Watchdog Agency Calls On Regulators To Ramp Up Oversight Of Hospice Industry After Report On Fraud, Neglect
The report from the Office of Inspector General at HHS raises concerns that some hospices are milking the system by skimping on services while taking in daily Medicare payments.
Fraud And Neglect Are Problems In Hospice Industry, Federal Report Finds
We all hope for a little peace at the end of life, for ourselves and for our loved ones. Hospice services can play a big role, relieving pain and providing spiritual and emotional support. But a federal report published Tuesday synthesized patient and Medicare payment data going back to 2005 and found that, as the hospice industry expands, some hospice providers are bilking Medicare and neglecting patients. The report calls for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is a key player in the funding of hospice services, to increase its level of scrutiny to improve the detection of these problems. (Jaffe, 7/31)
Kaiser Health News:
Missed Visits, Uncontrolled Pain And Fraud: Report Says Hospice Lacks Oversight
The report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health and Human Services sums up over 10 years of research into inadequate care, inappropriate billing and outright fraud by hospices, which took in $16.7 billion in Medicare payments in 2016. The Medicare hospice benefit aims to help patients live out their final days in peace and comfort: It pays for agencies to send nurses, aides, social workers and chaplains to visit patients who are likely to die within six months and who agree to forgo curative treatment for their terminal illness. Most of the time, this care takes place where the patient already lives — their home, nursing home or assisted living facility. (Bailey, 7/31)