NHPCO Speaks Out on 2025 Proposed Medicare Hospice Rates

The proposed 2.6% payment increase for hospices is insufficient in today’s economic climate, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) indicated in comments on the 2025 proposed payment rule. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in March issued its 2025 proposed hospice rule, which if finalized would include a 2.6% increase […]

Laws in Motion to Bring ‘Right to Try’ Psychedelics at End-of-Life

Hospice providers are navigating an evolving landscape of laws opening up pathways of access around psychedelic utilization at the end of life. Despite mounting evidence that psychedelics can improve experiences and reduce symptom burden in some terminally ill patients, these drugs remain difficult to access for those wishing to utilize them. Some states and the […]

Compliance Strategies for Forthcoming Hospice HOPE Tool

Hospices will have a learning curve when it comes to implementing the Hospice Outcomes and Patient Evaluation Tool (HOPE) tool. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is currently developing quality measures that will be included in the HOPE tool, which will replace the current Hospice Item Set (HIS). After years of development, […]

Congress Seeks Answers from CMS on Hospice Fraud, Quality

Members of Congress are demanding answers from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on continuing evidence of hospice fraud and quality issues. Reps. Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas) and Earl Blumenaur (D-Ore.) led a coalition of 38 congressional lawmakers who in a letter asked CMS for further information on how the agency intends […]

GAO: CMS Should Step Up Hospice Oversight, Surveys

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a new report indicated that the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) should beef up hospice oversight, including addressing overdue surveys. To date, CMS has fully implemented five and partially implemented three of eight provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA), though quality issues persist […]

Congress Mulls Bill to Extend Hospice Recertifications by Telehealth

A bill currently before Congress would extend through 2026 regulatory flexibilities related to telehealth, including the ability to recertify patients for hospice care. If enacted, the Preserving Telehealth, Hospital, and Ambulance Access Act, would as of 2025 extend the flexibilities by two years. It also includes some exceptions. If a hospice is undergoing a period […]

Fraudulent Hospice Providers May Be Moving Between States

Fraudulent hospices continue to proliferate, and some may be moving between states to escape regulators. Beginning in 2021, numerous reports emerged of unethical or illegal practices among hundreds of newly licensed hospices, particularly among new companies popping up in California, Texas, Nevada and Arizona. Thus far, California is the only state to take action on […]

Evolving Medical Licensing Laws Could Affect Hospice Workforce, Diversity Challenges

A rash of states are restructuring their medical licensing requirements to allow more trained clinicians from other countries to find employment in the United States. The trend is an aim to address prolific workforce shortages, including in hospice, but could also have impacts on improving diversity, equity and inclusion. Some states have restructured medical licensing […]

FBI Warns Consumers About Hospice Fraud Risks

The FBI has issued a public warning about hospice fraud in the Houston area. The law enforcement agency’s alert comes as program integrity concerns continue in four states, including Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Texas. The agency has received numerous complaints about fraudulent activity among hospices in Houston, according to local news. “It’s a little bit […]