Spotlight & Announcements

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About this Page

The Spotlight & Announcements webpage provides recent news and updates pertinent to the HQRP. On this page, you will find announcements about newly posted resource guides and factsheets, available Quarterly Update documents, and APU updates, among other notifications.

Updates

March 03, 2021

2020 Technical Expert Panel Meeting Summary Report Available

CMS has released the summary report from the Technical Expert Panel (TEP) meetings convened in 2020 by CMS’s measure development contractor, Abt Associates. The standing TEP is composed of eleven members representing a wide range of hospice stakeholders, including providers, caregivers, and quality improvement experts. The TEP’s role is to help develop and refine new hospice quality measures, focusing on measures derived from the Hospice Outcomes and Patient Evaluation (HOPE), a real-time hospice assessment instrument. The full TEP convened in March and November 2020, and a subset of TEP members convened between May and June 2020. This report provides a summary of these activities, including background on the focus of each TEP meeting, a summary of the discussion, and key recommendations.

The 2020 TEP Summary Report is available on the Provider Engagement Opportunities page.

If you have general questions about the Hospice Quality Reporting Program, please email HospiceQRP@abtassoc.com.

This work is being conducted under CMS contract number 75FCMC18D0014 and task order number 75FCMC19F0001.

March 02, 2021

Changes Made to Provider Reports

We made several updates to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program’s (HQRP’s) confidential reports available to you in CASPER. The reports updated include 1) the QM reports, which provide hospice agencies feedback on their quality measure scores, allowing them to continuously improve the quality of care delivered; and 2) the Review and Correct reports which provide hospice agencies an opportunity to identify any reporting errors that may affect quality measure performance.  

With the new changes, the QM reports direct readers to the HQRP Public Reporting: Key Dates for Providers page to obtain more information on public reporting in light of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency. In addition, the QM Reports and the Review and Correct Reports align with the Hospice Item Set (HIS) V3.00, which removes Section O from the Discharge Assessment and thus ends data collection for the Hospice Visits When Death Is Imminent (HVWDII) measure pair.  The HIS Manual V3.00 received OMB approval as of February 16, 2021. Because of this change to the HIS, the QM and Review and Correct reports display HVWDII measure scores only when hospice agencies select quarters before or including Q4 2020; when hospice agencies select quarters after Q4 2020, the reports will display a dash for HVWDII. Please find more information on the QM reports on the HQRP Requirements and Best Practices page and additional information on the HIS V3.00 on the Hospice Item Set page.

February 26, 2021

NOW AVAILABLE: Final Hospice Item Set (HIS) Manual V3.00

The final HIS Manual V3.00 is now available in the Downloads section of the Hospice Item Set (HIS) webpage. The updated Admission and Discharge Instruments, along with a Change Table showing what was updated from the HIS Manual V2.01 to V3.00, are also available for download.

The HIS Manual V3.00 is effective as of February 16, 2021. For more information and to download the new documents, please visit the Hospice Item Set webpage.

February 12, 2021

Update: Common Questions-Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) Claims-Based-Quality Measures: February 2021

A new document, entitled “Common Questions-HQRP Claims-Based-Quality Measures: February 2021” is now available in the Downloads section of the Hospice Item Set (HIS) page. This document will give providers information and answers to some common questions about the HQRP including changes in the draft HIS Manual V3.00; the new claims-based Quality Measure (QM) Hospice Visits in the Last Days of Life (HVLDL) replacing Hospice Visits When Death is Imminent (HVWDII); the Hospice Care Index (HCI); and HQRP in the future.

February 10, 2021

Updated Provider Demographic Data Process Available

CMS will be transitioning to a new data source for a provider’s demographic data for hospice and the other Post-Acute Care (PAC) provider types (Skilled Nursing Facilities / Nursing Facilities (SNF/NFs), Home Health Agencies (HHAs), Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities (IRFs), and Long-Term Care Hospitals (LTCHs)). Historically provider demographic data have been maintained in the Automated Survey Processing Environment or ASPEN software; however, CMS will be transitioning to use the demographic information from Provider Enrollment, Chain and Ownership System (PECOS).  While this transition is underway, a final date when all demographic data will be obtained from PECOS has not been identified.  During this transition, all PAC providers will be responsible to ensure their latest demographic data are updated and available in both the ASPEN and PECOS systems. A referencing document that outlines the steps each PAC provider should follow can be accessed in the Downloads section of the Public Reporting: Background and Announcements page.. Should you have questions regarding this updated process, please contact the iQIES help desk by email at iQIES@cms.hhs.gov or by phone at (800) 339-9313.

