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What the 2023 NHPCO Wage and Index Tell Us About Quality in Hospice

Every year the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) publishes their Facts and Figures Report. The 2023 edition was published in December 2023 and the date reported is from 202-2021. For purposes of this blog, we will focus on the data that pertains to quality. Since 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act a quality reporting program for hospices has been required. This program is called HQRP. Data is submitted by hospices to Medicare and then that data is reported on the Medicare Care Compare site. Currently reported items include: The Hospice Item Set (HIS) measures; comprehensive assessment completed at time of admission and hospice visits within the last days of life, the CAHPS patient survey and the Hospice Care Index. Hospices are also given star ratings based on the CAHPS patient survey results. These results are publicly reported. So how are hospices doing nationally? According to the 2020-2021 data reported in the NHPCO 2023 report, 49% of hospices have a 4 or 5 star rating. So what about the 51% of hospices with lower than 4 star ratings? It may be time to seek external quality measure support. Here at HQC improving quality is our mission and we are here to help.

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