A Deeper Dive into Primary Care First, Where Hospice Fits

Though new payment models under the auspices of Medicare’s new Primary Care First initiative are designed for primary care providers, hospice and palliative care providers have a role to play. The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in April announced that they would implement Primary Care First in phases beginning in Jan. 2020, […]

Court Dismisses Fraud Case Against Heartland Hospice

A federal judge has dismissed with prejudice a False Claims Act case filed against Heartland Hospice, a subsidiary of post-acute care, skilled nursing and long term care provider HCR Manorcare. A qui tam complaint occurs when a whistleblower, called a “relator” by the courts, files a False Claims Act suit on behalf of the government […]

Care Coordination, Partnerships Key for Hospices in Primary Care First

Improved care coordination is an underlying goal of the Primary Care First payment structures recently unveiled by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Strategic partnerships with primary care providers could be the key for hospice and palliative care providers seeking to capitalize on the emerging payment models. The U.S. Centers for Medicare […]

Primary Care First Could Be a Pathway to Profitable Palliative Care

A rising number of hospices are offering community-based palliative care, but virtually none are making a profit or breaking even from those services. New payment models such as Medicare’s recently announced Primary Care First initiative, could give palliative care providers a shot, though not a guarantee, of profitability in the long term if they navigate […]

Hospice Groups: CMS Should Reconsider Payment Rate Calculation Methods

The proposed Medicare reimbursement rate hikes for some levels of hospice care is a positive move, according to comments on the 2020 proposed rule submitted to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) by hospice industry organizations, but they also voiced concerns regarding how those rates are calculated as well as the potential […]

New Legislation to Make Palliative Care Eligible for National Health Service Corps

Bipartisan Congressional efforts to expand palliative care utilization and combat ongoing staffing shortages are proceeding apace with the introduction of the Provider Training in Palliative Care Act by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The bill would make palliative care medicine an eligible primary care service under the National Health Service Corps […]

CAPC’s Meier: U.S. Needs National Strategy for Palliative Care

The federal government should work with stakeholders to develop a national strategy for palliative care, similar to those developed to combat smoking, H.I.V., the opioid epidemic and pandemic influenza, according to Diane Meier, M.D., director of the Center to Advance Palliative Care. A national strategy would bring together government agencies, health care organizations, the private […]

CMS Shares New Details on Hospice HEART Tool

The U.S Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) intends a forthcoming quality reporting tool to inform patient care planning, initial assessments and periodic reassessments, the agency told Hospice News. The agency is in the process of developing the Hospice Evaluation and Assessment Reporting Tool (HEART), a mandatory new comprehensive quality reporting tool that will […]

Dual Payment Model for Long Term Care Hospitals Could Boost Hospice Use

A dual payment model designed for long term care hospitals (LTCH) could increase hospice and other post-acute care service utilization rates, according to a report from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC). The Pathway for [Sustainable Growth Rate] Reform Act of 2013 overhauled the payment structure for long term care hospitals. According to the new […]