CMS Releases Massive Home Health Data Set

As the health care system continues to shift toward coordinated care and value-based purchasing, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a new data set on home health agencies to increase transparency, affordability and accountability. The data shows services performed by home health agencies to fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries and includes information on 11,062 home health agencies, more than 6 million claims and more than $18 billion in Medicare payments for 2013. The data is a new, comprehensive resources on home health costs and services.

The dataset, the Home Health Agency Utilization and Payment Public Use File (Home Health Agency PUF), is part of CMS’s Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data set. It also has additional information on low-utilization payment amount (LUPA) episodes and outlier payments.

“The Home Health Agency data made available today focuses on our initiative of achieving better care, smarter spending and healthier people throughout our health care system,” Andrew Slavic, CMS administrator, said in a statement.”CMS has been a pioneer in greater data transparency and views it as key to a more effectively functioning health care system where information flows more freely.”

The data an be used for many types of analyses, including patterns of utilization, total Medicare payment amounts and geographical comparisons of Medicare standards state by state.

Written by Amy Baxter