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New HHS data show quality improvements

On May 7, 2014, CMS distributed the following news release which reports new preliminary data from the Department of Health and Human Services. The data shows an overall 9% percent decrease in hospital acquired conditions nationally during 2011 and 2012 and an 8% reduction in the hospital readmission rate between January 2012 and December 2013. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius applauds the nationwide network of hospital systems and providers that are working together to save lives and reduce costs while simultaneously reducing hospital readmissions and injuries.

The home health industry plays a key role in reducing the hospital readmission rate. Quality Improvement programs have enabled home health agencies to track information that guide quality and performance improvements. For instance, home health agencies collect and report critical OASIS data about patients who are admitted to home health post-hospital discharge. OASIS assessment data such as pain, medication management, dyspnea management and functional outcomes help predict patients who are at risk for readmission to the hospital. This predictive modeling capability assists agencies with identifying risks and implementing care plans and processes to provide higher quality outcomes. Also, a subset of quality measures derived from the OASIS data set are made available on Medicare’s “Home Health Compare” website.

One of many comparative measures is “How often patients are admitted to the hospital”. Public reporting of these measures is providing added incentives for home health agencies to partner with other providers to improve the quality of care provided to patients. These recent preliminary results are a testament to the focus and efforts made by home health agencies and their partnership with other providers.

To view the report, click here.

Home care caregiver with patient showing data on the ipad

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