CMS Reveals Star Ratings for Home Health Care Agencies

By Matthew J. Effken.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has added star ratings to its Home Health Compare website that provides information about Medicare-certified home health care agencies. The new feature is intended to help consumers identify differences in quality among home health care providers and also help agencies identify areas where they can improve. Ratings range from 1 star for the worst performers to 5 stars for the best performers. Agencies are awarded more stars when they follow recommended care practices for more patients and when more of their patients show improvement.

Nationally, nearly half of all agencies fall in the 3 to 3½ star range. Less than 3% of home health agencies achieve the highest 5 star rating. Quality measurements used in determining the star ratings include: managing daily activities, managing pain and treating symptoms, treating wounds and preventing pressure sores, preventing harm, and preventing unplanned hospital care.

The star ratings are determined based on patient surveys and Medicare claims data, and will be updated by CMS each quarter. Further information and the website can be found at the following link: http://medicare.gov/homehealthcompare/

© 2015 Houghton Vandenack Williams
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