CMS Reports Widespread Quality Improvement in Latest Hospice Compare Update

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated data on its Hospice Compare website earlier this month—and all quality measures showed overall improvement.

Launched in August 2017, the Hospice Compare tool reports information on hospices across the nation and is designed to give patients, family members and health care providers a snapshot of the quality that each hospice provides. Through the tool, hospices are compared on a variety of indicators, such as the percentage of patients who are treated for pain or who are asked about preferences for life-sustaining treatment.

In aggregate, Hospice Compare quality measures showed improvement since the last quarterly update from CMS, according to an analysis by Fazzi Associates, a Northampton, Massachusetts-based consulting firm that specializes in home health and hospice. Fazzi Associates was acquired by Lenexa, Kansas-based software company Mediware in July.

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Pain assessment showed the most improvement, jumping from 81.5% to 83.4%. The pain screening quality measure showed the next most improvement, according to Fazzi Associates.

The Hospice Compare update reflects Hospice Item Set (HIS) quality measure results based on data collected from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017, along with Hospice Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey results reported from the fourth quarter of 2015 to the third quarter of 2017.

Updates to the family caregivers’ survey results showed seven measures remained the same, according to Fazzi Associates. Emotional and spiritual support improved by 1%.

The Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) was established under section 1814(i)(5) of the Social Security Act, which directed the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create quality reporting requirements for hospices. The HQRP requires the collection and submission of quality data to CMS from more than 4,000 hospices.

The Act also requires the Secretary to publicly report, on a CMS website, quality measures that relate to the care provided by hospice programs across the country.

Written by Robert Holly

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