TruPharmacy News: July Edition

9/11 responder who testified with Jon Stewart moved to hospice care

9/11 responder who testified with Jon Stewart moved to hospice care

A 9/11 first responder who testified alongside comedian Jon Stewart during an emotional House Judiciary Committee hearing last week said he is now in hospice care.

Lou Alvarez wrote on Facebook that he was placed in hospice care a day after his trip to Capitol Hill, where he advocated for a bill to extend funding for 9/11 first responders.

“I’m now in hospice,” Alvarez wrote, adding that there is “nothing else the doctors can do to fight the cancer…”

 

 

 


 

Hundreds of hospice centers in US get failing grades

Hundreds of hospice centers in US get failing grades

Hundreds of hospice care facilities across the country were found to have serious, life-threatening deficiencies, according to an investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and obtained by NBC News.

Severe complaints were lodged over unsanitary conditions at some facilities, and over patient wounds that were badly treated or not treated at all at others.

More than 300 hospice facilities out of the 4,563 surveyed nationwide between 2012 and 2016 were considered poor performers, according to the IG’s report.

“Those numbers are surprising and frankly they’re unacceptable,” said Erin Bliss, assistant inspector general at HHS.

 

 

 


 

Report: 60% of Patients Needing Palliative Care Do Not Receive It

Report: 60% of Patients Needing Palliative Care Do Not Receive It

Close to 60% of patients who would benefit from palliative care do not receive those services, despite the availability of community-based palliative care as well as hospital-based palliative care, according to a new report from the New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst Insights Council.

NEJM Catalyst is a think tank composed of health care executives, clinical leaders and frontline clinicians who develop innovations and practice applications to enhance the value of health care delivery and address the industry’s challenges. NEJM Catalyst’s Insights Council members participate in monthly surveys with specific health care topics.

 

 

 


NHPCO Responds to New OIG Reports on Hospice Care

This morning, the Office of the Inspector General released two new reports following its investigation into hospice care in the U.S.  To briefly summarize, the OIG found that 20 percent of hospices have deficiencies that put patients at risk and the OIG is suggesting that among its recommendations that deficiency data be shared more broadly to help improve quality of care. The NHPCO health policy team is reviewing the recommendations in the OIG reports and will issue a Regulatory Alert to the membership later today.

 

 

 


Turning the Tide on Turnover: Recruitment and retention threaten the future of care quality and the time to act is now

Turning the Tide on Turnover: Recruitment and retention threaten the future of care quality and the time to act is now

With less than five months until PDGM takes effect and pilots underway testing lower clinical qualifications for hospice, home care organizations are focused on preparing for major change. But the biggest issue impacting the industry – the one with the greatest potential to impact long-term performance – isn’t regulation. It’s turnover.

Median turnover rates skyrocketed in 2018 to 82 percent, according to Home Care Pulse’s Home Care Benchmarketing Study, well above levels experienced in any other industry. (For comparison, the tech sector, which has the highest turnover among the Fortune 500, tops out at around 13 percent attrition.) Given the level of skill required in hospice and the level of coding savvy needed for home health under PDGM, home care companies cannot successfully weather such high turnover rates.