The express purpose of Hospice is to help a terminally ill patient with their end of life care so they can pass on with as little pain and as much dignity as possible. We strive to maintain our dignity throughout our lives; why shouldn’t it be just as important when it comes time for our death? Few people realize that Hospice Organizations aren’t held to the same reporting standards as Nursing Homes. A four-year span beginning in 2012 uncovered 80% of Hospices surveyed by the OIG’s office had at least one deficiency. The reports found that the most common types of defects involved poor care planning, mismanagement of aide services, and inadequate assessments of beneficiaries. Deficiencies that are more uncommon but still found were those that led to patients’ having infections and having to be hospitalized, what Hospice is meant to prevent. The scope of CMS’s ability to discipline hospices is limited to dropping them from Medicare reimbursement. These issues lead to people having a hard time locating a reputable and safe hospice program. Many recommendations came out of the OIG’s report making it clear that we need to improve the monitoring standards of hospices thus making it easier for families to make an educated decision.
Report Shines Light on Hospice Deficiencies