Reach for the Stars

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Abstract

Star Ratings were implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for home healthcare agencies with the first release of measures in 2015 and 2016. Hospital Compare also displays Star Ratings, and Hospice also will soon have the Hospice Information Set displayed on Hospice Compare. Star Ratings in home healthcare are determined by a specific methodology and are based on nine quality areas. One set of Stars designates the nine quality areas and a second set of Stars reflects consumer satisfaction. This article discusses quality of patient care Star Ratings but not those based on Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Provider and Systems outcomes. Few agencies reach above 3-Star Ratings; the majority fall within 3 and 3.5 with the national benchmark being 3.5. Agencies should strive for high Star Ratings as consumers, hospitals, and other referral sources may base their decisions on the number of stars received.

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