‘Hospice Compare’ – Preparing for Public Reporting

By Barbara Rosenblum
July 11, 2012 Hospice

Rumors about the development of a standard data set for hospice, similar to home health’s OASIS, have been circulating for several years. If you’ve read the Proposed Federal Rule released July 6th, you’ll see that development of a patient-level quality performance instrument is underway, and on its heels – public reporting.

While in D.C. for the NHPCO meeting in March, I was fortunate to meet with MedPAC. During the course of conversation, I was asked my opinion on bringing a standardized dataset to hospice. Having been intimately involved in the roll-out of OASIS and public reporting on the home health side, I shared the insights I had gained.

The adoption of OASIS was a rocky road for home health. Dissatisfaction and chaos reigned, but CMS, agencies and vendors learned a great deal through the process and those lessons can help smooth hospice’s acceptance and adoption of the standardized dataset. Although many agencies initially fought OASIS, most would be reluctant to give it up today and lose the valuable clinical insights gained through its use. It’s now a central part of daily operations and is the compass for improvement. There’s no question that adopting a standardized dataset will increase costs, and may even force some hospices out of business. But, CMS wants proof of quality care and a means by which to make annual payment determinations, and neither can take place without standardized data. If this is rolled out the right way, I believe that both hospices and the patients they serve will benefit from a higher quality of care.

SHP has created Cliff Notes for the CMS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released July 6th. It contains information most relevant to data collection for Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements that begin October 1st, 2012.