Five HHCAHPS Questions You Should Monitor Closely

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Karen Utterback By Karen Utterback 
Former Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, McKesson (Retired)

Five HHCAHPS Questions You Should Monitor CloselyAs hospitals strive to lower readmission rates, they’re carefully examining their provider networks. Many are seeking to partner exclusively with providers that have been pre-screened for quality outcomes.

3 Things Homecare Providers Must Do to Succeed:

To thrive in today’s competitive landscape, home health agencies must be prepared to:

  • Prove they adhere to evidence-based practices
  • Demonstrate they provide patient-centric care
  • Offer excellent patient outcome data

Because a major selection factor is an agency’s score on the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems Home Health Care Survey (HHCAHPS), home health executives must continually focus on the top drivers for recommendation of care.

Top 5 Drivers for Recommendation of Care:

According to National Research Corp., the top five drivers between December 2012 and May 2013 were:

  1. Care providers listened carefully (question 18)
  2. Care providers explained things in a way easy to understand (question 17)
  3. Care providers treated me with courtesy and respect (question 19)
  4. Care providers treated me gently (question 16)
  5. Care providers informed me about when they would arrive (question 15)

Note that “Care providers treated me gently” replaced “Care providers kept me informed and up to date” in the top five for this recent data period. These five drivers correspond with questions 18, 17, 19, 16, and 15 on the HHCAHPS survey.

Learn about the top questions that home health organizations score poorly on in the CAHPS survey.

In a recent webinar, National Research Corp. advised home health agencies to capitalize on their HHCAHPS scores by understanding which measures are most important to the hospitals they are seeking to partner with, working to improve those areas and clearly demonstrating their potential value.

Of course, it’s a good idea to keep your data points as simple as possible. Make it easy for hospital executives to understand how your agency can help lower their readmission rates and, in an accountable care scenario, increase the opportunity for shared savings.

It’s equally important to prove to hospital leaders that your agency stands apart from others in your area. Data may not be sufficient for this purpose— HHCAHPS experts recommend including one or two stories about a patient the hospital referred to you. The powerful combination of hard facts with human experience may be exactly what your agency needs to prove your potential value.

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