Abuse and Neglect: CMS Should Strengthen Reporting Requirements to Better Protect Individuals Receiving Hospice Care

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

“GAO’s review of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requirements for reporting and responding to abuse and neglect allegations found two gaps in the requirements for hospices, compared with requirements for extended care provided in hospitals and nursing homes. Hospices, which can provide care in a patient’s home or other settings, are required to report allegations to the state agencies responsible for monitoring them only if: (1) the alleged perpetrator is affiliated with the hospice; and (2) after the hospice has verified it as abuse or neglect based on an internal investigation that could take up to 5 days. In contrast, nursing homes and hospitals providing extended care are required to report all abuse and neglect allegations, regardless of whether the alleged perpetrator is affiliated with the hospice and prior to conducting an internal investigation.”

The above statement is found within the highlights of the GAO-23-105463 study, publicly released on January 11, 2023. 

GAO recommends that CMS require hospice care providers to report all allegations of abuse and neglect immediately to survey agencies, regardless of whether the alleged perpetrator is affiliated with the hospice. HHS neither agreed nor disagreed with GAO’s recommendation.

  • The 30-page full report is found here.
  • The 40-page accessible PDF is found here.
  • The 1-page Highlights is available here.