Posted Wednesday, November 1, 2023
McKnight’s Home Care
By: Adam Healy
The newest hospice quality report found room for improvement in areas like dementia care and transparency to consumers, but it noted stronger overall performance among home-based hospice providers.
On Oct. 10, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the 2023 Hospice Quality Reporting Program Information Gathering Report. Abt Associates, the research firm contracted by CMS to produce the report, analyzed current scholarly articles investigating various hospice quality measures, and compiled a set of observations and recommendations for improvement.
Drawing on Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) data, the report found that minority patients with dementia were more likely on average to disenroll from hospice than white patients. And an earlier report noted that patients with dementia also had longer stay lengths and worse rates of disenrollment. Abt Associates and CMS recommended providers explore using tools such as telehealth, which can help manage patient and family concerns during hospice care.
The researchers drew on earlier studies and CAHPS data to find that hospice provided in the home received better patient ratings on average than hospice provided through nursing homes or assisted living facilities. For all eight quality measures recorded in a 2021 study — team communication, timeliness of care, respect, emotional and symptom support and more — home-based providers scored higher than those operating in other settings, the report said.
Meanwhile, consumers could benefit from more content on Care Compare, according to the report. Information such as current and prior hospice ownership or details on hospice-specific board certification held by hospice medical directors can make care selection more transparent for consumers, it noted. The report also corroborated an Office of the Inspector General suggestion that Care Compare should include complaints, survey reports and services provided, which can be informative for people choosing a hospice.
CMS plans to expand the Hospice Quality Reporting Program “to include additional meaningful quality measures that assess the quality of care provided to hospice patients,” according to the report. Information from the quality report, as well as new tools like the Hospice Outcomes and Patient Evaluation seek to enhance assessment-based quality measures, it noted.
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