In his remarks at the NHPCO meeting, Dr. Straub said, "This rule will improve quality of care overall and provide flexibility for hospices to do the work they need to do - and this is a framework we must build on."
Since the proposed CoPs were released three years ago, NHPCO has been actively developing initiatives and programs focusing on quality and performance measurement. These include NHPCO's Quality Partners initiative and several research, data collection and benchmarking tools available to hospice providers.
"The hospice community has eagerly awaited the publication of the new Conditions of Participation since the proposed rule was released in May of 2005," remarked J. Donald Schumacher, president and CEO of NHPCO. "The new CoPs will ensure a framework of quality that benefit patients, families, and the organizations providing care at life's end. The new CoPs along with tools and resources available from NHPCO will help all providers continue to strive for the highest levels of quality and access."
More than 1.3 million dying Americans received care from the nation's hospice providers last year. This number has risen and continues to grow as more patients learn of the wide range of beneficial services and the compassionate care that hospice offers.
Hospice care is considered to be the model for high-quality care at the end of life. Hospice involves a team-oriented approach to care that includes expert medical attention, pain-and-symptom management, and emotional and spiritual support. The quality of a person's life is emphasized, not the duration. Moreover, services and support are provided to family caregivers, in addition to the patient.
The economic value of hospice care has been validated by research. An independent study released late last year by Duke University found that the use of hospice saved Medicare an average of $2,300 per patient who received this care.
|SOURCE National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization|
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