Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice Declared Deficiency Free by State Surveyors
(Sheboygan Falls) In September of 2014 Congress passed the Improving Medicare Post-Acute Care Transformation Act of 2014 (IMPACT Act), which included hospice provisions to increase transparency within the hospice community. The IMPACT Act (H.R. 4994) requires more frequent surveys of hospice providers and mandates that all Medicare certified hospices be surveyed every three years for at least the next ten years for Medicare recertification. Prior to this bill, there were no federal guidelines in place for frequency of hospice surveys.
On Monday, July 20th state surveyors paid a surprise visit to the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice (SSRCH) in Sheboygan Falls. Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice, Sheboygan County’s only locally- based and community-owned hospice provider offers home hospice services and is the only designated inpatient hospice facility in the Sheboygan County.
Surveyors spent two days conducting a thorough inspection of the hospice’s compliance with rigorous state and federal hospice regulations. They reviewed patient consent forms, marketing materials, admission forms, employee files, orientation procedures, and vendor and facility contracts. The volunteer program, bereavement program, Quality Assessment Performance Improvement (QAPI), and infection control programs were all evaluated. Surveyors also followed staff on home visits and shadowed staff working in the inpatient facility. They interviewed staff, patients, and families to evaluate consistency and quality in care. At the completion of the survey Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice was declared “Deficiency Free”, meaning the hospice was in full compliance with all state and federal regulations. The surveyors commented that this was very uncommon and the first deficiency free result they’ve had this year.
Clinical Leader Marie Rieger, RN, BSN wasn’t surprised by the results. “I am so proud of our team. Our nurses did a great job on the joint visits with the survey team and not just because the survey team was there, but because they do a great job all the time! I’m so excited to continue to build on this momentum with our clinical staff. What a great accomplishment for everyone involved in SSRCH!”
Lisa Semple, RN, CHPN Quality Leader for Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice was pleased with the results. “After eleven years in the hospice field, I’ve never seen a deficiency free result in any other hospice program. The surveyors said it is very evident that our nurses are knowledgeable of the hospice industry, know their patients’ plan of care, and are working very hard to provide quality care. They said our care planning is excellent and that they’ve never had an inspection go so smoothly. We had everything they needed upfront. They were very pleased and said this was a welcome change.”
Andrew Viglietti, the Hospice Administrator, was equally pleased, “the surveyors were effusive in their praise of our staff, stating that the care given to our patients was of the highest levels. I am so proud of our entire team. We would not be Sheboygan County’s number one hospice without a truly dedicated staff. I would also like to recognize my clinical management team, Marie Rieger and Lisa Semple, for having the structure in place to allow SSRCH employees to succeed. Their strong leadership and adherence to hospice regulations guarantees our patients consistently receive the very best in end-of-life care.”