CMS Accelerates Medicare Payments During COVID-19, Including Hospice

In an effort to counter widespread disruption in the health care space due to the ongoing pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is expanding its accelerated and advance payment program for all Medicare Part A and Part B providers and suppliers. The program, typically implemented during natural disasters or other catastrophic […]

[UPDATED] President Signs Stimulus Bill, Allowing Telehealth for Hospice Recertification

President Donald Trump has signed into law a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. Among numerous other provisions, the massive bill will allow hospice providers to conduct face-to-face recertification visits via telehealth and suspend the practice of 2% sequestration of hospice payments by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & […]

Hospice Coalition Calls on FEMA for More PPE During Pandemic

A coalition of hospice industry groups have called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to prioritize hospice when distributing personal protective equipment to health care organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Signatories on the letter included the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), the Council of State Home Care & Hospice Associations, the […]

Valley Hospice Launches Caring Connections Palliative Care Service

Ohio-based Valley Hospice has developed a new palliative care program called Caring Connections that will enable the nonprofit provider to engage with patients further upstream in the course of their serious or chronic illnesses. Hospices nationwide have been diversifying their services to include palliative care and a host of other types of programs, such as […]

Senate Approves Stimulus Package with Relief for Hospices

After days of tense negotiations between Republicans and Democrats, the U.S. Senate has passed a $2 trillion bill designed to boost the national economy during the COVID-19 crisis. The legislation contains language that would allow hospice providers to perform face-to-face encounters via telehealth as well as a suspension of payment sequestration. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, […]

[UPDATED] FEMA to Distribute PPE Supplies Hospices Need, but Hospitals Taking Priority

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is distributing N95 and surgical masks and other supplies to health care organizations in states hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, including New York and Washington. However, it remains unclear whether hospices will have access to these supplies or if they are being sent primarily to hospitals. Hospices […]

Acclivity Health Helping Hospices Prepare for SIP Model

Health care technology firm Acclivity Health Solutions has designed a program to help hospice and palliative care providers prepare themselves for participation in the Primary Care First Serious Illness Population (SIP) payment model. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled the Primary Care First program in April 2019 and plans to implement […]

CMS Relaxes Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements During Outbreak

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is forestalling quality reporting requirements for providers participating in Medicare, including the Hospice Item Data Set (HIS) and the Consumer Assessment and Perception of Health Care Provider and Services (CAPHS) surveys. Hospices are not required to submit CAHPS survey data from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, […]

Hospices Desperate for Supplies As Pandemic Takes Heavy Toll

Hospice supply lines have been strained to the limit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as has the U.S. health care system at large. Providers of all types are reporting serious shortages of necessary materials, including essential personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent infections, such as masks, face shields and sterile gloves.  “This is really unprecedented […]

MEDPAC Calls for 20% Cut in Hospice Payment Cap

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC) has recommended to Congress that 2021 per diem payments for hospices remain unchanged from fiscal year 2020 levels and that the aggregate payment cap be reduced by 20%. The commission members voted unanimously on these recommendations at their January meeting. Congress would have to accept these recommendations before they […]