On August 16, 2017 the long-awaited Hospice Compare site went live. The Compare site is part of the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). CMS uses Compare sites as part of the quality programs for various provider types. All are similar in that they offer a snapshot of the quality of care provided to patients that is available to the public. Hospice Compare allows the public to do just that – compare the performance of hospices to a national performance average or to the performance of other select hospices. The performance of seven different quality measures, derived from the Hospice Item Set (HIS), are divided into two categories.
CAHPS Hospice Survey data will be added to Hospice Compare in winter 2018. A star rating will eventually be displayed on Hospice Compare but CMS has not shared a timeline for this and it is likely to be years into the future. The current Hospice Compare data is available in table or graph format for the public and represents performance data for October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. Data will be updated quarterly with hospices being able to view their data in preview reports available via CASPER. For any measure in which a hospice does not have 20 patient stays for the 12 month reporting period, the performance score will not be displayed. In addition to the performance data, the Hospice Compare site contains a lot of information for the public such as hospice care basics, how Medicare covers hospice care, and how to file complaints. Providers should review their demographic information on Hospice Compare to ensure it is correct as this is the information CMS and the public will use to reach the provider. If the demographic information is incorrect, the hospice should contact its ASPEN Coordinator. Coordinators can be found here. Hospices should also view their own data and may want to develop communication about their performance to be used should potential patients, referrers or others ask questions about it. Hospices should also ensure their staff understands the information and how they can impact the results, if not having already shared this.