Hospice Buffalo Pursues Financially Sustainable Palliative Care

Hospices provide about 50% of the community-based palliative care in the United States, but these programs are often viewed as a loss leader. Hospice Buffalo has leveraged data and relationships with payers to create a growing palliative care program that feeds their bottom line while addressing patient needs. Stakeholders in the hospice space have recognized […]

CMS Issues Hospices a 2.4% Pay Raise for 2021

Hospice payment rates will go up 2.4% during Fiscal Year 2021 according to a final rule issued by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This falls slightly short of the 2.6% increase that the agency had proposed in April.  The change would increase annual Medicare hospice spending by $540 million, though providers […]

Hospices Tackle Quality Improvement as Medicare Advantage Approaches

A focus on quality improvement can enhance patient care as well as a hospice’s bottom line as they prepare to demonstrate their value proposition to payers when the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in comes in 2021. Providers can benefit from transforming their organizational cultures and moving their workforce towards a pay-for-performance outlook in anticipation of the […]

Patient’s Geographic Location Influences Hospice Choice

The community in which a patient resides may be a key factor that influences their decision of whether or not to elect hospice care. New research indicates regional variations in patients’ end-of-life decision making.  Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s (BIDMC) Center for Health Care Delivery Science took a close look at regional patterns […]

More COVID-19 Relief Funds Likely Coming to Hospices

The proposed HEALS Act currently before Congress would allocate an additional $25 billion to the Provider Relief Fund, a program that moves federal dollars to health care organizations struggling with the fallout of the pandemic, including hospices. The full price tag for the legislation could reach more than $1 trillion, though congressional negotiations are ongoing. […]

VITAS Sees Growth Despite COVID-19 Costs

A rise in patient census pulled up revenues for hospice provider VITAS Healthcare, a subsidiary of Chemed Corp. (NASDAQ: CHE) in the second quarter, despite declining admissions and rising expenses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition to VITAS, Chemed owns the plumbing company Roto-Rooter.   The company’s average daily census reached 19,195 patients during the […]

Amedisys Takes Hits from COVID-19, Hospice Recovery on Horizon

Amedisys, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMED) was among many hospice providers weathering second quarter storms in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic continued to spread its reach into financial bottom lines. While COVID-19 headwinds have limited the provider’s anticipated recovery in Q2, improving patient volumes and shifts in regulatory rules are among the factors contributing to positive projections […]

Transitions CEO: Medicare Advantage Could Slow Private Equity Interest in Hospice

CEO Jim Palazzo founded Transitions Hospice in 2007 as a portfolio company within the Transitions Group — which also holds skilled nursing, home health, medical equipment and therapy assets.  He became interested in health care during his college years while working as a caregiver for a friend’s 87-year-old grandfather three nights a week and began […]

Encompass Health Rebounds After First Quarter COVID-19 Slump

Encompass Health (NASDAQ: EHC)  in the second quarter overcame the financial onslaught brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, despite millions of dollars in increased costs for personal protective equipment (PPE), supplies, and increased paid time off and paid leave for staff.   Things started to look up for Encompass in Q2, propelled by demographic tailwinds and […]

Early Hospice Saves $14,000-$27,000 in Health Care Costs Per Patient

Patients who receive hospice earlier saved an average of $14,000 in health care costs during the last three months of life compared to patients who were admitted for a mid-term stay, according to new research from health care data analytics firm Trella Health. Patients who did not elect hospice accrued $27,455 more in health care […]