The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a fact sheet on December 11th, 2014, discussing its intention to issue star ratings for Medicare certified home health agencies. The star ratings would be live in 2015.

According to CMS, the star rating system allow consumers to identify differences in quality and use the information when selecting a health-care provider

Star ratings are currently provided for nursing homes, physicians and Medicare Advantage plans.  Ratings for dialysis facilities and hospitals  are in the works as well.

The proposed star rating system would be based on 10 of the process, outcome and patient experience of care quality measures on the Home Health Compare website. Home health agencies would be rated from one to five stars on the quality measures. Star ratings have been and continue to be the subject of much controversy in other sectors of the Medicare provider landscape.

CMS plans to solicit stakeholder feedback on the proposed star rating methodology, including the measures proposed for inclusion.  Home health providers should keep their eyes and ears open to CMS pronouncements on the ratings system and be sure they participate in feedback to the agency as the process develops.