Agape Care Hospice Selected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for Its Outcomes & Patient Evaluation Assessment Alpha Testing Program

Agape Care has been selected as one of 20 Medicare-certified hospice providers nationwide to participate in the alpha testing phase of development of the Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE) assessment. The 20 hospices chosen to participate in this testing phase represent the diversity of hospices through their various sizes, geographic locations, urban and rural, business models, and use of electronic and paper-based data collection.

Developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HOPE is a new standardized hospice patient assessment that will provide more expansive real-time data throughout a patient’s hospice stay. Along with helping to develop meaningful quality measures, HOPE will allow providers to better assess and understand the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the patient as well as their families and caregivers. HOPE will also give clinicians a chance to develop an assessment that doesn’t inhibit their workflow.

“We are honored to be participating in this alpha testing stage,” said Michael Mealey, Agape Care’s Vice President of Quality Assurance. “HOPE will give us the chance to connect the dots between different data, which will allow us to find opportunities to improve our level of care and help our patients enjoy the highest quality of life possible.”

The current reporting system, in which CMS collects data via the Hospice Item Set (HIS) at admission and discharge, only supports process measures and simply reflects whether an action was taken by providers. By contrast, HOPE is an innovative and comprehensive tool that will assess patient and family needs in real-time at specific time points during a hospice stay.

The HOPE assessment will also increase the amount of data and information made available through public reporting compared to what is currently provided by the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP). This will ultimately give family members additional indicators, grounded in data, to look at when selecting a hospice for loved ones.

“HOPE will also allow us to provide more data to the public that will underline what we already know: that we strive every day to deliver a superior patient-family experience and the highest quality care,” Mealey said. “We want people to be able to see what type of hospice we are.”


As the leading hospice and palliative care provider in South Carolina, Agape Care proudly serves more than 1,500 patients across all 46 counties in the state. Spread throughout 32 branches, the company’s ~900 employees are committed to serving with love those touched by an advanced illness, providing comfort and support through compassionate care and meaningful experiences. Agape Care offers hospice and palliative services across multiple settings and is renowned for its superior patient-family experience and expertly trained professionals.

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Enoma Owens
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