ATTENTION Hospices! Opportunity Available to be part of the HOPE Beta Testing

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and their contractor, Abt Associates, are recruiting additional Medicare-certified hospice providers to participate in a beta test of the draft hospice patient assessment instrument called Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE). Recruitment is ongoing and training will occur on a rolling basis. Data collection begins when training is completed and is expected to continue through fall 2022.

CMS is specifically seeking hospice providers with sufficient registered nurse, social worker, and chaplain staffing to conduct at least 1 – 2 joint visits per weekFor joint visits, two registered nurses visit one patient at the same time to complete the HOPE nurse assessment. Two social workers visit the patient at the same time to complete the HOPE social work assessment, and two chaplains visit the patient at the same time to complete the HOPE chaplain assessment. One of the two registered nurses, social workers and chaplains may attend their joint visit via video call, such as Zoom. HOPE assessments are completed at hospice admission, for symptom reassessment and at live discharge. Hospices currently participating in the beta test may be finding this difficult amidst the workforce shortage causing CMS to recruit more hospices.

CMS is still aiming for completion of the beta testing in early fall of this year.  Should this occur, there may be time for CMS to analyze the results of the testing and formulate a proposal for use of the HOPE by all hospices in the FY2024 proposed rule.  This proposed rule would be posted in Spring 2023 for public review.

Joint visits are typical in beta testing standardized assessment instruments such as the HOPE for inter-rater reliability, but it is not expected that joint visits will be required when a HOPE tool is implemented in hospice.

Recruitment will continue until CMS reaches the desired number of participants (number not specified). Those interested in participating should email HOPETesting@abtassoc.com.

ATTENTION Hospices! Opportunity Available to be part of the HOPE Beta Testing

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and their contractor, Abt Associates, are recruiting additional Medicare-certified hospice providers to participate in a beta test of the draft hospice patient assessment instrument called Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE). Recruitment is ongoing and training will occur on a rolling basis. Data collection begins when training is completed and is expected to continue through fall 2022.

CMS is specifically seeking hospice providers with sufficient registered nurse, social worker, and chaplain staffing to conduct at least 1 – 2 joint visits per weekFor joint visits, two registered nurses visit one patient at the same time to complete the HOPE nurse assessment. Two social workers visit the patient at the same time to complete the HOPE social work assessment, and two chaplains visit the patient at the same time to complete the HOPE chaplain assessment. One of the two registered nurses, social workers and chaplains may attend their joint visit via video call, such as Zoom. HOPE assessments are completed at hospice admission, for symptom reassessment and at live discharge. Hospices currently participating in the beta test may be finding this difficult amidst the workforce shortage causing CMS to recruit more hospices.

CMS is still aiming for completion of the beta testing in early fall of this year.  Should this occur, there may be time for CMS to analyze the results of the testing and formulate a proposal for use of the HOPE by all hospices in the FY2024 proposed rule.  This proposed rule would be posted in Spring 2023 for public review.

Joint visits are typical in beta testing standardized assessment instruments such as the HOPE for inter-rater reliability, but it is not expected that joint visits will be required when a HOPE tool is implemented in hospice.

Recruitment will continue until CMS reaches the desired number of participants (number not specified). Those interested in participating should email HOPETesting@abtassoc.com.

ATTENTION Hospices! Opportunity Available to be part of the HOPE Beta Testing

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and their contractor, Abt Associates, are recruiting additional Medicare-certified hospice providers to participate in a beta test of the draft hospice patient assessment instrument called Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE). Recruitment is ongoing and training will occur on a rolling basis. Data collection begins when training is…

ATTENTION Hospices! Opportunity Available to be part of the HOPE Beta Testing

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and their contractor, Abt Associates, are recruiting additional Medicare-certified hospice providers to participate in a beta test of the draft hospice patient assessment instrument called Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE). Recruitment is ongoing and training will occur on a rolling basis. Data collection begins when training is completed and is expected to continue through fall 2022.

