Homeland Hospice has been selected to participate in the initial testing phase of a new national tool to standardize the collection of hospice patient data.

Homeland is one of 20 hospice programs chosen nationally and is the only hospice program in Pennsylvania participating in the project.

The tool, titled the Hospice Outcomes Patient Evaluation (HOPE) tool, is a project led by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It is designed to better understand care needs throughout a patient’s dying process and contribute to the patient’s plan of care.

The HOPE tool also will allow CMS to analyze data between patients and hospice programs across the country.

“A core goal of the HOPE tool is to understand how a hospice team works together to put the patient’s needs first,” said Mary Peters, MSW, assistant director of social services for Homeland Hospice.

The HOPE tool alpha testing — called alpha because it is early on in development — involves three phases including training, data collection, and a forum scheduled in June 2021 to review the data and offer feedback.

Homeland has completed training and is in the data-collection phase, during which a patient’s primary hospice team — including a registered nurse, social worker, and spiritual counselor — is present for each patient assessment.

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