87% of Hospices Found to Have Medicare Deficiencies:
In July, OIG and HHS released a new report that shook the hospice industry. The reports found that between 2012-2016, 87% of 4,567 hospices were cited for Medicare violations. Of these violations, HHS found that 20% were serious enough to endanger patients.
The hospice industry was quick to respond, saying that extreme patient stories do not represent the industry and siting patient satisfaction surveys as an indicator of the positive work in the hospice industry.
There is little debate that hospices provide an outstanding service to patients at a time that is both difficult and crucial in their life. With Medicaid funding the vast majority of hospice care, it is also reasonable for the public and oversight committees to ask for insight into how those services are performed. Therefore, it is incumbent on the hospice industry to provide reporting and insight that will reassure the public about the great care being provided.
The Care Plan Problem
In a continuing series, we will be addressing some of the ways that hospices can improve their transparency and reassure families and regulatory bodies of the quality of care they provide.
Of the 87% of hospices sited for Medicare violations, 60% of hospices surveyed had a strike against them related to care planning. Among these violations, the report cites extreme cases where families were unaware of the care plans being offered.
HHS published an article discussing in detail the care plan violations found in the report. The article discusses policy and training steps that can be taken by hospices to help remedy the care plan violations. The remedies include providing better staff training, updating care plans more regularly, and conducting more stringent self-audits.
In addition to implementing policies and procedures, having the right technology partner allows hospices to increase transparency and ensure that they are documenting care plans effectively.
Some key features hospices should look for to increase compliance and transparency in Care Plan Charting include:
Can you set care plans for every patient and their family?
Are your care plan goals measurable?
Are your care plan goals quantifiable?
Does your software provide an audit and suggest corrective actions?
Tools For Compliant Care Plans
Hummingbird is the culmination of 30 years of hospice-focused software experience. Over 30 years, mumms has helped hospice across the United Sates and the Caribbean with countless surveys.
Hummingbird has implemented the following tools to ensure effective care plans are met.
INDIVIDUALIZED CARE PLANS
mumms Software’s Hummingbird Care Plans can be easily individualized. The interdisciplinary team is able to develop a patient and family plan of care that is individualized to them as part of their initial comprehensive assessment
Hummingbird makes it easy for this plan by including measurable goals, care and treatment to meet those goals, and to see the updates.
Hummingbird makes it easy to quantify a patient's individual goals for symptom management by using the ESAS system in assessments and patient's stated goals in the care plans.
SELF AUDITS QUARTERLY OF AT LEAST 20% OF PATIENT RECORDS
Hummingbird makes auditing easier with everything in one place, based on criteria you determine that you want to view, so you can then take corrective actions.