CMS is specifically seeking hospice providers with sufficient registered nurse, social worker, and chaplain staffing to conduct at least 1 – 2 joint visits per weekFor joint visits, two registered nurses visit one patient at the same time to complete the HOPE nurse assessment. Two social workers visit the patient at the same time to complete the HOPE social work assessment, and two chaplains visit the patient at the same time to complete the HOPE chaplain assessment. One of the two registered nurses, social workers and chaplains may attend their joint visit via video call, such as Zoom. HOPE assessments are completed at hospice admission, for symptom reassessment and at live discharge. Hospices currently participating in the beta test may be finding this difficult amidst the workforce shortage causing CMS to recruit more hospices.

CMS is still aiming for completion of the beta testing in early fall of this year.  Should this occur, there may be time for CMS to analyze the results of the testing and formulate a proposal for use of the HOPE by all hospices in the FY2024 proposed rule.  This proposed rule would be posted in Spring 2023 for public review.

Joint visits are typical in beta testing standardized assessment instruments such as the HOPE for inter-rater reliability, but it is not expected that joint visits will be required when a HOPE tool is implemented in hospice.

Recruitment will continue until CMS reaches the desired number of participants (number not specified). Those interested in participating should email HOPETesting@abtassoc.com.

ATTENTION Hospices! Opportunity Available to be part of the HOPE Beta Testing

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and their contractor, Abt Associates, are recruiting additional Medicare-certified hospice providers to participate in a beta test of the draft hospice patient assessment instrument called Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE). Recruitment is ongoing and training will occur on a rolling basis. Data collection begins when training…

ATTENTION Hospices! CMS Recruiting Additional Hospices for HOPE Beta Testing

As hospices should already be aware, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Abt Associates are currently beta testing a draft standardized hospice patient assessment instrument called Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE).  Additional hospice providers are needed to complete the testing.

Hospices must be Medicare-certified and training for this round of hospices is anticipated to occur mid-July 2022 with data collection slated to begin in August 2022 and continue through early fall 2022.

CMS is specifically seeking hospice providers with sufficient registered nurse, social worker, and chaplain staffing to conduct at least 1 – 2 joint visits per week. Hospices currently participating in the beta test may be finding this difficult amidst the workforce shortage causing CMS to recruit more hospices.

It appears that CMS is still aiming for completion of the beta testing in early fall of this year.  Should this occur, there may be time for CMS to analyze the results of the testing and formulate a proposal for use of the HOPE by all hospices in the FY2024 proposed rule.  This proposed rule would be posted in Spring 2023 for public review.

Joint visits are typical in beta testing standardized assessment instruments such as the HOPE for inter-rater reliability, but it is not expected that joint visits will be required when a HOPE tool is implemented in hospice. CMS includes the following additional information about the 1-2 joint visits per week that would occur as part of the HOPE testing:  For joint visits, two registered nurses visit one patient at the same time to complete the HOPE nurse assessment. Two social workers visit the patient at the same time to complete the HOPE social work assessment, and two chaplains visit the patient at the same time to complete the HOPE chaplain assessment. One of the two registered nurses, social workers and chaplains may attend their joint visit via video call, such as Zoom. HOPE assessments are completed at hospice admission, for symptom reassessment and at live discharge.

Recruitment will continue until CMS reaches the desired number of participants (number not specified). Those interested in participating should email HOPETesting@abtassoc.com by June 30, 2022.

ATTENTION Hospices! CMS Recruiting Additional Hospices for HOPE Beta Testing

As hospices should already be aware, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and Abt Associates are currently beta testing a draft standardized hospice patient assessment instrument called Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE).  Additional hospice providers are needed to complete the testing. Hospices must be Medicare-certified and training for this round of hospices…

Hospice Quality Reporting Program 2021 Information Gathering Report

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the Hospice Quality Reporting Program 2021 Information Gathering Report, which provides information from literature reviews and expert interviews that supports expansion of the hospice quality reporting program. Specific topics include treatment of moderate to severe pain, patient preferences, spiritual care, social needs, medication management, and other topics related to hospice quality.

CMS anticipates expanding the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) over the next several years to include additional meaningful quality measures to help consumers make informed decisions when selecting a hospice for end-of-life-support. This expansion includes introducing the Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE), and may be introduced for possible hospice use for FY2024, although CMS has not provided a date.

