CMS launches Hospice Compare site, aims for patient engagement

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Hospice patients and their families now will be able to compare potential providers due to the launch of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' new Hospice Compare website on Wednesday.

The website includes data from nearly 4,000 hospice providers and covers seven National Quality Forum-endorsed measures on hospice and palliative care:

  • Treatment preferences
  • Beliefs/values addressed
  • Pain screening
  • Pain assessment
  • Dyspnea, or shortness of breath, screening
  • Dyspnea treatment
  • Patients treated with opioids who are given a bowel regimen

Data from the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers & Systems Hospice survey will be added to the site early next year. A measure gauging the number of hospice visits when death is imminent will be added in late 2018 at the soonest, officials told reporters.

Consumers can compare up to three providers at a time using the website, which officials hope will open a conversation between providers, patients and families.

“The Hospice Compare website is an important tool for the American people and will help empower them in a time of vulnerability as they look for information necessary to make important decisions about hospice care for loved ones,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement.

The hospice website follows similar Medicare “compare” websites for nursing homes, physicians, home health providers, hospitals and inpatient rehabilitation facilities, among other provider types.