Medicaid pediatric hospice fails dying children

The Denver Post reported an audit of Colorado’s Health Care Policy and Financing Department found it egregiously failed to comfort dying children and their families by denying services, failing to provide access to providers and delivering shoddy case management.  Included in the audit findings were the following:

  • More than 25% of the kids enrolled in the “pediatric hospice” program received no services during a 16-month audit period.
  • Only 9 of the 130 kids who needed palliative care (pain management) got services.
  • Case mangers failed to document care plans.
  • There’s no record of bereavement services provided.

HCPF launched this program in 2008 and since then has spent $240,000 on services.  So where did this money go? More importantly, what is HCPF doing now to make sure vulnerable families with dying children get the hospice care they need?


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