Hospice Providers Wrangle with Barriers to Expanding Advance Care Planning

Hospices, other providers, payers, as well as state and federal agencies are increasingly recognizing the importance of advance care planning to ensure goal-concordant care and reduce health care costs. Barriers in existing public policy are limiting the growth of these services, along with increased strains brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, according to some stakeholders. […]

North Dakota Redefines Nursing Home End-of-Life Visits During Pandemic

North Dakota has revised its definition of compassionate end-of-life care visits as the state begins to relax restrictions as to who can access nursing homes and assisted living facilities.  Since implementing the restrictions in March as the pandemic ramped up, North Dakota exempted hospice providers and other end-of-life care clinicians from rules limiting access, but […]

NHPCO Asks Administration to Extend COVID Public Health Emergency

The National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) has called on federal regulators to extend the federally declared public health emergency addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency declaration is scheduled to end in July, but the Trump administration has the ability to extend the time period. Though the pandemic continues unabated, the public health emergency […]

CMS Extends Medicare Care Choices Test for Hospices

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is extending the Medicare Care Choices Model by one year. The program is now expected to remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2021, meaning that providers can enroll eligible beneficiaries through June 30, 2021 and provide supportive services through the program’s scheduled end date. Through the […]

OIG to Begin Advance Care Planning Audits

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in its June report to Congress indicated that it was adding advance care planning to its work plan.  The OIG Work Plan details the office’s projects for the current and future fiscal years, including audits and evaluations. An issue may come […]

CMS Extends Deadline for Direct Contracting Letters of Intent

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) will accept Letters of Intent from hospices and other providers that seek to participate in the professional or global Primary Care First Direct Contracting models until July 6.  The direct contracting options include three voluntary payment models that are designed to help the U.S. Centers for Medicare […]

NHPCO: Make Permanent Telehealth Flexibilities for Hospice

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) has called upon the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make permanent regulatory flexibilities that allowed hospices to expand telehealth services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Declaration of a national disaster allows the HHS to waive certain regulatory requirements under section 1135 of the Social […]

Hospice Providers Weigh-In on Diminishing Nursing Home Restrictions

Hospices have struggled to access patients in nursing homes since the initial stages of the novel coronavirus pandemic. As visiting restrictions start to lift with states reopening, many hospice providers remain cautiously optimistic about minimizing COVID-19 exposure risks for staff. Closing doors to visitors and clinicians was a crucial move for many nursing homes working […]