Home Health Compare Quality Charts Updated – October 2017

The Home Health Compare results were updated on October 24, 2017. However, the Quality of Patient Care measures were refreshed using the same data collection period as last quarter, January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

The value of some OASIS-based measures may have changed slightly to reflect submission of late or corrected OASIS data. The OASIS data reflects revisions or corrections made by HHAs as of Friday, Aug 25, 2017[1]. Individual measures and Star Ratings for some agencies may be different from last quarter, but the national averages have had very slight changes. Continue reading “Home Health Compare Quality Charts Updated – October 2017”

Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM) Webinar Recording

HHGM has been defeated – for now – and while it is expected to change before any final rule is published, some type of payment reform encompassing the key concepts of HHGM is likely in our future.  Therefore it’s important for agency leaders to:

  • Understand the proposed payment model to prepare for what the future might hold.
  • Use CMS’ HHGM Grouping Tool to gain insight on possible CMW impacts for your patient population.
  • Focus on coding and OASIS competency throughout their organization as ICD-10 and OASIS will continue to be the key drivers of the payment calculation.

Continue reading “Home Health Groupings Model (HHGM) Webinar Recording”

Introducing Case Management Credentials for Home Health and Hospice

Introducing our Industry’s Only Case Management Credentials

We are pleased to introduce our industry’s only case management credentials:  The Certified Home Health Case Manager (CHHCM) and the Certified Hospice Case Manager (CHCM).

Why are these credentials so important?

  • Because case management proficiency is central to Quadruple Aim: enhancing the patient experience, lowering costs, managing burgeoning populations while increasing joy in the work itself.
  • Because the new Home Health Conditions of Participation (CoPs) and the expanding Hospice Item Set (HIS) and other regulatory changes require new levels of expertise. Today, case managers must master goal directed, patient centered care planning; clinical best practices; interdisciplinary team management; time management; documentation and more — all while putting the patient first and, yes, loving the job!
  • These credentials demonstrate that a person possesses the knowledge and expertise to perform this critically important function.

About the CHHCM and CHCM:

  • These credentials can be achieved by taking the CHHCM and/or CHCM examination online through the Fazzi Learning Center.
  • No need to leave the office, no travel expenses, test on your own time.
  • An eight-week online preparation course for these examinations begins October 30.
  • With the bundle package, participants may choose the Home Health Track or the Hospice Track or they may do both. They may also choose to take the CHHCM exam or the CHCM exam or pay a small upgrade fee to do both.
  • Additionally, certificate holders will enter a collaborative community of case management professionals and receive ongoing complimentary best practice webinars and other resources.
  • Anyone who has completed Fazzi’s previous Case Management Certificate of Completion program within the last 18 months may register for this new preparation course and the examinations at a discounted price.
  • Participants will be inspired by course instructor Cindy Campbell’s expertise, energy and zeal for case management (even those who may fear that the discipline becoming a “lost art”).

View Comprehensive FAQ & Register Now

August Compliance Newsletter

OASIS C-2 Questions and Answers

Have you ever come across an unusual patient situation that didn’t seem to ‘fit’ the OASIS? Human beings are so complex and our lives are so varied that it’s no wonder we sometimes find ourselves scratching our heads when trying to select an OASIS response. CMS no longer provides one centralized system to answer and publish quarterly OASIS Questions and Answers, but we have had 20 pages of Q&A’s released from the November 16th/17th Home Health Quality Reporting Training conducted by CMS. Another training was held May 3rd/4th and additional Q&As should be released sometime in August if the timeline is similar to the November event. You can find the November Q&As (released February 2017) on the CMS web page by scrolling to the downloads section at the bottom of the page. Continue reading “August Compliance Newsletter”

A Minute in the Morning


Average Case Mix Weight by State*

Based on Fazzi’s analysis of home health claims data for non-LUPA episodes, the national average case mix weight (CMW) for 2016 was 1.0384. See table at right for results by state.

Nationally, the overall CMW decreased (-0.7%) from 2014 to 2016.

Twenty-three states had a decrease in CMW from 2014 to 2016. Twenty-nine states had an increase in CMW, and two states had no change in the same period. Minnesota had the largest percentage increase of 5.0%, followed by North Dakota (4.5%) and Washington (3.9%). Mississippi and Missouri had no change in 2016 from their 2014 CMW. Guam saw the largest decrease (-4.9%) in percent change of CMW, followed by Florida (-4.3%), Utah (-3.4%), and New Mexico (-3.3%).

The five states with the lowest CMW in 2014 (CA, LA, TX, OK, GU) were also the lowest in 2016. Of the five states with the highest CMW in 2014 (FL, ID, UT, TN, WV) only three, WV, ID, and FL, were the highest in 2016 (FL, ID, WV, CO, WA).

Idaho had the highest CMW in 2016 compared to Guam at the lowest – a difference of 0.285 ($845 per episode or $870 per episode with rural add on).

If you are interested in case mix by agency or county level, click here to visit our web page on Business Intelligence or email info@fazzi.com.
* Fazzi analysis of Medicare home health claims

Home Health Compare Quality Charts Updated – July 2017

The Home Health Compare results were updated on July 12, 2017.

All Quality of Patient Care measures, which include measures under Value-based Purchasingshowed improvement again this quarter! Measures included in the Star Ratings continue to show the most improvement. The depression assessment conducted measure remains unchanged since the first quarter of this year. The data collection period for these measures is from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

The acute care hospitalizations measure worsened slightly again this quarter, from 16.5% to 16.7%. The urgent, unplanned care in the emergency room measure remained the same. (Collection period October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016.)

