Hospice Compassus, a Nashville, Tenn.-based company that operates a nationwide network of hospice programs, has become the first hospice provider in the U.S. to publicly reveal patient quality data. The announcement was made today during a national hospice and palliative care physicians conference held by the company. The data shows significant achievements toward establishing and continuing to raise industry benchmarks after a year of reporting quality data at more than 50 community-based programs nationwide.
In 2011, Hospice Compassus vowed to lead the industry by proactively measuring and reporting on its performance and identified three specific quality metrics as the measure of success:
Percent of patients in pain at admission that have their pain controlled to their satisfaction within 48 hours;
Percent of families reporting that they received the ideal amount of education and preparation regarding their loved one's disease progression, treatments and medications, and;
Percent of patients that had pain above their self-identified threshold anytime during the last week of life.
Since voluntary reporting began in 2011 through October of this year, Hospice Compassus programs have achieved marked improvement in all these quality metrics:
The percentage of patients who had pain controlled in the first 48 hours improved from 76 percent to 81 percent for the entire company with one-third of Hospice Compassus programs improving to 97 percent.
The percentage of families reporting they received adequate education regarding medication, treatment and symptoms continued to remain high, improving from 84 percent to 85 percent.
The percentage of patients reporting pain above their self-identified threshold during the last week of life decreased from 23 percent to 16 percent.
Hospice Compassus selected quality metrics for its own national quality initiative in 2011 prior to establishment of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services requirements in 2012. The company's collection, measurement, and reporting of data is part of an ongoing effort to set and maintain credible, legitimate quality standards for the rest of the industry, and to continue improving on those standards until 100 percent compliance is achieved.
"With the significant milestones shared today, Hospice Compassus has established a solid benchmark and demonstrated how it's national initiative drives quality improvements," said Sean Morrison, MD, Hermann Merkin Professor of Palliative Care at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Director of the National Palliative Care Research Center, and past president of American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care. "As we review our progress, address what has worked, what needs renewed focus, and chart our course for continued improvement over the next year and beyond, we are encouraged by the achievements to date and by the significant impact our ongoing efforts will have on hospice care in the U.S. and the patients and families we serve."
CMS has validated the company's approach by selecting one of the same measures as a requirement for all U.S. hospice providers to report beginning in 2013: Addressing pain within 48 hours of admission.
"We have established a new industry standard. We have demonstrated what is attainable on a large scale for all hospice providers that share our philosophy of delivering care with compassion, integrity and excellence, and we have seen improvement in all three measures despite one of the most challenging healthcare futures we have ever had," said Corina Tracy, Senior Vice President of National Operations for Hospice Compassus. "And most importantly, we have made an ongoing commitment to continue improving on these standards until we reach 100 percent compliance. That is our ultimate goal, and, most importantly, our moral obligation to the more than 12,000 patients that Hospice Compassus programs serve each year."
SOURCE Hospice Compassus