Hospices Seek Aid As Most CARES Act Funds Go to Hospitals

While the federal government is making billions of dollars available to health care providers through the CARES Act and other programs, the lion’s share of those funds and equipment is going to hospitals, often leaving providers in other settings out in the cold, including hospice.  Hospitals nationwide unquestionably are taking a tremendous hit due to the […]

Hospices Need More from Regulators During COVID-19 Crisis

Congress and the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have offered a number regulatory flexibilities to hospice providers during the novel coronavirus pandemic through legislation and through emergency waivers. While providers and other stakeholders embrace these changes as positive and necessary steps, hospices may need additional federal support that to date they haven’t […]

CMS Waives Hospice Rules During Pandemic, Further Expands Telehealth

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has waived a number of hospice regulations, including temporarily removing the requirement that a nurse conduct a home visit at least every two weeks and expanding the allowable use of telehealth. These flexibilities for hospice are components of a larger initiative intended to reduce regulatory burden […]

Older Americans Act Reauthorized with Funds for Hospice Family Caregivers, Social Determinants

Though somewhat overshadowed by the COVID-19 crisis, Congress has reauthorized the Older Americans Act, which provides funds to services for seniors, including those designed to help them age in place. Some provisions of the act allocate dollars to community-based programs that provide meals, transportation and other social determinants of health, allowing seniors to remain in […]

CMS Accelerates Medicare Payments During COVID-19, Including Hospice

In an effort to counter widespread disruption in the health care space due to the ongoing pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is expanding its accelerated and advance payment program for all Medicare Part A and Part B providers and suppliers. The program, typically implemented during natural disasters or other catastrophic […]

[UPDATED] President Signs Stimulus Bill, Allowing Telehealth for Hospice Recertification

President Donald Trump has signed into law a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. Among numerous other provisions, the massive bill will allow hospice providers to conduct face-to-face recertification visits via telehealth and suspend the practice of 2% sequestration of hospice payments by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & […]

Hospice Coalition Calls on FEMA for More PPE During Pandemic

A coalition of hospice industry groups have called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to prioritize hospice when distributing personal protective equipment to health care organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Signatories on the letter included the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR), the Council of State Home Care & Hospice Associations, the […]

Senate Approves Stimulus Package with Relief for Hospices

After days of tense negotiations between Republicans and Democrats, the U.S. Senate has passed a $2 trillion bill designed to boost the national economy during the COVID-19 crisis. The legislation contains language that would allow hospice providers to perform face-to-face encounters via telehealth as well as a suspension of payment sequestration. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, […]

[UPDATED] FEMA to Distribute PPE Supplies Hospices Need, but Hospitals Taking Priority

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is distributing N95 and surgical masks and other supplies to health care organizations in states hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, including New York and Washington. However, it remains unclear whether hospices will have access to these supplies or if they are being sent primarily to hospitals. Hospices […]

CMS Relaxes Hospice Quality Reporting Requirements During Outbreak

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is forestalling quality reporting requirements for providers participating in Medicare, including the Hospice Item Data Set (HIS) and the Consumer Assessment and Perception of Health Care Provider and Services (CAPHS) surveys. Hospices are not required to submit CAHPS survey data from Jan. 1 through Sept. 30, […]