HHS released the data earlier this week, which makes it the first time anyone can review the information on the ownership of more than 6,000 hospices and 11,000 home health agencies.
Ownership data for all Medicare-certified hospice and home health agencies has become available to the public as the Biden-Harris Administration’s initiative to increase transparency, protect consumers and promote competition within the industry.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the data earlier this week which makes it the first time anyone can review the information of the ownership of more than 6,000 hospices and 11,000 home health agencies. This information is available on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website.
According to a release by the HHS, data available to the public includes: enrollment information such as organization name, type, practice location addresses, National Provider Identifier (NPI), and CMS Certification Number (CCN); detailed information about each owner such as whether it’s an organization or an individual and whether it’s a direct owner or indirect owner; and a numerical associate ID for each owner to enable linkage to the enrollment file.
Additional information includes data on mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, and changes of ownership since 2016 for hospices and home health agencies enrolled in Medicare.
“It’s plain and simple: families deserve transparency when making decisions about hospice and home health care for their loved ones,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in the release. “President Biden has called for unprecedented action to increase transparency – and we are making more data publicly available than ever before. Shining a light on ownership data is good for families, good for researchers, and good for enforcement agencies. We will continue delivering on the President’s directive to promote competition and protect consumers.”
This recent effort is just another in the few that CMS has made in the last year. For example:
Making ownership information transparent benefits researchers and enforcement agencies by allowing them to identify common owners that have had histories of poor performance, analyze data and trends on how market consolidation impacts consumers with increased costs without improving quality of care, and evaluate the relationships between ownership and changes in healthcare costs and outcomes, according to the release.
As far as how it benefits the public, this data can assist patients and their loved ones in making more informed decisions about care.
Matt Eyles, President and CEO of AHIP, seconds that this effort will improve access to affordable, high-quality care.
“Every American deserves access to affordable, high-quality care, including the tens of millions of seniors and people with disabilities who have Medicare coverage,” Eyles said in a statement. “Research has shown that private equity purchases of certain specialty physicians is driving up health care costs for American families. That is why we support HHS’ transparency into the ownership of more than 6,000 hospice and 11,000 home health agencies. Such market-based policies and solutions are the right approach to improving competition, which is so essential to improving affordability, access, and value.”