HHS to improve quality of care by providing home health quality information - Newsletter - Brief Art

Author: Matthew Neff
Date: March 15, 2003

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson has announced an initiative to improve the quality of care provided by home health agencies by reporting quality information about these agencies to the persons who rely on Medicare and Medicaid programs. HHS' Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin the first phase of this initiative this spring in eight states (Florida, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Wisconsin, and West Virginia) by publishing the quality information of home health agencies in these states to increase awareness of how performance differs across agencies and to help stimulate home health agency quality improvement. This information will be available in newspapers in the eight states and online at www.medicare.gov and will be promoted through CMS' local Quality Improvement Organizations. The public reporting will be based on 11 quality measures, including four measures related to improvement of patient mobility (i.e., walking, getting in and out of bed, and using the toilet without assistance); four measures related to improvement in meeting daily basic needs (i.e., bathing, dressing, and taking daily medicines); two measures related to medical emergencies; and one measure related to improvement in mental health. Throughout 2003, CMS will refine and expand the initiative to include quality information for home health agencies in all 50 states.

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