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 […]

Hospice HOPE Tool, CAHPS Revisions: Where CMS Is Going Next on Quality

Language in the 2024 proposed rule for the Medicare hospice program gives some indication of where the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is heading when it comes to quality measurement requirements. While the proposal did not introduce any new measures or rules, it did offer clues to changes that could show up […]

How Hospice Quality Reporting Can Impact Recruitment, Retention

Quality data are becoming another arrow in the quiver for hospices seeking to improve retention and recruitment. A hospice’s publicly reported quality data can paint a picture of how an organization stands up against competitors for future and current staff. Quality scores also can serve as a baseline for educating staff on how their roles […]

Small Hospices at a Disadvantage in Medicare Star Ratings

The U.S Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) star ratings system for hospice quality may have unintended consequences for small providers. CMS began posting star ratings for hospices on its Care Compare website last month. With new quality measurement methodologies still in the works or in the early days of implementation, Consumer Assessment of […]

Quality Data Crucial for Hospices in Value-Based Reimbursement

Understanding payer priorities in defining the scope of quality is vital for hospices to thrive not only in traditional Medicare, but also in today’s value-based reimbursement climate. The nitty gritty details of data tracking and management matter when it comes to ensuring both a healthy bottom line and quality patient care. This includes performance on […]