Quality of care in home health agencies with and without accreditation: a cohort study

Chenjuan Ma, Hillary J. Dutton, Bei Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While home health agencies (HHAs) can seek accreditation to recognize their quality of service, it is unknown whether agencies with accreditation perform better in providing care than those without accreditation. Using 5-year data from national data sources, the aims of this study were: 1) to depict characteristics of HHAs with and without accreditation; and 2) to examine the relationship between accreditation status and HHA performance on quality-of-care metrics. This study analyzed 7,697 agencies in the US and found that 1) agencies that were for-profit, urban, not-hospital-affiliated, single-branch, Medicare enrolled only, and without hospice program were more likely to have accreditation; and 2) overall, accredited agencies performed better on the three commonly used quality indicators, timely initiation of care, hospitalization, and emergency department visit, though not all the observed differences were substantial in absolute value. Our results provide unique empirical information to agencies considering seeking accreditation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalHome Health Care Services Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • Home health
  • accreditation
  • hospitalization
  • patient outcomes
  • quality of care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Community and Home Care
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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