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Home Health Compare – www.medicare.gov (all states) Editor's Pick

Home Health Compare is a free search tool from Medicare that gives detailed information about Medicare-certified home health agencies. Search by county or zip code and see performance scores related to home care services. Find the graphs to compare agencies on measures related to managing daily activities, pain, teaching patients or their caregivers, getting readmitted to the hospital and more. Five star rating system and actual scores. Patient satisfaction ratings included, with a national average of 78% who would recommend their agency. Report card shows 2019 data in the latest federal update October 2020.

Hospice Compare – medicare.gov (all states) Editor's Pick

Compare up to 3 hospices at a time at Hospice Compare by Medicare.gov. Site currently reports performance on quality measures related to patient preferences and quality of care in managing pain and treating symptoms, 2019 data. Family satisfaction is also reported, including family training and communication, emotional support, pain management, overall rating of the hospice and willingness to recommend the hospice (national average is that 84% would recommend). Check to see what kinds of patients the hospice tends to serve – for example, cancer, dementia, heart disease, stroke. Site is updated quarterly by CMS. Search by zip code, state or city. All hospice agencies report, or face financial penalties. Published by the federal government. Good, reliable website.

Accredited Healthcare Facilities – Joint Commission Accreditation (all states) Editor's Pick

Find accredited healthcare facilities in all states, by The Joint Commission (TJC). TJC is formerly JCAHO – Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. It accredits hospitals and other healthcare organizations. Quality Check provides accreditation and comparison information for hospitals, behavioral health care, home health/hospice, laboratories, some nursing homes (called nursing care centers) & assisted living centers, and other health care services. A few actual scores for acute care hospitals  and behavioral health (mental health) programs may be available for 2019.  For nursing homes, consumers are advised also to check state inspection reports . We recently discovered a 1-star Florida nursing home (the lowest possible rating in the state) had been accredited by the Joint Commission. Consumers are always advised to check multiple sources and ratings when researching quality of care. Conflicts in scores may suggest quality is not consistent.

Other Helpful Listings

Home Care and Hospice Locator (NAHC)

Home health care and hospice agency Locator Directory by National Association for Home Care and Hospice. Consumers may search by city or zip code. Easy to use. Over 33,000 agencies reportedly listed; some may be accredited. Note: hospice and home health agencies may be licensed even if this list does not show licensure status. NAHC is a trade organization.

Hospice – Find a Hospice (NHPCO)

Find a hospice or palliative care provider at this site by NHPCO. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) is the largest nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the US. Their searchable database helps consumers find a member hospice, palliative care program or bereavement service.

Hospice Facts and Figures on Hospice Care in America – NHPCO

NHPCO’s 2020 report “Facts & Figures” describes who gets hospice care in America, and for how long. The median length of service was 18 days; more than half (54%) of hospice patients receive 30 days of care or less. The average lifetime amount of time in the program was higher (almost 90 days), in part because of the long-stay effect of Alzheimer’s patients.  The top 3 diagnoses were cancer (median length of service of 18 days), heart disease (median 31 days) and dementia (median 55 days). The 2020 edition shows patient care and provider statistics for 2018. There were 4,639 Medicare-certified hospices operating in 2018. Over half (50.7%) of Medicare patients who died that year, chose to be in hospice. Participation varied by state, from a high of 61% in Utah, to just 23% in Alaska. New York is the only large population state where hospice enrollment is below 1/3 of Medicare decedents. NHPCO is the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. Published August 2020.

List of Excluded Individuals/Entities (LEIE) – See Who is Excluded from Medicare Editor's Pick

The List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (LEIE) is a Medicare fraud prevention site by the HHS Office of Inspector General. It allows consumer to search for a specific name of a person or business to see if they have been excluded from receiving payment from Medicare and Medicaid, due to license revocation, suspension or surrender; program-related fraud; patient abuse or neglect, and other reasons such as default on Health Education Assistance Loans. Exclusions Database contains physicians, nurses, nurses’ aides, hospital employees, pharmacists, nursing home operators and more. More than 74,000 names on the list as of April 2021.

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