Performance Improvement 2009. How Frequently Do Hospice Beneficiaries Use Respite Care?


This study analyzed Medicare Part A claims for hospice care. Respite care is short-term inpatient care that provides respite for the individual’s family or other persons caring for the individual at home.

Insufficient hospice claim information limited the agency’s ability to determine whether hospice agencies were complying with the requirement that they may not be reimbursed for more than 5 consecutive days of respite care at a time. Two percent of all hospice beneficiaries received respite care during 2005 and most of these beneficiaries received the care for 5 days or less; there were a number of instances in which the use of respite care may have been inappropriate. Fifty-four beneficiaries received respite care longer than the 5 consecutive days allowed by Federal regulations, and 62 received respite care while residing in nursing facilities, even though respite care is designed to relieve the beneficiary’s caregiver.

Report Title: Hospice Beneficiaries' Use of Respite Care
Agency Sponsor: OS-OIG, Office of Inspector General
Federal Contact: Erin Lemire, 202-205-9523
Performer: Staff; Office of Inspector General
PIC ID: 8983

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"PerformanceImprovement2009.pdf" (pdf, 1.26Mb)

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