CMS Accelerates Medicare Payments During COVID-19, Including Hospice

In an effort to counter widespread disruption in the health care space due to the ongoing pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is expanding its accelerated and advance payment program for all Medicare Part A and Part B providers and suppliers. The program, typically implemented during natural disasters or other catastrophic […]

[UPDATED] President Signs Stimulus Bill, Allowing Telehealth for Hospice Recertification

President Donald Trump has signed into law a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. Among numerous other provisions, the massive bill will allow hospice providers to conduct face-to-face recertification visits via telehealth and suspend the practice of 2% sequestration of hospice payments by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & […]

Hospice Coalition Calls on FEMA for More PPE During Pandemic

A coalition of hospice industry groups have called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to prioritize hospice when distributing personal protective equipment to health care organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Signatories on the letter included the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), the Council of State Home Care & Hospice Associations, the […]

Senate Approves Stimulus Package with Relief for Hospices

After days of tense negotiations between Republicans and Democrats, the U.S. Senate has passed a $2 trillion bill designed to boost the national economy during the COVID-19 crisis. The legislation contains language that would allow hospice providers to perform face-to-face encounters via telehealth as well as a suspension of payment sequestration. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, […]

Hospices Strategize to Assure Patients that Care Is Safe During Pandemic 

Growing patient and family concerns about safety are among the many challenges the end-of-life care community is facing during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. As hospice providers meet patient care needs during the outbreak, an added challenge is alleviating patient concerns about staff coming into the home. As the novel virus continues to spread, so do […]

[UPDATED] FEMA to Distribute PPE Supplies Hospices Need, but Hospitals Taking Priority

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is distributing N95 and surgical masks and other supplies to health care organizations in states hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, including New York and Washington. However, it remains unclear whether hospices will have access to these supplies or if they are being sent primarily to hospitals. Hospices […]

How Hospice Claims Automation Software is Saving Providers Money

Denied claims are frustrating and expensive for hospice providers. According to the American Medical Association, Medicare annually denies 4.2% of all claims, the highest rate among U.S. payers, while the average denial rate across the hospice industry is higher, ranging from 5% to 10%. Hospices will spend an extra $25 to $30 each time they […]

Hospices Desperate for Supplies As Pandemic Takes Heavy Toll

Hospice supply lines have been strained to the limit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as has the U.S. health care system at large. Providers of all types are reporting serious shortages of necessary materials, including essential personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent infections, such as masks, face shields and sterile gloves.  “This is really unprecedented […]

[UPDATED] Senate Bill Would Allow Telehealth for Hospice Face-to-Face Encounters, Pause Sequestration

Provisions of a massive stimulus package currently being debated in the U.S. Senate would allow hospices to use telehealth in lieu of face-to-face encounters as well as temporarily ending the practice of sequestering 2% of hospice payments from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, […]

Hospices Struggle to Access Patients in Nursing Homes Amid Pandemic

With older adults suffering from chronic or life-limiting medical conditions among those most vulnerable during the COVID-19 outbreak, nursing homes across the country are restricting access to their facilities. As a result, hospice providers have experienced difficulty accessing their patients in nursing home settings. Nursing home populations are at the highest risk of being affected […]