What is the purpose of hospice quality reporting?
The Affordable Care Act authorized the establishment of a Quality Reporting Program for hospices. The Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) was established in 2014. HQRP aims to ensure that the level of quality in clinical care, symptom management, and patient and family experiences is at a high level across all hospice agencies. HQRP further aims to help patients and their families make informed decisions about end-of-life care. The measures and benchmarks reported in HQRP also provide CMS with measurements of hospice agency performance and how agencies are performing relative to other agencies in their region and across the nation. Some of the measures can also be used as indicators of Medicare fraud or abuse.
The Affordable Care Act also requires that quality measures relating to hospice care are reported on a CMS website.
HQRP data collection began in 2014 with two components. The first component was related to Hospice Item Set (HIS) data collection and transmission. The second component was related to the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) Hospice Survey participation.
The Hospice Compare website was launched in 2017, enabling patients and their families to compare between the performance of different hospice agencies. In December 2020, Hospice Compare was replaced by Care Compare.
Which measures are included in HQRP?
HQRP measures care across a patient’s hospice stay. With a commitment to quality improvement, data transparency, and informed decision-making, the number of HQRP measures has increased since the launch of the program. As of 2022, HQRP includes four metrics, each of which includes several underlying measures:
- Hospice Item Set (HIS). See more information here: What is Hospice Item Set (HIS)?
- Hospice Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS). See more information here: What is the CAHPS survey?
- Hospice Visits in Last Days of Live (HVLDL). See more information here: What is Hospice Visits in the Last Days of Life (HVLDL)?
- Hospice Care Index (HCI). See more information here: What is Hospice Care Index (HCI)?
What determines HQRP Compliance?
Performance level is not considered when determining compliance with HQRP; CMS requires a hospice agency to submit data completely, and on time, to be considered compliant. A Medicare-certified hospice agency is HQRP compliant if it submits the required data within the required timeframe and the data is accepted. A hospice agency is not compliant if it submits data but the data is not accepted. Failure to comply with HQRP requirements results in a two percentage point reduction in Annual Payment Update (APU). That is, for a hospice agency to preserve its full payment update, the agency must meet all HQRP data submission requirements. Failure to submit results will also impact an agency’s results on Care Compare.
How does CMS use the data that is submitted?
CMS currently uses the collected data internally for strategic planning purposes. CMS also uses the act of reporting to raise attention and awareness and promote actions to improve patient care.
Can a hospice agency verify its HQRP data before it is publicly published?
A hospice agency can review its HQRP data via the CASPER system before the results are made public on Care Compare. CASPER reports can be accessed by selecting the CASPER Reporting link to the CMS Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (QIES) Systems for Providers webpage. Hospice-specific reports are located in the Hospice Provider and Hospice Quality Reporting Program reporting categories in CASPER. Hospice agencies should review this data before it is published on Care Compare to ensure data accuracy, since the published data is used by the public to compare and select a hospice agency for end-of-life care.
Where can you find more information?
- CMS discussion of HQRP: CMS – HQRP
- Hospice Care Compare: data refresh and reporting information Care Compare: data refresh and reporting