In 2023, home health agencies were finally starting to get their feet under them. They were receiving initial reports on their status in the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) model, giving much needed insight on where to restructure their strategies, and continuing to recover from the strains of COVID-19. Then CMS announced their new regulations and reset the baseline, forcing agencies to reshape their plans once again.
Our specialty faces many struggles – quality ratings, equitable care, staffing – and an ever-changing measurement system does no favors to the rising burnout in staff across the industry. In fact, CMS found that less than 30% of agencies even opened their report, revealing a large disconnect between compliance entities and agencies.
A substantial part of my job at K&K Health Care Solutions involves educating clients as a form of empowerment. As a clinician with almost 30 years in this setting, I have a unique perspective as a consultant and participant in various national committees and expert panels. Insider knowledge allows an in-depth understanding of the regulations side, which helps when guiding clients on quality improvement measures. It also allows me to advocate on agencies’ behalf after experiencing the difficulties of data collection firsthand.
The impact of shifting measurements
Building off the foundation those 2023 reports provided, my keynote at last year’s Home Care Symposium explored in-depth approaches to quality improvement in HHVBP and how to achieve positive patient outcomes. At this year’s symposium, we will regroup on the current and upcoming measurements. I’m thrilled to be invited back as a featured speaker to help actualize expanded strategies on HHVBP and prepare for 2025’s new regulations.
In my upcoming keynote, we will review the expected changes in the model and break down the functionality behind them before diving into practical strategies for leaders and clinicians.
The biggest impact we’ll see on value-based purchasing surrounds the pivot to Section GG: Functional Abilities and Goals items. The reasoning behind adding them may not seem clear, but it’s actually a step in the right direction in terms of standardization with post acute care and evaluating direct impact around the ultimate goal: preventing rehospitalization.
Avoiding higher cost care
Home health professionals know the final destination: keeping patients out of the hospital. The journey there, however, often encounters a crossroad between leadership and field staff. Establishing practical strategies can help keep clinicians motivated while teaching them how to accurately collect data, so your agency has a clear way to gauge patient satisfaction.
Sometimes all it takes is a different perspective. For instance, reconceptualizing the definition of positive impact to avoid placing unrealistic expectations on clinicians. After running risk assessments, instead of asking if the patient has exceeded expectations, ask if they’ve achieved them. Maintaining function still equals a positive outcome and contributes to the success of the HHVBP model.
On March 19, I’ll be delivering the 2024 Virtual Home Care Symposium keynote with “Home Health Value-Based Purchasing: Are We Ready for 2025?” at 11:15am. We’ll dive further into these topics and explore how they will be setting a much needed baseline in home health that we have lacked so far.
Whether your agency has been hypervigilant of your standings or has not yet opened your report, this session will chart a clear outlook around the vital questions: Why are these items important quality measures? How can you use them to your benefit? By preparing now, home health agencies will be ready to take on next year and all the changes that come with it.
Register for MEDITECH’s 2024 Home Care Symposium today and join us March 19-21 for three education-packed days. At this virtual event, we will explore strategies for addressing various challenges agencies are facing every day: engaging the clinician to encourage staff retention, the benefits of an interdisciplinary team, and tailoring your technology.