New Quality Measures: Crossroads Top 5 In Patient Visits
Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) instituted a new set of quality measures designed to help consumers compare different providers while doing hospice care research.
The goal is to increase the level of transparency in regard to the quality of care provided by Medicare certified hospice agencies throughout the nation.
At Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care, we welcome this development.
Individuals who are undertaking a hospice care research effort need this kind of consumer-oriented information in order to make better informed choices about the type of end-of-life care that their family members and loved ones receive.
What do the numbers show?
One key measure the CMS evaluated was the number of daily visits per patient that a hospice provider makes. We were pleased to learn – but not surprised – that Crossroads ranks among the nation’s leaders.
On average, the CMS data ranks Crossroads among the top five for hours given by registered nurses, social workers and home health aides. That amounts to 16% more care than the national average for hospice providers. Compared to nonprofits, the difference is even more dramatic –Crossroads provides almost 26% more care than nonprofit hospice providers on a daily basis.
But it’s the story behind those numbers that is even more meaningful.
Evenmore© Care Program.
We believe Crossroads’ strong showing in the new quality ratings is due in part to a commitment we made long ago – to go above and beyond the level of services that Medicare covers. It’s what we call our Evenmore© Care Program.
For example, continuous home care is a Medicare hospice benefit that covers nursing care on a continuous basis from eight to 24 hours per day. An RN provides 51 percent of those hours; the other 49 percent can be delivered by an RN, LPN or nurse’s assistant. (Chaplains, social workers and bereavement counselors are not included.) The aim is to manage acute medical symptoms during brief periods of crisis and only as needed to maintain the patient at home.
At Crossroads, we understand that as patients near the end of life, they (and their families) may require more time and attention.
Patients’ symptoms can change quickly. If a hospice nurse recognizes a sudden change in cognition, s/he can initiate Crossroads’ Evenmore© Care Program to ensure special attention is given, regardless of what Medicare covers.
Staffing teams promote patient care.
Crossroads’ team approach to staffing ensures that each day, a team member will see every patient. Depending on the patient’s particular need, any member of the team may be called in – nurses, social workers, hospice aides, chaplains, bereavement counselors – even if their services are not covered by Medicare.
We do this not because we make more money from providing the extra service – we don’t. Nor do we do it because CMS has decided to emphasize daily visits as part of its quality measures – we’ve followed this principle for many years. We do it because it’s the right thing to do.
“Thanks to the new CMS quality measures, individuals and families who are doing their hospice care research can now look to balanced, independent data to help them compare hospice providers,” says Crossroads’ CEO Perry Farmer. “It’s a development we welcome. As the Crossroads motto says: ‘Expect more from us. We do.’”
To learn more about Crossroads’ unique hospice programs, visit our website today.
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