The Washington Post's ongoing series on hospice care "The Business of Dying" examined hospice quality issues this week . The article states, "A boom in the industry allows patients to choose from an array of hospice outfits, some of them excellent. More than a thousand new hospices have opened in the United States in the past decade. But the absence of public information about their quality, a void that is unusual even within the health-care industry, leaves consumers at a loss to distinguish the good from the bad." To remedy the quagmire of information available to consumers on quality data, the Post created a searchable database for consumers, "largely from government sources on more than 3,000 hospices that participate in Medicare, which pays for the vast majority of hospice care in this country." Hospices are encouraged to supplement the information in the database.
The Post also points out, "No single factor can predict the quality of a hospice's care, and these figures do not offer a complete picture of any single hospice. But consumers can benefit from knowing how a hospice compares to others on these important measures." VNAA spoke with series author Peter Whoriskey on background for this article regarding our membership demographics and quality initiatives and will be an ongoing resource for this series.