The Home Health Compare results were updated April 20, 2016.  Nearly all measures showed improvement.  Four measures remain unchanged while one measure decreased.  The data collection period for these measures is from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.

hhc-star-2016-04

Seven of the nine measures for the Quality of Patient Care Star Ratings showed improvement.  Influenza immunization received for current flu season decreased for the second reporting period in a row and Acute Care Hospitalization remained unchanged.  The nine measures used to calculate the star ratings are identified with an asterisk on Fazzi’s Home Health Compare Charts.  The Quality of Patient Care Star Ratings show 22% of agencies receiving 3 and 3.5 stars.

For HHCAHPS averages, the national score in Specific care issues decreased.  The remaining measures are unchanged. The data collection period for these measures is from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.

Check your Patient Survey Star Ratings.  If your star rating decreased, contact our Gina Mazza, our HHCAHPS Survey Director for improvement tips.

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.

Featured

Our job is to empower your agency to become Invincible, and we are constantly enhancing our services to help you do just that.

We’re pleased to tell you about a vital addition to our coding review process – the integration of STAR items into our coding review.  The feedback you receive for each patient is easy to use and highlights those M-items that impact the Quality of Patient Care Star Rating, and ultimately, reimbursement. This will allow your agency to know how and where you can improve your STAR rating, and protect your revenue.

If you’re currently a coding customer (thank you!), a member of our team will contact you soon to explain the details of this important enhancement.

If you’re not a current coding customer, this is one more reason to consider Outsourced Coding from Fazzi Associates!  And here are just a few more…

  • You’ll love our fast turnaround time and 24/7/365 coverage!
  • You’ll rest easy knowing you can count on a manager, coordinator and team of coders assigned to your agency!
  • Less work for you!  We use your EMR with a HIPAA-compliant connection and enter codes directly into your system.

Questions?  We love questions. Contact us today.

Home Health Margins and Volume Quintile
Quintile 2011 2012 2013 2014
First (Smallest) 6.6 7.1 6.1 4.0
Second 8.3 8.1 7.8 5.4
Third 10.1 10.1 8.9 7.6
Fourth 13.4 13.2 11.2 10.0
Fifth (Largest) 17.4 16.8 14.8 12.5
Sources: MedPAC Report to the Congress: Medicare Payment Policy, March 2014 and 2016 and MedPAC June 2014 and June 2015 Data Book.
Medicare Margin 2014
All Freestanding HHAs 10.8%
Majority urban 11.2%
Majority rural 8.5%
For profit 12.2%
Nonprofit 6.4%

Freestanding home health agencies had an aggregate margin of 10.8 percent in 2014. MedPAC estimates the marginal profit of HHAs to be 13.3 percent in 2014, about 20 percent higher than the overall Medicare margin.

“[MedPAC] includes hospital-based HHAs in the analysis of inpatient hospital margins because these agencies operate in the financial context of hospital operations. Margins for hospital-based agencies in 2014 were -22.4 percent. The lower margins of hospital-based agencies are chiefly because of higher costs, some of which may be due to overhead costs allocated to the HHA from their parent hospitals.

“On the basis of these policies and assumptions, [MedPAC] projects a margin of 8.8 percent in 2016. This projection assumes that the sequester reduction of 2 percent remains in effect through 2016.”

Sources: MedPAC Report to the Congress: Medicare Payment Policy, March 2014 and 2016 and MedPAC June 2014 and June 2015 Data Book.

The Home Health Compare results were updated January 28, 2016.

  • This release includes the first reported Home Health Patient Experience of Care Star Ratings. The HHCAHPS Patient Survey Star Ratings reports patients’ experiences of care ranging from one to five stars. CMS reports approximately 6,000 agencies with patient care experience star ratings in this release. Four HHCAHPS measures can receive a star rating plus there is a summary star rating that reflects the average of the composite stars and global star.
    •  3 composites measures: care of patients, communication between providers and patients, and specific care issues
    • 1 global item: Overall rating of care provided by the HHA
    • 1 Survey Summary Star Rating

CMS has adjusted the Patient Survey Star Ratings results for patient mix. The adjusted results are publicly reported.

Read full article, Home Health Compare Charts Updated

Home Health Service Use
Measure 2006 2013 2014
Home Heath users (millions) 3.0 3.5 3.4
Episodes (millions) 5.5 6.7 6.6
Per Home Health user 1.8 1.9 1.9
Payments (billions) $14.0 $17.9 $17.7
Per Home Health user $4,606 $5,169 $5,156

The average episode per home health user has decreased from 2.0 in 2010 to 1.9 in 2014. Payment per home health user decreased in the same period from $5,679 to $5,156.

Source: MedPAC March 2015 and March 2016; MedPAC December 2015 meeting presentation: Assessing payment adequacy and updating payments: home health care services.

Type of Visit Visits per Episode (2014)
Skilled Nursing 9.8
Therapy 6.7
Home Health Aide 2.2
Medical Social Services 0.1
Source: MedPAC Report to the Congress: Medicare Payment Policy, March 2016.