It is quite common for healthcare providers to look at compliance reports as tiresome, time-consuming, and sometimes a burden as they spend a lot of time poring over documents just to make sure they comply with regulations instead of giving more time for patient care. However, they were established for a reason and that is not to put a burden on providers. Rather, they are conducted to look at how the provision of care can be improved as well as to ensure that quality care is not compromised. A recent move by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proves this point as two more hospice quality measures are set to be publicly reported starting 2022. This is done with the aim of incentivizing agencies to improve their care quality and strengthen public accountability through better transparency. To keep you in the loop, here are the two hospice quality measures you need to look out for.


Hospice Visits Last Days of Life (HVLDL)

The Hospice Visits in the Last Days of Life (HVLDL) is a measure derived from Medicare hospice claim records. It aims to provide an assessment of your hospice staff’s visits to patients at the end of life by getting the proportion of patients who received in-person visits from a registered nurse (RN) or a medical social worker (MSW. The visits must be done on at least two out of the final three days of the patient’s life. Should there be visits after the patient’s death, they will no longer be included in the HVLDL score. It must be noted that patients who did not die under hospice care (as indicated in the reason for discharge), who received continuous home care, general inpatient care, or respite care in the last three days of their lives, and who enrolled in hospice in less than three days, are not included in the count. This measure will be publicly reported effective May 2022.

This measure, though similar in tally, is not to be confused with actual visits counted during the last 3 and 7 days prior to a patient’s death for the Service Intensity Add-on (SIA).


Hospice Care Index (HCI)

Unlike the HVLDL which has a single indicator or measure, the Hospice Care Index (HCI) has multiple indicators – ten in total, each of which has a certain threshold. The HCI basically captures the care processes which occur all throughout the hospice stay of the patient. Same with HVLDL, the HCI is claims-based. The overall score is calculated based on the number of times your hospice has met the set thresholds for the indicators. These individual indicators are CHC/GIP provided, gaps in skilled nursing visits, early live discharges, late live discharges, burdensome transitions (Type 1), burdensome transitions (Type 2), per-beneficiary Medicare spending, nurse care minutes per routine home care days, skilled nursing minutes on weekends, and visits near death. The first public reporting of the data is in May 2022 and will only reflect the final HCI score although the individual indicator performance is available for viewing in the data files. The first view will include data for eight (8) quarters from Q3 2019 to Q4 2021. After which, the scores will be refreshed annually.

For a more detailed discussion on these new publicly reported hospice quality measures, check out the National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC)  for the available materials.

Data Soft Logic, as your Intelligent Care Partner, wants you to always be in the know. Schedule a demo with us to check how we could help you through this new policy with our intelligent software solution designed for hospice care, Hospice Centre. Schedule a demo with us now.