Longer Hospice Lengths of Stay Yield Higher Margins

Patient populations who experienced longer lengths of stay boosted hospice margins by as much as 20% during 2016, according to a new report from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC). Financial data in the MEDPAC report reflects the first year of data following 2016 revisions to the Medicare payment system for hospice. The final rule […]

Transitions LifeCare Advances Symptom Simulation Training in Hospice

Hospices nationwide are exploring training programs using simulations of dementia systems; Raleigh, N.C.-based hospice provider Transitions LifeCare is taking their program to the next level to simulate the multiple co-morbidities that their patients often experience.  Dementia simulators often involve goggles that demonstrate the effects of cataracts and macular degeneration, headsets buzzing with background noise and […]

Michigan Passes Hospice Opioid Law

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, D, has signed into law a bill that exempts hospices from opioid prescribing restrictions that the state enacted last year to combat the national addiction and overdose epidemic.  Prior to this legislation, the law mandated that prescribers have a “bona fide” prescriber-patient relationship, and that the prescriber obtain reports from the […]

Highpoint Health, Ivy Tech Collaborate on Hospice Nursing Course

Lawrenceburg, Ind.-based Highpoint Health system’s Home Health and Hospice Department has developed a for-credit course on hospice care for nursing students, in collaboration with Ivy Tech Community College, as part of the college’s Nursing Complex Medical Surgical curriculum. Most clinicians do not receive training in hospice or palliative care during their degree programs, in fact […]

House Ways & Means Starts Rural Health Task Force

The influential Ways and Means Committee within the U.S. House of Representatives has convened a Rural and Underserved Communities Health Task Force to consider health care delivery challenges in rural areas. The move comes as both chambers of Congress consider versions of legislation to expand hospice in rural locales.  The Rural Access to Hospice Act […]

Collaboration, Community Outreach Promote Hospice Growth

Collaboration with referral partners and community outreach have proven essential to hospice marketing efforts. As demand for hospice care grows, hospice providers in an increasingly competitive marketplace are working to bring a larger share of those patients under their wings. In addition to traditional methods such as territory management and improving call volume, many are […]

Hospice Physician B.J. Miller: ‘Life is Not a Fight Against Death’

Hospice and palliative care physician Bruce (B.J.) Miller has made it his mission to help people “live well in the face of death.” A hospice and palliative care physician at the University of California Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and former executive director of the Zen Hospice Project, Miller speaks nationally about end-of-life care, […]

Accurate Cost Reporting Key for Hospice Reimbursement

As hospice providers await the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) final rule that will indicate payment rates and regulatory requirements for 2020, experts are warning hospices to make sure that they are submitting accurate cost reports to the agency. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in late April released […]

OIG Calls for Stronger Oversight of Hospice

Two federal reports on hospice care in the United States could change the way regulators approach their enforcement activities. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released two documents last week discussing serious patient safety events in some hospices, including recommendations to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & […]

Hospice, Palliative Care Education Bill Introduced in Senate

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) have introduced the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA) in the U.S. Senate. The legislation would provide resources to support clinician training to reduce staff shortages in the industry and help providers meet continuously rising demand for those services as the population ages.  […]