Quality Outcomes
Using data from an urban home health organization, results found that home health clinicians spend less time with patients “for whom they document the language of judgment” — words like “adamant,” “apparently,” “claims” and “insists."
Hospices should focus on preventing condition-level survey deficiencies to avoid inclusion in the Special Focus Program (SFP) that CMS is proposing for low-performing hospices in 2024.
Frontloading is a best practice for reducing hospitalizations and improving patient outcomes, but agencies need to be aware of LUPA issues and the costs that can come with frontloading.
Functional status is measured through Section GG of OASIS assessments, which evaluates a patient’s capacity to perform daily activities related to self-care (GG0130) and mobility (GG0170). The expected discharge score will incorporate risk-adjustment controls, including admission function score, age and patient clinical characteristics.
Agencies should create processes with assisted living facilities and other settings so that they understand when to call the agency first to avoid patient hospitalizations that could be prevented.
In addition to poor communication, language barriers can lead to negative outcomes for both the patient and the agency, including the increased risk of hospitalizations and poor HHCAHPS scores.
In a surprise to many, only 20% of pilot-state HHVBP agencies received payment adjustments greater than approximately 3% in 2021, with the maximum adjustment in 2021 being approximately 7%. This means that most agencies were not reaching the maximum adjustment, according to the 6th annual HHVBP report.
Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) not only give agencies better insight into environmental factors that affect patients, but they also provide a better idea of how to best treat patients with optimal care that leads to better outcomes.
Agencies do not have to submit any additional data under the expanded Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) program.
A new outcome measure is on the horizon for agencies. It will impact your Care Compare results, and potentially future HHVBP reimbursement.


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