OASIS Review & Certification

For those of you that hold either an HCS-O or COS-C certification, what steps did you take to learn the OASIS/regulations prior to seeking certification? If someone was interested in learning OASIS review, and eventually becoming certified, where would they start?

J. Maria Brandt


  • edited May 2017
    For the COS-C, I have taken the OASIS Blue print classes in the past but they are pricey if your agency won't send you (but excellent).

    This time, I had to review on my own and I bought the Instant OASIS Answers book and read it cover to cover.
  • Is the new certification exam different?
    A colleague recently took OASIS C2 certification and was not permitted to bring anything in with her.
    When I took certification exam a few years ago we were permitted to bring in chapter guidance, Q&As, and the "little brown book."
  • I just took C-2 and was allowed my Instant OASIS answers book.
  • I purchased the Instant OASIS Answers book, and I printed the OASIS-C2 manual.... do you think I would be able to teach myself and earn the certification with just those two as resources?

    My scope of responsibility at my agency is limited to coding only, and I am not a clinician, so they will have no need to cover the cost of me being trained for OASIS knowledge... They may reimburse me after I've obtained it... I'm not sure.
  • edited May 2017
    I took my exam in March and I was allowed my OASIS answers book in the test.
  • edited May 2017
    Yes I believe you can.
  • Can someone start a different thread for what is allowed in the exam if that's what you'd like to discuss? I'm trying to get information on how to learn the OASIS and prepare for an exam, and the responses are relating to what is allowed in the exam setting... that's not helping me at all. Thank you :)
  • Ok. Thank you, Alison.
  • I had thought if there was a resource that you were allowed to bring into the exam - that would be a resource that you might want to use as you prepare for the exam.
  • Yes, I understand that, Kathy. Thank you. It is good information, but I don't want to focus on just passing an exam, but truly learning the OASIS also :)
  • edited May 2017
    Good morning Jessica - Hoping this will be of some help to you; if you go to the CMS.gov website and guidance/regulations, print out the entire OASIS C-2 with guidance. It will be a 'book' but an excellent reference and teaching guide. It covers each question that is on the OASIS, gives time points, what the intent of the question is and appropriate responses. Will cover the Start of Care, Recertification, Resumption of Care, Transfers, Death and Discharge. I have one printed out and use it virtually every day when auditing; it will provide you with your rationale to use in your comments when auditing/correction of OASIS. As far as studying for the exam, Decision Health/AHCC have study booklets that are excellent prep helps for the exams.
    Good luck to you!!

    Jeanine Ropes, RN, HCS-D, ICD-10, HCS-O
    Email: Box3888 @ AOL.com
    Phone: 352-621-3644
    Fax: 352-503-9315
  • edited May 2017
    These resources will help with learning CMS OASIS guidelines as well. I took class and exam last fall.
  • Ok, thank you, Marianne
  • Jeanine, are you referring to the OASIS-C2 guidance manual? ...I surely hope so, because that's the 392 page document I paid to have printed! Lol. I was hoping I was on the right track with printing that and purchasing the Instant OASIS Answers book... i just didn't know if there were any other gems out there I wasn't aware of, or if I should have a different approach all together, specifically for a non-clinician trying to learn it and earn the cert. Thank you for your input!
  • edited May 2017
    Since you are a non-clinician, I would strongly suggest you purchase a book that Decision Health puts out entitled Plain English Descriptions for CODING TERMS... That will be immense help to you in understanding the lingo clinicians use throughout the OASIS. CMS also has an area called Q&A's that essentially is a response to questions posed to them regarding questions and vague guidance issues. It comes out quarterly and will always shed light on some of the 'less defined' areas.The study guide for HCS-O that Decision Health puts out is also a handy little book to keep right on your desk for easy/quick reference. your OASIS Answers book is also a good reference. Sounds like you are on the right track; committing those 392 pages to memory is not an easy feat... it does become easier with time and repetition... Everyday you will be confronted with something new that will drive you to drink.. Take it in stride that they don't come up TOO often!!

    Jeanine Ropes, RN, HCS-D, ICD-10, HCS-O
    Email: Box3888 @ AOL.com
    Phone: 352-621-3644
    Fax: 352-503-9315
  • edited May 2017
    The new edition of OASIS Answers has the Q and A’s in it.
  • Thank you again Alison and Jeanine.

    I haven't received the OASIS Answers book yet, but when it arrives, I will look through it and revisit both of your responses... see if I need to look into anything else you've recommended. I know the OASIS Answers website has several helpful links, such as the Q&As... i'll keep that in mind as I move forward. Thank you all!
  • edited May 2017
    Yes check the CMS website because I'm sure the Q and A's dated Nov 2016 are not in there.

    Good Luck :)
  • edited May 2017
    Hi Jessica,

    For the OASIS Answers credential, you are allowed to take the OASIS Answers book into the exam only. The credential for this exam is COS-C. Here is a link to the COS-C Exam Prep page: http://www.oasisanswers.com/cos-c-exam-preparation

    For the Decision Health OASIS credential, HCS-O, you are allowed to EITHER make your own, clearly labeled notebook of references which include only these materials:
    * OASIS C2 Assessment form
    * Chapter 3 of OASIS-C1 Guidance Manual
    * Wound Ostomy Continence Nurses Society Guidance on OASIS-C1 Integumentary Items
    * OASIS Considerations for Medicare PPS Patients
    * CMS Quarterly Q&As (these are found here: https://www.qtso.com/hhatrain.html
    OR you can purchase the Decision Health reference book of OASIS references. It can be purchased here: http://store.decisionhealth.com/oasis-c2-form-companion-2017 At $39.00, it is likely more cost effective than printing your own copies of each of these documents. However, since you've already printed the OASIS C2 Guidance Manual, most of your printing cost has been paid already I would imagine.
    You can take the HCS-O exam using either of these resources, but no OASIS Answers book for the HCS-O exam. The link for HCS-O Exam is here: https://ahcc.decisionhealth.com/pdfs/2016_HCS-O_Candidate_Handbook.pdf Please note they have not updated their prep information, so substitute "OASIS C2" in each "OASIS C1" reference.

    I hope you find this information helpful!

    Jennifer Gibson,RN, HCS-D ICD-10-CM, COS-C
    Senior Clinical Consultant

    Axxess Wins Best Places to Work Awards from:  
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    Website: www.axxess.com
    Phone: (866) 795-5990 ext. 3917
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