New hospice comparison tool uses government info, Washington Post calls for more transparency

In the absence of a hospice consumer guide from the government, The Washington Post has created one using available Medicare data. The newspaper unveiled the quality tool Sunday, in an article criticizing a lack of transparency around hospice quality.

The Post's tool compiles data that hospices are required to report to Medicare, but which 'the government has yet to publish in a form that consumers can easily use,î wrote reporters Peter Whoriskey and Dan Keating. It breaks hospices down by state and county, and includes several quality measures. These include daily spending for patient care, the percent of crisis care provided and the live discharge rate.

The information is put in the context of the state ó for example, one Idaho hospice spends an average of $12 a day on therapy, compared to the 'typical' state amount of $10. Users also can create comparison tables to see how selected hospices stack up against each other. Continue>>>