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Spotlight & Announcements

About this Page

The Spotlight & Announcements web page provides recent news and updates pertinent to the HQRP. On this page you will find announcements about posting of resource guides and factsheets, the availability of quarterly Q&A documents, APU updates, amongst other notifications.

Updates

September 14, 2017

Hurricane Irma - Disaster Exceptions/Exemptions for Medicare Certified Providers Affected by Severe Storms and Flooding

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting exceptions under certain Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs to acute care hospitals, PPS-exempt cancer hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, renal dialysis facilities, long-term care hospitals, and ambulatory surgical centers located in areas affected by Hurricane Irma due to the devastating impact of the storm. These providers will be granted exceptions without having to submit an extraordinary circumstances exception request if they are located in one of the Florida counties, Puerto Rico municipios, or U.S. Virgin Islands county- equivalents, all of which have been designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a major disaster county, municipio, or county-equivalent.

The scope and duration of the exception under each Medicare quality reporting program is described in the memo posted on 9-14-17, however, all of the exceptions are being granted to assist these providers while they direct their resources toward caring for their patients and repairing structural damages to facilities.

CMS will continue to monitor the situation and adjust exempted reporting periods and submission deadlines accordingly.

Additional details and materials are available on the Hurricane page and the Hospice Extensions and Exemptions Request webpage. Please check back frequently for updates.

 

September 13, 2017

Incorrect Footnote “E” on Provider Preview Report 

Please note that hospice providers may have incorrectly received footnote “e: Results are based on a shorter time period than required” on the Hospice Provider Preview Report for the reporting period Quarter 1- 2016 to Quarter 4- 2016, which CMS distributed via CASPER on August 29, 2017. 

If your hospice received this footnote in error, your data will be shown correctly on Hospice Compare, without this footnote, when this data is publicly reported in November 2017. Additionally, this issue will be corrected for the next quarterly Hospice Provider Preview Report, which is due to be released on December 1, 2017.

If you have questions concerning this information, please contact the QTSO Help Desk at help@qtso.com or 1-877-201-4721.

September 08, 2017 

Hurricane Irma

CMS is tracking Hurricane Irma closely with respect to the quality reporting programs’ data submission requirements, we will provide guidance and further information as it becomes available. 

Additional details and materials are available on the Hurricane page. Please check back frequently for updates.

Please note, that the FEMA designated areas affected have been updated in the Hurricane Harvey memo from August 31, 2017.

September 05, 2017

The final version of the Hospice Item Set (HIS) data submission specifications (v2.01.1) is now available in the downloads section of the HIS Technical Information webpage. This version of the specifications will go into effect on April 1, 2018.

August 31, 2017

Hurricane Harvey - Disaster Exceptions/Exemptions for Medicare Certified Providers Affected by Severe Storms and Flooding

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is granting exceptions under certain Medicare quality reporting and value-based purchasing programs to acute care hospitals, PPS-exempt cancer hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, outpatient dialysis facilities, long-term care hospitals, and ambulatory surgical centers located in areas affected by Hurricane Harvey due to the devastating impact of the storm. These providers will be granted exceptions without having to submit an extraordinary circumstances exception request if they are located in one of the Texas counties or Louisiana parishes, all of which have been designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a major disaster county.

The scope and duration of the exception under each Medicare quality reporting program is described in the memo posted on 8-31-17, however, all of the exceptions are being granted to assist these providers while they direct their resources toward caring for their patients and repairing structural damages to facilities.

If FEMA expands the current disaster declaration for Hurricane Harvey to include additional counties or parishes, CMS will update this memo to expand the list of providers eligible to receive an exception without submitting a request to include the hospitals, PPS-exempt cancer hospitals, inpatient psychiatric facilities, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, hospices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, long-term care hospitals, and ambulatory surgical centers located in the additional counties and parishes.

In addition, CMS will continue to monitor the situation and adjust exempted reporting periods and submission deadlines accordingly.

Additional details and materials are available on the Hurricane page and the Hospice Extensions and Exemptions Request webpage. Please check back frequently for updates.

August 29, 2017

Hospice Provider Preview Reports Now Available

Hospice Provider Preview Reports are now available. Hospice providers are encouraged to preview their quality measure results based on Quarter 1- 2016 to Quarter 4- 2016 data, prior to the November 2017 Hospice Compare refresh.

Providers have 30 days to preview their quality measure results (August 29, 2017 through September 28, 2017).

For more information, visit the Hospice Quality Public Reporting webpage and Preview Report Access Instructions.

