Hospice HEART Quality Tool

06/18/19 at 07:55 AM by Cordt Kassner

The Hospice HEART quality tool has been in process a couple years now. Progress was slowed, but not halted. Per the Hospice News Today summary below of the Hospice News article linked below, a comprehensive quality reporting tool is still on it's way...

 

[UPDATED] CMS Developing Hospice Quality Assessment Tool
Hospice News
June 17, 2019
[Hospice News Today Editor’s Note 6/18/19: This article updates an article originally published on June 7. This summary focuses on the updated information.]
The U.S Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is in the process of developing a mandatory new comprehensive quality reporting tool to replace the current Hospice Item Set measures. The agency plans to test a prototype in 2020. … “While it must be recognized that hospice care differs from other post-acute care settings, there is a need to create a comprehensive assessment instrument for hospice care to align with other PAC settings, where feasible and practical,” a CMS representative told Hospice News. “As such, objectives of a comprehensive assessment instrument must include the ability to establish goals of care that embrace the individualʼs values and preferences, and are consistent with a person-centered approach that values the person and caregiver in the care continuum with an emphasis on physical, psychosocial, spiritual, and emotional support.” The hospice assessment tool will be used by hospice clinical staff to establish baseline health information for all patients enrolled in hospice care and be used depending on the patientsʼ needs in whole or in part to reassess patients as their care needs change. Hospice clinical staff during visits will administer the assessment tool, include a specified series of questions and tests. … For the remainder of 2019, CMS is gathering information and hosting listening with members from national organizations that included National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, National Association of Home Care and Hospice, Visiting Nurses Association of America, and National Partnership for Hospice Innovation, as well as engaging stakeholders in special open door forums, conducting expert interviews, and convening a Technical Expert Panel in the Fall.

 

CMS Developing Hospice Quality Assessment Tool
Hospice News
June 7, 2019

The U.S Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is in the process of developing a mandatory new comprehensive quality reporting tool to replace the current Hospice Item Set measures. Though initially the agency will use the tool, known as the Hospice Evaluation and Assessment Reporting Tool (HEART), exclusively for quality reporting, CMS in time will likely use the tool to inform new payment models, according to the agency. As with other mandatory CMS quality reporting programs, hospices could see payment reductions of up to 2% for failing to report HEART data after the tool and associated requirements are finalized. CMS has delayed release of the tool because the agency switched to a different vendor midstream. The agency and its vendor, ABT Associates, are actively seeking comment from hospice providers about how the tool can best meet their reporting needs while trying to avoid excess regulatory burden. … Though the tool is still in development, in a 2018 pilot test in nine hospice sites CMS examined using HEART to collect data on admission and discharge assessments, (60 day) interim assessments, as well as incorporating a standard of practice checklist, and assorted other clinical data that the agency expects could be used to develop new quality measures. CMS considered including an interim assessment for patients who are imminently dying, but pilot testing results indicated that hospices needed to focus their efforts on supporting the patient and family at the end of life. CMS is reconsidering inclusion of that requirement, the agency said. … “A key goal of this comprehensive patient assessment tool, which is going to be known as HEART, is to understand the care needs throughout the patientʼs (dying) process and provide hospices with important information to help them understand and address patient and family needs, and ensure delivery of high-quality care throughout the patientʼs stay,” said CMS Project Officer Cindy Masuda, in an open forum.

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