PINEHURST – Only 11 percent of the home care agencies in the United States received 4.5 stars or more in the first-star ratings published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Home Health Compare.
One of those agencies was FirstHealth Home Care.
FirstHealth Home Care’s Medicare-certified, ACHC-accredited offices in Pinehurst and Rockingham serve patients in the six-county service area of Moore, Richmond, Montgomery, Hoke, Scotland and Lee.
The agency’s 4.5 stars (out of five) indicate the quality of care it provides. The state and national average is three stars.
“The CMS 4.5 Star Rating reflects the high quality of care we consistently deliver to our patients,” says Patty Upham, director of FirstHealth Home Care. “Our multidisciplinary team works together to help our patients reach their personal goals and their maximum level of safety and independence in their home.”
Home Health Compare is CMS’s public information website for home health agencies. Its star ratings are based on nine of 29 quality measures that were publicly reported by home health agencies for calendar year 2014.
According to CMS, star ratings can help consumers more quickly identify differences in quality and make use of the information when they care choosing a health care provider. In addition to summarizing certain data about home health agency performance for consumers, star ratings can also help the agencies identify areas for improvement.
The nine quality measures used to determine the current star ratings were as follows:
- How often the home health team began their patients’ care in a timely manner
- How often the home health team made sure that their patients have a received a flu shot for the current flu season
- How often the home health team taught patients (or their family caregivers) about their prescribed drugs
- How often home health patients got better at walking or moving around
- How often home health patients got better at getting in and out of bed
- How often home health patients had less pain when moving around
- How often home health patients got better at bathing
- How often home health patients’ breathing improved
- Home often home health patients had to be admitted to the hospital
The measures were calculated using information from patient assessments performed by the home health agency and from the Medicare claims it submitted. Statistical models were used to adjust for differences in the types of patients served by different agencies when patient outcomes were calculated.
“Our 4.5 stars in the Home Health Compare summary indicate not only our commitment to patients with chronic disease but also our success in delivering high-quality care to them,” says Dan Barnes, D.O., president of the FirstHealth Physician Group. “Caring for patients in the familiarity of their home helps assure that they and/or their caregivers become partners in their health care team, keeping them in the home – where they want to be – while decreasing the number of unnecessary emergency department visits and hospital readmissions. It’s a ‘win’ for each patient needing the care as well as for the health care system providing that care.”
The FirstHealth Home Care staff completes nearly 35,000 visits annually, driving more than 500,000 miles and serving more than 2,500 patients. More than 1,000 patients get state-of-the-art remote telehealth monitoring that has demonstrated a significant reduction in unnecessary hospitalizations or emergency care.
Visitwww.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/HomeHealthQualityInits/HHQIHomeHealthStarRatings.html for more information about the Home Health Quality of Care Patient Care Star Ratings. Click here for more information on FirstHealth Home Care.
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