New North Dakota Law Allows Licensure of Residential Hospices

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) has signed legislation that will permit the establishment of residential end-of-life care facilities in the state. The new law gives the state Department of Health authority to license these operations.  Such laws are common in the United States. North Dakota may be the last state in the nation to […]

[UPDATED] CMS Stops Accepting Direct Contracting Applications from Hospices, Other Providers

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicare Services (CMS) has suspended the application process for the second year of the direct contracting payment models associated with Primary Care First. The status of first-year participants (April 1 to Dec. 31, 2021) has not changed. The agency announced that the direct contracting program is “under review.” This […]

Hospices Preparing for HOPE Quality Tool Coming from CMS

The forthcoming Hospice Outcomes & Patient Evaluation (HOPE) tool is currently in the first stage of pilot testing. The tool will replace the Hospice Item Set (HIS) quality reporting system when completed, but providers have growing concerns about the ramifications, with many stretched thin after a tough year during the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Centers […]

CMS Suspends Claims Process While Congress Ponders Sequestration

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will suspend the processing of Medicare claims dated after April 1 while Congress continues to mull whether it will extend the temporary moratorium on payment sequestration implemented due to COVID-19. This applies to all Medicare-certified health care providers, including hospices. The U.S. House of Representatives and the […]

CMS Revising Hospice Survey Process in the Pandemic’s Wake

One year into the outbreak, hospices nationwide are trying to decipher what the post-pandemic regulatory landscape will look like. This will include updates to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) survey process that were delayed due to COVID-19. CMS is revising its survey process to emphasize what the agency considers to be […]

Senate Votes to Extend Hospice Payment Sequestration Suspension

The U.S. Senate has voted to extend the moratorium on Medicare payment sequestration for hospice and other health care organizations through the end of the year. The Senate bill must now go to the House, which is unlikely to pass the legislation before the current expiration date of March 31. The Senate approved the bill […]

NHPCO’s Banach: A Community-Based Palliative Benefit May Come in 2021

A community-based palliative care benefit may emerge from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services during 2021, according to National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) President and CEO Edo Banach. Though nothing is certain, Banach told Hospice News that factors exist that make it more likely to occur, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently […]

Novus Hospice CEO Pleads Guilty to Fraud Scheme

Bradley Harris, former head of Texas-based Novus and Optimum Health Services, is facing up to 14 years in federal prison for his role in defrauding Medicare and Medicaid out of tens of millions in falsified health care claims. The hospice agency’s CEO recently pled guilty for his involvement and is currently awaiting a sentencing hearing […]