A Hospice Software Solution to Ensure Compliance


A nurse using a laptop

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) releases an annual list of the top ten items that hospice agencies were cited for in the previous year. The list is meant to be a guide for hospice providers to know the common mistakes that are made so they can be avoided. The hospice team at Axxess knows that most hospice professionals want to spend their time providing compassionate care rather than filling out documentation. That’s the reason Axxess built a hospice software with compliance at its core.

Our blog series outlines each of the top ten survey deficiencies identified by CMS and the features in Axxess Hospice that will help providers stay compliant.

Medication Management

CMS has cited hospice providers for failing to review prescription, over-the-counter, herbal, and alternative medications that could affect drug therapy. Axxess Hospice includes a dynamic medication profile that enables hospice agencies to streamline the complexities of medication management to remain compliant while ensuring the highest quality of care. The medication profile is easily accessed from each nursing note. Each time a patient’s Medication Profile is opened or edited, Axxess Hospice automatically checks for drug interactions. Orders are created when new medications are entered, and when a medication needs to be changed the required orders are created automatically. Documentation of collaboration with the patient’s Attending Physician and Hospice Physician requires a single click.

Infection Control Documentation

Infection control affects patients, their loved ones and every member of the hospice team. It’s a major problem that CMS cites providers for each year. Hospice patients are often more susceptible to infections than the general population.  Without proper infection control policies, education and practices, hospice agencies risk spreading infections to their patients, hospice staff members, volunteers and the community. Axxess Hospice allows users to document infection control measures in the clinical note, including use of standard precautions, assessment for infection risk, and documentation of identified deficiencies in infection control practices of caregivers and education provided.  Plans of care for patients who have an active infection, as well as those for high risk of infection, are easily customized to meet the needs of the patient and to ensure that the infection is contained.

Volunteer Time Management

Hospice providers are required to use the service of volunteers to provide care to at least five percent of the total direct care patient hours provided by employees and contractors.  Hospice agencies struggle with this requirement because they are using spreadsheets and third-party software products to calculate the volunteer time.  This calculation requires data from the agency’s payroll, volunteer time records and the patients’ charts. This can get complicated quickly.  To make volunteer management and reporting easy, Axxess Hospice includes a dedicated Volunteer Center.  Volunteer compliance, including criminal and OIG checks and training, is easily tracked for each volunteer. Mileage and travel time are recorded to enable agencies to include either in their calculation of volunteer time according to the agency’s policies. Volunteer retention is enhanced by including each volunteer’s availability and preferences.

Bereavement Risk Assessment

The initial bereavement assessment is an integral part of hospice care. It is why CMS cites providers who do not focus on important factors that must be assessed. Understanding the social, spiritual and cultural needs of the hospice patient and their loved ones is paramount to providing compliant and compassionate hospice care. To assist hospice agencies in remaining compliant, Axxess Hospice includes a Bereavement Risk Assessment that is found in the Comprehensive Assessments, as well as in the clinical notes that are used once the patient is admitted.  At any time during the patient’s hospice care, if the social, spiritual or cultural needs of the patient or their loved one changes, the Bereavement Risk Assessment can be easily accessed and updated from the clinical note.  Axxess Hospice also includes a Bereavement Module that is designed to enable professionals to provide compassionate and individualized services, to meet the needs of hospice agencies, professionals and the bereaved.

Monitoring Visit Frequency

CMS regularly cites hospice providers who do not follow the ordered scope and frequency of services. Axxess Hospice features a Scheduling Dashboard to easily view patients with visits scheduled above and below frequency orders. There are alerts along the way so schedulers know if they are scheduling a visit above frequency orders. This functionality will ensure compliance is at the heart of a hospice provider’s operations.

The in-house engineers at Axxess have created a hospice software with a foundation from the clinical, operational, and financial expertise of hospice professionals. The intuitive features in Axxess Hospice are built to ensure compliance with a direct way to resolve the top deficiencies identified by CMS surveyors. Axxess Hospice is available now.