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IPRO Wins Federal Contract to Support Hospice Oversight
Date:10/19/2009

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Oct. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- IPRO has been awarded special federal funding to support the assessment and improvement of Medicare-funded hospice services. As the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) for the state of New York, IPRO collaborates with providers on performance improvement in a variety of settings. QIOs operate in all fifty states in the U.S. under contract with the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080725/DC28791LOGO)

Despite well-documented benefits of palliative-oriented end-of-life care for certain Medicare beneficiaries, timely referral to certified hospice programs is often suboptimal and not always available to members of racial and ethnic minority groups. Under the CMS-funded special study, IPRO will partner with eight New York-based, Medicare-certified hospice programs to promote timely referrals, to support the integration of hospice into the overall health system and to test first-generation performance measures.

"IPRO has selected a diverse group of programs to participate in this special project so that the measures and data collection instruments are tested in the full range of hospice program environments and patient populations," says Clare B. Bradley, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, IPRO. "With spending expected to exceed $10 billion in FY 2009, there is an urgent need to assure the quality of healthcare services provided by hospices."

Working with IPRO, hospice programs will collect and submit a standard set of patient-level data elements for a one-year period in order to test previously developed quality measures. IPRO will perform statistical analyses of the properties of these measures, including identifying any racial or ethnic differences in performance, and conduct focus groups of family member
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