New CMS website will aid consumers in selecting hospice care

Patients and families will have easy access to quality metrics, says Seema Verma.

A new web site from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is designed to aid healthcare consumers in assessing and selecting a hospice provider facility.

“The Hospice Compare website is an important tool for the American people and will help empower them in a time of vulnerability as they look for information necessary to make important decisions about hospice care for loved ones,” says Seema Verma, CMS Administrator. “The Hospice Compare website is a reliable resource for family members and caregivers who are looking for facilities that will provide quality care.”

When a terminally ill patient enters hospice care, they move from curative treatment to palliative care for pain relief and symptom management, along with counseling services.

The hospice web site enables comparison of quality metrics such as the percentage of patients that a facility screens for pain or breathing difficulties, whether patient preferences are honored, and if patient beliefs and values are addressed, along with dyspnea screening and treatment, and if patients treated with an opioid are given a bowel regimen, among other factors.

Also See: CMS releases dataset on Medicare hospice payments

Prior to the web site going live, hospices will have the opportunity to review their quality measure results that will be displayed on the site. Hospices believing their quality metrics are inaccurate can request a CMS review.

The website presently has comparative information on nearly 3,900 hospice facilities, and the site is optimized for mobile device use. More information is available here.

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