If a doctor orders home health care services or hospice care for you or someone you love, it’s up to you to decide which provider you want to use. The doctor may provide you with a list of Medicare-certified home health care providers or hospice agencies; but how do you choose which one is the best?
The Importance of Medicare Ratings
The first and most important step is to check the online Medicare ratings of any home health care agencies or hospice providers you’re considering. When it comes to in-home care services, you should never compromise on quality. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services uses a star rating system that makes it easy to quickly assess the performance of home health and hospice care providers, broken down into two categories:
- Quality of Patient Care Rating: The Quality of Patient Care score is determined based on comparisons between home health care providers on the following key areas of patient care:
- How often the agency initiated patient care in a timely manner
- How often the patient improved in the following areas:
- Taking medications correctly by mouth
- Walking/moving around
- Getting in and out of bed
- Bathing themselves
- Experiencing a reduction in shortness of breath
- Whether the patient required acute care hospitalization
Note that these ratings are not opinion-based like consumer ratings or reviews. Medicare ratings are calculated based on OASIS assessments and Medicare claims data, and these ratings are updated quarterly. The majority of home health agencies fall somewhere in the middle, receiving 3 or 3.5 stars out of a possible 5. Anything higher is indicative of exceptional quality care.
- Patient Survey Rating: The Patient Survey assessment also uses a 5-star rating system, determined by the Home Health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems survey. This survey is provided to patients and/or family members to gather feedback on their experiences with a home health provider who is currently providing care, or who recently discharged them from care. A core set of questions is given, but each home health agency can add customized questions as well.
How to Check an Agency’s Ratings
The process to review an agency’s Medicare ratings is simple, and can be accomplished in a matter of minutes. Just visit Medicare.gov’s Care Compare page and enter the name of a home health provider you’re considering for your care needs. A one-page summary will be displayed that shows a list of services provided, followed by both the agency’s Quality and Patient Survey ratings. You can then click “View Details” for each category to gain further insight.
Superior Home Health and Hospice: Superior Medicare Ratings!
At Superior Home Health and Hospice, we work hard to ensure the highest possible quality for the individuals we serve, and it shows! Our Quality and Patient Survey ratings are outstanding, among the highest in our area. See for yourself!
A little homework before selecting your home health provider will go a long way towards giving you both peace of mind and the exceptional care you deserve. To find out more about why Superior Home Health and Hospice is the top-rated choice for home health care and physical therapy in Solvang and the surrounding areas, contact us any time at 805-742-4514.