All national averages for HHCAHPS measures continue to remain the same. The data collection period for these measures is calendar year 2016.

The national average for the Patient Care Star Ratings remained at 3.5 stars. The percent of agencies with 3 stars dropped from 20% to 19%, and the percent of agencies with 4.5 stars increased from 10% to 11%. 362 agencies received a 5 star rating. To see where the 5 star agencies are located, visit our Home Health Compare page and use the drop down for Star Ratings at the agency level.

Our Home Health Compare page also provides drop downs to compare measures by state, by year, and by release date. You can also select comparisons for the top 10 percent or top 20 percent.

New Conditions of Participation (CoPs) Effective Date Officially Delayed

The proposed rule delaying the new Home Health CoPs was finalized today. This final rule delays the July 13, 2017 effective date for the “Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Conditions of Participation for Home Health Agencies” originally published in the Federal Register on January 13, 2017.  The rule posted today delays the effective/compliance date for an additional six months until January 13, 2018. Agencies will have until July 13, 2018 to implement one QAPI standard: Performance Improvement Projects.

CMS is planning on releasing the Interpretative Guidelines in December 2017.  According to Gina Mazza, Partner, Fazzi Associates, “Agencies should continue to prepare with diligence as most agencies will need the full, additional six months to be in full compliance with new Patient Rights, Care Planning and QAPI standards by January.”

If you have any questions or would like assistance with your plans to comply with the new CoPs, please Contact us or call 800-379-0361. .

Hospice Compare – Important Update

CMS has recently announced that a Hospice Compare site will be released in 2017. The long anticipated hospice public reporting initiative is expected to begin with the HIS items in Summer 2017 with ongoing quarterly updates from then on. Then, Hospice CAHPS results are expected to be included with one of the quarterly data updates released in the winter of 2018.

Prior to the release of data on Hospice Compare, you will have the opportunity to review your HIS results during a 30-day preview period using a Hospice Provider Preview Report, which will be issued quarterly by CMS. CMS is encouraging all Hospice providers to review their results in advance of each Hospice Compare release. Your first Preview Report is available now in the CASPER system for the release planned for this summer. For details on access and log in, click this link , and scroll to the bottom of that page to the download section.

With Hospice QAPI requirements and now public reporting right around the corner, it is more important than ever for Hospices to focus efforts on improving their CAHPS results. To assist you, as one of the largest CAHPS vendors in the country, Fazzi has released a white paper sharing key insights on Hospice CAHPS from a QAPI perspective.  We’ve put our CAHPS results to work by conducting a study to identify the Hospice CAHPS survey items with the highest correlations to the two global questions:

  • Overall Rating of Hospice Care
  • Willingness to Recommend
Download the White Paper: “CAHPS: Why it’s Good for Hospice!

Paying close attention to your service standards, practices and CAHPS scores can help your agency provide better quality care and quality of service – and will help you be a top performer in public reporting.

Contact us if you have questions or would like information about Fazzi’s Home Health or Hospice CAHPS services, 800-379-0361 or info@fazzi.com.

Source: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/Hospice-Quality-Reporting/Hospice-Quality-Public-Reporting.html

The 2016-2017 National State of the Industry Report

Fazzi Associates, in collaboration with our National Steering Committee, is pleased to bring you the results of our latest best practice study for home care and hospice.  Derived from in depth interviews with 751 agency leaders representing every sector of our industry, this national study is the fourth of its kind and the most comprehensive in the history of home care and hospice.

The intention of the study is to provide information and insight to help all agencies improve quality, profitability, efficiency and patient satisfaction. That’s why we undertake and fund this project and that’s why we offer its findings for free.

The 49-page report covers more than 30 topics of interest to home health and hospice agency leaders, from use of telehealth and outsourced services to productivity, clinical team structure, employee engagement and much more.  Many of the findings clearly provide agency leaders with insights that may be of help to their agency.  Issues addressed include:

  • Clinical models that most impact quality and financial outcomes.
  • Role of accreditation on outcomes.
  • Staffing ratios and their impact on quality and financial outcomes.
  • Difference in outcomes by size or auspices or location.
  • Difference in outcomes based on payment models.
  • Impact and growth in outsourced coding and their implications.
  • Role of productivity on outcomes.
  • Biggest concerns by agencies.
  • Role of telehealth and other technologies on outcomes.
  • Impact of employee engagement surveys on employee retention.

Continue reading “The 2016-2017 National State of the Industry Report”

Home Health Compare Quality Charts Updated

The Home Health Compare results were updated on April 12, 2017.

Other than depression assessment conducted remaining unchanged, all national averages for the Quality of Patient Care measures showed improvement!  Most of the measures with the greatest improvement were those included in the Star Ratings.  The data collection period for these measures is from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016.

All quality measures included under Value-based Purchasing showed improvement except for urgent, unplanned care in the emergency room which remained the same, and acute care hospitalizations (collection period July1, 2015 to June 30, 2016).  The acute care hospitalizations measure has worsened slightly again for this quarter. This measure remained at 16.0% from January to July 2016 and worsened in October 2016 to 16.2%, to 16.3% in January 2017, and to 16.5% this data collection period.

All national averages for HHCAHPS measures remained the same as last quarter. The data collection period for these measures is from October 2015 to September 2016.

The national average for the Patient Care Star Ratings increased from 3.0 to 3.5 stars.

Visit our Home Health Compare page with drop downs to compare by state, by year, and by release date. You can also select comparisons for the top 10 percent or top 20 percent. We also provide a drop down to agency level for Star Ratings.