Are our elderly loved ones receiving proper end-of-life care at California hospices? A recent article in the Huffington Post reported that, unlike other healthcare facilities that receive Medicare funding, hospices aren’t being punished sufficiently when they commit elder abuse and violate rules related to patient health and safety. To be sure, when a hospice fails to provide the promised comfort and care at the end of a person’s life, “it almost always escapes sanctions.” Why isn’t the federal government punishing these hospices for failing to do their jobs?
Inspections Don’t Yield Sanctions
One of the primary issues, the article suggests, is that federal regulators just aren’t doling out sanctions to hospices in the same way that they often do for nursing homes. The problem isn’t that the federal government isn’t investigating claims of abuse, neglect, and patient mistreatment at hospice facilities. Indeed, “inspections do occur and problems are identified,” yet inspectors often tend to accept “hospices promises that they’ll reform.”