Problem Areas in the Medicare Hospice Benefit
Beneficiaries have limited access to hospice quality of care information. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) should improve its Hospice Compare website so beneficiaries can be more informed about the quality of care provided by each hospice.
Most hospices that participate in Medicare have at least one deficiency in the quality of care they provide, and hundreds are poor performers. CMS should educate hospices about common deficiencies and increase oversight of hospices with a history of serious deficiencies.
Hopsice beneficiaries face barriers to making compliants, and hospice and surveyor reporting requirements are limited. CMS should make it easier to file complaints and strengthen hospice and surveyor reporting requirements.
Hospices with patient harm cases do not always face serious consequences from CMS. CMS should seek statutory authority to extend beneficiary protections found in other health care settings to hospices and ensure remedies are available to address poor performers.