Common deficiencies in hospice care

July 13, 2020
Categories: Hospice
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Recent studies and national hospice survey data from the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) have identified common hospice deficiencies related to poor care planning, mismanagement of aide services, and inadequate assessments of beneficiaries. In our latest eBook, we explore the top survey deficiencies and the best strategies your organization can use to solve them.

The eBook provides an in-depth view on the following topics:

How legislation and studies are increasing hospice quality oversight

In 2014, the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act (IMPACT Act) was signed into law. Used to determine federal health and safety compliance, this provision was the first statutory requirement for hospice survey frequency and addressed a longstanding critique that hospice agencies could go several years without being surveyed.

A review of the OIG findings

In July 2018, the OIG began releasing various studies and work plans on hospice insight findings and recommendations. These findings include vulnerabilities in Medicare hospice programs that affect the quality of care and program integrity and hospice deficiencies that pose risk to Medicare beneficiaries.

Recommendations for CMS based on the findings from OIG

  • Strengthen requirements for hospices to report abuse, neglect, and other harm
  • Expand the deficiency data that accrediting organizations report to CMS and use the data to strengthen its oversight of hospices
  • Enhance guidance for surveyors to report crimes to local law enforcement.

A review of the GAO findings

Asked to review aspects of Medicare’s hospice program, the GAO analyzed CMS data on hospice care from 2014 through 2017—the latest years for which full-year data were available at the time of the analysis. These findings include opportunities to strengthen CMS oversight of hospice providers.

Recommendations for CMS based on the findings from GAO

  • CMS should incorporate the use of additional information that could be used to identify quality of care issues into its survey process for hospice oversight.
  • Congress should consider giving CMS authority to establish additional enforcement remedies for hospices that do not meet federal health and safety requirements.

Keeping up with changing regulations is a critical component of your operations, and there are several ways to make the survey process easier, including leaning on the right technology. Whether your home health or hospice agency is surveyed for Medicare or Medicaid recertification or in an unannounced survey to ensure compliance, we will help you be ready.

Download our eBook to learn more.

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