[UPDATED] CMS Stops Accepting Direct Contracting Applications from Hospices, Other Providers

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) has suspended the application process for the second year of the direct contracting payment models associated with Primary Care First. The status of first-year participants (April 1 to Dec. 31, 2021) has not changed. The agency announced that the direct contracting program is “under review.” This […]

Health System Investment in Hospice Unlikely to Become A Trend

Despite recent hospice and home-based care acquisitions involving health systems, such transactions are unlikely to become a common practice during 2021 and 2022. However, health systems are taking a closer look at companies that provide non-medical assistance to help seniors age in place.  Firms that guide providers through the mergers and acquisitions processes are not […]

Pandemic Spurring End-of-Life Care Planning

Nearly 70% of 1,000 survey respondents indicated that talking about their wishes and values for end-of-life care was important to them, but only slightly more than half (56%) had actually held these conversations, according to a study by VITAS Healthcare, a subsidiary of Chemed Corp. (NYSE: CHE). These numbers were up from a previous study […]

HCCI’s Julie Sacks: Interest in Home-Based Primary Care Growing Among Hospices

A rising number of hospice and palliative care providers are establishing home-based primary care service lines in order to engage patients further upstream and to enable participation in new payment models such as Primary Care First and direct contracting. According to Julie Sacks, chief operating officer and newly appointed president of the Illinois-based Home Centered […]

Hospices Preparing for HOPE Quality Tool Coming from CMS

The forthcoming Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE) tool is currently in the first stage of pilot testing. The tool will replace the Hospice Item Set (HIS) quality reporting system when completed, but providers have growing concerns about the ramifications, with many stretched thin after a tough year during the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Centers […]

Two New Hampshire Providers Merge, Rebrand as Granite VNA

Concord Regional Visiting Nurse Association has merged with Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice. The combined organization will operate under the brand Granite VNA. Both providers are located in New Hampshire, serving a combined 82 communities in that state.  Concord Regional was established in 1899 as the Concord District Nursing Association, whereas Central New Hampshire […]

SPACs Build Momentum in Hospice M&A Market

Rising interest from special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) could make competition in an already active hospice M&A market more fierce in coming years. Like private equity and other investors, SPACs are drawn to hospice by surging demographic tailwinds from the aging population.  SPACs are formed with the sole intent of raising capital for the purpose of […]

Hospices Finding Goal-Concordant Care Essential to Brand Identity

Ensuring that patients receive quality care in accordance with their wishes and goals is as essential to a hospice’s brand identity as their name, logo and letterhead. Factors such as organizational culture and mission can form a bedrock for a provider’s marketing strategies and brand advancement.  As demand for hospice care grows, hospice providers in […]

Encompass Home Health, Hospice CEO April Anthony to Step Down in June

April Anthony, CEO of Home Health and Hospice at Encompass Health Corp. (NYSE: EHC) will be stepping down in mid-June of this year. The move comes at a time when the company is considering a repositioning of its home health and hospice business, including a potential spin off or sale. Anthony founded Encompass Home Health […]