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CMS releases hospice utilization tool

October 7, 2016
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a new dataset to shed light on how hospice services are being delivered across the country. The Hospice Utilization and Payment Public Use File (Hospice PUF) includes data on utilization, payments, submitted charges, diagnoses and hospice beneficiary demographics. The first version of the tool covers 2014 data and includes more than 4,000 hospice providers serving more than 1.3 million beneficiaries.

The PUF data set breaks hospice beneficiaries into six categories based on their clinical diagnoses: Cancer, circulatory, dementia, respiratory, stroke and other. It also takes into account the location of provided services (nursing home, inpatient hospital, home, etc.)

The release is part of CMS’ goal to make federal healthcare data more transparent, said CMS Chief Data Officer Niall Brennan in a press release. “[G]reater data transparency leads to a more effectively functioning health care system, which leads to better care and smarter spending.”

The data is offered in two forms, one arranged by provider and the other arranged by state. Both are available on the CMS Provider Utilization and Payment Data web page.

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