Compare websites for IRFs and LTCHs have launched

The quality of patient care that inpatient rehabilitation and long-term care facilities provide to patients can vary greatly from facility to facility. To allow patients, family members, and health care providers to get a snapshot of the quality of care each inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) and long-term care hospital (LTCH) facility provides, CMS has announced the launch of the IRF Compare and LTCH Compare websites.

It is hoped that the information on IRF and LTCH Compare will help patients make more informed decisions about where they get their health care and encourage these facilities to improve the quality of care they provide. IRF Compare currently contains data from approximately 87 percent of all IRFs and LTCH Compare contains data from approximately 97 percent of all LTCHs.

Basis for establishment

These Compare websites were created to fulfill the requirements of the LTCH Quality Reporting and the IRF Quality Reporting Programs, which were established by section 3004(a) and (b) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148), respectively, and required the Secretary of HHS to establish procedures for making quality data submitted by IRFs and LTCHs available to the public.

Current quality measures

Currently, there are two quality measures that are being displayed on the IRF and LTCH Compare websites: (1) the percent of residents or patients with pressure ulcers that are new or worsened (short stay); and (2) the all-cause unplanned readmission percentage for 30 days post discharge.

IRF data for the percent of residents or patients with new or worsened pressure ulcers was collected and submitted to CMS via the IRF Patient Assessment Instrument. The national measure for new or worsened pressure ulcers in IRFs is 0.8 percent. Data for the all-cause unplanned readmission measure for 30 days post-discharge is based on Medicare fee-for-service claims submitted by IRFs and other hospital providers. The IRF national average for all-cause readmission 30 days post discharge is 13.06 percent.

LTCH data for the percent of residents or patients with new or worsened pressure ulcers was collected and submitted to CMS via the LTCH Continuity Assessment Record & Evaluation Data Set, which is an assessment-based data collection instrument created by CMS. The national measure for new or worsened pressure ulcers is 1.8 percent for LTCHs. Data for the all-cause unplanned readmission measure for 30 days post discharge from LTCHs is based on Medicare fee-for-service claims submitted by LTCH and other hospital providers. The national average for all-cause readmission 30 days post discharge is 24.61 percent for LTCHs.

Healthcare-acquired infections to be added soon

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently making efforts to implement a new national baseline for healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) that are reported to CMS via the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN). As such, CMS will wait until spring 2017 to begin publishing HAI data on the IRF and LTCH Compare websites.

Review of data

CMS encourages IRFs and LTCHs to review their data as provided in their preview reports.If they disagree with performance data contained within their preview reports, they have an opportunity to request review of that data by CMS. The process for submitting a request is outlined on CMS’ IRF Quality Public Reporting and LTCH Quality Public Reporting webpages.

Spring 2017 data for IRFs are ready for review

The IRF QRP provider preview reports are now available for review and are scheduled for a spring 2017 posting. IRFs should review their performance data on each quality measure based on Quarter 2-2015 to Quarter 1-2016 data prior to its public display on IRF Compare in the spring of 2017.

IRFs have 30 days (from December 11, 2016 through January 10, 2017) to review their performance data. Corrections to the underlying data will not be permitted during this time; but IRFs may request CMS review of the data contained within their preview report, should they believe it to be inaccurate.