CMS Updates Home Health Compare For First Time since July; Acute Care Improves
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
by: VNAA Policy Team

Section: Public Policy and Advocacy




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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) delayed the launch of the update to the Home Health Compare website because of the sequester-triggered government shutdown. Home Health Compare is a website to provide information about the quality of care provided by “Medicare-certified” home health agencies throughout the nation. The website, launched in mid-December, will provide quarterly data update schedule starting in 2014. According to the most recent update from Home Health Compare released in December, the national average for acute care hospitalization has improved to 16 percent, from 17 percent.

The updated OASIS-based measures reflect data collected from July 2012 to June 2013, while the two claims-based outcome measures, acute care hospitalizations and emergency department use, reflect claims filed between April 2012 and March 2013. In addition to acute care hospitalization improvements, additional measures that were improved include ambulation, bed transfer, improvement in pain, pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine ever received, diabetic foot care and education implemented and influenza immunization received for current flu season.

The multifactor falls risk assessment process measure also increased a percentage point to 97 percent, in the most recent update. The measure has increased three percentage points over the two most recent data collection periods ranging from April 2012 to June 2013. This may be a result of updates to the technical specifications for this measure enacted May 19 by CMS. The measure now excludes patients who are chairfast or bedfast and includes patients 18 years old or older, not just 65 and older. Also, CMS offered guidance in its January OASIS Q&A that allowed agencies to use the Missouri Alliance Home Care Assessment (MAHC10) as a validated falls risk assessment tool. 

To view the most recent update go to: www.medicare.gov/homehealthcompare.
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