January 29, 2021

Update Regarding Hospice Visits in Last Days of Life (HVLDL) Measure

As of January 1, 2021, the Hospice Visits in the Last Days of Life (HVLDL) claims based measure replaces the information previously collected in Section O of the HIS-Discharge. This is a re-specified, claims-based version of the Hospice Visits when Death is Imminent (HVWDII) measure pair. Per the measure specifications, HVLDL indicates the hospice provider’s proportion of patients who have received visits from a registered nurse or medical social worker (non-telephonically) on at least two out of the final three days of the patient’s life.

The calculation of the last three days remains unchanged from the last three days documented in Section O. Information defining the last three days can be found on page 2O-3 in HIS Manual V2.01 (PDF). Specifically these three days as “indicated by the day of death, the day prior to death, and two days prior to death.”

  • The day of death is the same as the date provided in A0270, Discharge Date. (or the day of death)
  • One day prior to death is calculated as A0270 minus 1.
  • Two days prior to death is calculated as A0270 minus 2.

This new measure is expected to be publicly reported in spring 2022. This date will be finalized once the draft HIS Manual V3.00 receives final OMB approval.

January 19, 2021

HQRP Quarterly Update for 4th Quarter of 2020 is Available

The Hospice Quarterly Update for the fourth quarter of 2020 is now available. This update includes Hospice Quality Reporting Program highlights from October 2020 to December 2020, events and engagement opportunities for the first quarter of 2021 (January – March 2021), and selected questions and answers from the Hospice Quality Help Desk. Please navigate to the HQRP Requirements and Best Practices page to download this document.

December 31, 2020

Important Update re: Implementation of Hospice Item Set (HIS) V3.00 Specifications

On January 1, 2021, CMS will move forward with the implementation of V3.00 of the HIS data submission specifications. The HIS Manual V3.00 is not yet final and is still pending approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The implementation of the HIS V3.00 specifications will prevent hospice providers from encountering any fatal errors/ rejected records whether submitting HIS records with or without section O. Either V2.00 or V3.00 HIS records will be accepted by the ASAP system. Please continue to monitor this site for additional updates.

December 22, 2020

Important Updates on the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP)

Swingtech sends informational messages to hospices related to the Quality Reporting Program (QRP) on a quarterly basis. Their latest outreach communication can be found on the HQRP Requirements and Best Practices webpage. If you want to receive Swingtech’s quarterly emails, then add or update the email addresses to which these messages are sent by sending an email to QRPHelp@swingtech.com. Be sure to include your facility name and CMS Certification Number (CCN) along with any requested updates.

December 11, 2020

CY 2020 Information Gathering Report for Hospice Quality Reporting Program  

CMS has released the Hospice Quality Reported Program Information Gathering Report.  This report provides information from literature reviews and expert interviews that supports expansion of the hospice quality reporting program. Specific topics include the use of the Integrated Palliative Outcome Scale, signs and symptoms of actively dying, pain management, dyspnea management, and social determinants of health. 

The updated Information Gathering Report is available in the Downloads section on the HOPE webpage and at this link: 2020 HQRP Information Gathering Report (PDF)

November 19, 2020

IMPORTANT!!!  Hospice Compare will be going away soon, but you'll still be able to find the same information about Hospices and other health care providers on Care Compare on Medicare.gov. The Provider Data Catalog on CMS.gov also makes it easier for you to search and download our publicly reported data. Bookmark the webpages and start using these tools today!

Care Compare Quarterly Refresh – November 2020

The November 2020 quarterly refresh for the HQRP is now available on Care Compare. Care Compare is the recently launched, streamlined redesign of eight existing CMS healthcare compare tools on Medicare.gov, including Hospice Compare. Please visit Care Compare or Hospice Compare to view the new and updated quality data.

Please note that public reporting of hospices’ data will freeze after the November 2020 refresh, due to the temporary exemption to the HQRP data submission requirements in responding to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). This means that following the November 2020 refresh, the data publicly reported will be held constant through the November 2021 refresh. Further, no Provider Preview Reports will be issued for those refreshes that continue to display the constant or frozen data. For additional information on COVID-19 PHE data exemption, please see the Hospice COVID-19 Public Reporting Tip Sheet (PDF) in the Downloads section of the HQRP Requirements and Best Practices webpage.

