Thousands of hospice care services throughout the nation had been discovered to have severe, life-threatening deficiencies, based on an investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and received by NBC News.
Extreme complaints have been lodged over unsanitary situations at some services, and over patient wounds that had been badly handled or not handled at all.
More than 300 hospice facilities out of the 4,563 studied nationwide between 2012 and 2016 have been thought of poor performers, based on the IG’s report.
“These numbers are shocking, and admittedly they’re unacceptable,” mentioned Erin Bliss, assistant inspector general at HHS.
Almost each hospice center within the nation that supplied care to sufferers getting Medicare advantages was a part of the examine, probably the most in-depth of its type ever undertaken regarding hospice care.
Based on HHS statistics, in 2017, Medicare spent $17.8 billion for hospice care for almost 1.5 million beneficiaries. Hospice care is usually considered appropriate for terminally sick patients with a life expectancy of six months or much less.
Over 80 % of hospice services had at the least one deficiency, and most of these had a number of deficiencies. One in five had a severe deficiency.
“Once we looked into a few of the more excessive examples of how these deficiencies can affect sufferers, we discovered cases where their hospice care has really harmed patients,” Bliss stated.
In some cases, criminal charges have been registered towards hospice services, owners, and staff.