by Marian Essey, RN, BSN, COS-C
Learn how home health clinicians and agencies are using the COS-C certification to launch their professional goals.
It’s that time of year when most of us are deep into feeling the pain of our New Year’s resolutions. Forbes magazine reported that the average resolution lasts just 3.74 months. Forbes also noted that “failing at New Year’s resolutions is so common that there’s even a slew of (unofficial) dates commemorating such failures—some sources cite “Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day” as January 17 while others denote the second Friday in January as “Quitter’s Day.”” UGH!
While many have “committed” to goals for a healthier lifestyle (lose weight, start working out, improve diet, etc.), Forbes has recommended setting resolutions “like a leader”. In their article, “6 Steps to Set New Year’s Resolutions for 2024 Like a Leader,” they note that, “If your goal is to climb the ladder and reach the pinnacle of your professional aspirations in 2024, you should know that merely wistfully listing out your New Year’s resolutions is not sufficient.” Uh…I think we’ve learned this with some diet and exercise goals in the past!
Forbes notes that the first step to achieving your professional goal is to “Make Your New Year’s Resolution Specific.” In the continuously turbulent world of home health, what is a realistic and specific goal that is achievable and meaningful AND can have a positive impact on your career AND impact your agency or organization?? One approach is to make 2024 the year that you become certified in home health excellence as a COS-C.
Why Obtain the COS-C Certification
The Certificate for OASIS Specialist-Clinical (COS-C) exam is the premier test to demonstrate knowledge and expertise of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) OASIS guidelines. As OASIS accuracy is the most influential component of home health payment, quality measurement, and public information about an agency, the COS-C certification represents a tangible and measurable action you can take to demonstrate achievement and commitment to OASIS data accuracy.
The COS-C exam is a voluntary certificate exam for home healthcare providers. It is nationally standardized and psychometrically validated and is recommended for home health nurses, therapists, and other home health professionals who conduct comprehensive assessments, score OASIS items, audit clinical records, or educate and orient staff.
How Individuals and Agencies use the COS-C Certification to Achieve their Goals
Since the launch of the COS-C certification in 2004, more than 30,000 candidates have participated in the exam process. OASIS Answers, Inc. has seen many individuals advance in their career, using the COS-C exam as their testament to home health data collection accuracy and excellence.
It’s not uncommon for a home health clinician to differentiate themselves within their organization, and position themselves for career advancement by obtaining the COS-C. The “COS-C” credential, in addition to accompanying and highly sought after “COS-C pin” epitomize the gold standard of home health excellence.
In addition to an individual pursuit of excellence through the COS-C exam, some agencies and national chains are using the COS-C designation as the foundational requirement for clinical and auditing positions.
One of the largest agencies in the U.S. requires all clinicians to be trained in OASIS accuracy AND to then be certified as a COS-C as part of their clinical ladder. Some national chains have used the OASIS Answers Blueprint for OASIS Accuracy Training in combination with the COS-C certification as a requirement for their auditors.
In other instances, auditing organizations have sent their entire team of auditors to Blueprint trainings (or arranged for a private Blueprint workshop to be presented in-house) and required successful COS-C certification for their auditing staff.
The COS-C Certification and You!
Let’s make this the year that you take your first steps to a leadership goal and obtain your COS-C certification! OASIS Answers, Inc. is here with resources to support you in achieving your goal to make your commitment to become a COS-C and register for the exam before the Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day” of January 17. Let’s make this the year of success for you as a home health leader!
- Crawl: Get the 2024 INSTANT OASIS Answers Book ($75). This “Little Brown Book” as it is affectionately known by tens of thousands over the years, is THE BIBLE of home health excellence and OASIS accuracy.
- Baby Step: Prep for the exam by registering for year-long access to the recorded 2024 COS-C Exam Cram Sessions ($299/individual; $599/agency access) to learn tips for OASIS accuracy with TONS of testing scenarios.
- Walk Confidently: Attend an in-person Blueprint for OASIS Accuracy class (registration fee varies based upon location and sponsor and registration timing).
- Run with the Wolves (OK…we’re maybe more like kittens and puppies, but you know what we mean!): Take the Certificate for OASIS Specialist-Clinical (COS-C) Exam ($250-345) for first time testers.
Good luck! You can do it!!!
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