Hospice Accountability – It’s About Time

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General in July 2019, issued 2 reports on Hospice care in the U.S.:

  • First report was on the deficiencies and serious harm to Hospice beneficiaries and vulnerable patient population.
  • The second report suggested safeguards must be strengthened to protect Medicare beneficiaries from harm.

Following these reports, 2 separate bills were introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives:

The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid are initiating new mechanisms to ensure Hospice care implements value-based care, is better regulated, ensures appropriate staffing needs, and promotes safe opioid use.

Hospice care is NOT Palliative Care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, palliative care can demonstrate the differences in meeting the complex care needs of symptomatic patients who are NOT terminally ill – but require aggressive symptom management to improve quality of life