A new report from OIG found that RNs frequently do not visit Medicare beneficiaries’ homes every 14 days as required by law. OIG evaluated 189,000 high-risk registered nurse visit date-pairs from January 1 through December 31, 2016. A date-pair consisted of two care visits that were made by a registered nurse to a beneficiary’s home and that were more than 14 days apart.
Of the approximately 189,000 high-risk date-pairs, OIG identified (1) an estimated 99,000 instances in which the registered nurses did not make the required supervisory visits at least once every 14 days and (2) an estimated 5,000 instances in which supervisory visits were not documented in accordance with Federal requirements.
These deficiencies occurred because of hospices’ lack of oversight, scheduling errors, employee turnover, and the registered nurses not being aware of the 14-day supervisory visit requirement. As a result, there was no assurance that beneficiaries admitted to those hospices received the appropriate care while in hospice care.
OIG recommended that CMS expand oversight and work with surveyors to ensure this standard is met. In the future, adherence to the 14-day supervisory visit requirement may become a new quality measure.