There are only a handful of current measures publicly reported as part of the HQRP.  This is slim compared to other provider types and due in part to the lack of a tool for the HQRP that collects data while care is being delivered to the patient, as the HOPE will do.  The Hospice Information Gathering Report supports the efforts to expand the HQRP by reviewing available resources to inform HOPE development and related quality measures. Technical Expert Panel (TEP) deliberations, in addition to discussions with the HOPE development team, the hospice quality measurement development team, and federal stakeholders, identified areas where additional information could support the HQRP expansion.

This Report provides insight into the specific aspects CMS focused on for each of the topics addressed in the Report – treatment of moderate to severe pain, patient preferences, spiritual care, social needs, medication management, and other topics related to hospice quality – why and what was discovered.  Links to all the resources reviewed are available and hospices may find these helpful for understanding how best to address the issues CMS identified in each of the topic areas.

Among its conclusions, CMS found that evidence supports the current HQRP measures under development for treating moderate to severe pain. In other areas (risk adjustment for neuropathic pain, patient and proxy concordance of patient symptom management preferences, and psychosocial outcomes), CMS found limited evidence for the hospice setting.  However, CMS provided information from other settings to support HQRP activities in these instances.

CMS explored evidence for future potential areas of measure development, such as medication management, finding gaps concerning the reasonable use of medications at the end of life and the engagement of patients and caregivers.  Those interested in the future path of the HQRP and its measures should read this report and investigate some of the tools and resources CMS found to be promising for providing/assisting in providing good quality care to patients.

More information about CMS’ efforts to expand the HQRP can be found in the 2019 Information Gathering Report and the  2020 Information Gathering Report.

Hospice Quality Reporting Program 2021 Information Gathering Report

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the Hospice Quality Reporting Program 2021 Information Gathering Report, which provides information from literature reviews and expert interviews that supports expansion of the hospice quality reporting program. Specific topics include treatment of moderate to severe pain, patient preferences, spiritual care, social needs, medication management, and other…

Hospice Quality Reporting Program 2021 Information Gathering Report

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the Hospice Quality Reporting Program 2021 Information Gathering Report, which provides information from literature reviews and expert interviews that supports expansion of the hospice quality reporting program. Specific topics include treatment of moderate to severe pain, patient preferences, spiritual care, social needs, medication management, and other topics related to hospice quality.

CMS anticipates expanding the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) over the next several years to include additional meaningful quality measures to help consumers make informed decisions when selecting a hospice for end-of-life-support. This expansion includes introducing the Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE), and may be introduced for possible hospice use for FY2024, although CMS has not provided a date.

There are only a handful of current measures publicly reported as part of the HQRP.  This is slim compared to other provider types and due in part to the lack of a tool for the HQRP that collects data while care is being delivered to the patient, as the HOPE will do.  The Hospice Information Gathering Report supports the efforts to expand the HQRP by reviewing available resources to inform HOPE development and related quality measures. Technical Expert Panel (TEP) deliberations, in addition to discussions with the HOPE development team, the hospice quality measurement development team, and federal stakeholders, identified areas where additional information could support the HQRP expansion.

This Report provides insight into the specific aspects CMS focused on for each of the topics addressed in the Report – treatment of moderate to severe pain, patient preferences, spiritual care, social needs, medication management, and other topics related to hospice quality – why and what was discovered.  Links to all the resources reviewed are available and hospices may find these helpful for understanding how best to address the issues CMS identified in each of the topic areas.

Among its conclusions, CMS found that evidence supports the current HQRP measures under development for treating moderate to severe pain. In other areas (risk adjustment for neuropathic pain, patient and proxy concordance of patient symptom management preferences, and psychosocial outcomes), CMS found limited evidence for the hospice setting.  However, CMS provided information from other settings to support HQRP activities in these instances.

CMS explored evidence for future potential areas of measure development, such as medication management, finding gaps concerning the reasonable use of medications at the end of life and the engagement of patients and caregivers.  Those interested in the future path of the HQRP and its measures should read this report and investigate some of the tools and resources CMS found to be promising for providing/assisting in providing good quality care to patients.

More information about CMS’ efforts to expand the HQRP can be found in the 2019 Information Gathering Report and the  2020 Information Gathering Report.