MA Carve-In Could Forego 6-Month Prognosis Rule for Hospice

Medicare Advantage plans would not necessarily be bound by Medicare’s six-month terminal prognosis requirement under a forthcoming hospice carve-in. Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies approved by CMS, and include HMO, PPO, and fee-for-service plans among other options. The program represents an integrated care model that is designed to promote coordination of […]

Florida Expected to Take Hardest Hit in Hospice Staff Shortage

Ongoing workforce shortages in the hospice space are expected to worsen, with Florida taking the biggest hit due to the size of its population older than 65.  The number of hospice and palliative care physicians and members of other disciplines will drop precipitously during the next two decades, largely due to retirements and staff leaving […]

New Jersey Enacts Law to Expand Palliative Care

New Jersey has joined a growing list of states that are establishing laws to advance palliative care. Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has signed a bill to create a state advisory council on palliative care and quality of life. The new law also includes provisions for a hospice and palliative care access program to expand public […]

CMS Revises Immediate Jeopardy Citation Process

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will now require its surveyors to report suspected crimes to local law enforcement, such as patient abuse, theft, sexual assault or other unlawful activity. The agency inserted new language into Appendix Q of its State Operations Manual that in addition to the law enforcement requirement lays […]

NPHI CEO: ‘Bring Our Care Model to Patients Pre-Hospice’

As President and CEO for the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation (NHPI), the question, “What’s New?” is an important one for Tom Koutsoumpas, who took the helm of the industry organization in 2015. NPHI is a coalition of non-profit hospices that collaborate on moving innovations forward, in terms of service diversification, discovering new payment models, […]

TRICARE to Cover Concurrent Care for Pediatric Hospice Patients

TRICARE, the U.S. military’s health insurance program for uniformed service members and their families, will now pay for medical treatment concurrently with hospice care for pediatric patients with terminal illness. The rule change, made in accordance with the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018, applies to military dependents who are younger than 21. Before this […]

Admissions Boost LHC Group Q2 Hospice Earnings

A 9.6% percent increase in admissions drove strong second quarter earnings results for LHC Group’s (NASDAQ: LHCG) hospice segment. The segment saw the highest rate of admissions growth among the company’s service lines during the second quarter, exceeding the home health segment’s 9.1% rise.  LHC Group currently operates 104 hospice locations nationwide, representing 10.2% of […]

Accurate Documentation Helps Hospices Avoid Audits

Submitting inadequate or incomplete required written documentation is a sure-fire way to bring surveyors or auditors to a hospice’s doorstep. As regulators increasingly fix their eyes on the hospice space, providers are stepping up their efforts to ensure their documentation is airtight. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) often treats issues such […]

LHC Group Joint Venture Completes Missouri Acquisitions

LHC Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: LHCG) along with joint venture partner Capital Region Medical Center (CRMC) have completed an acquisition of a Mexico, Mo.-based hospice agency from nonprofit health system SSM Health. The purchase also included two home health agencies, also based in Missouri communities. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The three acquired […]

Admissions Spur 18% Jump in Brookdale’s Hospice Revenue

Hospice revenues at Brookdale Senior Living (NYSE: BKD) are up nearly 18% in the second quarter largely due to same-store admissions growth and de novo activity, the company reported in an earnings conference call. Hospice accounted for much of growth in the company’s Health Care Services segment, outstripping quarterly percentage gains for its home health […]