There’s a new “on-line” report providing information about the 178 home health agencies in Iowa which are certified to receive payments from Medicare.Deb Innis of the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care says you can find data on “quality measures” to help compare one agency with another. Innis says folks selecting a provider need to find more than just anecdotes and the website provides “hard data” about how the agencies perform.Innis says it’s data that’s been collected by the federal government for some time, it’s just now being made public. Innis says the information will help the public evaluate different providers, such as how well the agencies handle medical emergencies and how the agencies meet clients’ basic daily needs. The data can be found at www.medicare.gov. Innis says the public release of the information is part of an overall effort to improve the services for Medicare recipients. For example, just about a year ago, the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care released detailed information about nursing homes. According to the Foundation, more than 20-thousand elderly and disabled Iowans are served by home health care agencies and this latest wave of consumer information should help evaluate the kind of care those folks are getting and can obtain.
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