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

the documentation and compliance. Furthermore, while these measures provide evidence of 'paper compliance' - an even more important measure of the quality of care are the viewpoints of bereaved family members on the quality of hospice care. "

NHPCO gathers data on the quality of hospice care from bereaved family members through a post-death evaluation of care survey and added a question about hospice care in nursing homes in 2008. Of the just over 30,000 family members who indicated that their patient was in a nursing home under hospice care, over 19,000 said that the care improved for their loved one after hospice became involved and slightly over two-thirds rated the quality of hospice care provided in the nursing home as excellent.

In addition to the recommendations in this report, in a previous report, the OIG also recommended the value of increased on-site survey frequency. NHPCO strongly supports this recommendation as well.

New hospice regulations were published in June 2008 and extensive training and educational offerings were offered, in cooperation with CMS. NHPCO has developed resources, tools and sample forms for providers to strengthen compliance with the new regulations and to assist providers in understanding compliance.

"NHPCO looks forward to working with CMS and the broader hospice community to increase compliance - which is an ongoing collaborative effort," said Schumacher. "We have developed resource materials and tools that providers can access today that will help improve compliance and provide examples of excellence in care."

The hospice community continues its long standing tradition and practice of intolerance for non-compliance practices, support for enhanced regulatory scrutiny - both from more frequent surveys and from medical review - and transparency in the provision of care and operations of hospice programs.

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SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
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