CMS Launches Second Home Health Quality Improvement Campaign
On January 13, 2010, CMS launched the second National Campaign for Home Health Quality Improvement (HHQI). The grassroots effort continues until July 31, 2011 and is designed to unite home health stakeholders to achieve two goals: reduce avoidable hospitalizations and improve oral medication management.
Hospitalizations can create financial and emotional burdens for home health patients and their families. Successfully maintaining patients at home also makes effective use of limited health care resources. Currently, more than one in four home health patient episodes end in hospitalization, and mismanagement of oral medication is a known cause.
The HHQI campaign is addressing these challenges by distributing educational tools, resources and guidelines free of charge to participating home health agencies. A quarterly intervention package, based on best practices for home care, is the campaign’s cornerstone. Each package includes a comprehensive resource manual, typically containing 50-75 pages of educational information, plus links to external resources. Two intervention packages are available: Introduction and Fundamentals of Reducing Avoidable Hospitalizations and Medication Management. The HHQI campaign also offers Webinars, Podcasts, and a wealth of patient and provider tools and interventions.
As a true grassroots campaign, HHQI’s success hinges on the support and engagement of its partners. As a result of strong local support, the HHQI National Campaign enrolled nearly 4,000 participants from more than 2,500 home health agencies in its first week. In addition to participating home health agencies, key roles are played by the:
- Executive Steering Committee, national stakeholders who meet quarterly to refine campaign strategies;
- Local Area Networks for Excellence, organizations (including 24 QIOs) that serve as central hubs of activity for participating home health agencies;
- The Technical Expert Panel, nationally recognized home care experts that help produce and review intervention packages; and
- Campaign supporters, individuals and organizations with an interest in the campaign’s goals that register to support the campaign within their organization and/or at the local level.
The campaign is led by the West Virginia Medical Institute, the QIO for West Virginia, and Quality Insights of Pennsylvania, the QIO for Pennsylvania. Looking to build on the success of the first HHQI campaign that took place from 2007-2008, the current initiative seeks to achieve participation from 70 percent or more of the nation’s home health agencies.
For more information about the campaign, including how you or your home health agency can join, visit http://www.homehealthquality.org.