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CMS releases first ever home health patient experience of care star ratings

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has introduced the first "patient experience of care star ratings" on its Home Health Compare website.

Known as Home Health Care Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) Survey star ratings, these measures evaluate patients' experiences with home health agencies who are approved by Medicare or Medicaid.

Consumers use this site to evaluate ratings about how well local home care agencies provide patient care. Previously, consumers could find ratings of home health care agencies on the site? but this is the first time the ratings include individual patient experiences.

In getting their ratings, the CMS conducts surveys of home health care patients by mail or telephone, and posts the results online.

CMS says there are 11,000 home care agencies with data on their site, with 6,000 having patient care experience ratings.

You can check out the Compare site here.

You can check out the CMS 500-page manual that describes the protocols and requirements for their surveys here.

The CMS also operates a website that evaluates nursing homes (Nursing Home Compare) and has recently announced that it was toughening its ratings standards for nursing homes. You can view this site here.

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