Understanding the ACO Opportunity For Hospices

Though the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in is going away at the end of this year, those operators still have a role to play in value-based care. The carve-in, formally known as the hospice component of the value-based insurance design model (VBID), will expire on Dec. 31. The program was designed to test hospice coverage through […]

Calls Grow Louder for Greater Federal Support of Rural Hospices

Calls are growing louder for Congress to build stronger reimbursement and workforce incentives aimed at improving the availability and sustainability of rural-based end-of-life care. Rural-based hospice providers face a range of challenges to improve access among their underserved patient populations. Current reimbursement structures within the federally established Medicare Hospice Benefit do not sufficiently support the […]

MedPAC to Congress: Freeze Hospice Rates in 2025

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has recommended to Congress a freeze on hospice payment increases starting in 2025. In its annual report to Congress, MedPAC urged policymakers to eliminate hospice base-rate increases for 2025. “Based on the positive indicators of payment adequacy and strong margins, the Commission concludes that current payment rates are sufficient […]

Hospices Welcome VBID’s Demise, But Questions Remain

In case you missed it, Hospice News has launched a new specialty publication for palliative care professionals. You can subscribe to Palliative Care News here: Subscribe today! The Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in will be carved back out by the end of this year. Many operators were glad to see it go, but the questions the […]

CMS to Sunset Hospice VBID in 2024

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will end the hospice component of the value-based insurance design model (VBID) as of Dec. 31. Often called the “hospice carve-in,” the program was designed to test coverage of hospice care through Medicare Advantage, in addition to some coverage of palliative care and transitional care. The hospice […]

New Dementia-Focused Payment Model Emphasizes Caregiver Support

Without family caregivers, most hospice and palliative care patients would be unable to receive care in the home. Now, some emerging payment models are including caregiver support as a key component. Case in point is the Guiding an Improved Dementia Experience (GUIDE) model, which the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled in […]

MedPAC Calls for Freeze on Hospice Payment Rates

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) has voted to recommend a freeze on hospice payment increases starting in 2025. However, the commission pulled back on prior calls for cuts to the aggregate payment cap. While MedPAC cannot implement policy or payment rate changes, it does make annual recommendations to Congress and the U.S. Centers for […]

‘Long-Term Business Viability’ a Top Driver of Hospice VBID Participation

Providers see sustainability and expanded service growth as main draws to participating in the Medicare Advantage hospice carve-in. However, these opportunities come alongside administrative and billing challenges, among others. Hospice participation in the value-based insurance design (VBID) model has been slowly increasing over the past two years, a trend anticipated to continue as more providers […]

Caregiver Support a ‘Significant’ Priority in CMMI Models, VBID

Unmet caregiver needs are a top issue to address in developing end-of-life care models encircling the Medicare landscape. Among top priorities in current and future payment models is to improve care for those with serious and terminal illnesses, which includes caregiver support, according to Purva Rawal, chief strategy officer for the Center for Medicare and […]

Health Equity a Driver in New CMS Payment Models

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has been working health equity components into new alternative payment models. Much movement has taken place in the payment and policy realms towards closing disparities among underserved populations, according to Hope Glassberg, senior policy advisor at the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (C-TAC) and president of […]