New CMS Payment Model Demo to Allow Concurrent Hospice Care

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has unveiled a new payment model demonstration that will include concurrent hospice and curative care. Like other value-based initiatives, the Geographic Direct Contracting Model is designed to improve health outcomes and reduce the cost of care for Medicare beneficiaries. The demonstration will test whether a geographic-based […]

Compassionate Care Act Introduced in Senate to Expand Advance Care Planning

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) has introduced the Compassionate Care Act in the U.S. Senate. If enacted the bill would significantly expand federal resources to support advance care planning and end-of-life care decision making. The legislation would also finance public awareness campaigns about hospice and palliative care. The Compassionate Care Act would establish a nationwide public […]

Hospices Try to Untangle Provider Relief Funds Rules

Hospice providers who are seeking federal aid through the Provider Relief Fund established by the CARES Act need clarity on the law’s definition of “lost revenue” due to apparently  conflicting language in guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS). The more pressing question is whether “lost revenue” includes financial losses […]

Hospice Regulatory Landscape Could Change in the Election’s Wake

The outcome of the 2020 presidential election creates some uncertainties for hospice providers. As President-elect Joe Biden takes office in the coming year, his administration could have a transformative impact on the way hospices do business in a shifting regulatory and payment climate. A Biden presidency could reverse course on programs already in place, including […]

COVID-19 Complicates Hospice Compliance With New CMS Addendum Rule

Providers have been strained to comply with the new Medicare requirement for an addendum to the hospice election statement. Gusty pandemic-related headwinds and documentation errors are among the obstacles that hospices are encountering as 2020 comes to a close. The addendum rule that took effect Oct. 1, 2020, requires hospices to provide Medicare beneficiaries with […]

Concurrent Hospice Care Demo Yields $26 Million in Cost Savings

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Care Choices Model (MCCM) demonstration has reduced the agency’s costs by $26 million to date. The demonstration, established in 2016 and scheduled to end in June 2021, is designed to test the efficacy and efficiency of providing hospice concurrent with curative care. CMS announced the […]

Election 2020: The Stakes for Hospice, Palliative Care

With the election looming, both Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic Candidate Joe Biden have taken positions that could reshape Medicare for the foreseeable future. From the conservative camp’s calls to repeal the Affordable Care Act to Biden’s proposal to lower the eligibility age, the outcome of the election could change some of the ways […]

U.S. Supreme Court May Hear Hospice False Claims Case

The U.S. Supreme Court is mulling whether it will hear arguments in a False Claims Act (FCA) case involving the hospice provider Care Alternatives. FCA actions pertaining to hospices most commonly focus on questions of a patient’s eligibility for those services. A 2019 report from the law firm of Bass, Barry, and Sims indicated that […]

Hospices to Receive a Per Diem Payment Under Medicare Advantage in 2021

Providers have faced a slough of unanswered questions regarding the demonstration project to test hospice coverage through the value-based insurance design model (VBID), commonly known as the Medicare Advantage carve-in. Among the most pressing of these questions is how they will be paid. For the program’s first year, which commences Jan. 1, 2021, most hospices […]

CMMI May Allow Second Cohort of Health Plans for MA Hospice Carve-In

The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) will offer a second opportunity for Medicare Advantage plans to participate in the demonstration of hospice coverage through Medicare Advantage. The implementation date for this second cohort would occur in 2022. CMMI Director Brad Smith discussed this move at the Better Medicare Alliance Medicare Advantage Summit. “In […]