CMS Launches Hospice COMPARE Quality Website
August 16, 2017 05:34 PM
On Wednesday, August 16, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched the highly-anticipated Hospice COMPARE website, giving patients, family members, health care providers and others access to an initial set of seven quality measures for hospice programs across the Nation. CMS anticipates that Hospice COMPARE will not only help consumers make more informed decisions about where they seek care, but also encourage hospices to improve the quality of care that they provide.
The measures posted on Hospice COMPARE were approved for use by the National Quality Forum (NQF) and are drawn from Hospice Item Set (HIS) submissions. CMS has separated the measures into two categories for ease of review (Patient Preferences and Managing Pain and Treating Symptoms). Following are a list of the measures along with the national rating against which a hospice is compared:
Patient Treatment Preferences (NQF measure #1641) –National rate 98.3%
Addressed Patient Beliefs and Values (NQF measure #1647) – National rate 93.6%
Managing Pain and Treating Symptoms
Screening for Pain (NQF measure #1634) – National rate 93.9%
Assessment of Patients Screening Positive for Pain (NQF measure #1637) – National rate 77.7%
Screening for Dyspnea (NQF measure #1639) – National rate 97.3%
Treating Patients Screening Positive for Dyspnea (NQF measure #1638) – National rate 94.6%
Patients Treated with Opioids Given a Bowel Regimen (NQF measure #1617) – National rate 93.3%
The public can search for hospice information by name or location, as well as compare multiple agencies based on their scores and against the national rates.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC), which has been actively engaged with CMS, provider and other stakeholders throughout the progression toward Hospice COMPARE, greeted its release with enthusiasm. Theresa Forster, NAHC’s Vice President for Hospice Policy & Programs commented, “Launch of Hospice Compare today is a vital step for hospice providers, patients and others throughout the country. While the initial launch includes only a limited set of process measures, it represents an important step forward in the evolution of the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP), and sets the hospice program firmly on the road toward greater transparency -- on-par with other Medicare providers. We anticipate significant changes going forward – including release of important outcomes data from the Hospice CAHPS Survey -- in early 2018.”
Concurrent with the launch of COMPARE, CMS also updated multiple datasets, including Hospice General Information, Hospice National Data, Hospice Provider-specific Data, Hospice CASPER/ASPEN Contacts, and National CAHPS Hospice Survey data.
As is the case with all new public data sets and COMPARE websites, we understand that some information specific to hospice providers may be incorrect. CMS has recommended that hospices initially contact their assigned CASPER/ASPEN contact to address any discrepancies. Hospices are also reminded that changes in provider enrollment information must be reported timely to Provider Enrollment and the Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC). Additional information is available here.