By David Crist, senior vice president of sales & marketing for Brother Mobile Solutions
Now that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has introduced a new Quality of Patient Care Star Rating system to help consumers make better-informed decisions about home health care providers, home health agencies face more pressure than ever to deliver excellent patient outcomes, operate efficiently and prove themselves trusted partners to hospitals, physicians and other stakeholders.
In the initial scoring, nearly half of the 9,000 home health agencies rated nationally received scores of 3 or 3½ stars out of a possible five. Eventually, Medicare plans to pay bonuses and assess penalties based on performance, as it currently does for hospitals. Recognizing that technology will play an increasingly critical role in helping them earn top ratings by empowering caregivers and engaging patients and their families, forward-thinking home health providers are already well along the road to implementing a wide range of robust IT solutions.