OIG report shows abuse linked to hospice in assisted living facilities

A new Office of Inspector General (OIG) report raises concerns that hospice care in assisted living facilities (ALF) creates the potential for abuse. The report found that Medicare payments for hospice care in ALFs have more than doubled in five years, reaching $2.1 billion in 2012. More importantly, the OIG found that hospice providers typically provide fewer than five hours of care and were paid $1,100 per week, while for-profit hospices received much higher reimbursement rates.

Although the OIG did not point to outright fraud, the agency recommended that CMS reform payments to reduce the ability of hospices to target certain diagnosis and target certain hospices for review. The OIG also recommended CMS develop claims-based measures of quality, make hospice data publicly available, and provide additional education for hospices to compare themselves to their peers. Read the full story on FierceHealthPayer