Star ratings now easily viewed on Home Health Compare site

Interested individuals can now see five different star ratings for home health agencies listed on CMS’ website, based on patient experience. Although some home health agencies lack sufficient data to calculate star ratings, the Home Health Compare site is kept up-to-date and some new star ratings may appear as more information is collected.

Changes

Before this new capability was added, the public was able to select multiple agencies to compare performance on different Home Health Care Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) survey measures. They also had the ability to access a summary of Quality of Patient Care ratings for each agency for nine quality measures. Now, those interested in selecting a home health agency can view star ratings for each agency for care of patients, communication between providers and patients, specific care issues, overall rating of care, and a survey summary star rating.

Quality of care

CMS has established various compare sites for nursing homes, physicians, dialysis centers, and hospitals in an effort to increase transparency, allow patients and families to make informed decisions, and reward high-quality care. The HHCAHPS survey was implemented starting in October 2009, starting on a voluntary basis for agencies. Now, in order to qualify for an annual payment update (APU), home health agencies that do not meet the requirements for an exemption must contract with a survey vendor, administer the survey monthly, and submit the data to CMS on a quarterly basis.