In order to provide the public with improved information for making key health care decisions, the federal government releases information about a set of Quality Measures for both nursing facilities and home health agencies. This is part of a larger effort by Medicare to improve the quality of care in nursing homes and home health agencies.
The information used to compile these Quality Measures is taken from resident assessments (Management Data Sets – MDS) that were filled out on our residents who reside in Medicare and/or Medicaid certified beds. It is intended that this information, combined with actual visits to nursing homes and consulting with physicians, family and friends will help families make the best possible decision about nursing home placement.
To aid patients in deciding which home health agency is right for them, Quality Measures are available that provide information on how well these programs provide care for their Medicare patients. The measures that allow this comparison for home health agencies are taken from patient assessments (Outcomes and Assessment Information Set – OASIS).
Quality Measures are related to specific clinical areas of care. They are intended to provide objective standards by which an individual may determine how well a nursing home or home health agency is able to manage various aspects of care being provided to their residents and patients.
When selecting a nursing home, potential residents and their families are encouraged to use these measures in conjunction with other variables often used to measure quality within a nursing home, such as resident and family satisfaction, staff interactions with the residents, level of staff knowledge in geriatric medicine and care issues, and overall cleanliness and appearance of the facility.
For home health agencies, the Quality Measures available for comparison purposes relate to improvement in mobility, meeting patients’ activities of daily living, issues pertaining to medical emergencies, and the ability of patients to remain in their own homes. Additional questions to ask a home health agency can be found by clicking here.
Lutheran Senior Services is always striving to provide older adults with the best in quality care. This Quality Measure initiative allows Lutheran Senior Services the opportunity to build upon the quality care we already provide.
To find out more about nursing home or home health agencies in your area, visit the Nursing Homes Compare or Home Health Compare section of www.medicare.gov, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY/TDD: 1-877-486-2048). These measures are only available on Medicare patients for skilled nursing facilities that have been operating for at least one year. NOTE: Medicare lists LSS Home Health as Lutheran Senior Srvs Home Hlth. To access information on our programs on www.medicare.gov, you may need to type this name in exactly.
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