IPRO has been awarded special federal funding to support the assessment and improvement of Medicare-funded hospice services. As the Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (QIO) for the state of New York, IPRO collaborates with providers on performance improvement in a variety of settings. QIOs operate in all fifty states in the U.S. under contract with the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
Despite well-documented benefits of palliative-oriented end-of-life care for certain Medicare beneficiaries, timely referral to certified hospice programs is often suboptimal and not always available to members of racial and ethnic minority groups. Under the CMS-funded special study, IPRO will partner with eight New York-based, Medicare-certified hospice programs to promote timely referrals, to support the integration of hospice into the overall health system and to test first-generation performance measures.
“IPRO has selected a diverse group of programs to participate in this special project so that the measures and data collection instruments are tested in the full range of hospice program environments and patient populations,” says Clare B. Bradley, MD, MPH, Chief Medical Officer, IPRO. “A great deal of time, energy and money has been spent to develop and refine measures of the quality of hospital, nursing home, home health and physician care over the past two decades, but we know little about how to evaluate hospice care. This project will test the first set of clinical quality measures for hospice and palliative care.”
Working with IPRO, hospice programs will collect and submit a standard set of patient-level data elements for a one-year period in order to test previously developed quality measures. IPRO will perform statistical analyses of the properties of these measures, including identifying any racial or ethnic differences in performance, and conduct focus groups of family members, hospice staff members, hospice referral sources and Medicare beneficiaries to evaluate the usefulness of the measures to each group.
With the assistance of the School of Public Health of the State University of New York at Albany, IPRO will also conduct a comprehensive literature review of end-of-life care, with a special emphasis on studies concerning cultural beliefs and differences in attitudes about death and dying. Findings from the literature review, focus groups and quality measures analysis will be used to formulate interventions to address identified disparities.
IPRO is a national organization providing a full spectrum of healthcare assessment and improvement services that foster more efficient use of resources and enhance healthcare quality to achieve better patient outcomes. Founded in 1984, IPRO is highly regarded for the independence of its approach, the depth of its knowledge and experience, and the integrity of its programs. IPRO holds contracts with federal, state and local government agencies, as well as private sector clients, operating best-of-class programs in more than 33 states and the District of Columbia. A national nonprofit organization, IPRO is headquartered in Lake Success, New York and is a 501(c)(3) corporation.