October 30, 2023

New Research Demonstrates the Value of Home Health

New research from Syracuse University found that home healthcare ratings are linked to patient outcomes. In a study conducted by Jun Li, a health economist from Syracuse University, results show that patients treated in higher-rated agencies have better health outcomes, both in the short-term and long-term. The study found that high-quality home healthcare decreased rates of hospitalization, emergency department visits, and decreased institutionalization.

Home healthcare is a crucial component of caring for older individuals, offering a cost-effective solution for both the government and patients. However, evaluating the quality of such services can be challenging for patients and their healthcare providers, especially when the decision must be made as patients transition from hospital care to home healthcare.

According to the study, despite the success of the star rating system, challenges persist, particularly for patients in rural areas who may not have access to highly rated agencies. Although this research shows that the rating system helps patients choose effective health agencies, many patients still struggle to access high-quality home healthcare.

According to Li, “15% of patients live in zip codes where the best-rated home health options were only average,” underscoring the need to prioritize high-quality home healthcare to ensure all patients have access to it.

While this study demonstrates the clear value of home health, PQHH is concerned CMS is putting this care at risk with severe, proposed Medicare cuts for 2024.

Fortunately, Congress still has time to protect home health. By passing the Preserving Access to Home Health Act (S. 2137/H.R. 5159), Congress can prevent CMS from implementing these dire cuts. Learn more about these cuts and how you can help #protecthomehealth.