Home Health Agencies are required to conduct HHCAHPS through a third party vendor and submit that data to CMS, assuming the agencies has treated 60 Medicare patients in a given year.  The data is to monitor patient satisfaction and how the agency is perceived to be providing care to their patients.  Following are the measures that are used in reporting scores for Home Health Compare, Star Ratings and Value Based Purchasing.  Whether your agency is in a VBP Pilot state or not, the Star Ratings are publicly reported.

Within the measures listed above there are multiple questions from the actual survey that are used to calculate the eventual outcome.  Most of these questions are directly impacted by the influence your clinicians have on the patient.  Are your clinicians treating wounds or are they treating patients?  If your patients believe they are just another Medicare Number to you and your staff, your HHCAHPS scores will reflect that.

You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.”- Patch Adams

The survey is the survey and the lack of response is difficult to combat, but agencies can affect the scores they are getting from the ones that do respond! Some of the things that might be considered in deciding whether you are getting enough response are:

1.    Are we using a vendor that is truly concerned about the volume of responses that we get?
2.    Are we paying for the most effective method of survey to be conducted?
3.    Are agencies conducting their own surveys – following the guidelines, of course?

The HHCAHPS surveys cannot be treated as just another thing we have to do.  We have to believe that we are making a difference in patients’ lives and most importantly ensure that the patient believes that we are as well.  If we don’t believe that we are a 10, the patient will not believe that we are a 10!

 They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”- Maya Angelou