CMS discusses its plan to modify home health star ratings

Brought to you by Home Health Line.

During a June 27 MLN call, CMS presented its rationale for seeking to remove one measure from home health star ratings in quality of care and seeking to add another measure instead.

CMS wants to add the measure “Improvement in management of oral medications” and remove the measure “Drug education on all medications provided to patient/caregiver during all episodes of care.”

If plans are finalized, they’ll take effect for star ratings beginning in April 2019.

The drug education measure has topped out, CMS contends. The national average on the process measure based on OASIS data is 97.9%, according to the April 2018 update of Home Health Compare.

But the measure CMS is seeking to add — Improvement in management of oral medications — is not topped out. Agencies scored 63.4% nationally on it in April 2018.

The oral medication management measure is important, and adding it would allow for CMS to continue having eight measures as part of star ratings, CMS notes.

In April 2018 at least, if the one measure had been removed and the other had been added, the average star rating for agencies would have remained 3.27, CMS notes.

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