Sloppy hospice care only helping assisted suicide

Wednesday, August 21, 2019
 | 
Charlie Butts (OneNewsNow.com)

elderly patientSome hospice programs are giving weight to the argument for assisted suicide after an investigation uncovered numerous problems.

The Department of Health and Human Services' Inspector General has issued two highly critical reports on hospice, or end-of-life care, in the United States.

"Hospice deficiencies pose risks to Medicare beneficiaries," reads the headline of a July report from DHS. 

Citing the report, Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition says one third of the hospices had complaints filed against them and 18 percent had serious deficiencies, such as questionable billing.

“There's significant proof that there are false billings going on,” he warns, “as well as people who do not qualify for hospice but have been registered for hospice simply because, of course, the hospice can obtain money from having that person registered within the hospice.”

There are also reports of people not receiving proper care for the sake of profit.

The report states in part:

The most common types of deficiencies involve poor care planning, mismanagement of aide services, and inadequate assessments of beneficiaries. In addition to these, hospices had other deficiencies that also posed risks to beneficiaries. These failings - such as improperly vetting staff and inadequate quality control - can jeopardize beneficiaries' safety and lead to poor care.

Schadenberg, Alex (EPC)Schandenberg contends the problems in the industry give proponents of assisted suicide ammunition to support their cause and therefore, he says, it’s time for lawmakers to take action.

“The truth is that hospice needs to be cleaned up in a serious manner,” he tells OneNewsNow. “We will not have a strong argument against assisted suicide in a secular world if we cannot provide good care -- and it's simply not occurring.”

Medicare can investigate charges of false billing but it relies largely on state agencies to investigate and take action based on claims of poor care in hospice programs.

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