HHS takes bold action in ensuring public availability of hospice and home health data

April 21, 2023

The Biden-Harris Administration has made promoting competition and protecting consumers a top priority. In support of the President’s Executive Order on promoting competition and the Administration’s commitment to transparency, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is releasing ownership data for all Medicare-certified hospice and home health agencies. For the first time, anyone can now review detailed information on the ownership of more than 6,000 hospices and 11,000 home health agencies certified to participate in the Medicare program on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website.

“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. “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.”

The announcement builds on the Department’s historic releases of data and unprecedented efforts to increase transparency:

  • In April 2022, CMS released data publicly on mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, and changes of ownership from 2016-2022 for hospitals and nursing homes enrolled in Medicare.
  • In September, CMS released additional data publicly on the ownership of approximately 15,000 nursing homes certified as a Medicare Skilled Nursing Facility, regardless of any change in ownership, including providing more detailed information about organizational owners of nursing homes.
  • In December, CMS released detailed information on the ownership of more than 7,000 hospitals certified to participate in the Medicare program.

“Transitioning to hospice care is often an emotionally overwhelming time for many families,” CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure said. “Making this data public increases transparency, giving families the information needed to help them identify the best care for their loved one. Providing information is a hallmark of this administration’s efforts to improve care because we understand that having good information allows people to make the best choices possible.”

The information posted includes detailed information on the ownership of more than 6,000 hospices and 11,000 home health agencies certified to participate in the Medicare program, regardless of any change in ownership. The data elements include: enrollment information such as organization name, type, practice location addresses, National Provider Identifier (NPI), CMS Certification Number (CCN); detailed information about each owner such as whether it is an organization or an individual and whether it is a direct owner or indirect owner (that is, there is at least one subsidiary between it and the provider); and a numerical associate ID for each owner to enable linkage to the enrollment file. Additional files that include data on mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, and changes of ownership since 2016 for hospices and home health agencies enrolled in Medicare are also being made available as part of this release.

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 necessarily improving quality of care, and evaluate the relationships between ownership and changes in health care costs and outcomes. Transparent ownership data benefits the public by assisting patients, and their loved ones, in making more informed decisions about care. HHS plans to analyze these data to identify ways to inform policy approaches that can improve competition in health care, a key priority for the Biden-Harris administration.

HHS release

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