Data Sources and Scoring Criteria

Where does our data come from?

Our scoring and rankings are based on data sets provided and maintained by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Below are their data sets we make use of:

What date range does our site cover?

The latest public data from CMS covers the year of 2019.

How often is the data on our site updated?

CMS maintains a reporting schedule and performs an annual data refresh in November for the preceding year. The most recent data we have covers 2019 and was released in November 2020 by CMS.

How do we calculate Caregiver Experiences scores?

In order to stay compliant with the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP), hospice providers must submit their survey data from the Hospice Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®) to CMS on a monthly basis. The survey is made up of 47 questions covering the experience of family caregivers and hospice patients.

We compare each hospice provider’s latest survey results with the average results of their state. We then display whether they fall within the average, below average or above average range relative to the other hospice providers in their state.

To learn more about CAHPS, visit the CMS website.

How do we calculate Quality of Patient Care scores?

In order to stay compliant with the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP), hospice providers must submit results frthe om Hospice Item Set (HIS) survey data directly to CMS.

HIS data is  used to calculate the quality of care that a hospice patient receives.

We compare each hospice providers latest HIS survey results with the average results of their state. We then display whether they fall within the average, below average or above average range relative to the other hospice providers in their state.

To learn more about the HIS quality measures, visit the CMS website.

Why are our scores relative to state averages?

Open Caregiving chooses to present scores relative to state averages in an effort to help caregivers make an educated decision when choosing a hospice provider in their area.

While comparing scores nationally may be helpful for context, most individuals entering hospice care cannot move to a different part of the country so we believe comparing scores on a state level offers the most practical guidance we can provide for caregivers and their loved ones.

How do we calculate top hospice rankings in a town or city?

We use the hospice provider surveys data reported by CMS. Each survey question has 3 columns for responses that are roughly equivalent to “Bad”, “Ok”, “Good”. The number of responses for each survey question are added up and averaged across each column. For every provider we average the survey responses from the “Good” column to get an overall picture of their quality. This allows us to rank each provider.

We currently surface the top 10 hospice providers for a given city. Not all cities have 10 providers, so we supplement those listings with top providers near the given city. After we perform a k-nearest neighbors search to supplement the top 10 list, we do a final ranking among the providers.

Why are some providers missing Caregiver Experience scores?

Hospice providers that do not have any caregiver experience scores are either exempt (due to their small size) or not compliant with the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP).

Hospice providers that care for less than 50 patients in a given year can apply for an exemption.

Why are some providers missing Quality of Care scores?

Hospice providers that do not have any quality of care scores are either exempt or not compliant with the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP).

Hospice providers with a Quality Measure denominator size of less than 20 patient stays (based on 12 rolling months of data) will not have the Quality Measure score publicly displayed since the sample size is too small to determine an accurate score.

What does it mean for a provider to be HQRP compliant?

If a provider submits timely and complete survey data for both CAHPS® & HIS then they are compliant with HQRP requirements. CMS uses a “pay-for-reporting” model which means CMS does not determine hospice providers payment rates based on performance. As long as they report their survey data on a timely basis, their market basket updates/Annual Payment Updates (APU) are not effected.

Hospice providers that fails to submit required quality data are incurred a 2 percentage-point reduction in payments.

What does it mean for a provider to be verified?

Verified providers have reached out directly to Open Caregiving to confirm the information on their profile or correct any inaccuracies. Verified providers can also add additional information about their offings, specialties, staff and facility that may help caregivers make more educated decisions when choosing hospice care.

All information that is added by a verified hospice provider is first reviewed by the Open Caregiving team to confirm validity.

I’m a hospice provider, how do I verify my information?

To verify your hospice profile, email [email protected] with the name of your hospice provider and your title.