August 28, 2017

Guidance on how to update a provider’s demographic information such as address, telephone number, and ownership with their state ASPEN coordinator is now available in the downloads section of the Hospice Quality Public Reporting webpage. In addition, the cutoff dates for changes to demographic information to appear on Hospice Compare is further explained.

August 16, 2017

CMS Releases Hospice Compare Website to Improve Consumer Experiences 

Today, as part of our continuing commitment to greater data transparency, CMS unveiled the new Hospice Compare website. The site displays information in a ready to use format and provides a snapshot of the quality of care each hospice facility provides to its patients. CMS works diligently to make healthcare quality information more transparent and understandable for consumers and is committed to helping individuals make informed healthcare decisions for themselves and their families based on objective measures of quality. 

The Hospice Compare website will reflect current industry best practices for consumer-facing websites and will be optimized for mobile use. For more information, please visit https://www.medicare.gov/hospicecompare/ to view the new Compare site.

August 10, 2017

Reporting Hospice Quality Data: Tips for Compliance Call

When: Wednesday, September 20, 2017, from 1:30 to 3 pm ET

Click here to register.

Description:

During this call, learn more about Hospice Quality Reporting Program requirements. Find out how to be compliant and successfully submit Hospice Item Set (HIS) data and the Hospice Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Survey in the next reporting year. See the Hospice Quality Reporting Training webpage for details.

 

August 4, 2017

April 25 Hospice Data Submission and Reporting Webinar Question and Answer (Q&A) Document Is Now Available

The question and answer (Q+A) document from the  Hospice Data Submission and Reporting Webinar is now available in the “Downloads” section of the Hospice Quality Reporting Training webpage. The Q+A document contains participant questions from the webinar which took place on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

August 1, 2017

Hospice FY 2018 Final Rule (CMS-1675-F)---Updates to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP)

CMS will issue a final rule (CMS-1675-F) that provides updates to the hospice quality reporting requirements.  This final rule makes changes to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) that will continue to ensure high quality, accessible care, without added burden. 

The rule finalizes 8 measures from CAHPS Hospice Survey data already submitted by hospices.  Further, the rule finalizes the extension or exception for quality reporting purposes from 30 calendar days to 90 calendar days after the date that an extraordinary circumstance occurred.  The rule describes plans to publically display quality measure data via Hospice Compare in August 2017.  Additionally, this rule outlines policies and procedures associated with the public reporting of the quality measures used in the hospice program.  The final rule also discusses the public comments received on two claim-based measures under consideration and the Hospice Evaluation & Assessment Reporting Tool (HEART), a patient assessment tool.

July 20, 2017

Q+A Document for the Second Quarter of 2017 Now Available

A new Question and Answer (Q+A) document is now available in the “Downloads” section of the Hospice Item Set (HIS).

July 18, 2017

Non-Compliance Letters

CMS provided notifications to facilities that were determined to be non-compliant with Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) requirements for calendar year (CY) 2016, which will affect their fiscal year (FY) 2018 Annual Payment Update (APU). Non-compliance letters were dated and sent both by United States Postal Service (USPS) and via the QIES - Certification and Survey Provider Enhanced Reporting (CASPER) system on July 18, 2017.  The CASPER letter also identifies why the provider is non-compliant.  Please check your CASPER folder to determine if your hospice received this letter.

Any hospice determined to be non-compliant with the HQRP requirements may be subject to a two (2) percentage point reduction in their APU. For example, CY 2016 data affects FY 2018 payment.  

Every hospice that is non-compliant with their HQRP requirements receives notification on July 18, 2017 so it is clear that the 30-day period starts on July 18, 2017 and ends on August 17, 2017 for sending in reconsideration requests to CMS.

Hospices that receive a letter of non-compliance may submit a request for reconsideration to CMS via email no later than 11:59pm PST, August 17, 2017.  Failure to submit a request for reconsideration by the deadline means you accept that your hospice is non-compliant with HQRP requirements.

If you receive a notice of non-compliance and would like to request a reconsideration, see the instructions in your notification letter and on the Hospice Reconsideration Requests webpage.

July 12, 2017

Errata v2.01.1 for the DRAFT version of the Hospice Item Set (HIS) data submission specifications (V2.01.0) is now available on the HIS Technical Information webpage.  This errata contains one issue, which is a revision to the text of warning edit -3077.

June 14, 2017

April 25 Hospice Data Submission and Reporting Webinar Video Recording Is Now Available

A video recording of the Hospice Data Submission and Reporting Webinar which took place on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, is now available. See the Hospice Quality Reporting Training webpage for details.

