Must-Read News: Star Ratings Unchanged in Q3

Happy Monday, Home Health Care News readers. It’s the start of a new week and, believe it or not, we’re just days away from the start of a new month! But before we close the books on October, here is our weekly roundup of our must-read news.

This Week in Review

At the top of the docket this week is a look at an update to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Home Health Compare results, which were updated on October 24.

The national average for the Quality of Patient Care Star Ratings remained at 3.5 stars, along with the percent of agencies by Star Rating (20%). Per CMS, higher Star Ratings are agencies with more episodes; 66% of agencies with more than 500 episodes rate 3.5 stars or higher, while 42% of agencies with less than 500 episodes rate 3.5 stars or higher.

Those with a keen eye may notice very little, if any, changes in this quarter’s quality charts. That’s because the Quality of Patient Care measures were refreshed using the same data collection period—January 1 to December 31, 2016—as last quarter.

This makes second quarter in a row in 2017 that CMS has looked at the same data collection. The reason for this is to “accommodate provisions of the IMPACT Act,” according to Gina Mazza, BSN, RN, CPHQ. Mazza is a partner with Massachusetts-based home health and hospice consulting firm Fazzi Associates.

The next full refresh is slated for January 2018, Mazza explained.

Around the Web

Travel 115 miles southeast from Tokyo and you’ll see them—five hilltop teepees nestled in the deep woods of Japan’s eastern Shizouka prefecture. No, this isn’t some sleepy elf village from a fairytale, but rather a retirement village dubbed “Jikka”—which translates into “parents home” in Japanese. Discover how two Japanese locals built their dream retirement home in this CNN story.

Meanwhile, in New York, a home health aide for an elderly Brooklyn couple targeted in a recent home invasion was arrested in connection with the crime. Read more about her involvement in this New York Post story.

Finally, move over Best Buy—another major retailer is throwing its hat into the home monitoring technology game. Discover how home improvement giant Lowes has rolled out its own line of smart home technologies, called Iris Care, to help senior age in place.

Top Reads

To date, no official guidelines have been issued from CMS on its Conditions of Participation (CoPs), leading many to believe that another CoP delay may be on the horizon.

Many stakeholders in the home health industry strongly oppose the proposed home health groupings model (HHGM). The main reason? The hidden payment cuts within the proposal.

Finally, hospice care providers should brace themselves for a few big changes in 2018, chief among them beefed up quality reporting requirements.

Written by Carlo Calma

Carlo Calma
Business Reporter at Aging Media Network
Carlo enjoys running and taking indoor cycling and rowing classes. He tempers his active lifestyle by indulging in Chicago's diverse food scene.