by: Josh Poltilove
CMS has recently announced that the location search field on Hospice Compare hasn’t worked since the website launched in August.
The federal Medicare agency posted a message on Hospice Compare letting users know that when they search by location, many of the hospices that appear in the search result may not serve the correct ZIP code, city or even state.
The inaccuracy of the website’s location search might lead fewer people to use Hospice Compare to determine the quality of their areas’ hospices, says Joy Cameron, vice president for policy and innovation for ElevatingHOME. It could potentially lead patients and families to grow frustrated with the website in their time of need — and discourage them from recommending the website for others to use.
CMS recommends that people using Hospice Compare call the hospice they select to confirm that it serves their desired areas.
Hospice Compare’s issues involve underlying data that populate the website, CMS officials tell HHL. Officials aren’t sure exactly how many hospices are affected but believe the information is “much more accurate than inaccurate.”
CMS officials tell HHL that one major fix will occur in early 2018. CMS on April 1, 2017, added a data item to the Hospice Item Set (HIS) that asks hospices to record the ZIP code where services are being provided. This new information will replace the data that currently inform Hospice Compare’s location search.
Hospices, meanwhile, can work to fix a second Hospice Compare issue themselves by ensuring their demographic information is accurate within the Automated Survey Processing Environment (ASPEN) system, CMS officials add.