June 14, 2017

Based on questions received on the Hospice Quality Help Desk, CMS is clarifying coding guidance for Response option J, Self-pay for Item A1400 on V2.00.0 of the Hospice Item Set (HIS). CMS recommends that providers review the updated guidance as well as the master guidance on A1400 located on the Hospice Item Set (HIS) webpage for additional instruction.

June 07, 2017

The audio recording and written transcript has been added for the April 27th Hospice Public Reporting Webinar. During this webinar, CMS discussed the new Preview Reports for Hospices that are now available to providers.

June 1, 2017

Hospice Provider Preview Reports Now Available

Hospice Provider Preview Reports for the Hospice Item Set (HIS) are now available. Hospice providers are encouraged to preview their quality measure results based on Quarter 4- 2015 to Quarter 3-2016 data, prior to the inaugural release of Hospice Compare in summer 2017.

Providers have 30 days to preview their quality measure results (June 1, 2017 through June 30, 2017).

Hospice providers may continue to submit corrections to their HIS data for up to 36 months beyond the target date on a given assessment, although corrections that are made to any HIS assessment record for which the target dates fall within the applicable reporting period (initially Quarter 4- 2015 to Quarter 3-2016), will only be reflected in subsequent quarterly preview reports and Compare refreshes. Hospice providers may request formal CMS review of their preview reports during the preview period, if they believe their quality measure results are inaccurate.

For more information, visit the Hospice Quality Public Reporting webpage and Preview Report Access Instructions.

May 25, 2017

April 2017 Hospice Data Submission and Reporting Webinar Post-training Presentation (with Answers) Now Available

Post-training materials (with answers to polling questions) from the April 25, 2017, Hospice Data Submission and Reporting are now available in the Downloads section of the Hospice QRP Training webpage.

Note: For the Hospice Compare, the HIS data will be displayed in late summer 2017 and the CAHPS data will be added for display in early winter 2018.

May 01, 2017

OMB Approval Received for HIS V2.00.0, Effective April 1, 2017

OMB has approved the HIS V2.00.0, which is effective April 1, 2017. This means that the HIS Manual V2.00 and the HIS V2.00.0 forms are now considered final; final versions of these documents can be found in the downloads section of the Hospice Item Set (HIS) webpage. No changes were made to the HIS or the HIS Manual as part of OMB approval.

April 25, 2017

Q+A Document for the First Quarter of 2017 Now Available

A new Question and Answer (Q+A) document is now available in the “Downloads” section of the Hospice Item Set (HIS).

April 25, 2017

Presentation for Hospice Public Reporting Webinar Now Available

The presentation for the upcoming Hospice QRP Public Reporting Webinar on Thursday, April 27, 2017, is now available in the downloads section of the Hospice QRP Training webpage.

 

April 03, 2017

Training Material for the April 2017 Hospice Data Submission and Reporting Webinar Available

The presentation (without answers to polling questions) for the upcoming Hospice Data Submission and Reporting Webinar on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, is now available under the downloads section of the Hospice QRP Training webpage. The training will start at 12:00 p.m. ET and end at 1:45 p.m. ET.

March 30, 2017

Hospice Quality Reporting Program: Public Reporting Webinar

When: Thursday, April 27, 2017

Time: 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM Eastern Time

Click here to register.

During this webinar, CMS will discuss the new Preview Reports for Hospices that will be available to providers in the near future. Participants will gain an understanding of how to access these reports, how to interpret the contents of these reports, and what to do if they believe their report contains an error.

March 20, 2017

REGISTRATION CLOSED AND CHANGE IN TIME: Hospice Data Submission and Reporting Webinar

The April 25, 2017, Hospice Data Submission and Reporting Webinar has been re-scheduled to start at 12:00 p.m. ET due to a scheduling conflict. We have reached our cap of 1,000 registrants.

Please see the Hospice Training web page for further details and for instructions on how to be placed on a wait list.

March 14, 2017

Registration Open- Hospice Quality Reporting Program Data Submission and Reporting Webinar on April 25, 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is hosting a webinar for hospice providers on Tuesday, April 25, from 2:00 to 3:45 p.m. ET. Visit the Hospice Quality Reporting Training webpage for more information and to register.

March 7, 2017

An issue has been identified and corrected with the calculations that are performed for the Hospice-Level Quality Measure Report and the Hospice Patient Stay-Level Quality Measure Report. Providers are urged to rerun any reports between the implementation date of 12/18/2016 through 02/26/2017. Visit the HIS Technical Information webpage for more information. 

March 03, 2017

Question and Answer (Q+A) Document and Video Recordings of the Baltimore January 2017 Hospice Quality Reporting Program Provider Training Now Available

The question and answer (Q+A) document is now available in the “Downloads” section of the Hospice Quality Reporting Training webpage. The Q+A document contains participant questions from the January 18, 2017, in-person provider training in Baltimore, MD.

