HHS Inspector General: Hospice Concerns
The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG), released a new Featured Topics page that details its oversight of the hospice program.
OIG’s oversight of the hospice program is crucial to protect the 1.7 million patients who receive hospice care each year and the $23 billion that Medicare spends annually for this care. Years of evaluations and reports have revealed risks to patients and structural concerns, such as ulterior incentives created by the payment structure. OIG has made several recommendations to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to improve care and better protect patients, many of which remain unimplemented.
“Our reports and investigations have revealed several concerning issues, including poor—sometimes harmful—quality of care, fraud schemes that involve enrolling beneficiaries without their consent, inappropriate billing practices, limited transparency for patients and their families, a payment system that creates incentives to minimize services, and a rapid growth in the number of new hospices, often to take advantage of these conditions,” the OIG says on its new page.