Home Health & Hospice

Quality of patient care star ratings debut on Home Health Compare

Homecare Insider, July 20, 2015

Last Thursday, CMS premiered the first ever round of star ratings on Home Health Compare—an event preceded by much speculation, anticipation, and anxiety in the stakeholder community.
 
“Adding star ratings to Home Health Compare is another step forward in our continuing efforts to empower consumers by providing more information to help them make health care decisions, while also encouraging providers to strive for higher levels of quality,” said Dr. Patrick Conway, CMS’ acting principal deputy administrator, in a statement.
 
Each qualifying home health provider will receive a quarterly quality of patient care star rating that summarizes the agency’s relative performance on nine of the 29 quality measures currently posted on Home Health Compare:
  1. Timely initiation of care
  2. Drug education on all medications provided to the patient/caregiver
  3. Influenza immunization received from current flu season
  4. Improvement in ambulation
  5. Improvement in bed transferring
  6. Improvement in bathing
  7. Improvement in pain interfering with activity
  8. Improvement in dyspnea
  9. Acute care hospitalization
As previously reported in Homecare E-News, CMS recently released information on corrections to the second round of quality of care star ratings—which are scheduled to be published on October 8, 2015—after learning that there was a transposition error in the data used to generate the corresponding provider preview reports.
 
In January, CMS plans to debut a second type of star rating on Home Health Compare, which will draw on responses to the Home Health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) survey to illustrate the levels of patient satisfaction agencies across the industry are able to achieve.
 
For the latest information from CMS on home health star ratings, access last week’s press release here and the corresponding fact sheet here.
 
Beacon Institute members can read HCPro’s most recent coverage of star ratings in last week’s edition of Homecare E-News and in the June 2015 issue of Homecare Direction.