Video recordings of the actual training presentations are also available via a playlist on YouTube.

February 17, 2017

A Quick Reference Guide for the Hospice QRP is now available on the HQRP Requirements and Best Practices webpage. The guide includes frequently asked questions, information on QRP help desks, and helpful links to additional resources for the Hospice QRP. 

February 03, 2017

Update: Hospice QRP Provider Training, Baltimore MD, January 18, 2017, Post-training Presentations (with Answers) Now Available

Post-training materials from the January 18, 2017, Hospice QRP Provider Training in Baltimore, MD, are now available under the Downloads section of the Hospice QRP Training webpage.

January 24, 2017 

Errata v2.00.1 for v2.00.0 of the HIS data submission specifications is now available

This errata contains one issue, which is a modification to edit -3070. This edit is a skip pattern, and one additional item has been added to the list of items to be skipped. The zip file is located on the HIS Technical Information webpage.

January 23, 2017

Q+A Document for the Fourth Quarter of 2016 Now Available

A new Question and Answer (Q+A) document is now available in the “Downloads” section of the Hospice Item Set (HIS). The Q+A document reflects frequently asked Hospice Item Set (HIS) related questions that were received by the Quality Help Desk during the fourth quarter (October-December) of 2016. This document also contains quarterly updates and events from the fourth quarter as well as a preview of upcoming activities in the first quarter of 2017.

January 19, 2017

Updated HIS Manual V2.00 and Associated Change Table Now Available

An updated version HIS Manual V2.00 is available as a .zip file download on the Hospice Item Set (HIS) webpage. This version contains a correction to the HIS Discharge in Appendix D. This version of the HIS Manual accompanies V2.00.0 of the HIS that will be effective April 1, 2017. Also included in the .zip file is a change table that outlines major changes from the HIS Manual V1.02 to V2.00.

January 13, 2017

Webcast URL for January 18, 2017 Hospice QRP Provider Training in Baltimore, MD is Now Available

The URL for those participating in the 1-day Hospice Quality Reporting Program (QRP) Provider Training (on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, in Baltimore, MD) via webcast is now available.  The URL to the host site is http://livestreamconnect.com/. The link to the actual content will not stream until programming begins. Programming will start at 8:30 a.m. ET and end at 4:30 p.m. ET.

For those who would like to test their connectivity to YouTube and audio capabilities in advance, you can do so by clicking on the link to “Test Your Connection” at the bottom of the screen. There are also links to download presentation materials, submit questions electronically (we ask that you do not submit questions in advance of the training), and general troubleshooting tips on the host page.

Visit the Hospice QRP Training webpage for additional information on this training event.

December 29, 2016

Training Materials for the January 2017 Hospice QRP Provider Training Available

Training materials for the upcoming 1-day Hospice QRP Provider Training event on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, in Baltimore, MD, are now available under the download section of the Hospice QRP Training webpage. The training will start at 8:30 a.m. ET and end at 4:30 p.m. ET.

There will be an optional Meet-and-Greet with CMS staff and presenters immediately following for those individuals participating in-person.

Visit the Hospice QRP Training webpage for more information and to register and/or find out how to participate. 

December 19, 2016

Quality Measure Reports Now Available

Two new reports are now available as Confidential Provider Feedback Reports–Hospice-Level Quality Measure (QM) Report and Hospice Patient Stay-Level Quality Measure (QM) Report within the CASPER application. These QM reports allow hospice providers to specify a reporting period and view their own quality data at both the hospice level and patient-stay level.  Providers can access their QM reports in the CASPER system at https://web.qiesnet.org/qiestosuccess/.

View the “Getting Started with Hospice CASPER Quality Measure (QM) Reports” Fact Sheet on the HQRP Requirements and Best Practices webpage for more information.

December 16, 2016

Hospice Care – National Average Quality Data Released

National averages of the quality of care measure scores of Medicare-certified hospices are now available on data.medicare.gov. National average data are available for two quality of care datasets – the Hospice Item Set (HIS) and the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) Hospice Survey. The HIS information reflects provider performance on the seven National Quality Forum (NQF)-endorsed HIS measures from Quarter 3 of 2015 through Quarter 2 of 2016 (July 2015 through June 2016).

The CAHPS® Hospice Survey information contains the national average “top-box” scores of Medicare-certified hospices on the eight NQF-endorsed CAHPS® Hospice Survey measures.  Top-box scores reflect the proportion of respondents who gave the most favorable response or responses for each measure.  Scores are calculated from CAHPS® Hospice Survey responses that reflect care experiences of informal caregivers (i.e., family members or friends) of patients who died while receiving hospice care in Quarter 2 of 2015 through Quarter 1 of 2016 (April 2015 through March 2016).

