Breaking Down the Latest Home Health Compare Update

Home Health Compare has undergone its latest round of updates. Once again, nearly all measures saw improvement.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) officially updated Home Health Compare on Oct. 30. CMS typically updates the online tool built to educate consumers on quality of care on a quarterly basis.

When it comes to home health quality of care, 10 measures saw improvement, with four remaining static, according to an analysis by Northampton, Massachusetts-based Fazzi Associates.

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“The management of oral medications” saw the most improvement, followed by “improvement in bed transfer.”

Meanwhile, “acute care hospitalizations” and “urgent, unplanned care in the emergency room” both improved at 15.6% and 12.8%, respectively.

Overall, the national average for the Quality of Patient Care Star Rating remained the same at 3.5 stars, according to Fazzi, acquired in July 2018 by TPG Capital-backed Mediware, now known as WellSky.

In addition to those changes, Home Health Care Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) measures also updated, with national averages holding steady for all measures.

Home Health Compare has been an influential part of the home health ecosystem ever since its introduction.

It’s likely positioned for an even loftier role moving forward, however, due to recent changes related to the hospital discharge planning process. 

Finalized in September, CMS’s new discharge planning rules require hospitals to give patients and their caregivers data on quality measures and resource use measures to help inform their care goals and treatment preferences upon discharge.

“The new rule is a positive step forward for patients and caregivers alike,” Michael Johnson, home health practice president at Bayada Home Health Care, previously told Home Health Care News. “It offers additional transparency during hospital stays for patients and their families, along with evidenced-based outcomes of post-acute providers to help patients make informed decisions about the highest-quality providers for their next site of care.”

Founded in 1978, Fazzi serves roughly 1,500 agencies across the United States, providing coding services as well as consulting, training and a variety of other offerings.

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