OIG: Hospices often out of compliance, need framing

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The Department of Health and Human Services' watchdog arm recently said hospice providers need stronger oversight measures. It also noted more than $5.8 billion in recoveries in fiscal 2013.

The Office of the Inspector General recommended that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services crack down on hospice certification survey timing. The OIG called for specific timeframes regarding survey frequency in its semi-annual report, which was released Dec. 23.

“Our past and current research indicates that hospices are often out of compliance,” report authors wrote. “A 2007 report found that almost half of hospices were cited with deficiencies when surveyed. More recent OIG reports identified quality-of-care concerns regarding hospice care provided in nursing homes.”

OIG also called for CMS to establish a “hospital transfer payment policy for early discharges to hospice care.”

OIG said in 2013 it investigated nearly 1,000 criminal acts involving healthcare organizations or individuals conducting business illegally.

It collected about $5 billion in investigative receivables and $850 million in audit receivables, according to the report. 


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