Humana CMO: Medicare Advantage Hospice Carve-In to Foster Seamless Care Transitions

A forthcoming hospice carve-in for Medicare Advantage plans will help provide seamless transitions to hospice from other care settings such as home health care or hospitals, according to Humana’s (NYSE: HUM) recently appointed Chief Medical Officer William Shrank, M.D. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin testing the hospice carve-in in […]

More than Half of Spouse Caregivers Have No Family Support

Nearly 55% of spouse caregivers for patients at the end-of-life have no additional family support, according to new research, a circumstance likely to spark increased demand for enhanced caregiver support services, non-medical services and home-based palliative care. Spouses provide the most caregiving for married people living in the home, including in dementia cases, according to […]

VITAS Expands Florida Operations to Treasure Coast Region

VITAS Healthcare, a hospice subsidiary of Chemed Corp. (NYSE: CHE), has received two certificates of need in Florida, signaling that the company is expanding its operations across a region known as the Treasure Coast. The Miami-based hospice provider will also build a new 16-bed freestanding inpatient facility in southwest Miami-Dade County. In addition to hospice […]

Study: Hospice, Palliative Care Workforce to Deplete During Next 25 Years

Staff shortages currently squeezing hospice and palliative care providers are likely to get worse before they get better. A forthcoming study to be published this week in Health Affairs found that the number of palliative care physicians will decline during the next 25 years even as demand rises, the study’s authors said. Contributing factors driving […]

Internal Assessment Helps Hospices Grow Footprint

For hospices looking to grow, a careful look at where they are now can help them choose the right pathway to expansion. Careful assessment of current financial and operational status, as well as the needs of their community, can inform the strategic planning necessary to build an organization’s scale. Growth opportunities presently abound in the […]

Effective Emergency Plans Keep Hospices Running in a Disaster

A disaster or severe weather event like recent tornadoes in Missouri and Ohio can shut a hospice down or cause suspension of operations, leaving patients without support and severely cutting into a provider’s bottom line. When hospices engage in effective emergency planning, they can mitigate risks to patients as well as their own financial health. […]

Cardiac Patients Less Likely to Receive Hospice, Palliative Care Referrals

Physicians are less likely to recommend hospice and palliative care to patients suffering from cardiac conditions, such as congestive heart failure, compared to patients who have other conditions such as cancer, a recent study indicates. Numerous hospices provide palliative care, and an increasing number are diversifying their service. Education of clinicians treating cardiovascular patients can […]

Social Determinant Needs Greater Among Medicare Advantage Patients

Hospices gearing up for a Medicare Advantage carve-in demonstration in 2021 may place greater emphasis on addressing social determinants of health, as Medicare Advantage beneficiaries are increasingly affected by a lack of associated services, according to a report from consulting firm Avalere Health. Patients with dual eligibility for Medicare and Medicaid are the most affected, […]

Demographic Disparities Impact Patients, Limit Hospice Scale

Addressing demographic disparities in hospice utilization can ensure more patients receive quality care at the end-of-life as well as open untapped markets to hospice providers. Nearly 87% of Medicare decedents in 2016 were caucasian, according to the National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO). Comparatively, slightly more than 8% were African-American; 2.1% were Hispanic, and […]

WellSky, CompanyMileage Collaborate to Cut Hospice Mileage Costs

Lenexa, Kan.-based health care technology company WellSky has forged a partnership with reimbursement solutions firm CompanyMileage to develop systems designed to improve the efficiency of employee travel for hospice and home health companies. The companies report that the system has reduced mileage reimbursement costs for some organizations by as much as 30%. WellSky is a […]