Home Health Quality Ratings Show Improvement

Home health agencies have largely maintained their quality, with some signs of improving patient care, according to the latest compare charts from The Centers for medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Home Health Compare tool, created by CMS, enables consumers to view quality measures and patient ratings.

In the most recent update, posted April 12, all national averages for the Quality of Patient Care showed improvement, according to an analysis by Northampton, Massachusetts-baed consultancy firm Fazzzi Associates.

The Quality of Patient Care Star Rating is based on OASIS assessments and Medicare claims data. The only measure that remained unchanged as of April 12 was the depression assessment conducted, according to Fazzi. The period for these measures reported was October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016.

Value-based purchasing measures also showed improvement, except for urgent, unplanned care in the emergency room, which remained the same.

The acute care hospitalizations measure worsened slightly again, rising to 16.5% for the collection period—July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. This measure has continued to worsen over the last year. From January to July 2016, the measure remained at 16% and rose in October 2016 to 16.2%. It worsened to 16.3% in January 2017 before rising again.

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National averages for the Home Health Care Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Survey (HHCAHPS) measures stayed the same from the previous quarter. The survey measures home health patient experience.

The average for Patient Care Star Ratings increased from 3.0 to 3.5 stars.

CMS typically updates the data on a quarterly basis, with results announced in January, April, July and October.

Written by Amy Baxter

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