CMS HCC risk scores and home health patient experience measures

Hsueh Fen Chen, J. Mick Tilford, Fei Wan, Robert Schuldt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To understand the association between agency-level CMS Hierarchical Condition Categories (HCC) risk scores and patient experience measures for home health. STUDY DESIGN: This was a cross-sectional study. METHODS: We extracted variables from the 2014 Medicare Provider Utilization and Payment Data for Home Health Agencies and Home Health Compare file. We applied fixed-effects models for the analyses. Our dependent variables included both global and composite patient experience measures. The 2 global patient experience measures were the patient’s overall rating of care provided by the agency (rating) and the patient’s willingness to recommend the home health agency to others (recommendation). The 3 composite patient experience measures were how often the patient felt the provider gave care in a professional way (professional way), how well the home health team communicated with the patient (communication), and whether the home health team discussed medicines, pain, and home safety with the patient (discussion). RESULTS: Increased agency-level CMS HCC risk scores were negatively associated with all patient experience measures: rating (–2.04; P ≤.001), recommendation (–2.75; P <.001), professional way (–1.56; P <.001), communication (–1.67; P <.001), and discussion (–1.69; P ≤.001). Several covariates, including the percentage of racial/ethnic minority beneficiaries, ownership of the agency, and number of tenured years with the Medicare program, were significantly associated with patient experience measures. CONCLUSIONS: A negative association exists between CMS HCC risk scores and patient experience measures. To avoid unintended consequences, patient experience measures need further risk adjustment under the CMS 5-star patient survey rating system and the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing pilot program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e319-e334
JournalAmerican Journal of Managed Care
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2018


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