Hospice Legislative Action Alert
Urge Support of H.R. 5393 to Mandate Frequency of Hospice Surveys 5393
August 7, 2014 12:44 PM
While Medicare home health agencies must be surveyed, minimally, every 36 months and skilled nursing facilities must be surveyed, minimally, every 15 months, there is no set frequency in statute or regulation for hospice surveys. As the result, CMS sets targeted frequencies for hospice surveys based on availability of funding and competing priorities. As demands on limited administrative resources grow, hospice survey frequencies grow longer.
This means that some hospices may not have been surveyed in the last 10 years or more, and many hospices have not been surveyed since significant revisions were made to the Hospice Conditions of Participation in 2008. For many years the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) and other industry advocates have pushed for minimal hospice survey frequency requirements, and as recently as June 2014, in the wake of media concerns that less frequent hospice inspections may lead to lapses in care, NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris called on Congress and CMS to address this pressing need.
On August 1, Reps. Tom Reed (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) introduced H.R. 5393, legislation that would mandate that all hospices are surveyed, at a minimum, once every three years, and authorize funding for this important undertaking. The legislation would also correct a legislative drafting error that has kept CMS from implementing authority granted under the Affordable Care Act to conduct medical reviews of hospice providers with a high proportion of long-stay patients.
Please urge your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 5393. Materials to send your Representative a message urging co-sponsorship of the legislation, along with talking points, are available on the NAHC Legislative Action Network.