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ODH Shares Plans for Hospice Choice, Pseudo-patients

LeadingAge Ohio met with the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) on October 30 and reviewed a number of updates related to non-long-term care, including: 

  • The hospice licensure rules (with the palliative care additions) will have a hearing in December and January and are expected to be final by the end of January.
  • The Palliative Care and Quality of Life Interdisciplinary Council meets every other month.  The Council is focused on providing direction related to palliative care to legislators and others in the administration.  The first annual report is due December 31, 2019. All meetings are public, with the meeting minutes and annual reports posted on the ODH website as they are finalized.
  • As for the Omnibus Burden Reduction (Conditions of Participation), ODH has not yet received any guidance from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) about the use of pseudo-patients for staff competency training. ODH will continue its current survey practices until CMS provides regulatory guidance. This is also true for the change in the discharge planning regulation for home health.
  • ODH is encouraging providers to use the CMS Quality, Certification & Oversights Report (QCOR) system for more up-to-date reporting of survey deficiencies. A providers can go to the CMS QCOR website clicking here and then scroll down to the provider type of their choice to retrieve these reports.
  • ODH shared its approach to a new resident right which was codified in HB 166, Ohio’s biennial budget bill. The bill introduced a nursing facility’s resident’s right to select a hospice provider of their choice, which could potentially result in nursing facilities managing more contracts, including one-time contracts, with hospice providers. At the meeting, ODH staff shared that they are not planning any additional guidance related to the resident right; ODH anticipates the issue may only come to their attention during complaint surveys. LeadingAge Ohio is seeking further clarification on how the right will be interpreted by surveyors should a complaint be made. 

Questions regarding this issue or any of the meeting items should be directed to Anne Shelley, Director of Home Health and Hospice Regulatory Relations at

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Our national partner, LeadingAge, is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging. Together, we advance policies, promote practices and conduct research that support, enable and empower people to live fully as they age.