Performance Improvement 2009. Have Repeated Deficiencies Been Found During Subsequent Surveys of Home Health Agencies?


This study examined which Medicare home health agencies repeated the same deficiency citations. Medicare’s home health benefit provides treatment for beneficiaries who have short or long term illnesses or injuries and who are confined to their homes. This benefit has grown in terms of Medicare beneficiaries receiving home health services, expenditures, and number of home health agencies.

Reviewers found that 15 percent of home health agencies repeated the same deficiency citation on three consecutive surveys. Inadequate patient care plans were the most frequent citations at repeatedly deficient home health agencies. These HHAs received twice as many deficiency citations on past surveys compared to others that did not repeat citations. Among repeatedly deficient home health agencies, most were located in six States and tended to be concentrated in highly populated areas. Reviewers found that deficiency history beyond the most recent survey can be an important indicator of performance on the next survey and can improve identification of at-risk home health agencies. The agency has implemented improvements to the oversight of home health agencies, many of which address the issue of repeated deficiencies.

Report Title: Deficiency History and Recertification of Medicare Home Health Agencies
Agency Sponsor: OS-OIG, Office of Inspector General
Federal Contact: Erin Lemire, 202-205-9523
Performer: Staff; Office of Inspector General
PIC ID: 9006

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