Federal agencies take a closer look at hospice providers

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2023 | Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect |

Reports have shown high levels of exploitation and fraud in the hospice industry. For that reason, major reform is taking place to deal with this unacceptable problem. If someone you love is in hospice in North Carolina, these investigations are something to be aware of.

Hospice inspections have received an overhaul

Some of the major regulatory changes in hospice care relate to how inspections must be conducted. Hospice inspectors now have to use multiple hospice locations when sampling data, and the metrics that they evaluate now take on a wider scope. Some of the major focuses of these new hospice inspections are in-patient care and practices around bereavement.

Another area of concern is when patients have left a hospice provider before they pass away. If the rate is high enough, it might be a sign of nursing home abuse or a sign that the provider isn’t doing enough to meet the needs of the patients or their families. In other cases, it’s because the hospice provider is admitting individuals who aren’t actually eligible.

One major problem that this industry has seen is the proliferation of entrepreneurs who have been making their own for-profit hospices in droves. These people are gaming the system, making money off of the most vulnerable patients and their families while putting these at-risk individuals in harm’s way. It’s a waste of taxpayer money that experts hope to deal with by increasing governmental oversight of these providers.

Support from palliative care providers

In an unexpected move, the national trade associations for palliative care providers have banded together in support of these new regulatory actions. These groups have met to talk about their ideas to increase the integrity of hospice programs. They also discussed criteria for red flags that would automatically call for a closer look at a given provider.

Those who provide hospice care are under greater scrutiny than ever from the government, looking into the quality of the care they give. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has changed the way that it inspects these providers in order to deal with widespread cases of fraud and exploitation in what once was a charitable industry.