October 28, 2020

Public Reporting Key Dates for Providers Update

Due to the COVID-19 PHE, CMS will not publicly report data from Q1 and Q2 2020. This means public reporting of hospices’ data in Calendar Year (CY) 2021 will freeze with the November 2020 refresh. The Key Dates for Providers webpage has been updated to reflect the status of public reporting through November 2021. Note that the CAHPS Hospice Survey Upcoming Data Submission Deadlines in CY 2021 are also included on this Key Dates for Providers webpage.

October 23, 2020

Hospice Visits When Death is Imminent: Measure Validity Testing Summary and Re-Specifications Report

The Hospice Visits When Death is Imminent (HVWDII) report analyzes a measure pair focused on visits received by hospice patients in the last days of life, specifically the last week of life. Measure 1 was found to meet the threshold for public reporting, while Measure 2 failed to reach CMS’s readiness standards. The purpose of this report is to share with the public the findings of the testing on HVWDII Measure 2, which led to further re-specification and measure testing towards the development of the claims-based Hospice Visits in the Last Days of Life (HVLDL) measure. The report reviews the methodology, analysis, results, and conclusions that motivated CMS to favor adoption of the HVLDL specification of the measure concept. Please find this report here Hospice Visits When Death is Imminent (HVWDII) (PDF), or in the Downloads section of the Current Measures page.

October 8, 2020

NOW AVAILABLE: Draft Hospice Item Set Manual V3.0

The draft Hospice Item Set (HIS) Manual V3.0 is now available in the Downloads section of the Hospice Item Set (HIS) webpage. Also available in the HIS webpage Downloads section is the related Change Table showing what was updated from the HIS Manual V2.01 to V3.0.

The HIS Manual V3.0 will be effective January 1, 2021. Please note the HIS Manual is not yet final. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval is required and expected later this year. Once approved by OMB, then it becomes final.

October 1, 2020

Hospice QRP APU FY 2021: Successful Facilities

CMS posted the list of successful hospices for FY 2021 Hospice QRP. These hospices met the CY 2019 hospice quality data reporting requirements that impact FY 2021 payment. Successful hospices receive their full annual payment update (APU).

As stated in the Fiscal Year 2016 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements Final Rule, CMS has published a list of Hospice providers who successfully met the reporting requirements after all reconsideration requests have been processed. This report is updated on an annual basis. View the list on the HQRP Requirements and Best Practices webpage.

September 8, 2020

HQRP COVID-19 PR Tip Sheet is Available

The HQRP COVID-19 PR Tip Sheet is now available. The purpose of this Tip Sheet is to help providers understand CMS’ public reporting strategy for the PAC QRP in the midst of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). This Tip Sheet explains the CMS strategy to account for CMS quality data which were exempted from public reporting due to COVID-19, and the impact on CMS’ Hospice Compare website refreshes. Please navigate to the HQRP Requirements and Best Practices page to download this document.

August 14, 2020

HQRP November 2019 Technical Expert Panel Report

As part of the development of hospice quality measures, Abt Associates, under contract with CMS, convened a Technical Expert Panel (TEP). This report provides a summary of their first in-person, November 2019 TEP Meeting. It includes background on the focus of this TEP and purpose of developing the Hospice Outcomes and Patient Evaluation (HOPE), a real-time hospice assessment instrument, its role in quality measurement, and some quality measurement considerations, including outcome and claims-based measures. Please navigate to the HOPE webpage to access this TEP Report. You can also access it at the Measures Management System here.

August 4, 2020

NOW Available: Web-Based Course on Hospice QRP Education and Training Resources by Topic with Hotlinks for Easy Access

CMS provides a web-based training course for hospices wanting a resource to the many trainings offered related to the HQRP. The goal is to assist hospice staff to better determine and access those trainings and documents that meet their learning needs. This course is designed to provide a general overview of the HQRP and direct learners to a variety of hotlinks and resources from the HQRP website and especially the Education and Training Library webpage to access specific information by topic. Please navigate to the HQRP Training and Education Library webpage to access the Web-Based Course on Hospice QRP Education and Training Resources by Topic with Hotlinks for Easy Access.

July 20, 2020

HQRP Forum – August 2020

Date: Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Time: 1:00-2:00 PM ET

CMS will be hosting a webinar for Medicare-certified hospice providers and other hospice stakeholders to present a new claims-based composite quality measure concept that CMS is considering including in HQRP. During this webinar, CMS’s subject matter expert and the measure developer will discuss the new composite quality measure concept, the Hospice Care Index, and will give the audience an opportunity to share ideas and discuss the concept.

Please register at: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2535408250611873551

July 13, 2020

Hospice Quality Reporting Program: Non-Compliance Notifications. Reconsiderations are due by August 18, 2020.

