Medicare’s new Hospice Compare website launched on August 16. Similar to the existing Home Health Compare website, Hospice Compare provides basic information about hospice care and the Medicare hospice benefit. The website also gives visitors the ability to compare a hospice provider’s quality of care to national averages and to other hospices. Hospice Compare puts your quality measures online for everyone to see.
CMS says that new quality measures and 5-star ratings will be added in the future.
With this much visibility, it’s imperative that hospices understand how their scores will be calculated and how they can improve their scores. Providing, measuring, and reporting quality care will be critical for earning and maintaining strong scores.
Hospice Compare scores are currently based on these seven Hospice Item Set (HIS) quality measures:
- Treatment Preferences
- Beliefs & Values Addressed (if desired by the patient)
- Pain Screening
- Pain Assessment
- Dyspnea Screening
- Dyspnea Treatment
- Patient Treated with an Opioid Who Are Given a Bowel Regimen
It’s clear that quality is key. As renowned hospice consultant Beth Noyce, RN, BSJMC, HCS-D, COS-C, HCS-H writes in her recent eBook, The Hospice Professional’s Guide to Current Issues:
Using Hospice Compare, [patients and families] be able to weed out providers [they] won’t hire by comparing hospice agencies to one another and to state and national averages. For example, a stellar score in Comprehensive Assessment at Admission tips the scale toward the hospice that, apparently, more carefully evaluates and better attends to specific patient needs than does a hospice with a lower score. Likewise, an above average rating in Hospice Visits When Death Is Imminent adds more weight as [they] seek support on this journey.
It’s up to hospices to review their Hospice Compare listings and ensure that their demographic information is presented correctly, according to the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). If hospices find that information is incorrect, they may provide updated information to their CASPER/ASPEN and Regional Office coordinator.
Use these free resources ensure your hospice is prepared score well: