Home Health, News, Skilled Nursing Facility

Readmissions quality measure now ready for prime time — data coming this fall

Beginning in October 2019, CMS will publicly display results involving a quality measure called “Potentially preventable 30-day post-discharge readmissions.”

CMS previously planned to post data involving the measure in January 2019, but the measure wasn’t quite ready for prime time. During CMS’ home health, hospice and durable medical equipment open door forum Feb. 13, a CMS official said the new measure’s results weren’t published because, “We believe additional time would allow for more testing to determine if there are modifications that may be needed both to the measure and to the method for displaying the measure.”

Now CMS says the measure is ready.

“Because potentially preventable readmission rates are relatively low, CMS conducted additional testing to ensure that the measure reliably assesses the performance” of agencies, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) and long-term care hospitals (LTCHs) on quality, CMS says in a release.

“We postponed publishing these measures while we were conducting this additional testing,” CMS says. “However, providers did obtain confidential feedback reports enabling them to view their performance.”

CMS says it refined its method for assigning providers to performance categories for purposes of public reporting.

While data on this quality measure hasn’t been posted on Home Health Compare, CMS already has posted four new measures on the website this year including “drug regimen review conducted with follow-up for identified issues.” Agencies nationwide scored 92.6% on that measure when Home Health Compare was updated on May 17. In the prior quarter’s refresh, agencies scored 92.3% on the measure.

Other measures added this year to Home Health Compare are the assessment-based “Percent of residents or patients with pressure ulcers that are new or worsened (short stay) (NQF#0678)” and the claims-based measures “Medicare spending per beneficiary” and “Discharge to community.”

Related link: Read more about the new readmissions measure at https://go.cms.gov/30XEIYD.