring to the home-based care market. Information from the database will provide input for on-going advocacy efforts, research projects, and policy initiatives to assist with VNAA's overarching strategic goals.

What is the goal of this project?

VNAA seeks to create a longitudinal database of patients cared for by VNAA members representative of the non-profit home care and hospice industry. This database will be utilized to create broader awareness of the role and impact of the nonprofit home care industry, to inform and educate participating VNAA members and to aid the industry in advocacy and other related efforts.

What are the objects of this project?

  1. Create a dashboard of indicators relevant to the non-profit home care and hospice industry.
  2. Create specific database inquiry quarterly agendas contributing to VNAA advocacy efforts on behalf of its members and the non-profit industry.

View the press release

How can my agency participate in the database project?

To participate, please follow the steps below:

  1. Contact Eileen Grande, Sr. Director, External Affairs at [email protected];
  2. Sign and return a Business Associate Agreement with National Research Corporation/OCS and VNAA;
  3. View the recorded project-launch webinar.
  4. Set up a time to install the NRC/OCS SmartLink interface to allow automatic upload of your organizations data.

Are there any costs to my agency or company to participate in this initiative?

No. The costs of the database project are funded by VNAA.

Are all VNAA members eligible to participate in this project?

Yes. All VNAA affiliate member agencies in good standing are eligible and encouraged to participate in this project.

Will members who participate in the national database project be assured of confidentiality?

Yes. National Research Corporation/OCS, has been retained as the third-party responsible for the database and data administration. The process is designed to ensure confidentiality throughout and all systems are both HIPAA compliant and secure. Participating VNAA affiliate members will enter into Business Association Agreements with National Research Corporation/OCS.

What data will VNAA members contribute to the database?

VNAA members will contribute OASIS data as well as utilization data.

Will our agency level data and/or results be made public?

No. Data will be presented in aggregate form without attribution to or identification of specific agencies.

What is Smartlink and is it secure?

Smartlink is proprietary software from NRC that will be used for regular downloads of member data into the VNAA database. The Smartlink software is loaded specifically on the VNAA member computer or server that stores the data. The software both encrypts and zips the information and sends that information over a secure server to NRC so that the data can be loaded in the database. Once the software is set up on the member computer the download is done automatically and requires no effort on the part of the VNAA member.

What is the leadership structure of the VNAA Nonprofit Industry Research Database Initiative?

An Advisory Board comprised of VNAA members and external industry research experts will guide the database and research initiative. Joseph Scopelitti, Jr., CEO, VNA Health System will serve as Advisory Board Chair and Timothy Veach, QA/Compliance Officer, Intermountain Homecare will serve as Advisory Board Vice-Chair. The Advisory Board will determine both the initial structure of the quarterly reports as well as the year one ad hoc research agenda. Advisory Board members will be selected from interested VNAA members. Please see VNAA’s January 5, 2015 “Call for Nominations” for additional information and leadership opportunities.

What will be the output from the initiative?

Initially, quarterly de-identified summary reports will be developed based on data collected from all participants. These reports will be aggregate scores of a variety of outcome measures determined by both participating VNAA members and the Advisory Board. These reports will not be at the member level. In addition to the quarterly reports, VNAA will also develop an ad hoc research agenda. This research agenda will allow VNAA to query the database on issues related to key advocacy, quality and education initiatives. The ad hoc research agenda will be developed based on the input from VNAA members currently involved in the initiative as well as input from the Advisory Board.

What can the Nonprofit Industry Research Database tell us?

The VNAA Nonprofit Industry Research Database will include member data as well as other publicly available data sets already included in the OCS database. This will allow VNAA to have access to a comprehensive set of up to date information on the non- profit sector of the industry to better understand:

  • Non-profit patient profile
  • Variance in performance on specific quality measures
  • Potential impact of policy initiatives
  • Other examples include:
    • Variance by payer type
    • Patient drivers of health care decisions
    • Average visits per episode of care
    • Improvement outcomes by diagnosis
    • Readmission rates by care

Will the database include both home health and hospice data?

For 2015, VNAA is collecting only home health datasets. VNAA anticipates expansion of the database to include hospice outcomes and data within 12-18 months.

Will VNAA members have access to the database for individual organizational analysis?

Initially members will not have individual access to the database. However, VNAA anticipates future opportunities to request individual agency access in conjunction with a member fee for those members who are contributing data to the database.

Are VNAA participating members obligated to inform patients of the data exchange?

No. The data use for the purpose of the VNAA outcomes research database is covered under the business operation of HIPAA as long as there is an agreement between the VNAA member and the organization receiving the data. This is the goal of signing both the BAA and Data Users Agreement.

  • Joe Scopelliti
    President and CEO, VNA Health System (Chair)
  • Tim Veach
    Compliance/QA Officer, Intermountain Homecare and Hospice (Vice-chair)
  • Tracy Altman
    Manager, Government Programs, University of Utah Health Plans
  • Kathryn H. Bowles, PhD, RN, FAAN
    Professor of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Beatrice Renfield Visiting Scholar for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York
  • Joan DaVanzo, PhD, MSW
    Chief Executive Officer, Dobson and DaVanzo
  • Michael Hamaker
    President, WellSpan Health VNA
  • Paul Kleeberg, MD
    Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Stratis Health
  • Teresa Lee, MPH, JD
    Executive Director, Alliance for Home Health Quality and Innovation
  • Elizabeth Madigan, PhD, RN, FAAN
    Independence Foundation Professor of Nursing, Case Western University, Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing
  • Arsi Namdar
    Vice President of IT and Chief Information Officer, VNA of Chittenden and Grand Isle Counties
  • Traci Padgett, MPP
    Senior Vice President, Standards and Technology, CHAP
  • Robert Rosati, PhD
    Vice President and Research, VNA Health Group
  • Lisa Salamone, MPA
    Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, VNA of Northern New Jersey

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