CMS Releases the Home Health Patient Experience of Care Star Ratings

Members | January 27, 2016

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the new Home Health Care Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) Survey star ratings on Home Health Compare website.

The HHCAHPS star ratings were created using data from 4 HHCAHPS measures publicly reported on Home Health Compare. Star ratings from the following composite measures use questions from the HHCAHPS Survey:


  • Care of patients (questions 9, 16, 19, 24 on the HHCAHPS Survey).
  • Communication between providers and patients (questions 2, 15, 17, 18, 22, 23 on the HHCAHPS Survey).
  • Specific care issues (questions 3, 4 5, 10, 12, 13, 14 on the HHCAHPS Survey).
  • Global measure overall rating of care (question 20 on the HHCAHPS Survey).


CMS assigns 1,2,3,4, or 5 whole stars for each HHCAHPS measure by applying statistical methods that use relative distribution and clustering. HHCAHPS scores are then adjusted for the effects of patient mix, survey mode, and quarterly weighting.

The following 5 HHCAHPS Survey star ratings categories for each home health agency are now listed on the Home Health Compare website:


  1. Care of patients.
  2. Communication between providers and patients.
  3. Specific care issues.
  4. Overall rating of care provided by the Home Health Agency.
  5. Survey summary star rating.


There are over 11,000 agencies with data on Home Health Compare, but only about 6,000 of them now have patient care experience star ratings. Only agencies with information from at least 40 patient surveys will have patient survey star ratings.

Therefore, smaller home health agencies won't have patient experience of care star ratings. 

CMS believes the HHCAHPS Survey star ratings on Home Health Compare help patients and their families make more informed health care decisions and encourages home health agencies to strive for higher levels of quality and patient experience.

It is important for LeadingAge Home Health members to regularly review and improve their HHCAHPS ratings and responses.