Encompass Health Agrees to Purchase Alacare for $217.5 Million

Encompass Health Corp. (NYSE: EHC) has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase all of the assets of privately owned Alacare Home Health & Hospice for $217.5 million. With this acquisition, Encompass Health will become the 10th largest U.S. hospice provider, based on Medicare reimbursements. EBITDA multiples were not disclosed. Birmingham, Ala.-based Alacare operates 23 […]

NAHC’s Dombi: ‘Balance Business with Mission’

From Medicare advantage, a rapidly changing health care landscape, and burgeoning demand for care in a time of severe staffing shortages, William Dombi, president of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice has been a front-line advocate on the most pressing issues staring down hospice providers in today’s marketplace. Prior to his keynote address […]

Improper CMS Payments to Hospices Top $2.1 Billion in 2018

Medicare made an estimated $2.1 billion in improper fee-for-service payments to hospices during fiscal year 2018, with more than half occurring due to documentation errors, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported. The GAO investigation focused solely on fee-for-service payments and did not examine Medicare’s managed care or outpatient prescription drug programs. Though the overall report […]

Hospice Foundation Launches Nurse On-Boarding Program

The Hospice and Home Care Foundation of North Carolina (HHCF) has launched a pilot program to develop a comprehensive and systematic on-boarding system for recently graduated and newly hired registered nurses who are working in hospice or home health for the first time. Through the program, HHCF helps to reduce the impact of ongoing staff […]

West Virginia Law Limits New Hospice Providers

Gov. Jim Justice has signed legislation that could impact the future of hospice care in West Virginia. State Senate Bill 537 establishes a workgroup to review certificate of need regulations that could prevent new hospice providers from opening in the state. A major consideration is the question of thresholds for permitting additional hospice providers in […]

Senior Living Company Unveils New Hospice Subsidiary

The George M. Leader Family Corp, a Pennsylvania-based retirement community operator, has added Lifesong Hospice and Palliative Care to its portfolio. Lifesong will provide hospice care to residents of the parent company’s senior living facilities throughout central Pennsylvania, including Country Meadows Retirement Communities, Providence Place, and the nonprofit Ecumenical Retirement Community in Harrisburg. “The decision […]

Ohio Law: Inform Patients About Palliative Care

Under a new Ohio law , hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, nursing homes, and other health care organizations in Ohio must develop systems to identify patients or residents who are in need of palliative care and inform them about the benefits and availability of those services. Other provisions in the law allow inpatient hospice providers to […]

Kentucky Passes Law to Expand Palliative Care

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed into law legislation to expand awareness and utilization of palliative care throughout the state. Kentucky Senate Bill 65 will establish a Palliative Care Interdisciplinary Advisory Council as well as a Professional Information and Education Program by July 2020. “I’m thrilled that SB 65 has finally passed,” the bill’s sponsor, State […]

Early Hospice Admission Could Save Medicare $2.3 Billion

Enrolling patients in hospice earlier in the course of their terminal illness can reduce Medicare costs by $316 million to $2.43 billion, depending on length of stay and characteristics of the patient population, according to a recent policy brief from the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). About 60 percent of Medicare decedents stay […]

New Guidance for CMS Rules on Hospice, Home-Based Services

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will presume that private residences in which Medicaid recipients receive hospice care and certain other services are in compliance with regulatory criteria for home- and community-based settings. In a letter to state Medicaid directors CMS Administrator Seema Verma issued new regulatory guidance on how CMS will […]