Summary: ACHC launched two new specialty credentials, the Distinction in Age-Friendly Care and the Distinction in Outcomes, to recognize high-quality, patient-centered home health and hospice care.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Age-Friendly Care Distinction emphasizes the implementation of the 4Ms (What Matters, Medication, Mentation, Mobility) to improve outcomes for older adults.
  • The Outcomes Distinction rewards ACHC-accredited agencies in the top 25% of their cohort for patient outcomes, satisfaction, and healthcare utilization.

The Accreditation Commission for Health Care (ACHC) has launched two new specialty credentials: the Distinction in Age-Friendly Care for Home Health and Hospice and the Distinction in Outcomes for Home Health. Based on thorough evaluation of defined specialty services, the Distinctions will be awarded to ACHC-accredited organizations that have excelled in providing high-quality, patient-centered care.

Age-Friendly Care for Home Health and Hospice

The Distinction in Age-Friendly Care acknowledges organizations that recognize the unique goals and priorities of care for older adults. For example, age-friendly care proactively ensures safety and reduces harm and confusion, aiming to align care with patient goals, thereby improving outcomes and satisfaction. Awarded organizations will have demonstrated sufficient implementation of such considerations, in addition to the four evidence-based best practices in geriatric care known as the 4Ms: What Matters, Medication, Mentation, and Mobility.

Outcomes for Home Health

The Home Health Distinction in Outcomes recognizes excellence across three key domains: patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, and healthcare utilization. Since 2021, nationwide data and Medicare claims have been aggregated in annual evaluation reports for the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing Model, which ranks agencies by performance within peer cohorts. The Distinction is available to those ACHC-accredited agencies that score in the top 25% of their cohort.

ACHC’s Commitment to Quality Standards

Established to set quality standards and enhance home-based care services, both Distinctions underscore ACHC’s commitment to providing diverse agencies with solutions that meet the needs of their patient population.

“I believe the best part of delivering age-friendly health services is when the clinicians realize it is the most important part of the care we give,” said Karen Snavely, BSN, RN, regional director of clinical services for the Central Region of CommonSpirit Health at Home. “When we ask the patient what matters to them, we get a completely different view of what the goal for their care should be and how important it is to them. One clinician said this has become the best part of documentation, knowing what the patient really wants.”

By offering these Distinctions, ACHC aims to ensure that home-based care agencies are focused on a patient-centered approach as they pursue continuous quality improvement. As a result, their patients, particularly in geriatric care, receive the high-quality services they need.