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An Introduction to the New Home Health Compare Star Ratings

Aimee Sharp
Author | Shield HealthCare
06/02/15  3:50 PM PST
Home Health Compare Star Rating System

What is the New Home Health Compare Star Ratings System?

Currently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) informs the public about Home Health Agencies (HHA) by providing written material about each agency. Starting in July of 2015, the CMS will begin compiling that information into an easy-to-understand Star Ratings System available to the public. All previous information will still be available, but the star ratings will be publicly reported as well. The new system is in accordance with the calls for transparency made by the Affordable Care Act and part of an initiative by CMS to roll out standardized star ratings across their many platforms.

What this means for those looking to engage the services of a Home Health Agency:

Individuals should hopefully be able to find the new ratings helpful when they are selecting a HHA. The ratings are meant to help summarize data about the quality of home health care that an HHA provides. There will be more data, in addition to the ratings, available through CMS about HHA’s, which the individual is also encouraged to take advantage of. Additionally, CMS recommends that consumers consult with their healthcare professional when making the choice of which HHA to choose.

What this means for Home Health Agencies:

The reporting that HHAs take part in will not change. CMS is taking the information that has already been reported to create an easier-to-read guide for the consumer. When the first ratings are published in July of 2015, they will be based on reporting that HHAs have already submitted during 2013 and 2014. Not all HHAs will be eligible to receive a star rating: only those that have been certified for at least 6 months’ time and have 20 or more complete episodes of care during the last yearlong reporting period will be eligible. They also must have reported on at least five of the following nine measures:

Process Measures

Timely Initiation of Care
Drug Education on all Medications Provided to Patient/Caregiver
Influenza Immunization Received for Current Flu Season

Outcome Measures

Improvement in Ambulation
Improvement in Bed Transferring
Improvement in Bathing
Improvement in Pain Interfering With Activity
Improvement in Dyspnea
Acute Care Hospitalization

Click here for more information about Home Health Star Ratings.

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