The CMS is establishing a new electronic record system for quality
reporting by hospices
, according to a Federal Register notice.
The new program was mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
and will evaluate whether appropriate attention was given to the pain an individual was in, whether the correct medications were prescribed and whether a patient's preferences and personal beliefs were respected in his or her last days.
Hospices “will have to think very deliberately about who on their team will pull information from the patient's record so as to ensure the greatest accuracy possible,” said Theresa Forster, vice president for hospice policy and programs of the National Council on Medicaid Home Care, an advocacy group affiliated with the National Association for Home Care & Hospice.
The data collection will not be limited to Medicare patients, the CMS says in the notice (PDF)
. Hospices will begin using the new record and reporting system July 1. Eventually, data collected via the system will be published. Comments on the system are due May 8.
The new system is not a patient assessment instrument, CMS
officials have said, and is not to be administered to the patient, family or caregivers. Instead, it will serve as a standardized mechanism for abstracting data from medical records. Hospices will submit information to the new system at two points, upon admission and at discharge, in the instances in which a patient didn't die.
The CMS has already been conducting training on the new system for hospice staff. Another training on the technical submission processes and data submission software will be provided in May.
Not reporting information to the new training system on a timely basis could result in a cut in reimbursement
from the CMS. Hospices must complete admission forms within 14 days of entry and complete discharge forms seven days after an exit.
The forms must be submitted to the new database within 30 days of either admission or discharge.Follow Virgil Dickson on Twitter: @MHvdickson