CMS Unveils Hospice Compare Website

On August 16, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the Hospice Compare website. This website joins a variety of other CMS “Compare” websites – including Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility Compare, Long-Term Care Hospital Compare, Hospital Compare, Physician Compare, Nursing Home Compare, and Home Health Compare – as a tool that allows consumers to compare providers. Specifically, according to CMS, Hospice Compare “provides a snapshot of the quality of care each hospice facility offers to its patients . . . to make healthcare quality information more transparent and understandable for consumers . . .” CMS Releases Hospice Compare Website to Improve Consumer Experiences, Empower Patients, CMS News (Aug. 16, 2017).

Section 1814(i)(5) of the Social Security Act authorizes CMS to administer a quality reporting program for hospices. The Act requires hospice providers to report data to CMS on a number of quality measures via the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP). This reporting includes both quality data from the Hospice Item Set (HIS) and Hospice Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (Hospice CAHPS®).

Topics for comparison are narrowed to patient preferences and pain management. Patient preference data reflect what percentage of patients were asked about their medical preferences for hospitalization and resuscitation and their religious belief or values while under end of life care. For pain management, the data include whether timely and thorough pain assessments were performed and whether patients were checked and treated for shortness of breath.

Currently, the data on Hospice Compare is based on information submitted by approximately 3,876 hospices.

For more information, visit the Hospice Quality Public Reporting webpage.

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