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Identifying Associations between Quality Initiatives and Quality Measures among Home Health Agencies: Findings from a National Study.

  • Author(s): Zinn, Jacqueline S
  • Ladd, Heather
  • Nuccio, Eugene
  • Ettner, Susan L
  • Sorkin, Dara H
  • Mukamel, Dana B
  • et al.

Home health performance gained visibility with the publication of Home Health Compare and the Home Health Value-Based Payment demonstration. Both provide incentives for home health agencies (HHA) to invest in quality improvements. The objective of this study is to identify the association between quality initiatives adopted by HHAs and improved performance. A 2018 national survey of 7459 HHAs, yielding a sample of 1192 eligible HHAs, provided information about 23 quality initiatives, which was linked to 5 composite Super Quality Measures (SQMs): ADL/pain, self-treatment, timely care, hospitalizations, and patient experience. Exclusions for missing data and outliers yielded a final analytical sample of 903 HHAs. Regression models estimated associations between quality initiatives and SQMs. The relationships between sixteen of the SQM/quality initiative pairs were positively associated with improvement and 7 were negatively associated. Web-based technologies for staff and care-givers improved performance but deteriorated patient experience. Web support-groups for staff and review of HHC rankings reduced hospitalization rates. While this study offers insights for quality improvement, a limitation may be a lack of sensitivity to the nuances of quality improvement implementation. Therefore, this study should be viewed as hypothesis-generating concerning initiatives likely to have the greatest potential meriting further investigation.

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