To access the HIS and CAHPS® Hospice Survey files, visit: https://data.medicare.gov/.  

December 01, 2016

HIS Manual V2.00 and Associated Change Table Now Available

The HIS Manual V2.00 is available as a .zip file download on the Hospice Item Set (HIS) webpage. This version of the HIS Manual accompanies V2.00.0 of the HIS that will be effective April 1, 2017. Also included in the .zip file is a change table that outlines major changes from the HIS Manual V1.02 to V2.00.

December 01, 2016

Hospice Quality Reporting Program Provider Training: Registration Open

CMS is hosting a 1-day training event on the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP). This event will be held in Baltimore, MD on Wednesday, January 18, 2017.

Visit the Hospice Quality Reporting Training webpage for more information and to register.

November 16, 2016

Extraordinary Circumstances Extension / Exception (ECE) due to Hurricane Matthew

CMS intends to grant quality reporting data submission exceptions to Hospice Medicare providers adversely affected by the devastating impact of Hurricane Matthew.  CMS is exercising its authority to grant exceptions for data submission requirements for the Hospice Quality Reporting Programs for providers located within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-designated “major disaster” counties of Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina.  For further information, visit the Hospice QR Reconsiderations and Exceptions and Extensions webpage.

November 02, 2016

Q+A Document for the Third Quarter of 2016 Now Available

A new Question and Answer (Q+A) document is now available in the “Downloads” section of the Hospice Item Set (HIS). The Q+A document reflects frequently asked Hospice Item Set (HIS) related questions that were received by the Quality Help Desk during the third quarter (July-September) of 2016. This document also contains quarterly updates and events from the third quarter as well as a “HIS coding tip of the quarter.”

October 26, 2016

As stated in the FY 2016 Hospice Wage Index and Payment Rate Update and Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements, CMS has published a list of Hospices who successfully met the reporting requirements after all reconsideration requests have been processed. This report will be updated on an annual basis. View the list under the downloads section of the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP) Requirements and Best Practices webpage.

 October 26, 2016

 An executive summary of the results from HIS measure testing analysis can be found in the “Downloads” section of the Current Measures webpage. This document contains measure testing analysis results for the current HIS-based quality measures, including reportability, distribution and variability, reliability, validity, and disparities.

October 26, 2016

CMS 2016 Quality Conference- Baltimore, MD

December 13-15

Join more than nearly 2,000 thought leaders in American health care quality improvement at the CMS 2016 Quality Conference. This conference will explore how patients, advocates, providers, researchers, and the many leaders in health care quality improvement can develop and spread solutions to some of America’s most pervasive health system challenges.  The 2016 CMS Quality Conference will be the most expansive yet, with both new and existing participants from programs across CMS, HHS, and community stakeholders. The collaborative format of the conference, and strong focus on data-proven outcomes is underscored by this year's conference theme, Aligning for Innovation and Outcomes. 

For more information and to register, visit the CMS Quality Conference webpage.

October 25, 2016

The Regional Office (RO) and State coordinator list has been updated on the Hospice Data Directory page, located at https://data.medicare.gov/. This is the contact list for updating information in the CMS Automated Survey Processing Environment (ASPEN). If the information on the Hospice Data Directory is incorrect, contact the RO or State coordinator listed for your area.

Of note: information on the Hospice Data Directory is updated quarterly.

August 22, 2016

Hospice Data Specs Effective April 1, 2017

An updated version of the HIS data submission specifications (v2.00.0) is now available.  This final version of the specifications will go into effect on April 1, 2017.  Note that there were no changes from the previously posted draft version of these specifications. These files are available in the Downloads section of the HIS Technical Information webpage.

August 2, 2016

May 10 Hospice QRP Webinar:  Post-Training Materials Available

Post-training materials from the May 10 Hospice QRP (HQRP) webinar are now available under the download section of the Hospice QRP Training webpage. These include the PowerPoint presentation with answers to polling scenarios and a Q&A document.  A recording of the webinar is posted on YouTube.

This webinar details HQRP submission requirements including the HIS related and Hospice CAHPS requirements, provides useful insights into how to download and use the Hospice Final Validation Reports and other Certification And Survey Provider Enhanced Reports (CASPER) reports available to providers, and assists providers in understanding how to interpret error messages and correct errors. It also includes a demonstration of the Quality Improvement and Evaluation System (QIES) Assessment Submission and Processing (ASAP) system.

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