Home Health Success Regardless of CMS VBP Changes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently proposed a new rule that would make significant changes to the Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) program for home health agencies. While these changes may seem daunting, there are a few key things that agencies can do to prepare.


Focus on the Current VBP Measures

The first thing that agencies should do is focus on the current VBP measures that will impact them in 2023 and 2024. These measures include:

  • HHCAHPS (Home Health Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) survey: This survey measures patient satisfaction with their home healthcare experience. Agencies with high HHCAPS scores are rewarded under the VBP program.
  • Acute Care Hospitalization: This measure tracks the number of patients who are admitted to the hospital within 60 days of starting home health care. Agencies that minimize hospitalizations are rewarded under the VBP program.
  • Interim performance reports: CMS releases interim performance reports quarterly. These reports provide agencies with data on their performance on the VBP measures. Agencies can use this data to identify areas for improvement.


Work on Your Customer Service – HHCAHPS Survey

The HHCAHPS survey is a critical measure for VBP, and it is important for agencies to work on improving their customer service scores. There are a number of things that agencies can do to improve their customer service, such as:

  • Making sure that patients are satisfied with their care: Agencies should regularly seek feedback on the care provided. This feedback can be used to identify areas for improvement.
  • Being responsive to patient needs: Agencies should be responsive to patient needs and concerns. This includes promptly answering patient calls and making sure that patients have the information they need.
  • Maintain and promote a supportive environment: Agencies serve patients in their homes, so it is important to respect the patient’s preferences while promoting an environment in which they can regain or maintain their independence.


Reduce Hospitalizations – General hospitalization reduction strategies!

Another important measure for VBP is acute care hospitalization. There are several things agencies can work on to reduce hospitalizations, such as:

  • Using telehealth: Telehealth can be used to provide care to patients in their homes, which can help to reduce the need for hospitalization. Read three ways EHR technology is changing home health and hospice
  • Identifying high-risk patients: Agencies should identify high-risk patients who are more likely to be hospitalized. These patients can be given extra attention and support to help them avoid hospitalization.
  • Front-loading visits: Agencies can front-load visits, which means providing more visits at the beginning of a patient's episode of care. This can help to prevent problems from developing that could lead to hospitalization. Discover our new home health visit utilization management application that will optimize visits and staffing management: Get your free demo of SimiTree Compass.

Watch our free on-demand webinars on these timely topics for home health and hospice teams.


Review Interim Performance Reports

CMS releases interim performance reports quarterly – the most recent was this July and the next one will be out in October 2024. Read about the recent July IPRs and learn how you can see your home health agency's performance. These reports can provide valuable insights into how agencies are performing on the VBP measures.

Agencies must pay close attention and use this data to identify areas for improvement. For example, if an agency's HHCAHPS scores are low, they can review the interim performance report to see what areas of their care are not being well-received by patients. This information can be used to make changes to improve patient experience.

SimiTree will meet with you and review your report for free. Fill out a contact us form today: Request A Service » SimiTree (simitreehc.com)


Don’t Get Overwhelmed with VBP Changes

The changes to VBP may seem daunting, but there is no need to get overwhelmed. By focusing on the current measures and working with SimiTree, agencies can prepare for the future and succeed in the VBP program.

To learn more about the changes to VBP, please visit the CMS website. You can also contact SimiTree for more information about how we can help your agency prepare for the future.


Looking to educate yourself on HHVBP?

Join SimiTree’s J’non Griffin, SVP, Coding, in ACHC’s three-part series of master classes developed specifically for home health agencies. Sessions will explore the expanded HHVBP Model, care management protocols to reduce hospitalizations, and the HHCAHPS survey and scores. J’non Griffin, RN, MHA, HCS-D, COS-C, HCS-H, has over 30 years of leadership experience with home health and hospice agencies. An ACHC Certified Consultant, she is also an AHIMA-approved ICD-10 trainer/ambassador and is certified in-home care and hospice coding, OASIS competency, and home care compliance. Her master classes will cover:

  • OASIS, Patient Engagement, and Expanded HHVBP Model – September 14, 2024
  • Reducing Hospitalizations with Care Management Protocols – September 21, 2024
  • Improve Patient Case Management to Increase HHCAHPS Scores – September 28, 2023

Don’t miss these amazing learning opportunities on this topic. Learn more.


SimiTree is Here to Help

SimiTree is a leading provider of home health consulting services. We have a deep understanding of the VBP program and can help your agency prepare for the future. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.

Contact us for a COMPLIMENTARY review of your interim performance report: Schedule a Complimentary Performance Report Review! (simitreehc.com)