End-of-Life Doulas’ Growing Value Proposition in Hospice

Hospices and other health care providers are increasingly recognizing the value proposition of end-of-life doulas. Organizations are taking varied routes to leverage doula’s skills to improve quality. End-of-life doulas support patients and their families in a number of broad and diverse ways, according to Erin Collins, program director of The Peaceful Presence Project. Collins is […]

‘Adaptability’ Hospices’ Anchor Amid Regulatory Headwinds

Having an adaptable approach to compliance is key in an evolving hospice regulatory environment.  The regulatory climate has seen an array of changes aimed at curbing fraud in the industry and improving quality. Heightening oversight has focused on hospice program integrity efforts, as well as increased auditing activity, changes in rules for hospice sales and […]

Care Coordination, Quality Data Crucial to Hospice Referral Growth

Care coordination and quality data will be engines for hospice referral growth. Hospices saw census volumes drop during the COVID-19 public health emergency as facilities nationwide restricted access to patients amid mandated state closures. Providers often turned to electronic communications to reach patients in facility- and community-based settings alike. Adaptability has been among the keys […]

Hospices Stepping Up Performance on Visits-in-Last-Days-of-Life Measure

Hospices, in aggregate, are showing improvement on the quality measure for visits in the last days of life. The number of registered nurse and social worker visits during a patient’s final week is one of the seven quality measures that CMS uses to evaluate providers. In Calendar Year 2021, the share of hospice care days […]

St. Croix Hospice Leverages Predictive Analytics to Boost Quality

St. Croix Hospice recently unveiled data showing how the company leveraged predictive analytics technology to improve quality outcomes. In 2019 the Minnesota-headquartered hospice provider began utilizing a predictive analytics tool from Medalogix. The post-acute data analytics company develops machine learning solutions designed to identify patients in need of home health, hospice or palliative care services […]

Hospices Struggle to Balance Costs, Patient Needs in Medication Deprescribing

When deprescribing medications for hospice patients, providers have to navigate a complex web of factors. But according to some clinicians, the prospect of cost savings often takes precedence over clinical outcomes. Medication costs are among hospices’ biggest expenses, and deprescribing some medications deemed “curative” or “unrelated” to the patient’s terminal diagnosis is a standard practice. […]

How the Hospice Care Index Can Help Shape an Operator’s Future

Strong performance on the Hospice Care Index is becoming increasingly essential to securing payer and referral contracts and will be a key consideration in the federal government’s forthcoming Special Focus Program (SFP). The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) designed the Hospice Care Index (HCI) to paint a picture of care processes that […]

How Quality, Utilization Will Shape Hospice M&A in 2024

Investment trends in the hospice industry have meandered in recent years, impacting providers’ approaches to growth in 2024. The mix of hospice buyers has become more diverse during the past five years to include more private equity investors, large health and hospital systems and home health companies, along with payers. These trends will have lasting […]

Certificate of Need Laws May Influence Hospice Quality Outcomes

Links exist between state certificate of need (CON) laws and hospice quality outcomes, researchers recently found. Roughly 86% of all hospices nationwide provide services in states that do not have certificate of need (CON) regulations in place, according to research from the American Journal of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. The remaining 14% of hospices in […]

What New Allegations that HCA Healthcare Pressured Patients Mean for Hospices

Recent allegations that staff at HCA Healthcare (NYSE: HCA) put pressure on patients to enter hospice dovetail with longstanding questions over how and when patients should be referred. A recent report from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) alleges that HCA has pressured clinicians to inappropriately “push” patients and families to accept hospice referrals. The […]