Diversity Initiatives a Rising Priority for Hospices

Race continues to represent one of the largest barriers to hospice and palliative care. Hospice and palliative care providers are honing in on equity and inclusion, seeking to foster diversity among patients and staff alike. The United States population has grown more racially and ethnically diverse as it ages, according to a U.S. Census Bureau […]

Hospices See Rising Volume, Billing Challenges in Medicare Advantage

Value-based care has opened up a different world to hospices beginning this year. More than 90 days into the value-based insurance design (VBID) demonstration, hospices are seeing rising patient volumes while expanding service offerings and adapting to new billing processes. The program, often called the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in, launched Jan. 1.  The Center for […]

Pandemic Reshaping Hospice Bereavement Care

The coronavirus pandemic has been reshaping the ways hospices provide bereavement care. Many providers have taken these services online as COVID-19 forced the need to socially distance, with hospices working quickly to implement new technology platforms. Given these investments, many of these changes will likely extend into the long term. The U.S. Centers for Medicare […]

Hospices Fight Rising Turnover During Pandemic

Staff turnover and burnout have been higher since the coronavirus pandemic first hit the nation. Hospices are adopting strategies to stem the tide, with providers increasingly working to build career paths for nurses and other hospice staff. The coronavirus pandemic has taken a heavy toll on hospice staff since its onset. Slightly more than 20% […]

Pandemic Spurring End-of-Life Care Planning

Nearly 70% of 1,000 survey respondents indicated that talking about their wishes and values for end-of-life care was important to them, but only slightly more than half (56%) had actually held these conversations, according to a study by VITAS Healthcare, a subsidiary of Chemed Corp. (NYSE: CHE). These numbers were up from a previous study […]

Hospices Preparing for HOPE Quality Tool Coming from CMS

The forthcoming Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE) tool is currently in the first stage of pilot testing. The tool will replace the Hospice Item Set (HIS) quality reporting system when completed, but providers have growing concerns about the ramifications, with many stretched thin after a tough year during the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Centers […]

SPACs Build Momentum in Hospice M&A Market

Rising interest from special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) could make competition in an already active hospice M&A market more fierce in coming years. Like private equity and other investors, SPACs are drawn to hospice by surging demographic tailwinds from the aging population.  SPACs are formed with the sole intent of raising capital for the purpose of […]

Hospices Ramp Up Advance Care Planning Through Value-Based Payment Models

More hospices are expanding their advance care planning services as they ramp up participation in value-based payment programs such as Medicare Advantage, direct contracting and participation in Accountable Care Organizations. Several value-based models incorporate advance care planning, which is associated with reductions in the total cost of care and improvements in overall hospice utilization rates. […]

Turn-Key’s Terri Maxwell: A Population Health Approach Can Bolster Community-Based Palliative Care

Efforts have been growing among health care providers, payers, advocacy groups and state policymakers to make community-based palliative care more accessible to patients and families. Hospice organizations are extremely well-equipped to provide this care, according to Terri Maxwell, general manager, chief clinical officer and co-founder of Turn-Key Health.  Turn-Key Health is a national community-based palliative […]

CMS Revising Hospice Survey Process in the Pandemic’s Wake

One year into the outbreak, hospices nationwide are trying to decipher what the post-pandemic regulatory landscape will look like. This will include updates to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) survey process that were delayed due to COVID-19. CMS is revising its survey process to emphasize what the agency considers to be […]