Hospice M&A Flourishes in Q1 Despite Outbreak

The first quarter of 2020 has borne out the expectation that the COVID_19 pandemic would have little impact on hospice mergers and acquisitions, at least in the short term. Close to 15 M&A transactions occurred during Q1. This slightly exceeds the 14 transactions that occurred during the fourth quarter of 2019 and beats the total […]

Cybersecurity a New Priority for Hospice Providers

As hospices begin to offer a wider range of services via telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic, they may need to get smarter when it comes to cybersecurity. Hospices often rely on popular videoconferencing platforms to conduct telehealth visits with patients, including Zoom, Skype and other systems. According to a blog on the company’s website, the […]

CMS Finalizes Hospice Capitation Rates for Medicare Advantage Plans

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has revealed the final payment capitation rates that indicate the amounts the agency will provide to Medicare Advantage plans to offer hospice coverage through the value-based insurance design demonstration project, commonly called the “carve-in.” The carve-in is slated to being Jan. 1, 2021. The announcement did […]

Hospice Providers Quickly Opening Inpatient Units for COVID-19 Patients

Hospices are adapting their inpatient facilities to care for COVID-19 patients as the number of people afflicted with the virus continues to swell. Though many, if not most, coronavirus patients receive care in their homes, in some instances the severity of symptoms necessitates inpatient care.  Georgia-based Hospice Savannah and some locations of the national chain […]

Vynca CEO: Advance Care Planning Critical During Pandemic 

Ryan Van Wert, M.D. is co-founder and CEO of Vynca, a technology company that offers solutions to health care organizations to support person-centered care by ensuring that patient preferences are captured, accessible and honored. In addition to his role at Vynca, Van Wert is a part-time clinical assistant professor at Stanford University. In observance of National […]

Calls Grow Louder to Delay Hospice Medicare Advantage Carve-In

Stakeholders in the hospice space are calling on the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)  to delay the inclusion of hospice in the agency’s value-based insurance design model, commonly called the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in, on the grounds that providers will not be able to prepare due to the pressures brought on by […]

CMS Proposed 2021 Hospice Payment Rule: A Deeper Dive

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) recently proposed rule for 2021 hospice payment and Conditions of Participation contained no surprises, reflecting a business as usual approach that contrasts with the significant changes that were implemented for the 2020 fiscal year. The agency has called for a 2.6% payment increase for 2021 that […]

Hospices Encounter Barriers to Safe Opioid Disposal

A number of hospices nationwide are hitting barriers to effectively disposing of medications following a patient’s death while remaining in compliance with current law and regulation, according to a report released today by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Proper disposal of medications is a critical factor to preventing drug diversion. Drug diversion — the […]

CMS Relaxes Hospice Training Rules

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued additional 1135 waivers for hospice, pertaining to training requirements for hospice aides.  CMS can issue an 1135 waiver for health care organizations during a federally declared national emergency. These waivers temporarily suspend or modify Medicare Conditions of Participation (CoPs) and other requirements to allow […]

CMS Proposes 2.6% Pay Raise for Hospice in 2021

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has proposed a rule that would determine hospice payment rates, payment caps and the wage index for fiscal year 2021. The agency has proposed a 2.6% payment adjustment, totaling an additional $580 million for the Medicare Hospice Benefit. The proposed rule would also raise the annual payment […]