CMS: Hospice quality reporting to begin July 1, will require admission and discharge records

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Providers will have to report certain hospice quality measures to the federal government starting July 1, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services formally announced in a recent Federal Register notice.

The Hospice Item Set has been designed to track seven quality measures endorsed by the National Quality Forum, according to the notice. These are pain screening, pain assessment, dyspnea screening, dyspnea treatment, patients on an opioid given a bowel regimen, and patient treatment preferences and beliefs/values.

Hospice providers will be required to submit records for each patient at admission and discharge, the Federal Register entry states. These records will include some administrative information related to patient identification, as well as items related to the quality measures. The discharge information will be used to determine whether a patient should be excluded from some of the quality measures.

The Affordable Care Act mandated development of the Hospice Item Set, which could be used for a variety of purposes, according to CMS. Uses could include Department of Justice investigations and Medicare Administrative Contractor fraud prevention efforts.

CMS will administer the Hospice Item Set database, but the information collection requirements also will apply to hospice patients who are not on Medicare, the notice states. The item set is not something that will be administered to the patient, family or caregivers, but will be completed via information in the medical record.

The information in the notice is scheduled to be effective 30 days after its April 8 publication date. Written comments are being accepted until the effective date, and an updated notice might be issued based on this input, CMS stated.

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