Bill Would Allow Hospice Recertification Via Telehealth

A bipartisan group of congressional legislators have introduced corresponding bills in the House and the Senate that would allow hospice physicians to re-certify patients via telehealth systems, among other provisions. Current Medicare Conditions of Participation require a hospice physician to meet with a patient face-to-face as part of the recertification process that initiates after the […]

Rising Admissions Fuels Growth at VITAS Healthcare

VITAS Healthcare has seen substantial growth in same-store admissions during the third quarter of the year, boosting its revenues, according to financial results posted by the hospice provider’s parent company, Chemed Corp. (NYSE: CHE). VITAS admissions rose 4.4% from Q3 2018’s numbers to 17,131 patients. This is slightly stronger than the company’s second-quarter 2019 admissions […]

Acquisitions Spur Amedisys’ Hospice Growth

Amedisys Inc. (NASDAQ: AMED) is continuing to use acquisitions to build up its hospice footprint as the company braces for disruption to its home health care business stemming from the forthcoming transition to the patient driven groupings model (PDGM).  In the third quarter of 2019 Amedisys hospice segment revenue rose to $162 million, a 57% […]

Alacare Purchase Pays Off for Encompass Health

Encompass Health Corp.’s (NYSE: EHC) recently closed acquisition of Alacare Home Health & Hospice for $217.5 million spurred significant revenue growth in the third quarter. The company’s hospice segment earnings rose 53.7% between Q3 2019 and Q3 2018. A nearly 6% rise in same-store admissions also boosted Encompass Health’s third quarter performance. The company’s average […]

More Patients with Cardiovascular Disease Dying at Home

More patients suffering from cardiovascular disease are dying in their homes rather than in the hospital, a new study has found. However, racial and socioeconomic disparities continue to have an impact on where patients end their lives. Between 2003 and 2017 nearly 31% of patients suffering from conditions such as heart failure, ischemic heart disease, […]

Hospices Leverage Social Media Marketing

To compete in the increasingly competitive digital marketplace, hospice providers must become more sophisticated in their use of social media, experts say. Using these tools effectively helps develop and promote your brand, identify and attract prospective patients, and recruit good staff.  Social media offers marketing opportunities that few businesses can afford to underestimate or ignore, […]

House Approves Hospice Education Act

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed the Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act (PCHETA), according to the office of Rep. Eliot Engels (D-N.Y.). The bill, which Engels introduced in January, had 294 bipartisan cosponsors. If enacted, PCHETA would establish fellowship programs within new palliative care and hospice education centers to provide short-term, […]

CMS Delays Primary Care First Implementation to 2021

Though the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is now accepting applications to participate in the agency’s new Primary Care First payment models, the agency has delayed the program’s launch to 2021, as opposed to the original Jan. 1, 2020 date. CMS moved the start date to allow stakeholders more time to consider participation, […]

CMS: Hospices Can Now Apply to Primary Care First

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has opened the online application period for the Primary Care First payment models. The agency announced the program in April and will implement the models in phases beginning in January 2021, initially in 26 regions throughout the United States. Hospices and palliative care organizations are eligible […]

Home-Based Primary Care May Be Hospices’ Next Frontier

As hospices seek new ways to engage patients further upstream, a rising number are diversifying their services to include home-based primary care, along with palliative care and other care models. Evidence indicates that these primary care programs carry substantial benefits for patients and families and can have a significant positive impact on a hospice’s bottom […]