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  • MedPAC Report introduces new single measure of quality of home health care
    (March 15, 2004)
    MedPAC has released "The Effect of the Prospective Payment System on Home Health Quality of Care," written under contract for MedPAC by Outcome Concept Systems, Inc. This report introduces a new, single measure of the overall quality of home health care, based on patients' outcomes such as improvement in walking or bathing. The research suggests that the quality of care remained stable or improved slightly after the implementation of the current payment system. This report includes:
    • a description of the method used to calculate the single, national
      score;
    • the strengths and limitations of this scoring method; and
    • details of the component measures, such as the change in the rate of potentially avoidable unplanned hospitalizations.

To be included in the March, 2002 Report to Congress will be three key recommendations of interest to hospital-based home health agencies:

  • Eliminate the 15 percent reduction of HHA PPS rates, currently scheduled to go into effect October 1, 2002;
  • Eliminate the scheduled market basket reduction of 1.1 percentage points for FY 2003; and
  • Extend the 10 percent add-on for rural home health agencies for two more years.

MedPAC cited the turmoil of recent years for home agencies and the lack of evidence about the impact of current PPS rates as factors in their decision to recommend these restorations. AHA concurs that payment stability is critical for home health agencies and we are very pleased with this approach.

 

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