OIG Calls for Stronger Oversight of Hospice

Two federal reports on hospice care in the United States could change the way regulators approach their enforcement activities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released two documents last week discussing serious patient safety events in some hospices, including recommendations to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & […]

Hospice, Palliative Care Education Bill Introduced in Senate

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) have introduced the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) in the U.S. Senate. The legislation would provide resources to support clinician training to reduce staff shortages in the industry and help providers meet continuously rising demand for those services as the population ages.  […]

C-TAC Launches Initiative to Improve Advanced Illness Care

The Washington-based Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) is leading a new initiative to measure the quality of advanced illness care state-by-state and develop strategies for improvement. The first phase of the project will soon begin in Arizona in a project financed by the David and Lura Lovell Foundation.  The Arizona program will use data […]

Covenant Care Opens New Inpatient Hospice Unit

Pensacola, Fla.-based hospice and home health provider Covenant Care, a nonprofit, has opened a new inpatient Center for Hospice Care at West Florida Hospital, also in Pensacola. The hospital contracts Covenant to provide hospice care to their patients suffering from terminal illness. The hospice moved its operations to the new 7,1000-square-foot space from a previous […]

Hospices: ‘OIG Report Does Not Reflect Our Industry’

Between 2012 and 2016, 20% of U.S. hospices experienced a condition-level finding from regulators that posed serious risks to patient life and safety, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG), but that proverbial coin has another side: 80% of hospices did not. […]

OIG Report Includes VITAS ‘Immediate Jeopardy’ Finding

VITAS Healthcare, the nation’s largest hospice provider and a subsidiary of Chemed Corp. (NYSE: CHE), received an “immediate jeopardy” finding from Missouri state surveyors for missing required home visits, insufficient wound care for a patient’s pressure ulcer, and failing to sufficiently manage patients’ pain, according to a state survey findings report obtained by Hospice News. […]

OIG Reports Serious Patient Safety Events in 20% of Hospices

Failure to make home visits, failure to manage patients’ pain, and maggots infesting a patient’s feeding tube site are just a few of the safety deficiencies cited in a new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG). About 20% of hospices surveyed by regulators or accreditors […]

Intermountain’s COPD Risk Scores Help Identify Patients Who Need Hospice

Clinicians at Salt Lake City-based health system Intermountain Healthcare have developed risk scores for patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that can help health care providers identify which patients need hospice care versus curative treatments. While other risk stratification models to predict mortality exist, this is the first that allows for identification of […]

Bluegrass Care Navigators Launches New Pediatric Palliative Care Service

Lexington, Ky.-based hospice provider Bluegrass Care Navigators has unveiled a new community-based pediatric palliative care program called Bright Path, offering specialized medical care for infants, children, adolescents and young adults suffering from serious illness.  Physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse coordinators, nurses, clinical social workers, and chaplains comprise the multidisciplinary team providing care through Bright Path. A […]