We previously reported about the launch of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Hospice Compare website in August, 2017. Experts were concerned about the contents and reliability of the website, as it seemed to give unnaturally high ratings to most hospice providers; more than three quarters of the providers on the website scored 91% or higher on six out of seven measures on the CMS report card. As a result, skepticism developed in the long-term care community about whether the website would be truly useful to consumers and trustworthy in its ratings. Now, CMS is admitting that the website may be giving consumers wrong information.
More specifically, a recent CMS memo reveals that when users search for a hospice provider, the results of their search may reveal providers that don’t even serve the zip code, city, or state that the user entered in the website. CMS claims that it is working to update the website, but, meanwhile, CMS suggests that consumers call providers directly in order to confirm their service areas. Furthermore, a representative of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization states that it is working with CMS to solve the issue. It is unclear when the website will be fully operational with completely accurate information.
Hospice providers are a crucial part of the overall care plan for a terminally ill patient, and it is critical that families have access to correct information about their hospice care options. Aside from hospice providers, however, it is also important to have accurate information about long-term care options, as well. Without correct information and oversight by CMS, our loved ones may be at an increased risk for neglect or abuse. At Boller & Vaughan, we are here to stand up for the rights of senior citizens and their families who have suffered substantial injuries, whether physical, emotional, or financial, while under the care of those who are supposed to prevent such injuries from occurring. Contact us today at (608) 268-0268, set up an appointment with one of our Wisconsin elder abuse attorneys, and discover how we can help.