Kentucky Passes Law to Expand Palliative Care

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed into law legislation to expand awareness and utilization of palliative care throughout the state. Kentucky Senate Bill 65 will establish a Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Advisory Council as well as a Professional Information and Education Program by July 2020. “I’m thrilled that SB 65 has finally passed,” the bill’s sponsor, State […]

Early Hospice Admission Could Save Medicare $2.3 Billion

Enrolling patients in hospice earlier in the course of their terminal illness can reduce Medicare costs by $316 million to $2.43 billion, depending on length of stay and characteristics of the patient population, according to a recent policy brief from the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). About 60 percent of Medicare decedents stay […]

New Guidance for CMS Rules on Hospice, Home-Based Services

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will presume that private residences in which Medicaid recipients receive hospice care and certain other services are in compliance with regulatory criteria for home- and community-based settings. In a letter to state Medicaid directors CMS Administrator Seema Verma issued new regulatory guidance on how CMS will […]

Medicare Advantage Hospice Carve-In: The Bright Side

Despite the legitimate anxieties of many hospice providers about the Medicare Advantage carve-in demonstration in 2021, some have expressed cautious optimism. “The success of Medicare Advantage in achieving better health outcomes for American seniors and people with disabilities highlights the importance of an integrated system,” Allyson Schwartz, president and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance […]

Questions Abound on Medicare Advantage Hospice Carve-In

Hospice providers have many questions and few answers related to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) demonstration of a hospice carve-in for Medicare Advantage plans. CMS earlier this year announced that it would test coverage of the hospice benefit through Medicare Advantage plans beginning in 2021. Through Medicare Advantage, CMS contracts with […]

Hartford Healthcare Acquires Connecticut Hospice

Hartford Healthcare, a Connecticut-based multi-hospital health system, has acquired the Center for Hospice Care (CHC) for its Hartford HealthCare at Home segment. Under the terms of the transaction, the health system will assume all CHC debts and financial obligations. “With our common goals and missions, this partnership will be extremely beneficial for both organizations, staff, […]

Coalition Begins End-of-Life Outreach to Minorities

A coalition of health care, government, and community stakeholders has banded together to help minorities in New Jersey access hospice and palliative care, as well as advance care planning. The Goals of Care Coalition of New Jersey has begun a new educational program to help the public, and minorities in particular, understand the health care […]

Washington Hospice Expands after Hospital Ends Services

Walla Walla Community Hospice (WWCH) is expanding its service area after a local hospital ended its hospice care program. The Walla Walla, Wash.-based hospice, which currently serves its home county as well as Columbia County in Washington and parts of Umatilla County in Oregon, will now provide care to Pendleton, Ore., and its surrounding communities. […]

New MorseLife Hospice Program Designed for Jewish Patients

West Palm Beach-based MorseLife Health System has launched a new hospice service—Palm Beach Hospice and Palliative Care—designed to address the end-of-life care needs of Jewish patients and their families. Though the new hospice and palliative care service is open to patients of all religions, the program specializes in providing services that take into account Jewish […]

Two New York Hospice Providers Merge

The Hospice of Central New York and Hospice of the Finger Lakes have merged and will operate under the Hospice of Central New York brand, though Hospice of the Finger Lakes will continue to work under that name in Cayuga County. Hospice of Central New York expects to see a 40 percent increase in their […]