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Benton Hospice Service Receives Deficiency-Free Medicare Survey

Benton Hospice Service Receives Deficiency-Free Medicare Survey
Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Benton Hospice Service was surveyed over a four-day period November 29 through December 2, 2016 and received a deficiency-free report. Medicare requires all hospice organizations to undergo an evaluation every three years to assure that the organization is operating under the Medicare Conditions of Participation for hospice.    

The surveys are unannounced and look at the entire agency for compliance with Medicare’s rules. The surveyor interviews staff from various departments; attends the Interdisciplinary Team Meeting where patients are reviewed for symptom management, how they are progressing on their individual plan of care and to determine whether or not they still meet the eligibility guidelines to remain on hospice service. In addition, the surveyor makes home visits and interviews patients and their caregivers.  Patients’ medical records are reviewed, as well as contracts with the agency’s vendors.  The agency must have an active Quality Assessment Performance Improvement team that monitors activities from all departments to ensure that it is meeting the regulatory standards and following the agency’s own policies.

In short, the survey is very thorough and comprehensive; a ‘white glove’ test from your most critical relative.  An unannounced mock survey was conducted last June by Shelley Gunther, compliance officer for Benton Hospice Service. She stated, “The mock survey pointed out areas that needed improvement in order to be compliant for a Medicare survey. We addressed those areas, in-serviced the staff, and continue to monitor our progress. I’m very proud of the staff; they are truly invested in providing the highest quality of care possible. The clean survey is a testimony to their dedication.”

The Medicare survey, which completed on December 2, 2016, found zero deficiencies. Executive director, Kelly Beard stated, “This is the first time in my long history in health care that I was part of an organization that received a no-deficiencies report during a Medicare survey. Our staff members work hard to provide health care with integrity and that aligns with our core values. I’m very proud of them!”

Benton Hospice Service is an independent, non-profit organization providing compassionate care for seriously ill people and support for their families, as well as service to the community through caregiver and bereavement education and support groups. Benton Hospice has served Linn and Benton counties since 1980. To learn more about Benton Hospice Service or volunteering visit www.bentonhospice.org or call 541-757-9616.