Quality of patient care should be the focus for all hospice agencies in light of new surveyor guidance issued January 27.
Hospices may soon be required to immediately report all abuse and neglect allegations of patients in hospice care to a state survey agency.
The HIS score for “Hospice and Palliative Care Pain Assessment” decreased by 0.1 in the November update. While this may seem like a miniscule change, this particular measure continues to score lower than several of the other measures.
Evaluate your policies around hospice face-to-face encounters for recertification to make sure the end to a key pandemic-era waiver doesn’t jeopardize your payment under medical review.
Hospices looking to stay ahead of quality concerns are focusing their attention on key performance indicators (KPIs).
A beta test of the HOPE tool is expected to wrap in the spring. CMS has also provided fresh information on the development of a special focus program to address poor-performing hospices.
Hospice agencies are being held to the fire by auditors recently due to the return to regular surveys that were on hold during the start of the pandemic and recent attention from OIG.
The most common reason for denial of Hospice General Inpatient Care (GIP) under a recent review was “Hospice General Inpatient Reduction — Services not reasonable and necessary.”
Hospice agencies should ensure education surrounding the relevance of medications to control pain, anxiety, agitation and other symptoms that impact patients’ quality of life.
Hospices should consider refreshing their volunteer programs with new recruitment efforts and personal protective equipment (PPE) training as CMS has started to reverse its pandemic waivers in other health care segments.


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