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To start off National Hospice Month, the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management published the initial results of Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP).

Zheng NT, Li Q, Hanson LC, Wessell KL, Chong N, Sherif N, Broyles IH, Frank J, Kirk MA, Schwartz CR, Levitt AF, Rokoske F. Nationwide Quality of Hospice Care: Findings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP). Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. 2017 Oct 10.

The study found that:

  • Over 90% of patients received most critical care processes recommended by the clinical guidelines at hospice admission, including discussion of patient preferences regarding life-sustaining treatments; care for spiritual and existential concerns; and symptom management (pain, opioid-induced constipation and dyspnea).
  • Fewer patients with pain (about three quarters) received comprehensive assessment.
  • A small number of hospices performed all critical care processes for all of their patients at admission, indicating room for quality improvement at the national level.

UNC Palliative Care team members Dr. Laura Hanson and Kathryn Wessell consulted on RTI’s evaluation of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP).