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CMS adds patient experience ratings for home healthcare

January 28, 2016
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has launched a new feature for its Home Health Compare, a five-star quality ratings database for home healthcare agencies: the inclusion of patient experience ratings.  

The star rating for patient experience is calculated by grouping the responses to 18 questions on the patient satisfaction survey, covering four basic measures:

  • The care the patient received (4 questions)
  • The communication between providers and patient (6 questions)
  • Specific care issues (7 questions)
  • An overall measure of care on a scale of 1 to 10

The patient experience rating is available on the site along with quality measures from Medicare claims data. Home Health Compare’s primary quality measures for home healthcare include managing activities of daily living, pain management, wound care, improvement rather than regression, and prevention of unplanned readmissions. The system gives highest stars to agencies that adhere to best practices and whose patients show improvement outcomes.

Of the 11,000 home health agencies currently in the Home Health Compare database, about half of them now have patient experience star ratings as well. Data will be updated quarterly, according to the Home Health Compare website.

Read more about the patient experience star components on the CMS patient care star ratings page.