The average number of Medicare home health providers per U.S. county has decreased, while the average number of hospice providers has increased.
That’s according to the latest quarterly update that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made to its market saturation and utilization tool, which shows metrics for a variety of health services, including home health and hospice. Market saturation is defined as the density of health care providers relative to the number of beneficiaries receiving that service in a defined geographic area.
The average number of Medicare-certified home health providers per county was at 61.50 during the reference period between January 2016 and December 2016, but stood at 60.57 for the latest reference period between April 2016 and the end of March 2017, CMS’ trend analysis shows. The average number of hospice providers per county increased from 18.08 to 18.45.
The average number of users per provider increased for both home health and hospice.
The analysis is based on Medicare fee-for-service claims data from a CMS repository.
CMS monitors market saturation to help identify areas that might be prone to waste, fraud and abuse. It has placed moratoria on new home health providers in certain densely saturated states.
“There are a number of secondary research uses for these data, but one objective of making these data public is to assist health care providers in making informed decisions about their service locations and the beneficiary population they serve,” CMS stated in announcing the latest update to the tool on April 13.
Written by Tim Mullaney