People using Hospice Compare on Tuesday encountered a new warning message on the website, explaining that its location search function is not working correctly.
Specifically, when users try to search for a hospice serving a particular market, the site has been generating a list of agencies that might not serve the ZIP code, city or state entered. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is working to resolve the issue, and in the meantime, recommends that people call hospice providers to confirm their service area.
For example, a search for hospices serving the 60640 ZIP code in Chicago generated a list that included a hospice located in the Milwaukee suburb of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Reached by Home Health Care News on Tuesday afternoon, the hospice confirmed it does not offer care in the Chicago metropolitan area.
CMS did not indicate when the issue began or how long it might take to be resolved. Updates will be posted to the Hospice Quality Public Reporting webpage.
Hospice Compare first launched in August 2017. Much like Nursing Home Compare and Home Health Compare, the site is meant to be a tool that consumers can use to locate a high-quality provider in their area.
The site provides information on how well hospices have scored on six measures related to patient preferences and managing pain and treating symptoms, compared to national averages.
Planned next steps for Hospice Compare include adding customer satisfaction measures, as captured by the Hospice Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey. That is planned for winter 2018. A star rating system might also be implemented. Currently, nursing homes and home health agencies are rated on a five-star scale based on their quality measures.
Written by Tim Mullaney