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NHPCO Working to Help Hospices With Compliance for Hospice Patients in Nursing Homes
Date:9/10/2009

OIG Report Indicates Attention to Compliance Issues is Necessary

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Yesterday, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General issued the final two reports in a series of four, which reviewed the hospice benefit for residents of nursing facilities. The report indicated that 82 percent of the 470 claims that were part of the study did not meet at least one Medicare coverage requirement for hospice services. Among the OIG's recommendations were increased hospice provider education, tools fostering better compliance, and strengthened monitoring of practices, such as medical review and additional surveys.

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization supports the OIG recommendations.

"This report provides hospices with information that will improve care processes for hospice patients residing in nursing facilities. NHPCO is committed to helping providers reach full compliance with this, and all, regulatory issues," said J. Donald Schumacher, NHPCO president and CEO. "It's important to remember that the study provides a helpful review of claim forms and should not necessarily be cause for concern for people receiving hospice care in a nursing facility at this time."

The study, using a sample of 470 claim forms from 2006, highlighted technical compliance issues with the medical record that included form that did not meet election requirements (33 percent), issues relating to plan of care requirements (63 percent), and hospices providing fewer services than outlined in the beneficiaries' plans of care (31 percent).

Joan M. Teno, M.D., MS, Professor of Community Health and Medicine Warren Alpert School of Medicine of Brown University, and a hospice medical director, added, "More hospices are adopting electronic medical records (EMRs) that will improve
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SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
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