View all text of Subpart C [§ 418.52 - § 418.78]

§ 418.54 - Condition of participation: Initial and comprehensive assessment of the patient.

The hospice must conduct and document in writing a patient-specific comprehensive assessment that identifies the patient's need for hospice care and services, and the patient's need for physical, psychosocial, emotional, and spiritual care. This assessment includes all areas of hospice care related to the palliation and management of the terminal illness and related conditions.

(a) Standard: Initial assessment. The hospice registered nurse must complete an initial assessment within 48 hours after the election of hospice care in accordance with § 418.24 is complete (unless the physician, patient, or representative requests that the initial assessment be completed in less than 48 hours.)

(b) Standard: Timeframe for completion of the comprehensive assessment. The hospice interdisciplinary group, in consultation with the individual's attending physician (if any), must complete the comprehensive assessment no later than 5 calendar days after the election of hospice care in accordance with § 418.24.

(c) Standard: Content of the comprehensive assessment. The comprehensive assessment must identify the physical, psychosocial, emotional, and spiritual needs related to the terminal illness that must be addressed in order to promote the hospice patient's well-being, comfort, and dignity throughout the dying process. The comprehensive assessment must take into consideration the following factors:

(1) The nature and condition causing admission (including the presence or lack of objective data and subjective complaints).

(2) Complications and risk factors that affect care planning.

(3) Functional status, including the patient's ability to understand and participate in his or her own care.

(4) Imminence of death.

(5) Severity of symptoms.

(6) Drug profile. A review of all of the patient's prescription and over-the-counter drugs, herbal remedies and other alternative treatments that could affect drug therapy. This includes, but is not limited to, identification of the following:

(i) Effectiveness of drug therapy.

(ii) Drug side effects.

(iii) Actual or potential drug interactions.

(iv) Duplicate drug therapy.

(v) Drug therapy currently associated with laboratory monitoring.

(7) Bereavement. An initial bereavement assessment of the needs of the patient's family and other individuals focusing on the social, spiritual, and cultural factors that may impact their ability to cope with the patient's death. Information gathered from the initial bereavement assessment must be incorporated into the plan of care and considered in the bereavement plan of care.

(8) The need for referrals and further evaluation by appropriate health professionals.

(d) Standard: Update of the comprehensive assessment. The update of the comprehensive assessment must be accomplished by the hospice interdisciplinary group (in collaboration with the individual's attending physician, if any) and must consider changes that have taken place since the initial assessment. It must include information on the patient's progress toward desired outcomes, as well as a reassessment of the patient's response to care. The assessment update must be accomplished as frequently as the condition of the patient requires, but no less frequently than every 15 days.

(e) Standard: Patient outcome measures. (1) The comprehensive assessment must include data elements that allow for measurement of outcomes. The hospice must measure and document data in the same way for all patients. The data elements must take into consideration aspects of care related to hospice and palliation.

(2) The data elements must be an integral part of the comprehensive assessment and must be documented in a systematic and retrievable way for each patient. The data elements for each patient must be used in individual patient care planning and in the coordination of services, and must be used in the aggregate for the hospice's quality assessment and performance improvement program.