CMS Releases New Data on Hospice Utilization

In October, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a privacy-protected public data set, the Hospice Utilization and Payment Public Use File (Hospice PUF), which provides information on services provided to Medicare beneficiaries by hospice providers. CMS also released an update to the Market Saturation and Utilization Data Tool, formerly called the Moratoria Provider Services and Utilization Data Tool. For the first time, this tool will include information on hospice services.

CMS notes that the Hospice PUF contains information on utilization, payments, submitted charges, diagnoses, and hospice beneficiary demographics organized by provider and state. The Hospice PUF covers calendar year 2014 and includes information on 4,025 hospice providers, over 1.3 million hospice beneficiaries, and over $15 billion in Medicare payments.

CMS hopes that by releasing this data, it will now be possible to analyze geographic variation in the delivery of hospice care, as well as variation across individual hospice providers. The Hospice PUF also includes a number of metrics on hospice beneficiary demographics and diagnoses to facilitate analyses of differences in the patient population across providers.

CMS also issued its third release of the Market Saturation and Utilization Data Tool, which includes interactive maps and supporting data sets that show national, state and county-level provider services and utilization data for three reference periods and the following health service areas: Home Health, Ambulance (Emergency, Non-Emergency, Emergency & Non-Emergency), Independent Diagnostic Testing Facilities (Part A and Part B), Skilled Nursing Facilities, and Hospice.

The Market Saturation and Utilization Data Tool is used by CMS to monitor market saturation in hopes of weeding out potential fraud and abuse. Furthermore, the data can also be used to reveal the degree to which use of a service is related to the number of providers servicing a geographic region.

View a fact sheet on the Hospice PUF

Access the Hospice PUF

View the Market Saturation and Utilization Data Tool