CMS is providing notifications to hospices that were determined to be out of compliance with HQRP requirements for calendar year (CY) 2019, which will affect their fiscal year (FY) 2021 Annual Payment Update (APU). Non-compliance notifications will be distributed by the Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and will also be placed into hospices’ CASPER folders in QIES on July 13, 2020. Either notification is official notice of non-compliance. Hospices that receive a letter of non-compliance may submit a request for reconsideration to CMS via email no later than 11:59:59 EST, August 18, 2020. If you receive a notice of non-compliance and would like to request a reconsideration, see the instructions in your notification and on the Reconsideration Requests webpage.

Please note: Any reconsideration containing protected health information (PHI) will not be processed. All PHI must be removed in order for a reconsideration to be reviewed.

July 6, 2020

HQRP COVID-19 PHE Tip Sheet is Available

The HQRP COVID-19 PHE Tip Sheet is now available. This tip sheet provides practical guidance to address hospice quality data submissions starting on July 1, 2020 now that the temporary HQRP exemptions from the COVID-19 PHE ended. Hospices are expected to resume timely quality data collection and submission of CAHPS® Hospice Survey and HIS records. The CAHPS® Hospice Survey starts July 1 with July deaths. HIS also starts July 1 with all new HIS admission records and any HIS discharge records that occur on or after July 1, 2020. The CY 2020 data used for meeting the Hospice Quality Reporting Program requirements include July 1-December 31, 2020 since we exempted Q1 and Q2 of 2020 (January 1-June 30, 2020). Please navigate to the HQRP Requirements and Best Practices page to download this document.

June 23, 2020

Reminder:

  • Quality Reporting Programs are expected to report their quality data to meet requirements starting Quarter 3, which begins July 1, 2020.

The March 27, 2020 Medicare Learning Network Newsletter (MLN) Exceptions and Extensions for Quality Reporting Program (QRP) Requirements that includes Skilled Nursing Facilities, Home Health Agencies, Hospices, Inpatient Rehabilitation Facilities, and Long-Term Care Hospitals (hereafter referred to as post-acute care (PAC) programs) applies only to Quarter 4 of 2019 (October 1-December 31, 2019) and Quarters 1 and 2 of 2020 (January 1-June 30, 2020).  Providers are expected to report data and meet the QRP requirements beginning with Quarter 3, 2020 that starts July 1, 2020.

As stated in that March 27, 2020 MLN Newsletter, “In some instances, these exceptions and extensions are granted because the data collected may be greatly impacted by the response to COVID-19 and therefore should not be considered in the quality reporting program. CMS is closely monitoring the situation for potential adjustments and will update exception lists, exempted reporting periods, and submission deadlines accordingly as events occur.”

Starting with Quarter 3 that begins July 1, 2020, CMS expects providers to report their quality data. CMS will analyze the data for each program recognizing that the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) remains in effect and could impact the quality data submitted. CMS will closely monitor the situation for public reporting of the data and provide any updates.

June 10, 2020

Important Updates on the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP)

Swingtech sends informational messages to hospices related to the Quality Reporting Program (QRP) on a quarterly basis. Their latest outreach communication can be found on the HQRP Requirements and Best Practices webpage. If you want to receive Swingtech’s quarterly emails, then add or update the email addresses to which these messages are sent by sending an email to QRPHelp@swingtech.com. Be sure to include your facility name and CMS Certification Number (CCN) along with any requested updates.

June 5, 2020

Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) Forum Spring 2020 Recording Released

CMS pre-recorded the April HQRP Forum in light of the ongoing public health emergency. This decision made it possible for hospices to remain focused on their patients and response to COVID-19. Now, hospices can hear from CMS about developments with the Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE) with this newly released recording of the April HQRP Forum presentation. To download this recording, please navigate to the Downloads section of the HOPE page at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/Hospice-Quality-Reporting/HOPE.

February 28, 2020

Timeliness Compliance Threshold for HIS Submissions: Fact Sheet

CMS has posted a document that updates information on the Timeliness Compliance Threshold for HIS Submissions: Fact Sheet. This fact sheet outlines the timeliness compliance threshold for HIS submissions, finalized by CMS in the FY 2016 Final Rule as well as presenting a preliminary algorithm for the timeliness compliance threshold calculation.

The document is now available in the Downloads section of the Hospice Item Set (HIS) page at: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Quality-Initiatives-Patient-Assessment-Instruments/Hospice-Quality-Reporting/Hospice-Item-Set-HIS.

Hospice Quality Reporting Program Archives

Page Last Modified:
03/03/2021 11:53 AM