Medicare Advantage Payments Growing More Slowly Than Expected

As hospices prepare for the Medicare Advantage carve-in to become effective in 2021, current Medicare Advantage payments are growing at a slower rate than expected. The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed a 1.5% increase to the baseline Medicare Advantage payment rates for 2020, below the 3.4% increase that was enacted for […]

CMS Proposed Rules to Improve Health IT in Post-Acute Care

The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on Feb. 8 proposed rules designed to move the nation’s health care system—including hospices—closer to IT interoperability. The Interoperability and Patient Access Proposed Rule is designed to help health care providers, insurers, and other stakeholders make patient data more useful and transferable through open, secure, standardized, […]

Medicare Service-Intensity Payments Not Improving Quality of Care

Evidence suggests that Medicare’s service intensity add-on (SIA) payment structure for hospices is boosting payments but thus far has failed to improve the quality of care. The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced SIA in 2016 to give hospices a greater financial incentive for improving care during the last seven days of […]

Hospice Multiples Are at Unprecedented Levels

Despite hospice valuations being at all-time highs, demographic tailwinds and availability of capital should continue to drive a robust market for companies looking to acquire hospice and palliative care providers. From 2016 to 2018, there were more than 10 transactions of $250 million or higher in total enterprise value, with at least five transactions, individually […]

Infinity Hospice Uses AI to Improve Care and Drive Additional Revenue

Arizona-based Infinity Hospice Care achieved a 97% increase in patient visits during the last seven days of life using a predictive artificial intelligence system developed by the health care technology company WellSky. Stepping up the frequency of these visits improves not only the quality of care but the hospice provider’s bottom line through Medicare’s service […]

Acquisitions Boost Encompass Health Hospice Q4 2018 Revenues 74.1%

Acquisitions were the primary driver of strong financial performance for the Encompass Health (NYSE: EHC) hospice segment during 2018. The company acquired 22 new hospice locations last year, with the majority coming from the purchase of Camella Healthcare for $135 million in May. In fourth quarter 2018 hospice operations grew revenues to $35 million, up […]

Non-profit Hospice Grows Business Via Community Fundraising

Non-profit hospice care providers are discovering ways to harness community resources to expand their businesses. A recent example is Hospice of Wichita Falls, which has raised $12 million in donations to finance expansion of its hospice services in North Texas. The organization’s fundraising goal for the project is $15 million. A significant portion of the […]

Payors Report Substantial Increases in Medicare Advantage Enrollment

Leading U.S. insurance companies have reported a surge in Medicare Advantage membership during the 2019 enrollment period. Humana on Feb. 6 was the latest to report, citing a full year 2019 individual Medicare Advantage membership increase of 375,000 to 400,000 members, up 12% to 13% from 2018. Earlier this week Centene and WellCare also reported […]

CMS Releases Top Hospice Survey Deficiencies for 2018

The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has released the top deficiencies identified during recertification surveys for hospices during 2018. As in previous years, problems with care planning topped the list. Hospices are required to ensure that the care and services they provide follow an individualized written care plan developed by the interdisciplinary […]

VITAS Opens 13,000-Foot Inpatient Hospice Unit in Dallas

VITAS Healthcare—the largest provider of hospice care in the United States— on Feb. 6 opened a 13,000-square-foot inpatient hospice unit at Methodist Dallas Medical Center. The new facility enables VITAS to treat hospice patients whose symptoms have become unmanageable in the home care setting. The unit will begin accepting referrals by the end of February […]